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Volume Editors: April DeConick and Jeffrey J Kripal
In Gnostic Afterlives, fourteen scholars explore the intersection of Gnostic spirituality in American religion and culture. Papers theorize Gnosis/Gnostic in modernity, examine neo-Gnostic movements in America, and investigate the Gnostic in popular American films, literature, art, and other aspects of culture.
Ethnic Labeling in the Gospel of John
Author: Stewart Penwell
In Jesus the Samaritan: Ethnic Labeling in the Gospel of John, Stewart Penwell examines how ethnic labels function in the Gospel of John. After a review of the discourse history between “the Jews” and “the Samaritans,” the dual ethnic labeling in John 4:9 and 8:48 are examined and, in each instance, members from “the Jews” and “the Samaritans” label Jesus as a member of each other’s group for deviating from what were deemed acceptable practices as a member of “the Jews.” The intra-textual links between John 4 and 8 reveal that the function of Jesus’s dual ethnic labeling is to establish a new pattern of practices and categories for the “children of God” (1:12; 11:52) who are a trans-ethnic group united in fictive kinship and embedded within the Judean ethnic group’s culture and traditions.
Author: Anthony Keddie
In Revelations of Ideology, G. Anthony Keddie proposes a new theory of the social function of Judaean apocalyptic texts produced in Early Roman Palestine (63 BCE–70 CE). In contrast to evaluations of Jewish and early Christian apocalyptic texts as “literature of the oppressed” or literature of resistance against empire, Keddie demonstrates that scribes produced apocalyptic texts to advance ideologies aimed at self-legitimation. By revealing that their opponents constituted an exploitative class, scribes generated apocalyptic ideologies that situated them in the same exploited class as their constituents. Through careful historical and ideological criticism of the Psalms of Solomon, Parables of Enoch, Testament of Moses, and Q source, Keddie identifies an internally diverse tradition of apocalyptic class rhetoric in late Second Temple Judaism.
From Tool of Imperialism to African Icon
Author: Gerald O. West
The Stolen Bible tells the story of how Southern Africans have interacted with the Bible from its arrival in Dutch imperial ships in the mid-1600s through to contemporary post-apartheid South Africa.

The Stolen Bible emphasises African agency and distinguishes between African receptions of the Bible and African receptions of missionary-colonial Christianity. Through a series of detailed historical, geographical, and hermeneutical case-studies the book analyses Southern African receptions of the Bible, including the earliest African encounters with the Bible, the translation of the Bible into an African language, the appropriation of the Bible by African Independent Churches, the use of the Bible in the Black liberation struggle, and the ways in which the Bible is embodied in the lives of ordinary Africans.

Sacralized Culturalism in Heikki Räisänen’s Hermeneutics
Author: Timo Eskola
Reading Heikki Räisänen’s hermeneutics in context, Timo Eskola explores the development of Western New Testament interpretation. Reclaiming a Wredean approach to the Scriptures, Räisänen focuses on tradition and interpretation. He builds on Weberian sociology, adopted through Peter Berger’s theories, and substitutes sacralized culturalism for biblical theology.

After examining fourteenth century Quran-criticism and its impact on Reimarus, Eskola discusses the genesis of the revised history-of-religion theory that Räisänen developed when investigating the Quran’s relationship to the Bible. Sociology then becomes a link between standard historicism and poststructuralism as Räisänen reinterprets Berger’s sociology of knowledge. Räisänen’s sacralized culturalism finally becomes the theory from which his magnum opus The Rise of Christian Beliefs has been written.
Papers presented to the Second International Conference of the Leiden Institute for the Study of Religions (LISOR) held at Leiden, 27-28 April 2000  
Studies in Theology and Religion,11

Polemics, as “the art or practice of disputation or controversy”, is a living issue in matters of religion, and is a major object of research for scholars in religious studies and theology. The second international conference of the Leiden Institute for the Study of Religions (LISOR), held at Leiden in April 2000, was devoted to the subject of Religious Polemics in Context, aiming at a further exploration of the notion of religious polemics, together with the unfolding of a wide variety of case-studies from various religious traditions. The volume contains most of the papers read at the conference, and offers contributions on general issues (e.g., by M. Dascal), as well as on particular topics in the fields of history of religion (e.g., Islam), ancient Israel and early Christianity, the history of Christianity, and the social sciences of religion. An annotated bibliography is added to this collection, which may stimulate a further study of the topic.