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In Theoretical and Empirical Investigations of Divination and Magic ten leading scholars of religion provide up-to-date investigations into the classic domains of divination and magic. Spanning historical, anthropological, cognitive, philosophical and theoretical chapters, the volume’s authors invite the reader to explore how divinatory practices and magical rituals, both apart and in interaction, can be reconceptualized in line with 21st century scholarship.

Following an introduction addressing the ever-pertinent discussion of the status and epistemological value of the categories inherited from our scholarly predecessors, the volume includes analyses of divinatory and magic practices in particular historical areas, as well as comparative, theoretical and philosophical discussions, making this an indispensable volume for anyone interested in broader comparative approaches to magic and divination.

Contributors are Lars Albinus, Edward Bever, Gideon Bohak, Corby Kelly, Lars Madsen, Anders Klostergaard Petersen, Jörg Rüpke, Jesper Frøkjær Sørensen, Jørgen Podemann Sørensen, Dimitris Xygalatas.
Religious Narratives in Contemporary Culture: Between Cultural Memory and Transmediality analyses the meaning and role of religion in western cultural practices in the twenty-first century. This inquiry situates itself at the intersection between cultural memory studies and the transmedial study of narrative and art. Contributors focus on genres which have yet to receive significant critical attention within the field, including speculative fiction films and television series, autobiographical prose and poetry, and action-adventure video games. In this time of crisis, where traces of religious thinking still persist in the presence or absence of religious faith, this volume’s collective look into some of their cultural embodiments is necessary and timely. The volume is addressed primarily to scholars and students interested in intersections between religious and cultural studies, revisions of traditional religious narratives, literature as a space of reflection on today's world, contemporary media studies and remediation.
Genealogy, Current Trends, and New Interpretations
This book invites to rethink certain aspects of halal, and in particular the issue of the halal market and halal certification in Muslim-minority contexts. Rather than limiting itself to elucidating the doctrinal traditions relating to halal/haram, or on the contrary, focusing only on the external economic, financial, political or demographic factors that explain the changes taking place, Rethinking Halal shows the need to underline the points of balance between the aspects of religious doctrine on the one hand and the economic or political contextual aspects on the other hand. Through the study of various countries, Rethinking Halal demonstrates that Islam underwent a process of positivisation, that is, a kind of reframing of its rules and principles through the lens of a characteristically modern standardising, scientificising, and systematising mind.

Contributors are Ayang Utriza Yakin, Louis-Léon Christians, Baudouin Dupret, Jajat Burhanudin, Syafiq Hasyim, Zaynab El Bernoussi, En-Chieh Chao, Rossella Bottoni, Lauren Crossland-Marr, Konrad Pędziwiatr, Matteo Benussi, Harun Sencal and Mehmet Asutay.
Author: Zachary Moon
Zachary Moon explores the rich traditions of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in relationship to the field of pastoral theology. Firstly, he explores the significance of metaphor in influencing the pastoral theological imagination. This includes revisiting Seward Hiltner’s classic ‘shepherding perspective.’ Moon secondly utilizes the works of Jim Corbett in animating an alternative pastoral metaphor and claims a ‘goatwalking perspective.’ Finally, he broadly traverses the terrain of Quaker traditions, particularly those practices that pertain to compassionate care and support of spiritual wellbeing, acknowledging that the concepts of ‘pastoral theology’ and ‘pastoral care’ are largely unfamiliar within Quaker theological understanding yet asserting that Quaker traditions provide resources that aid broader pastoral theological discourse and support the healthy living out of Quaker faith in community.

In a foreword, Jim Higginbotham explores a complementary metaphor of sanctuary for pastoral theology. Inspired by Corbett's role as one of the founders of the Sanctuary Movement, sanctuary is understood as a sacred liminal space of radical hospitality connecting the pastoral and prophetic.
Empowerment, Gender and Development in an African Movement
In Matarenda/Talents in Zimbabwean Pentecostalism, the fourteen contributors to this multidisciplinary collection reflect on how Pentecostalism contributes to the empowerment of marginalised societies, how it empowers women in particular through the matarenda (talents) principles, and how it contributes to the development of wider society. All but three of the authors are Zimbabwean Pentecostals.

The book deals with such subjects as gender equality, economics and finance, poverty alleviation and sustainable development, education, and entrepreneurship. A remarkable independent Zimbabwean church has harnessed biblical principles from the Parable of the Talents to empower women and those marginalised by economic disasters. It is particularly relevant for understanding the potential of African Pentecostalism in dealing with social and economic challenges.
This collection of eighteen essays addresses critical theological and ethical issues in the book of Job: (1) Prologue: From Eden to Uz; (2) Job and His Friends: “What Provokes You that You Keep on Talking?”; (3) Job and the Priests: “Look At Me and Be Appalled;” (4) Traumatizing Job: “God Has Worn Me Out;” (5) Out of the Whirlwind: “Can You Thunder with A Voice Like God’s?”; (6) Preaching Job and Job’s God: “Listen Carefully to My Words;” (7) Epilogue: “All’s Well That Ends Well” … or Is it? The lead essay raises the question that lingers over the entire book: What are we to think of a God who is complicit in the death of seven sons and three daughters “for no reason”?
A Semantic Study of the Roots n-z-l and w-ḥ-y
Author: Simon P. Loynes
In Revelation in the Qur’an Simon P. Loynes presents a semantic study of the Arabic roots n-z-l and w-ḥ-y in order to elucidate the modalities of revelation in the Qur’an. Through an exhaustive analysis of their occurrences in the Qur’an, and with reference to pre-Islamic poetry, Loynes argues that the two roots represent distinct occurrences, with the former concerned with spatial events and the latter with communicative. This has significant consequences for understanding the Qur’an’s unique concept of revelation and how this is both in concord and at variance with earlier religious traditions.
Author: Guy Aiken
Guy Aiken provides a critical appreciation of Quaker mystic Thomas Kelly (1893-1941) and his classic A Testament of Devotion (1941). This examination of Kelly’s life and devotional writings is largely viewed through an Augustinian lens; Augustine’s Confessions was a touchstone for Kelly after his mystical transformation in 1937-38. Aiken argues that Kelly’s vision of Quakerism transcended religious and historical boundaries, while still speaking directly, and prophetically, to mid-twentieth-century liberal Quakerism and Christianity in the United States. The volume treats, in turn, Kelly’s melding of liberal and evangelical theology, his prophetic call to his contemporaries, and his revival of an ancient ethic, before concluding with helpful suggestions for further research.
Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation
In Learning the Language of Scripture, Mark Randall James offers a new account of theological interpretation as a sapiential practice of learning the language of Scripture, drawing on recently discovered Homilies on the Psalms by the influential early theologian Origen of Alexandria (2nd-3rd c. C.E). Widely regarded as one of the most arbitrary interpreters, James shows that Origen’s appearance of arbitrariness is a result of the modern tendency to neglect the role of wisdom in scriptural interpretation. James demonstrates that Origen offers a compelling model of a Christian pragmatism in which learning and correcting linguistic practice is a site of the transformative pedagogy of the divine Logos.
Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium of Coptic Studies, Melbourne, 13-16 July 2018
Copts in Modernity presents a collection of essays – many of which contain unpublished archival material – showcasing historical and contemporary aspects pertaining to the Coptic Orthodox Church. The volume covers three main themes: The first theme, History, gathers studies that look back to the nineteenth and late eighteenth centuries to understand the realities of the twentieth and twenty-first; the second theme, Education, Leadership and Service, explores the role of religious education in the revival of the Church and how Coptic religious principles influenced the ideas of leadership and service that resulted in the Church’s spiritual revival; and the third theme, Identity and Material Culture, draws upon a broad range of material and visual culture to exemplify the role they play in creating and recreating identities. This volume brings together the work of senior and early career scholars from Australia, Europe, Egypt, and the United States.