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Jubilee in the Bible

Using the theology of Jürgen Moltmann to find a new hermeneutic

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Lidija Gunjević

The biblical message of Jubilee is becoming more credible in our days in dealing with the socio-economic and moral-spiritual issues of today’s world. It continues to exercise a powerful influence on the religious thoughts and actions of God’s people. In addition to that, this book reveals a new hermeneutical code of reading and interpreting the message of Jubilee. The synthesis of the exegetical analysis of the biblical texts regarding the Jubilee and Sabbath/Sabbath year and Moltmann’s understanding of this subject reveals the meaning and significance of the topic, how it is recognized, as well as its implications in today’s world. This synthesis reveals a new vision and starting point for socio-economic and moral-spiritual reform in our time.

“The biblical Sabbat / Jubilee-traditions are much richer than we thought. This book shows it. Theologically often neglected they are a source of new ideas to solve problems of human community and the ecology of the earth. That my theological works can be used to apply them today, is a surprise to me, a happy surprise.”
Jürgen Moltmann


Philosophical and Theological Responses to Syncretism

Beyond the Mirage of Pure Religion

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Edited by Mika Vähäkangas and Patrik Fridlund

Theological and Philosophical Responses to Syncretism: Beyond the Mirage of Pure Religion by Patrik Fridlund and Mika Vähäkangas (eds.) starts from the observation that there is a substantial gap between religions’ self-understanding and the empirical results of religious studies concerning religious blending. Even in theology of religion, one often portrays religions as if they were entities fundamentally separate from each other. The aims of this book are to elaborate theologically the consequences of syncretism to Christian faith and of syncretism to philosophy. By creating a critical interchange between theological, philosophical and empirical approaches to religion, this book challenges the conventional views of purity of religions prevailing in theology and philosophy as well as proposes theological and philosophical ways forward.

Contributors are: Jonas Adelin, Stephen Bevans, Gavin d’Costa, Patrik Fridlund, Lotta Gammelin, Elizabeth Harris, Jerker Karlsson, Paul Linjamaa, Kang-San Tan, Mika Vähäkangas.

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Cathal Doherty

How do sacraments differ from superstition? For Enlightenment philosophers such as Kant, both are merely natural actions claiming a supernatural effect, an accusation that has long been ignored in Catholic theology. In Maurice Blondel on the Supernatural in Human Action: Sacrament and Superstition, however, Cathal Doherty SJ reverses this accusation through a theological appropriation of Blondel's philosophy of action, arguing not only that sacraments have no truck with superstition but that the 'Enlightened' are themselves guilty of that which they most abhor, superstitious action. Doherty then uses Blondel's philosophical insights as a heuristic and corrective to putative sacramental theologies that would reduce the spiritual or supernatural efficacy of sacraments to the mere human effort of perception or symbolic interpretation.

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Edited by Koert van Bekkum, Jaap Dekker, Henk R. van den Kamp and Eric Peels

Since ancient times Leviathan and other monsters from the biblical world symbolize the life-threatening powers in nature and history. They represent the dark aspects of human nature and political entities and reveal the supernatural dimensions of evil. Ancient texts and pictures regarding these monsters reflect an environment of polytheism and religious pluralism. Remarkably, however, the biblical writings and post-biblical traditions use these venerated symbols in portraying God as being sovereign over the entire universe, a theme that is also prominent in the reception of these texts in subsequent contexts.
This volume explores this tension and elucidates the theological and cultural meaning of ‘Leviathan’ by studying its ancient Near Eastern background and its attestation in biblical texts, early and rabbinic Judaism, Christian theology, Early Modern art, and film.

Synopsis Purioris Theologiae / Synopsis of a Purer Theology 

Latin Text and English Translation: Volume 2, Disputations 24 - 42

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Henk van den Belt, Riemer Faber, Andreas Beck and William den Boer

This bilingual edition of the Synopsis Purioris Theologiae (1625) provides English readers access to an influential textbook of Reformed Orthodoxy. Composed by four professors at the University of Leiden (Johannes Polyander, Andreas Rivetus, Antonius Walaeus, and Anthonius Thysius), it offers a presentation of Reformed theology as it was conceived in the first decades of the seventeenth century. From a decidedly Reformed perspective, the Christian doctrine is defined in contrast with alternative or diverging views, such as those of Roman Catholics, Arminians, and Socinians. The Synopsis responds to challenges coming from the immediate theological, social, and philosophical contexts. The disputations of this second volume cover topics such as Predestination, Christology, Faith and Repentance, Justification and Sanctification, and Ecclesiology.

Synopsis Purioris Theologiae / Synopsis of a Purer Theology

Latin Text and English Translation: Volume 1, Disputations 1-23

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Edited by R.T. te Velde and Riemer Faber

This bilingual edition of the Synopsis Purioris Theologiae (1625) makes available for the first time to English readers a seminal treatise of Reformed Scholasticism. Composed by four professors of Leiden University (Johannes Polyander, Andreas Rivetus, Antonius Walaeus, and Anthonius Thysius) , it gives an exhaustive yet concise presentation of Reformed theology as it was conceived in the first decades of the seventeenth century. From a decidedly Reformed perspective, the Christian doctrine is defined in contrast with alternative or opposite views (Catholic, Spiritualist, Arminian, Socinian). Both on the academic level and on the ecclesiastical level, the Synopsis responds to challenges coming from the immediate context of the early seventeenth century. The disputations of this first volume cover topics such as Scripture, doctrine of God, Trinity, creation, sin, Law and Gospel.

Volume One was published in 2014, Volume Two came out in 2016. Volume Three, the final volume, is expected late 2019.

Early Ibāḍī Theology

Six kalām texts by ‘Abd Allāh b. Yazīd al-Fazārī

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Edited by Wilferd Madelung and Abdulrahman Al-Salimi

Early Ibāḍī Theology presents the critical edition of six Arabic theological texts recently discovered in two manuscripts in Mzāb in Algeria dating from the middle of the 8th century. The texts were sent by their author, the prominent Kūfan Ibāḍī kalām theologian ‘Abd Allāh b. Yazīd al-Fazārī to North Africa where he had a large following in the Ibāḍī community later known as the Nukkār. They constitute the earliest extant body of Muslim kalām theology and are vital for the study of the initial development of rational theology in Islam. The sophisticated treatment of the divine attributes in these texts indicates that this subject developed considerably earlier in Islamic theology than previously accepted in modern scholarship.

A New Apophaticism

Augustine and the Redemption of Signs

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Susannah Ticciati

In A New Apophaticism Susannah Ticciati draws on Augustine to develop an apophatic theology for the twenty-first century. Shifting the focus away from the potential and failure of words to say something about God, the book suggests that the purpose of God-language is to transform human beings in their relationship with God. Augustine's doctrine of predestination is read, with the help of speech-act theory and the study of indexicals, for its power to effect redemptive change; and his De doctrina christiana is drawn upon for its semiotics. Together they make way for the hypothesis that God-language transforms human beings into better signs of God.

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William B. Whitney

While much dialogue has focused on aspects of Colin Gunton’s Trinitarian theology, there has been a need for a full-scale study of Gunton's doctrine of creation that locates the significance of his understanding of creation within the wider spectrum of his theology. Problem and Promise demonstrates how Gunton's doctrine of creation cannot be read in abstraction from his Trinitarian theology and argues that creation remains a central feature in Gunton’s writing that holds lasting importance for understanding ethical and moral aspects of Gunton’s theology. William B. Whitney establishes how this Trinitarian account of creation goes beyond offering a theological description of the created realm and also provides the basis for understanding human involvement in creation through the enterprises of culture.

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R.T. te Velde

In The Doctrine of God Dolf te Velde examines the interaction of method and content in three historically important accounts of the doctrine of God. Does the method of a systematic theology affect the belief content expressed by it? Can substantial insights be detected that have a regulative function for the method of a doctrine of God?
This two-way connection of method and content is investigated in three phases of Reformed theology. The first seeks to discover inner dynamics of Reformed scholastic theology. The second part treats Karl Barth’s doctrine of God as a contrast model for scholasticism, understood in the framework of Barth’s theological method. The third part offers a first published comprehensive description and analysis of the so-called Utrecht School. The closing chapter draws some lines for developing a Reformed doctrine of God in the 21st century.