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Jakob W. Wirén

In Hope and Otherness, Jakob Wirén analyses the place and role of the religious Other in contemporary eschatology. In connection with this theme, he examines and compares different levels of inclusion and exclusion in Christian, Muslim, and Jewish eschatologies. He argues that a distinction should be made in approaches to this issue between soteriological openness and eschatological openness. By going beyond Christian theology and also looking to Muslim and Jewish sources and by combining the question of the religious Other with eschatology, Wirén explores ways of articulating Christian eschatology in light of religious otherness, and provides a new and vital slant to the threefold paradigm of exclusivism, inclusivism and pluralism that has been prevalent in the theology of religions.

“Jakob Wirén’s study pushes forward the frontiers of three disciplines all at the same time: theology of religions; comparative religions and eschatology. (…) This is a challenging and important book.”
- Gavin D'Costa, University of Bristol, Professor of Catholic Theology, 2017

“This book explores of the status of religious others in Christian eschatology, and of eschatology itself as a privileged place for reflecting on religious otherness. Wiren mines not only Christian, but also Jewish and Muslim sources to develop an inclusive eschatology. Hope and Otherness thus represents an important contribution to both theology of religions and comparative theology.”
- Catherine Cornille, Boston College, Professor of Comparative Theology, 2017

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Twenty-First Century Theologies of Religions

Retrospection and Future Prospects

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Edited by Elizabeth Harris, Paul Hedges and Shanthikumar Hettiarachchi

Within Christian theology, debates on the theology of religions have intensified over the last thirty or so years. This volume surveys the field and maps future directions in this expanding and important area of research. Both established experts and new voices address typological debates, comparative theology, multiple religious belonging or identity, and how dialogue between different religious traditions affects our understanding of these issues. Different perspectives and traditions are represented, and, while focusing upon debates in Christian theology, voices and perspectives from a range of religious traditions are also included. This volume is an essential tool for research students and established scholars working within the theology of religions and interreligious studies.

Contributors are: Graham Adams, Tony Bayfield, Abraham Velez de Cea, Gavin D’Costa, Reuven Firestone, Ray Gaston, Elizabeth Harris, Paul Hedges, Shanthikumar Hettiarachchi, Haifaa Jawad, Kristin Beise Kiblinger, Paul F. Knitter, Oddbjørn Leirvik, Marianne Moyaert, Mark Owen, Alan Race, Sigrid Rettenbacher, Perry Schmidt-Leukel, Leonard Swidler, Philip Whitehead, Janet Williams, Ulrich Winkler.
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Christology and Evil in Ghana

Towards a Pentecostal Public Theology

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Joseph Quayesi-Amakye

Pentecostalism has traditionally always been other-worldly in the sense that Pentecostals tend to believe that people’s lives are controlled by unseen powers that are responsible for both good and bad. This makes people look for a power that is stronger than those of evil and can ensure that believers enjoy good health and prosperity. Pentecostals find this power in Jesus Christ, who is victorious over all evil powers, and therefore pray that Jesus will save them. For them, life is characterised by suffering and evil, but in Christ they are conquerors, and life is full of concrete blessings.
Using songs and sermons, this book shows the main widespread beliefs of the leadership and grassroots members of the Church of Pentecost (Ghanaian Pentecostals) on Christology and evil. It discusses their fear of evil and their finding solace in the power of Jesus. The author supplements this attitude by the biblical calling to help build a just and peaceful society. He thus develops a theology of the public domain in which the church can make a difference by developing its diaconal services, establishing more educational institutions, and helping—together with people who want to collaborate—build a just and more affluent society with good healthcare and a literate and thriving population.
This book balances on the interface between traditional African religious ideas and practices and Christian ideals for a more humane society.
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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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Shaking the Fundamentals

Religious Plurality and Ecumenical Movement

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Jan van Lin

The issue central to this study can be considered one of the most pressing facing the World Council of Churches today and in the decades to come, and is much greater than that which confronted the International Mission Council in the years 1910 to1938. The question answered in this study is: what significance can the theology of religions, as it developed between 1910 (Edinburgh) and 1938 (Tambaram), have for present-day endeavours to develop a more common understanding and vision within the ecumenical movement as regards the theological problem of religious plurality? This significance becomes clear in the conclusions and suggestions in the final chapter. One of these conclusions is that classic Trinitarian theology and Pneumatology will be incapable of drawing the theology of religions out of the present impasse as long as traditional Christological models continue to exist within them. A commemoration of the Edinburgh meeting will undoubtedly be organized in 2010; and in view of this commemoration Dr van Lin suggests considering the possibility of starting a process of reflection on the World Council of Churches' theology of religions, similar to those on Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry, and Towards the Common Expression of the Apostolic Faith Today. Given the fact that the study of religious plurality shakes the ecumenical movement to its foundations, within the foreseeable futures serious thought has to be given to placing the study of the theology of religions on the agenda of Faith and Order within the World Council of Churches.