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Creation Stories in Dialogue: The Bible, Science, and Folk Traditions

Radboud Prestige Lectures by R. Alan Culpepper

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Edited by Jan G. van der Watt and R. Alan Culpepper

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.

The Myōtei Dialogues

A Japanese Christian Critique of Native Traditions

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James Baskind and Richard Bowring

The Myōtei Dialogues is the first complete English translation one of the most important works of early Japanese Christianity. Fukansai Habian’s Myōtei mondō (1605) presents a sharp critique of the three main Japanese traditions, Buddhism, Shintō, and Confucianism, followed by an explanation of the main tenets of Christianity specifically aimed at a Japanese audience. Written by a convert, it is of importance not merely because it shows us how the Christian message was presented by a Japanese to other Japanese, but also for what it reveals about the state of the three native traditions at the beginning of the seventeenth century.

Diversity in the Structure of Christian Reasoning

Interpretation, Disagreement, and World Christianity

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Joshua Broggi

Diversity in the Structure of Christian Reasoning examines the effect of Christian commitments on rationality. When Christians read scripture, traditions supply concepts that shape what counts as normal, good, and true. This book offers an account of how different communities produce divergent readings of the Bible. It considers two examples from World Christianity, first a Bakongo community in central Africa, and then a Tamil bishop in southern India. Each case displays a relation between tradition and reason that reconfigures the hermeneutical picture developed by Martin Heidegger and Hans-Georg Gadamer. To see what transpires when readers decide about a correct interpretation, this book offers theologians and scholars of religion a fresh strategy that keeps in view the global character of modern Christianity.

Religion, Emergence, and the Origins of Meaning

Beyond Durkheim and Rappaport

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Paul Cassell

Why is religion so important to individuals and societies? What gives religion its profound meaningfulness and longevity? Enhancing perspectives taken from sociology and ritual theory, Religion, Emergence, and the Origins of Meaning describes how ‘emergence theory’ – developed to make sense of life and mind – explains why religious communities are special when compared to ordinary human social groups. Paul Cassell argues that in religious ritual, beliefs concerning unseen divine agencies are made uniquely potent, inviting and guiding powerful, alternative experiences, and giving religious groups a form of organization distinct from ordinary human social groups. Going beyond the foundational descriptions of Émile Durkheim and Roy Rappaport, Cassell utilizes the best of 21st century emergence theory to characterize religion’s emergent dynamics.

The World of St. Francis of Assisi

Essays in Honor of William R. Cook

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Edited by Bradley Franco and Beth Mulvaney

The World of St. Francis of Assisi: Essays in Honor of William R. Cook seeks to enrich our collective understanding of the world in which Francis lived and the ways in which Francis, together with his followers, has shaped the world ever since. Composed of thirteen essays by scholars from diverse academic disciplines, The World of St. Francis of Assisi considers Francis’s legacy in art, literature, and spirituality, and many of the contributions to the volume focus on the perennial application of Francis’s insights to the ills of contemporary society.
Contributors are Greg Ahlquist, William R. Cook, Alexandra Dodson, John K. Downey, Bradley R. Franco, John Hart, Ronald Herzman, Weston L. Kennison, Mary R. McHugh, Beth A. Mulvaney, Sara Ritchey and Daniel J. Schultz.

In the Vale of Tears

On Marxism and Theology, V

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Roland Boer

In the Vale of Tears brings to a culmination the project for a renewed and enlivened debate over the interaction between Marxism and religion. It does so by offering the author's own response to that tradition. It simultaneously draws upon the rich insights of a significant number of Western Marxists and strikes out on its own. Thus, it argues for the crucial role of political myth on the Left; explores the political ambivalence at the heart of Christianity; challenges the bent among many on the Left to favour the unexpected rupture of kairós as a key to revolution; is highly suspicious of the ideological and class alignments of ethics; offers a thorough reassessment of the role of fetishism in the Marxist tradition; and broaches the question of death, unavoidable for any Marxist engagement with religion. While the book is the conclusion to the five-volume series, The Criticism of Heaven and Earth, it also stands alone as a distinct intervention in some burning issues of our time.

Winner of the 2014 Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize.

Theories of Ideology

The Powers of Alienation and Subjection

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Jan Rehmann

How to explain the hegemonic stability of neoliberal capitalism even in the midst of its crises? The emergence of ideology theories marked a re-foundation of Marxist research into the functioning of alienation and subjection. Going beyond traditional concepts of ‘manipulation’ and ‘false consciousness’, they turned to the material existence of hegemonic apparatuses and focused on the mostly unconscious effects of ideological practices, rituals and discourses. Jan Rehmann reconstructs the different strands of ideology theories ranging from Marx to Adorno/Horkheimer, from Lenin to Gramsci, from Althusser to Stuart Hall, from Bourdieu to W.F. Haug, from Foucault to Butler. He compares them in a way that a genuine dialogue becomes possible and applies the different methods to the ‘market totalitarianism’ of today’s high-tech-capitalism.

Duty, Language and Exegesis in Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā

Including an edition and translation of Rāmānujācārya’s Tantrarahasya, Śāstraprameyapariccheda

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Elisa Freschi

The book is an introduction to key concepts of Indian Philosophy, seen from the perspective of one of its most influential schools, the Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā, which flourished from the 7th until the 20th c. AD. The book includes the critical edition and translation of Rāmānujācārya's Śāstraprameyapariccheda, which is part of his Tantrarahasya (written in South India, after the 14th c.). This text has never been translated before and it is one of the clearest elaboration of the Prābhākara thought.

The book particularly aims at presenting the linguistic, deontic-ethic, hermeneutic and epistemo-logical thought of the Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā. Detailed glossary and indexes make it possible to use the book as a reference-tool for Indian philosophy and linguistics.

The Question of Theological Truth

Philosophical and Interreligious Perspectives

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Edited by Frederiek Depoortere and Magdalen Lambkin

In today’s world, the boundaries within which Christian theologians operate are becoming ever more permeable, and Christian theology is increasingly influenced and challenged by multiple “outside” factors. In Western Europe, two such factors stand out in particular: the so-called “turn to religion” in continental philosophy and religious diversity. Theologians working with contemporary continental philosophers and theologians engaging the multireligious world tend to work quite separately from one another. The aim of the present book is therefore to initiate a conversation between these two groups of theologians. The question of truth was chosen because it is both a key issue in contemporary-philosophical debates (in the continental and analytic traditions) and one that arises in complex and problematic ways in the praxis of, and theoretical reflection on, interreligious dialogue. Some of the pressing questions that are addressed by the contributors to this volume are: What is truth? What is theological truth? How does the issue of truth arise from interreligious encounter? To what extent can or should the nature of truth be discussed explicitly during interreligious dialogue? Or should the question of truth be rather postponed in the interest of successful interreligious encounter? Is there a hermeneutical concept of truth and, if so, how can it be of help for theological reflection on the question of truth and on the role and place of truth in the context of dialogue between religions?

Where Heaven and Earth Meet

The Spiritual in the Art of Kandinsky, Rothko, Warhol, and Kiefer

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W. Stoker

Art has always been important for religion or spirituality. Secular art displayed in museums can also be spiritual, and it is this art that is the subject of this book.
Many of the works of art produced by Wassily Kandinsky, Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, and Anselm Kiefer are spiritual in nature. These works reveal their own spirituality, which often has no connection to official religions. Wessel Stoker demonstrates that these artists communicate religious insights through images and shows how they depict the relationship between heaven and earth, between this world and a transcendent reality, thus clearly drawing the contours of the spirituality these works evince.