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The result of over thirty years of research and lecturing, Paul Through Mediterranean Eyes is a ground-breaking study of Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians. Bailey examines this canonical letter through the lenses of Paul's Jewish socio-cultural and rhetorical background and the Mediterranean context of the Corinthian recipients. In a set of connected essays, he draws the reader's attention to the letter's rootedness in the Hebrew prophetic tradition, the intentional theological structure of Paul's epistolary organization and the Near Eastern cultural practices that inflect Paul's rhetorical performance. All of this is brought to bear in teasing out the nature of Paul's response to the critical situations facing the Corinthian community: racial, ethnic and theological divisions, sexual misconduct, intimate interaction with pagan practices and disputes about church practices.
Long overlooked, the natural philosophy and theosophy of the Scandinavian scientist-turned-mystic Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) made a surprising impact in America. Thomas Jefferson, while president, was so impressed with the message of a Baltimore Swedenborgian minister that he invited him to address both houses of Congress. But Swedenborgian thought also made its contribution to nineteenth-century American literature, particularly within the aesthetics of American Transcendentalism. Although various scholars have addressed how American Romanticism was affected by different currents of Continental thought and religious ideology, surprisingly no book has yet described the specific ways that American Romantics made persistent recourse to Swedenborg for their respective projects to re-enchant nature. In A Language of Things, Devin Zuber offers a critical attempt to restore the fundamental role that religious experience could play in shaping nineteenth-century American approaches to natural space. By tracing the ways that Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Muir, Sarah Orne Jewett, and Vachel Lindsay all variously responded to Swedenborgian thought, Zuber illuminates the complex dynamic that came to unfold between the religious, the literary, and the ecological.
John Owen was one of the most significant figures in Reformed Orthodox theology during the Seventeenth Century, exerting considerable religious and political influence in the context of the British Civil War and Interregnum. Using Owen's sermons from this period as a window into the mind of a self-proclaimed prophet, this book studies how his apocalyptic interpretation of contemporary events led to him making public calls for radical political and cultural change. Owen believed he was ministering at a unique moment in history, and so the historical context in which he writes must be equally considered alongside the theological lineage that he draws upon. Combining these elements, this book allows for a more nuanced interpretation of Owen's ministry that encompasses his lofty spiritual thought as well as his passionate concerns with more corporeal events. This book represents part of a new historical turn in Owen Studies and will be of significant interest to scholars of theological history as well as Early Modern historians.
Shrouds have long held a special place among the sacred relics of Christendom. In the Middle Ages, shrouds, like holy relics, were the prize possessions of churches and cities. Cloaked in mystery, these artifacts have long been objects of reverence and awe, as well as sources of debates, quarrels, thefts, and excommunications. Shroudsaso some claimaprovide visible testimony to faith. One in particular has drawn the interest of scholars, clergy, and the public alike: the Shroud of Turin. In The Shroud of Turin ,Andrea Nicolotti chronicles the history of this famous cloth, including its circuitous journey from the French village of Lirey to its home in the Italian city of Turin, as well as the fantastical claims surrounding its origin and modern scientific efforts to prove or disprove its authenticity. Full of intrigue and mystery, The Shroud of Turin dismantles hypotheses that cannot survive the rigors of historical analysis. Nicolotti directly addresses the thorny problem of the authenticity of the relic and the difficult relationship between history, faith, and science.
Penance has traditionally been viewed exclusively as the domain of church history but penance and confession also had important social functions in medieval society. In this book, Rob Meens comprehensively reassesses the evidence from late antiquity to the thirteenth century, employing a broad range of sources, including letters, documentation of saints' lives, visions, liturgical texts, monastic rules and conciliar legislation from across Europe. Recent discoveries have unearthed fascinating new evidence, established new relationships between key texts and given more attention to the manuscripts in which penitential books are found. Many of these discoveries and new approaches are revealed here for the first time to a general audience. Providing a full and up-to-date overview of penitential literature during the period, Meens sets the rituals of penance and confession in their social contexts, providing the first introduction to this fundamental feature of medieval religion and society for more than fifty years.
Daisetsu Teitar Suzuki was a key figure in the introduction of Buddhism to the non-Asian world. Many outside Japan encountered Buddhism for the first time through his writings and teaching, and for nearly a century his work and legacy have contributed to the ongoing religious and cultural interchange between Japan and the rest of the world, particularly the United States and Europe. This fourth volume of Selected Works of D. T. Suzuki brings together a range of Suzuki's writings in the area of Buddhist studies. Based on his text-critical work in the Chinese canon, these essays reflect his commitment to clarifying Mahayana Buddhist doctrines in Indian, Chinese, and Japanese historical contexts. Many of these innovative writings reflect Buddhological discourse in contemporary Japan and the West's pre-war ignorance of Mahayana thought. Included is a translation into English for the first time of his "Mahayana Was Not Preached by Buddha." In addition to editing the essays and contributing the translation, Mark L. Blum presents an introduction that examines how Suzuki understood Mahayana discourse via Chinese sources and analyzes his problematic use of Sanskrit.
Gnosticism is a countercultural spirituality that forever changed the practice of Christianity. Before it emerged in the second century, passage to the afterlife required obedience to God and king. Gnosticism proposed that human beings were manifestations of the divine, unsettling the hierarchical foundations of the ancient world. Subversive and revolutionary, Gnostics taught that prayer and mediation could bring human beings into an ecstatic spiritual union with a transcendent deity. This mystical strain affected not just Christianity but many other religions, and it characterizes our understanding of the purpose and meaning of religion today. In The Gnostic New Age, April D. DeConick recovers this vibrant underground history to prove that Gnosticism was not suppressed or defeated by the Catholic Church long ago, nor was the movement a fabrication to justify the violent repression of alternative forms of Christianity. Gnosticism alleviated human suffering, soothing feelings of existential brokenness and alienation through the promise of renewal as God. DeConick begins in ancient Egypt and follows with the rise of Gnosticism in the Middle Ages, the advent of theosophy and other occult movements in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and contemporary New Age spiritual philosophies. As these theories find expression in science-fiction and fantasy films, DeConick sees evidence of Gnosticism's next incarnation. Her work emphasizes the universal, countercultural appeal of a movement that embodies much more than a simple challenge to religious authority.
The cult of St Ursula and the 11,000 virgins was one of the most popular and relic-rich of all saints' cults in the medieval period. This volume constitutes the first interdisciplinary collection of essays in English to explore the development and transmission of the legend of St Ursula in detail, considering a wealth of different sources including physical remains, literary texts, artistic representations and medieval music.
First Time an Atlas of the Qur'an. It helps whoever recites the Qur'an or studies to specify the locations mentioned. Also, it helps locate areas where the incidents where the Prophetic Seerah occurred. Identify well-known and obscure places with this unique book.
Wendy Doniger and Martha Nussbaum bring together leading scholars
from a wide array of disciplines to address a crucial question: How
does the world's most populous democracy survive repeated assaults
on its pluralistic values? India's stunning linguistic, cultural,
and religious diversity has been supported since Independence by a
political structure that emphasizes equal rights for all, and
protects liberties of religion and speech. But a decent
Constitution does not implement itself, and challenges to these
core values repeatedly arise---not least in the first decade of the
twenty-first century, when the rise of Hindu Right movements
threatened to destabilize the nation and upend its core values, in
the wake of a notorious pogrom in the state of Gujarat in which
approximately 2000 Muslim civilians were killed.
In Strangers to Family Shively Smith reads the Letter of 1 Peter through a new model of diaspora. Smith illuminates this peculiarly Petrine understanding of diaspora by situating it among three other select perspectives from extant Hellenist Jewish writings: the Daniel court tales, the Letter of Aristeas, and Philo's works. While 1 Peter tends to be taken as representative of how diaspora was understood in Hellenistic Jewish and early Christian circles, Smith demonstrates that 1 Peter actually reverses the most fundamental meaning of diaspora as conceived by its literarypeers. Instead of connoting the scattering of a people with a common territorial origin,for 1 Peter, diaspora constitutes an "already-scattered-people" who share a common, communal, celestial destination. Smith's discovery of a distinctive instantiation of diaspora in 1 Peter capitalizes on her careful comparative historical, literary, and theological analysis of diaspora constructionsfound in Hellenistic Jewish writings. Her reading of 1 Peter thus challenges the use of the exile and wandering as master concepts to read 1 Peter, reconsiders the conceptual significance of diaspora in 1 Peter and in the entire New Testament canon, and liberates 1 Peter from being interpreted solely through the rubrics of either the stranger-homelessness model or household codes. First Peter does not recycle standard diasporic identity, but is, as Strangers to Family demonstrates, an epistle that represents the earliest Christian construction of diaspora as a way of life.
The fact that some who profess to be Christians fall away from the faith has always been an obstacle to God's people, but we are told in the Bible that those who God has called are saved forever. How then are we to understand the saints' perseverance in the Christian life? How are we to view our lives in the light of God's everlasting covenant and Christ's completed work of salvation? What is our motivation to finish the race? John Owen's work The Doctrine of the Saints' Perseverance Explained and Confirmed was originally published in 1654 and this easier-to-read abridgement is still relevant to Christians today.
Drawing upon a multi-disciplinary methodology employing diverse written sources, material practices and vivid life histories, Faith in the family seeks to assess the impact of the Second Vatican Council on the ordinary believer, alongside contemporaneous shifts in British society relating to social mobility, the sixties, sexual morality and secularisation. Chapters examine the changes in the Roman Catholic liturgy and Christology; devotion to Mary, the rosary and the place of women in the family and church, as well as the enduring (but shifting) popularity of Saints Bernadette and Therese. Appealing to students of modern British gender and cultural history, as well as a general readership interested in religious life in Britain in the second half of the twentieth century, Faith in the family illustrates that despite unmistakable differences in their cultural accoutrements and interpretations of Catholicism, English Catholics continued to identify with and practise the 'Faith of Our Fathers' before and after Vatican II. -- .
In this historical and theological study, John G. Gager undermines the myth of the Apostle Paul's rejection of Judaism, conversion to Christianity, and founding of Christian anti-Judaism. He finds that the rise of Christianity occurred well after Paul's death and attributes the distortion of the Apostle's views to early and later Christians. Though Christian clerical elites ascribed a rejection-replacement theology to Paul's legend, Gager shows that the Apostle was considered a loyal Jew by many of his Jesus-believing contemporaries and that later Jewish and Muslim thinkers held the same view. He holds that one of the earliest misinterpretations of Paul was to name him the founder of Christianity, and in recent times numerous Jewish and Christian readers of Paul have moved beyond this understanding. Gager also finds that Judaism did not fade away after Paul's death but continued to appeal to both Christians and pagans for centuries. Jewish synagogues remained important religious and social institutions throughout the Mediterranean world. Making use of all possible literary and archaeological sources, including Muslim texts, Gager helps recover the long pre-history of a Jewish Paul, obscured by recent, negative portrayals of the Apostle, and recognizes the enduring bond between Jews and Christians that has influenced all aspects of Christianity.
After formally announcing his conversion to Islam in the late 1880s, the Liverpool lawyer William Henry Abdullah Quilliam publicly propagated his new faith and established the first community of Muslim converts in Victorian Britain. Despite decades of relative obscurity following his death, with the resurgence of interest in Muslim heritage in the West since 9/11 Quilliam has achieved iconic status in Britain and beyond as a pivotal figure in the history of Western Islam and Muslim-Christian relations. In this timely book, leading experts of the religion, history and politics of Islam offer new perspectives and shed fresh light on Quilliam's life and work. Through a series of original essays, the authors critically examine Quilliam's influences, philosophy and outlook, the significance of his work for Islam, his position in the Muslim world and his legacy. Collectively, the authors ask pertinent questions about how conversion to Islam was viewed and received historically, and how a zealous convert like Quilliam negotiated his religious and national identities and sought to indigenise Islam in a non- Muslim country. Jamie Gilham is Honorary Research Associate in the Department of History at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of Loyal Enemies: British Converts to Islam, 1850-1950.
The relationship between literature and religion in German is unique in the European tradition. It is essential to the definition of German, Austrian and Swiss cultural identity in both the Protestant and Catholic traditions, and is crucial to our understanding of what has been called the 'special path' of German intellectual life. Offering in-depth essays by leading scholars, Literature and Religion in the German-Speaking World analyses this relationship from the beginnings of vernacular literature in German, via the Reformation, early-modern and Enlightenment periods, to the present day. It shows how such fundamental concepts as 'subjectivity', 'identity' and 'modernity' itself arise from the interrelation between religious and secular modes of understanding, and how this interrelation is inseparable from its expression in literature.
Baptists through the Centuries provides a clear introduction to the history and theology of this influential and international people. David Bebbington, a leading Baptist historian, surveys the main developments in Baptist life and thought from the seventeenth century to the present. The Baptist movement took root and grew well beyond its British and American origins. Bebbington persuasively demonstrates how Baptists continually adapted to the cultures and societies in which they lived, generating ever more diversity within an already multifaceted group. Bebbington's survey also examines the challenging social, political, and intellectual issues in Baptist historyaattitudes on race, women's roles in the church, religious liberty, missions, and theological commitments. The second edition of this proven textbook extends the scope with chapters on three parts of the world where Baptists have become particularly numerous: Latin America (where Brazilian Baptists number over 2 million), Nigeria (where Baptists are at their strongest outside North America, numbering roughly 5 million), and the Naga Hills in India (where Baptists form over 80 percent of the population). Each chapter also highlights regional issues that have presented new challenges and opportunities to Baptists: holistic mission in Latin America, the experience of charismatic renewal and the encounter with Islam in Nigeria, and the demands of peacemaking in the Naga Hills. Through this new edition, Bebbington orients readers and expands their knowledge of the Baptist community as it continues to flourish around the world.
Since the 1979 revolution, scholars and policy makers alike have tended to see Iranian political actors as religiously driven-dedicated to overturning the international order in line with a theologically prescribed outlook. In Religious Statecraft, Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar argues that such views have the link between religious ideology and political order backwards. This provocative book examines the politics of Islam rather than political Islam-demonstrating that religious narratives can change rapidly, frequently, and dramatically in accordance with elites' threat perceptions. Tabaar traces half a century of shifting Islamist doctrines against the backdrop of Iran's factional and international politics. He argues that the Islamists' gambit to capture the state depended on attaining a monopoly over the use of religion. Tabaar explains how competing political actors strategically construct and deploy Shia-inspired ideologies to gain credibility and raise mass support. Based on micro-level analysis of original material and documents recently released in the Persian media as well as theological journals and political memoirs, Religious Statecraft constructs a new picture of Iranian politics and revises our understanding of the revolution, the U.S. embassy hostage crisis, the Iran-Iraq War, the Green Movement, nuclear politics, and U.S.-Iran relations.
The parish churches of Lincolnshire are justly celebrated. The spires of Grantham and Louth, and the famous Boston Stump, provide a focal point from the surrounding landscape of fen, wold and marsh. The charms of remote country churches along the byways of the county have been extolled in prose and verse by writers such as Henry Thorold and Sir John Betjeman. Their architecture, their stained glass and sculpture, furniture and fabric, have all been carefully recorded. Yet little is known of the people who served these churches, the rectors and vicars who, in word and sacrament, taught the Christian faith to successive generations of parishioners. This volume forms the first part of a much-needed survey of Lincolnshire parish clergy. The starting point is 1214, when Bishop Hugh of Wells introduced the earliest system of episcopal registration in Western Europe. The magnificent series of Lincoln bishop's registers provides a framework for the parish lists, setting out the succession of rectors or vicars for each church. Brief biographical sketches demonstrate the rich variety of the county's parsons - pastors, scholars, travellers and writers, soldiers and schoolmasters; while some, like John Wycliffe, achieved a wider fame. This biographical register gives to each of them their place in the history of Lincolnshire. Dr Nicholas Bennett is General Editor of the Lincoln Record Society. Prior to retirement, he was Vice-Chancellor and Librarian of Lincoln Cathedral, where he was responsible for the historic collections of books and manuscripts.
This is the first Handbook of the Reformations to include global Protestantism, and the most comprehensive Handbook on the development of Protestant practices which has been published so far. The volume brings together international scholars in the fields of theology, intellectual thought, and social and cultural history. Contributions focus on key themes, such as Martin Luther or the Swiss reformations, offering an up-to-date perspective on current scholarly debates, but they also address many new themes at the cutting edge of scholarship, with particularly emphasis on the history of emotions, the history of knowledge, and global history. This new approach opens up fresh perspectives onto important questions: how did Protestant ways of conceiving the divine shape everyday life, ideas of the feminine or masculine, commercial practices, politics, notions of temporality, or violence? The aim of this Handbook is to bring to life the vitality of Reformation ideas. In these ways, the Handbook stresses that the Protestant Reformations in all their variety, and with their important "radical" wings, must be understood as one of the lasting long-term historical transformations which changed Europe and, subsequently, significant parts of the world.
The following historical statements all appear in well-established textbooks, and have become part of our common culture. Which of them would you say are true?* The Catholic Church incited and actively colluded in nearly two millennia of anti-Semitic violence, and Pope Pius XII is still rightfully known as 'Hitler's Pope'.* Only recently have we become aware of ancient and remarkably enlightened Christian gospels, which narrow-minded Catholic authorities tried to suppress.* Once in power as the official Church of Rome, Christians quickly and brutally persecuted paganism out of existence.* The fall of Rome and the ascendancy of the Church precipitated Europe's decline into a millennium of ignorance and backwardness, which lasted until the Renaissance.* Initiated by the pope, the Crusades were but the first bloody chapter in the history of unprovoked and brutal Christian colonialism.* The Spanish Inquisition tortured and murdered huge numbers of innocent people for 'imaginary' crimes, such as witchcraft and blasphemy.* The Catholic Church persecuted and tried to suppress scientists such as Galileo, and the Scientific 'Revolution' therefore occurred mainly in more tolerant Protestant societies.* Being entirely comfortable with slavery, the Catholic Church did nothing to oppose its introduction in the New World, or to make it more humane.* Until very recently, Catholicism's hierarchical view of the ideal state has resulted in its bitter resistance to all efforts to establish more liberal governments and its eager support for right-wing dictators.* It was the Protestant Reformation that broke the repressive Catholic grip on progress and ushered in capitalism, religious freedom and the modern world.In this powerful and persuasive book Rodney Stark subjects these and other widely-held beliefs to a rigorous historical assessment. He gives a compelling account of how each of them became accepted as the conventional wisdom, how egotism and ideology often worked together to create false or highly distorted pictures of people and events, and how we need to work hard to recover the truth if we're to undo the cultural damage that centuries of anti-Catholic history has done.
Hagiography was one of the most prolific narrative genres in the Middle Ages. Jacobus de Voragine's Golden Legend (c. 1260), the most popular compendium, was translated into every language in Western Europe. In the medieval Iberian peninsula, the number of conserved hagiographic documents dwarfs those belonging to other narrative genres. This book examines one collection of saints' lives, or sanctorals, and the twenty-five female saints witnessed therein. Their lives furnished exemplary models for women inside and outside the Church, and tell stories of maidens tortured by pagan sovereigns, prostitutes, mothers who see their sons martyred, and women who dress as men in order to avoid being married off to the nearest suitor. This study challenges an understanding of these women as passive recipients of social and spiritual influence by re-situating female authority within the context of vision, language, and performativity. Included in the study are transcriptions of twenty-two previously unedited lives. Emma Gatland is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, University of Cambridge.
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