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.
Who’s Speaking When and Why It Matters
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.
Composition, Reception, and Interpretation
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.
Exploring Nature’s Texture
Humans have been described as “meaning-making animals.” At the threshold of the Anthropocene, how might humans artistically envision their place in the world? Do humans possess cultural tools, which will allow us to imagine new possibilities and relationships with the natural environment at a time when our material surroundings are under siege? Exploring Nature’s Texture looks at the imaginative possibilities of using the visual arts to address the breakdown of the human relationship with the environment. Bringing together contributions from artists, theologians, anthropologists and philosophers, it investigates the arts as a bridge between culture and nature, as well as between the human and more-than-human world. Contributors: Whitney A. Bauman, Sigurd Bergmann, Forrest Clingerman, Timothy M. Collins, J. Sage Elwell, Reiko Goto, Arto Haapala, Tim Ingold, Karolina Sobecka, George Steinmann
A Dialogue on the Ambiguity of Divine Presence and Absence
In Where is God in the Megilloth? Brittany N. Melton constructs a dialogue among Ruth, Esther, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs centred on this question, in an effort to settle the debate about whether God is present or absent in these books. Their juxtaposition in the Hebrew Bible highlights their shared theme of apparent divine absence, but, paradoxically, traces of God’s presence are unearthed as well. By examining various aspects of this theme, including the literary absence of God, divine abandonment, God-talk, allusive language, God’s providence, and divine silence, it becomes clear that the ambiguity of divine presence and absence in the Megilloth presents a significant challenge to current conceptualizations of divine presence and absence in the Hebrew Bible.
Hughes Félicité Robert de Lamennais
Lamennais: A Believer’s Revolutionary Politics, edited by Richard A Lebrun, offers English translations (by Lebrun and Jerry Ryan) of the most influential and controversial writings of Félicité de Lamennais, a French priest who began his career as a Traditionalist, became the founder of Liberal Catholicism in the early 1830s, and then left the Church after his ideas were condemned by Rome. Sylvain Milbach’s comprehensive Introduction and Annotations place these writings in the context of the author’s intellectual history and the political, religious, and intellectual situation in France in the first half of the 19th century. Lamennais challenged traditional religious, political, and social thinking, leaving a fiercely debated reputation. The writings translated here allow 21st-century readers to judge him for themselves.
Essays in Contextual Theology is a collection of essays that reflect on the doing of contextual theology from several perspectives. After a general introductory essay, subsequent essays reflect on topics such as contextual theology and prophetic dialogue, criteria for orthodoxy, the nature of tradition, the role of culture, the dynamics of conversion, and the way theology is being done in world Christianity. The collection closes with an autobiographical essay tracing the author’s journey to becoming a “global theologian.”
(Re)Configuring Faith and the Cultural
In Christianity, Empire and The Spirit, Néstor Medina uncovers the cultural processes that play a crucial role in influencing how people understand reality, express the Christian faith, and think about God. He uses decolonial thinking, Latina/o theology, and Pentecostal theology to show how the cultural dimension is a central feature in the biblical text; was the force that coopted Christianity from the imperial era of Constantine onwards; and undergirded Western European colonialism and the missionary project. He engages with Protestant and Catholic articulations on “culture” and demonstrates how most theologians perpetuate Eurocentric frames for considering the relation between Christianity and the cultural dimension. Alternatively, he offers a theological proposal that recognizes the Spirit at work in the phenomena of cultures.
Though the number of Christians in Western societies is declining, many areas of our daily life are still influenced by Christian thoughts, expressions and images, sometimes without people being aware of it. This volume is about Christ's descent into hell as it appears in The Apostles' Creed 'He descended into hell', the Apostles' Creed professes. But what are Christians who recite this Creed supposed to believe in when they profess their faith in the descent into hell? Or, to put the same question more poignantly, what is at stake if people deny the descent? Would it make any difference if we did not believe in the descent? How did the early Church interpret this belief? What influence has this article of faith had on contemporary theology and culture? Starting with a biblical view, the volume covers the history of theology by discussing the ideas of Augustine, the liturgy of the Early Church, the role of Christ's decent in Franciscan spirituality and in the theology of Thomas Aquinas. It also asks whether similar theological ideas are present in Judaism. In addition, it gauges the meaning of Christ's descent for today by reflecting on pastoral activities and on computer games. The volume concludes with a fundamental theological reflection which systematises and summarises all the material presented in this volume. These and other questions are discussed by theologians against the background of various disciplines: Biblical Studies, History of the Liturgy, Jewish Studies, History of Theology, History of Spirituality, Practical Theology, Cultural Theology and Systematic Theology. Contributors are: Frank Bosman, Toke Elshof, Paul van Geest, Harm Goris, Marcel Poorthuis, Gerard Rouwhorst, Marcel Sarot, William Marie Speelman, and Archibald van Wieringen.
Painter of Faith and Fable
The year 2015 could rightly be called “The Year of Piero di Cosimo.” Piero’s (1462-1522) critical fortunes have been much revived and his admirers’ sense of curiosity piqued by two exhibitions, Piero di Cosimo: The Poetry of Painting in Renaissance Florence, organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (February 1-May 3, 2015), and Piero di Cosimo (1462-1522): Pittore fiorentino ‘eccentrico’ fra Rinascimento e Maniera, subsequently hosted by the Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence (June 22-September 27, 2015). Together, the exhibitions marked and celebrated a pair of firsts: The first-ever major retrospectives devoted entirely to Piero’s artistic career and the first joint-exhibition collaboration between the National Gallery of Art and the Uffizi in the distinguished history of the two institutions. It could be said that the study of Piero di Cosimo belongs no less to the history of imagination than to the history of art. As was true for Giorgio Vasari five centuries ago, Piero’s highly personal visual language remains a moving target for modern scholars. Yet, as surprising and alluringly strange as his pictorial solutions appear, it may be claimed that we have never known or understood as much about Piero as we do today. Freed from the powerful spell of Vasari’s biography-cum-cautionary tale, the Piero that emerges is not solely a conjurer of the uncanny, but a sensitive observer of the natural and manmade worlds, humans and beasts, surfaces and coloristic effects, phenomena material and ephemeral. The complementary exhibitions in Washington and Florence, then, signified both a continuing journey and a destination, bringing together and, in many cases, reuniting paintings that have been separated for many decades, if not centuries. The conference from which the thirteen essays in the present volume emerge provided a forum for international scholars to continue the ongoing conversation and, above all, to ask new questions. The latter address Piero’s relationship to his artistic contemporaries, north and south of the Alps, across a variety of media; the master’s Marian imagery; his intellectual engagement with classical traditions; the dual themes of naturalism and exoticism; and the latest technical findings, gleaned from the most recent conservation efforts. Topics of investigation thus range as broadly as Piero’s own versatile production, uniting diverse fields and methods, traversing regional boundaries, and, on occasion, venturing far beyond Florence’s city walls, into the wild. Contributors are: Ianthi Assimakopoulu, Marina Belozerskaya, Jean Cadogan, Elena Capretti, Alessandra Galizzi Kroegel, Dennis Geronimus, Guy Hedreen, Sarah Blake McHam, Anna Teresa Monti, Paula Nuttall, Roberta Olson, Lesley Stevenson, Lisa Venerosi Pesciolini, and Elizabeth Walmsley.