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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.

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Ilsup Ahn

In an age of global migration, how should Christian theologians and church leaders respond to its various challenges and problems? What is a fundamental theological framework with which we are to engage in them? In this volume, Ilsup Ahn attempts to answer these questions by presenting a “Trinitarian theology of migration.” In doing so, he first provides an overview of recent theological works on migration by introducing their key theological insights. A Trinitarian theology of migration becomes possible as we begin to see that the three Sacred Persons (the Son, the Father, and the Holy Spirit) are distinctively, yet intrinsically involved with the phenomenon of human migration within God’s grand vision of liberation and redemption. From a Trinitarian theological perspective, in all stages of human migration from taking leave to getting integrated, migrants and citizens are called to join in God’s liberative and redemptive works for all the people of God.

Peter Schallenberg

Was ist das Fundament und was der letzte Sinn unserer Wirtschafts- und Sozialordnung? 70 Jahre Soziale Marktwirtschaft laden dazu ein, ihre christlich-sozialethische Grundierung wieder neu in den Blick zu nehmen.
200 Jahre nach der Geburt von Karl Marx und 10 Jahre nach der Finanzkrise sind die Fragen nach einer gerechten Gestaltung des Wirtschaftssystems von bleibender Aktualität. Aus der Perspektive katholischer Soziallehre gibt es keine ausbuchstabierte christliche Ökonomie. Auf der Grundlage ihrer Prinzipien ist allerdings nur ein Wirtschaftsmodell vertretbar, das gleichermaßen freiheitlich wie auch gerecht und solidarisch ausgestaltet ist. Die Frage nach den ethischen Grundlagen einer Marktwirtschaft, die das Prädikat „sozial“ trägt, soll hier neu gestellt werden. Dieser Band gibt darauf Antworten aus der Perspektive der Christlichen Sozialethik und der Moraltheologie.

Megachurches and Social Engagement

Public Theology in Practice

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Mark J. Cartledge, Sarah Dunlop, Heather Buckingham and Sophie Bremner

This book is the first detailed academic study of megachurches in the UK. In particular, it explores the nature and significance of social engagement by megachurches in the context of London. The research contains empirical case studies of two Anglican and three African diaspora Pentecostal churches. As well as exploring the range of social engagement activities provided by these churches, the study offers explanations in term of theological motivations and the influence of globalisation. Subsequently, the book outlines the importance of the findings for the relationship between church and society in the contemporary context, addressing the implications for social policy and practice. The book advances discussions in public theology, megachurch studies, Pentecostal and Charismatic studies and ecclesiology.

Karl Rahner, Culture and Evangelization

New Approaches in an Australian Setting

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Anthony Mellor

The situation of religious institutional diminishment in many Western countries requires new approaches to the proclamation of Christian faith. As a response to these complexities, Karl Rahner suggested a “mystagogic” approach as a future pathway for theology. A mystagogical approach seeks modes of spiritual and theological conversation which engage the religious imagination and draws upon personal experiences of transcendence and religious sensibility. In Karl Rahner, Culture and Evangelization: New Approaches in an Australian Setting, Anthony Mellor develops a reflective process of contemporary “mystagogia”, describing how different fields of engagement require different patterns of mystagogical conversation. While focussing on the Australian setting, these differentiate arenas of engagement are also applicable to other cultural settings and offer fresh perspectives for evangelization today.

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Tanya Riches

Worship and Social Engagement in Urban Aboriginal-led Australian Pentecostal Congregations: (Re)imagining Identity in the Spirit provides an ethnographic account of three Australian Pentecostal congregations with Aboriginal senior leadership. Within this Pentecostalism, Dreaming realities and identities must be brought together with the Christian gospel. Yet current political and economic relationships with the Australian state complicate the possibilities of interactions between culture and Spirit. The result is a matrix or network of these churches stretching across Australia, with Black Australian Pentecostals resisting and accommodating the state through the construction of new and ancient identities. This work occurs most notably in context of the worship ritual, which functions through ritual interaction chains to energise the various social engagement programs these congregations sustain.

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.

The Spirit, Indigenous Peoples and Social Change

Māori and a Pentecostal Theology of Social Engagement

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Michael J. Frost

In The Spirit, Indigenous Peoples and Social Change Michael Frost explores a pentecostal theology of social engagement in relation to Māori in New Zealand. Pentecostalism has had an ambiguous relationship with Māori and, in particular, lacks a robust and coherent theological framework for engaging in issues of social concern. Drawing on a number of interviews with Māori pentecostal leaders and ministers, Frost explores the transformative role of pentecostal experience for Māori cultural identity, a holistic theology of mission, an indigenous prophetic emphasis, and consequent connections between pentecostalism and liberation. He thus contributes a way forward for pentecostal theologies of social change in relation to Māori, with implications for pentecostalism and indigenous peoples in the West.

Vietnamese Evangelicals and Pentecostalism

The Politics of Divine Intervention

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Vince Le

This book offers an analysis of the historical, theological, and social conditions that give rise to the growth of pentecostalism among contemporary Vietnamese evangelicals. Emerging from the analysis is an understanding of how underprivileged evangelicals have utilized the pentecostal emphasis on divine intervention in their pursuit of the betterment of life amid religious and ethnic marginalization. Within the context of the global growth of pentecostalism, Vietnamese Evangelicals and Pentecostalism shows how people at the grassroots marry the deeply local-based meaning dictated by the particularity of living context and the profoundly universal truth claims made by a religion aspiring to reach all four corners of the earth to enhance life.

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Marthe Hesselmans

In Racial Integration in the Church of Apartheid Marthe Hesselmans uncovers the post-apartheid transformation of South Africa’s Dutch Reformed Church. This church once constituted the religious pillar of the Afrikaner apartheid regime (1948-1994). Today, it seeks to unite the communities it long segregated into one multiracial institution. Few believe this will succeed. A close look inside congregations reveals unexpected stories of reconciliation though. Where South Africans realize they need each other to survive, faith offers common ground – albeit a feeble one. They show the potential, but also the limits of faith communities untangling entrenched national and racial affiliations. Linking South Africa’s post-apartheid transition to religious-nationalist movements worldwide, Hesselmans offers a unique perspective on religion as source of division and healing.