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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.

The Ahmadiyya Quest for Religious Progress

Missionizing Europe 1900-1965

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Gerdientje Jonker

What happens when the idea of religious progress propels the shaping of modernity? In The Ahmadiyya Quest for Religious Progress. Missionizing Europe 1900 – 1965 Gerdien Jonker offers an account of the mission the Ahmadiyya reform movement undertook in interwar Europe. Nowadays persecuted in the Muslim world, Ahmadis appear here as the vanguard of a modern, rational Islam that met with a considerable interest.

Ahmadiyya mission on the European continent attracted European ‘moderns’, among them Jews and Christians, theosophists and agnostics, artists and academics, liberals and Nazis. Each in their own manner, all these people strove towards modernity, and were convinced that Islam helped realizing it. Based on a wide array of sources, this book unravels the multiple layers of entanglement that arose once the missionaries and their quarry met.

The Ethiopian Homily on the Ark of the Covenant

Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of Dǝrsanä Ṣǝyon 

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Amsalu Tefera

In The Ethiopian Homily on the Ark of the Covenant, Amsalu Tefera offers an editio princeps of the Ethiopic text of Dǝrsanä Ṣǝyon together with an annotated English translation. This homily, most likely composed in the fifteenth century, links the term Zion with the Ark of the Covenant and recounts at length its wanderings from Sinai to Ethiopia. As a Christian document, many of the events are interpreted as symbolic of Mary and the heavenly New Jerusalem.

First edited by the author for his 2011 doctoral dissertation, the critical text and apparatus present a complete collation of the ten known witnesses to this homily. Detailed notes are supplied on significant and difficult terms in the translation.

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Edited by Peggy Brock, Norman Etherington, Gareth Griffiths and Jacqueline Van Gent

This is the first full-length historical study of indigenous evangelists across a range of societies, geographical regions and colonial regimes and the first to focus on the complex issues of authority surrounding the evangelists. It answers a need frequently voiced in recent studies of Christian missions. Most scholars now acknowledge that the remarkable expansion of Christianity in Africa, Asia and the Pacific in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries owed far more to the efforts of indigenous preachers than to the foreign missionaries who loom so large in publications. This book addresses that concern making an excellent introduction to the role of indigenous evangelists in the spread of Christianity, and the many countervailing pressures with which these individuals had to contend. It also includes in the introductory discussions useful statements of the current state of scholarship and theoretical debates in this field.

Envoys of a Human God

The Jesuit Mission to Christian Ethiopia, 1557-1632

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Andreu Martínez d'Alòs-Moner

In Envoys of A Human God Andreu Martínez offers a comprehensive study of the religious mission led by the Society of Jesus in Christian Ethiopia. The mission to Ethiopia was one of the most challenging undertakings carried out by the Catholic Church in early modern times.
The book examines the period of early Portuguese contacts with the Ethiopian monarchy, the mission’s main developments and its aftermath, with the expulsion of the Jesuit missionaries. The study profits from both an intense reading of the historical record and the fruits of recent archaeological research. Long-held historiographical assumptions are challenged and the importance of cultural and socio-political factors in the attraction and ultimate estrangement between European Catholics and Ethiopian Christians is highlighted.

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Julia Hauser

In German Religious Women in Late Ottoman Beirut. Competing Missions, Julia Hauser offers a critical analysis of the German Protestant Kaiserswerth deaconesses’ orphanage and boarding school for girls in late Ottoman Beirut as situated within the larger field of educational development in the city. Drawing, among other sources, on the deaconesses’ largely unpublished letters home, her study illuminates that the only way missionary organizations like the deaconesses' could succeed was by entering into negotiations with their local environment, adapting their agenda in the process. Mission, therefore, was shaped not merely at home, but by conflictual negotiations on the periphery ‒ a perspective quite different from the top-down isolationist perspective of earlier research on missions.

Sino-Theology and the Philosophy of History

A Collection of Essays by Liu Xiaofeng

Liu Xiaofeng

Edited by Leopold Leeb

Since his controversial Delivering and Dallying (published in 1988), Liu Xiaofeng has been considered the most influential among contemporary Chinese intellectuals interested in Christianity. Now for the first time this collection of Liu's essays, translated and commented by Prof. Leopold Leeb, enables the non-Chinese reader to get a comprehensive understanding of the ideas of this inspiring and erudite scholar.
Liu Xiaofeng's Sino-Theology and the Philosophy of History, together with the other essays in this collection, provide a panoramic view of the situation of Christian studies in the Chinese context today. In his introduction, Leopold Leeb also presents several other scholars who have been of crucial importance in the dialogue between Chinese culture and Christianity in the last three decades.

Mission Station Christianity

Norwegian Missionaries in Colonial Natal and Zululand, Southern Africa 1850-1890

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Ingie Hovland

In Mission Station Christianity, Ingie Hovland presents an anthropological history of the ideas and practices that evolved among Norwegian missionaries in nineteenth-century colonial Natal and Zululand (Southern Africa). She examines how their mission station spaces influenced their daily Christianity, and vice versa, drawing on the anthropology of Christianity. Words and objects, missionary bodies, problematic converts, and the utopian imagination are discussed, as well as how the Zulus made use of (and ignored) the stations. The majority of the Norwegian missionaries had become theological cheerleaders of British colonialism by the 1880s, and Ingie Hovland argues that this was made possible by the everyday patterns of Christianity they had set up and become familiar with on the mission stations since the 1850s.

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Edited by Wolfgang Vondey and Martin Mittelstadt

In The Theology of Amos Yong and the New Face of Pentecostal Scholarship, Wolfgang Vondey and Martin William Mittelstadt gather a table of experts on one of the most influential voices in current Pentecostal theology. The authors provide an introduction and critical assessment of Yong’s biblical foundations, hermeneutics, epistemology, philosophical presuppositions, trinitarian theology, theology of religions, ecumenical and interfaith relations, theology of disability, engagement with contemporary culture, and participation in the theology and science conversation. These diverse topics are pursued through the complementary perspectives that together shape Yong’s methodology: pneumatology, pentecostalism, and the possibility of renewal. The contributors invite a more thorough reading of Yong’s work and propose a more substantial engagement with the new face of Pentecostal scholarship.

Contributors include Andrew Carver, Jacob D. Dodson, Jeff Hittenberger, Mark Mann, Martin William Mittelstadt, L. William Oliverio, Jr., David A. Reed, Tony Richie, Christopher A. Stephenson, Steven M. Studebaker, Paraskevè (Eve) Tibbs, and Wolfgang Vondey.

African Theology as Liberating Wisdom

Celebrating Life and Harmony in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Botswana

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Mari-Anna Pöntinen

In African Theology as Liberating Wisdom; Celebrating Life and Harmony in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Botswana, Mari-Anna Pöntinen analyses contextual interpretations of the Christian faith in this particular church. These interpretations are based on the special wisdom tradition which embraces monistic ontology, communal ethics in botho, and the indigenous belief in God as the Source of Life, and the Root of everything that exists. The constructing theological principle in the ELCB is the downward-orientated and descending God in Christ which interprets the ‘Lutheran spirit’ in a liberating and empowering sense. It deals with the cultural mythos which brings Christ down into people’s existence, unlike Western connotations which are considered to hinder seeing Christ and to prevent existential self-awareness.