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Series:

William J. Hoye

Aquinas’ theology can be understood only if one comes to grips with his metaphysics of being. The relevance of this perspective is exhibited in his treatment of topics like creation, goodness, happiness, truth, freedom of the will, the unity of the human being, prayer and providence, God’s personhood, divine love, God and violence, God’s unknowablility, the Incarnation, the Trinity, God’s existence, theological language and even laughter. This book endeavors to treat these questions in a clear and convincing language. Is there a better method for improving one’s own theology than by grappling with the arguments of Thomas Aquinas?

The Veiled God

Friedrich Schleiermacher’s Theology of Finitude

Series:

Ruth Jackson Ravenscroft

In The Veiled God, Ruth Jackson Ravenscroft 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.

Series:

Edited by Willem van Vlastuin and Kelly M. Kapic

This volume offers fresh reflections on John Owen, a leading Reformed theologian who sat on the brink of a new age. His seventeenth- century theology and spirituality reflect the growing tensions, and pre-modern and modern tendencies. Exploring Owen in this context helps readers better understand the seventeenth-century dynamics of individualization and rationalization, the views of God and self, community and the world. The authors of this volume investigate Owen’s approach to various key themes, including his Trinitarian piety, catholicity, doctrine of scripture, and public prayer. Owen’s international reception and current historiographical challenges are also highlighted.

Contributors are: Joel R. Beeke, Henk van den Belt, Gert A. van den Brink, Hans Burger, Daniel R. Hyde, Kelly M. Kapic, Reinier W. de Koeijer, Ryan M. McGraw, David P. Murray, Carl R. Trueman, Willem van Vlastuin.

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.

Habits in Mind

Integrating Theology, Philosophy, and the Cognitive Science of Virtue, Emotion, and Character Formation

Series:

Edited by Gregory R. Peterson, James van Slyke, Michael Spezio and Kevin Reimer

The language of habit plays a central role in traditional accounts of the virtues, yet it has received only modest attention among contemporary scholars of philosophy, psychology, and religion. This volume explores the role of both “mere habits” and sophisticated habitus in the moral life. Beginning with an essay by Stanley Hauerwas and edited by Gregory R. Peterson, James A. Van Slyke, Michael L. Spezio, and Kevin S. Reimer, the volume explores the history of the virtues and habit in Christian thought, the contributions that psychology and neuroscience make to our understanding of habitus, freedom, and character formation, and the relation of habit and habitus to contemporary philosophical and theological accounts of character formation and the moral life.

Contributors are: Joseph Bankard, Dennis Bielfeldt, Craig Boyd, Charlene Burns, Mark Graves, Brian Green, Stanley Hauerwas, Todd Junkins, Adam Martin, Darcia Narvaez, Gregory R. Peterson, Kevin S. Reimer, Lynn C. Reimer, Michael L. Spezio, Kevin Timpe, and George Tsakiridis.

Series:

Cathal Doherty

How do sacraments differ from superstition? For Enlightenment philosophers such as Kant, both are merely natural actions claiming a supernatural effect, an accusation that has long been ignored in Catholic theology. In Maurice Blondel on the Supernatural in Human Action: Sacrament and Superstition, however, Cathal Doherty SJ reverses this accusation through a theological appropriation of Blondel's philosophy of action, arguing not only that sacraments have no truck with superstition but that the 'Enlightened' are themselves guilty of that which they most abhor, superstitious action. Doherty then uses Blondel's philosophical insights as a heuristic and corrective to putative sacramental theologies that would reduce the spiritual or supernatural efficacy of sacraments to the mere human effort of perception or symbolic interpretation.

Divine Causality and Human Free Choice

Domingo Báñez, Physical Premotion and the Controversy de Auxiliis Revisited

Series:

Robert Joseph Matava

In Divine Causality and Human Free Choice, R.J. Matava explains the idea of physical premotion defended by Domingo Báñez, whose position in the Controversy de Auxiliis has been typically ignored in contemporary discussions of providence and freewill. Through a close engagement with untranslated primary texts, Matava shows Báñez’s relevance to recent debates about middle knowledge. Finding the mutual critiques of Báñez and Molina convincing, Matava argues that common presuppositions led both parties into an insoluble dilemma. However, Matava also challenges the informal consensus that Lonergan definitively resolved the controversy. Developing a position independently advanced by several recent scholars, Matava explains how the doctrine of creation entails a position that is more satisfactory both philosophically and as a reading of Aquinas.

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.

Theology as Improvisation

A Study in the Musical Nature of Theological Thinking

Series:

Nathan Crawford

In Theology as Improvisation, Nathan Crawford reimagines the possibilities for how theology thinks God within a postmodern world. He argues that theology is improvisation by analyzing the nature of attunement within theological thinking and how this opens certain possibilities for theology. He does so by engaging a number of thinkers, including Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, David Tracy, and Saint Augustine. He navigates the nature of thinking God in a postmodern world by using these thinkers to offer critiques of onto-theological thinking and totalizing systems while also following their embrace of the fragment and focus upon the nature of thinking as attunement. The result is a unique way of approaching theological thinking in our contemporary context.

Christianity and the Notion of Nothingness

Contributions to Buddhist-Christian Dialogue from the Kyoto School

Series:

Kazuo MUTŌ

Edited by Martin Repp

This publication by Muto Kazuo is a significant Christian contribution to the predominantly Buddhist “Kyoto School of Philosophy.” Muto proposes a philosophy of religion in order to overcome the claim for Christian exclusivity, as proposed by Karl Barth and others. On such a foundation, he investigates the possibilities for mutual understanding between Buddhism and Christianity. Thereby he engages in a critical exchange with the Kyoto School philosophers Nishida, Tanabe, and Nishitani. Throughout his discourse, Muto applies their method of logical argument (the “dialectic” of soku) to the dialogue between Christianity and Buddhism. He thus opens up new perceptions of Christian faith in the Asian context and, together with his Buddhist teachers, challenges the modern Western dialectical method of reasoning.