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Edited by Vishwa Adluri and Joydeep Bagchee

Argument and Design features fifteen essays by leading scholars of the Sanskrit epics, the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyaṇa, discussing the Mahābhārata’s upākhyānas, subtales that branch off from the central storyline and provide vantage points for reflecting on it.
Contributors include: Vishwa Adluri, Joydeep Bagchee, Greg Bailey, Adam Bowles, Simon Brodbeck, Nicolas Dejenne, Sally J. Sutherland Goldman, Robert P. Goldman, Alf Hiltebeitel, Thennilapuram Mahadevan, Adheesh Sathaye, Bruce M. Sullivan, and Fernando Wulff Alonso.

Beyond Biblical Theology

Sacralized Culturalism in Heikki Räisänen’s Hermeneutics

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Timo Eskola

Reading Heikki Räisänen’s hermeneutics in context, Timo Eskola explores the development of Western New Testament interpretation. Reclaiming a Wredean approach to the Scriptures, Räisänen focuses on tradition and interpretation. He builds on Weberian sociology, adopted through Peter Berger’s theories, and substitutes sacralized culturalism for biblical theology.

After examining fourteenth century Quran-criticism and its impact on Reimarus, Eskola discusses the genesis of the revised history-of-religion theory that Räisänen developed when investigating the Quran’s relationship to the Bible. Sociology then becomes a link between standard historicism and poststructuralism as Räisänen reinterprets Berger’s sociology of knowledge. Räisänen’s sacralized culturalism finally becomes the theory from which his magnum opus The Rise of Christian Beliefs has been written.

Creation Stories in Dialogue: The Bible, Science, and Folk Traditions

Radboud Prestige Lectures by R. Alan Culpepper

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Edited by Jan G. van der Watt and R. Alan Culpepper

This book is about creation stories in dialogue, not only between different religious views, but also between current day scientific perspectives. International specialists, like Alan Culpepper, David Christian, John Haught, Randall Zachman, Ellen van Wolde from various disciplines are reflecting on the interface between science and religion relating questions of creation and origin. This multi-disciplinary discussion by some of the leading exponents in this field makes the book unique, not only in its depth of discussion, but also in it wide ranging interdisciplinary discussion. The point of departure of all the contributions is the prestige lecture by Alan Culpepper where he argues for bringing Biblical material into discussion with modern scientific insights relating to creation and origin.

Comparative Theology

A Critical and Methodological Perspective

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Paul Hedges

In this first volume of Brill Research Perspectives in Theology, the field of comparative theology is mapped with particular attention to the tradition associated with Francis Clooney but noting the global and wider context of theology in a comparative mode. There are four parts. In the first section the current field is mapped and its methodological and theological aspects are explored. The second part considers what the deconstruction of religion means for comparative theology. It also takes into consideration turns to lived and material religion. In the third part, issues of power, representation, and the subaltern are considered, including the place of feminist and queer theory in comparative theology. Finally, the contribution of philosophical hermeneutics is considered. The text notes key trends, develops original models of practice and method, and picks out and discusses critical issues within the field.

The World of St. Francis of Assisi

Essays in Honor of William R. Cook

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Edited by Bradley Franco and Beth Mulvaney

The World of St. Francis of Assisi: Essays in Honor of William R. Cook seeks to enrich our collective understanding of the world in which Francis lived and the ways in which Francis, together with his followers, has shaped the world ever since. Composed of thirteen essays by scholars from diverse academic disciplines, The World of St. Francis of Assisi considers Francis’s legacy in art, literature, and spirituality, and many of the contributions to the volume focus on the perennial application of Francis’s insights to the ills of contemporary society.
Contributors are Greg Ahlquist, William R. Cook, Alexandra Dodson, John K. Downey, Bradley R. Franco, John Hart, Ronald Herzman, Weston L. Kennison, Mary R. McHugh, Beth A. Mulvaney, Sara Ritchey and Daniel J. Schultz.

Die metaphysische Synthese des Johannes von Damaskus

Historische Zusammenhänge und Strukturtransformationen

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Smilen Markov

Smilen Markov’s monograph on the metaphysical synthesis of John Damascene depicts a paradox ontological structure: the single man, whose ontological position is conditioned by non-being, participates in the life of the Origin of being. The term ‘historical interconnections’ denotes the basic elements of Damascene’s reception strategy through which he approaches the Holy Scripture and the tradition of the fathers. The structural transformation to which different epochs and cultural circles put Damascene’s concepts reveals regularity in understanding the intellectual scope of the Palestinian monk. The reception of his thought could serve as an indicator for the stable mental structures, ‘framing’ the epoch turning-points in European culture for at least six centuries.

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.

Migration as a Sign of the Times

Towards a Theology of Migration

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Edited by Judith Gruber and Sigrid Rettenbacher

Migrations are contested sites of identity negotiations: they are not simply a process of border crossings but more so of border shiftings. Rather than allowing migrants to swiftly move across stable borders from one clearly defined identity to another, migrations question and renegotiate these very identities. Migrations undermine and re-establish borders along which the identity of migrants (and also that of the supposedly settled population) are constituted, and, as a discourse, migrations serve as a contested site of negotiating identities. Migrations reveal the negotiable character of identities - and representations of migration are themselves a hotspot in contemporary identity constructions.

What can theology contribute to the negotiations on migration? The contributions of this volume work towards a reading of migration as a sign of the times. Together, they offer "steps towards a theology of migration." They show that migration calls for a new way of doing. A theology that is exposed to migration as a sign of the times is drwan into the shifting, unsettling, and undermining of borders. This has impact not only on the discourse of migration, but also on the discourse of theology: it calls theology to move away from its search for well-established definitions (literally: borders) of its God-talk and to venture into new, uncharted territory. It loses its fixed, clearly defined grounds and finds itself on the way toward a renegotiation of what it means to believe in, celebrate, and reflect on YHWH - on God who is with us on the way.

Islam and Rationality

The Impact of al-Ghazālī. Papers Collected on His 900th Anniversary. Vol. I

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Edited by Georges Tamer

This volume offers an account of Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazālī (d. 505/1111) as a rational theologian who created a symbiosis of philosophy and theology and infused rationality into Sufism. The majority of the papers herein deal with important topics of al-Ghazālī’s work, which demonstrate his rational treatment of the Qurʾān and major subjects of Islamic theology and everyday life of Muslims. Some other contributions address al-Ghazālī’s sources and how his intellectual endeavors were later received by scholars who had the same concern of reconciling religion and rationality within Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

With contributions by Binyamin Abrahamov, Hans Daiber, Ken Garden, Avner Giladi, Scott Girdner, Frank Griffel, Steven Harvey, Alfred Ivry, Jules Janssens, Taneli Kukkonen, Luis Xavier López-Farjeat, Wilferd Madelung, Yahya M. Michot, Yasien Mohamed, Eric Ormsby, M. Sait Özervarlı, and Hidemi Takahashi.

The Cosmic Breath

Spirit and Nature in the Christianity-Buddhism-Science Trialogue

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Amos Yong

Recent thinking in the interfaith dialogue and in the theology-science dialogue have taken a “pneumatological turn.” The Cosmic Breath explores this pneumatological theology as unfolded in the Christian-Buddhist dialogue alongside critical interaction with the theology-and-science conversation. As an attempt in comparative and constructive Christian philosophical theology, its central thesis is that a pneumatological approach to Buddhist traditions in further dialogue with modern science generates new philosophical resources that invigorate Christian thinking about the natural world and humanity’s place in it. The result is a transformation of the Buddhist-Christian dialogue from insights generated in the theology-and-science interface and a contribution to the religion-and-science dialogue from a comparative theological and philosophical perspective.