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Emblems in Scotland

Motifs and Meanings

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Michael Bath

Emblems in the visual arts use motifs which have meanings, and in Emblems in Scotland Michael Bath, leading authority on Renaissance emblem books, shows how such symbolic motifs address major historical issues of Anglo-Scottish relations, the Reformation of the Church and the Union of the Crowns. Emblems are enigmas, and successive chapters ask for instance: Why does a late-medieval rood-screen show a jester at the Crucifixion? Why did Elizabeth I send Mary Queen of Scots tapestries showing the power of women to build a feminist City of God? Why did a presbyterian minister of Stirling decorate his manse with hieroglyphics? And why in the twentieth-century did Ian Hamilton Finlay publish a collection of Heroic Emblems?
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David C. Bellusci

Amor Dei, “love of God” raises three questions: How do we know God is love? How do we experience love of God? How free are we to love God? This book presents three kinds of love, worldly, spiritual, and divine to understand God’s love. The work begins with Augustine’s Confessions highlighting his Manichean and Neoplatonic periods before his conversion to Christianity. Augustine’s confrontation with Pelagius anticipates the unresolved disputes concerning God’s love and free will. In the sixteenth-century the Italian humanist, Gasparo Contarini introduces the notion of “divine amplitude” to demonstrate how God’s goodness is manifested in the human agent. Pierre de Bérulle, Guillaume Gibieuf, and Nicolas Malebranche show connections with Contarini in the seventeenth-century controversies relating free will and divine love. In response to the free will dispute, the Scottish philosopher, William Chalmers, offers his solution. Cornelius Jansen relentlessly asserts his anti-Pelagian interpretation of Augustine stirring up more controversy. John Norris, Malebranche’s English disciple, exchanges his views with Mary Astell and Damaris Masham. In the tradition of Cambridge Platonism, Ralph Cudworth conveys a God who “sweetly governs.” The organization of sections represents the love of God in ascending-descending movements demonstrating that, “human love is inseparable from divine love.”
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Reaching for the Sky

Religious Education from Christian and Islamic Perspectives

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Edited by Stella El Bouayadi-van de Wetering and Siebren Miedema

Young people have to make their own way in the world; they have to give meaning to and find meaning in their lives. This is the field of religious education, which is provided by parents, religious leaders, or teachers of religion and worldviews. One of the most important challenges is to educate children in their own religion, emphasizing that religion’s tolerant and peaceful side and to teach children about the beliefs of other traditions. An even more important challenge is to teach them to live together in peace and justice. This volume deals with religious education in Christianity and Islam in specific countries. Scholars in religious education need to know more about the ways in which Muslims and Christians perceive and practice their respective forms of religious education and explore methods that help young people develop their religious identity in accordance with their tradition—and also meet with comrades from other traditions, as the two young Gambian and Dutch women shown on the cover do.
This volume explores the field of Christian and Islamic education. Muslim and Christian scholars from Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Indonesia, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands describe various aspects of religious education at school, at home, in the mosque and church, via the media and in peer groups. The papers were presented and discussed at an authors’ conference at VU University Amsterdam, organized in close collaboration between the staff of its Centre of Islamic Theology and other scholars in religious education, and the Islamic Universities League in Cairo. The authors describe actual processes of education, reflect on religious identity formation and respect for other people and the influences from home, school, mosque, and church, the media and “the street.”
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Love, Freedom, and Evil

Does Authentic Love Require Free Will?

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Thaddeus J. Williams

The defining premise of the Relational Free Will Defense is the claim that authentic love requires free will. Many scholars, including Gregory Boyd and Vincent Brümmer, champion this claim. Best-selling books, such as Rob Bell’s Love Wins, echo that love “cannot be forced, manipulated, or coerced. It always leaves room for the other to decide.” The claim that love requires free will has even found expression in mainstream Hollywood films, including Frailty, Bruce Almighty, and The Adjustment Bureau.
The analysis shows convincingly that the claim that authentic love requires free will, does not meet the criteria of consistency, compatibility with Scriptural sources, and the demands of concrete encounter with problems of moral evil.
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Indigenous Apostles

Maya Catholic Catechists Working the Word in Highland Chiapas

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Ruth J. Chojnacki

Indigenous Apostles tells the story of conversion to Catholicism and birth of new ecclesial community with the arrival of Vatican II mission in Santa Maria Magdalenas, a Tzotzil-speaking village in Mexico’s Maya highlands. In the state of Chiapas, the nation’s erratic advance into the global market beginning in the 1970s drove landless young Magdaleneros to search for alternatives to peasant peonage. A few became catechists in the Diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Cognitive entailments of newly-acquired biblical literacy warranted the subsequent critique of local Tzotzil tradition – costumbre – through which they reclaimed their ancestral land. This ethnographic account of their dialectical passage from the way of the ancestors to communion with the world Catholic Church demonstrates local constraints on liberation mission strategy and the power of indigenous agency in their own evangelization. It also points to the salience of place and everyday productive practice for native construction of local theology in the context of the new globalization.
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Edited by Nelly van Doorn-Harder and Lourens Minnema

The various Christian, Muslim, traditional (African), and secular (Western) ways of imagining and coping with evil collected in this volume have several things in common. The most crucial perhaps and certainly the most striking aspect is the problem of defining the nature or characteristics of evil as such. Some argue that evil has an essence that remains constant, whereas others say its interpretation depends on time and place.
However much religious and secular interpretations of evil may have changed, the human search for sense and meaning never ends. Questions of whom to blame and whom to address—God, the devil, fate, bad luck, or humans—remain at the center of our explanations and our strategies to comprehend, define, counter, or process the evil we do and the evil done to us by people, God, nature, or accident. Using approaches from cultural anthropology, religious studies, theology, philosophy, psychology, and history, the contributors to this volume analyze how several religious and secular traditions imagine and cope with evil.
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Jesus as Guru

The Image of Christ among Hindus and Christians in India

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J.P. Schouten

People in India form images of Jesus Christ that link up with their own culture. Hindus have given Jesus a place among the teachers and gods of their own religion, seeing in his life something of the wisdom and mysticism that is so central to Hinduism. Christians in India also make use of the concepts provided by Hinduism when they wish to express the meaning of Christ.
Thus, in any case, Jesus is—for Hindus and Christians—a guru, a teacher of wisdom who speaks with divine authority. But for many Hindu philosophers and Christian theologians there is much more that can be said about him within the Indian framework. He can be described as an avatara, a divine descent, or linked to the Brahman, the all-encompassing Reality. This study looks at both Hindu and Christian views of Christ, starting with that of the Hindu reformer Rammohan Roy at the beginning of the nineteenth century, as well as those of the first Christian theologians of India. The views of Mahatma Gandhi and the monks of the Ramakrishna Mission are discussed, and those of influential Christian schools such as the Ashram movement and dalit theology.
Five intermezzos indicate how artists in India portray Jesus Christ.
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What the God-seekers found in Nietzsche

The Reception of Nietzsche’s Übermensch by the Philosophers of the Russian Religious Renaissance

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Nel Grillaert

At the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century, a large and varied group of the Russian intelligentsia became fascinated by Friedrich Nietzsche, whose provocative ideas inspired many of them to overcome obsolete traditions and to create new values. Paradoxically, the German philosopher, who vigorously challenged the established Christian worldview, invigorated the rich ferment of religious philosophy in the Russian Silver Age: his ideas served as a fruitful source of inspiration for the philosophers of the Russian religious renaissance, the so-called God-seekers, in their quest for a new religious consciousness. Especially Nietzsche’s anthropology of the Übermensch was instrumental in their reformulation of Christianity. This book explores how three pivotal figures in the Russian religious reception of Nietzsche, i.e. Vladimir Solov’ëv, Dmitrii Merezhkovskii and Nikolai Berdiaev, engaged in a vacillating yet highly prolific debate with Nietzsche and how each of them appropriated his anthropology of the Übermensch in their religious philosophy. In order to explain Merezhkovskii’s and Berdiaev’s assessment of Nietzsche, the author highlights the significance of Dostoevskii: only by reading Nietzsche through the prism of Dostoevskii could both God-seekers pin down the religious ramifications of Nietzsche’s thought.
This book will be of interest to anyone fascinated by Nietzsche, Dostoevskii, Russian religious philosophy, Russian history of ideas and reception studies.
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Naming and Thinking God in Europe Today

Theology in Global Dialogue

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Edited by Norbert Hintersteiner

Is there a new need and place for God-talk in Europe? The present volume both confirms this and opens up new questions for discussion. It shows how different traditions of naming and thinking God in Europe draw on various theoretical and philosophical foundations that are in competition with one another in many ways. Due to socio-cultural, historical and political divides between Eastern and Western Europe, these theological traditions often suffer from isolation and mutual misunderstanding. Can the inherent tensions and conflicts be understood more adequately?
While exploring a variety of approaches in Europe on the topic, several authors also ask: How can God be named and thought in Europe, which finds itself in the midst of complex crosscultural and interreligious processes - particularly as immigration increases and peoples of non-Christian faith traditions name and think God in ways that differ from and sometimes conflict with Europe's dominant religion(s) and secular culture? What function and impact will traditional God-talk have in a globalizing Europe as religions such as Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism move into the foreground?
This volume not only reveals the broad spectrum of its topic but also documents the vivid seeking undertaken by a new generation of European theologians and scholars of religion who openly engage the question of how to live and believe in Europe today, facing complex global challenges.
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Global Christianity

Contested Claims

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Edited by Frans Wijsen and Robert Schreiter

In 2002 Philip Jenkins wrote The Next Christendom. Over the past half century the centre of gravity of the Christian world has moved decisively to the global South, says Jenkins. Within a few decades European and Euro-American Christians will have become a small fragment of world Christianity. By that time Christianity in Europe and North America will to a large extent consist of Southern-derived immigrant communities. Southern churches will fulfil neither the Liberation Dream nor the Conservative Dream of the North, but will seek their own solutions to their particular problems. Jenkins’ book evoked strong reactions, a bit to his own surprise, as the book contained little new. In the United States of America, the prospect of a more biblical Christianity caused reactions of alarm in liberal circles. In contrast, conservatives were delighted by the same prospect. In Europe the book landed in the middle of the debate on Europe as an exceptional case. It was detested by those who stick to the theory of ongoing and irreversible secularisation and welcomed by those who see a resurgence of religion, also in Europe. In the present volume, scholars of religion and theologians assess the global trends in World Christianity as described in Philip Jenkins’ book. It is the outcome of an international conference on Southern Christianity and its relation to Christianity in the North, held in the Conference Centre of Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.