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Edited by Stephen J. Hunt

The growth of the megachurch (generally defined as a regular attendance of over 2,000 people) is undoubtedly one of the most exceptional religious trends of recent times, certainly within the Christian sphere. Spreading from the USA, megachurches have now become common globally - reaching different national and cultural contexts. The edited volume Handbook of Megachurches offers a comprehensive account of the subject from various academic perspectives: sociology, religious studies, religious history and religious studies among them. Topics covered include: the historical developments and growth, typologies, theology, popular culture, revivalism, social engagement, and the manifestation of megachurches in such countries as Canada, Russia, India and Africa.

Ibn Taymiyya on Reason and Revelation

A Study of Darʾ taʿāruḍ al-ʿaql wa-l-naql

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Carl Sharif El-Tobgui

In Ibn Taymiyya on Reason and Revelation, Carl Sharif El-Tobgui offers the first comprehensive study of Ibn Taymiyya’s ten-volume magnum opus, Darʾ taʿāruḍ al-ʿaql wa-l-naql. In his colossal riposte to the Muslim philosophers and rationalist theologians, the towering Ḥanbalī polymath rejects the call to prioritize reason over revelation in cases of alleged conflict, interrogating instead the very conception of rationality that classical Muslims had inherited from the Greeks. In its place, he endeavors to articulate a reconstituted “pure reason” both truly universal and in full harmony with authentic revelation. Based on a line-by-line reading of the entire Darʾ taʿāruḍ, El-Tobgui’s study carefully elucidates the “philosophy of Ibn Taymiyya” as it emerges from the multifaceted ontological, epistemological, and linguistic reforms Ibn Taymiyya carries out.

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Laurent Bricault

In Isis Pelagia: Images, Names and Cults of a Goddess of the Seas<>/i>, Laurent Bricault, one of the principal scholars of the cults of Isis, presents a new interpretation of the multiple sources that present Isis as a goddess of the seas. Bricault discusses a wealth of relatively unknown archaeological and textual data, drawing on a profound knowledge of their historical context.

After decades of scholarly study, Bricault offers an important contribution and a new phase in the debate on understanding the “diffusion” as well as the “reception” of the cults of Isis in the Graeco-Roman world. This book, the first English-language monograph by the leading French scholar in the field, underlines the importance of Isis Studies for broader debates in the study of ancient religion.

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Thomas E. Hunt

In Jerome of Stridon and the Ethics of Literary Production in Late Antiquity Thomas E. Hunt argues that Jerome developed a consistent theology of language and the human body that inflected all of his writing projects. In doing so, the book challenges and recasts the way that this important figure in Late Antiquity has been understood. This study maps the first seven years of Jerome’s time in Bethlehem (386-393). Treating his commentaries on Paul, his hagiography, his controversy with Jovinian, his correspondence with Augustine, and his translation of Hebrew, the book shows Jerome to be immersed in the exciting and dangerous currents moving through late antique Christianity.

Le ministère sacerdotal dans la tradition syriaque primitive

Aphraate, Ephrem, Jacques de Saroug et Narsaï

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Tanios Bou Mansour

Le livre présente le sacerdoce chrétien chez quatre auteurs syriaques, Aphraate, Ephrem, Jacques et Narsai, en l’éclairant par le sacerdoce du Christ et en le plaçant dans la continuité du sacerdoce de l’A.T. Leur approche est essentiellement théologique, centrée, outre sur le Christ comme grand Prêtre, sur l’Esprit comme donateur des charismes et sur l’Eglise comme milieu vital du sacerdoce. L’originalité et l’actualité de nos auteurs resident dans leur conception de l’élection, de la succession apostolique, de traits “sacerdotaux” attribués aux femmes dans le N.T., et surtout du prêtre qui, mandaté par l’Eglise, exécute l’action du Chirst et de l’Esprit. Leur approche écarte tout légalisme et juridisme, dont témoigne leur perception de l’autorité comme kénose. This book treats the Christian priesthood in four Syriac writers: Aphraate, Ephrem, Jacob of Sarug and Narsaï. Their conception of priesthood is illuminated by the Priesthood of Christ and contextualized within the continuity of the priesthood of the OT. Their approach is essentially theological, centered on Christ as High Priest, but also on the Spirit as donor of charisms and on the Church as vital medium of the Priesthood. These authors’ originality and actuality lies in their conception of election, of apostolic succession, of “sacerdotal” traits attributed to women in the N.T., and especially of the priest who, commissioned by the Church, executes the action of the Christ and the Spirit. Their approach dismisses any legalism, as evidenced by their perception of authority as kenosis.

Living under the Evil Pope

The Hebrew Chronicle of Pope Paul IV by Benjamin Neḥemiah ben Elnathan from Civitanova Marche (16th cent.)

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Martina Mampieri

In Living under the Evil Pope, Martina Mampieri presents the Hebrew Chronicle of Pope Paul IV, written in the second half of the sixteenth century by the Italian Jewish moneylender Benjamin Neḥemiah ben Elnathan (alias Guglielmo di Diodato) from Civitanova Marche. The text remained in manuscript for about four centuries until the Galician scholar Isaiah Sonne (1887-1960) published a Hebrew annotated edition of the chronicle in the 1930s. This remarkable source offers an account of the events of the Papal States during Paul IV’s pontificate (1555-59). Making use of broad archival materials, Martina Mampieri reflects on the nature of this work, its historical background, and contents, providing a revised edition of the Hebrew text as well as the first unabridged English translation and commentary.

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Edited by Roger R. Jackson and Klaus-Dieter Mathes

Mahāmudrā in India and Tibet presents cutting-edge research by European and North American scholars on the Indian origins and Tibetan interpretations of one of the most popular and influential of all Tibetan meditation traditions, Mahāmudrā, or the great seal. The contributions shed fresh light on important areas of Mahāmudrā studies, exploring the Great Seal’s place in the Mahāyāna Samādhirājasūtra, the Indian tantric Seven Siddhi Texts, Dunhuang Yogatantra texts, Mar pa’s Rngog lineage, and the Dgongs gcig literature of the ’Bri gung, as well as in the works of Yu mo Mi bskyod rdo rje, the Fourth Zhwa dmar pa Chos grags ye shes, the Eighth Karma pa Mi-bskyod rdo rje, and various Dge lugs masters of the 17th–18th centuries.
Contributors are: Jacob Dalton, Martina Draszczyk, Cecile Ducher, David Higgins, Roger R. Jackson, Casey Kemp, Adam Krug, Klaus-Dieter Mathes, Jan-Ulrich Sobisch, and Paul Thomas.

Mani and Augustine

Collected Essays on Mani, Manichaeism and Augustine

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Johannes van Oort

Mani and Augustine: collected essays on Mani, Manichaeism and Augustine gathers in one volume contributions on Manichaean scholarship made by the internationally renowned scholar Johannes van Oort. The first part of the book focuses on the Babylonian prophet Mani (216-277) who styled himself an ‘apostle of Jesus Christ’, on Jewish elements in Manichaeism and on ‘human semen eucharist’, eschatology and imagery of Christ as ‘God’s Right Hand’. The second part of the book concentrates on the question to what extent the former ‘auditor’ Augustine became acquainted with Mani’s gnostic world religion and his canonical writings, and explores to what extent Manichaeism had a lasting impact on the most influential church father of the West.

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Edited by Britta Konz, Bernard Ortmann and Christian Wetz

Postkolonialismus bezeichnet nicht nur die historische Epoche nach dem Ende der Kolonialzeit, sondern auch ein theoretisches Konzept zur Analyse von Herrschaftsverhältnissen. In der deutschsprachigen Theologie wurde dieses Konzept bisher wenig beachtet. Im zweisprachigen Sammelband Postkolonialismus, Theologie und die Konstruktion des Anderen erkunden Vertreter aller theologischen Disziplinen einschließlich der Religionswissenschaft die heuristischen Möglichkeiten, die der Postkolonialismus für ihr Fach bietet. Es geht dabei insbesondere um die Frage, wie „der Andere“ als Gegenüber eines „Wir“ konstruiert wird. Gerade in Zeiten globaler Migration und erstarkenden Rechtsextremismus muss Theologie sprachfähig bleiben, um den drängenden Fragen der Gegenwart Antwortangebote bieten zu können. Postcolonialism refers not only to the historical epoch after the end of the colonial era, but also to a theoretical concept for the analysis of power relations. In German-speaking theology, this concept has so far received little attention. In the bilingual volume Postcolonialism, theology and the construction of the other, scholars of all theological disciplines, including religious studies, explore the heuristic possibilities that postcolonialism provides for their subject. In particular, the question is how “the other” is constructed as the counterpart of a "we". In times of global migration and growing right-wing extremism, theology must remain capable to offer answers to the urgent questions of the present.

Quodvultdeus: a Bishop Forming Christians in Vandal Africa

A Contextual Analysis of the Pre-baptismal Sermons attributed to Quodvultdeus of Carthage

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David Vopřada

In Quodvultdeus: a Bishop Forming Christians in Vandal Africa, David Vopřada presents the pre-baptismal catecheses of the fifth-century bishop of Carthage, delivered to the new believers in extremely difficult period of barbaric incursions. Quodvultdeus is generally not appraised as an original philosopher or theologian as his master Augustine was, in this book his qualities of a bishop who was entrusted with the care of his flock come forward. Making interdisciplinary use of the ancient and ecclesiastical history, philosophy, theology, archaeology, exegesis, liturgy science, homiletics, and rhetorics, the book offers a new and most innovative contribution to the life, work, and theology of Quodvultdeus.