The feeling of boredom during a speech is not a new phenomenon, but in a late modern information society this challenge is intensified. This article explores what sort of rhetorical opening strategy which may ‘charge’ a sermon with an appropriate suspense to help the congregation to remain attentive throughout the sermon. The article analyses a selective, digital sample of video recorded confirmation sermons from Church of Norway confirmation services in 2020. Drawing on theories on suspense, attention, and boredom, the article uses classical rhetorical theory on the different styles of speech to suggest three possible rhetorical opening strategies for a preacher who wants to ‘charge’ a (confirmation) sermon with a relevant suspense, that of the teacher, the poet, and the prophet.
Currents of Encounter invites scholarly contributions that utilize interreligious, intercultural, comparative, postcolonial, and other contemporary critical interdisciplinary approaches from across all religious traditions, to address topical questions on the challenges and opportunities arising from intercultural/interreligious engagements, or the intersections of cultures and religions.
Studies dealing explicitly with the dynamics of the intersection of religious and cultural traditions are increasing every year, and scholars have become aware of the complexity and diversity of interreligious and intercultural relations. Recent literature offers a broad panoply of theoretical approaches from theologies of religions to comparative theologies, from discourse analysis to a postcolonial critique focusing on issues of power, from feminist readings asking about the specific role of women in interreligious dialogue to interreligious hermeneutics exploring how meaning may travel across cultural and religious traditions. Currents of Encounter welcomes this variety of works in these disciplines and from interdisciplinary perspectives aiming thus to contribute to a better understanding of the complexities of interreligious and intercultural themes. The board welcomes both monographs and edited volumes.
- interreligious studies
- intercultural theology and philosophy
- comparative theology and philosophy
- theologies of religions
Political and Public Theologies: Comparisons – Coalitions – Critiques seeks to provide a forum for critical and constructive engagements with the significance of theologies for the public square. Connecting the increasingly interdisciplinary fields of political and public theology, the series is interested in the impact that theologies have on public issues and the impact that public issues have on theologies, both theoretically and practically. PPT invites publications from established and emerging scholars that engage with the significance of theologies for the public square from (1) comparative angles that facilitate inter-religious studies, (2) coalitional angles that foster inter-religious solidarities, and (3) critical angles that re-formulate theology as a resource for contemporary controversies. PPT is published in cooperation with the Centre for Theology and Public Issues (CTPI), University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.
While Michael Polanyi’s epistemology is fruitful for considering beauty’s epistemological significance, this article shows that Polanyi’s epistemology lacks explicit development of an important aspect of beauty’s contribution to knowledge formation—as mediator. The treatment unfolds by first assessing how Polanyi does treat beauty, and second by establishing the grounds for beauty to serve as a mediator, as well as its fittingness within a Polanyian epistemology. The article considers an expansion of Polanyi’s epistemology to further and more clearly elucidate beauty as mediator of knowledge. Concluding remarks consider how beauty as mediator of knowledge opens the door to pursuit of questions regarding beauty’s role in theological epistemology—i.e., in mediating knowledge of God specifically.
Believers are told in Ephesians 6:11 to put on God’s armour. In Isaiah 59:17, God himself puts on the breastplate of righteousness and the helmet of salvation to come and fight for his people, and these are among the qualities identified as missing in the indictment against God’s people in Isaiah 59:8–15. The article identifies other intertextual allusions to Isaiah in the other four items of armour, and explores the extent to which the other qualities represented by the pieces of equipment also draw on the description of the nation’s plight in Isaiah 59. An awareness of these intertextual allusions suggests that putting on God’s armour means enlisting in the spiritual struggle and going on the offensive by adopting a lifestyle marked by the qualities listed in Ephesians 6:14–17.
Most English translations of the story of the Star of Bethlehem either say explicitly or seem to imply that Herod learns from the magi the point in time at which the star appeared. This translation reflects an unusual understanding of two words in the Greek text, as well as raising the question why he killed children aged over a range of two years if he knew the exact age of the baby. These problems have been raised in the critical literature, yet many modern versions continue to offer a grammatically and logically strange interpretation. This article will argue that this interpretation is based on the assumption of a Hellenistic genethliac astrological background for the text, and that the perceived need for this common translation disappears if a Babylonian astrological background is assumed.
It is widely granted that in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Princeton Theological Seminary had come to be recognized as an international bastion of evangelical and Reformed orthodoxy. Students, drawn to Princeton from across the USA and many points across the globe, returned home to teach and preach the Christian faith as Princeton had relayed it to them. Since the denominationally-mandated reorganization of this seminary in 1929, conservative evangelicals have circulated a narrative describing the seminary as undergoing a ‘death’ in that year. This essay seeks to show both that the theological reorientation of this seminary was much more gradual than this now-customary narrative would allow, and that the graduates of this seminary from both before and after 1929 went on exercising a wide national and international evangelical leadership for decades beyond the reorganization.