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Author: Andrea Giolai

Abstract

Kasuga Wakamiya Onmatsuri is an important local festival celebrated every winter in Nara. While the festival has been analyzed from the point of view of its relations with religious institutions such as Kasuga Taisha and Kōfukuji, to date less attention has been paid to its historical transformations. Countering linear narratives that tend to portray it as largely unchanged since its inception, this article combines ethnography, historiography, and religious studies to provide a more multivocal analysis of the Onmatsuri. After an overview of its main celebrations, the article revisits the origins of the festival, describes the ontological multiplicity of its deities, and analyzes material elements that concur to its “fractal” features. Showing how these heterogeneous elements generate a diffuse “atmosphere of the past,” this study discusses practitioners’ accounts of ritual participation, as well as the relationship between ideological reconstructions of the past and material embodiments of religious symbols.

In: Journal of Religion in Japan

Abstract

In the first part of the paper, I will provide an overview of Eric Voegelin’s early thesis about Gnosis which he formulated in The New Science of Politics (1952) and Science, Politics, and Gnosticism (1968). A special attention will be paid to the idea of the immanentization of the eschaton which remains in the center of his argument. In the second part of the paper, I will analyze two Hollywood films in the light of Voegelin’s thesis: Dark City (1998) and Pleasantville (1998). Firstly, I will argue that the main characters depicted in the films can be classified as Gnostics in Voegelin’s sense. Secondly, I will demonstrate that their revolutionary acts reflect the idea of the immanentization of the eschaton.

In: Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies
Author: Paul T. Nimmo

Abstract

This article seeks to offer the first detailed exposition and analysis of the two major writings of Markus Barth on the theme of the Lord’s Supper, highlighting matters of scriptural exegesis and considering issues of theological import as well as noting its ecumenical implications. It proceeds in three main sections. First, it sets the scene for the investigation of Markus Barth’s work on the Lord’s Supper by considering briefly the genre and the purpose of the writings in view. Second, it engages in a close reading and analysis of both writings on the Lord’s Supper. Third, and by way of conclusion, it concisely explores the wider ramifications of Barth’s teaching in relation to the work of the ecumenical movement.

In: Journal of Reformed Theology

Abstract

Central to Markus Barth’s work as a New Testament exegete was the pursuit of an ever more responsible interpretation of the letters of the apostle Paul that combined rigorous historical and theological concerns into a form of “biblical theology.” The culmination of this endeavour is unarguably his two-volume commentary on Ephesians. This essay explores the central claims advanced in that commentary with an especial focus on Barth’s claim that Ephesians 2:11–22 represents a high point in Paul’s witness concerning Jews and Gentiles. It goes on to demonstrate how Barth understood justification as the ‘sociohistorical’ outworking of God’s reconciling act in Jesus Christ. It concludes by examining some of the consequences of Barth’s contentions for orienting Christians toward the important task of Jewish-Christian relations in the present.

In: Journal of Reformed Theology
In: Journal of Reformed Theology
Zoutleeuw's Church of Saint Leonard and Religious Material Culture in the Low Countries (c. 1450-1620)
The Matter of Piety provides the first in-depth study of Zoutleeuw’s exceptionally well-preserved pilgrimage church in a comparative perspective, and revaluates religious art and material culture in Netherlandish piety from the late Middle Ages through the crisis of iconoclasm and the Reformation to Catholic restoration. Analyzing the changing functions, outlooks, and meanings of devotional objects – monumental sacrament houses, cult statues and altarpieces, and small votive offerings or relics – Ruben Suykerbuyk revises dominant narratives about Catholic culture and patronage in the Low Countries. Rather than being a paralyzing force, the Reformation incited engaged counterinitiatives, and the vitality of late medieval devotion served as the fertile ground from which the Counter-Reformation organically grew under Protestant impulses.
In: The Matter of Piety
In: The Matter of Piety
In: The Matter of Piety
In: The Matter of Piety