The Life and Theology of Alexander Knox, David McCready highlights one of the most important figures in the history of Anglicanism. A disciple of John Wesley, Knox presents his mentor as a representative of the Neo-Platonic tradition within Anglicanism, a tradition that Knox himself also exemplifies. Knox also significantly impacted John Henry Newman and the Tractarians. But Alexander Knox is an important theologian in his own right, one who engaged substantially with the main intellectual currents of his day, namely those stemming from the Enlightenment and Romanticism. Meshing Knox’s theological teaching on various topics with details of his life, this book offers a fascinating portrait of a man who, in the words of Samuel Taylor Coleridge ‘changed the minds, and, with them, the acts of thousands.’
This essay is centered around five questions: (i) What is the proper place of liturgical theology? (ii) Which evolutions have there been in the past and which current tendencies are there in the field of liturgical theology? (iii) Which contents must liturgical theologians focus on? (iv) How can liturgical theologians engage in research? And (v): How can liturgical theology appropriately respond to what happens in Church and society? Each question corresponds with one part. The rationale behind ordering the content of this essay in this way is the following: starting from a reflection about the non-evident place of liturgical theology, an attempt is made to give it a fitting profile again on the basis of its genealogy in the Liturgical Movement. Correspondingly, liturgical theology can be considered a full-fledged research program, which does not simply deal with Christian rituals, festivals and sacraments, but with the core of Christian faith.
The Catholic Church and the Bible: From the Council of Trent to the Jansenist Controversy (1564–1733), Els Agten studies the impact of Jansenism and anti–Jansenism on the ideas regarding vernacular Bible reading and Bible production in the Low Countries in the broader seventeenth century. The book provides a review of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century book censorship and an analysis of the ideas and the writings of ten protagonists, including theologians, Bible translators, ecclesiastical authorities and representatives of Port-Royal. This way, Agten demonstrates that the Jansenists were stimulating the laity, with the inclusion of women and children, to read the Bible in the vernacular, with no restrictions whatsoever. Their opponents, in contrast, adopted a more wary position.
World History as the History of Foundations, 3000 BCE to 1500 CE, Michael Borgolte investigates the origins and development of foundations from Antiquity to the end of the Middle Ages. In his survey foundations emerge not as mere legal institutions, but rather as “total social phenomena” which touch upon manifold aspects, including politics, the economy, art and religion of the cultures in which they emerged. Cross-cultural in its approach and the result of decades of research, this work represents by far the most comprehensive account of the history of foundations that has hitherto been published.
Aquinas’ theology can be understood only if one comes to grips with his metaphysics of being. The relevance of this perspective is exhibited in his treatment of topics like creation, goodness, happiness, truth, freedom of the will, the unity of the human being, prayer and providence, God’s personhood, divine love, God and violence, God’s unknowablility, the Incarnation, the Trinity, God’s existence, theological language and even laughter. This book endeavors to treat these questions in a clear and convincing language. Is there a better method for improving one’s own theology than by grappling with the arguments of Thomas Aquinas?
The Eclipse of Liberal Protestantism in the Netherlands, Tom-Eric Krijger is the first to offer a synthesis of the development of the Protestant modernist movement in Dutch religious, social, cultural, and political life between 1870 and 1940. In historiography, the liberal Protestant community is said to have lost appeal and influence in these decades due to a lack of theological clarity, inner harmony, and organisation.
Analysing liberal Protestants’ self-perception vis-à-vis Christian orthodoxy, self-understanding as a faith community, attitude towards other alternatives to orthodoxy, class-consciousness, literary criticism, political commitment, and involvement with foreign mission, Krijger challenges this view. Making an international comparison, he argues that the Dutch modernist movement failed to make headway primarily due to liberal Protestant expectations and discourse.