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Nicholas of Cusa and Times of Transition

Essays in Honor of Gerald Christianson

Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464) was active during the Renaissance, developing adventurous ideas even while serving as a churchman. The religious issues with which he engaged – spiritual, apocalyptic and institutional – were to play out in the Reformation. These essays reflect the interests of Cusanus but also those of Gerald Christianson, who has studied church history, the Renaissance and the Reformation. The book places Nicholas into his times but also looks at his later reception. The first part addresses institutional issues, including Schism, conciliarism, indulgences and the possibility of dialogue with Muslims. The second treats theological and philosophical themes, including nominalism, time, faith, religious metaphor, and prediction of the end times.
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Johannes Hoornbeeck (1617-1666), On the Conversion of Indians and Heathens

An Annotated Translation of De conversione Indorum et gentilium (1669)

Ineke Loots, Joke Spaans and Johannes Hoornbeeck

Exploration, trade and conquest expanded and upset traditional worldviews of early modern Europeans. Christians saw themselves confronted with a largely heathen world. In the wake of Iberian colonization, Jesuits successfully christianized heathen populations overseas. In his De conversione Indorum et gentilium Johannes Hoornbeeck presents a systematic overview of every aspect of the missionary imperative from a Reformed Protestant perspective. The most attractive part of his book may be the global survey it offers of the various types of heathens, an early example of comparative religion. Of equal interest, however, is his critical approach to mission. Hoornbeeck rejects ecclesiastical hierarchy and top-down imposition of Christianity. In this he is perfectly orthodox, and at the same time startlingly original and a harbinger of modern missions. His practical recommendations offer a flexible framework for missionaries, to fit a wide variety of circumstances.
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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 Aragüéz 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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Theology and Race

Black and Womanist Traditions in the United States

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Andrew Prevot

This study develops a Christian theological response to the problems of race and anti-black racism in conversation with black theology and womanist theology. It provides a detailed introduction to multiple voices, developments, and tensions in these two theological traditions over the last half century. It offers an overview of James Cone’s arguments and their reception. It considers turns toward pragmatism and genealogy in black religious scholarship, focusing on Cornel West, Peter Paris, Dwight Hopkins, Victor Anderson, Anthony Pinn, Bryan Massingale, J. Kameron Carter, and Willie Jennings. It analyzes womanist theological treatments of intersectionality, narrative, and embodiment through Jacquelyn Grant, Katie Cannon, Delores Williams, Emilie Townes, Karen Baker-Fletcher, Kelly Brown Douglas, Diana Hayes, and M. Shawn Copeland. Finally, it suggests some open questions related to hybridity, sexuality, and ecology. Ultimately, it argues that the credibility of Christian theological witness depends significantly on the quality of Christian theology’s response to anti-black racism.
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Taking on Practical Theology

The Idolization of Context and the Hope of Community

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Courtney Goto

In Taking on Practical Theology, Courtney T. Goto explores the regnant paradigm that shapes knowledge production and that preserves power, privilege, and historic communal injury even as scholars intend to enlighten and transform communities.

Approaching “context” as a case study, Goto illumines how this commonly used, taken-for-granted concept is “idolized.” Though practical theologians are sensitive to context, researchers often fail to consider how their own assumptive world dictates and influences their practices of research, teaching, and engaging in scholarly conversations. These practices unwittingly validate scholars who enjoy the most social capital while inflicting harm on both communities they research and on colleagues and students who do not fit (or fit less well) the norms of the majority.
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Gregory of Nyssa: In Canticum Canticorum

Analytical and Supporting Studies. Proceedings of the 13th International Colloquium on Gregory of Nyssa (Rome, 17-20 September 2014)

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Taken together, Gregory of Nyssa’s XV Homilies In Canticum Canticorum are at the same time – as if in unison – a work of spiritual, exegetical, and theological doctrine. The wide spectrum of the themes present in them have prompted a great interest in this work, not only among scholars of patristics or theology, but also among those interested in biblical interpretation, ancient rhetoric or Christian mystical doctrine. These Proceedings present the results of the 13th International Colloquium on Gregory of Nyssa (Rome, 17-20 September 2014): a systematic commentary of Gregory’s In Canticum from a broad perspective in the form of sixteen papers and a selection of fourteen short essays devoted to various issues that represent a valuable set of supporting studies.
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Gregory of Nyssa: Contra Eunomium I

An English Translation with Supporting Studies

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Christian Origins and the Establishment of the Early Jesus Movement explores the events, people, and writings surrounding the founding of the early Jesus movement in the mid to late first century. The essays are divided into four parts, focused upon the movement’s formation, the production of its early Gospels, description of the Jesus movement itself, and the Jewish mission and its literature. This collection of essays includes chapters by a global cast of scholars from a variety of methodological and critical viewpoints, and continues the important Early Christianity in its Hellenistic Context series.
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Speech-in-Character, Diatribe, and Romans 3:1-9

Who’s Speaking When and Why It Matters

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Justin King

In Speech-in-Character, Diatribe, and Romans 3:1-9, Justin King argues that the rhetorical skill of speech-in-character ( prosopopoiia, sermocinatio, conformatio) offers a methodologically sound foundation for understanding the script of Paul’s imaginary dialogue with an interlocutor in Romans 3:1-9. King focuses on speech-in-character’s stable criterion that attributed speech should be appropriate to the characterization of the speaker. Here, speech-in-character helps to inform which voice in the dialogue speaks which lines, and the general goals of diatribe help shape how an “appropriate” understanding of the script is best interpreted. King’s analyses of speech-in-character, diatribe, and Romans, therefore, make independent contributions while simultaneously working together to advance scholarship on a much debated passage in one of history’s most important texts.
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The Book of Jeremiah

Composition, Reception, and Interpretation

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Written by leading experts in the field, The Book of Jeremiah: Composition, Reception, and Interpretation offers a wide-ranging treatment of the main aspects of Jeremiah. Its twenty-four essays fall under four main sections. The first section contains studies of a more general nature, and helps situate Jeremiah in the scribal culture of the ancient world, as well as in relation to the Torah and the Hebrew Prophets. The second section contains commentary on and interpretation of specific passages (or sections) of Jeremiah, as well as essays on its genres and themes. The third section contains essays on the textual history and reception of Jeremiah in Judaism and Christianity. The final section explores various theological aspects of the book of Jeremiah.