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A Challenge for Contemporary Theology
Editors: Judith Hahn and Gunda Werner
The term mercy is currently omnipresent in Catholic debates. It dominates at events such as the recent Family Synods and the Jubilee Years. At the same time, it poses a significant problem for cases dealing with sexual abuse. Mercy calls to consider an individual's needs and this conflicts with justice necessitating equal treatment for everyone. Mercy applies to the fallible individual deserving of punishment, but who is saved by grace. This is most apparent in the Sacrament of Penance and other forms of penitence, forgiveness, and reconciliation where mercy both transcends and undermines justice. This problem, widely ignored in church teaching, is addressed by Dirk Ansorge, James Dallen, Judith Hahn, Atria A. Larson, Sandra Lassak, Michael A. Nobel, Rosel Oehmen-Vieregge, Heike Springhart, and Gunda Werner.
Those who have a passing knowledge of John Calvin’s theology and reforms in Geneva in the sixteenth century may picture the confident and mature theologian and preacher without appreciating the various events, people, and circumstances that shaped the man. Before there was Protestantism’s first and eminent systematic theologian, there was the French youth, the law student and humanist, the Protestant convert and homeless exile, the reluctant reformer and anguished city leader. Snapshots of the young Calvin create a collage that give a bigger picture to the grey-bearded Protestant reformer. Eleven scholars of early-modern history have joined in this volume to depict the people, movements, politics, education, sympathizers, nemeses, and controversies from which Calvin immerged in his young adulthood.
Author: William J. Hoye
Aquinas’ theology can be understood only if one comes to grips with his metaphysics of being. The relevance of this perspective is exhibited in his treatment of topics like creation, goodness, happiness, truth, freedom of the will, the unity of the human being, prayer and providence, God’s personhood, divine love, God and violence, God’s unknowablility, the Incarnation, the Trinity, God’s existence, theological language and even laughter. This book endeavors to treat these questions in a clear and convincing language. Is there a better method for improving one’s own theology than by grappling with the arguments of Thomas Aquinas?
This volume offers fresh reflections on John Owen, a leading Reformed theologian who sat on the brink of a new age. His seventeenth- century theology and spirituality reflect the growing tensions, and pre-modern and modern tendencies. Exploring Owen in this context helps readers better understand the seventeenth-century dynamics of individualization and rationalization, the views of God and self, community and the world. The authors of this volume investigate Owen’s approach to various key themes, including his Trinitarian piety, catholicity, doctrine of scripture, and public prayer. Owen’s international reception and current historiographical challenges are also highlighted.

Contributors are: Joel R. Beeke, Henk van den Belt, Gert A. van den Brink, Hans Burger, Daniel R. Hyde, Kelly M. Kapic, Reinier W. de Koeijer, Ryan M. McGraw, David P. Murray, Carl R. Trueman, Willem van Vlastuin.
Prosopological Exegesis and the Development of Pre-Nicene Pneumatology
Author: Kyle Hughes
In The Trinitarian Testimony of the Spirit, Kyle R. Hughes offers a new approach to the development of early Christian pneumatology by focusing on how Justin, Irenaeus, and Tertullian linked the Holy Spirit with testimony to the deity and lordship of the Father and the Son. Drawing extensively on recent studies of prosopological exegesis and divine testimony in the ancient world, Hughes demonstrates how these three pre-Nicene Christian writers utilized Scripture and the conventions of ancient rhetoric and exegesis to formulate a highly innovative approach to the Holy Spirit that would contribute to the identification of the Spirit as the third person of the Trinity.

Re/configuring Gender Studies in Religion
An interdisciplinary gender-sensitive approach toward perspectives on the everyday and the sacred are the hallmark of this volume. Looking beyond the dualistic status-quo, the authors probe the categories, textures, powers, and practices that define how we experience, embody, and understand religion and the sacred, their interconnection, but also disassociation with the secular.

Contributions by an international group of feminist theologians and religious studies scholars aim to re-configure the study of both religion and gender: Angela Berlis, Anne-Marie Korte, Kune Biezeveld †, Helga Kuhlmann, Maaike de Haardt, Akke van der Kooi, Dorothea Erbele-Küster, Willien van Wieringen, Magda Misset-van de Weg, Gé Speelman, Mathilde van Dijk, Jacqueline Borsje, Hedwig Meyer-Wilmes, Goedroen Juchtmans, Alma Lanser and Riet Bons-Storm.
In Francis A. Sullivan, S.J. and Ecclesiological Hermeneutics, Canaris traces the significant contributions that Francis A. Sullivan, S.J. has made to Catholic ecclesiology, paying particular attention to the method and application of his hermeneutical approach to the writings of the magisterium.

Though highly esteemed by professional theologians in both Catholic and ecumenical circles, Sullivan is less well-known among general audiences than many of his peers. The author addresses this lacuna by arguing that Sullivan’s work, when viewed through an interpretive lens, can aid the faithful to engage seriously with magisterial texts of various genres and levels of authority, find meaning within them, and encourage an active reception process whereby contemporary understanding of the teaching (and learning) role of the entire church becomes possible.
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.

Conversion is an important characteristic of religious renewal, and of the dialogue between churches and religious believers. In the Roman Catholic Church, conversion has played a significant role in ecumenical dialogue recently. It has become a challenge for the Church as a whole, instead of a call to individual believers alone. The contributors of this volume explore the different aspects of conversion in the history of theology, in the developments during and after the Second Vatican Council, in the Ignatian tradition, and in several ecclesial groups that have explored the opportunities of the ongoing renewal of the churches.

Contributors are: André Birmelé, Inigo Bocken, Erik Borgman, Catherine Clifford, Peter De Mey, Adelbert Denaux, Eugene Duffy, Stephan van Erp, Joep van Gennip, Thomas Green, Wiel Logister, Annemarie Mayer, Jos Moons, Marcel Sarot, Karim Schelkens, Nico Schreurs, Matthias Smalbrugge, and Arnold Smeets.

In A Reformed Voice in the Ecumemenical Discussion Martien E. Brinkman offers a critical account of the main international ecumenical developments of the last three decades. He delivers a sketch of the Reformed contribution to the ecumenical dialogues dealing with issues like contextuality, state-church relations, the ethical implications of baptism, the church as sacrament of the kingdom and apostolic tradition.

He pleas for a stronger non-Western input in the ecumenical discussions and emphasizes that in many contexts (Indonesia, India, China) the interreligious dialogue has become part of the inner-Christian dialogue. This study can be considered as a constructive contribution to the development of a hermeneutics of tradition and puts itself the critical question what is lost and found in translation.