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Offering an authoritative study of the plural religious landscape in modern Syria and of the diverse Christian and Muslim communities… that have cohabited the country for centuries, this volume considers a wide range of cultural, religious and political issues that have impacted the interreligious dynamic, putting them in their local and wider context. Combining fieldwork undertaken within government-held areas during the Syrian conflict with critical historical and Christian theological reflection, this research makes a significant contribution to understanding Syria’s diverse religious landscape and the multi-layered expressions of Christian-Muslim relations. It discusses the concept of sectarianism and how communal dynamics are crucial to understanding Syrian society. The complex wider issues that underlie the relationship are examined, including the roles of culture and religious leadership; and it questions whether the analytical concept of sectarianism is adequate to describe the complex communal frameworks in the Middle Eastern context. Finally, the study examines the contributions of contemporary Eastern Christian leaders to interreligious discourse, concluding that the theology and spirituality of Eastern Christianity, inhabiting the same cultural environment as Islam, is uniquely placed to play a major role in interreligious dialogue and in peace-making. The book offers an original contribution to knowledge and understanding of the changing Christian-Muslim dynamic in Syria and the region. It should be a key resource to students, scholars and readers interested in religion, current affairs and the Middle East.
By John M. Barclay. 2016
Paul and the Gift transformed the landscape of Pauline studies upon its publication in 2015. In it, John Barclay led readers… through a recontextualized analysis of grace and interrogated Paul&’s original meaning in declaring it a &“free gift&” from God, revealing grace as a multifaceted concept that is socially radical and unconditioned—even if not unconditional. Paul and the Power of Grace offers all of the most significant contributions from Paul and the Gift in a package several hundred pages shorter and more accessible. Additionally, Barclay adds further analysis of the theme of gift and grace in Paul&’s other letters—besides just Romans and Galatians—and explores contemporary implications for this new view of grace.
By Khaled Anatolios. 2020
A unified soteriology for the whole church It is commonly claimed that Western Christianity teaches salvation as deliverance from sin through… Jesus&’s sacrifice on the cross, while Eastern Christianity teaches salvation as deliverance from death—and as deification—through Christ&’s incarnation. But is it really true that no normative, unified doctrine of salvation is to be found in Scripture and tradition? Theologian Khaled Anatolios, deeply grounded in both East and West, here advances a soteriology that speaks deeply to all Christians. He argues that both Eastern and Western perspectives are needed, and especially that Eastern theology and liturgy—contrary to Western misperceptions—hold cross, resurrection, and glorification together in an exemplary way. Anatolios uses the phrase &“doxological contrition&” to suggest that the truth of salvation is found both in Jesus&’s perfect glorification of God and in his representative repentance for humanity&’s sinful rejection of its original calling to participate in the life of the Holy Trinity. Deification through the Cross is a salutary rebuttal of the postmodern fragmentation that assumes no single, normative soteriology can apply globally. Anatolios systematically expounds an integrated soteriology, which he then puts into dialogue with various perspectives, including liberation theology, Girardian theory, and penal substitution. All who seek to understand and teach &“the joy of our salvation&” will find indispensable help in this magisterial retrieval of an often-misunderstood doctrine.
By John M. Barclay. 2015
A fresh scholarly reading of grace in Paul's theology In this book esteemed Pauline scholar John Barclay presents a strikingly… fresh reading of grace in Paul's theology, studying it in view of ancient notions of "gift" and shining new light on Paul's relationship to Second Temple Judaism.Paul and the Gift centers on divine gift-giving, which for Paul, Barclay says, is focused and fulfilled in the gift of Christ. He offers a new appraisal of Paul's theology of the Christ-event as gift as it comes to expression in Galatians and Romans, and he presents a nuanced and detailed discussion of the history of reception of Paul. This exegetically responsible, theologically informed, hermeneutically useful book shows that a respectful, though not uncritical, reading of Paul contains resources that remain important for Christians today.
People living with mental health challenges are not excluded from God&’s love or even the fullness of life promised by… Jesus. Unfortunately, this hope is often lost amid the well-meaning labels and medical treatments that dominate the mental health field today. In Finding Jesus in the Storm, John Swinton makes the case for reclaiming that hope by changing the way we talk about mental health and remembering that, above all, people are people, regardless of how unconventionally they experience life. Finding Jesus in the Storm is a call for the church to be an epicenter of compassion for those experiencing depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and related difficulties. That means breaking free of the assumptions that often accompany these diagnoses, allowing for the possibility that people living within unconventional states of mental health might experience God in unique ways that are real and perhaps even revelatory. In each chapter, Swinton gives voice to those experiencing the mental health challenges in question, so readers can see firsthand what God&’s healing looks like in a variety of circumstances. The result is a book about people instead of symptoms, description instead of diagnosis, and lifegiving hope for everyone in the midst of the storm.
Originally an ascribed identity that cast non-Jewish Christ-believers as an ethnic other, &“gentile&” soon evolved into a much more complex… aspect of early Christian identity. Gentile Christian Identity from Cornelius to Constantine is a full historical account of this trajectory, showing how, in the context of &“the parting of the ways,&” the early church increasingly identified itself as a distinctly gentile and anti-Judaic entity, even as it also crafted itself as an alternative to the cosmopolitan project of the Roman Empire. This process of identity construction shaped Christianity&’s legacy, paradoxically establishing it as both a counter-empire and a mimicker of Rome&’s imperial ideology. Drawing on social identity theory and ethnography, Terence Donaldson offers an analysis of gentile Christianity that is thorough and highly relevant to today&’s discourses surrounding identity, ethnicity, and Christian-Jewish relations. As Donaldson shows, a full understanding of the term &“gentile&” is key to understanding the modern Western world and the church as we know it.
By Paul Crittenden. 2021
In this book, Paul Crittenden offers a critical guide to the problematic origins of biblical teaching about the afterlife and… the way in which it was subsequently developed by Church authorities and theologians—Origen, Augustine, and Thomas Aquinas in particular. In the post–Reformation era the focus falls on the challenges set by modern secularism. The tradition encompasses a body of interconnected themes: an apocalyptic war in which the Kingdom of God triumphs over Satan’s powers of darkness; salvation in Christ; the immortality of the soul; and finally the resurrection of the dead and the last judgment, ratifying an afterlife of eternal bliss for the morally good and punishment in hell for wrongdoers. The critique questions these beliefs on evidential, ethical, and philosophical grounds. The argument overall is that what lies beyond death is beyond knowledge. The one fundamental truth that can be distilled from the once compelling body of Christian eschatological belief—for believers and unbelievers alike—is the importance of living ethically.
By Michel Chambon. 2020
An anthropological theorization of the unity and diversity of Christianity, this book focuses on Christian communities in Nanping, a small… city in China. It applies methodological insights from Actor-Network Theory to investigate how the Christian God is made part of local social networks. The study examines how Christians interact with and re-define material objects, such as buildings, pews, offerings, and blood, in order to identify the kind of networks and non-human actors that they collectively design. By comparing local Christian traditions with other practices informing the Nanping religious landscape, the study points out potential cohesion via the centralizing presence of the Christian God, the governing nature of the pastoral clergy, and the semi-transcendent being of the Church.
The Rationale Divinorum Officiorum is arguably the most important medieval treatise on the symbolism of church architecture and rituals of… worship. Written by the French bishop William Durand of Mende (1230-1296), the treatise is ranked with the Bible as one of the most frequently copied and disseminated texts in all of medieval Christianity. It served as an encyclopedic compendium and textbook for liturgists and remains an indispensable guide for understanding the significance of medieval ecclesiastical art and worship ceremonies. This book marks the first English translation of the prologue and book one of the Rationale in almost two centuries. Timothy M. Thibodeau begins with a brief biography of William Durand and a discussion of the importance of the work during its time. Thibodeau compares previous translations of the Rationale in the medieval period and afterward. Then he presents his translation of the prologue and book one. The prologue discusses the principles of allegorical interpretation of the liturgy, while book one features detailed descriptions of the various parts of the church and its ecclesiastical ornaments. It also features extensive commentary on cemeteries, various rites of consecration and dedication, and a discussion of the sacraments.Thibodeau is a well-respected historian who has published extensively on the history of Christianity and the liturgy of the medieval Church. He is also coeditor of the critical edition of the Rationale in Latin. His translation is an indispensable guide for both scholars and general readers who hope to gain a richer understanding of medieval art, architecture, and culture.
By Aviad Kleinberg. 2015
In the Old Testament, God wrestles with a man (and loses). In the Talmud, God wriggles his toes to make… thunder and takes human form to shave the king of Assyria. In the New Testament, God is made flesh and dwells among humans. For religious thinkers trained in Greek philosophy and its deep distaste for matter, sacred scripture can be distressing. A philosophically respectable God should be untainted by sensuality, yet the God of sacred texts is often embarrassingly sensual.Setting experts' minds at ease was neither easy nor simple, and often faith and logic were stretched to their limits. Focusing on examples from both Christian and Jewish sources, from the Bible to sources from the Late Middle Ages, Aviad Kleinberg examines the way Christian and Jewish philosophers, exegetes, and theologians attempted to reconcile God's supposed ineffability with numerous biblical and postbiblical accounts of seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and even tasting the almighty. The conceptual entanglements ensnaring religious thinkers, and the strange, ingenious solutions they used to extricate themselves, tell us something profound about human needs and divine attributes, about faith, hope, and cognitive dissonance.
By Ian Morgan Cron. 2006
What happens when the pastor of a mega church loses his faith? Pastor Chase Falson has lost his faith in… God, the Bible, evangelical Christianity, and his super-sized megachurch. When he falls apart, the church elders tell him to go away: as far away as possible. Join Chase on his life-changing journey to Italy where, with a curious group of Franciscan friars, he struggles to resolve his crisis of faith by retracing the footsteps of Francis of Assisi, a saint whose simple way of loving Jesus changed the history of the world. Read this riveting story and then begin your own life-changing journey through the pilgrim’s guide included in this powerful novel. Hidden in the past lies the future of the church When his elders tell him to take some time away from his church, broken pastor Chase Falson crosses the Atlantic to Italy to visit his uncle, a Franciscan priest. There he is introduced to the revolutionary teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi and finds an old, but new way of following Jesus that heals and inspires. Chase Falson’s spiritual discontent mirrors the feelings of a growing number of Christians who walk out of church asking, Is this all there is? They are weary of celebrity pastors, empty calorie teaching, and worship services where the emphasis is more on Lights, Camera, Action than on Father, Son, and Holy Spirit while the deepest questions of life remain unaddressed in a meaningful way. Bestselling author Ian Morgan Cron masterfully weaves lessons from the life of Saint Francis into the story of Chase Falson to explore the life of a saint who 800 years ago breathed new life into disillusioned Christians and a Church on the brink of collapse. Chasing Francis is a hopeful and moving story with profound implications for those who yearn for a more vital relationship with God and the world.
By Christina Of Hane. 2020
The first English translation of The Life of Christina of Hane, a gripping account of a largely unknown medieval female… mystic&“Who was Christina of Hane? History knows little about her, but Racha Kirakosian here presents a fascinating enigma—a mystical compendium disguised as a saint&’s Life. Students of medieval religion will eagerly probe its mysteries.&”—Barbara Newman, Northwestern University The thirteenth-century mystic Christina of Hane led an extraordinary life, but her recently unearthed case remains to be discovered in the English-speaking world. Her disturbing account of vaginal mutilation, her competition with the Virgin Mary, and her potentially heretical statements about the union with Christ are but a few peculiarities worth highlighting. This remarkable work sheds new light on convent life, spiritual practices, and physical and mental suffering in the life of medieval women and the communities they inhabited.
By Diana Gruver. 2020
The church's relationship with depression has been fraught: for centuries, depression was assumed to be evidence of personal sin or… even demonic influence. The depressed have often been ostracized or institutionalized. In recent years the conversation has begun to change, and the stigma has lessened—but as anyone who suffers from depression knows, we still have a long way to go. In Companions in the Darkness, Diana Gruver looks back into church history and finds depression in the lives of some of our most beloved saints, including Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, Mother Teresa, and Martin Luther King Jr. Without trying to diagnose these figures from a distance, Gruver tells their stories in fresh ways, taking from each a particular lesson that can encourage or guide those who suffer today. Drawing on her own experience with depression, Gruver offers a wealth of practical wisdom both for those in the darkness and those who care for them. Not only can these saints teach us valuable lessons about the experience of depression, they can also be a source of hope and empathy for us today. They can be our companions in the darkness.
In The Color of Compromise, Jemar Tisby takes readers back to the roots of sustained racism and injustice in the… American church. Filled with powerful stories and examples of American Christianity's racial past, Tisby's historical narrative highlights the obvious ways people of faith have actively worked against racial justice, as well as the complicit silence of racial moderates. The Color of Compromise Study Guide, used together with The Color of Compromise Video Study, unpacks the content of the video study for an in-depth diagnosis of a racially divided American church, suggesting ways to foster a more equitable and inclusive environment among God's people.
By Constantine R. Campbell. 2020
A Unique Study of Pauline Eschatology that Is Both Exegetical and TheologicalOne of the trajectories coming out of Constantine Campbell's… award-winning book Paul and Union with Christ is the significance of eschatology for the apostle. Along with union with Christ, eschatology is a feature of Paul&’s thinking that affects virtually everything else.While union with Christ is the "webbing" that joins Paul's thought together, eschatology provides the "shape" of his thought, and thus gives shape to his teaching about justification, resurrection, the cross, ethics, and so forth. There is considerable debate, however, about Paul's eschatology, asking whether he is a "covenant" or an "apocalyptic" theologian.In Paul and the Hope of Glory Campbell conducts a thorough exegetical study of the relevant elements of Paul's eschatological language, metaphors, and images including "parousia," "the last day," "inheritance," "hope," and others. He examines each passage in context, aiming to build inductively an overall sense of Paul's thinking. The results of this exegetical study then feed into a theological study that demonstrates the integration of Paul's eschatological thought into his overall theological framework.The study is comprised of three parts:The first part introduces the key issues--both exegetical and theological--and sets the parameters and methodology of the book. It also offers an historical survey of the scholarly work produced on Paul's eschatology through the twentieth century to the present day.The second part contains the detailed exegetical analysis, with chapters on each important Pauline phrase, metaphor, and image related to eschatology.The third part turns its attention to theological synthesis. It recapitulates relevant conclusions from the evidence adduced in part two and launches into theological discussion engaging current issues and debates.This volume combines high-level scholarship and a concern for practical application of a topic currently debated in the academy and the church. More than a monograph, this book is a helpful reference tool for students, scholars, and pastors to consult its treatment of any particular instance of any phrase or metaphor that relates to eschatology in Paul's thinking.
By Carey Wallace. 2020
Performing Miracles. Facing Wild Lions. Confronting Demons. Transforming the World. From Augustine to Mother Teresa, officially canonized as St. Teresa… of Calcutta, discover seventy of the best-known and best-loved saints and read their riveting stories. Meet Joan of Arc, whose transcendent faith compelled her to lead an army when the king’s courage failed. Francis of Assisi, whose gentleness tamed a man-eating wolf. Valentine, a bishop in the time of ancient Rome, who spoke so often of Christ’s love that his saint’s day, February 12, has been associated with courtly love since the Middle Ages. St. Thomas Aquinas, the great teacher. Peter Claver, who cared for hundreds of thousands of people on slave ships after their voyage as captives. And Bernadette, whose vision of Mary instructed her to dig the spring that became the healing waters of Lourdes. Each saint is illustrated in a dramatic and stylized full-color portrait, and included in every entry are the saint’s dates, location, emblems, feast days, and patronage. Taken together, these stories create a rich, inspiring, and entertaining history of faith and courage. For kids age 10 and up. A perfect gift for Confirmation.
By Thabiti M. Anyabwile. 2007
Who were Jupiter Hammon, Lemuel Haynes and Daniel Alexander Payne? And what do they have in common with Martin Luther… King Jr., Howard Thurman and James Cone? All of these were African American Christian theologians, yet their theologies are, in many ways, worlds apart. In this book, Thabiti Anyabwile offers a challenging and provocative assessment of the history of African American Christian theology, from its earliest beginnings to the present. He argues trenchantly that the modern fruit of African American theology has fallen far from the tree of its early predecessors. In doing so, Anyabwile closely examines the theological commitments of prominent African American theologians throughout American history. Chapter by chapter, he traces what he sees as the theological decline of African American theology from one generation to the next, concluding with an unflinching examination of several contemporary figures. Replete with primary texts and illustrations, this book is a gold mine for any reader interested in the history of African American Christianity. With a foreword by Mark Noll.
By James W. Reapsome. 2018
Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry (Transforming Resources)
By Ruth Haley Barton. 2018
"I'm tired of helping others enjoy God—I just want to enjoy God for myself."Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadershipresponding to… the dynamics of callingfacing the loneliness of leadershipleading from your authentic selfcultivating spiritual communityreenvisioning the promised landdiscerning God's will together
By Ronald W. Duty, Marie A. Failinger. 2016
This volume puts forth an unprecedented, distinctive Lutheran take on the intersection of law and religion in our society today.… On Secular Governance gathers the collaborative reflections of legal and theological scholars on a range of subjects — women’s issues, property law and the environment, immigration reform, human trafficking, church-state questions, and more — all addressed from uniquely Lutheran points of view.