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The Tale of the Prophet Isaiah

The Destiny and Meanings of an Apocryphal Text

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Ivan Biliarsky

In The Tale of the Prophet Isaiah. The Destiny and Meanings of an Apocryphal Text Ivan Biliarsky proposes an edition of the original text of the medieval apocryphon, together with images of the single manuscript copy. The author also includes a large commentary on the otherwise quite unclear narrative concerning its origins, its development, a prosopography of the mentioned persons, an interpretation of its meaning and of the stages of its continuous creation. This completely new approach profoundly revises the source with a strong focus on its biblical roots. Ivan Biliarsky abandons the “national” understanding of the apocryphon and introduces evidence about its significance for the enforcement of the Byzantine-Slavic/Bulgarian Commonwealth and solidarity.

Mission Station Christianity

Norwegian Missionaries in Colonial Natal and Zululand, Southern Africa 1850-1890

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Ingie Hovland

In Mission Station Christianity, Ingie Hovland presents an anthropological history of the ideas and practices that evolved among Norwegian missionaries in nineteenth-century colonial Natal and Zululand (Southern Africa). She examines how their mission station spaces influenced their daily Christianity, and vice versa, drawing on the anthropology of Christianity. Words and objects, missionary bodies, problematic converts, and the utopian imagination are discussed, as well as how the Zulus made use of (and ignored) the stations. The majority of the Norwegian missionaries had become theological cheerleaders of British colonialism by the 1880s, and Ingie Hovland argues that this was made possible by the everyday patterns of Christianity they had set up and become familiar with on the mission stations since the 1850s.

African Theology as Liberating Wisdom

Celebrating Life and Harmony in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Botswana

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Mari-Anna Pöntinen

In African Theology as Liberating Wisdom; Celebrating Life and Harmony in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Botswana, Mari-Anna Pöntinen analyses contextual interpretations of the Christian faith in this particular church. These interpretations are based on the special wisdom tradition which embraces monistic ontology, communal ethics in botho, and the indigenous belief in God as the Source of Life, and the Root of everything that exists. The constructing theological principle in the ELCB is the downward-orientated and descending God in Christ which interprets the ‘Lutheran spirit’ in a liberating and empowering sense. It deals with the cultural mythos which brings Christ down into people’s existence, unlike Western connotations which are considered to hinder seeing Christ and to prevent existential self-awareness.

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John Flannery

In The Mission of the Portuguese Augustinians to Persia and Beyond (1602-1747), John M. Flannery describes the establishment and activities of the Portuguese Augustinian mission in Persia. Hopes of converting the Safavid ruler of the Shi’a Muslim state would come to naught, as would the attempts of Shah ‘Abbas I to use the services of the missionaries, as representatives of the Spanish Habsburgs, to forge an anti-Ottoman alliance with the papacy and the Christian rulers of Europe. Prevented from converting Muslims, the Augustinians turned their attention to Armenian and Syriac Christians in Isfahan, later also establishing new missions among Christians in Georgia and the Mandaeans of the Basra region, all of which are described herein. The history of the Augustinian Order is generally under-represented by contrast with other Orders, and this study breaks new ground in existing scholarship.

Building God’s Kingdom

Norwegian Missionaries in Highland Madagascar 1866 - 1903

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Karina Hestad Skeie

Building God’s Kingdom studies how the encounter with nineteenth century Madagascar influenced the Norwegian Protestant mission. Drawing upon rich Norwegian and Malagasy sources, entangled and multivocal stories are allowed to unfold, revealing the complex dynamics of mission encounters. Tracing Malagasy agency and pursuit of churchly independence in pre-colonial and colonial Madagascar, this study explores the power-struggles between the Malagasy, the missionaries and between the mission in Norway and Madagascar. Through careful attention to context and agency, Karina Hestad Skeie provides new perspectives on the interplay between the local and the global in Christian missions, and on the centrality and restrictions of local agency on mission policy.

VI-4 Ordinis sexti tomus quartus

Novum Testamentum ab Erasmo Recognitum, IV, Epistolae Apostolicae (secunda pars) et Apocalypsis Iohannis

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Edited by A.J. Brown

In 1516 Erasmus produced the first printed Greek New Testament ever to be published: his series of editions laid the foundation for the “'Textus Receptus'”, which has had an enduring influence. Alongside the Greek text, his new Latin translation marked a radical departure from the medieval Vulgate. This volume edits Erasmus'’ Greek and Latin New Testament text (1 Timothy-Apocalypse), presented in two parallel columns, above a critical apparatus showing the variants of the five folio editions (1516-1535). The accompanying commentary analyses the printed and manuscript sources, and assesses the accuracy and also the defects of Erasmus' work. An extended introduction includes new information and discussion regarding the codex Montfortianus and the famous passage about the '“three heavenly witnesses”'.

Pneumatology and the Christian-Buddhist Dialogue

Does the Spirit Blow through the Middle Way?

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Amos Yong

Recent thinking in Christian theology of religions has taken a “pneumatological turn” which asks how the doctrine of the Holy Spirit can contribute to the interreligious dialogue and to the emerging discourse of comparative theology. Pneumatology and the Christian-Buddhist Dialogue. Does the Spirit Blow through the Middle Way? tests the viability of this approach as applied to the Christian-Buddhist dialogue. Various Christian and Buddhist traditions are compared and contrasted within a pneumatological framework. Is the Holy Spirit to be found along the Buddha’s middle way? Some Christians say yes, while others demur. The thesis of this volume is that such a pneumatological perspective opens up possibilities for the deepening and transformation of Christian theology in the religiously plural world of the twenty-first century.

M.C.A. Korpel and Johannes C. de Moor

The silence of God is a recurring theme in modern reflection. It is not only addressed in theology, religious studies and philosophy, but also in literary fiction, film and theatre. The authors show that the concept of a silent deity emerged in the ancient Near East (including Greece). What did the Ancients mean when they assumed that under circumstances their deities remained silent? What reasons are discernible for silence between human beings and their gods? For the first time the close interrelation between the divine and the human in the revelatory process is demonstrated here on the basis of a wealth of translated ancient texts. In an intriguing epilogue, the authors explore the theological consequences of what they have found.

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Kari Storstein Haug

This book discusses how three Old Testament wisdom texts can be interpreted in light of, and as a response to Thai Buddhist interpretations. Its central aim is to explore a new method in Buddhist-Christian dialogue that has three steps. First, Buddhists are asked to reflect on biblical texts, second, the texts are analyzed by placing Christian and Buddhist perspectives side by side, and finally points of convergence and difference are established in order to provide a platform for further dialogue. The study succeeds in demonstrating that the method explored is a fruitful approach to interreligious dialogue which takes interpretations of biblical texts by the religious ‘other’ seriously, and manages to both affirm commonalities and face religious difference.

Network Church

A Pentecostal Ecclesiology Shaped by Mission

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Andy Lord

Pentecostal churches have grown over the last century but only a limited amount has been written about their ecclesiology. Much of the existing work focuses on congregational models and contemporary practice. This book argues the need for a pentecostal systematic approach to ecclesiology. Utilising the method of Amos Yong a pentecostal ecclesiology based on a network church structure is developed. Systematic issues of catholicity are addressed through mission insights on partnership, and a hospitable approach to contextualisation is developed. This book, therefore, suggests new ways forward in pentecostal studies and ecclesiology.