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The third volume of the series "Key Concepts of Interreligious Discourses" investigates the roots of the concept of freedom in Judaism, Christianity and Islam and its relevance for the present time. The idea of freedom in terms of personal freedoms, which include freedom of conscience, freedom of speech and bodily integrity, is a relatively new one and can in some aspects get into conflict with religious convictions. At the same time, freedom as an emancipatory power from outer oppression as well as from inner dependencies is deeply rooted in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is still a vital concept in religious and non-religious communities and movements. The volume presents the concept of freedom in its different aspects as anchored in the traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It unfolds commonalities and differences between the three monotheistic religions as well as the manifold discourses about freedom within these three traditions. The book offers fundamental knowledge about the specific understanding of freedom in each one of these traditions, their interdependencies and their relationship to secular interpretations.
This book probes the origins of the practice of nonviolence in early India and traces its path within the Jaina, Hindu, and Buddhist traditions, including its impact on East Asian Cultures. It then turns to a variety of contemporary issues relating to this topic such as: vegetarianism, animal and environmental protection, and the cultivation of religious tolerance.
Though the Psalms are perhaps the most familiar portion of the
Hebrew Bible, they are also among the most difficult to interpret.
This guide helps readers study and interpret the Psalms.
Some feminist women search for the roots of feminism in the recent past; others write the past off. Too many assume that religious traditions have nothing to offer feminism, so even when religious belief has been central to the inspiration of some of the most powerful campaigners for the value and worth of women, the significance of that belief has been ignored.
Mohammed Arkoun was one of the most prominent and influential Arab intellectuals of his day. During a career spanning more than thirty years, he was revered as an outstanding research scholar, a bold critic of the theoretical tensions embedded within Islamic Studies and an outspoken public figure, upholding political, social and cultural modernism. This Festschrift honours Arkoun AZs scholarship, bringing together the contributions of eleven distinguished scholars of history, religious studies and philosophy. It offers a comprehensive selection of critical engagements with Arkoun AZs work, reflecting on his considerable influence on contemporary thinking about Islam and its ideological, philosophical and theological dimensions. The authoritative reference study on the work of Mohammed Arkoun, The Construction of Belief is essential reading for students and scholars of Islam, Muslim societies and cultures, modernity, religious studies, philosophy and semantics.
Al-Ghazali on Poverty and Abstinence is the thirty-fourth chapter of the Revival of the Religious Sciences. It falls in the section dealing with the virtues. Ghazali traces poverty and abstinence back to the Prophet Muhammad who exhorted the faithful to love the poor and described this love as a key to heaven. But behind the Prophet's love of the poor lay his legendary humility, and the life of poverty on which Ghazali expatiates in this treatise refers to what every devoted follower of the Prophet is meant to adopt, not simply an accidental state of destitution that might befall anyone. What is true piety? What spiritual infirmities impede the path of poverty? These are the questions that preoccupy Ghazali in the Book on Poverty and Abstinence. His aim in this chapter is to teach the ordinary believer about inner purification through inner poverty and abstinence. The result is a rich tapestry of practises, thoughts, concepts and anecdotes drawn from some of the most fascinating figures in the tradition of practical ethics in Islam, a tradition that harks back to the enduring examples of pre-Islamic prophets like Jesus, Moses and Joseph.
It has become a commonplace to say that the Latin Fathers did not really hold a doctrine of deification. Indeed, it is often asserted that Western theologians have neglected this teaching, that their occasional references to it are borrowed from the Greeks, and that the Latins have generally reduced the rich biblical and Greek Patristic understanding of salvation to a narrow view of redemption. The essays in this volume challenge this common interpretation by exploring, often for the first time, the role this doctrine plays in a range of Latin Patristic authors. The introductory essay on the Latin liturgy shows the wide-ranging use of deification themes in Latin worship, while the last one comparing the Greek and Latin Fathers provides the first serious study of the East and West's understanding of deification in light of substantial evidence. The essays in between explore the theology of deification in Perpetua and Felicity, Tertullian, Cyprian, Novatian, Hilary, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Peter Chrysologus, Leo the Great, Boethius, Benedict and Gregory. Together, these essays demonstrate that deification is a native part of early Latin theology which was consistently and creatively employed. This volume on deification in the Latin Patristic tradition will be the beginning of a long-overdue conversation. It promises to stimulate further inquiry into the place deification holds in the grammar of Latin Patristic thought and its relation to the Greek tradition.
This story of Santa Claus in his own words will delight children and grown-ups everywhere. Filled with magical star-dusted anecdotes and Santa's fond memories of the feast of light, this precious book is a reminder of the deeper meaning of Christmas and of the grandeur of those gifts that one can neither buy nor touch. Clement Clarke Moore's '"Twas the Night Before Christmas," the story of the Grinch, a loving introduction to Mrs. Claus, and a retelling of the first creche set up by St. Francis of Assisi are some of the delightful tales that radiate the spirit of wonder and kindness contained within these pages.
"Multiculturalism has run its course, and it is time to move on." So begins Jonathan Sacks' new book on the future of British society and the dangers facing liberal democracy.
Arguing that global communications have fragmented national cultures and that multiculturalism, intended to reduce social frictions, is today reinforcing them, Sacks argues for a new approach to national identity. We cannot stay with current policies that are producing a society of conflicting ghettoes and non-intersecting lives, turning religious bodies into pressure groups rather than society-building forces. Britain, he argues, will have to construct a national narrative as a basis for identity, reinvigorate the concept of the common good, and identify shared interests among currently conflicting groups. It must restore a culture of civility, protect "neutral spaces" from politicization, and find ways of moving beyond an adversarial culture in which the loudest voice wins. He argues for a responsibility- rather than rights-based model of citizenship that connects the ideas of giving and belonging.Offering a new paradigm to replace previous models of assimilation on the one hand, multiculturalism on the other, he argues that we should see society as "the home we build together," bringing the distinctive gifts of different groups to the common good. Sacks warns of the hazards free and open societies face in the twenty-first century, and offers an unusual religious defence of liberal democracy and the nation state.
Read the definitive essay collection from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Adversary, dubbed 'France's greatest writer of non-fiction' (New York Times) 'The most exciting living writer' Karl Ove Knausgaard Over the course of his career, Emmanuel Carrere has reinvented non-fiction writing. In a search for truth in all its guises, he dispenses with the rules of genre. For him, no form is out of reach: theology, historiography, reportage and memoir - among many others - are fused under the pressure of an inimitable combination of passion, curiosity and intellect that has made Carrere one of our most distinctive and important literary voices today. 97,196 Words introduces Carrere's shorter work to an English-language audience. Featuring more than thirty extraordinary texts written over an illustrious twenty-five-year period of Carrere's creative life, the book shows a remarkable mind at work. Spanning continents, histories, and personal relationships, 97,196 Words considers the divides between truth, reality and our shared humanity, exploring remarkable events and eccentric lives, including Carrere's own.
In this highly original study of sexuality, desire, the body, and
The aggression of the biblical God named Yhwh is notorious. Students of theology, the Bible, and the Ancient Near East know that the Hebrew Bible describes Yhwh acting destructively against his client country, Israel, and against its kings. But is Yhwh uniquely vengeful, or was he just one among other, similarly ferocious patron gods? To answer this question, Collin Cornell compares royal biblical psalms with memorial inscriptions. He finds that the Bible shares deep theological and literary commonalities with comparable texts from Israel's ancient neighbours. The centrepiece of both traditions is the intense mutual loyalty of gods and kings. In the event that the king's monument and legacy comes to harm, gods avenge their individual royal protege. In the face of political inexpedience, kings honour their individual divine benefactor.
The theological attempts to understand Christ's body have either focused on "philosophical" claims about Jesus' identity or on "contextual" rebuttalsaon a culturally transcendent, disembodied Jesus of the creeds or on a Jesus of color who rescues and saves a particular people because of embodied particularity. But neither of these two attempts has accounted for the world as it is, a world of mixed race, of hybridity, of cultural and racial intermixing. By not understanding the true theological problem, that we live in a mulatto world, the right question has not been posed: How can Christ save this mixed world? The answer, Brian Bantum shows, is in the mulattoness of Jesus' own body, which is simultaneously fully God and fully human. In Redeeming Mulatto , Bantum reconciles the particular with the transcendent to account for the world as it is: mixed. He constructs a remarkable new Christological vision of Christ as tragic mulatto--one who confronts the contrived delusions of racial purity and the violence of self-assertion and emerges from a "hybridity" of flesh and spirit, human and divine, calling humanity to a mulattic rebirth. Bantum offers a theology that challenges people to imagine themselves inside their bodies, changed and something new, but also not without remnants of the old. His theology is one for all people, offered through the lens of a particular people, not for individual possession but for redemption and transformation into something new.
Black theology tends to be a theology about no-body. Though one might assume that black and womanist theology have already given significant attention to the nature and meaning of black bodies as a theological issue, this inquiry has primarily taken the form of a focus on issues relating to liberation, treating the body in abstract terms rather than focusing on the experiencing of a material, fleshy reality. By focusing on the body as a physical entity and not just a metaphorical one, Pinn offers a new approach to theological thinking about race, gender, and sexuality.
According to Pinn, the body is of profound theological importance. In this first text on black theology to take embodiment as its starting point and its goal, Pinn interrogates the traditional source materials for black theology, such as spirituals and slave narratives, seeking to link them to materials such as photography that highlight the theological importance of the body. Employing a multidisciplinary approach spanning from the sociology of the body and philosophy to anthropology and art history, Embodiment and the New Shape of Black Theological Thought pushes black theology to the next level.
The great Danish philosopher and theologian K. E. Logstrup (1905-81) offers a distinctive assessment and comparative critique of two key thinkers in Kierkegaard's and Heidegger's Analysis of Existence and its Relation to Proclamation (1950). Logstrup focuses on the central idea from Kierkegaard and Heidegger that our individuality and authenticity are threatened by 'life in the crowd' or 'das Man'. According to Logstrup, Kierkegaard holds that the only way to escape the crowd is through a relation to an infinite demand which he nonetheless leaves empty, while Heidegger avoids offering any kind of ethics at all. Arguing against both philosophers, Logstrup himself proposes an ethic which is not just a set of social rules, but which is also more contentful than Kierkegaard's infinite demand: namely, the requirement to care for the other person whose life is placed in your hands. This call to care for the other person becomes central to Logstrup's position in his most famous publication The Ethical Demand (1956), so this earlier work, based on lectures given in Berlin, provides a crucial insight into the development of his thought. This is the first English translation of an original and compelling text by Logstrup, rendered into accurate prose and paired with an introduction which explains the main themes and wider context of the work.
In the nascent United States, religion often functioned as a justifier of oppression. Yet while religious discourse buttressed such oppressive activities as slavery and the destruction of native populations, oppressed communities have also made use of religion to critique and challenge this abuse. As Liberation Theologies in the United States demonstrates, this critical use of religion has often taken the form of liberation theologies, which use primarily Christian principles to address questions of social justice, including racism, poverty, and other types of oppression.
Stacey M. Floyd-Thomas and Anthony B. Pinn have brought together a stellar group of liberation theology scholars to provide a synthetic introduction to the historical development, context, theory, and goals of a range of U.S.-born liberation theologies. Chapters cover Black Theology, Womanist Theology, Latino/Hispanic Theology, Latina Theology, Asian American Theology, Asian American Feminist Theology, Native American Theology, Native Feminist Theology, Gay and Lesbian Theology, and Feminist Theology.
Contributors: Grace Ji-Sun Kim, Mary McClintock Fulkerson, Nancy Pineda-Madrid, Robert Shore-Goss, Andrea Smith, Andrew Sung Park, George (Tink) Tinker, and Benjamin Valentin.
This is a major contribution to the link between theology and philosophy, introducing the core ideas of Michel Foucault to students of theology. Near the end of his life, Michel Foucault turned his attention to the early church Fathers. He did so not for anything like a return to God but rather because he found in those sources alternatives for re-imaging the self. And though Foucault never seriously entertained Christianity beyond theorizing its aesthetic style one might argue that Christian practices like confession or Eucharist share family resemblances to Foucaultian sensibilities. This book will explain how to do theology in light of Foucault, or more precisely, to read Foucault as if God mattered. Therefore, it will seek to articulate practices like confession, prayer, and so on as techniques for the self, situate 'the church as politics' within present constellations of power, disclose theological knowledges as modes of critical intervention, or what Foucault called archaeology, and conceptualize Christian existence in time through mnemonic practices of genealogy. "The Philosophy and Theology" series looks at major philosophers and explores their relevance to theological thought as well as the response of theology.
Published in 1999. How can we reconcile assumptions about the lawfulness of the universe with provision for chance events? Do the 'laws of nature' indicate what absolutely must happen, or just what is most likely to happen? These are important questions for both science and theology, and are explored here in the first in-depth coverage of an important but neglected topic. Including perspectives from prestigious contributions, and published with the backing of the International Society for Science and Religion (ISSR), Creation: Law and Probability employs the disciplines of history and philosophy, as well as cosmology, evolutionary biology, and neuroscience in a fascinating dialogue of faith traditions.
Written with both passion and precision, God's Spies is a work that will be welcomed by anyone interested in the vital interplay between poetry and religion. The authors represented, including poets such as Michelangelo, St Francis of Assisi, Charles Peguy, Dante and Shakespeare, all possess one great and surprising quality in common: audacity. All of them in their work offer fresh and unforeseen perspectives on life and literature. Some of these authors are religious in the strict meaning of the word, their work indicating a devout turning away from the distractions of the world to focus on God. Others, in contrast, are poets whose work is distinguished by a remarkable visionary focus on the many small and great dramas of life, attending with bright, imaginative genius to what Shakespeare calls 'the mystery of things'.
Both as cardinal and as Pope Benedict XVI, one of Josef Ratzinger's consistent concerns has been the foundational moral imperatives of the natural law. In 2004, then Cardinal Ratzinger requested that the University of Notre Dame study the complex issues embedded in discussions about "natural rights" and "natural law" in the context of Catholic thinking. To that end, Alasdair MacIntyre provided a substantive essay on the foundational problem of moral disagreements concerning natural law, and eight scholars were invited to respond to MacIntyre's essay, either by addressing his work directly or by amplifying his argument along other yet similar paths. The contributors to this volume are theologians, philosophers, civil and canon lawyers, and political scientists, who reflect on these issues from different disciplinary perspectives. Once the contributors' essays were completed, MacIntyre responded with a closing essay.
Throughout the book, the contributors ask: Can a persuasive case for a foundational morality be made etsi Deus daretur (as if God did not exist)? And, of course, persuasive to whom? The exchanges that take place between MacIntyre and his interlocutors result, not in answers, but in rigorous attempts at clarification. "Intractable Disputes about the Natural Law" will interest ethicists, moral theologians, and students and scholars of moral philosophy.
"Lawrence Cunningham has assembled an esteemed group of scholars to provide incisive analyses of the contemporary state of natural law theory, particularly in light of Alasdair MacIntyre's groundbreaking work. The essays are lucid, engaging, and intellectually sophisticated. "Intractable Disputes about the Natural Law"is a must-read not only for moral theologians, but for anyone concerned about the conceptual foundations of human rights, human dignity, and moral dialogue in pluralistic societies." --Stephen J. Pope, Boston College
"MacIntyre's first essay, on its own, would make this book an important scholarly contribution. But the ensuing contributions enable the book to flourish further, with contributions on subjects both readily associated with natural law and moral disagreement (for example, common morality, human rights, and rival visions of virtue) as well as those more creatively connected to the genesis of the text (sacramental life, interreligious dialogue, and modes of moral discourse). Cunningham's volume both broadens and deepens contemporary thinking on a perennial topic, and will richly reward its readers." --William C. Mattison III, The Catholic University of America
Maureen Junker-Kenny offers a systematic overview of the discipline of theological ethics in the variety of its approaches, which draw upon different philosophical traditions and theological visions in treating its sources. Part One examines the four sources of theological ethics: the Bible, tradition, philosophical accounts of the human, and the individual human sciences. Part Two compares five frameworks in English- and German-speaking theological ethics, based on virtue, worship, natural law, autonomy, and feminist analyses. Part Three compares three types of vision - integralist, praxis-oriented, and discourse-focused - , and Junker-Kenny concludes by situating the investigation of the discipline within contemporary philosophical and theological exchanges on religion in the public sphere. The book provides a framework in which students can locate the specific use of core ethical concepts and argumentations, comparing how each approach relates to the Bible, to historical reason, theological thought, practical self-understandings and interdisciplinary perspectives on ethics in a scientific and technological culture. In an age of globalisation where different cultures, religions, lifestyles and values meet in the workplace, in schools, and in public spaces shaped by religious and cultural traditions, it is necessary to foster the ability to create possibilities and venues for dialogue between different self-understandings. Analysing the variety of approaches to theological ethics helps articulate different visions of what constitutes a fulfilled life, of how the moral vocation of each human being can be supported, and of the role of the Christian faith for ethics.
Contents: 1. The Christian Church and the People's Culture (1825-56) 12 essays and articles, including Grundtvig's reflections on his trial for libel and his promotion of freedom in the Church. 2.Basic Christian Teachings (1855-61) 15 commentaries on the Christian faith, including one on The Lord's Prayer and another on Faith, Hope, and Love. 3.Sermons for the Church Year (1837-55) 14 sermons, including the 3 Christian Festivals, the last 3 sermons before his death, and a sermon praising Mary and Joseph for dragging the 12-year-old Jesus home from the Temple, where the rabbis would have fed him with learning but not life. 4.Letters and Speeches (1822-63) including seven letters, two of which are from England, where Grundtvig fumes over being locked out of morning worship at St. Paul's Cathedral by a policeman for coming late to the service! Also included are his two eulogies to his late wives.
The scriptures of the Faiths use models to depict what God is like; namely Father, Mother, Husband, Judge, Lover, Friend, shepherd and so on. Science also uses models to advance its knowledge, and in a scientific age a model of God as the Cosmic Scientist interacting with the traditional could communicate well. It would imply that the world is a laboratory created by God in order to test whether humanity will obey his laws and live up to the values which he embraces. Using material drawn from science and six world faiths, the book shows the difference and similarity between divine and human experiments and argues that God will bring the experiment to a successful conclusion.
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