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Religious Reproduction in Scientific and Philosophical Perspective
Where do gods come from – and what is the cost of bearing them? In Practicing Safe Sects F. LeRon Shults argues for the importance of having “the talk” about the causes and consequences of participating in religious sects. To survive and thrive as a social species, we humans are likely to continue needing some kind of sects (as well as sex) for quite some time. But can we learn how to practice safe sects? Can we live together in healthy and productive social networks without reproducing the superstitious beliefs and segregative behaviors that are engendered and nurtured by shared ritual engagement with imagined supernatural agents? In this provocative and timely book, Shults provides scientific and philosophical resources for answering these questions.
Philosophical, Early Christian and Empirical Perspectives
What is the role of religion, especially Christianity, in morality, pro-social behavior and altruism? Are there innate human moral capacities in the human mind? When and how did they appear in the history of evolution? What is the real significance of Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount — does it set up unique moral standards or only crystallize humans’ innate moral intuitions? What is the role of religious teachings and religious communities in pro-social behavior? Christianity and the Roots of Morality: Philosophical, Early Christian, and Empirical Perspectives casts light on these questions through interdisciplinary articles by scholars from social sciences, cognitive science, social psychology, sociology of religion, philosophy, systematic theology, comparative religion and biblical studies.

Contributors include: Nancy T. Ammerman, István Czachesz, Grace Davie, Jutta Jokiranta, Simo Knuuttila, Kristen Monroe, Mika Ojakangas, Sami Pihlström, Antti Raunio, Heikki Räisänen (✝), Risto Saarinen, Kari Syreeni, Lauri Thurén, Petri Ylikoski.
The experience of displacement is shared by people who work internationally. The capacity to be displaced is a necessary strength and skill for people working across cultures, particularly for missionaries. In order to deal with the stressful nature of displacement people need to be resilient, resilience makes people flourish in adverse circumstances. This volume presents a specific type of resilience, namely “resilience nourished by inner sources.” Cultivating inner resilience draws on all the facets of a person’s interior life: thoughts and memories, hopes and desires, beliefs and convictions, concerns and emotions. The notion of inner strength and resilience from within is developed using many examples from missionaries and development workers as well as case studies from all over the world.
From Nationalism and Nonviolence to Health Care and Harry Potter
Sacrifice seems to belong to a religious context of the past. In Sacrifice in Modernity: Community, Ritual, Identity it is demonstrated how sacrificial themes remain an essential element in our post-modern society. The shaping of community, performing rituals and the search for identity, three main characteristics of traditional sacrifice, are dynamics of our modern times as well which cannot be understood without sacrificial awareness. This is demonstrated in such areas as the German poet Hölderlin, Harry Potter, martyrdom, the Twilight Saga, the Japanese writer Endo, Tarkovsky, movies and more.
Migrations are contested sites of identity negotiations: they are not simply a process of border crossings but more so of border shiftings. Rather than allowing migrants to swiftly move across stable borders from one clearly defined identity to another, migrations question and renegotiate these very identities. Migrations undermine and re-establish borders along which the identity of migrants (and also that of the supposedly settled population) are constituted, and, as a discourse, migrations serve as a contested site of negotiating identities. Migrations reveal the negotiable character of identities - and representations of migration are themselves a hotspot in contemporary identity constructions.

What can theology contribute to the negotiations on migration? The contributions of this volume work towards a reading of migration as a sign of the times. Together, they offer "steps towards a theology of migration." They show that migration calls for a new way of doing. A theology that is exposed to migration as a sign of the times is drwan into the shifting, unsettling, and undermining of borders. This has impact not only on the discourse of migration, but also on the discourse of theology: it calls theology to move away from its search for well-established definitions (literally: borders) of its God-talk and to venture into new, uncharted territory. It loses its fixed, clearly defined grounds and finds itself on the way toward a renegotiation of what it means to believe in, celebrate, and reflect on YHWH - on God who is with us on the way.
Shifting Views of Transcendence in Philosophy, Theology, Art, and Politics
Religion is undergoing a transformation in current Western society. In addition to organized religions, there is a notable movement towards spirituality that is not associated with any institutions but in which experiences and notions of transcendence are still important. Transcendence can be described as God, the absolute, Mystery, the Other, the other as alterity, depending on one’s worldview. In this book, these shifts in the views of transcendence in various areas of culture such as philosophy, theology, art, and politics are explored on the basis of a fourfold heuristic model (proposed by Wessel Stoker). In conversation with this model, various authors, established scholars in their fields, explain the meaning and role, or the critique, of transcendence in the thought of contemporary thinkers, fields of discourse, or cultural domains. Looking Beyond? will stimulate further research on the theme of transcendence in contemporary culture, but can also serve as a textbook for courses in various disciplines, ranging from philosophy to theology, cultural studies, literature, art, and politics.
Amidst the cacophony of claims made about forgiveness, this book serves to aid in an effort to put “forgiveness in perspective.” Marieke Smit and Christopher R. Allers have collected here ten essays written by twelve authors from around the world and across the disciplinary spectrum including philosophers, practitioners, psychologists, literary theorists, and prison chaplains. All the essays offer a perspective on forgiveness and put forgiveness in perspective whether by tracing what forgiveness “is,” how this religious inheritance is worked out in our secularizing societies, how forgiveness works in our quotidian experience, or a particular manifestation in a particular context such as marriage, prison, or after an abortion, to name a few. The multi-disciplinary character of this book provides a multi-disciplinary appeal as well as a resource to enlarge one’s own perspective on this perplexing, enigmatic, and wonderfully complex concept of forgiveness.
In the academic year 1920-1921 at the University of Freiburg, Martin Heidegger gave a series of extraordinary lectures on the phenomenological significance of the religious thought of St. Paul and St. Augustine. The publication of these lectures in 1995 settled a long disputed question, the decisive role played by Christian theology in the development of Heidegger’s philosophy. The lectures present a special challenge to readers of Heidegger and theology alike. Experimenting with language and drawing upon a wide range of now obscure authors, Heidegger is finding his way to Being and Time through the labyrinth of his Catholic past and his increasing fascination with Protestant theology. A Companion to Heidegger's Phenomenology of Religious Life is written by an international team of Heidegger specialists.
Interdisciplinary Challenges – Positions – Perspectives / Interdisziplinäre Herausforderungen – Positionen – Perspektiven
Among the consequences of the all engulfing process of globalisation is the experience that not only it promotes interdependence among peoples, folks, cultures and religions, but it also creates problems and tensions. The assignment of a thoughtful and practice-oriented accompanying of this development poses itself subsequently. From this background different lectures are being conducted in different places; research initiatives as well as projects are started and executed while several publications are featuring. Visible here is the fact that although there abound rich reservoirs of knowledge, there is still no clarity as to the contents and the theoretical and methodical contrasts that are yet to be examined.

Zu den Folgen des um sich greifenden Globalisierungsprozesses, zählt die Erfahrung, dass er nicht nur die Interpendenz unter Menschen, Völkern, Kulturen und Religionen vorantreibt, sondern auch Probleme und Spannungen auslöst. Diese Situation ist denkerisch und praxisorientiert aufzuschließen. Es wurden an verschiedenen Standorten Lehrveranstaltungen durchgeführt, Forschungsprojekte in Angriff genommen und Publikationen vorgelegt. Auffällig hierbei ist: Obwohl der erreichte Wissensstand bereits reichhaltig ist, besteht keine Klarheit hinsichtlich der zu untersuchenden Inhalte und der theoretischen und methodischen Gegensätze.
This book presents a creative approach to the problem of individual authenticity. What is authenticity? What are its necessary conditions? How is an authentic self possible in society? What are the relationships of authenticity, morality, and happiness? The book examines a wide range of questions in Eastern and Western thought, to which it gives novel answers.