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Diversity in the Structure of Christian Reasoning

Interpretation, Disagreement, and World Christianity

Series:

Joshua Broggi

Diversity in the Structure of Christian Reasoning examines the effect of Christian commitments on rationality. When Christians read scripture, traditions supply concepts that shape what counts as normal, good, and true. This book offers an account of how different communities produce divergent readings of the Bible. It considers two examples from World Christianity, first a Bakongo community in central Africa, and then a Tamil bishop in southern India. Each case displays a relation between tradition and reason that reconfigures the hermeneutical picture developed by Martin Heidegger and Hans-Georg Gadamer. To see what transpires when readers decide about a correct interpretation, this book offers theologians and scholars of religion a fresh strategy that keeps in view the global character of modern Christianity.

Transcendence and Sensoriness

Perceptions, Revelation, and the Arts

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Edited by Svein Aage Christoffersen, Geir Tryggve Hellemo, Leonora Onarheim, Nils Holger Petersen and Margunn Sandall

Protestant theology and culture are known for a reserved, at times skeptical, attitude to the use of art and aesthetic forms of expression in a religious context. In Transcendence and Sensoriness, this attitude is analysed and discussed both theoretically and through case studies considered in a broad theological and philosophical framework of religious aesthetics. Nordic scholars of theology, philosophy, art, music, and architecture, discuss questions of transcendence, the human senses, and the arts in order to challenge established perspectives within the aesthetics of religion and theology.

Religion, Emergence, and the Origins of Meaning

Beyond Durkheim and Rappaport

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Paul Cassell

Why is religion so important to individuals and societies? What gives religion its profound meaningfulness and longevity? Enhancing perspectives taken from sociology and ritual theory, Religion, Emergence, and the Origins of Meaning describes how ‘emergence theory’ – developed to make sense of life and mind – explains why religious communities are special when compared to ordinary human social groups. Paul Cassell argues that in religious ritual, beliefs concerning unseen divine agencies are made uniquely potent, inviting and guiding powerful, alternative experiences, and giving religious groups a form of organization distinct from ordinary human social groups. Going beyond the foundational descriptions of Émile Durkheim and Roy Rappaport, Cassell utilizes the best of 21st century emergence theory to characterize religion’s emergent dynamics.

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.

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Thomas M. Ward

In John Duns Scotus on Parts, Wholes, and Hylomorphism, Thomas M. Ward examines Scotus's arguments for his distinctive version of hylomorphism, the view that at least some material objects are composites of matter and form. It considers Scotus's reasons for adopting hylomorphism, and his accounts of how matter and form compose a substance, how extended parts, such as the organs of an organism, compose a substance, and how other sorts of things, such as the four chemical elements (earth, air, fire, and water) and all the things in the world, fail to compose a substance. It highlights the extent to which Scotus draws on his metaphysics of essential order to explain why some things can compose substance and why others cannot. Throughout the book, contemporary versions of hylomorphism are discussed in ways that both illumine Scotus's own views and suggest ways to advance contemporary debates.

The Question of Theological Truth

Philosophical and Interreligious Perspectives

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Edited by Frederiek Depoortere and Magdalen Lambkin

In today’s world, the boundaries within which Christian theologians operate are becoming ever more permeable, and Christian theology is increasingly influenced and challenged by multiple “outside” factors. In Western Europe, two such factors stand out in particular: the so-called “turn to religion” in continental philosophy and religious diversity. Theologians working with contemporary continental philosophers and theologians engaging the multireligious world tend to work quite separately from one another. The aim of the present book is therefore to initiate a conversation between these two groups of theologians. The question of truth was chosen because it is both a key issue in contemporary-philosophical debates (in the continental and analytic traditions) and one that arises in complex and problematic ways in the praxis of, and theoretical reflection on, interreligious dialogue. Some of the pressing questions that are addressed by the contributors to this volume are: What is truth? What is theological truth? How does the issue of truth arise from interreligious encounter? To what extent can or should the nature of truth be discussed explicitly during interreligious dialogue? Or should the question of truth be rather postponed in the interest of successful interreligious encounter? Is there a hermeneutical concept of truth and, if so, how can it be of help for theological reflection on the question of truth and on the role and place of truth in the context of dialogue between religions?

Asian and Oceanic Christianities in Conversation

Exploring Theological Identities at Home and in Diaspora

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Edited by Heup Young Kim, Fumitaka Matsuoka and Anri Morimoto

The old contrast between “universal” and “local” is now collapsing, but a new paradigm has yet to be defined. The contributors claim that the questions they raise will help redraw the lines of demarcation each in a unique way. Their collaborative result is a re-submission of the century-old question regarding “the essence of Christianity,” and the readers will hear answers to this question resounding in polyphonic voices. The book will make a unique contribution to the scholarship by constructing a common forum connecting diasporic Asians and Oceanians who live and work in regions around the Pacific Ocean. Publication in the field of theology has been thick on the American side of the Pacific, and the agenda of discussion are shaped largely in accordance with the concerns of those living on the North-American continent and in British Isles. Theologians living on the other side of the Pacific, while in daily contact with the multi-religious realities that beg theological attention, sometimes lack means of engaging in sustained discussion with other theologians who are similarly struggling to gain insights into different cultural contexts. This book will provide a shared ground for reflection and discussion.

Naming and Thinking God in Europe Today

Theology in Global Dialogue

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Edited by Norbert Hintersteiner

Is there a new need and place for God-talk in Europe? The present volume both confirms this and opens up new questions for discussion. It shows how different traditions of naming and thinking God in Europe draw on various theoretical and philosophical foundations that are in competition with one another in many ways. Due to socio-cultural, historical and political divides between Eastern and Western Europe, these theological traditions often suffer from isolation and mutual misunderstanding. Can the inherent tensions and conflicts be understood more adequately?
While exploring a variety of approaches in Europe on the topic, several authors also ask: How can God be named and thought in Europe, which finds itself in the midst of complex crosscultural and interreligious processes - particularly as immigration increases and peoples of non-Christian faith traditions name and think God in ways that differ from and sometimes conflict with Europe's dominant religion(s) and secular culture? What function and impact will traditional God-talk have in a globalizing Europe as religions such as Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism move into the foreground?
This volume not only reveals the broad spectrum of its topic but also documents the vivid seeking undertaken by a new generation of European theologians and scholars of religion who openly engage the question of how to live and believe in Europe today, facing complex global challenges.

Postcolonial Europe in the Crucible of Cultures

Reckoning with God in a World of Conflicts

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Edited by Jacques Haers, Norbert Hintersteiner and Georges De Schrijver SJ

Over the past forty years Europe has grown as a global presence and today it plays an important role in a variety of ways: politically, socially, economically, and culturally. European theologians have no choice but to take cognizance of this fact and respond to the broad social challenges by clarifying their views on God and being a prophetic voice in cultural, political and social decision-making. The authors in this volume take up four main contemporary global challenges, i.e. globalization, violence, gender, and the environment, and the volume provides its readers with first-rate theological reflections in Europe. The articles offered here are the result of an intensive workshop held in Leuven in September 2004 and are sponsored by the European Commission and the VLIR, as part of a three-year study program on the understanding of God in Europe.

Wrestling with God and with Evil

Philosophical Reflections

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Edited by Hendrik M. Vroom

The fact of evil continues to raises questions – questions about the relationship between God and evil but also questions about human involvement in it. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, it is now time to see the existence of evil not just as a problem for belief in God; it is a problem for belief in humanity itself as well. For human involvement in evil is not simply a matter of coping with evil but also concerns the fact that humans themselves often seem to do wrong and evil inevitably. Human finitude, ignorance and the unforeseeable consequences of good intentions as well as of neglect can often lead to tragedy.
This volume contains contributions from an equal number of male and female scholars in Western Europe and America. It contains discussions of thinkers like Kant, Kierkegaard, Barth, Weil, Levinas, Naber, Caputo and Johnson. It deals with issues like tragedy, finitude, critiques of Western culture, violence and God, and the question of whether theodicies are needed or are even honest. This volume offers an interesting survey of ‘wrestling with God and evil’ from a variety of perspectives in the philosophy of religion on both sides of the Atlantic.