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Naomi S.S. Jacobs

In Delicious Prose: Reading the Tale of Tobit with Food and Drink, Naomi S.S. Jacobs explores how the numerous references to food, drink, and their consumption within The Book of Tobit help tell its story, promote righteous deeds and encourage resistance against a hostile dominant culture. Jacobs’ commentary includes up-to-date analyses of issues of translation, text-criticism, source criticism, redaction criticism, and issues of class and gender. Jacobs situates Tobit within a wide range of ancient writings sacred to Jews and Christians as well as writings and customs from the Ancient Near East, Ugarit, Greece, Rome, including a treasure trove of information about ancient foodways and medicine.

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Edited by Claire Clivaz, Paul Dilley and David Hamidović

The volume presents a selection of research projects in Digital Humanities applied to the “Biblical Studies” in the widest sense and context, including Early Jewish and Christian studies, hence the title “Ancient Worlds”. Taken as a whole, the volume explores the emergent Digital Culture at the beginning of the 21st century. It also offers many examples which attest to a change of paradigm in the textual scholarship of “Ancient Worlds”: categories are reshaped; textuality is (re-) investigated according to its relationships with orality and visualization; methods, approaches and practices are no longer a fixed conglomeration but are mobilized according to their contexts and newly available digital tools.

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Hughson T. Ong

In The Multilingual Jesus and the Sociolinguistic World of the New Testament, Hughson Ong provides a study of the multifarious social and linguistic dynamics that compose the speech community of ancient Palestine, which include its historical linguistic shifts under different military regimes, its geographical linguistic landscape, the social functions of the languages in its linguistic repertoire, and the specific types of social contexts where those languages were used. Using a sociolinguistic model, his study attempts to paint a portrait of the sociolinguistic situation of ancient Palestine. This book is arguably the most comprehensive treatment of the subject matter to date in terms of its survey of the secondary literature and of its analysis of the sociolinguistic environment of first-century Palestine.

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.

Reaching for the Sky

Religious Education from Christian and Islamic Perspectives

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Edited by Stella El Bouayadi-van de Wetering and Siebren Miedema

Young people have to make their own way in the world; they have to give meaning to and find meaning in their lives. This is the field of religious education, which is provided by parents, religious leaders, or teachers of religion and worldviews. One of the most important challenges is to educate children in their own religion, emphasizing that religion’s tolerant and peaceful side and to teach children about the beliefs of other traditions. An even more important challenge is to teach them to live together in peace and justice. This volume deals with religious education in Christianity and Islam in specific countries. Scholars in religious education need to know more about the ways in which Muslims and Christians perceive and practice their respective forms of religious education and explore methods that help young people develop their religious identity in accordance with their tradition—and also meet with comrades from other traditions, as the two young Gambian and Dutch women shown on the cover do.
This volume explores the field of Christian and Islamic education. Muslim and Christian scholars from Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Indonesia, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands describe various aspects of religious education at school, at home, in the mosque and church, via the media and in peer groups. The papers were presented and discussed at an authors’ conference at VU University Amsterdam, organized in close collaboration between the staff of its Centre of Islamic Theology and other scholars in religious education, and the Islamic Universities League in Cairo. The authors describe actual processes of education, reflect on religious identity formation and respect for other people and the influences from home, school, mosque, and church, the media and “the street.”

Heinz Streib

'Lived religion' signifies a shift of focus in order to attend to the religiosity of individuals and groups as embedded in the contexts of life-worlds. It suggests fresh attention to the body, to perception, to experience, to everyday life, and to biography. The essays in this collection gravitate around the concept of ‘lived religion’, honoring the contributions of Hans-Günter Heimbrock, in which he suggests this conceptual framework for understanding practical theology and religious education and for designing empirical research in theology. The contributions embrace a broad spectrum and include empirical studies, exegetical and historical investigations, contributions on practical theology as well as on the theory and practice of religious education, inviting further reflection and discussion about ‘lived religion.’

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Edited by Nelly van Doorn-Harder and Lourens Minnema

The various Christian, Muslim, traditional (African), and secular (Western) ways of imagining and coping with evil collected in this volume have several things in common. The most crucial perhaps and certainly the most striking aspect is the problem of defining the nature or characteristics of evil as such. Some argue that evil has an essence that remains constant, whereas others say its interpretation depends on time and place.
However much religious and secular interpretations of evil may have changed, the human search for sense and meaning never ends. Questions of whom to blame and whom to address—God, the devil, fate, bad luck, or humans—remain at the center of our explanations and our strategies to comprehend, define, counter, or process the evil we do and the evil done to us by people, God, nature, or accident. Using approaches from cultural anthropology, religious studies, theology, philosophy, psychology, and history, the contributors to this volume analyze how several religious and secular traditions imagine and cope with evil.

Comparing Religions

Possibilities and Perils?

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Edited by Thomas Athanasius Idinopulos, Brian C. Wilson and James Constantine Hanges

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David Tombs

David Tombs offers an accessible introduction to the theological challenges raised by Latin American Liberation and a new contribution to how these challenges might be understood as a chronological sequence. Liberation theology emerged in the 1960s in Latin America and thrived until it reached a crisis in the 1990s. This work traces the distinct developments in thought through the decades, thus presenting a contextual theology. The book is divided into five main sections: the historical role of the church from Columbus’s arrival in 1492 until the Cuban revolution of 1959; the reform and renewal decade of the 1960s; the transitional decade of the 1970s; the revision and redirection of liberation theology in the 1980s; and a crisis of relevance in the 1990s. This book offers insights into liberation theology’s profound contributions for any socially engaged theology of the future and is crucial to understanding liberation theology and its legacies.

This publication has also been published in paperback, please click here for details.

The Singers of Lamentations

Cities under Siege, from Ur to Jerusalem to Sarajevo

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Nancy Lee

The author analyzes the poetic songs of biblical Lamentations with oral-poetic folkloric method for the first time with surprising results. Contemporary lament poems are then compared from recent post-war Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina about suffering in cities under siege.
Oral-poetic and socio-rhetorical methods illumine two lead singers in dialogue in a mourning context, employing formulas and themes of dirge, psalmic and prophetic traditions in their compositions, but infusing these with their individual artistry to respond to Jerusalem’s destruction.
Poets through history and across cultures share common ground in how they render the suffering of their war-torn cities. The prophet Jeremiah emerges in Lamentations as one lead singer by virtue of how he modifies traditional formulas (imagery, themes, terms) in response to the context. A woman emerges as another lead singer who pushes the limits of current theology in crisis.