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The Shroud at Court

History, Usages, Places and Images of a Dynastic Relic

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The Shroud at the Court aims to analyse, through various essays characterized by a multidisciplinary and diachronic perspective, the strict ties created between the Shroud and the Savoy court from the fifteenth to twentieth centuries. Presented as proof of the divine legitimacy of Savoy lineage, the Shroud (of which the Savoy dynasty came into possession in 1453, keeping it first in Chambéry and then from 1578 in Turin) was central to their propagandistic strategies. The court – its spaces, protagonists, and rituals – became the natural setting for a relationship reinforced over time through customs, ceremonies, and images intended to celebrate the excellence of the Savoy, both within their own state and in Europe’s “society of princes”.
Contributors are Paola Caretta, Paolo Cornaglia, Paolo Cozzo, Davide De Franco, Bernard Dompnier, Laura Gaffuri, Pierangelo Gentile, Luisella Giachino, Andrea Merlotti, Frédéric Meyer, Andrea Nicolotti, Almudena Pérez de Tudela, Laurent Ripart, Alessandro Serra and Franca Varallo.
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Bart Koet

The deacon is an often-neglected leader in the Early Church. This book focuses on the deacon’s role and functions in relation to Augustine’s corpus. The author explores the corpus in a detailed and appropriately cautious approach that is always attentive to the text. He analyses how Augustine commented on deacons and the way he wrote about them, as well as how he preached on saints and martyrs who were deacons. The book thus provides a new perspective on the early deacons who were not social workers, but go-betweens between the bishop and his flock, between Scriptures and daily life, between Church and society, and who were epistle bearers responsible for the world wide web of Early Christianity.
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Costly Communion

Ecumenical Initiative and Sacramental Strife in the Anglican Communion

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Costly Communion: Ecumenical Initiative and Sacramental Strife in the Anglican Communion seeks to engage with Anglicanism’s theological responses to the onset of the twilight of empire and to explore the diversity of Anglican sacramental and ecumenical controversies during the twentieth century. From sacramental initiation and the doctrine of Eucharistic sacrifice to church order and the historic episcopate, Costly Communion offers insights into Anglo Catholic and Evangelical attempts to resolve the divisions provoked by the impact of the Oxford Movement from the 1830s. In its engagement with sub-Saharan African contextualization of the Anglican, moreover, Costly Communion analyses the unanticipated threat that Anglican diversity now poses for the unity of the Anglican Communion.

Contributors are: Jeff Boldt, Hugh Bowron, Colin Buchanan, Ken Farrimond, Joseph Galgalo, Benjamin Guyer, Charlotte Methuen, Thomas Mhuriro, Esther Mombo, Zablon Nthamburi, Kevin Ward.
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Aztec Religion and Art of Writing

Investigating Embodied Meaning, Indigenous Semiotics, and the Nahua Sense of Reality

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Isabel Laack

In her groundbreaking investigation from the perspective of the aesthetics of religion, Laack explores the religion and art of writing of the pre-Hispanic Aztecs of Mexico. Inspired by postcolonial approaches, she reveals Eurocentric biases in academic representations of Aztec cosmovision, ontology, epistemology, ritual, aesthetics, and the writing system to provide a powerful interpretation of the Nahua sense of reality.

Laack transcends the concept of “sacred scripture” traditionally employed in religions studies in order to reconstruct the Indigenous semiotic theory and to reveal how Aztec pictography can express complex aspects of embodied meaning. Her study offers an innovative approach to nonphonographic semiotic systems, as created in many world cultures, and expands our understanding of human recorded visual communication.

This book will be essential reading for scholars and readers interested in the history of religions, Mesoamerican studies, and the ancient civilizations of the Americas.

'This excellent book, written with intellectual courage and critical self-awareness, is a brilliant, multilayered thought experiment into the images and stories that made up the Nahua sense of reality as woven into their sensational ritual performances and colorful symbolic writing system.'
Davíd Carrasco, Harvard University
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From Volume 7 onwards, new format with a more current and topical focus on a country level.

The Yearbook of Muslims in Europe is an essential resource for analysis of Europe's dynamic Muslim populations. Featuring up-to-date research from forty-three European countries, this comprehensive reference work summarizes significant activities, trends, and developments.

Each new volume reports on the most current information available from surveyed countries, offering an annual overview of statistical and demographic data, topical issues of public debate, shifting transnational networks, change to domestic and legal policies, and major activities in Muslim organisations and institutions. Supplementary data is gathered from a variety of sources and evaluated according to its reliability.

In addition to offering a relevant framework for original research, the Yearbook of Muslims in Europe provides an invaluable source of reference for government and NGO officials, journalists, policy-makers, and related research institutions.
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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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The 38th World Congress of ISS addressed some of the most fundamental issues of sociological inquiry in light of global processes and the development of different fields of knowledge: What does it mean to be human? What is the nature of social as opposed to natural processes? How do efforts to map the social and political world interact with that world and with traditional sociological practices? What can we say about relationships between scientific, political and religious beliefs? This volume sets the stage for a sustained look at what social science can say about the twenty-first century and to address the theme of the congress in 2008: Sociology Looks at the 21th Century. From Local Universalism to Global Contextualism.

Contributors are: Gustaf Arrhenius, Rajeev Bhargava, Craig Calhoun, Shmuel N. Eisentstadt, Yehuda Elkana, Raghavendra Gadagkar, Peter Hedström, Hans Joas, Hannes Klöpper, Ivan Krastev, Steven Lukes, Vinh-Kim Nguyen, Helga Nowotny, Shalini Randeria, Alan Ryan, Jyotirmaya Sharma, Christina Torén, Michel Wieviorka, Björn Wittrock, Petri Ylikoski.
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The Science of Religion: A Defence

Essays by Donald Wiebe

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Donald Wiebe

Donald Wiebe, Professor of Philosophy of Religion at Trinity College, University of Toronto, has spent much of his academic career arguing for a clear demarcation between Theology and Religious Studies. The Science of Religion: A Defence offers a brilliant overview of Professor Wiebe's contributions on methodology in the academic study of religion, of the development of his thinking over time, and of his intellectual commitment to 'a science of religion'.

The work is divided into three parts. The first part identifies pertinent connections between 'religion', 'religious studies', and 'science' and why 'reductionism' in the academic study of religion, when properly applied, can bridge the explanatory gap between the sceptic and the devotee. The second part treats conceptual debates in the academic study of religion, with particular reference to the place of 'belief', 'understanding', and 'meaning' in the modern study of religion. The third part addresses the theological resistance to the scientific study of religion and how that resistance can be overcome. Finally, two new essays are included: a critique on ‘The Preconceptions of a Science of Religion’ by Anthony J. Palma, and an accompanying reply by Donald Wiebe.

The Science of Religion: A Defence is an essential resource for both scholarly and non-scholarly audiences alike, and will be of particular interest to both defenders and critics of a scientific study of religion.
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Quakers and Native Americans exams the history of interactions between Quakers and American Indians. Fourteen scholarly essays cover the period from the 1650s to the twentieth century. American Indians often guided the Quakers by word and example, demanding that they give content to their celebrated commitment to peace. As a consequence, the Quakers’ relations with American Indians has helped define their sense of mission and propelled their rise to influence in the U.S. Quakers have influenced Native American history as colonists, government advisors, and educators, eventually promoting boarding schools, assimilation and the suppression of indigenous cultures. The final two essays in this collection provide Quaker and American Indian perspectives on this history, bring the story up to the present day.

Contributors include: Ray Batchelor, Lori Daggar, John Echohawk, Stephanie Gamble, Lawrence M. Hauptman, Allison Hrabar, Thomas J. Lappas, Carol Nackenoff, Paula Palmer, Ellen M. Ross, Jean R. Soderlund, Mary Beth Start, Tara Strauch, Marie Balsley Taylor, Elizabeth Thompson, and Scott M. Wert.
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Jacob Böhme (1575–1624) is famous as a shoemaker and spiritual author. His works and thought are frequently studied as a product of his mystical illumination.
Jacob Böhme and His World adopts a different perspective. It seeks to demystify Böhme by focusing on aspects of his immediate cultural and social context and the intellectual currents of his time, including Böhme’s writing as literature, the social conditions in Görlitz, Böhme’s correspondence networks, a contemporary “crisis of Piety”, Paracelsian and Kabbalistic currents, astrology, astronomy and alchemy, and his relationship to other dissenting authors. Relevant facets of reception include Böhme’s philosophical standing, his contributions to pre-Pietism, and early English translations of his works.