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Walter Homolka

Historical Jesus research, Jewish or Christian, is marked by the search for origins and authenticity. The various Quests for the Historical Jesus contributed to a crisis of identity within Western Christianity. The result was a move “back to the Jewish roots!”
For Jewish scholars it was a means to position Jewry within a dominantly Christian culture. As a consequence, Jews now feel more at ease to relate to Jesus as a Jew.
For Walter Homolka the Christian challenge now is to formulate a new Christology: between a Christian exclusivism that denies the universality of God, and a pluralism that endangers the specificity of the Christian understanding of God and the uniqueness of religious traditions, including that of Christianity.

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Edited by James R. Lewis

The Handbook of Scientology brings together a collection of fresh studies of the most persistently controversial of all contemporary New Religions. In recent years, increasing scholarly attention has been directed at the Church of Scientology, resulting in a small tsunami of new scholarship. We have finally reached a point in time where a book on Scientology need not restrict itself to basics. Thus, for example, the historical chapters in the present volume are not really aimed at providing elementary facts on Scientology’s background, but, rather, focus on understanding how the Church of Scientology developed over the years. In short, the Handbook of Scientology will provide a wealth of new information on a topic that one might otherwise have thought exhausted.

Christian Apocalyptic Texts in Islamic Messianic Discourse

The ‘Christian Chapter’ of the Jāvidān-nāma-yi kabīr by Faḍl Allāh Astarābādī (d. 796/1394)

Series:

Orkhan Mir-Kasimov

In Christian Apocalyptic Texts in Islamic Messianic Discourse Orkhan Mir-Kasimov offers an account of the interpretation of these Christian texts by Faḍl Allāh Astarābādī (d. 796/1394), the founder of a mystical and messianic movement which was influential in medieval Iran and Anatolia. This interpretation can be situated within the tradition of ‘positive’ Muslim hermeneutics of the Christian and Jewish scriptures which was particularly developed in Shıīʿī and especially Ismaīʿlī circles. Faḍl Allāh incorporates the Christian apocalyptic texts into an Islamic eschatological context, combining them with Qurʾān and ḥadīth material. In addition to an introductory study, the book contains a critical edition and an English translation of the relevant passages from Faḍl Allāh’s magnum opus, the Jāvidān-nāma-yi kabīr.

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Edited by David Thomas and John A. Chesworth

Christian-Muslim Relations, a Bibliographical History, Volume 8 (CMR 8) covering Northern and Eastern Europe in the period 1600-1700, is a continuing volume in a general history of relations between the two faiths from the seventh century to the early 20th century. It comprises a series of introductory essays and also the main body of detailed entries which treat all the works, surviving or lost, that have been recorded. These entries provide biographical details of the authors, descriptions and assessments of the works themselves, and complete accounts of manuscripts, editions, translations and studies. The result of collaboration between numerous leading scholars, CMR 8, along with the other volumes in this series is intended as a basic tool for research in Christian-Muslim relations.

Section Editors:

Clinton Bennett, Luis F. Bernabe Pons, Jaco Beyers, Lejla Demiri, Martha Frederiks, David Grafton, Stanisław Grodź, Alan Guenther, Emma Loghin, Gordon Nickel, Claire Norton, Reza Pourjavady, Douglas Pratt, Radu Păun, Peter Riddell, Umar Ryad, Cornelia Soldat, Karel Steenbrink, Davide Tacchini, Ann Thomson, Serge Traore, Carsten Walbiner

Series:

Edited by Mark Beaumont and Maha El Kaisy-Friemuth

al-Radd al-jamīl attributed to al-Ghazālī (d. 1111) is the most extensive and detailed refutation of the divinity of Jesus by a Muslim author in the classical period of Islam. Since the discovery of the manuscript in the 1930’s scholars have debated whether the great Muslim theologian al-Ghazālī was really the author.

This is a new critical edition of the Arabic text and the first complete English translation. The introduction situates this work in the history of Muslim anti-Christian polemical writing. Mark Beaumont and Maha El Kaisy-Friemuth argue that this refutation comes from an admirer of al-Ghazālī who sought to advance some of his key ideas for an Egyptian audience.

Edited by Gerhard Robbers and W. Cole Durham

In recent years, issues of freedom of religion or belief and state-religion relations have become increasingly important worldwide. While some works have treated such issues regionally, the Encyclopedia of Law and Religion is unique in its breadth, covering all independent nations and jurisdictions as well as the major international organizations, treating the relation between law and religion in its various aspects, including those related to the role of religion in society, the relations between religion and state institutions, freedom of religion, legal aspects of religious traditions, the interaction between law and religion, and other issues at the junction of law, religion, and state.

Offered online and as a five-volume print set – Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, Oceania, Special Territories, International Organizations and Index – this work is a valuable resource for religious and legal scholars alike. Each article provides the following information for the broadest comparative advantage:

• Social facts;
• Historical background;
• Position of religion in the legal system;
• Individual religious freedom;
• Legal status of religious communities;
• Right of autonomy;
• Active religious communities and cultures;
• Labour law within religious communities;
• Religious assistance in public institutions;
• Legal position of religious personnel and members of religious orders;
• Matrimonial and familial laws;
• Religious and criminal laws; and
• Country-specific issues.

Visit the online edition here.

Series:

Edited by Fiona Magowan and Carolyn Schwarz

Cultural expressions of Christianity show great diversity around the globe. While scholarship has tended to consider charismatic practices in distinct geographical contexts, this volume advances the anthropology of Christianity through ethnographically rich, comparative insights from across the Australia-Pacific region. Christianity, Conflict, and Renewal in Australia and the Pacific presents new perspectives on the performative dynamics of Christian belief, conflict, and renewal. Addressing experiences of cultural and spiritual renewal, contributors reveal how tensions can arise between spiritual and political expressions of culture and identity, opening up alternative spaces for spiritual realization and religious change. These local processes further mobilize responses of individuals and groups to state forces and political reforms, in turn, influencing the shape of translocal and transnational Christian practices.

Reading the Bible across Contexts

Luke’s Gospel, Socio-Economic Marginality, and Latin American Biblical Hermeneutics

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Esa J. Autero

In Reading the Bible Across Contexts Esa Autero offers a fresh perspective on Luke’s poverty texts. In addition to an historical reading, he conducted an empirical investigation of two Latin American Bible reading groups – one poor and the other affluent – to shed light on Luke’s poverty texts. The interaction between historical reading and present-day readings demonstrates the impact of socio-economic status on biblical hermeneutics and sheds new light on Luke’s views on wealth and poverty. At the same time Esa Autero critically examines liberation theologian’s claim that poor are privileged biblical interpreters.

New Age in Latin America

Popular Variations and Ethnic Appropriations

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Edited by Angela Renée de la Torre Castellanos, María Cristina del Refugio Gutiérrez and Nahayeilli Juárez-Huet

This book is at the crossroads where a New Age sensibility, advancing like an ecumen of worldwide spirituality without national, cultural, or ecclesiastical frontiers, meets Latin America's syncretic religions, practiced by groups of people wiht African or indigenous roots or developed from the tradition of popular Catholicism. The Syncretic character of the two sensibilities makes both the New Age and popular religion behave like two, syncretizing and syncreticizable matrices of meaning. This book opens up a rich vein of debate with new dilemmas and discussions, that will provide a framework for a new field of study in anthropology. What new ways of signifying living and experiencing religion is the New Age generating in Latin America? What are its limits?

The Intercultural Weaving of Historical Texts

Chinese and European Stories about Emperor Ku and His Concubines

Series:

Nicolas Standaert

The European view on history was shaken to its foundations when missionaries in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries discovered that Chinese history was older than European and Biblical history. With an analysis of the Chinese, Manchu and European sources on ancient Chinese history, this essay proposes an early case of “intercultural historiography,” in which historical texts of different cultures are interwoven.
It focusses on the ways Chinese and European authors interpreted stories about marvellous births by the concubines of Emperor Ku. These stories have been the object of a wide variety of interpretations in Chinese texts, each of them representing a different historical genre. They are excellent case-studies to illustrate how the Chinese hermeneutic strategies shaped the diversity of interpretations given by Europeans.