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Reading the Bible across Contexts

Luke’s Gospel, Socio-Economic Marginality, and Latin American Biblical Hermeneutics

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Esa J. Autero

In Reading the Bible Across Contexts Esa Autero offers a fresh perspective on Luke’s poverty texts. In addition to an historical reading, he conducted an empirical investigation of two Latin American Bible reading groups – one poor and the other affluent – to shed light on Luke’s poverty texts. The interaction between historical reading and present-day readings demonstrates the impact of socio-economic status on biblical hermeneutics and sheds new light on Luke’s views on wealth and poverty. At the same time Esa Autero critically examines liberation theologian’s claim that poor are privileged biblical interpreters.

Mission and Money

Christian Mission in the Context of Global Inequalities 

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Edited by Mari-Anna Auvinen-Pöntinen and Jonas Adelin Jørgensen

Mission and Money; Christian Mission in the Context of Global Inequalities offers academic discussion about the mission of the Church in the context of contemporary economic inequalities globally, challenging the reader to reconsider mission in the light of existing poverty, and investigating how economic structures could be challenged in the light of ethical and spiritual considerations. The book includes contributions on the subjects of poverty and inequality from the theologians, economists and anthropologists who gave keynote presentations at the European Missiological Conference (IAMS Europe) that took place in April 2014 in Helsinki, Finland. This conference was a major step forward in terms of discussion between missiologists and economists on global economic structures and their influence on human dignity.

Contributors are: Mari-Anna Auvinen-Pöntinen, Stephen B. Bevans, Jonathan J. Bonk, Ulrich Duchrow, Jonas Adelin Jørgensen, Vesa Kanniainen, Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, Tinyiko Sam Maluleke, Gerrie Ter Haar, Evi Voulgaraki-Pissina, Mika Vähäkangas, Felix Wilfred.

'Justification by Grace Alone' Facing Confucian Self-Cultivation

The Christian Doctrine of Justification Contextualized to New Confucianism

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Arne Redse

Chinese contexts as influenced by the religious moral philosophy of New Confucianism are characterized by the idea of becoming a sage through self-cultivation. For Christian theology – with its emphasis on God’s grace rather than on self-cultivation – Confucian teaching in this matter may appear as a problem.

Chinese Christian theology may ask: How can the Christian doctrine of justification by grace alone be contextualized in Chinese contexts which are characterized by the contradicting idea of self-cultivation? Another question may be equally interesting for Christian theology in all contexts: Which insights can be attained from an attempt at contextualizing the Christian doctrine of justification to contexts influenced by New Confucianism?

In this book professor Arne Redse contributes to answering these questions.

The Ethiopian Homily on the Ark of the Covenant

Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of Dǝrsanä Ṣǝyon 

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Amsalu Tefera

In The Ethiopian Homily on the Ark of the Covenant, Amsalu Tefera offers an editio princeps of the Ethiopic text of Dǝrsanä Ṣǝyon together with an annotated English translation. This homily, most likely composed in the fifteenth century, links the term Zion with the Ark of the Covenant and recounts at length its wanderings from Sinai to Ethiopia. As a Christian document, many of the events are interpreted as symbolic of Mary and the heavenly New Jerusalem.

First edited by the author for his 2011 doctoral dissertation, the critical text and apparatus present a complete collation of the ten known witnesses to this homily. Detailed notes are supplied on significant and difficult terms in the translation.

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Edited by Peggy Brock, Norman Etherington, Gareth Griffiths and Jacqueline Van Gent

This is the first full-length historical study of indigenous evangelists across a range of societies, geographical regions and colonial regimes and the first to focus on the complex issues of authority surrounding the evangelists. It answers a need frequently voiced in recent studies of Christian missions. Most scholars now acknowledge that the remarkable expansion of Christianity in Africa, Asia and the Pacific in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries owed far more to the efforts of indigenous preachers than to the foreign missionaries who loom so large in publications. This book addresses that concern making an excellent introduction to the role of indigenous evangelists in the spread of Christianity, and the many countervailing pressures with which these individuals had to contend. It also includes in the introductory discussions useful statements of the current state of scholarship and theoretical debates in this field.

Envoys of a Human God

The Jesuit Mission to Christian Ethiopia, 1557-1632

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Andreu Martínez d'Alòs-Moner

In Envoys of A Human God Andreu Martínez offers a comprehensive study of the religious mission led by the Society of Jesus in Christian Ethiopia. The mission to Ethiopia was one of the most challenging undertakings carried out by the Catholic Church in early modern times.
The book examines the period of early Portuguese contacts with the Ethiopian monarchy, the mission’s main developments and its aftermath, with the expulsion of the Jesuit missionaries. The study profits from both an intense reading of the historical record and the fruits of recent archaeological research. Long-held historiographical assumptions are challenged and the importance of cultural and socio-political factors in the attraction and ultimate estrangement between European Catholics and Ethiopian Christians is highlighted.

Charismatic Practice and Catholic Parish Life

The Incipient Pentecostalization of the Church in Guatemala and Latin America

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Jakob Egeris Thorsen

In Charismatic Practice and Catholic Parish Life - the Incipient Pentecostalization of the Church in Guatemala and Latin America, Jakob Egeris Thorsen offers a detailed ethnographic and theological analysis of the impact of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal on the Catholic Church in the region. Based on fieldwork, this interdisciplinary study examines how Charismatic practice and spirituality permeate both local parish life and the pastoral plans of the Catholic Church in Guatemala and Latin America.

The Charismatic Renewal is the largest lay movement in Latin America and has a profound influence on the Catholic Church. This book analyses both the social and ecclesiological consequences of an incipient Pentecostalization of Guatemalan and Latin American Catholicism.

Pentecostalism in Africa

Presence and Impact of Pneumatic Christianity in Postcolonial Societies

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Edited by Martin Lindhardt

Within recent decades Pentecostal/charismatic Christianity has moved from an initially peripheral position to become a force to be reckoned with within Africa’s religious landscape. Bringing together prominent Africanist scholars from a wide range of disciplines, this book offers a comprehensive and multifaceted treatment of the ways in which Pentecostal-Charismatic movements have shaped the orientations of African Christianity and extended their influence into other spheres of post-colonial societies such as politics, developmental work and popular entertainment. Among other things, the chapters of the book show how Pentecostal/charismatic Christianity responds to social and cultural concerns of Africans, and how its growth and increasingly assertive presence in public life have facilitated new kinds of social positioning and claims to political power.

The Law of God

Exploring God and Civilization

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Edited by Pieter Vos and Onno Zijlstra

In today’s society, a positive relation between ‘God’ and ‘civilization’ is by no means self-evident. Religious believers who want to live their lives in accordance with ‘the law of God’ are often considered a threat to civilization. To many, monotheistic religion is inherently repressive and violent.
The central aim of this volume is to think of both God and civilization in a more open, space-giving way. God is seen as the One who prevents man from making an absolute claim for a relative reality, including one's religion and culture. The multifaceted relations between God and civilization are explored from systematic-theological, missiological, philosophical and ethical perspectives.

Mission Station Christianity

Norwegian Missionaries in Colonial Natal and Zululand, Southern Africa 1850-1890

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Ingie Hovland

In Mission Station Christianity, Ingie Hovland presents an anthropological history of the ideas and practices that evolved among Norwegian missionaries in nineteenth-century colonial Natal and Zululand (Southern Africa). She examines how their mission station spaces influenced their daily Christianity, and vice versa, drawing on the anthropology of Christianity. Words and objects, missionary bodies, problematic converts, and the utopian imagination are discussed, as well as how the Zulus made use of (and ignored) the stations. The majority of the Norwegian missionaries had become theological cheerleaders of British colonialism by the 1880s, and Ingie Hovland argues that this was made possible by the everyday patterns of Christianity they had set up and become familiar with on the mission stations since the 1850s.