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Author: Ansgar Martins
Ansgar Martins’s The Migration of Metaphysics into the Realm of the Profane is the first book-length study focusing on Adorno’s idiosyncratic appropriation of Jewish mysticism in the light of his relationship to Gershom Scholem and their shared intellectual contexts.

Rather than merely posit vague associative connections, as previous authors have often done, Martins’s close reading of specific references in published and private texts alike allows him to highlight both commonalities and differences between Adorno’s and Scholem’s understanding of Kabbalistic tropes and the issue of metaphysics in the modern world, and to demonstrate the extent to which similarities resulted from mutual and/or third-party influences (especially Benjamin). Martins throws the specifics of their respective idiosyncratic appropriations of (Jewish) tradition into sharp relief.
Studies on the Reception of Levi ben Gerson’s Philosophical, Halakhic and Scientific Oeuvre in the 14th through 20th Centuries. Officina Philosophica Hebraica Volume 2
Gersonides’ Afterlife is the first full-scale treatment of the reception of one of the greatest scientific minds of medieval Judaism: Gersonides (1288–1344). An outstanding representative of the Hebrew Jewish culture that then flourished in southern France, Gersonides wrote on mathematics, logic, astronomy, astrology, physical science, metaphysics and theology, and commented on almost the entire bible. His strong-minded attempt to integrate these different areas of study into a unitary system of thought was deeply rooted in the Aristotelian tradition and yet innovative in many respects, and thus elicited diverse and often impassionate reactions. For the first time, the twenty-one papers collected here describe Gersonides’ impact in all fields of his activity and the reactions from his contemporaries up to present-day religious Zionism.

Abstract

In all its diversity, Lutheran ethics places a pronounced emphasis on the universal aspects of theological ethics. This article argues that due to the increasing pluralization of many societies in recent decades, however, it is becoming more and more relevant to develop the particular aspects of theological ethics in the Lutheran tradition. Holding together both the universal and particular aspects of theological ethics constitutes a position of relevance for a pluralistic societal situation. Such a position enables the Christian church to maintain its distinctiveness and, at the same time, to be engaged in dialogue with other positions. In this way, the church will at once stand for a tradition-determined distinctiveness and be engaged in a tradition-transcending dialogue. Consequently, this position is characterized by both distinctiveness and openness.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Darren Cronshaw

Abstract

The Baptist Union of Victoria (BUV) encourages local churches to give priority to contributing to the well-being of their local neighbourhoods through community engagement and advocacy. This commitment to holistic mission and local community development is an integral part of the public theology of local churches, given Elaine Graham’s argument that ‘practical care and service constitutes the essential praxis of public theology’. But to what extent does the reality of BUV local church mission match this rhetoric? The 2016 National Church Life Survey (NCLS) helps identify what community service BUV churches and their members are involved in. This article discusses the statistical state-wide responses of Victorian Baptists from NCLS 2016, together with interview responses from church leaders. It explores aspects of community development most valued by attenders, where church members are volunteering, and how and where churches are providing social services, prophetic advocacy and environmental care. This denominational case study illustrates that churches offering social services and fostering advocacy and creation care are functioning as the local praxis of public theology.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Jason Lam

Abstract

Most participants in the Sino-Christian theology movement are not affiliated with the church. This state of affairs naturally raises the question whether what scholarship arises is really a kind of theology or merely writings on public and/or political issues with reference to Christian themes. And yet the movement is more influential than the church in the Chinese public realm in terms of its ability to produce a Christian voice. The purpose of this article is first to examine the historical development of Sino-Christian theology over the past several decades. Some particular themes of this movement are then explored. These themes are intertwined with the discussion of polytheistic values, nationalism, and self-identity in times of cultural conflict: all of these matters are of wide public concern. There are evident tensions within the Sino-Christian theology movement: the intention is to show points of difference can be transformed and become a creative drive behind the construction of a new kind of theology in the Chinese public realm.

In: International Journal of Public Theology

Abstract

This representative survey amongst 653 ministers in the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN) maps their experiences and views with regard to euthanasia. We found that three-quarters of the ministers have experience with euthanasia requests from their parishioners. Almost two-thirds of them respect a parishioner’s euthanasia request. Differentiating the answers on the basis of modality, we see differences in attitudes, both regarding euthanasia itself and regarding the pastoral approach. Although ministers have considerable experience with euthanasia, the open questions posed reveal that ministers encounter many difficulties and dilemmas: there is urgent need for discussion and support. The article intends to contribute to the search for a best pastoral practice in dealing with euthanasia requests and explores the need for a renewed role for the PKN in the social and political debate on euthanasia.

In: International Journal of Public Theology