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In a work that casts philosophical and theological reflections against a backdrop of personal experience, Leon Wiener Dow offers a learned discourse that elucidates the telos of Jewish law and the philosophical-theological commitments that animate it. To the reader gazing upon the halakha from the outside, this book offers a glimpse of its central, orienting concepts. To the reader who lives amidst the rigor of halakha, this book bestows an insightful glance at the law's orienting ethos and higher aspirations that often remain opaque.
National Jewish Book Awards Finalist for the Anthologies and Collections Award, 2012. Two of the most pervasive aspects of modern Jewish life are interaction with people of other faiths and exposure to their beliefs to a degree unknown in the past. Jewish thinking regarding other religions has not succeeded in keeping pace with the contemporary realities that regularly confront most Jews, nor has it adequately assimilated the ways in which other religions have changed their teachings about Jews and Judaism. Many Jews who grapple with Jewish tradition in the contemporary world want to know how Judaism sees today's non-Jewish other in order to affirm itself. Re-examining Jewish tradition, they seek guidance in understanding their interfaith relationships in the light of a Jewish religious mission. Jewish Theology and World Religions advances this conversation, exploring critical issues that Jews and Jewish thought face when relating to Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. It also analyses the philosophical issues raised by pluralism, non-exclusive approaches to religious truth, and appreciating the religious other. The contributors to this volume represent a range of disciplines and denominations within Judaism and share the conviction that articulating contemporary Jewish views of other world religions is an urgent objective for Judaism. Their essays show why formulating a Jewish theology of world religions is a priority for Jewish thinkers and educators concerned with reinvigorating Judaism's contribution to the contemporary world, and how it coheres with maintaining Jewish identity and continuity.
The words, phrases, and stories of the New Testament permeate the English language. Indeed, this relatively small group of twenty-seven works, written during the height of the Roman Empire, not only helped create and sustain a vast world religion, but also have been integral to the larger cultural dynamics of the West, above and beyond particular religious expressions. Looking at the New Testament through the lens of literary study, Kyle Keefer offers an engrossing exploration of this revered religious text as a work of literature, but also keeps in focus its theological ramifications. Unique among books that examine the Bible as literature, this brilliantly compact introduction offers an intriguing double-edged look at this universal text-a religiously informed literary analysis. The book first explores the major sections of the New Testament-the gospels, Paul's letters, and Revelation-as individual literary documents. Keefer shows how, in such familiar stories as the parable of the Good Samaritan, a literary analysis can uncover an unexpected complexity to what seems a simple, straightforward tale. At the conclusion of the book, Keefer steps back and asks questions about the New Testament as a whole. He reveals that whether read as a single document or as a collection of works, the New Testament presents readers with a wide variety of forms and viewpoints, and a literary exploration helps bring this richness to light. A fascinating investigation of the New Testament as a classic literary work, this Very Short Introduction uses a literary framework-plot, character, narrative arc, genre-to illuminate the language, structure, and the crafting of this venerable text. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
What cannot be said about God, and how can we speak about God by negating what we say? Traveling across prominent negators, denialists, ineffectualists, paradoxographers, naysayers, ignorance-pretenders, unknowers, I-don't-knowers, and taciturns, Unsaying God: Negative Theology in Medieval Islam delves into the negative theological movements that flourished in the first seven centuries of Islam. Aydogan Kars argues that there were multiple, and often competing, strategies for self-negating speech in the vast field of theology. By focusing on Arabic and Persian textual sources, the book defines four distinct yet interconnected paths of negative speech formations on the nature of God that circulated in medieval Islamic world. Expanding its scope to Jewish intellectuals, Unsaying God also demonstrates that religious boundaries were easily transgressed as scholars from diverse sectarian or religious backgrounds could adopt similar paths of negative speech on God. This is the first book-length study of negative theology in Islam. It encompasses many fields of scholarship, and diverse intellectual schools and figures. Throughout, Kars demonstrates how seemingly different genres should be read in a more connected way in light of the cultural and intellectual history of Islam rather than as different opposing sets of orthodoxies and heterodoxies.
Method in Theology stands with Insight as Bernard Lonergan's most important work. It is Lonergan's answer to those who would argue that in this time of cultural change and dissolution, the believer is afloat on a sea of multiplying theologies, without rudder or compass. Lonergan was resolute in his refusal to be defeatist on this point. While agreeing that theology must continually change to mediate between religion and culture, he worked out an integral method to guide and control this ongoing process. Method in Theology is the fruit of this labour. This critical edition has benefited from extensive research into Lonergan's typescripts and from consulting the recordings from several institutes where he lectured over the course of the work's development. Lonergan's intention was to provide a set of methods that would guide a collaborative community in the ongoing construction of a theology that would move from recovery of the data through resolution of conflicts to contemporary formulations and applications. With this work, the cognitional theory of Insight: A Study of Human Understanding underwent a surprising set of developments in the form of what he calls functional specialization.
Remembering the Names of Allah is a sacred tradition in Islam. Both the Qur'an and sayings of the Prophet (ahadith) state the importance of learning them and promise reward for reciting them in supplications and prayers. "Allah's are the names most beautiful. Whatever is in the heavens and earth extols His glory." - Qur'an (Al-Hashr 59:24). "Allah has 99 names. He who remembers these will certainly enter Paradise." - Prophet Muhammad (Bukharhi Hadith Kitab Ad-Dawat, 2, 949). The 99 Blessed Names of Allah help to conceptualize Allah Whose limitless greatness and glory is impossible to grasp.Each name is presented in the original Arabic and its translation into English. Accompanying each name is a commentary that is concise and easy to understand but rich in meaning. Based on authentic sources and richly produced.
Voted one of Christianity Today's 1995 Books of the Year Reasonable, concise, witty and wise, Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. Tacelli have written an informative and valuable guidebook for anyone looking for answers to questions of faith and reason. Topics include: faith and reason the existence of God God's nature how we know God creation and evolution providence and free will miracles the problem of evil the Bible's historical reliability the divinity of Christ the resurrection life after death heaven and hell salvation Christianity and other religions objective truth Whether you are asking the questions yourself or want to respond to others who are, here is the resource you have been waiting for.
"Paul the Jewish Theologian" reveals Saul of Tarsus as a man who, though rejected in the synagogue, never truly left Judaism. Author Young disagrees with long held notions that Hellenism was the context which most influenced Paul's communication of the Gospel. This skewed notion has led to widely divergent interpretations of Paul's writings. Only in rightly aligning Paul as rooted in his Jewishness and training as a Pharisee can he be correctly interpreted. Young asserts that Paul's view of the Torah was always positive, and he separates Jesus' mission among the Jews from Paul's call to the Gentiles.
Ezra and the Second Wilderness addresses the relationship between Ezra, the Ezra Memoir, and the Pentateuch. Tracing the growth of the Ezra Memoir and its incorporation into Ezra-Nehemiah, Philip Y. Yoo discusses the literary strategies utilized by some of the composers and redactors operating in the post-exilic period. After the strata in Ezra 7-10 and Nehemiah 8-10 are identified, what emerges as the base Ezra Memoir is a coherent account of Ezra's leadership of the exiles from Babylon over the course of a single year, one that is intricately modelled on the multiple presentations of Moses and the Israelite wilderness preserved in the Pentateuch. Through discussion of the detected influences, allusions, and omissions between the Pentateuch and the Ezra Memoir, Yoo shows that the Ezra Memoir demonstrates a close understanding of its source materials and received traditions as it constructs the Babylonian returnees as the inheritors of torah and, in turn, the true and unparalleled successors of the Israelite cult. This study presents the Ezra Memoir as a sophisticated example of 'biblical' interpretation in the Second Temple period. It also suggests that the Ezra Memoir has access to the Pentateuch in only its constituent parts. Acknowledging not only the antiquity but also efficacy of its prototypes, the Ezra Memoir employs a variety of hermeneutical strategies in order to harmonize the competing claims of its authoritative sources. In closing the temporal gap between these sources and its own contemporary time, the Ezra Memoir grants authority to the utopic past yet also projects its own vision for the proper worship of Israel's deity.
One of the most influential books in the history of literature,
recognized as the greatest literary masterpiece in Arabic, the
Qur'an is the supreme authority and living source of all Islamic
teaching, the sacred text that sets out the creed, rituals, ethics,
and laws of Islam. First published in 2004, M. A. S. Abdel Haleem's
superb English translation has been acclaimed for both its
faithfulness to the original and its supreme clarity. Now Haleem's
translation is published side-by-side with the original Arabic
text, to give readers a greater appreciation and understanding of
the holy book.
Economists and theologians usually inhabit different intellectual worlds. Economists investigate the workings of markets and tend to set ethical questions aside. Theologians, anxious to take up concerns raised by market outcomes, often dismiss economics and lose insights into the influence of market incentives on individual behavior. Mary L. Hirschfeld, who was a professor of economics for fifteen years before training as a theologian, seeks to bridge these two fields in this innovative work about economics and the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. According to Hirschfeld, an economics rooted in Thomistic thought integrates many of the insights of economists with a larger view of the good life, and gives us critical purchase on the ethical shortcomings of modern capitalism. In a Thomistic approach, she writes, ethics and economics cannot be reconciled if we begin with narrow questions about fair wages or the acceptability of usury. Rather, we must begin with an understanding of how economic life serves human happiness. The key point is that material wealth is an instrumental good, valuable only to the extent that it allows people to flourish. Hirschfeld uses that insight to develop an account of a genuinely humane economy in which pragmatic and material concerns matter but the pursuit of wealth for its own sake is not the ultimate goal. The Thomistic economics that Hirschfeld outlines is thus capable of dealing with our culture as it is, while still offering direction about how we might make the economy better serve the human good.
This book examines the practice of poetry in the devotional Vaisnava tradition inspired by Sri Krsna Caitanya (1486-1533), through a detailed study of the Sanskrit poetic works of Kavikarnapura, one of the most significant sixteenth-century Caitanya Vaisnava poets and theologians. It places his ideas in the context both of Sanskrit literary theory (by exploring his use of earlier works of Sanskrit criticism) and of Vaisnava theology (by tracing the origins of his theological ideas to earlier Vaisnava teachers, especially his guru Srinatha). Both Kavikarnapura's poetics as well as the style of his poetry is in many ways at odds with those of his time, particularly with respect to the place of phonetic ornamentation and rasa. Like later early modern theorists, Kavikarnapura reaches back to the earliest Sanskrit poeticians whom he attempts to harmonise with the theories current in his time, to develop a new poetics that values both literary ornamentation and the suggestion of emotion through rasa. This book argues that the reasons of and purposes for Kavikarnapura's literary innovations are firmly rooted in his unique Vaisnava theology, and exemplifies this through a careful reading of select passages from the Ananda-vrndavana, his poetic retelling of Krsna's play in Vrndavana.
Drawing on cultural studies scholar Kuan-Hsing Chen's threefold notion of decolonization, deimperialization, and de-cold-war, this book provides analyses of the interrelated issues concerning the relationship between Christianity and the United States' imperialist militarism in the Asia Pacific. Contributors explore the effects of US imperialist militarism on the formation of Asian and Asian American collective subjectivity and inter/intra subjectivity. The book investigates the ways in which Christianity (broadly defined), in its own complexity, has been complicit in maintaining and reinforcing US imperialist military agendas in both national and international contexts. Conversely, the volume also discusses the various sites and instances where Christianity has managed to serve as a force of resistance against US imperialist militarism.
"The Concept of God is an excellent treatment of an increasingly critical issue in philosophical theology. With characteristic clarity and forthrightness, Dr. Nash judiciously evaluates competing conceptions of deity, and in the end recommends an understanding of God that is both theologically sound and philosophically acceptable." -Michael L. Peterson, Ph. D. "Nash's book brings together for the general reader the intense and wide-ranging discussions now taking place among philosophers on the attributes of God. Without being simplistic, he admirably succeeds in making these discussions accessible to those who are not specialists in philosophy. It's a book that needed to be written, a fine contribution." -Nicholas Wolterstorff "The strength of The Concept of God is in its excellent balance of technical issues and lucid explanation. It makes for illuminating reading both for the beginning student and for the professional philosopher...Because of its clear explanations, numerous examples, brevity and breadth, the book will make an excellent component of introductory courses in philosophy." -V. James Mannoia, Jr. "This book is relevant, interesting, and fresh in its treatment...It will be an important supplemental text to theology classes and philosophy of religion classes." -Alan Johnson "The suitability of Nash's book as a text for philosophy of religion is obvious. It is also useful for apologetics because of its concern to vindicate and validate the Christian doctrine of God against attacks on its coherence. In addition, it will be a most welcome text for the section of theology proper that deals with God's attributes." -Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
In Emil Brunner: A Reappraisal, renowned theologian Alister E. McGrath presents a comprehensive intellectual history of Emil Brunner, the highly influential Swiss theologian who was instrumental in shaping modern Protestant theology. * Explores Brunner s theological development and offers a critical engagement of his theology * Examines the role that Brunner played in shaping the characteristics of dialectical theology * Reveals the complex and shifting personal and professional relationship between Brunner and Barth * Delves into the reasons for Brunner s contemporary neglect in theological scholarship * Represents the only book-length study of Brunner s works and significance in the English language
Can we talk meaningfully about God? The theological movement known as Grammatical Thomism affirms that religious language is nonsensical, because the reality of God is beyond our capacity for expression. Stephen Mulhall critically evaluates the claims of this movement (as exemplified in the work of Herbert McCabe and David Burrell) to be a legitimate inheritor of Wittgenstein's philosophical methods as well as Aquinas's theological project. The major obstacle to this claim is that Grammatical Thomism makes the nonsensicality of religious language when applied to God a touchstone of Thomist insight, whereas 'nonsense' is standardly taken to be solely a term of criticism in Wittgenstein's work. Mulhall argues that, if Wittgenstein is read in the terms provided by the work of Cora Diamond and Stanley Cavell, then a place can be found in both his early work and his later writings for a more positive role to be assigned to nonsensical utterances-one which depends on exploiting an analogy between religious language and riddles. And once this alignment between Wittgenstein and Aquinas is established, it also allows us to see various ways in which his later work has a perfectionist dimension-in that it overlaps with the concerns of moral perfectionism, and in that it attributes great philosophical significance to what theology and philosophy have traditionally called 'perfections' and 'transcendentals', particularly concepts such as Being, Truth, and Unity or Oneness. This results in a radical reconception of the role of analogous usage in language, and so in the relation between philosophy and theology.
Sleep occupies around one third of a person's life and is the subject of research across many disciplines. In this groundbreaking new monograph, Andrew Bishop explores sleep by creatively drawing on resources of the Christian tradition. Sleep is a subject which demands theological attention, because of the central place it occupies in contemporary reflection on what it is to be human. Offering original research, this book investigates sleep for the first time from a theological position, looking at all key questions that a theological treatment of sleep raises, including issues of identity and personhood, sleep and mortality, resurrection, and renewal and healing.
Conventional wisdom would have it that believing in one God is straightforward; that Muslims are expert at monotheism, but that Christians complicate it, weaken it, or perhaps even abandon it altogether by speaking of the Trinity. In this book, Muslim and Christian scholars challenge that opinion. Examining together scripture texts and theological reflections from both traditions, they show that the oneness of God is taken as axiomatic in both, and also that affirming God's unity has raised complex theological questions for both. The two faiths are not identical, but what divides them is not the number of gods they believe in. The latest volume of proceedings of The Building Bridges Seminar-a gathering of scholar-practitioners of Islam and Christianity that meets annually for the purpose of deep study of scripture and other texts carefully selected for their pertinence to the year's chosen theme-this book begins with a retrospective on the seminar's first fifteen years and concludes with an account of deliberations and discussions among participants, thereby providing insight into the model of vigorous and respectful dialogue that characterizes this initiative. Contributors include Richard Bauckham, Sidney Griffith, Christoph Schwoebel, Janet Soskice, Asma Afsaruddin, Maria Dakake, Martin Nguyen, and Sajjad Rizvi. To encourage further dialogical study, the volume includes those scripture passages and other texts on which their essays comment. A unique resource for scholars, students, and professors of Christianity and Islam.
This title argues that Christian understanding of salvation is not about a future in heaven but a way of life that shapes the present. This book draws on methods in practical theology. It begins with a deep concern for the threat to the world's future created by tensions between the 'Christian West' and 'Muslim East' and considers the impact these concerns have on attitudes towards Muslims in the West both within and outside of Christianity. "Salvation as Praxis" argues that a Christian understanding of salvation is not simply about a hope for the future in heaven, but about a way of life that shapes the present and works for a better future in this world. The book argues that such ways of thinking about salvation must be given greater prominence when thinking about inter-faith questions. In practice, that should lead the Christian community, in solidarity with their Muslim brothers and sisters, to engage in radical transformative action to make the world a safer and better place for all its inhabitants.
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