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Rudolf Schuessler

In The Debate on Probable Opinions in the Scholastic Tradition, Rudolf Schuessler portrays scholastic approaches to a qualified disagreement of opinions. The book outlines how scholastic regulations concerning the use of opinions changed in the early modern era, giving rise to an extensive debate on the moral and epistemological foundations of reasonable disagreements. The debate was fueled by probabilism and anti-probabilism in Catholic moral theology and thus also serves as a gateway to these doctrines. All developments are outlined in historical context, while special attention is paid to the evolution of scholastic notions of probability and their importance for the emergence of modern probability.
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Edited by Amy M. Austin and Mark D. Johnston

A Companion to Ramon Llull and Lullism offers a comprehensive survey of the work of the Majorcan lay theologian and philosopher Ramon Llull (1232-1316) and of its influence in late medieval, Renaissance, and early modern Europe, as well as in the Spanish colonies of the New World. Llull’s unique system of philosophy and theology, the “Great Universal Art,” was widely studied and admired from the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries. His evangelizing ideals and methods inspired centuries of Christian missionaries. His many writings in Catalan, his native vernacular, remain major monuments in the literary history of Catalonia.

Contributors are: Roberta Albrecht, José Aragüés Aldaz, Linda Báez Rubí, Josep Batalla, Pamela Beattie, Henry Berlin, John Dagenais, Mary Franklin-Brown, Alexander Ibarz, Annemarie C. Mayer, Rafael Ramis Barceló, Josep E. Rubio, and Gregory B. Stone.
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The Spirit, Indigenous Peoples and Social Change

Māori and a Pentecostal Theology of Social Engagement

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Michael J. Frost

In The Spirit, Indigenous Peoples and Social Change Michael Frost explores a pentecostal theology of social engagement in relation to Māori in New Zealand. Pentecostalism has had an ambiguous relationship with Māori and, in particular, lacks a robust and coherent theological framework for engaging in issues of social concern. Drawing on a number of interviews with Māori pentecostal leaders and ministers, Frost explores the transformative role of pentecostal experience for Māori cultural identity, a holistic theology of mission, an indigenous prophetic emphasis, and consequent connections between pentecostalism and liberation. He thus contributes a way forward for pentecostal theologies of social change in relation to Māori, with implications for pentecostalism and indigenous peoples in the West.
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Vietnamese Evangelicals and Pentecostalism

The Politics of Divine Intervention

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Vince Le

This book offers an analysis of the historical, theological, and social conditions that give rise to the growth of pentecostalism among contemporary Vietnamese evangelicals. Emerging from the analysis is an understanding of how underprivileged evangelicals have utilized the pentecostal emphasis on divine intervention in their pursuit of the betterment of life amid religious and ethnic marginalization. Within the context of the global growth of pentecostalism, Vietnamese Evangelicals and Pentecostalism shows how people at the grassroots marry the deeply local-based meaning dictated by the particularity of living context and the profoundly universal truth claims made by a religion aspiring to reach all four corners of the earth to enhance life.
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John A. Williams

The author has previously argued that in recent times the mainstream churches in the uk have tended to co-opt elements of a postmodern analysis of contemporary culture in support of a mission strategy focused on presentational innovations and limited structural adjustments, without allowing the implications radically to challenge ecclesiological or theological foundations. This article conducts an experiment in pursuing the logic of a postmodern discourse about the Church to bring its more radical implications into view: it begins to sketch out an alternative view of church as an 'ecclesianarchy', the distinctive purpose of which is to become a socio-cultural site for the symbolisation and enactment of the impossible. The proposal is explored with reference to examples of contemporary innovations in ecclesial praxis, and attention is drawn to critical questions such churches will need to attend to in the interests of furthering their evolution in a time of instability and change.

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Henk de Roest and Simon Hill

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Samuel Tranter and David Bartram Torrance

This article begins by introducing recent work by Michael Banner, who advocates the use of social anthropology generally (not just the anthropology of Christianity) for the Christian ethics of everyday life. His use of ethnography in Christian theological ethics is then situated in relation to recent discussions in ecclesiology and ethnography. Situated thus, Banner’s work forms the springboard for a brief discussion of what is at stake for theological ethics in turning to ethnographic research. While some dangers are highlighted, a way forward is offered for the fruitful use of ethnographic research in this field.

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Elizabeth Jordan

A study of congregational life has been illuminated by Christian relational epistemology. A shared Christian identity is fundamental to this research methodology, as relational epistemology is treated as an approach grounded in the relations of the Trinity, from which all Christian ontology derives. The congregation is shown to be a network of relationships and the relationship that the researcher establishes with its members is integral to the knowledge about its nature. This approach has also provided insight into the relation between secular theory and theology in the study of congregations and the ethical concerns arising from insider research into situations in which one has pastoral responsibility for research participants. The paper shows that some understanding of the nature of the congregation is not accessible to those who do not participate in its life and so recommends an epistemological method for all ministers, lay or ordained, who wish to study their congregations.

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Andrew Village and Judith A. Muskett

Using a range of qualitative data, this article presents a case study of changing episcopal roles in the Diocese of Truro, necessitated by its bishops’ involvement in the innovative Accompanied Ministry Development Programme (amd). This style of engagement foregrounds the activity specified in the ordinal of ‘getting to know the people and being known by them’. Findings raise questions such as whether roles currently undertaken by the bishops could be shared among senior staff and, if not, how the role of bishops could be adjusted to cope with an ongoing commitment to engage with incumbents and parishes across the Diocese on a regular basis. These are questions upon which any diocese may wish to reflect when initiating change that requires direct episcopal support.