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Walter Homolka

Historical Jesus research, Jewish or Christian, is marked by the search for origins and authenticity. The various Quests for the Historical Jesus contributed to a crisis of identity within Western Christianity. The result was a move “back to the Jewish roots!”
For Jewish scholars it was a means to position Jewry within a dominantly Christian culture. As a consequence, Jews now feel more at ease to relate to Jesus as a Jew.
For Walter Homolka the Christian challenge now is to formulate a new Christology: between a Christian exclusivism that denies the universality of God, and a pluralism that endangers the specificity of the Christian understanding of God and the uniqueness of religious traditions, including that of Christianity.

Comparative Theology

A Critical and Methodological Perspective

Series:

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.

Series:

Edited by Koert van Bekkum, Jaap Dekker, Henk R. van den Kamp and Eric Peels

Since ancient times Leviathan and other monsters from the biblical world symbolize the life-threatening powers in nature and history. They represent the dark aspects of human nature and political entities and reveal the supernatural dimensions of evil. Ancient texts and pictures regarding these monsters reflect an environment of polytheism and religious pluralism. Remarkably, however, the biblical writings and post-biblical traditions use these venerated symbols in portraying God as being sovereign over the entire universe, a theme that is also prominent in the reception of these texts in subsequent contexts.
This volume explores this tension and elucidates the theological and cultural meaning of ‘Leviathan’ by studying its ancient Near Eastern background and its attestation in biblical texts, early and rabbinic Judaism, Christian theology, Early Modern art, and film.

Twenty-First Century Theologies of Religions

Retrospection and Future Prospects

Series:

Edited by Elizabeth Harris, Paul Hedges and Shanthikumar Hettiarachchi

Within Christian theology, debates on the theology of religions have intensified over the last thirty or so years. This volume surveys the field and maps future directions in this expanding and important area of research. Both established experts and new voices address typological debates, comparative theology, multiple religious belonging or identity, and how dialogue between different religious traditions affects our understanding of these issues. Different perspectives and traditions are represented, and, while focusing upon debates in Christian theology, voices and perspectives from a range of religious traditions are also included. This volume is an essential tool for research students and established scholars working within the theology of religions and interreligious studies.

Contributors are: Graham Adams, Tony Bayfield, Abraham Velez de Cea, Gavin D’Costa, Reuven Firestone, Ray Gaston, Elizabeth Harris, Paul Hedges, Shanthikumar Hettiarachchi, Haifaa Jawad, Kristin Beise Kiblinger, Paul F. Knitter, Oddbjørn Leirvik, Marianne Moyaert, Mark Owen, Alan Race, Sigrid Rettenbacher, Perry Schmidt-Leukel, Leonard Swidler, Philip Whitehead, Janet Williams, Ulrich Winkler.

Synopsis Purioris Theologiae / Synopsis of a Purer Theology 

Latin Text and English Translation: Volume 2, Disputations 24 - 42

Series:

Henk van den Belt, Riemer Faber, Andreas Beck and William den Boer

This bilingual edition of the Synopsis Purioris Theologiae (1625) provides English readers access to an influential textbook of Reformed Orthodoxy. Composed by four professors at the University of Leiden (Johannes Polyander, Andreas Rivetus, Antonius Walaeus, and Anthonius Thysius), it offers a presentation of Reformed theology as it was conceived in the first decades of the seventeenth century. From a decidedly Reformed perspective, the Christian doctrine is defined in contrast with alternative or diverging views, such as those of Roman Catholics, Arminians, and Socinians. The Synopsis responds to challenges coming from the immediate theological, social, and philosophical contexts. The disputations of this second volume cover topics such as Predestination, Christology, Faith and Repentance, Justification and Sanctification, and Ecclesiology.

Religious Experience Revisited

Expressing the Inexpressible?

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Edited by Thomas Hardtke, Ulrich Schmiedel and Tobias Tan

Religious Experience Revisited explores a dilemma which has haunted the study of religion since William James. Is religion rooted in experiences? Is religion rooted in expressions? How are experiences and expressions related? The contributors to this international and interdisciplinary compilation explore the possibilities and the impossibilities of a hermeneutics of religion. Combining theology and philosophy with biblical, cultural, historical and literary studies, they examine how religious experiences and religious expressions have been entangled in the past and in the present. These entanglements call for interdisciplinary conversations in which those who study experiences and those who study expressions can learn from each other in order to carve out important and instructive spaces for the study of religion.

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Martien Brinkman

In A Reformed Voice in the Ecumemenical Discussion Martien E. Brinkman offers a critical account of the main international ecumenical developments of the last three decades. He delivers a sketch of the Reformed contribution to the ecumenical dialogues dealing with issues like contextuality, state-church relations, the ethical implications of baptism, the church as sacrament of the kingdom and apostolic tradition.

He pleas for a stronger non-Western input in the ecumenical discussions and emphasizes that in many contexts (Indonesia, India, China) the interreligious dialogue has become part of the inner-Christian dialogue. This study can be considered as a constructive contribution to the development of a hermeneutics of tradition and puts itself the critical question what is lost and found in translation.

'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 Eucharistic Theology of Edward Bouverie Pusey

Sources, Context and Doctrine within the Oxford Movement and Beyond

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Brian Douglas

In The Eucharistic Theology of Edward Bouverie Pusey (1800-1882 and Regius Professor of Hebrew at Oxford University from 1828 to 1882), Brian Douglas offers a critical account of Pusey’s eucharistic theology set in the context of his life and work at Oxford and as the leader of the nineteenth century Oxford Movement. Pusey has often been characterised as conservative and obscurantist but in this book Douglas critically assesses Pusey’s eucharistic theology as a consistent expression of moderate realism which is both wise and creative. The book analyses Pusey’s extensive written output on eucharistic theology and ends with a reassessment of Pusey as a theologian, portraying him as a thinker owing much to Scripture, the early church Fathers, Anglican divines and philosophical reflection. Pusey is also seen to anticipate modern eucharistic theology. Reassessments of Pusey in the modern era are rare and this book contributes to a significant gap in the literature.

From Canonical Criticism to Ecumenical Exegesis?

A Study in Biblical Hermeneutics

Series:

Peter-Ben Smit

This study explores and compares the role of the canon in the work of Brevard S. Childs, James A. Sanders, Peter Stuhlmacher, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, and the Amsterdam School of exegesis, thus offering a broad overview of approaches and perspectives within the spectrum covered by canonical criticism. In doing so, both the theory of canonical criticism offered by each of the five is analysed and a sample of an actual exegesis is discussed. Observing that the interplay between text, reader, and community of interpretation is key to all of these approaches, the study proceeds to create a dialogue between canonical criticism and ecumenical hermeneutics, which leads to a proposal for an approach to exegesis that integrates elements of canonical hermeneutics, ecumenical hermeneutics, and intercultural perspectives.