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Karl Rahner, Culture and Evangelization

New Approaches in an Australian Setting

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Anthony Mellor

The situation of religious institutional diminishment in many Western countries requires new approaches to the proclamation of Christian faith. As a response to these complexities, Karl Rahner suggested a “mystagogic” approach as a future pathway for theology. A mystagogical approach seeks modes of spiritual and theological conversation which engage the religious imagination and draws upon personal experiences of transcendence and religious sensibility. In Karl Rahner, Culture and Evangelization: New Approaches in an Australian Setting, Anthony Mellor develops a reflective process of contemporary “mystagogia”, describing how different fields of engagement require different patterns of mystagogical conversation. While focussing on the Australian setting, these differentiate arenas of engagement are also applicable to other cultural settings and offer fresh perspectives for evangelization today.

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Antonia Pizzey

Receptive Ecumenism is a ground-breaking new ecumenical approach, widely regarded as having the potential to revitalise the Ecumenical Movement. But what is Receptive Ecumenism? Why is it important? In Receptive Ecumenism and the Renewal of the Ecumenical Movement, Antonia Pizzey offers a comprehensive, systematic analysis of Receptive Ecumenism. While still emerging, Receptive Ecumenism is highly promising because it prioritises the need for ecclesial conversion. Pizzey explores the scope and complexity of Receptive Ecumenism, providing much-needed clarity on its aim, key developmental influences and distinctiveness, as well as its virtuous character and relationship with Spiritual Ecumenism. The major implementations of Receptive Ecumenism to date are investigated, along with its significance for the future of ecumenism, especially regarding its engagement with contemporary challenges.

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Joanna Cruickshank and Patricia Grimshaw

In White Women, Aboriginal Missions and Australian Settler Governments, Joanna Cruickshank and Patricia Grimshaw provide the first detailed study of the central part that white women played in missions to Aboriginal people in Australia. As Aboriginal people experienced violent dispossession through settler invasion, white mission women were positioned as ‘mothers’ who could protect, nurture and ‘civilise’ Aboriginal people. In this position, missionary women found themselves continuously navigating the often-contradictory demands of their own intentions, of Aboriginal expectations and of settler government policies. Through detailed studies that draw on rich archival sources, this book provides a new perspective on the history of missions in Australia and also offers new frameworks for understanding the exercise of power by missionary women in colonial contexts.

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Tanya Riches

Worship and Social Engagement in Urban Aboriginal-led Australian Pentecostal Congregations: (Re)imagining Identity in the Spirit provides an ethnographic account of three Australian Pentecostal congregations with Aboriginal senior leadership. Within this Pentecostalism, Dreaming realities and identities must be brought together with the Christian gospel. Yet current political and economic relationships with the Australian state complicate the possibilities of interactions between culture and Spirit. The result is a matrix or network of these churches stretching across Australia, with Black Australian Pentecostals resisting and accommodating the state through the construction of new and ancient identities. This work occurs most notably in context of the worship ritual, which functions through ritual interaction chains to energise the various social engagement programs these congregations sustain.

Francisco Suárez (1548–1617):

Jesuits and the Complexities of Modernity

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Edited by Robert Aleksander Maryks and Juan Antonio Senent de Frutos

This is a bilingual edition of the selected peer-reviewed papers that were submitted for the International Symposium on Jesuit Studies on the thought of the Jesuit Francisco Suárez (1548–1617). The symposium was co-organized in Seville in 2018 by the Departamento de Humanidades y Filosofía at Universidad Loyola Andalucía and the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston College.
Suárez was a theologian, philosopher and jurist who had a significant cultural impact on the development of modernity. Commemorating the four-hundredth anniversary of his death, the symposium studied the work of Suárez and other Jesuits of his time in the context of diverse traditions that came together in Europe between the late Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and early modernity.

Genesis and Cosmos

Basil and Origen on Genesis 1 and Cosmology

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Adam Rasmussen

In Genesis and Cosmos Adam Rasmussen examines how Basil and Origen addressed scientific problems in their interpretations of Genesis 1. For the first time, he offers an in-depth analysis of Basil’s thinking on three problems in Scripture-and-science: the nature of matter, the super-heavenly water, and astrology. Both theologians worked from the same fundamental perspective that science is the “servant” of Christianity, useful yet subordinate. Rasmussen convincingly shows how Basil used Origen’s writings to construct his own solutions. Only on the question of the water does Basil break with Origen, who allegorized the water. Rasmussen demonstrates how they sought to integrate science and Scripture and thus remain instructive for those engaged in the dialogue between religion and science today.

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Rudolf Schuessler

In The Debate on Probable Opinions in the Scholastic Tradition, Rudolf Schuessler portrays scholastic approaches to a qualified disagreement of opinions. The book outlines how scholastic regulations concerning the use of opinions changed in the early modern era, giving rise to an extensive debate on the moral and epistemological foundations of reasonable disagreements. The debate was fueled by probabilism and anti-probabilism in Catholic moral theology and thus also serves as a gateway to these doctrines. All developments are outlined in historical context, while special attention is paid to the evolution of scholastic notions of probability and their importance for the emergence of modern probability.

Biblical Exegesis without Authorial Intention?

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Authorship and Meaning

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Edited by Clarissa Breu

In Biblical Exegesis without Authorial Intention? Interdisciplinary Approaches to Authorship and Meaning, Clarissa Breu offers interdisciplinary contributions to the question of the author in biblical interpretation with a focus on “death of the author” theory. The wide range of approaches represented in the volume comprises mostly postmodern theory (e. g. Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Paul de Man, Julia Kristeva and Gilles Deleuze), but also the implied author and intentio operis. Furthermore, psychology, choreography, reader-response theories and anthropological studies are reflected. Inasmuch as the contributions demonstrate that biblical studies could utilize significantly more differentiated views on the author than are predominantly presumed within the discipline, it is an invitation to question the importance and place attributed to the author.

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Edited by Gijsbert van den Brink, Eveline van Staalduine-Sulman and Maarten Wisse

The work of the Spirit of God is a vibrant and much discussed topic in many contemporary Christian communities worldwide. Apparently, the Spirit is moving. Theological reflection on this phenomenon has even given rise to what is often called a ‘pneumatological renaissance’. This volume not only takes stock of these remarkable developments, but also probes some of their hidden aspects and highlights avenues for future exploration. It contains a wide-ranging but coherent assortment of essays, covering the five relations of the Holy Ghost distinguished already in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed: how does the Spirit of God relate to the Bible, to the Christ, to the human person, to the church and to the world?

These essays are written as a tribute to the many inspiring theological contributions of prof. Cornelis van der Kooi on the occasion of his retirement as Professor of Systematic Theology at the Faculty of Religion and Theology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, where he taught from 1992 until 2018.

Contributors are: Henk A. Bakker, Abraham van de Beek, Erik A. de Boer, Carl J. Bosma, Gijsbert van den Brink, Martien E. Brinkman, Gerard C. den Hertog, Arnold Huijgen, Gerrit C. van de Kamp, Miranda Klaver, Akke van der Kooi, Margriet van der Kooi-Dijkstra, Bruce L. McCormack, Richard J. Mouw, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte, Eveline van Staalduine-Sulman, Eep Talstra, Benno van den Toren, Jan Veenhof, Willem van Vlastuin, Pieter Vos, Michael Welker, Cory Willson, Maarten Wisse.

Theology of Religions

Through the Lens of ‘Truth-as-Openness’

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Graham Adams

In Theology of Religions Graham Adams maps and analyses the field of ‘theology of religions’ (ToR) and its various typologies, examining the assumptions in how religion is assessed. The purpose is to identify how contributions to ToR select and deselect material and trajectories, editing according to presuppositions and interests. Adams’ analysis consciously relies on Andrew Shanks’ Hegelian notion of ‘truth-as-openness’ (divine hospitality) as it illuminates three dynamics, or ‘scandals’, within ToR. The first, concerned with how a religion’s particularity or identity is constructed, is subdivided between ‘particularity transcended’ and ‘particularity re-centred’, along the lines of Jenny Daggers’ postcolonial insights. The second concerns the interactions when one religion engages an Other’s strangeness, and the third is concerned with how religions aim to transform socio-political systems that feign or obstruct universality, so as to effect ever greater solidarity. The text notes key trends, beyond Christianity and including deepening interdisciplinarity, and potential developments from a critical but constructive standpoint.