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Present-Day Spiritualities

Contrasts and Overlaps

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Edited by Elisabeth Hense, Frans P.M. Jespers and Peter J.A. Nissen

Many forms of present-day Western spirituality contribute to people’s well-being, whereas others have raised criticism. The study of these different forms is, however, complicated by their continuously diverging practices and ideas. By bringing to bear a multidisciplinary approach, the ten specialists of this volume are able to analyze diverse new instances of spirituality, e.g. in religious contexts (Buddhism, Christianity), popular use, organizations and enterprises, (alternative) health service, and works of art. Most contributions also discuss methods and theories. In their editorial chapters, Elisabeth Hense, Frans Jespers and Peter Nissen show the remarkable overlaps in the approaches, definitions and evaluations of the contributions in this volume and provide a theoretical framework. Both the fresh analyses and the theoretical reflections in this volume point the way to new approaches in this field of study.

Contributors include: Jerry Biberman, Mark Elliott, Miguel Farias, Johan Goud, Paul Heelas, Elisabeth Hense, Frans Jespers, Hubert Knoblauch, Peter Nissen, Paul van der Velde

Religious Identity and National Heritage

Empirical-Theological Perspectives

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Edited by Francis-Vincent Anthony

In some parts of our world, religion is on the wane, losing its thrust of doctrinal authority and communal bonds. In other regions, it is gaining public significance as a powerful social, cultural and political force. Secularization theories are less successful in accounting for these differences in religion’s role. Other theories describe religion in terms of social capital to be invested whenever it offers certain personal, social or political benefits and market opportunities allow smart choices. Still other theories simply hold that religion corresponds to an inborn need or stable disposition that guarantees a culture’s identity and reflects a natural equilibrium of social cohesion. There are also critical theories that point to the intrinsic relationship of religion with power and identify it as a major cause of tension and conflict. In this book distinguished scholars reflect on these questions and present empirical research about religious identity and national heritage.

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Edited by Jacob A. Belzen and Antoon Geels

This volume positions itself on the cutting edge of two fields in psychology that enjoy rapidly increasing attention: both the study of human lives and some core domains of such lives as religion and spirituality are high on the agenda of current research and teaching. Biographies and autobiographies are being approached in new ways and have become central to the study of human lives as an object of research and a preferred method for obtaining unique data about subjective human experiences. Ever since the beginning of the psychology of religion, autobiographies have also been pointed out as an important source of information about psychic processes involved in religiosity. In this volume, a number of leading theoreticians and researchers from Europe and the USA try to bring them back to this field by drawing on new insights and latest developments in psychological theory.

Yours the Power

Faith-based Organizing in the USA

Edited by Katie Day, Esther McIntosh and William Storrar

Despite shifts in the religious landscape in North America--reflected in the significant increase in those with no religious affiliation and emptier pews across the religious spectrum--there has also been a rise in participation in faith-based grassroots organizations. People of faith are increasingly joining broad-based organizing efforts to seek social change in their communities, regions and country.

This unique volume brings together the most current thinking on faith-based organizing from the perspective of theologians, social researchers and practitioners. The current state of faith based organizing is critically presented, as it has evolved from its roots in the mid-twentieth century into a context which raises new questions for its philosophical assumptions, methodology, and very future.

Originally published as issue 4 of Volume 6 (2012) of Brill's International Journal of Public Theology.

The Absence of God

Exploring the Christian Tradition in a Situation of Mourning

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Piet Zuidgeest

This volume deals with the meaning of the Christian tradition to individuals, particularly in a situation of mourning.
The author formulates the relation of the tradition with the individual as a communicative (interpersonal and intrapersonal) conception of tradition. The meaning of the tradition is described in terms of a hermeneutic-narrative interpretation of classical texts. A practicum is presented as a form of guidance in mourning. The empirical exploration shows that the theme of the absence of God (presented in texts of the Psalms) has an important meaning. These texts give believers in grief the opportunity to cope with their loss.

Twenty-First Century Theologies of Religions

Retrospection and Future Prospects

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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.

Catechesis in the Later Middle Ages I

The Exposition of the Lord's Prayer of Jordan of Quedlinburg, OESA (d. 1380) — Introduction, Text, and Translation

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Edited by Eric Leland Saak

In Catechesis in the Later Middle Ages I: The Exposition of the Lord's Prayer of Jordan of Quedlinburg, OESA (d. 1380)—Introduction, Text, and Translation, E.L. Saak presents the first edition and translation of the Exposition of the Lord's Prayer by the fourteenth-century Augustinian hermit, Jordan of Quedlinburg. This work, the first of six planned volumes of Jordan's Opera Selecta, contributes to our understanding of late medieval catechesis by focusing on a major pillar thereof, namely, the Pater Noster, bringing to light the importance of the Lord's Prayer to late medieval religion and the impact of Jordan's text on later authors, contributing thereby as well to the understanding of the emergence of the Catechism in the Reformation.

The Concept of Religion

Defining and Measuring Contemporary Beliefs and Practices

Edited by Hans Schilderman

In The Concept of Religion Hans Schilderman edits a volume on the definition and empirical study of religion within the changing landscape of modern society. Now that we can no longer assume a simple harmony between the scientific concept of religion, church doctrine and practiced belief, issues concerning the definition and measurement of religion are becoming crucial issues to academic institutions. The contributing authors present empirical studies studying issues of lifespan and socialisation at school settings; of vocation and profession at church and hospital settings; and culture and nation of society at large. The volume offers a beautiful sample of the empirical study of religion; a conceptual and illustrative overview of the academic field for students and scholars in religion.