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The Power of Mysticism and the Originality of Franciscan Poetry
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The first ever collection of essays in English on Iacopone da Todi by a diverse group of international scholars, this book offers a contemporary critical assessment on this medieval Franciscan poet of the thirteenth century.
Combining philological analyses with thematic studies and philosophical and theological interpretations of the original contents and style of Iacopone’s poetry, the collection considers a wide range of topics, from music to prayer and performance, mysticism, asceticism, ineffability, Mariology, art, poverty, and the challenges of translation. It is a major contribution to the understanding of Iacopone’s laude in the 21st century.
Contributors are Erminia Ardissino, Alvaro Cacciotti, Nicolò Crisafi, Anne-Gaëlle Cuif, Federica Franzè, Alexander J.B. Hampton, Magdalena Maria Kubas, Matteo Leonardi, Brian K. Reynolds, Oana Sălișteanu, Samia Tawwab, Alessandro Vettori, Carlo Zacchetti, and Estelle Zunino.
Rhetoric, Linguistics and Philosophical Theology in Origen, Contra Celsum 4.1-22
Can the Divine itself come down to earth? The Platonist Celsus rejected it as most shameful, Origen however defended this idea as an essential part of Christian doctrine. This book comments on passages from Origen’s Against Celsus 4 in which both authors put forward their arguments. The Greek text is discussed from three perspectives: linguistics, rhetoric and philosophical theology. This approach includes a focus on the communication between author and readers, the structure of the discourse, and the persuasive strategies used by Celsus and Origen. Attention is also given to conceptions of God and his relation to the world, which form the backdrop to their arguments. Moreover, their theological conceptions are related to the wider philosophical discourse of the Greco-Roman age.
Getting a doctorate in Europe is supremely attractive for young Catholic priests from the Global South. They attain prestige, career advancement, and – in many cases – the opportunity to move permanently from impoverished countries to some of the world’s wealthiest. But do they submit rigorous, original doctoral research in keeping with universal academic standards? This study examines theological dissertations by international students accepted by major Austrian universities and shows that academic incompetence, plagiarism, and negligent supervision are seriously damaging theological institutions – in Europe and abroad. By looking the other way, advisors and administrators do their students and the church a disservice.
What, in Matthew’s view, should a human being become and how does one attain that ideal? In The Sermon on the Mount and Spiritual Exercises: The Making of the Matthean Self, George Branch-Trevathan presents a new account of Matthew’s ethics and argues that the evangelist presents the Sermon on the Mount as functioning like many other ancient sayings collections, that is, as facilitating transformative work on oneself, or “spiritual exercises,” that enable one to realize the evangelist’s ideals. The conclusion suggests some implications for our understanding of ethical formation in antiquity and the study of ethics more generally. This will be an essential volume for scholars studying the Gospel of Matthew, early Christian ethics, the relationships between early Christian and ancient philosophical writings, or ethical formation in antiquity.
Digital Writing, Digital Scriptures
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Ecritures digitales aims to demonstrate how digital writing contributes to the emergence of “a new relationship between the human body and the machine” as Jacques Derrida proposed when he considered the effects of new technologies. This reconfigured relationship, not surprisingly, is also influencing the digital future of the Jewish-Christian textual corpus referred to as “the Scriptures”. The French title brings together this duality in one expression: Ecritures digitales. The English subtitle makes explicit the double meaning of the unique French word Ecritures: Digital writing, digital Scriptures. With a full French version and an abbreviated English version, this monograph analyzes the main challenges and opportunities for both writing and the Scriptures in the transition to digital culture. Ecritures digitales souhaite démontrer de quelle manière l’écriture digitale contribue à l’émergence d’une « nouvelle relation du corps humain aux machines », selon le diagnostique posé par Jacques Derrida à propos des effets des nouvelles technologies. Cette relation innovante influence également l’avenir numérique du corpus textuel judéo-chrétien désigné comme «les Ecritures». Le titre français rassemble en une seule expression ces deux thématiques: Ecritures digitales. Le sous-titre anglais rend sa double signification explicite: Digital writing, digital Scriptures. Avec une version française complète et une version anglaise brève, cette monographie analyse les principaux défis des métamorphoses digitales de l’écriture et des Ecritures.
María José Falcón y Tella invites us on a fascinating journey through the world of law and literature, travelling through the different eras and exploring eternal and as such current issues such as justice, power, resistance, vengeance, rights, and duties. This is an unending conversation, which brings us back to Sophocles and Dickens, Cervantes and Kafka, Dostoyevsky and Melville, among many others.
There are many ways to approach the concept of “Law and Literature”. In the classical manner, the author distinguishes three paths: the Law of Literature, involving a technical approach to the literary theme; Law as Literature, a hermeneutical and rhetorical approach to examining legal texts; and finally, Law in Literature, which is undoubtedly the most fertile and documented perspective (the fundamental part of the work focusses on this direction). This timely volume offers an introduction to this enormous field of study, which was born in the United States over a century ago and is currently taking root in the European continent.
This book is about creation stories in dialogue, not only between different religious views, but also between current day scientific perspectives. International specialists, like Alan Culpepper, David Christian, John Haught, Randall Zachman, Ellen van Wolde from various disciplines are reflecting on the interface between science and religion relating questions of creation and origin. This multi-disciplinary discussion by some of the leading exponents in this field makes the book unique, not only in its depth of discussion, but also in it wide ranging interdisciplinary discussion. The point of departure of all the contributions is the prestige lecture by Alan Culpepper where he argues for bringing Biblical material into discussion with modern scientific insights relating to creation and origin.
Amor Dei, “love of God” raises three questions: How do we know God is love? How do we experience love of God? How free are we to love God? This book presents three kinds of love, worldly, spiritual, and divine to understand God’s love. The work begins with Augustine’s Confessions highlighting his Manichean and Neoplatonic periods before his conversion to Christianity. Augustine’s confrontation with Pelagius anticipates the unresolved disputes concerning God’s love and free will. In the sixteenth-century the Italian humanist, Gasparo Contarini introduces the notion of “divine amplitude” to demonstrate how God’s goodness is manifested in the human agent. Pierre de Bérulle, Guillaume Gibieuf, and Nicolas Malebranche show connections with Contarini in the seventeenth-century controversies relating free will and divine love. In response to the free will dispute, the Scottish philosopher, William Chalmers, offers his solution. Cornelius Jansen relentlessly asserts his anti-Pelagian interpretation of Augustine stirring up more controversy. John Norris, Malebranche’s English disciple, exchanges his views with Mary Astell and Damaris Masham. In the tradition of Cambridge Platonism, Ralph Cudworth conveys a God who “sweetly governs.” The organization of sections represents the love of God in ascending-descending movements demonstrating that, “human love is inseparable from divine love.”
The defining premise of the Relational Free Will Defense is the claim that authentic love requires free will. Many scholars, including Gregory Boyd and Vincent Brümmer, champion this claim. Best-selling books, such as Rob Bell’s Love Wins, echo that love “cannot be forced, manipulated, or coerced. It always leaves room for the other to decide.” The claim that love requires free will has even found expression in mainstream Hollywood films, including Frailty, Bruce Almighty, and The Adjustment Bureau.
The analysis shows convincingly that the claim that authentic love requires free will, does not meet the criteria of consistency, compatibility with Scriptural sources, and the demands of concrete encounter with problems of moral evil.