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Christianity and the Notion of Nothingness

Contributions to Buddhist-Christian Dialogue from the Kyoto School

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Kazuo MUTŌ

Edited by Martin Repp

This publication by Muto Kazuo is a significant Christian contribution to the predominantly Buddhist “Kyoto School of Philosophy.” Muto proposes a philosophy of religion in order to overcome the claim for Christian exclusivity, as proposed by Karl Barth and others. On such a foundation, he investigates the possibilities for mutual understanding between Buddhism and Christianity. Thereby he engages in a critical exchange with the Kyoto School philosophers Nishida, Tanabe, and Nishitani. Throughout his discourse, Muto applies their method of logical argument (the “dialectic” of soku) to the dialogue between Christianity and Buddhism. He thus opens up new perceptions of Christian faith in the Asian context and, together with his Buddhist teachers, challenges the modern Western dialectical method of reasoning.

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Michael R. Trice

Interest in recent years in reconciliation and conflict transformation has witnessed a great deal of attention to building a future through forgiveness and preventative measures in order to impede egregious wrongdoing. This effort for a reconciled future is absent reflection on the nature of cruelty. Cruelty has always been apparent in massive acts of wrongdoing and yet is repeatedly concealed in our assessment of the acts themselves. This book is a theologically honest and deep-structure exploration of cruelty in its personal, communal and institutional encounters in human life. Drawing on Nietzsche's challenge of cruelty to the western tradition, the work offers a comprehensive study of how cruelty undermines care, trust, respect and justice – all those elements of human reciprocity that mark our lives as interdependent beings. The work concludes with a tightly written Epilogue on interpreting the theological meaning and accessibility of reconciliation today.

M.C.A. Korpel and Johannes C. de Moor

The silence of God is a recurring theme in modern reflection. It is not only addressed in theology, religious studies and philosophy, but also in literary fiction, film and theatre. The authors show that the concept of a silent deity emerged in the ancient Near East (including Greece). What did the Ancients mean when they assumed that under circumstances their deities remained silent? What reasons are discernable for silence between human beings and their gods? For the first time the close interrelation between the divine and the human in the revelatory process is demonstrated here on the basis of a wealth of translated ancient texts. In an intriguing epilogue, the authors explore the theological consequences of what they have found.

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.

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A. van de Beek, Eduardus van der Borght and Bernardus Vermeulen

The idea of freedom of religion was developed in Europe in the 16th and 17th century in the context of religious diversity as an alternative for religious wars. The concept requires reconsideration in the current globalized culture: religious plurality has increased as has the awareness of the religious potential for social cohesion and for sectarian division and violence. In this volume, legal experts, sociologists, theologians, and philosophers clarify the historical development of the concept, and analyze the present situation in various countries with religious tensions. They propose possible models and solutions, and discuss the fundamental question of whether the Western model of human rights with its separation of religion and state and freedom of religion can be conceived as universal.

God and the World of Signs

Trinity, Evolution, and the Metaphysical Semiotics of C. S. Peirce

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Andrew Robinson

Christianity has been described as “a religion seeking a metaphysic”. Drawing on the philosophy of C. S. Peirce, Robinson develops a metaphysical framework centred around a ‘semiotic model’ of the Trinity. The model invites a fresh approach to the claim that Jesus was the incarnate Word of God and suggests a new way of understanding how nature may bear the imprint of the Triune Creator in the form of ‘vestiges of the Trinity in creation’. Scientific spin-offs include a new perspective on the problem of the origin of life and a novel hypothesis about the evolution of human distinctiveness. The result is an original contribution to Trinitarian theology and a bold new way of integrating philosophy, science and religion.

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Henk van den Belt

The authority of Scripture is the cornerstone of Reformed theology. Calvin introduced the term autopistos from Greek philosophy to express that this authority does not depend on the church or on rational arguments, but is self-convincing. After dealing with Calvin’s Institutes, the development of Reformed orthodoxy, and the positions of Benjamin B. Warfield and Herman Bavinck, the author draws theological conclusions, advocating a renewed emphasis on the autopistia of Scripture as starting point for Reformed theology in a postmodern context. The subject-object scheme leads to separating the certainty of faith from the authority of Scripture. The autopistia of Scripture, understood as a confessional statement, implies that truth and trust are inseparable.

Naming and Thinking God in Europe Today

Theology in Global Dialogue

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Edited by Norbert Hintersteiner

Is there a new need and place for God-talk in Europe? The present volume both confirms this and opens up new questions for discussion. It shows how different traditions of naming and thinking God in Europe draw on various theoretical and philosophical foundations that are in competition with one another in many ways. Due to socio-cultural, historical and political divides between Eastern and Western Europe, these theological traditions often suffer from isolation and mutual misunderstanding. Can the inherent tensions and conflicts be understood more adequately?
While exploring a variety of approaches in Europe on the topic, several authors also ask: How can God be named and thought in Europe, which finds itself in the midst of complex crosscultural and interreligious processes - particularly as immigration increases and peoples of non-Christian faith traditions name and think God in ways that differ from and sometimes conflict with Europe's dominant religion(s) and secular culture? What function and impact will traditional God-talk have in a globalizing Europe as religions such as Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism move into the foreground?
This volume not only reveals the broad spectrum of its topic but also documents the vivid seeking undertaken by a new generation of European theologians and scholars of religion who openly engage the question of how to live and believe in Europe today, facing complex global challenges.
The series "Intercultural Theology and Study of Religions" will appear as a joint publication by Brill | Rodopi, Leiden - Boston and Verlag Königshausen und Neumann, Würzburg. The German editions will be published by Verlag Königshausen und Neumann, all other publications by Rodopi.

Die Reihe "Theologie Interkulturell und Studium der Religionen" wird gemeinsam von Brill | Rodopi, Leiden - Boston, und dem Verlag Königshausen und Neumann, Würzburg, herausgegeben. Die Veröffentlichungen in deutscher Sprache erscheinen im Verlag Königshausen und Neumann, alle anderen bei Rodopi.

The series published two volumes over the last 5 years.

Tradition und Traditionsbruch zwischen Skepsis und Dogmatik

Interkulturelle philosophische Perspektiven

Edited by Claudia Bickmann, Hermann-Josef Scheidgen, Tobias Voßhenrich and Markus Wirtz

Tradition und Traditionsbruch gehören zu den entscheidenden Herausforderungen in einer beschleunigt zusammenwachsenden Welt. Sollen beide Seiten nicht in einem unfriedlichen Antagonismus verharren, so ist Prämissentransparenz und Grenzbestimmung der je eigenen und fremden Argumente gefragt. In der Auseinandersetzung mit klassischen Quellen der europäischen und außereuropäischen Philosophiegeschichte soll der vorliegende Band zeigen, daß Selbstkritik und Selbstaffirmation in allen Weltphilosophien nur mehr zwei entgegengesetzte Reaktionen auf eine von innen oder von außen gefährdete Identität zum Ausdruck bringen. Skepsis und Dogmatik betreffen darum nicht allein den Kern der abendländischen Annäherungen, sondern sie treffen den Nerv aller Weltphilosophien gleichermaßen. Skeptisch-kritische Positionen prägen ebenso die buddhistische, taoistische und islamische Philosophie; spekulativ-systematische Ansätze finden ihren Niederschlag in der islamischen, der hinduistischen wie auch der europäischen Philosophie; rationalistische und analytische Strömungen lassen sich in allen genannten philosophischen Traditionen ausfindig machen. Leitend ist darum die gemeinsame Frage: Wie ist Identitätskonstruktion in Traditionen möglich, ohne dogmatisch zu werden, und wie können Relativität und Skepsis ihre produktive Funktion entfalten, ohne auf die Universalität der Werte (wie etwa der Menschenrechte) verzichten zu müssen?