• Humanities & Social Sciences
      August 2014

      Seriously Dangerous Religion

      What the Old Testament Really Says and Why It Matters

      by Iain Provan

      The Old Testament is often maligned as an outmoded and even dangerous text. Best-selling authors like Richard Dawkins, Karen Armstrong, and Derrick Jensen are prime examples of those who find the Old Testament to be problematic to modern sensibilities. Iain Provan counters that such easy and popular readings misunderstand the Old Testament. He opposes modern misconceptions of the Old Testament by addressing ten fundamental questions that the biblical text should--and according to Provan does--answer: questions such as "Who is God?" and "Why do evil and suffering mark the world?" By focusing on Genesis and drawing on other Old Testament and extra-biblical sources, Seriously Dangerous Religion constructs a more plausible reading. As it turns out, Provan argues, the Old Testament is far more dangerous than modern critics even suppose. Its dangers are the bold claims it makes upon its readers. ; 1 Of Mice, and Men, and HobbitsStories, Art, and Life2 The Up Quark, the Down Quark, and Other Cool Stuff What Is the World?3 Slow to Anger, Abounding in Love, and (Thankfully) Jealous Who Is God?4 Of Humus and Humanity Who Are Man and Woman?5 It Isn't Natural Why Do Evil and Suffering Mark the World?6 On Living in a Blighted World What Am I to Do about Evil and Suffering?7 Even the Stork Knows That How Am I to Relate to God?8 Love All, Trust a Few, Do Wrong to None How Am I to Relate to My Neighbor?9 On Keeping the Earth How Am I to Relate to the Rest of Creation?10 I Saw the New Jerusalem Which Society Should I Be Helping to Build?11 A Bird Perched in the Soul What Am I to Hope For?12 Further Up and Further In New Dimensions in the Old Story13 On the Judicious Closing of the Mind The Question of Truth14 Risk Assessment Is the Story Dangerous?Postscript: Biblical Faith for a New AgeNotesBibliographyScripture IndexIndex of AuthorsSubject Index

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      November 2012

      The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus

      The True Life and Trials of Nicholas of Myra

      by Adam C. English

      With his rosy cheeks and matching red suit—and ever-present elf and reindeer companions—Santa Claus may be the most identifiable of fantastical characters. But what do we really know of jolly old Saint Nicholas, "patron saint" of Christmastime? Ask about the human behind the suit, and the tale we know so well quickly fades into myth and folklore.In The Saint Who Would Be Santa Claus, religious historian Adam English tells the true and compelling tale of Saint Nicholas, bishop of Myra. Around the fourth century in what is now Turkey, a boy of humble circumstance became a man revered for his many virtues. Chief among them was dealing generously with his possessions, once lifting an entire family out of poverty with a single--and secret--gift of gold, so legend tells. Yet he was much more than virtuous. As English reveals, Saint Nicholas was of integral influence in events that would significantly impact the history and development of the Christian church, including the Council of Nicaea, the destruction of the temple to Artemis in Myra, and a miraculous rescue of three falsely accused military officers. And Nicholas became the patron saint of children and sailors, merchants and thieves, as well as France, Russia, Greece, and myriad others.Weaving together the best historical and archaeological evidence available with the folklore and legends handed down through generations, English creates a stunning image of this much venerated Christian saint. With prose as enjoyable as it is informative, he shows why the life--and death--of Nicholas of Myra so radically influenced the formation of Western history and Christian thought, and did so in ways many have never realized. ; 1. Finding St. Nicholas2. Out of a Dying World Comes a Light3. Three Gifts and One Election4. The Work of Victory5. Riots, Beheadings, and Other Near Misfortunes6. Death Is Only the BeginningNotesRecommended ReadingsIndex

    • Christian theology
      June 2016

      Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels

      by Richard B. Hays

      The claim that the events of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection took place "according to the Scriptures" stands at the heart of the New Testament’s message. All four canonical Gospels declare that the Torah and the Prophets and the Psalms mysteriously prefigure Jesus. The author of the Fourth Gospel states this claim succinctly: in his narrative, Jesus declares, "If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me" (John 5:46). Yet modern historical criticism characteristically judges that the New Testament’s christological readings of Israel’s Scripture misrepresent the original sense of the texts; this judgment forces fundamental questions to be asked: Why do the Gospel writers read the Scriptures in such surprising ways? Are their readings intelligible as coherent or persuasive interpretations of the Scriptures? Does Christian faith require the illegitimate theft of someone else’s sacred texts? Echoes of Scripture in the Gospels answers these questions. Richard B. Hays chronicles the dramatically different ways the four Gospel writers interpreted Israel’s Scripture and reveals that their readings were as complementary as they were faithful. In this long-awaited sequel to his Echoes of Scripture in the Letters of Paul, Hays highlights the theological consequences of the Gospel writers’ distinctive hermeneutical approaches and asks what it might mean for contemporary readers to attempt to read Scripture through the eyes of the Evangelists. In particular, Hays carefully describes the Evangelists’ practice of figural reading—an imaginative and retrospective move that creates narrative continuity and wholeness. He shows how each Gospel artfully uses scriptural echoes to re-narrate Israel’s story, to assert that Jesus is the embodiment of Israel’s God, and to prod the church in its vocation to engage the pagan world. Hays shows how the Evangelists summon readers to a conversion of their imagination. The Evangelists’ use of scriptural echo beckons readers to believe the extraordinary: that Jesus was Israel’s Messiah, that Jesus is Israel’s God, and that contemporary believers are still on mission. The Evangelists, according to Hays, are training our scriptural senses, calling readers to be better scriptural people by being better scriptural poets. ; PrefaceIntroduction: Figural Interpretation of Israel’s ScriptureThe Evangelists as Readers of Israel’s ScripturePart 1. The Gospel of Mark: Herald of Mystery1. "Take heed what you hear": Mark as Interpreter of Scripture2. Apocalyptic Judgment and Expectancy: Israel’s Story in Mark’s Narrative3. Jesus as the Crucified Messiah4. Watchful Endurance: The Church’s Suffering in Mark’s Narrative5. "Hidden in order to be revealed": Mark’s Scriptural HermeneuticsPart 2. The Gospel of Matthew: Torah Transfigured6. The Law and the Prophets Fulfilled: Matthew as Interpreter of Scripture7. The End of Exile: Israel’s Story in Matthew’s Narrative8. Jesus as Emmanuel9. Making Disciples of All Nations: The Church’s Mission in Matthew’s Narrative10. The Transfiguration of Torah: Matthew’s Scriptural HermeneuticsPart 3. The Gospel of Luke: The Liberation of Israel11. Continuing the Scriptural Story: Luke as Interpreter of Scripture12. The Promise of Israel’s Liberation: Israel’s Story in Luke’s Narrative13. Jesus as the Redeemer of Israel14. Light to the Nations: The Church’s Witness in Luke’s Narrative15. Opened Eyes and Minds: Luke’s Scriptural HermeneuticsPart 4. The Gospel of John: The Temple of His Body16. "Come and see": John as Interpreter of Scripture17. "Salvation is from the Jews": Israel’s Story in John’s Narrative18. Jesus as the Temple19. The Vine and the Branches: The Church’s Oneness in John’s Narrative20. The Figural Web: John’s Scriptural HermeneuticsConclusion: Did Not Our Hearts Burn within Us?NotesBibliographyIndex of Scripture and Ancient SourcesIndex of Names

    • History
      September 2016

      Destroyer of the gods

      Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World

      by Larry W. Hurtado

      "Silly," "stupid," "irrational," "simple." "Wicked," "hateful," "obstinate," "anti-social." "Extravagant," "perverse." The Roman world rendered harsh judgments upon early Christianity—including branding Christianity "new." Novelty was no Roman religious virtue.Nevertheless, as Larry W. Hurtado shows in Destroyer of the gods, Christianity thrived despite its new and distinctive features and opposition to them. Unlike nearly all other religious groups, Christianity utterly rejected the traditional gods of the Roman world. Christianity also offered a new and different kind of religious identity, one not based on ethnicity. Christianity was distinctively a "bookish" religion, with the production, copying, distribution, and reading of texts as central to its faith, even preferring a distinctive book-form, the codex. Christianity insisted that its adherents behave differently: unlike the simple ritual observances characteristic of the pagan religious environment, embracing Christian faith meant a behavioral transformation, with particular and novel ethical demands for men. Unquestionably, to the Roman world, Christianity was both new and different, and, to a good many, it threatened social and religious conventions of the day.In the rejection of the gods and in the centrality of texts, early Christianity obviously reflected commitments inherited from its Jewish origins. But these particular features were no longer identified with Jewish ethnicity and early Christianity quickly became aggressively trans-ethnic—a novel kind of religious movement. Its ethical teaching, too, bore some resemblance to the philosophers of the day, yet in contrast with these great teachers and their small circles of dedicated students, early Christianity laid its hard demands upon all adherents from the moment of conversion, producing a novel social project. Christianity’s novelty was no badge of honor. Called atheists and suspected of political subversion, Christians earned Roman disdain and suspicion in equal amounts. Yet, as Destroyer of the gods demonstrates, in an irony of history the very features of early Christianity that rendered it distinctive and objectionable in Roman eyes have now become so commonplace in Western culture as to go unnoticed. Christianity helped destroy one world and create another. ; PrefaceIntroductionChapter 1. Early Christians and Christianity in the Eyes of Non-ChristiansChapter 2. A New Kind of FaithChapter 3. A Different IdentityChapter 4. A "Bookish" ReligionChapter 5. A New Way to LiveConclusionAppendixNotesIndex of Ancient SourcesIndex of Subjects and Modern Authors

    • Islam
      October 2016

      Muslims and the Making of America

      by Amir Hussain

      "There has never been an America without Muslims"—so begins Amir Hussain, one of the most important scholars and teachers of Islam in America. Hussain, who is himself an American Muslim, contends that Muslims played an essential role in the creation and cultivation of the United States. Memories of 9/11 and the rise of global terrorism fuel concerns about American Muslims. The fear of American Muslims in part stems from the stereotype that all followers of Islam are violent extremists who want to overturn the American way of life. Inherent to this stereotype is the popular misconception that Islam is a new religion to America. In Muslims and the Making of America Hussain directly addresses both of these stereotypes. Far from undermining America, Islam and American Muslims have been, and continue to be, important threads in the fabric of American life. Hussain chronicles the history of Islam in America to underscore the valuable cultural influence of Muslims on American life. He then rivets attention on music, sports, and culture as key areas in which Muslims have shaped and transformed American identity. America, Hussain concludes, would not exist as it does today without the essential contributions made by its Muslim citizens. ; Introduction: The American Ideal and Islam1. Islam in America: A Short History2. Blues for Allah: Music3. The Greatest: Sports4. American Mosques: CultureConclusion: The Poetry of Ordinary American Muslim Lives

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      August 2016

      Reading Backwards

      Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness

      by Richard B. Hays

      In Reading Backwards Richard B. Hays maps the shocking ways the four Gospel writers interpreted Israel's Scripture to craft their literary witnesses to the Church's one Christ. The Gospels' scriptural imagination discovered inside the long tradition of a resilient Jewish monotheism a novel and revolutionary Christology.Modernity's incredulity toward the Christian faith partly rests upon the characterization of early Christian preaching as a tendentious misreading of the Hebrew Scriptures. Christianity, modernity claims, twisted the Bible they inherited to fit its message about a mythological divine Savior. The Gospels, for many modern critics, are thus more about Christian doctrine in the second and third century than they are about Jesus in the first.Such Christian "misreadings" are not late or politically motivated developments within Christian thought. As Hays demonstrates, the claim that the events of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection took place "according to the Scriptures" stands at the very heart of the New Testament's earliest message. All four canonical Gospels declare that the Torah and the Prophets and the Psalms mysteriously prefigure Jesus. The author of the Fourth Gospel puts the claim succinctly: "If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me" (John 5:46).Hays thus traces the reading strategies the Gospel writers employ to "read backwards" and to discover how the Old Testament figuratively discloses the astonishing paradoxical truth about Jesus' identity. Attention to Jewish and Old Testament roots of the Gospel narratives reveals that each of the four Evangelists, in their diverse portrayals, identify Jesus as the embodiment of the God of Israel. Hays also explores the hermeneutical challenges posed by attempting to follow the Evangelists as readers of Israel's Scripture—can the Evangelists teach us to read backwards along with them and to discern the same mystery they discovered in Israel's story?In Reading Backwards Hays demonstrates that it was Israel's Scripture itself that taught the Gospel writers how to understand Jesus as the embodied presence of God, that this conversion of imagination occurred early in the development of Christian theology, and that the Gospel writers' revisionary figural readings of their Bible stand at the very center of Christianity. ; Introduction1. "The Manger in Which Christ Lies": Figural Readings of Israel’s ScriptureThe Fourfold Witness2. Figuring the Mystery: Reading Scripture with Mark3. Torah Transfigured: Reading Scripture with Matthew4. The One Who Redeems Israel: Reading Scripture with Luke5. The Temple Transfigured: Reading Scripture with JohnConclusion6. Retrospective Reading: The Challenges of Gospel-Shaped Hermeneutics

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      March 2016

      Redeeming Mulatto

      A Theology of Race and Christian Hybridity

      by Brian Bantum

      The theological attempts to understand Christ's body have either focused on "philosophical" claims about Jesus' identity or on "contextual" rebuttals—on a culturally transcendent, disembodied Jesus of the creeds or on a Jesus of color who rescues and saves a particular people because of embodied particularity. But neither of these two attempts has accounted for the world as it is, a world of mixed race, of hybridity, of cultural and racial intermixing. By not understanding the true theological problem, that we live in a mulatto world, the right question has not been posed: How can Christ save this mixed world? The answer, Brian Bantum shows, is in the mulattoness of Jesus' own body, which is simultaneously fully God and fully human. In Redeeming Mulatto, Bantum reconciles the particular with the transcendent to account for the world as it is: mixed. He constructs a remarkable new Christological vision of Christ as tragic mulatto--one who confronts the contrived delusions of racial purity and the violence of self-assertion and emerges from a "hybridity" of flesh and spirit, human and divine, calling humanity to a mulattic rebirth. Bantum offers a theology that challenges people to imagine themselves inside their bodies, changed and something new, but also not without remnants of the old. His theology is one for all people, offered through the lens of a particular people, not for individual possession but for redemption and transformation into something new. ; Introduction Part I Renunciation: Racial Discipleship and the Religiosity of Race 1. I Am Your Son, White Man! The Mulatto/a and the Tragic 2. Neither Fish nor Fowl Presence as Politics Part II Confession: Christ, the Tragic Mulatto 3. Unto Us a Child Is Born or "How can this be?" The Mulatto Christ 4. I Am the Way Mulatto/a Redemption and the Politics of Identification Part III Immersion: Christian Discipleship or the New Discipline of the Body 5. You Must Be Reborn Baptism and Mulatto/a ReBirth 6. The Politics of Presence Prayer and Discipleship Benediction Notes

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      September 2015

      Asian American Christian Ethics

      Voices, Methods, Issues

      by Grace Y. Kao, Ilsup Ahn

      This groundbreaking volume presents the collective work of twelve Christian ethicists of Asian descent in the U.S. who map the new and burgeoning field of study located at the juncture of Christian ethics and Asian American studies. Led by Grace Kao and Ilsup Ahn, these scholars identify the purposes and chart the contours of what constitutes a distinctly Asian American Christian ethical approach to moral concerns. Asian American Christian Ethics rethinks perennial issues in Christian ethics (war and peace, family/marriage/parenting, gender and sexuality, economics and wealth, virtue ethics), pressing social matters (race relations, immigration, healthcare, the environment), and issues of special interest to Asian Americans (education, labor, plastic surgery). Each chapter utilizes classical Christian sources read from the particular vantage point of Asian American Christian theology, ethics, and culture. Beginning with a description of the range of Christian responses to the issue, each author describes and enacts a constructive proposal for an Asian American Christian ethical response. An ideal volume for researchers, teachers, and students alike, Asian American Christian Ethics articulates the foundations, questions, and goals of this vibrant and flourishing field of study. ; Preface1. Introduction: What Is Asian American Christian Ethics?2. Gender and Sexuality3. Marriage, Family, and Parenting4. Virtue Ethics5. Peace and War6. Wealth and Prosperity7. Racial Identity and Solidarity8. Health Care9. Immigration10. The Environment11. Education and Labor12. Cosmetic Surgery13. Conclusion: The Future of Asian American Christian Ethics

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      August 2015

      Black Practical Theology

      by Dale P. Andrews, Robert London Smith, Jr.

      Dale Andrews and Robert Smith combine the voices of constructive theologians, practical theologians, and those ministering in black churches to craft a rich and expansive black practical theology. Black Practical Theology brings together the hermeneutical conversation between scholars working within the traditional disciplines of theological education (systematic theology, ethics, biblical studies, history) and those scholars working within practical theology (homiletics, pastoral care and counseling, Christian education, spirituality). To this ongoing conversation, Andrews and Smith add the voices of pastors of black congregations and para-church leaders who serve the communities of faith who daily confront the challenges this work addresses—youth and intergenerational divides, education and poverty, gender and sexuality, globalism, health care, and incarceration and the justice system. Black Practical Theology sets the standard for practical theology. Embodying its own methodological call—to begin with the issues of the black church, as well as its resources and practices—it does not rest content but returns immediately to the communities from which it emerged. Black Practical Theology is a gift to both teacher and student. ; AcknowledgmentsI. Introduction1 Prophetic Praxis for Black Practical Theology, Dale P. Andrews and Robert London Smith Jr.II. Black Youth, Intergenerational Relations, and Ageism2. Bridging Civil Rights and Hip Hop Generations, Evelyn L. Parker3. Rejoining Black Youth, Families, and Our Elders, James H. Evans Jr.4. Rituals of Resistance to Strengthen Intergenerational Relations, Donna E. AllenIII. Education, Class, and Poverty5. Participative Black Theology as a Pedagogy of Praxis, Anthony G. Reddie6. Listening to the Poor and Nonliterate, Madipoane Masenya (ngwan’a Mphahlele)7. Doing Theology for Ordinary Folk, Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.IV. Gender, Sexual Orientation, and Race8. Building Communities of Embodied Beauty, Phillis Isabella Sheppard9. Encircling in Our Womanist Strength, Diana L. Hayes10. A Radically Inclusive Vision for the Fellowship of the Black Church, Dennis W. Wiley and Christine Y. WileyV. Globalism, Immigration, and Diasporan Communities11. African Diasporan Communities and the Black Church, Esther E. Acolatse12. The Aesthetic Struggle and Ecclesial Vision, Willie James Jennings13. Embodied Black Practical Theology for the Caribbean Diasporan Church, Delroy A. Reid-SalmonVI. Health Care, HIV/AIDS, and Poverty14. Liberating Black-Church Practical Theology from Poverty and Pandemic Marginalization, Emmanuel Y. Amugi Lartey15. Black Practical Theology of Health and HIV/AIDS Health Care, Edward P. Antonio16. Rethinking Theology for Impoverished Care, Gina M. StewartVII. Mass Incarceration, Capital Punishment, and the Justice System17. The Incarceration of Black Spirituality and the Disenfranchised, Michael Battle18. Lifting Our Voices and Liberating Our Bodies in the Era of Massive Racialized Incarceration, Raphael Warnock19. Jesus on Death Row: The Case for Abolishing Prisons, Madeline McClenneyVIII. Conclusion20. Graphing the Contours of Black Practical Theology, Dale P. Andrews and Robert London Smith Jr.NotesList of ContributorsIndex

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      July 2015

      After We Die

      Theology, Philosophy, and the Question of Life after Death

      by Stephen T. Davis

      In After We Die, philosopher Stephen T. Davis subjects one of Christianity’s key beliefs—that Christians not only will survive death but also will enjoy bodily resurrection—to searching philosophical analysis. Facing each critique squarely, Davis contends that traditional, historic belief about the eschatological future is philosophically defensible. Davis examines personal extinction, reincarnation, and immortality of the soul. By juxtaposing two systems of salvation—reincarnation/karma and resurrection/grace—Davis explores the Christian claim that humans will be raised from the dead, as well as the radical Christian assertions of Jesus’ resurrection, ascension, and long-anticipated return. Davis finally addresses Christian thinking about heaven, hell, and purgatory. The philosophical defense of Christianity’s core beliefs enables Davis to render a reasonable answer to the eternal question of what happens to us after we die. After We Die is essential reading for teachers and students of philosophy, theology, and Bible, as well as anyone interested in a reasoned analysis of historic Christian faith, particularly as it pertains to the inevitable end of each and every human being. ; Introduction1. Survival of Death Theories2. Karma versus Grace3. Resurrection4. Ascension and Second Coming5. Hell6. Purgatory7. HeavenConclusion

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      April 2016


      Charity, Reward, and Atonement in Early Christianity

      by David J. Downs

      Christianity has often understood the death of Jesus on the cross as the sole means for forgiveness of sin. Despite this tradition, David Downs traces the early and sustained presence of yet another means by which Christians imagined atonement for sin: merciful care for the poor. In Alms: Charity, Reward, and Atonement in Early Christianity, Downs begins by considering the economic context of almsgiving in the Greco-Roman world, a context in which the overwhelming reality of poverty cultivated the formation of relationships of reciprocity and solidarity. Downs then provides detailed examinations of almsgiving and the rewards associated with it in the Old Testament, Second Temple Judaism, and the New Testament. He then attends to early Christian texts and authors in which a theology of atoning almsgiving is developed— 2 Clement, the Didache, the Epistle of Barnabas, Polycarp, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Cyprian. In this historical and theological reconstruction, Downs outlines the emergence of a model for the atonement of sin in Christian literature of the first three centuries of the Common Era, namely, atoning almsgiving, or the notion that providing material assistance to the needy cleanses or covers sin. Downs shows that early Christian advocacy of almsgiving’s atoning power is located in an ancient economic context in which fiscal and social relationships were deeply interconnected. Within this context, the concept of atoning almsgiving developed in large part as a result of nascent Christian engagement with scriptural traditions that present care for the poor as having the potential to secure future reward, including heavenly merit and even the cleansing of sin, for those who practice mercy. Downs thus reveals how sin and its solution were socially and ecclesiologically embodied, a vision that frequently contrasted with disregard for the social body, and the bodies of the poor, in Docetic and Gnostic Christianity. Alms, in the end, illuminates the challenge of reading Scripture with the early church, for numerous patristic witnesses held together the conviction that salvation and atonement for sin come through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and the affirmation that the practice of mercifully caring for the needy cleanses or covers sin. Perhaps the ancient Christian integration of charity, reward, and atonement has the potential to reshape contemporary Christian traditions in which those spheres are separated. ; IntroductionWhat Can Wash Away My Sin?1. Redeem Your Sins with Acts of Mercy2. Merciful Deeds Deliver from Death3. Desire Mercy, Not Sacrifice4. Give Alms with Respect to the Things Within5. Storing Up the Treasure for a Good Foundation6. Love Covers a Multitude of Sins7. Merciful Practice Is Good as Repentance for Sin8. By Alms and Faith Sins Are Purged AwayConclusion

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      March 2016

      Kierkegaard and Christian Faith

      by Paul Martens, C. Stephen Evans

      Kierkegaard and Christian Faith responds directly to the perennial and problematic concern of how to read Kierkegaard. Specifically, this volume presses the question of whether the existentialist philosopher, who so troubled the waters of nineteenth-century Danish Christendom, is a "Christian thinker for our time." The chapters crisscross the disciplines of philosophy, theology, literature, and ethics, and are as rich in argument as they are diverse in style. Collectively the chapters demonstrate a principled agreement that Kierkegaard continues to be relevant, even imperative. Kierkegaard and Christian Faith reveals just how Kierkegaard's work both defines and reconfigures what is meant by "Christian thinker." Following an autobiographical prologue by Kathleen Norris, this volume gathers the chapters in pairs around crucial themes: the use of philosophy (Merold Westphal and C. Stephen Evans), revelation and authority (Richard Bauckham and Paul J. Griffiths), Christian character (Sylvia Walsh and Ralph C. Wood), the relationship between the church and the world (Jennifer A. Herdt and Paul Martens), and moral questions of forgiveness and love (Simon D. Podmore and Cyril O’Regan). The volume underscores the centrality of Christianity to Kierkegaard’s life and thought, and rightly positions Kierkegaard as a profound challenge to Christianity as it is understood and practiced today. ; 1. An Introduction to False Pretenses, Søren Kierkegaard, and Trying on Faith for SizePart I: Philosophy, Revelation, and Authority2. Kierkegaard as Four Dimensional Thinker3. Kierkegaard, Natural Theology, and the Existence of God4. Kierkegaard and the Epistle of James5. Kierkegaard and Apostolic AuthorityPart II: Christian Character and Community6. On Becoming a Person of Character7. Søren Kierkegaard, Walker Percy’s Love in the Ruins, and Transparency Before God8. The Apophatic Self and the Way of Forgetting9. The Rule of Chaos and the Perturbation of Love10. Secrecy, Corruption, and the Exchange of Reasons11. Kierkegaard and the Peaceable Kingdom

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      February 2016

      A Poetics of Translation

      Between Chinese and English Literature

      by David Jasper, GENG Youzhuang, WANG Hai

      Western literature, from the mysterious figure of Marco Polo to the deliberate fictions of Daniel Defoe and Mark Twain, has constructed portraits of China born of dreamy parody or sheer prejudice. The West’s attempt to understand China has proven as difficult as China’s attempt to understand the West. A Poetics of Translation is the result of academic conversations between scholars in China and the West relating to issues in translation. "Translation" here is meant not only as the linguistic challenges of translating from Chinese into English or English into Chinese, but also as the wider questions of cultural translation at a time when China is in a period of rapid change. The volume illustrates the need for scholars, both eastern and western, to learn very quickly to live within the exchange of ideas, often with few precedents to guide or advise. This book also reflects the final impossibility of the task of translation, which is always, at best, approximate. By examining texts from the Bible to poetry and from historical treatises to Shakespeare, this volume carefully interrogates—and ultimately broadens—translation by exposing the multiple ways in which linguistic, cultural, religious, historical, and philosophical meaning are formed through cross-cultural interaction. Readers invested in the complexities of translation betwixt China and the West will find this volume full of intriguing studies and attentive readings that encompass the myriad issues surrounding East-West translation with rigor and imagination. ; IntroductionPART I: READINGS IN THE EAST AND WEST1. Poetic Desire and the Laws of Heaven: James Legge’s Shi-jing and the Translation of ConsciousnessDavid Lyle Jeffrey2. The Tale within a Tale as Universal Theme: A Comparative Reading of Hamlet, Don Quixote, and The Journey to the West (Xiyuoji)Eric Ziolkowski3. Pilgrimage to Heaven: Timothy Richard’s Christian Interpretation of The Journey to the WestJohn T. P. LAIPART II: STUDIES IN TRANSLATION: CHINA AND THE MISSIONARIES4. Revisiting the Missionary Stance: Conversation and Conversion in James Legge’s The Religions of China (1880)Trevor Hart5. A Study of the "Preface" and "Introduction" to James Legge’s The Texts of TaoismZHAO Jing6. The Hermeneutics of Translating Christian Theology for the Evangelization of Chinese School Children in Late Imperial ChinaB. H. McLean7. The "Ishmael" of Sinology: H. A. Giles’ History of Chinese Literature (1901) andLate Victorian Perceptions of Chinese Literature and CultureElisabeth Jay8. Two Nineteenth-Century English Translations of The Travels of Fa-hsien (399–414 AD): An Episode in the Translation of China in EnglandDavid JasperPART III: TRANSLATION AS DISLOCATION9. Poetically Translating Chinese Texts into the West: Ezra Pound’s Translation of Chinese Poetry and Confucian ClassicsGENG Youzhuang10. The Power of Powerlessness: Rediscovering the Radicality of Wu Wei in Daoism through BlanchotWANG Hai11. What Is Lost in the Chinese Translations of The Merchant of Venice? A Comparative Reading of the TextsYANG Huilin12. Translation as Trans-Literal: Radical Formations in Contemporary Chinese ArtAndrew W. HassNotes ContributorsCreditsIndex

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      February 2016

      The Collected Works of James Wm. McClendon, Jr.

      Volume 3

      by James W. McClendon, Jr., Ryan Andrew Newson, Andrew C. Wright

      James Wm. McClendon, Jr. (1924–2000) was the most important "baptist" theologian of the twentieth century. McClendon crafted a systematic theology that grew out of the immediacy of preaching the text, refused to succumb to the pressures of individualism, and lamented the stunted public witness of a fractured Protestant ecclesiology. This third and final volume of his Collected Works provides a compendium of McClendon’s sermons—examples of what he called "first-order" theology in action. While McClendon was predominantly known as a philosophical theologian, he persisted in the belief that the theology that mattered most occurred in ordinary congregations seeking to bear faithful witness in the world. The sermons in this collection—many rarely seen and never before published—provide an important window into McClendon’s own theology and witness to his convictions about theology's purpose and end. This third volume serves as an invaluable resource for ministers, students, and theologians who seek a fuller understanding of McClendon’s "baptist" theology. ; Introduction to Volume 3Part I: Waiting: The Coming of the LordPart II: On the Way: The Path of DiscipleshipPart III: A Whole New WorldPart IV: The Time of the Spirit Filled CommunityPart V: Appendices

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      March 2016


      A Handbook on the Greek Text

      by David L. Mathewson

      Revelation: A Handbook on the Greek Text offers teachers and students a comprehensive guide to the grammar and vocabulary of Revelation. A perfect supplement to any commentary, this volume’s lexical, analytical, and syntactical analysis is a helpful tool in navigating New Testament literature. But more than just providing an analytic key, David Mathewson leads students toward both a greater understanding of the Greek text and an appreciation for the textual, rhetorical, and interpretive intricacies not available in English translations. This handbook is an essential tool for the serious student. ; Series IntroductionPrefaceAbbreviationsIntroductionRevelation 1:1-3Revelation 1:4-8Revelation 1:9-20Revelation 2:1-7Revelation 2:8-11Revelation 2:18-29Revelation 3:1-6Revelation 3:7-13Revelation 3:14-22Revelation 4:1-11Revelation 5:1-7Revelation 5:8-14Revelation 6:1-8Revelation 6:9-17Revelation 7:1-8Revelation 7:9-17Revelation 8:1-5Revelation 8:6-13Revelation 9:1-12Revelation 9:13-21Revelation 10:1-11Revelation 11:1-2Revelation 11:3-14Revelation 11:15-19Revelation 12:1-6Revelation 12:7-18Revelation 13:1-8Revelation 13:9-10Revelation 13:11-18Revelation 14:1-5Revelation 14:6-13Revelation 14:14-20Revelation 15:1-8Revelation 16:1-11Revelation 16:12-16Revelation 16:17-21Revelation 17:1-6Revelation 17:7-18Revelation 18:1-8Revelation 18:9-20Revelation 18:21-24Revelation 19:1-10Revelation 19:11-16Revelation 19:17-21Revelation 20:1-10Revelation 20:11-15Revelation 21:1-8Revelation 21:9-21Revelation 21:22-27Revelation 22:1-5Revelation 22:6-9Revelation 22:10-21Glossary Works CitedGrammar IndexAuthor Index

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      March 2016

      Belonging in Genesis

      Biblical Israel and the Politics of Identity Formation

      by Amanda Beckenstein Mbuvi

      Genesis calls its readers into a vision of human community unconstrained by the categories that dominate modern thinking about identity. Genesis situates humanity within a network of nurture that encompasses the entire cosmos—only then introducing Israel not as a people, but as a promise. Genesis prioritizes a human identity that originates in the divine word and depends on ongoing relationship with God. Those called into this new mode of belonging must forsake the social definition that had structured their former life, trading it for an alternative that will only gradually take shape. In contrast to the rigidity that typifies modern notions, Genesis depicts identity as fundamentally fluid. Encounter with God leads to a new social self, not a "spiritual" self that operates only within parameters established in the body at birth.In Belonging in Genesis, Amanda Mbuvi highlights the ways narrative and the act of storytelling function to define and create a community. Building on the emphasis on family in Genesis, she focuses on the way family storytelling is a means of holding together the interpretation of the text and the constitution of the reading community. Explicitly engaging the way in which readers regard the biblical text as a point of reference for their own (collective) identities leads to an understanding of Genesis as inviting its readers into a radically transformative vision of their place in the world. ; A Note on Terminology and TranslationAcknowledgements1. Playing by Different Rules: Reading Genesis through its Deferrals2. (Un)conventional Genesis: Two Ways of Reading Identity and the Divine Word3. Family Storytelling: The Relationship between Genesis and its Readers4. The Theology of Genealogy: A Boundary Breaking Foundation for Identity5. The Social Ladder and the Family Tree: Competing Approaches to Structuring Identity6. Fruitfulness: The Emergence of a New Identity Beyond Insider/Outsider DichotomiesPostscriptWorks CitedIndex

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      November 2015

      The Problem with Evangelical Theology

      Testing the Exegetical Foundations of Calvinism, Dispensationalism, Wesleyanism, and Pentecostalism, Revised and Expanded Edition

      by Ben Witherington III

      There is no doubting the legacy of Protestant Reformers and their successors. Luther, Calvin, and Wesley not only spawned specific denominational traditions, but their writings have been instrumental in forging a broadly embraced evangelical theology as well. Ben Witherington wrestles with some of the big ideas of these major traditional theological systems (sin, God’s sovereignty, prophecy, grace, and the Holy Spirit), asking tough questions about their biblical foundations. Advocating a return to Protestantism’s sola scriptura roots, Witherington argues that evangelicalism sometimes wrongly assumes a biblical warrant for some of its more popular beliefs.Witherington pushes the reader to engage the larger story and plot of the Bible in order to understand the crucial theological elements of Protestant belief. The Problem with Evangelical Theology casts today’s evangelical belief and practice—be it Calvinistic, Wesleyan, Dispensational, or Pentecostal—in the light of its scriptural origins. Witherington offers a comprehensive description of evangelical theology while concurrently providing an insistent corrective to its departures from both tradition and text. ; CONTENTSOverture: The Legacy of the Reformers PART ONEAugustine’s Children: The Problems with Reformed Theology1. Oh Adam, Where Art Thou? 2. Squinting at the Pauline "I" Chart 3. Laying Down the Law with Luther 4. Awaiting the Election Results 5. Complementarianism is no Compliment PART TWOOn Dispensing with Dispensationalism6. Enraptured but not Uplifted: The Origins of Dispensationalism and Prophecy 7. What Goes Up, Must Come Down: The Problem with Rapture Theology 8. Will the Real Israel of God Please Stand Up? PART THREEMr. Wesley Heading West9. Jesus, Paul, and John: Keeping Company in the Kingdom 10. New Birth or New Creatures? 11. Amazing Prevenient Grace and Entire Sanctification PART FOURThe Cost of Pentecostalism 12. The People of Pentecost13. The Second Blessing of Pentecostalism PART FIVEThe Long Journey Home—Where Do We Go from Here?14. Reimagining the Mystery 15. And So? Coda: Rebirth of Orthodoxy or Return to Fundamentalism?

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      March 2016


      Framing Religion in Amoral Order

      by Elijah Siegler, Elijah Siegler, Elijah Siegler

      Raising Arizona, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, No Country for Old Men, True Grit—Joel and Ethan Coen make movies. They make movies that matter. But do these movies matter for religion? Coen is a masterful response to this question of religious significance that neither imposes alien orthodoxy nor consigns the Coens to religious insignificance. The Coen movies discussed each receive a chapter-length investigation of the specific film’s relation to the religious. Far more than just documenting religion in all Coen films—from blink-and you’ll-miss-them biblical references to gospel tunes framing the soundtrack—the volume, cumulatively, mounts a compelling case for the Coens’ consistent religious outlook with an original argument about precisely what constitutes religion. The volume reveals how Coen films emerge as morality tales, set in a mythological American landscape, that critique greed and self-interest. Coen heroes often confront apocalyptic and unredeemable evil, face human limitation and the banality of violence, and force audiences to wrestle with redemption and grace within the stark moral worlds portrayed on screen. This is religion on Coen terms. Coen teaches its readers something new about religion, about film, and about the kind of world-making that each claims to be. ; Introduction: Are the Coen Brothers Religious Filmmakers? Or How Simple Is Blood Simple?Act One: The Early Films: Reading Religion as...1. Morality in Raising Arizona2. Theology in Miller’s Crossing3. World Creation in Barton Fink4. Community in The Hudsucker ProxyFirst Intermission: So Are the Coen Brothers Religious Filmmakers? Fargo between Christian Moralism and Post-Modern IronyAct Two: The Middle Films: Analyzing Religion and...5. Fandom in The Big Lebowski6. Race in O Brother, Where Art Thou?7. Money in Intolerable Cruelty and The Ladykillers8. The State in Burn after ReadingSecond Intermission: Are the Coen Brothers Formally Coherent? No Country for Old Men between Time and EternityAct Three: The Later Films: Theorizing...9. Transcendence in The Man Who Wasn’t There10. Hermeneutics in A Serious Man11. Death in True Grit12. Absence in Inside Llewyn DavisEpilogue: Hail, Caesar?

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      August 2015

      God of the Living

      A Biblical Theology

      by Reinhard Feldmeier, Hermann Spieckermann

      In God of the Living, noted biblical scholars Reinhard Feldmeier and Hermann Spieckermann provide a comprehensive theology of the God of the Christian Bible. A remarkable achievement, God of the Living joins together the very best of Old and New Testament scholarship to craft a comprehensive biblical theology. Feldmeier and Spieckermann wrestle with the whole of scripture to give a definitive and decisive voice to the church's central mission—bearing witness to the living God.Both historical and systematic, God of the Living explores God's multifaceted, complex, and sometimes contradictory character presented in the scriptures. Yet, whether in wrath or reconciliation, judgment or justification, suffering or salvation, God has given and shares divine life in the person of Jesus Christ. Thus, Feldmeier and Spieckermann uncover God's profound affirmation of human life, as the God of the living—the God of the Bible—finds fulfillment in relation to the living partners of his own creation. ; Introduction: The EndeavorPart I: Foundation1. The Name and the Names2. From Lord God to Father God3. The One as the Creator of Oneness4. The Loving One5. The Almighty6. Spirit and PresencePart II: Development Divine Condescension7. Word and Creation8. Blessing and Praise9. Justice and Justification10. Forgiveness and Reconciliation Divine Challenge11. Hiddenness and Wrath12. Suffering and Lament13. Transience and Death14. Eternity and Time Divine Encouragement15. Commandment and Prayer16. Covenant and Promise17. Salvation and Judgment18. Hope and ComfortPart III: ConclusionGod of the Living

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      October 2015


      A Handbook on the Hebrew Text

      by John Screnock, Robert D. Holmstedt

      This handbook in the Baylor Handbook on the Hebrew Bible series provides students of Hebrew with the translation of Esther paired with an exhaustive word by word morphological analysis of the text. Through careful syntactic and textual investigation, Holmstedt and Screnock bring to life one of the most loved biblical books. Esther enables a linguistic understanding of the Old Testament Hebrew text through solid contextual interpretation. ; Acknowledgments IntroductionPart I: Esther Becomes Queen of Persia (1:1–2:23) Episode 1—Vashti’s Downfall (1:1-22)§1: The King’s Banquet (1:1-9)§2: Vashti’s Removal (1:10-22) Episode 2—Esther is Chosen as Queen (2:1-23)§1: Ahashverosh Seeks a Replacement for Vashti (2:1-4)§2: Esther Wins the King’s Favor (2:5-20)§3: Mordecai Saves the King (2:21-23)Part II: Haman and Mordecai in Conflict (3:1–7:10) Episode 1—The Rise of Haman (3:1-15)§1: Haman’s Rage against Mordecai and the Jews (3:1-7)§2: Haman’s Plot (3:8-15) Episode 2—Mordecai’s Response (4:1-17)§1: Mordecai and the Jews Lament Haman’s Plot (4:1-3)§2: Mordecai Convinces Esther to Intercede (4:4-17) Episode 3—Esther’s Plan (5:1-8)§1: Esther Invites the King and Haman to a Banquet (5:1-4)§2: Esther Issues a Second Invitation (5:5-8) Episode 4—Haman’s Plan Implodes (5:9–6:14)§1: Haman’s Hubris (5:9-14)§2: Mordecai’s Fortunes Reversed (6:1-10)§3: The Rise of Mordecai (6:11-14) Episode 5—The End of Haman (7:1-10)§1: Esther’s Banquet (7:1-8)§2: Haman’s Death (7:9-10)Part III: The Jews and the Peoples in Conflict (8:1–9:32) Episode 1—A Plan to Save the Jews (8:1-17)§1: The King Empowers Mordecai and Esther (8:1-8)§2: The Conter-edict Is Issued (8:9-17) Episode 2—The Jews Prevail (9:1-19)§1: The First Day of Fighting (9:1-10)§2: The Second Day of Fighting (9:11-19) Episode 3—The Jews’ Victory Commemorated and Reprised (9:20-32)§1: Mordecai Establishes the Festival (9:20-25)§2: The Festival and Lots (Purim) (9:26-28)§3: Esther and Mordecai Confirm the Festival (9:29-32)Part IV: Epilogue (10:1-3)Appendix A: Numeral Syntax in EstherAppendix B: Bergey’s Features for Diachronic AnalysisAppendix C: Glossary of Linguistic IssuesBibliographyIndex of Linguistic Issues

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