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Diversity in the Structure of Christian Reasoning

Interpretation, Disagreement, and World Christianity

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Joshua Broggi

Diversity in the Structure of Christian Reasoning examines the effect of Christian commitments on rationality. When Christians read scripture, traditions supply concepts that shape what counts as normal, good, and true. This book offers an account of how different communities produce divergent readings of the Bible. It considers two examples from World Christianity, first a Bakongo community in central Africa, and then a Tamil bishop in southern India. Each case displays a relation between tradition and reason that reconfigures the hermeneutical picture developed by Martin Heidegger and Hans-Georg Gadamer. To see what transpires when readers decide about a correct interpretation, this book offers theologians and scholars of religion a fresh strategy that keeps in view the global character of modern Christianity.

The Question of Theological Truth

Philosophical and Interreligious Perspectives

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Edited by Frederiek Depoortere and Magdalen Lambkin

In today’s world, the boundaries within which Christian theologians operate are becoming ever more permeable, and Christian theology is increasingly influenced and challenged by multiple “outside” factors. In Western Europe, two such factors stand out in particular: the so-called “turn to religion” in continental philosophy and religious diversity. Theologians working with contemporary continental philosophers and theologians engaging the multireligious world tend to work quite separately from one another. The aim of the present book is therefore to initiate a conversation between these two groups of theologians. The question of truth was chosen because it is both a key issue in contemporary-philosophical debates (in the continental and analytic traditions) and one that arises in complex and problematic ways in the praxis of, and theoretical reflection on, interreligious dialogue. Some of the pressing questions that are addressed by the contributors to this volume are: What is truth? What is theological truth? How does the issue of truth arise from interreligious encounter? To what extent can or should the nature of truth be discussed explicitly during interreligious dialogue? Or should the question of truth be rather postponed in the interest of successful interreligious encounter? Is there a hermeneutical concept of truth and, if so, how can it be of help for theological reflection on the question of truth and on the role and place of truth in the context of dialogue between religions?

Wrestling with God and with Evil

Philosophical Reflections

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Edited by Hendrik M. Vroom

The fact of evil continues to raises questions – questions about the relationship between God and evil but also questions about human involvement in it. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, it is now time to see the existence of evil not just as a problem for belief in God; it is a problem for belief in humanity itself as well. For human involvement in evil is not simply a matter of coping with evil but also concerns the fact that humans themselves often seem to do wrong and evil inevitably. Human finitude, ignorance and the unforeseeable consequences of good intentions as well as of neglect can often lead to tragedy.
This volume contains contributions from an equal number of male and female scholars in Western Europe and America. It contains discussions of thinkers like Kant, Kierkegaard, Barth, Weil, Levinas, Naber, Caputo and Johnson. It deals with issues like tragedy, finitude, critiques of Western culture, violence and God, and the question of whether theodicies are needed or are even honest. This volume offers an interesting survey of ‘wrestling with God and evil’ from a variety of perspectives in the philosophy of religion on both sides of the Atlantic.

A Spectrum of Worldviews

An Introduction to Philosophy of Religion in a Pluralistic World

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Hendrik M. Vroom

This book is an introduction to philosophy of religion from the perspective of a religiously pluralistic culture. It deals with introductory questions such as whether we can we understand, compare, and judge the insights of others and the ways in which people can speak and think about God. It introduces the classical themes of philosophy of religion - immanent and transcendent ideas of God and (im)personality; transcendence, good, and evil; religion, morality and society - using a distinction between cosmic, acosmic and theistic ideas of the divine. This introduction helps us discover differences and commonalities and thus helps further an emphatic and critical dialogue. This book explores how comparative theology and philosophy of religion can move beyond the dead-end roads of relativism and exclusivism.

Limping but Blessed

Jürgen Moltmann’s Search for a Liberating Anthropology

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Ton van Prooijen

For Jürgen Moltmann, theological anthropology must be liberating. It should take a stand against dehumanizing images and concepts of human life and point out ways to “true humanity.” In his view, a theologian can develop such a liberating anthropology only if he speaks explicitly from the perspective of God’s kingdom as conceived in the Bible and the Christian tradition and if he speaks to and in his context, as one who experiences contemporary sufferings and hopes. But how? This book analyzes the development of Moltmann’s theology in the light of this quest for a liberating view on human life. It examines the anthropological concerns in the different stages of his theological enterprise: his post-war Trümmertheologie, the “loose theological threads” of the 1950s, his theology of hope and promise in the 1960s, his theology of the cross, human rights and play in the 1970s and his ecological and “charismatic” theology of the 1980s and 1990s. Moltmann’s theological thinking has taken place consciously at the intersection of personal experiences, historical challenges, biblical testimony and the fundamentals of the Christian tradition. Analyzing his quest for a liberating anthropology in a chronological way, this study therefore gives an impression of the frictions and fault lines of Christian anthropology in the context of the societal changes during the second half of the twentieth century. A concluding chapter discusses some of the problems accentuated in the course of this analysis and evaluates some valuable leads for a Christian anthropology today.

Dimensions of Mystical Experiences

Empirical Studies and Psychological Links

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Ralph W. Hood Jr.