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God is unbounded. God became flesh. While these two assertions are equally viable parts of Western Christian religious heritage, they stand in tension with one another. Fearful of reducing God's majesty with shallow anthropomorphisms, philosophy and religion affirm that God, as an eternal being, stands wholly apart from creation. Yet the legacy of the incarnation complicates this view of the incorporeal divine, affirming a very different image of God in physical embodiment. While for many today the idea of an embodied God seems simplisticaeven pedestrianaChristoph Markschies reveals that in antiquity, the educated and uneducated alike subscribed to this very idea. More surprisingly, the idea that God had a body was held by both polytheists and monotheists. Platonic misgivings about divine corporeality entered the church early on, but it was only with the advent of medieval scholasticism that the idea that God has a body became scandalous, an idea still lingering today. In God's Body Markschies traces the shape of the divine form in late antiquity. This exploration follows the development of ideas of God's corporeality in Jewish and Greco-Roman traditions. In antiquity, gods were often like humans, which proved to be important for philosophical reflection and for worship. Markschies considers how a cultic environment nurtured, and transformed, Jewish and Christian descriptions of the divine, as well as how philosophical debates over the connection of body and soul in humanity provided a conceptual framework for imagining God. Markschies probes the connections between this lively culture of religious practice and philosophical speculation and the christological formulations of the church to discover how the dichotomy of an incarnate God and a fleshless God came to be. By studying the religious and cultural past, Markschies reveals a Jewish and Christian heritage alien to modern sensibilities, as well as a God who is less alien to the human experience than much of Western thought has imagined. Since the almighty God who made all creation has also lived in that creation, the biblical idea of humankind as image of God should be taken seriously and not restricted to the conceptual world but rather applied to the whole person.
Ever since its composition in the ninth century, the use of the Veni Creator in the liturgy of Pentecost and in Christian assemblies has been constant, as one continuous, solemn invocation of the Paraclete. Its language, however, is far removed from theological discourse but inspired by symbol, image and song, by poetry and liturgy, by prophecy and living models of holiness. The author is one of the foremost specialists in the theology of the Spirit. He has the master’s art of drawing the reader by communicating his own enthusiasm for the Holy Spirit.
Die bundel bevat artikels oor geloof en kerk in veranderende kontekste. Bydraes is deur teoloë van die Universiteit van Suid-Afrika en die Protestantse Teologiese Universiteit in Nederland gelewer en is die resultaat van samewerking tussen die twee universiteite op die gebied van praktiese en sistematiese teologie.
Die fokus is op die verantwoordelikheid van die kerk teenoor armes, die aard en wese van die kerk, die Christelik Godsbegrip en die wyse waarop oor God in die prediking gedink en gepraat word. Van die boeiende bydraes is ’n vergelyking tussen armoede in Suid-Afrika en Nederland, verhale oor die wyse waarop regstellende aksie en werkloosheid Suid-Afrikaners se geloofsbelewenis raak en besinning oor die proses van kerkvereniging in die NG Kerk-familie.
Daar is ook hoofstukke oor prediking en liturgie as uitdrukking van nadenke oor God en maniere waarop tot God gepraat word. Die wye verskeidenheid invalshoeke en onderwerpe maak van hierdie boek ’n interessante leeservaring vir sowel gewone lidmate as predikante en akademici.
Ibadi Islam is a distinct sect of Islam, neither Sunni nor Shi'ite, that emerged in the early Islamic period and remains active today in small pockets of North Africa and as the dominant sect of Oman. Despite its antiquity, it has often been misunderstood and remains little known. Seeking to redress this gap and to introduce this influential Islamic school to the non-Arabic-speaking world, Hoffman offers the first book-length overview of Ibadi theology published in English. Beginning with a concise overview of Ibadi history, Hoffman delineates the sectarian movement's role in the development of Islamic thought, tracing its distinctive teachings and literary history. In the second section, she provides annotated translations of two complementary modern Ibadi theological texts. This unique volume elucidates the religious and political thought by allowing the Ibadi tradition to speak for itself. The Essentials of Ibadi Islam gives readers, specialists and nonspecialists alike, a rare opportunity to understand the major teachings of Ibadi Islam.
In our age of globalisation and pandemic, how should we react to the new Islamophobic movements now spreading in the West? Everywhere the far right is on the march, with nationalist and populist parties thriving on the back of popular anxieties about Islam and the Muslim presence. Hijab and minaret bans, mosque shootings, hostility to migrants and increasingly scornful media stereotypes seem to endanger the prospects for friendly coexistence and the calm uplifting of Muslim populations. In this series of essays Abdal Hakim Murad dissects the rise of Islamophobia on the basis of Muslim theological tradition. Although the proper response to the current impasse is clearly indicated in Qur'an and Hadith, some have lost the principle of trust in divine wisdom and are responding with hatred, fearfulness or despair. Murad shows that a compassion-based approach, rooted in an authentic theology of divine power, could transform the current quagmire into a bright landscape of great promise for Muslims and their neighbours.
Ten spyte daarvan dat die Bybel eeue oud is, lees miljoene mense wereldwyd uit verskillende taal- en kultuurgroepe dit steeds met die verwagting om iets daarin te vind wat vir hulle persoonlike en spirituele lewe van waarde kan wees. Nietemin is die Bybel oorspronklik bedoel vir mense wat in ’n pre-industriele en prewetenskaplike wereld geleef het. Hulle huise, stede, plase, lewensomstandighede, kleding en gebruike het radikaal verskil van die wat ons vandag ken – wat die vraag laat ontstaan: hoe kan die reusegaping tussen hierdie antieke tekste en moderne lesers oorbrug word. Geskiedenis en geskrifte stel hedendaagse lesers aan die wereld van die ou Nabye-Ooste bekend – vanaf die ou Israeliete se oorlewingstryd, tot die godsdienstige literatuur wat geskryf is om hulle die lewe te help hanteer en sin te maak uit gebeure wat hul lewe beinvloed het – en lei die leser sodoende tot groter begrip en insig in die verskillende kontekste van die Bybel se wordingsgeskiedenis.
Persons anguished by another's profound suffering are often outraged by well-intentioned efforts to console them which suggest that God 'sent' that horrific suffering to their loved one for a 'purpose' according to a tailor-made 'plan' for just that person. However, the outraged reaction simply deepens the anguish. This book argues that such 'consolation' is theologically problematic because it assumes that unrestricted power is what makes God 'God.' Against that it outlines an account of 'who' and 'what' the Triune God is, framed in terms of God's intrinsic 'glory,' the attractive and perfectly self-expressive self-giving in love that is God's life, and sets limits to the range of things we can say God 'does.' Correlatively it offers an account of different senses in which God is 'sovereign' and 'powerful', one which reflects three ways God relates to all else: to create, to bless eschatologically, and to reconcile, as is scripturally narrated.
Wessinger (history of religions, Loyola U.) presents 18 papers that explore three interrelated patterns of some millennial religious movements: violence by outsiders, the initiation of violence to preserve religious goals, and millennial ideologies that sanction violence. Among the various groups treated in the articles are the Mormons, the Branch Davidians at Waco, the Maoists of the Great Leap Forward, Rastafarians, the People's Temple at Jonestown, and the Khmer Rouge.
Taking us inside the world of the madrasa--the most common type of school for religious instruction in the Islamic world--Ebrahim Moosa provides an indispensable resource for anyone seeking to understand orthodox Islam in global affairs. Focusing on postsecondary-level religious institutions in the Indo-Pakistan heartlands, Moosa explains how a madrasa can simultaneously be a place of learning revered by many and an institution feared by many others, especially in a post-9/11 world. Drawing on his own years as a madrasa student in India, Moosa describes in fascinating detail the daily routine for teachers and students today. He shows how classical theological, legal, and Qur'anic texts are taught, and he illuminates the history of ideas and politics behind the madrasa system. Addressing the contemporary political scene in a clear-eyed manner, Moosa introduces us to madrasa leaders who hold diverse and conflicting perspectives on the place of religion in society. Some admit that they face intractable problems and challenges, including militancy; others, Moosa says, hide their heads in the sand and fail to address the crucial issues of the day. Offering practical suggestions to both madrasa leaders and U.S. policymakers for reform and understanding, Moosa poignantly demonstrates how madrasas today still embody the highest aspirations and deeply felt needs of traditional Muslims.
Platonism has played a central role in Christianity and is essential to a deep understanding of the Christian theological tradition. At times, Platonism has constituted an essential philosophical and theological resource, furnishing Christianity with an intellectual framework that has played a key role in its early development, and in subsequent periods of renewal. Alternatively, it has been considered a compromising influence, conflicting with the faith's revelatory foundations and distorting its inherent message. In both cases the fundamental importance of Platonism, as a force which Christianity defined itself by and against, is clear. Written by an international team of scholars, this landmark volume examines the history of Christian Platonism from antiquity to the present day, covers key concepts, and engages issues such as the environment, natural science and materialism.
Bound for Beatitude is about St. Thomas Aquinas's theology of beatitude and the journey thereto. Consequently, the work's topic is the meaning and purpose of human life embedded in that of the whole cosmos. This study is not an antiquarian exercise in the thought of some sundry medieval thinker, but an exercise of ressourcement in the philosophical and theological wisdom of one of the most profound theologians of the Catholic Church, one whom the Church has canonized, granted the title "Doctor of the Church," and for a long time regarded as the common doctor. This exercise of ressourcement takes its methodological cues from the common doctor; hence, it is an integrated exercise of philosophical, dogmatic, and moral theology. Its specific theological topic, the ultimate human end, perfect happiness, beatitude, and the journey thereto-stands at the very heart of St. Thomas's theology. Far from being passe, his theology of beatitude is of urgent pertinence as the crisis of humanity and of creation and the exile of God seems to approach its apogee. By way of a presentation, interpretation, and defense of Thomas Aquinas's doctrine of beatitude and the journey thereto, Bound for Beatitude advances an argument based on four theses: (1) The loss of a theology of beatitude has greatly impoverished contemporary theology. In order to succeed and flourish, theology must recover a sound teleological orientation. (2) In order to recover a sound teleological orientation, theology must recover metaphysics as its privileged instrument. (3) Thomas Aquinas provides a still pertinent model for how theology might achieve these goals in a metaphysically profound theology of beatitude and the beatific vision. Finally, (4) Aquinas's rich and sophisticated account of the virtues charts the journey to beatitude in a way that still has analytic force and striking relevance in the early twenty-first century.
Religious rivalries have been at the root of many human conflicts throughout history. Representatives of nine world religions offer insights into the teachings of nonviolence within their tradition, how practice has often fallen short of the ideals, and how they can overcome the contagion of hatred through a return to traditional teachings on nonviolence. Included are a new Foreword and Preface, a new Introduction by Daniel Smith-Christopher, two new chapters on Islam and the indigenous religion of the Maori, and a new Epilogue. In addition, study questions have been added to each chapter.
`No true understanding of the world is possible without an understanding of the elementary kingdoms.' - Oskar Kurten A hidden gem for students of Rudolf Steiner's spiritual-scientific research, Symphonies of Creation offers a breathtaking overview of the physical and metaphysical development of the world and humanity. In describing the elementary kingdoms, Kurten elucidates the exalted spiritual realms out of which all creation has arisen. These are the formative forces that provide successive life-waves of being with the subtle and physical forms through which their evolution becomes possible. He traces the beginnings of creation - an unformed `thought seed' in the elementary kingdoms that is elaborated by hierarchical beings at all levels, through the planes of the spiritual, soul and physical worlds - to the manifold and evolving aspects of the human being. What emerges is a picture of astonishing complexity and beauty in which all spiritual beings connected with the earth, from the highest to the lowest, work together in symphonic harmony. Rudolf Steiner spoke on many occasions and in different places of these elementary kingdoms and the multiple processes that take place within them. Kurten has sought out these references, meditated on their content and re-presents it here in an inwardly coherent synthesis. Even for those who have been studying anthroposophy for decades, this book can offer startlingly fresh insights. Symphonies of Creation is the life's work of a man who, due to severe deafness, led a retiring existence. His inner work, however, was full of life - the results of which are presented in this inspiring study.
Preaching as a language of hope is a result of the 7th Congress of the Societas Homiletica that took place at the University of Pretoria in August 2006. Each speaker at the Congress contributed a chapter to the book, resulting in a compilation of work from respected theologians from across the world. Each chapter looks at a specific aspect within the context of preaching hope, thereby examining the apparent hopelessness of humankind, making it clear that the suffering of Jesus brings hope to people who are suffering themselves.
"My desire is that this book may help readers to know more fully the God of biblical revelation and, as a result, to proclaim God as the God of life". Who is God? Where is God? How are we to speak of God? Gutierrez looks at these classic questions through a review of the Bible, and his answers challenge all Christians to a deepening of faith.
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