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The Philosophy of Spirituality

Analytic, Continental and Multicultural Approaches to a New Field of Philosophy

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Edited by Heather Salazar and Roderick Nicholls

The essays in The Philosophy of Spirituality explore a new field in philosophy. Until recently, most philosophers in the analytic and continental Western traditions treated spirituality as a religious concept. Any non-religious spirituality tended to be neglected or dismissed as irremediably vague. Here, from various philosophical and cultural perspectives, it is addressed as a subject of independent interest.

This is a philosophical response to increasing numbers of spiritual but not religious people inhabiting secular societies and the heightened interaction between a multitude of spiritual traditions in a globalized age. A provocative array of approaches (African, Indigenous, Indian, Stoic, and Sufic perspectives, as well as Western analytic and continental views) offer fresh insights, many articulated by emerging voices.

Contributors are Mariapaola Bergomi, Moses Biney, Christopher Braddock, Drew Chastain, Kerem Eksen, Nikolay Milkov, Roderick Nicholls, Jerry Piven, Heather Salazar, Eric Steinhart, Richard White, Mark Wynn and Eric Yang.

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Clemens Sedmak

The experience of displacement is shared by people who work internationally. The capacity to be displaced is a necessary strength and skill for people working across cultures, particularly for missionaries. In order to deal with the stressful nature of displacement people need to be resilient, resilience makes people flourish in adverse circumstances. This volume presents a specific type of resilience, namely “resilience nourished by inner sources.” Cultivating inner resilience draws on all the facets of a person’s interior life: thoughts and memories, hopes and desires, beliefs and convictions, concerns and emotions. The notion of inner strength and resilience from within is developed using many examples from missionaries and development workers as well as case studies from all over the world.

Theory of Religious Cycles

Tradition, Modernity, and the Bahá’í Faith

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Mikhail Sergeev

In Theory of Religious Cycles: Tradition, Modernity and the Bahá’í Faith Mikhail Sergeev offers a new interpretation of the Soviet period of Russian history as a phase within the religious evolution of humankind by developing a theory of religious cycles, which he applies to modernity and to all the major world faiths of Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam.

Sergeev argues that in the course of its evolution religion passes through six common phases—formative, orthodox, classical, reformist, critical, and post-critical. Modernity, which was started by the European Enlightenment, represents the critical phase of Christianity, a systemic crisis that could be overcome with the appearance of new religious movements such as the Bahá’í Faith, which offers a spiritual extension of the modern worldview.

Migration as a Sign of the Times

Towards a Theology of Migration

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Edited by Judith Gruber and Sigrid Rettenbacher

Migrations are contested sites of identity negotiations: they are not simply a process of border crossings but more so of border shiftings. Rather than allowing migrants to swiftly move across stable borders from one clearly defined identity to another, migrations question and renegotiate these very identities. Migrations undermine and re-establish borders along which the identity of migrants (and also that of the supposedly settled population) are constituted, and, as a discourse, migrations serve as a contested site of negotiating identities. Migrations reveal the negotiable character of identities - and representations of migration are themselves a hotspot in contemporary identity constructions.

What can theology contribute to the negotiations on migration? The contributions of this volume work towards a reading of migration as a sign of the times. Together, they offer "steps towards a theology of migration." They show that migration calls for a new way of doing. A theology that is exposed to migration as a sign of the times is drwan into the shifting, unsettling, and undermining of borders. This has impact not only on the discourse of migration, but also on the discourse of theology: it calls theology to move away from its search for well-established definitions (literally: borders) of its God-talk and to venture into new, uncharted territory. It loses its fixed, clearly defined grounds and finds itself on the way toward a renegotiation of what it means to believe in, celebrate, and reflect on YHWH - on God who is with us on the way.

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Edited by Elena Namli, Jayne Svenungsson and Alana M. Vincent

In response to the grim realities of the present world Jewish thought has not tended to retreat into eschatological fantasy, but rather to project utopian visions precisely on to the present moment, envisioning redemptions that are concrete, immanent, and necessarily political in nature. In difficult times and through shifting historical contexts, the messianic hope in the Jewish tradition has functioned as a political vision: the dream of a peaceful kingdom, of a country to return to, or of a leader who will administer justice among the nations. Against this background, it is unsurprising that Jewish messianism in modern times has been transposed, and lives on in secular political movements and ideologies.
The purpose of this book is to contribute to the deeper understanding of the relationship between Jewish thought, utopia, and revolution, by taking a fresh look at its historical and religious roots. We approach the issue from several perspectives, with differences of opinion presented both in regard to what Jewish tradition is, and how to regard utopia and revolution. These notions are multifaceted, comprising aspects such as political messianism, religious renewal, Zionism, and different forms of Marxist and Anarchistic movements.

Oneness and the Displacement of Self

Dialogues on Self-Realization

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Michael Krausz

This book presents a fictional dialogue among four former college friends about Oneness and self-realization. News of the sudden death of a relative occasions their discussion. One friend, a devotee of the Advaita or non-duality school of Hindu philosophy, seeks to short-circuit the pain and suffering characteristically associated with anxieties about human mortality. According to her, to be is to be the ultimate ineffable undifferentiated Being, the birthless and the deathless—the One. The other friends, whose philosophical attitudes are broadly pragmatist, relativist, and realist, inquire into her views. While the pragmatist looks to the advaitist for guidance about meditative practices, she does not renounce human existence. She welcomes the joys and satisfactions as well as the burdens and pains of human existence. In turn, the relativist is skeptical about theories that aim to reach beyond one’s historical, cultural or personal frame of reference. On his view, to be is to be in relationship, especially with other human beings. Finally, the realist seeks objective, frame-independent truth. In addition, he holds that the world is comprised of individual objects and their properties. Accordingly, he finds the idea of Oneness to be incomprehensible.

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Edited by S.J. McGrath and Andrzej Wierciński

In the academic year 1920-1921 at the University of Freiburg, Martin Heidegger gave a series of extraordinary lectures on the phenomenological significance of the religious thought of St. Paul and St. Augustine. The publication of these lectures in 1995 settled a long disputed question, the decisive role played by Christian theology in the development of Heidegger’s philosophy. The lectures present a special challenge to readers of Heidegger and theology alike. Experimenting with language and drawing upon a wide range of now obscure authors, Heidegger is finding his way to Being and Time through the labyrinth of his Catholic past and his increasing fascination with Protestant theology. A Companion to Heidegger's Phenomenology of Religious Life is written by an international team of Heidegger specialists.

Theology in Intercultural Design / Theologie im Zeichen der Interkulturalität

Interdisciplinary Challenges – Positions – Perspectives / Interdisziplinäre Herausforderungen – Positionen – Perspektiven

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Edited by Claude Ozankom and Chibueze C. Udeani

Among the consequences of the all engulfing process of globalisation is the experience that not only it promotes interdependence among peoples, folks, cultures and religions, but it also creates problems and tensions. The assignment of a thoughtful and practice-oriented accompanying of this development poses itself subsequently. From this background different lectures are being conducted in different places; research initiatives as well as projects are started and executed while several publications are featuring. Visible here is the fact that although there abound rich reservoirs of knowledge, there is still no clarity as to the contents and the theoretical and methodical contrasts that are yet to be examined.

Zu den Folgen des um sich greifenden Globalisierungsprozesses, zählt die Erfahrung, dass er nicht nur die Interpendenz unter Menschen, Völkern, Kulturen und Religionen vorantreibt, sondern auch Probleme und Spannungen auslöst. Diese Situation ist denkerisch und praxisorientiert aufzuschließen. Es wurden an verschiedenen Standorten Lehrveranstaltungen durchgeführt, Forschungsprojekte in Angriff genommen und Publikationen vorgelegt. Auffällig hierbei ist: Obwohl der erreichte Wissensstand bereits reichhaltig ist, besteht keine Klarheit hinsichtlich der zu untersuchenden Inhalte und der theoretischen und methodischen Gegensätze.

The Vision of Gabriel Marcel

Epistemology, Human Person, the Transcendent

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Brendan Sweetman

This book illustrates the profound implications of Gabriel Marcel’s unique existentialist approach to epistemology not only for traditional themes in his work concerning ethics and the transcendent, but also for epistemological issues, concerning the objectivity of knowledge, the problem of skepticism, and the nature of non-conceptual knowledge, among others. There are also chapters of dialogue with philosophers, Jacques Maritain and Martin Buber. In focusing on these themes, the book makes a distinctive contribution to the literature on Marcel.

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Edited by Deane-Peter Baker and Patrick Maxwell

This book is an exploration of the content and dimensions of contemporary Continental philosophy of religion. It is also a showcase of the work of some of the philosophers who are, by their scholarship, filling out the meaning of the term Continental philosophy of religion.