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Walter Homolka

Historical Jesus research, Jewish or Christian, is marked by the search for origins and authenticity. The various Quests for the Historical Jesus contributed to a crisis of identity within Western Christianity. The result was a move “back to the Jewish roots!”
For Jewish scholars it was a means to position Jewry within a dominantly Christian culture. As a consequence, Jews now feel more at ease to relate to Jesus as a Jew.
For Walter Homolka the Christian challenge now is to formulate a new Christology: between a Christian exclusivism that denies the universality of God, and a pluralism that endangers the specificity of the Christian understanding of God and the uniqueness of religious traditions, including that of Christianity.

Comparative Theology

A Critical and Methodological Perspective

Series:

Paul Hedges

In this first volume of Brill Research Perspectives in Theology, the field of comparative theology is mapped with particular attention to the tradition associated with Francis Clooney but noting the global and wider context of theology in a comparative mode. There are four parts. In the first section the current field is mapped and its methodological and theological aspects are explored. The second part considers what the deconstruction of religion means for comparative theology. It also takes into consideration turns to lived and material religion. In the third part, issues of power, representation, and the subaltern are considered, including the place of feminist and queer theory in comparative theology. Finally, the contribution of philosophical hermeneutics is considered. The text notes key trends, develops original models of practice and method, and picks out and discusses critical issues within the field.

A Modest Proposal on Method

Essaying the Study of Religion

Russell McCutcheon

A Modest Proposal on Method further documents methodological and institutional failings in the academic study of religion. This collection of essays identifies the manner in which old problems (like the presumption that our object of study is a special, deeply meaningful case) yet remain in the field. But amidst the critique there are a variety of practical suggestions for how the science of religion can become methodologically even-handed and self-reflexive—the markings of a historically rigorous exercise. Each chapter is introduced and contextualized by a newly written, substantive introduction.

Charismatic Practice and Catholic Parish Life

The Incipient Pentecostalization of the Church in Guatemala and Latin America

Series:

Jakob Egeris Thorsen

In Charismatic Practice and Catholic Parish Life - the Incipient Pentecostalization of the Church in Guatemala and Latin America, Jakob Egeris Thorsen offers a detailed ethnographic and theological analysis of the impact of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal on the Catholic Church in the region. Based on fieldwork, this interdisciplinary study examines how Charismatic practice and spirituality permeate both local parish life and the pastoral plans of the Catholic Church in Guatemala and Latin America.

The Charismatic Renewal is the largest lay movement in Latin America and has a profound influence on the Catholic Church. This book analyses both the social and ecclesiological consequences of an incipient Pentecostalization of Guatemalan and Latin American Catholicism.

Dark Enlightenment

The Historical, Sociological, and Discursive Contexts of Contemporary Esoteric Magic

Series:

Kennet Granholm

In Dark Enlightenment Kennet Granholm explores the historical, sociological, and discursive contexts of contemporary esoteric magic. The book is focused on the Sweden-originated Left-Hand Path magic order Dragon Rouge in particular, but through a detailed contextualizing examination of this case study it offers a broader visage of contemporary esotericism in general. The author takes cue from both the historiography of Western esotericism and the sociological study of new religions and religious change, aiming to provide a transdisciplinary framework for a comprehensive study of esotericism in late modernity.

The Problem of Disenchantment

Scientific Naturalism and Esoteric Discourse 1900 - 1939

Series:

Egil Asprem

The Problem of Disenchantment offers a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to the intellectual history of science, religion, and “the occult” in the early 20th century. By developing a new approach to Max Weber’s famous idea of a “disenchantment of the world”, and drawing on an impressively diverse set of sources, Egil Asprem opens up a broad field of inquiry that connects the histories of science, religion, philosophy, and Western esotericism.

Parapsychology, occultism, and the modern natural sciences are usually viewed as distinct cultural phenomena with highly variable intellectual credentials. In spite of this view, Asprem demonstrates that all three have met with similar intellectual problems related to the intelligibility of nature, the relation of facts to values, and the dynamic of immanence and transcendence, and solved them in comparable terms.

The Concept of Religion

Defining and Measuring Contemporary Beliefs and Practices

Edited by Hans Schilderman

In The Concept of Religion Hans Schilderman edits a volume on the definition and empirical study of religion within the changing landscape of modern society. Now that we can no longer assume a simple harmony between the scientific concept of religion, church doctrine and practiced belief, issues concerning the definition and measurement of religion are becoming crucial issues to academic institutions. The contributing authors present empirical studies studying issues of lifespan and socialisation at school settings; of vocation and profession at church and hospital settings; and culture and nation of society at large. The volume offers a beautiful sample of the empirical study of religion; a conceptual and illustrative overview of the academic field for students and scholars in religion.