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Edited by Mark Beaumont and Maha El Kaisy-Friemuth

al-Radd al-jamīl attributed to al-Ghazālī (d. 1111) is the most extensive and detailed refutation of the divinity of Jesus by a Muslim author in the classical period of Islam. Since the discovery of the manuscript in the 1930’s scholars have debated whether the great Muslim theologian al-Ghazālī was really the author.

This is a new critical edition of the Arabic text and the first complete English translation. The introduction situates this work in the history of Muslim anti-Christian polemical writing. Mark Beaumont and Maha El Kaisy-Friemuth argue that this refutation comes from an admirer of al-Ghazālī who sought to advance some of his key ideas for an Egyptian audience.

Reading the Bible across Contexts

Luke’s Gospel, Socio-Economic Marginality, and Latin American Biblical Hermeneutics

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Esa J. Autero

In Reading the Bible Across Contexts Esa Autero offers a fresh perspective on Luke’s poverty texts. In addition to an historical reading, he conducted an empirical investigation of two Latin American Bible reading groups – one poor and the other affluent – to shed light on Luke’s poverty texts. The interaction between historical reading and present-day readings demonstrates the impact of socio-economic status on biblical hermeneutics and sheds new light on Luke’s views on wealth and poverty. At the same time Esa Autero critically examines liberation theologian’s claim that poor are privileged biblical interpreters.

The Contested Origins of the 1865 Arabic Bible

Contributions to the Nineteenth Century Nahḍa

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David D. Grafton

This study examines the history of an Arabic Bible translation of American missionaries in late Ottoman Syria. Comparing the history of this project as recorded by the American missionaries with private correspondence and the manuscripts of the translation, The Contested Origins of the 1865 Arabic Bible provides new evidence for the Bible’s compilation, including the seminal role of Syrian Christians and Muslims. This research also places the project within the wider social-political framework of a transforming Ottoman Empire, where the rise of a literate class in Beirut served as a catalyst for the Arabic literary renaissance (Nahḍa), and within the international field of New Testament textual studies.

Freedom of Religion in the 21st Century

A human rights perspective on the relation between politics and religion

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Hans-Georg Ziebertz and Ernst Hirsch Ballin

Freedom of religion consists of the right to practice, to manifest and to change one’s religion. The modern democratic state is neutral towards the variety of religions, but protects the right of citizens to practice their different religious beliefs. Recent history shows that a number of religious claims challenge the neutral state. This happens especially when secularity is rejected as the basis of the modern state. How can conflicting interpretations of the relation between religion and state be balanced in our world? This book reflects on conflicts that seem to be implied in the freedom of religion, on its causes and how they can be overcome.

Contributors are: Katajun Armipur, Ernst Hirsch Ballin, Ian Cameron, Susanne Döhnert, Leslie Francis, Carsten Gennerich, Handi Hadiwitanto, Mandy Robbins, Prof. Hans Schilderman, Stefanie Schmahl, Carl Sterkens, Alexander Unser, Johannes A. van der Ven and Hans-Georg Ziebertz.

Gender Justice in Muslim-Christian Readings

Christian and Muslim Women in Norway: Making Meaning of Texts from the Bible, the Koran, and the Hadith

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Anne Hege Grung

In recent decades, women in the Christian and Islamic traditions have been negotiating what it means to participate in religious practice as a woman within the two traditions, and how to interpret canonical scripture. This book creates a shared space for Muslim and Christian women with diverse cultural and denominational backgrounds, by making meaning of texts from the Bible, the Koran, and the Hadith. It builds on the reading and discussion of the Hagar narratives, as well as 1 Timothy 2:8-15 and Sura 4:34 from the New Testament and the Koran respectively, by a group of both Christian and Muslim women. Interpretative strategies and contextual analyses emerge from the hermeneutical analysis of the women’s discussions on the ambiguous contributions of the texts mentioned above to the traditional views on women.
This book shows how intertextual dialogue between the Christian and Islamic traditions establishes an interpretative community through the encounter of Christian and Muslim readers. The negotiation between a search for gender justice and the Christian and Islamic traditions as lived religions is extended into a quest for gender justice through the co-reading of texts. In times when gender and the status of women are played into the field of religious identity politics, this book shows that bringing female readers together to explore the canonical texts in the two traditions provides new insights about the texts, the contexts, and the ways in which Muslim-Christian dialogue can provide complex and promising hermeneutical space where important questions can be posed and shared strategies found.

Transcendence and Sensoriness

Perceptions, Revelation, and the Arts

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Edited by Svein Aage Christoffersen, Geir Tryggve Hellemo, Leonora Onarheim, Nils Holger Petersen and Margunn Sandall

Protestant theology and culture are known for a reserved, at times skeptical, attitude to the use of art and aesthetic forms of expression in a religious context. In Transcendence and Sensoriness, this attitude is analysed and discussed both theoretically and through case studies considered in a broad theological and philosophical framework of religious aesthetics. Nordic scholars of theology, philosophy, art, music, and architecture, discuss questions of transcendence, the human senses, and the arts in order to challenge established perspectives within the aesthetics of religion and theology.

Charismatic Practice and Catholic Parish Life

The Incipient Pentecostalization of the Church in Guatemala and Latin America

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Jakob Egeris Thorsen

In Charismatic Practice and Catholic Parish Life - the Incipient Pentecostalization of the Church in Guatemala and Latin America, Jakob Egeris Thorsen offers a detailed ethnographic and theological analysis of the impact of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal on the Catholic Church in the region. Based on fieldwork, this interdisciplinary study examines how Charismatic practice and spirituality permeate both local parish life and the pastoral plans of the Catholic Church in Guatemala and Latin America.

The Charismatic Renewal is the largest lay movement in Latin America and has a profound influence on the Catholic Church. This book analyses both the social and ecclesiological consequences of an incipient Pentecostalization of Guatemalan and Latin American Catholicism.

Early Christian-Muslim Debate on the Unity of God

Three Christian Scholars and Their Engagement with Islamic Thought (9th Century C.E.)

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Sara Leila Husseini

Early Christian-Muslim Debate on the Unity of God examines the writings of three of the earliest known Christian theologians to write comprehensive theological works in Arabic. Theodore Abū Qurra, Abū Rā’iṭa and ‘Ammār al-Baṣrī provide valuable insight into early Christian-Muslim debate shortly after the rise of the Islamic empire.
Through close examination of their writings on the doctrine of the Trinity, Sara Husseini demonstrates the creativity of these theologians, who make use of language, style and argumentation characteristic of Islamic theological thought (kalām), in order to help articulate their long-established religious truths. Husseini offers close analysis of the authors individually and comparatively, exploring their engagement with Islamic theology and their role in this fascinating period.

The Concept of Religion

Defining and Measuring Contemporary Beliefs and Practices

Edited by Hans Schilderman

In The Concept of Religion Hans Schilderman edits a volume on the definition and empirical study of religion within the changing landscape of modern society. Now that we can no longer assume a simple harmony between the scientific concept of religion, church doctrine and practiced belief, issues concerning the definition and measurement of religion are becoming crucial issues to academic institutions. The contributing authors present empirical studies studying issues of lifespan and socialisation at school settings; of vocation and profession at church and hospital settings; and culture and nation of society at large. The volume offers a beautiful sample of the empirical study of religion; a conceptual and illustrative overview of the academic field for students and scholars in religion.

Pneumatology and the Christian-Buddhist Dialogue

Does the Spirit Blow through the Middle Way?

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Amos Yong

Recent thinking in Christian theology of religions has taken a “pneumatological turn” which asks how the doctrine of the Holy Spirit can contribute to the interreligious dialogue and to the emerging discourse of comparative theology. Pneumatology and the Christian-Buddhist Dialogue. Does the Spirit Blow through the Middle Way? tests the viability of this approach as applied to the Christian-Buddhist dialogue. Various Christian and Buddhist traditions are compared and contrasted within a pneumatological framework. Is the Holy Spirit to be found along the Buddha’s middle way? Some Christians say yes, while others demur. The thesis of this volume is that such a pneumatological perspective opens up possibilities for the deepening and transformation of Christian theology in the religiously plural world of the twenty-first century.