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In a series of clear, short chapters, Leonardo Boff unpacks the mysteries of Trinitarian faith, showing why it makes a difference to believe that God is communion rather than solitude. Instead of God as solitary ruler standing above a static universe, Christian belief in the Trinity means that at the root of everything there is movement, an eternal process of life, outward movement, and love.
Boff shows how the Holy Trinity is, among other things, the image of the perfect community and the image of the church in its ideal form: not a hierarchy of power, but a community of diverse gifts and functions.
Ideal for study or personal reflection.
In "Rene Girard and Secular Modernity: Christ, Culture, and
Crisis," Scott Cowdell provides the first systematic interpretation
of Rene Girard's controversial approach to secular modernity.
Cowdell identifies the scope, development, and implications of
Girard's thought, the centrality of Christ in Girard's thinking,
and, in particular, Girard's distinctive take on the uniqueness and
finality of Christ in terms of his impact on Western culture. In
Girard's singular vision, according to Cowdell, secular modernity
has emerged thanks to the Bible's exposure of the cathartic
violence that is at the root of religious prohibitions, myths, and
rituals. In the literature, the psychology, and most recently the
military history of modernity, Girard discerns a consistent slide
into an apocalypse that challenges modern ideas of romanticism,
individualism, and progressivism.
From the turn of the fifth century to the beginning of the eighteenth, Christian writers were fascinated and troubled by the "Problem of Paganism," which this book identifies and examines for the first time. How could the wisdom and virtue of the great thinkers of antiquity be reconciled with the fact that they were pagans and, many thought, damned? Related questions were raised by encounters with contemporary pagans in northern Europe, Mongolia, and, later, America and China. Pagans and Philosophers explores how writers--philosophers and theologians, but also poets such as Dante, Chaucer, and Langland, and travelers such as Las Casas and Ricci--tackled the Problem of Paganism. Augustine and Boethius set its terms, while Peter Abelard and John of Salisbury were important early advocates of pagan wisdom and virtue. University theologians such as Aquinas, Scotus, Ockham, and Bradwardine, and later thinkers such as Ficino, Valla, More, Bayle, and Leibniz, explored the difficulty in depth. Meanwhile, Albert the Great inspired Boethius of Dacia and others to create a relativist conception of scientific knowledge that allowed Christian teachers to remain faithful Aristotelians. At the same time, early anthropologists such as John of Piano Carpini, John Mandeville, and Montaigne developed other sorts of relativism in response to the issue. A sweeping and original account of an important but neglected chapter in Western intellectual history, Pagans and Philosophers provides a new perspective on nothing less than the entire period between the classical and the modern world.
How do the arts inform and cultivate our service to God? In this addition to an award-winning series, distinguished philosopher Bruce Ellis Benson rethinks what it means to be artistic. Rather than viewing art as practiced by the few, he recovers the ancient Christian idea of presenting ourselves to God as works of art, reenvisioning art as the very core of our being: God calls us to improvise as living works of art. Benson also examines the nature of liturgy and connects art and liturgy in a new way. This book will appeal to philosophy, worship/liturgy, art, music, and theology students as well as readers interested in engaging issues of worship and aesthetics in a postmodern context, including Christian artists and worship leaders.
The title of Charles Taliaferro's book is derived from poems and stories in which a person in peril or on a quest must follow a cord or string in order to find the way to happiness, safety, or home. In one of the most famous of such tales, the ancient Greek hero Theseus follows the string given him by Ariadne to mark his way in and out of the Minotaur's labyrinth. William Blake's poem "Jerusalem" uses the metaphor of a golden string, which, if followed, will lead one to heaven itself. Taliaferro extends Blake's metaphor to illustrate the ways we can link what we see, feel, and do with deep spiritual realities. Taliaferro offers a foundational case for the recognition of the experience of the eternal God of Christianity, in which God is understood as the fount of all goodness and the subject and object of our best love, revealed through scripture, tradition, philosophical reflection, and encountered in everyday events. He addresses philosophical obstacles to the recognition of such experiences, especially objections from the "new atheists," and explores the values involved in thinking and experiencing God as eternal. These include the belief that the eternal goodness of God subordinates temporal goods, such as the pursuit of fame and earthly glory; that God is the essence of life; and that the eternal God hallows domestic goods, blessing the everyday goods of ordinary life. An exploration of the moral and spiritual riches of the Christian tradition as an alternative to materialism and naturalism, "The Golden Cord" brings an originality and depth to the debate in accessible and engaging prose. "Charles Taliaferro has written a thought-provoking, original work that succeeds in throwing some of the central tenets of naturalism into question. He has gathered cutting-edge scholarship from the context of debates about naturalism and discusses that within the framework of a theological account of the human condition. The result is a robust theological response to secular naturalism, one that deserves to be taken seriously by the latter's proponents." --Victoria Harrison, University of Glasgow
This volume offers an interdisciplinary approach to some pivotal topics of (de-) colonization. It examines the early modern debate on just war, transatlantic conquest and slavery, followed by the shift of the debate in the 18th and 19th centuries towards assertions of racial hierarchies based on supposed matters of fact, and finally the philosophical discussion regarding decolonization. Two central themes emerge: first, the political circumstances and the exploitation of the available terminology resulted in the production of new meanings or "translations" during the 17th and 18th centuries, and second, the adoptions of established justifications of colonial activities and enslavement brought about models of natural science that increasingly developed a momentum of their own.
An extraordinary work that revitalizes theology and Christian life by recovering the early roots of Trinitarian doctrine and exploring the enduringly practical dimensions of faith in God as a community of persons.
Many of us, even on our happiest days, struggle to quiet the constant buzz of anxiety in the background of our minds. All kinds of worries-worries about losing people and things, worries about how we seem to others-keep us from peace of mind. Distracted or misled by our preoccupations, misconceptions, and, most of all, our obsession with ourselves, we don't see the world clearly-we don't see the world as it really is. In our search for happiness and the good life, this is the main problem. But luckily there is a solution, and on the path to understanding it, we can make use of the rich and varied teachings that have developed over centuries of Buddhist thought. With clarity and compassion, Nicolas Bommarito explores the central elements of centuries of Buddhist philosophy and practice, explaining how they can improve your life and teach you to live without fear. Mining important texts and lessons for practical guidance, he provides a friendly guide to the very practical goals that underpin Buddhist philosophy. After laying out the basic ideas, Bommarito walks readers through a wide range of techniques and practices we can adopt to mend ingrained habits. Rare for its exploration of both the philosophy that motivates Buddhism and its practical applications, this is a compassionate guide to leading a good life that anyone can follow.
The Collected Works of Spinoza provides, for the first time in English, a truly satisfactory edition of all of Spinoza's writings, with accurate and readable translations, based on the best critical editions of the original-language texts, done by a scholar who has published extensively on the philosopher's work. The centerpiece of this second volume is Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise, a landmark work in the history of biblical scholarship, the first argument for democracy by a major philosopher, and a forceful defense of freedom of thought and expression. This work is accompanied by Spinoza's later correspondence, much of which responds to criticism of the Theological-Political Treatise. The volume also includes his last work, the unfinished Political Treatise, which builds on the foundations of the Theological-Political Treatise to offer plans for the organization of nontyrannical monarchies and aristocracies. The elaborate editorial apparatus--including prefaces, notes, glossary, and indexes--assists the reader in understanding one of the world's most fascinating, but also most difficult, philosophers. Of particular interest is the glossary-index, which provides extensive commentary on Spinoza's technical vocabulary. A milestone of scholarship more than forty-five years in the making, The Collected Works of Spinoza is an essential edition for anyone with a serious interest in Spinoza or the history of philosophy.
"Man Is Not Alone" is a profound, beautifully written examination
of the ingredients of piety: how man senses God's presence,
explores it, accepts it, and builds life upon it. Abraham Joshua
Heschel's philosophy of religion is not a philosophy of doctrine or
the interpretation of a dogma. He erects his carefully built
structure of thought upon foundations which are universally valid
but almost generally ignored. It was "Man Is Not Alone" which led
Reinhold Niebuhr accurately to predict that Heschel would "become a
commanding and authoritative voice not only in the Jewish community
but in the religious life of America." With its companion volume,
"God in Search of Man," it is revered as a classic of modern
New insights into how the Book of Samuel offers a timeless meditation on the dilemmas of statecraft The Book of Samuel is universally acknowledged as one of the supreme achievements of biblical literature. Yet the book's anonymous author was more than an inspired storyteller. The author was also an uncannily astute observer of political life and the moral compromises and contradictions that the struggle for power inevitably entails. The Beginning of Politics mines the story of Israel's first two kings to unearth a natural history of power, providing a forceful new reading of what is arguably the first and greatest work of Western political thought. Moshe Halbertal and Stephen Holmes show how the beautifully crafted narratives of Saul and David cut to the core of politics, exploring themes that resonate wherever political power is at stake. Through stories such as Saul's madness, David's murder of Uriah, the rape of Tamar, and the rebellion of Absalom, the book's author deepens our understanding not only of the necessity of sovereign rule but also of its costs--to the people it is intended to protect and to those who wield it. What emerges from the meticulous analysis of these narratives includes such themes as the corrosive grip of power on those who hold and compete for power; the ways in which political violence unleashed by the sovereign on his own subjects is rooted in the paranoia of the isolated ruler and the deniability fostered by hierarchical action through proxies; and the intensity with which the tragic conflict between political loyalty and family loyalty explodes when the ruler's bloodline is made into the guarantor of the all-important continuity of sovereign power. The Beginning of Politics is a timely meditation on the dark side of sovereign power and the enduring dilemmas of statecraft.
First published in 1991, Richard M. Gale's classic book is a response to and critique of new, contemporary arguments for the existence of God from analytical philosophers. Considering concepts including time, free will, personhood, actuality and the objectivity of experience, Gale evaluates the new versions of cosmological, ontological, pragmatic and religious experience arguments that emerged in the late-twentieth century. Presented in a fresh twenty-first-century series livery, and including a specially commissioned preface written by Paul K. Moser, illuminating its enduring importance and relevance to philosophical enquiry, this influential work has been revived for a new generation of readers.
In volume 2 of this monumental work, Mircea Eliade continues his
magisterial progress through the history of religious ideas. The
religions of ancient China, Brahmanism and Hinduism, Buddha and his
contemporaries, Roman religion, Celtic and German religions,
Judaism, the Hellenistic period, the Iranian syntheses, and the
birth of Christianity--all are encompassed in this volume.
Target success in AQA A-level Philosophy with this proven formula for effective, structured revision; key content coverage is combined with exam-style tasks and practical tips to create a revision guide that you can rely on to review, strengthen and test students' knowledge. With My Revision Notes, every student can: - Plan and manage a successful revision programme using the topic-by-topic planner - Consolidate subject knowledge by working through clear and focused content coverage - Test understanding and identify areas for improvement with regular 'Now Test Yourself' tasks and answers - Improve exam technique through practice questions, expert tips and examples of typical mistakes to avoid
Maimonides ends each book of his legal code the Mishneh torah with a moral or philosophical reflection, in which he lifts his eyes, as it were, from purely halakhic concerns and surveys broader horizons. Menachem Kellner and David Gillis analyse these concluding paragraphs, examining their verbal and thematic echoes, their adaptation of rabbinic sources, and the way in which they coordinate with the Mishneh torah's underlying structures, in order to understand how they might influence our interpretation of the code as a whole-and indeed our view of Maimonides himself and his philosophy. Taking this unusual cross-section of the work, Kellner and Gillis conclude that the Mishneh torah presents not only a system of law, but also a system of universal values. They show how Maimonides fashions Jewish law and ritual as a programme for attaining ethical and intellectual ends that are accessible to all human beings, who are created equally in the image of God. Many reject the presentation of Maimonides as a universalist. The Mishneh torah especially is widely seen as a particularist sanctuary. This study shows how profoundly that view must be revised.
Elizabeth Anscombe's 1958 essay 'Modern Moral Philosophy' contributed to the transformation of the subject from the late 1960s, reversing the trend to assume that there is no intrinsic connection between facts, values, and reasons for action; and directing attention towards the category of virtues. Her later ethical writings were focused on particular ideas and issues such as those of conscience, double-effect, murder, and sexual ethics. In this collection of new essays deriving from a conference held in Oxford these and other aspects of her moral philosophy are examined. Anyone interested in Anscombe's work all want to read this volume.
Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise (1670) is one of the most important philosophical works of the early modern period. In it Spinoza discusses at length the historical circumstances of the composition and transmission of the Bible, demonstrating the fallibility of both its authors and its interpreters. He argues that free enquiry is not only consistent with the security and prosperity of a state but actually essential to them, and that such freedom flourishes best in a democratic and republican state in which individuals are left free while religious organizations are subordinated to the secular power. His Treatise has profoundly influenced the subsequent history of political thought, Enlightenment 'clandestine' or radical philosophy, Bible hermeneutics, and textual criticism more generally. It is presented here in a new translation of great clarity and accuracy by Michael Silverthorne and Jonathan Israel, with a substantial historical and philosophical introduction by Jonathan Israel.
Can religions supply an ethics that can unite rather than divide peoples? In ancient times, many people believed in super-human powers spatially beyond them, whether above or below them. They conceived of them in anthropomorphic terms, and developed symbols, rituals, and general ways of life to court their favor because they felt dependent upon these powers for certain essentials of daily living such as warmth, water, or good health. Some deities were believed to have personally intervened in human history, and took a human form to fight their enemies, provided humans with rules for living, or re-created the world after its destruction. As time passed, these claims became more comprehensive, finally universal, even Absolute, even as the process of questioning the claims, which is called "desacralization," became more widespread. Many sensed that if their absolutized deity were dislodged by doubt, the world would flounder without an ethic. Some religions tried to defend their deity by emphasizing that it was really beyond any "attributes," beyond human reason. It became the Ineffable, the Incommensurable, even the "Wholly-Other." If it was thought to have become Incarnate, that had to be defended in a similar way. In order to solve the problem of the Absolute, W. Royce Clark analyzes the thought of four prominent Christian theologians and philosophers- Friedrich Schleiermacher, G.W.F. Hegel, Paul Tillich, and Robert P. Scharlemann-as the grounds for the basis of a possible universal ethic.
Does science necessarily undermine faith in God? Or could it actually support faith? Beyond the flashpoint debates over the teaching of evolution, or stem-cell research, most of us struggle with contradictions concerning life's ultimate question. We know that accidents happen, but we believe we are on earth for a reason. Until now, most scientists have argued that science and faith occupy distinct arenas. Francis Collins, a former atheist as a science student who converted to faith as he became a doctor, is about to change that. Collins's faith in God has been confirmed and enhanced by the revolutionary discoveries in biology that he has helped to oversee. He has absorbed the arguments for atheism of many scientists and pundits, and he can refute them. Darwinian evolution occurs, yet, as he explains, it cannot fully explain human nature -- evolution can and must be directed by God. He offers an inspiring tour of the human genome to show the miraculous nature of God's instruction book. Sure to be compared with C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity, this is a stunning document, whether you are a believer, a seeker, or an atheist.
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