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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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Karl Popper and Literary Theory

Critical Rationalism as a Philosophy of Literature

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Thomas Trzyna

Karl Popper’s philosophy of science, with its focus on falsifiability and critical rationalism, provides a firm foundation for a theory of literary interpretation that avoids the pitfalls of many contemporary theories. Building on the work of Popper, John Eccles, Imre Lakatos, Ernst Gombrich, Louise DeSalvo and James Battersby, this study outlines the approach, sets it in a theoretical context, and applies the theory to challenging works by Anne Finch, Countess of Winchelsea, Jean Toomer, Shakespeare, Henry Fielding, J-M.G. LeClézio, J.M. Coetzee, Jonathan Littell, Patrick Modiano, Albert Schweitzer, Popper’s protégé William Warren Bartley III and the Gospel of Mark. The book concludes with a set of general principles for understanding literature as a mode of investigation in what Popper called the unended quest.
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Un Jésus postmoderne

Les récritures romanesques contemporaines des Évangiles

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Bruno Thibault

Un Jésus postmoderne offers a thorough discussion of some forty contemporary French novels depicting the life of Jesus within the framework of today’s debate on fundamentalism and secularism. Focusing on the interplay of narrative viewpoints and (anti)theological perspectives, this study scrutinizes the postmodern representation of Jesus for readers who belong to a time marked by incredulity towards meta-narratives. Drawing on Marcel Gauchet and Julia Kristeva, as well as René Girard’s ‘scapegoat theory’, among many others, this study examines Jesus as a ‘problematic hero’ and a ‘conceptual character’ on the threshold of the new millennium. It shows how these novels reflect recent advances in biblical exegesis, religious anthropology, psychoanalysis and theology.

Un Jésus postmoderne propose une discussion détaillée d’une quarantaine de romans français contemporains qui portent sur la vie de Jésus et qui font écho au débat actuel sur la laïcité et le fondamentalisme. Examinant leurs points de vue narratifs et leurs perspectives (anti) théologiques, cette étude interroge le portrait postmoderne de Jésus pour des lecteurs qui appartiennent à une époque méfiante à l’égard des métarécits. S’appuyant sur les recherches de Marcel Gauchet, de Julia Kristeva et de René Girard, parmi beaucoup d’autres, cette étude examine Jésus comme ‘héros problématique’ et ‘personnage conceptuel’ au seuil du nouveau millénaire. Elle montre comment ces romans reflètent les avancées récentes de l’exégèse biblique, de l’anthropologie religieuse, de la psychanalyse et de la théologie.
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Staging Scripture

Biblical Drama, 1350-1600

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Edited by Peter Happé and Wim Hüsken

Against a background which included revolutionary changes in religious belief, extensive enlargement of dramatic styles and the technological innovation of printing, this collection of essays about biblical drama offers innovative approaches to text and performance, while reviewing some well-established critical issues. The Bible in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries appears in a complex of roles in relation to the drama: as an authority and centre of belief, a place of controversy, an emotional experience and, at times, a weapon. This collection brings into focus the new biblical learning, including the re-editing of biblical texts, as well as classical influences, and it gives a unique view of the relationship between the Bible and the drama at a critical time for both.

Contributors are: Stephanie Allen, David Bevington, Philip Butterworth, Sarah Carpenter, Philip Crispin, Clifford Davidson, Elisabeth Dutton, Garrett P. J. Epp, Bob Godfrey, Peter Happé, James McBain, Roberta Mullini, Katie Normington, Margaret Rogerson, Charlotte Steenbrugge, Greg Walker, and Diana Wyatt.
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Edited by Elena Namli, Jayne Svenungsson and Alana M. Vincent

In response to the grim realities of the present world Jewish thought has not tended to retreat into eschatological fantasy, but rather to project utopian visions precisely on to the present moment, envisioning redemptions that are concrete, immanent, and necessarily political in nature. In difficult times and through shifting historical contexts, the messianic hope in the Jewish tradition has functioned as a political vision: the dream of a peaceful kingdom, of a country to return to, or of a leader who will administer justice among the nations. Against this background, it is unsurprising that Jewish messianism in modern times has been transposed, and lives on in secular political movements and ideologies.
The purpose of this book is to contribute to the deeper understanding of the relationship between Jewish thought, utopia, and revolution, by taking a fresh look at its historical and religious roots. We approach the issue from several perspectives, with differences of opinion presented both in regard to what Jewish tradition is, and how to regard utopia and revolution. These notions are multifaceted, comprising aspects such as political messianism, religious renewal, Zionism, and different forms of Marxist and Anarchistic movements.
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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.