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Walking on the Pages of the Word of God

Self, Land, and Text Among Evangelical Volunteers in Jerusalem

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Aron Engberg

In Walking on the Pages of the Word of God Aron Engberg explores the religious language and identities of evangelical volunteer workers in contemporary Jerusalem. The volunteers are connected to Christian organizations which consider their work a natural consequence of the biblical promises to Israel and their responsibility to “bless the Jewish people”.

Relying on ethnographic data of the discursive practices of the volunteers, the book explores a central puzzle of Zionist Christianity: the narrative production of Israel’s religious significance and its relationship to broader Christian language traditions. By focusing on the volunteers’ stories about themselves, the land and the Bible, Aron Engberg offers a convincing account about how the State of Israel is finding its way into evangelical identities.

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.

Relocating World Christianity

Interdisciplinary Studies in Universal and Local Expressions of the Christian Faith 

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Edited by Joel Cabrita, David Maxwell and Emma Wild-Wood

Existing scholarship on World Christianities tends to privilege the local and the regional. In addition to offering an explanation for this tendency, the editors and contributors of this volume also offer a new perspective. An Introduction, Afterword and case-studies argue for the importance of transregional connections in the study of Christianity worldwide. Returning to an older post-war conception of ‘World Christianity’ as an international, ecumenical fellowship, the present volume aims to highlight the universalist, globalising aspirations of many Christians worldwide. While we do not neglect the importance of the local, our aim is to give due weight to the significant transregional networks and exchanges that have constituted Christian communities, both historically and in the present day.

Contributors are: J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, Naures Atto, Joel Cabrita, Pedro Feitoza, David C. Kirkpatrick, Chandra Mallampalli, David Maxwell, Dorottya Nagy, Peter C. Phan, Andrew Preston, Joel Robbins, Chloe Starr, Charlotte Walker-Said, Emma Wild-Wood.

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Edited by Roel Meijer and Nils Butenschøn

The Crisis of Citizenship in the Arab World argues that the present crisis of the Arab world has its origins in the historical, legal and political development of state-citizen relations since the beginning of modern history in the Middle East and North Africa. The anthology covers three main topics. Part I focuses on the crisis of the social pact in different Arab countries as it became manifest during the Arab Uprisings. Part II concentrates on concepts of citizenship in Islamic doctrine, Islamic movements (Muslim Brotherhood and Salafism), secular political movements and Arab thinkers. Part III looks into the practices that support the claims to equal rights as well as the factors that have obstructed full citizen rights, such as patronage and clientelism.

Contributors are: Ida Almestad, Claire Beaugrand, Assia Boutaleb, Michaelle Browers, Nils Butenschøn, Anthony Gorman, Raymond Hinnebusch, Engin F. Isin, Rania Maktabi, Roel Meijer, Emin Poljarevic, Ola Rifai, James Sater, Rachel Scott, Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen, Robert Springborg, Stig Stenslie, Morten Valbjørn, Knut S. Vikør and Sami Zemni.

For the Introduction, please click here

Religion, Migration and Identity

Methodological and theological explorations

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Edited by Martha Frederiks and Dorottya Nagy

Migration has become a major concern. The increase in migration in the 20th and 21st centuries has social, political and economic implications, but also effectuates change in the religious landscape, in religious beliefs and practices and in the way people understand themselves, each other and the world around them. In Religion, Migration and Identity scholars from various disciplines explore issues related to identity and religion, that people - individually and communally -, encounter when affected by migration dynamics. The volume foregrounds methodology in its exploration of the juxtaposition of religion, migration and identity and addresses questions which originate in various geographical locations, demonstrates new modes of interconnectedness, and thus aims to contribute to the ongoing academic discussions on mission, theology and the Christian tradition in general, in a worldwide perspective.

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 Henrik Bogdan and J.A.M. Snoek

Freemasonry is the largest, oldest, and most influential secret society in the world. The Brill Handbook of Freemasonry is a pioneering work that brings together, for the first time, leading scholars on Freemasonry. The first section covers historical perspectives, such as the origins and early history of Freemasonry. The second deals with the relationship between Freemasonry and specific religious traditions such as the Catholic Church, Judaism, and Islam. In the third section, organisational themes, such as the use of rituals, are explored, while the fourth section deals with issues related to society and politics - women, blacks, colonialism, nationalism, and war. The fifth and final section is devoted to Freemasonry and culture, including music, literature, modern art, architecture and material culture.

Jesus Incognito

The Hidden Christ in Western Art since 1960

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Martien E. Brinkman

In this book Martien Brinkman explores the Jesus incognito as found in Western film, literature, and the visual arts since 1960. His interest here is focused primarily on indirect references to the Jesus figure. To his surprise, he found an abundance of allusions to Jesus in key figures in modern art. This confirmed his view that film, literature, and the visual arts make a substantial contribution, even in secular Western culture, to continuing reflection on Jesus’ significance.
Brinkman finds important characteristics of a hidden Christ in films by Gabriel Axel, Ingmar Bergman, Krzysztof Kieslowski, and Lars von Trier, novels by Peter De Vries, J.M. Coetzee, and Arnon Grunberg, poems by Les Murray and Czeslaw Milosz, and paintings by Andy Warhol, Harald Duwe, and Frans Franciscus. He defines a hidden Christ as a fictional human individual who can be seen as a new embodiment of the meaning that can be attributed in the present to the biblical figure of Jesus. The hidden Christ is therefore a contemporized Jesus figure.
This book will be of interest for everyone who shares Brinkman’s quest for this Jesus incognito.

Looking Beneath the Surface

Medical Ethics from Islamic and Western Perspectives

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Edited by Hendrik M. Vroom, Petra Verdonk, Marzouk Aulad Abdellah and Martina C. Cornel

Looking Beneath the Surface explores Arab-Islamic and Western perspectives on medical ethical issues: genetic research and treatment, abortion, organ donation, and palliative sedation and euthanasia. The contributions in this volume discuss the state of the (medical) art, the role of laws, counseling, and spiritual counseling in the decision-making process.
The different approaches to the ethical issues, ways of moral reasoning, become clear in these contributions, especially the role of tradition for Islam and the importance of autonomy for the West. Beneath the differences, however, the reader will also discover common values, such as the role of dignity and the value of life, and similar practices. Some of the main differences are sociocultural in nature, rather than religious as such.
Well-known experts in the fields of medicine and ethics have contributed to this volume from different religious and secular backgrounds. The book offers a carefully written introduction and final chapter on intercultural comparisons. Looking Beneath the Surface is more than a collection of writings on issues in medical ethics: it helps the reader to compare different paradigms of accountability and moral reasoning.