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Dante’s Prayerful Pilgrimage

Typologies of Prayer in the Comedy

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Alessandro Vettori

In Dante’s Prayerful Pilgrimage Alessandro Vettori provides a comprehensive analysis of prayer in Dante’s Commedia. The underlying thesis considers prayer a metaphorical pilgrimage toward a sacred location and connects it with the pilgrim’s ascent to the vision of the Trinity. Prayer is movement in Purgatorio and also in Paradiso, while eternal stasis is the penalty of blasphemous souls in Inferno. In the fictional rendition of the poem, the pilgrim’s itinerary becomes a specular reflection of Dante’s own exilic experience. Prayer’s human-divine interaction affords the poet the necessary escape from the overwhelming sense of failure in politics and love. Whether it is petitional, liturgical, thankful, praiseful, or contemplative, prayer expresses the supplicant’s wish to transform reality and attain a superior spiritual status.
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Biblical Exegesis without Authorial Intention?

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Authorship and Meaning

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Edited by Clarissa Breu

In Biblical Exegesis without Authorial Intention? Interdisciplinary Approaches to Authorship and Meaning, Clarissa Breu offers interdisciplinary contributions to the question of the author in biblical interpretation with a focus on “death of the author” theory. The wide range of approaches represented in the volume comprises mostly postmodern theory (e. g. Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Paul de Man, Julia Kristeva and Gilles Deleuze), but also the implied author and intentio operis. Furthermore, psychology, choreography, reader-response theories and anthropological studies are reflected. Inasmuch as the contributions demonstrate that biblical studies could utilize significantly more differentiated views on the author than are predominantly presumed within the discipline, it is an invitation to question the importance and place attributed to the author.
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Edited by Florian Wilk

Scriptural Interpretation at the Interface between Education and Religion examines prominent texts from Jewish, Christian, and Islamic communities with a view to determining to what extent education ( Bildung) represents the precondition, the central feature and/or the aim of the interpretation of 'Holy Scripture' in antiquity. In particular, consideration is given to the exegetical techniques, the hermeneutical convictions and the contexts of intercultural exchange which determine the process of interpretation. The volume contains a methodological reflection as well as investigations of scriptural interpretation in Jewish texts from the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C.E., in New Testament writings, and in witnesses from late ancient Christianity and in the Qur’an. Finally, it contains a critical appraisal of the scholarly oeuvre of Hans Conzelmann. This work thus fosters scholarly understanding of the function of scriptural interpretation at the interface between education and religion.
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Edited by Stanley E. Porter and Andrew W. Pitts

Christian Origins and the Establishment of the Early Jesus Movement explores the events, people, and writings surrounding the founding of the early Jesus movement in the mid to late first century. The essays are divided into four parts, focused upon the movement’s formation, the production of its early Gospels, description of the Jesus movement itself, and the Jewish mission and its literature. This collection of essays includes chapters by a global cast of scholars from a variety of methodological and critical viewpoints, and continues the important Early Christianity in its Hellenistic Context series.
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Speech-in-Character, Diatribe, and Romans 3:1-9

Who’s Speaking When and Why It Matters

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Justin King

In Speech-in-Character, Diatribe, and Romans 3:1-9, Justin King argues that the rhetorical skill of speech-in-character ( prosopopoiia, sermocinatio, conformatio) offers a methodologically sound foundation for understanding the script of Paul’s imaginary dialogue with an interlocutor in Romans 3:1-9. King focuses on speech-in-character’s stable criterion that attributed speech should be appropriate to the characterization of the speaker. Here, speech-in-character helps to inform which voice in the dialogue speaks which lines, and the general goals of diatribe help shape how an “appropriate” understanding of the script is best interpreted. King’s analyses of speech-in-character, diatribe, and Romans, therefore, make independent contributions while simultaneously working together to advance scholarship on a much debated passage in one of history’s most important texts.
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The Trinitarian Testimony of the Spirit

Prosopological Exegesis and the Development of Pre-Nicene Pneumatology

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Kyle Hughes

In The Trinitarian Testimony of the Spirit, Kyle R. Hughes offers a new approach to the development of early Christian pneumatology by focusing on how Justin, Irenaeus, and Tertullian linked the Holy Spirit with testimony to the deity and lordship of the Father and the Son. Drawing extensively on recent studies of prosopological exegesis and divine testimony in the ancient world, Hughes demonstrates how these three pre-Nicene Christian writers utilized Scripture and the conventions of ancient rhetoric and exegesis to formulate a highly innovative approach to the Holy Spirit that would contribute to the identification of the Spirit as the third person of the Trinity.

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Where is God in the Megilloth?

A Dialogue on the Ambiguity of Divine Presence and Absence

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Brittany Melton

In Where is God in the Megilloth? Brittany N. Melton constructs a dialogue among Ruth, Esther, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs centred on this question, in an effort to settle the debate about whether God is present or absent in these books. Their juxtaposition in the Hebrew Bible highlights their shared theme of apparent divine absence, but, paradoxically, traces of God’s presence are unearthed as well.
By examining various aspects of this theme, including the literary absence of God, divine abandonment, God-talk, allusive language, God’s providence, and divine silence, it becomes clear that the ambiguity of divine presence and absence in the Megilloth presents a significant challenge to current conceptualizations of divine presence and absence in the Hebrew Bible.
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The Plot-structure of Genesis

‘Will the Righteous Seed Survive?’ in the Muthos-logical Movement from Complication to Dénouement

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Todd L. Patterson

In The Plot-structure of Genesis Todd L. Patterson argues that Genesis is organized by a development from complication to dénouement. The question 'Will the righteous seed survive?' drives the narrative to climax. Gen 4 sets up the complication. Cain and Abel are the seed of the woman who should lead humanity back to God's creation-sanctuary. Because Cain does not master sin, his unrighteousness threatens the survival of the seed. Each narrative tôlĕdôt division develops this theme until dénouement in the Joseph narrative when God ensures the survival of the promised seed.

By showing how plot integrates with the widely recognized tôlĕdôt structure, prominent motifs, and enigmatic features of the text, Todd L. Patterson provides a surprisingly novel interpretation of Genesis.
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Jubilee in the Bible

Using the Theology of Jürgen Moltmann to Find a New Hermeneutic

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Lidija Gunjević

The biblical message of Jubilee is becoming more credible in our days in dealing with the socio-economic and moral-spiritual issues of today’s world. It continues to exercise a powerful influence on the religious thoughts and actions of God’s people. In addition to that, this book reveals a new hermeneutical code of reading and interpreting the message of Jubilee. The synthesis of the exegetical analysis of the biblical texts regarding the Jubilee and Sabbath/Sabbath year and Moltmann’s understanding of this subject reveals the meaning and significance of the topic, how it is recognized, as well as its implications in today’s world. This synthesis reveals a new vision and starting point for socio-economic and moral-spiritual reform in our time.

“The biblical Sabbat / Jubilee-traditions are much richer than we thought. This book shows it. Theologically often neglected they are a source of new ideas to solve problems of human community and the ecology of the earth. That my theological works can be used to apply them today, is a surprise to me, a happy surprise.”
Jürgen Moltmann


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Sola Scriptura

Biblical and Theological Perspectives on Scripture, Authority, and Hermeneutics

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Edited by Hans Burger, Arnold Huijgen and Eric Peels

Sola Scriptura offers a multi-disciplinary reflection on the theme of the priority and importance of Scripture in theology, from historical, biblical-theological and systematic-theological perspectives, aiming at the interaction between exegesis and dogmatics. Brian Brock and Kevin J. Vanhoozer offer concluding reflections on the theme, bringing the various contributions together.