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The Veiled God

Friedrich Schleiermacher’s Theology of Finitude

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Ruth Jackson

In The Veiled God, Ruth Jackson offers a detailed portrait of Friedrich Schleiermacher’s early life, ethics, and theology in its historical and social context. She also critically reflects on the enduring relevance of his work for the study of religion.
The book analyses major texts from Schleiermacher’s early work. It argues that his experiments with literary form convey his understanding that human knowledge is inherently social, and that religion is thoroughly linguistic and historical. The book contends that by making finitude (and not freedom) a universal aspect to human life, Schleiermacher offers rich conceptual resources for considering what it means to be human in this world, both in relations of difference to others, and in relation to the infinite.
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Edited by Thomas Meckel, Heribert Hallermann, Michael Droege and Heinrich de Wall

Aufgrund der kirchlichen und gesellschaftlichen Veränderungen in den letzten Jahren stehen das Kirchen- und das Religionsrecht vor großen Herausforderungen und Modifikationen. Die Herausgeber haben daher ein neues Lexikon für Kirchen- und Religionsrecht erarbeitet, dessen Ziel es ist, den Nutzern fundierte Orientierung und Informationen auf dem neuesten Stand der Forschung zum geschichtlich gewachsenen, geltenden eigenen Recht der Kirchen und Religionsgemeinschaften und zu deren rechtlichen Verhältnissen zum Staat zu liefern.

Das Lexikon für Kirchen- und Religionsrecht (LKRR) erscheint in vier Bänden, print und online in deutscher Sprache, und bietet in über 2,600 Lemmata bzw. Stichworten zuverlässige und prägnante Informationen zu den grundlegenden Fragen des internen Rechts von Kirchen und Religionsgemeinschaften und des Religionsrechts.

Neben Fragen des staatlichen Rechts und des Kirchenrechts der katholischen und der evangelischen Kirche werden auch zentrale Inhalte des Kirchenrechts der orthodoxen Kirchen sowie des Rechts des Judentums und des Islams behandelt. Das Lexikon ist einer interreligiösen und ökumenischen Perspektive verpflichtet und eröffnet dem Anwender die Möglichkeit, die verschiedenen Rechtsbereiche zu vergleichen. Die Mitarbeit von namhaften Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftlern des staatlichen Rechts, des Religionsrechts sowie des katholischen, evangelischen, orthodoxen, jüdischen und islamischen Rechts garantiert fundierte und kompetente Informationen. Das Lexikon ist sowohl für Theologen als auch für Juristen im Studium, in der Wissenschaft, in der staatlichen und kirchlichen Verwaltung sowie in der Seelsorge und beruflichen Praxis eine verlässliche und unerlässliche Informationsquelle.
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Edited by Emma O’Donnell Polyakov

Antisemitism, Islamophobia, and Interreligious Hermeneutics: Ways of Seeing the Religious Other, edited by Emma O’Donnell Polyakov, examines the hermeneutics of interreligious encounter in contexts of conflict. It investigates the implicit judgments of Judaism and Islam that often arise in response to these conflicts, and explores the implications of these interpretations for relations between Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Addressing antisemitism and Islamophobia through the tools of interreligious hermeneutics, this volume brings together three distinct discourses: the study of ancient and new tropes of antisemitism as they appear in today’s world; research into contemporary expressions of fear or suspicion of Islam; and philosophical reflections on the hermeneutics of interreligious encounters.
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Edited by Ines G. Županov and Pierre Antoine Fabre

The Rites Controversies in the Early Modern World is a collection of fourteen articles focusing on debates concerning the nature of “rites” raging in intellectual circles of Europe, Asia and America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The controversy started in Jesuit Asian missions where the method of accommodation, based on translation of Christianity into Asian cultural idioms, created a distinction between civic and religious customs. Civic customs were defined as those that could be included into Christianity and permitted to the new converts. However, there was no universal consensus among the various actors in these controversies as to how to establish criteria for distinguishing civility from religion. The controversy had not been resolved, but opened the way to radical religious scepticism.

Contributors are: Claudia Brosseder, Michela Catto, Gita Dharampal-Frick, Pierre Antoine Fabre, Ana Carolina Hosne, Ronnie Po-Chia Hsia, Giuseppe Marcocci, Ovidiu Olar, Sabina Pavone, István Perczel, Nicholas Standaert, Margherita Trento, Guillermo Wilde and Ines G. Županov.
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Studying Christianity in China

Constructions of an Emerging Discourse

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Naomi Thurston

Studying Christianity in China introduces an emerging academic trend in contemporary Chinese scholarship. Through qualitative interviews with leading experts in Chinese Christian studies, Naomi Thurston has investigated the ongoing conversation between China and Christianity. Since the 1980s, this conversation has given rise to an interdisciplinary academic field that is quickly gaining traction as a cutting-edge, cross-cultural discourse. The Chinese intellectuals driving this field are encountered as unique transmitters of cultural knowledge: they are cultural mediators working in a range of humanities and social science disciplines who are not only re-interpreting Western theology, but are also lending a new voice to Chinese expressions of the Christian faith. As such, they are at the forefront of a novel force in World Christianity.
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Jain Approaches to Plurality

Identity as Dialogue

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Melanie Barbato

In Jain Approaches to Plurality Melanie Barbato offers a new perspective on the Jain teaching of plurality ( anekāntavāda) and how it allowed Jains to engage with other discourses from Indian inter-school philosophy to global interreligious dialogue. Jainism, one of the world’s oldest religions, has managed to both adapt and preserve its identity across time through its inherently dialogical outlook. Drawing on a wide range of textual sources and original research in India, Barbato analyses the encounters between Jains and non-Jains in the classical, colonial and global context. Jain Approaches to Plurality offers a comprehensive introduction to anekāntavāda as a non-Western resource for understanding plurality and engaging in dialogue.

“Building upon earlier work in this field without simply reduplicating it, Melanie Barbato’s work delves deeply into the question of the relevance of Jain approaches to religious and philosophical diversity to contemporary issues of inter-religious dialogue, and dialogues across worldviews more generally. (…) This work is a most welcome contribution to the conversation.”

— Jeffery D. Long, Professor of Religion and Asian Studies, Elizabethtown College. April 2017. Author of Jainism: An Introduction.
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Common Words in Muslim-Christian Dialogue

A study of texts from the Common Word dialogue process

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Vebjørn Horsfjord

In Common Words in Muslim-Christian Dialogue Vebjørn L. Horsfjord offers an analysis of texts from an international dialogue process between Christian and Muslim leaders. Through detailed engagement with the Muslim dialogue letter A Common Word between Us and You (2007) and a large number of Christian responses to it, the study analyses the dialogue process in the wake of the Muslim initiative and shows how the various texts gain meaning through their interaction.

The author uses tools from critical discourse analysis and speech act analysis and claims that the Islamic dialogue initiative became more important as an invitation to Muslim-Christian dialogue than as theological reflection. He shows how Christian leaders systematically chose to steer the dialogue process towards practical questions about peaceful coexistence and away from theological issues.
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Jakob W. Wirén

In Hope and Otherness, Jakob Wirén analyses the place and role of the religious Other in contemporary eschatology. In connection with this theme, he examines and compares different levels of inclusion and exclusion in Christian, Muslim, and Jewish eschatologies. He argues that a distinction should be made in approaches to this issue between soteriological openness and eschatological openness. By going beyond Christian theology and also looking to Muslim and Jewish sources and by combining the question of the religious Other with eschatology, Wirén explores ways of articulating Christian eschatology in light of religious otherness, and provides a new and vital slant to the threefold paradigm of exclusivism, inclusivism and pluralism that has been prevalent in the theology of religions.

“Jakob Wirén’s study pushes forward the frontiers of three disciplines all at the same time: theology of religions; comparative religions and eschatology. (…) This is a challenging and important book.”
- Gavin D'Costa, University of Bristol, Professor of Catholic Theology, 2017

“This book explores of the status of religious others in Christian eschatology, and of eschatology itself as a privileged place for reflecting on religious otherness. Wiren mines not only Christian, but also Jewish and Muslim sources to develop an inclusive eschatology. Hope and Otherness thus represents an important contribution to both theology of religions and comparative theology.”
- Catherine Cornille, Boston College, Professor of Comparative Theology, 2017

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Everyday Life and the Sacred

Re/configuring Gender Studies in Religion

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Edited by Angela Berlis, Anna-Marie J.A.C.M. Korte and Kune Biezeveld

An interdisciplinary gender-sensitive approach toward perspectives on the everyday and the sacred are the hallmark of this volume. Looking beyond the dualistic status-quo, the authors probe the categories, textures, powers, and practices that define how we experience, embody, and understand religion and the sacred, their interconnection, but also disassociation with the secular.

Contributions by an international group of feminist theologians and religious studies scholars aim to re-configure the study of both religion and gender: Angela Berlis, Anne-Marie Korte, Kune Biezeveld †, Helga Kuhlmann, Maaike de Haardt, Akke van der Kooi, Dorothea Erbele-Küster, Willien van Wieringen, Magda Misset-van de Weg, Gé Speelman, Mathilde van Dijk, Jacqueline Borsje, Hedwig Meyer-Wilmes, Goedroen Juchtmans, Alma Lanser and Riet Bons-Storm.
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Comparative Theology

A Critical and Methodological Perspective

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Paul Hedges

In this first volume of Brill Research Perspectives in Theology, the field of comparative theology is mapped with particular attention to the tradition associated with Francis Clooney but noting the global and wider context of theology in a comparative mode. There are four parts. In the first section the current field is mapped and its methodological and theological aspects are explored. The second part considers what the deconstruction of religion means for comparative theology. It also takes into consideration turns to lived and material religion. In the third part, issues of power, representation, and the subaltern are considered, including the place of feminist and queer theory in comparative theology. Finally, the contribution of philosophical hermeneutics is considered. The text notes key trends, develops original models of practice and method, and picks out and discusses critical issues within the field.