• 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

    • 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

    • 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
      February 2017


      God, Evolution, and the Question of the Cosmos

      by Philip A. Rolnick

      Rather than seeing science and religion as oppositional, in Origins: God, Evolution, and the Question of the Cosmos Philip Rolnick demonstrates the remarkable compatibility of contemporary science and traditional Christian theology.Rolnick directly engages the challenges of evolutionary biology—its questions about design, natural selection, human uniqueness, and suffering, pain, and death. In doing so, he reveals how biological challenges can be turned to theological advantages, not by disputing scientific data and theory, but by inviting evolutionary biology into the Christian conversation about creation.Rolnick then lets the vastly expanded time and macroscopic beauty of big bang cosmology cast new and benign light on both biology and theology. The discovery of a big bang beginning, fine-tuning, and a 3.45 billion year evolutionary process brings new ways to think about the creativity of creation. From the tiny to the tremendous, there is an intelligent generosity built into the features of the cosmos and its living creatures, a spectrum of interconnected phenomena that seems tinged with grace. By recognizing the gifts of creation that have been scientifically uncovered, Origins presents a new way to understand this universe of grace and reason. ; PART I: INTRODUCTION1. A Universe of Grace and ReasonPART II: EVOLUTION: FROM CHALLENGE TO THEOLOGICAL ADVANTAGE2. Four Challenges of Evolution3. Evolution and Divine Design4. Natural Selection and a God of Love5. Struggle, Pain, and Death and the Goodness of Creation6. Common Ancestry and Human UniquenessPART III: COSMOLOGY AND CREATION7. The Origin and Development of an Inhabitable Universe8. A Universe Finely Tuned for Life9. Logos, the Divine Source of ReasonPART IV: CREATION’S GIFTS AND HUMAN RESPONSE10. The Given and the Earned11. The Old and the New

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      September 2017

      The Paul Debate

      Critical Questions for Understanding the Apostle

      by N. T. Wright

      In the last two decades N. T. Wright has produced a succession of connected volumes that explore the nature and origins of Christianity. Wright has consistently argued that Christianity, while indebted to Second Temple Judaism, represents an explosive new development. With major books on method and background, Jesus, and the resurrection already in print, in Paul and the Faithfulness of God, Wright added a comprehensive study of the Apostle to the Gentiles.Wright’s Paul, as well as his reading of Christianity, is not without its detractors. In The Paul Debate, Wright answers his critics. The five chapters represent a response to the five most questioned elements of his understanding of Paul. The first chapter takes up the question of Paul’s theological coherence, particularly the way in which his Jewish context, and the story about Israel he inherited, interacted with what he came to believe about Jesus, a Christological story. Chapter two follows on by tackling the debate over the background, origin, and implications of Paul’s Christology. The third chapter addresses the questions of covenant and cosmos, narrative and apocalyptic. Chapter four focuses on the debate over Paul’s view of who constitutes the people of God; this chapter also addresses the question of whether justification belongs to Paul’s soteriology or his ecclesiology, or somehow to both. The final chapter then traces debates about method, both Paul’s and ours, as well as questions of discovery and presentation, again, both Paul’s and ours. The Paul Debate is essential reading for those who both agree and disagree with Wright, and for all who want to understand the compelling voice of one of the most productive and widely read scholars in past decades. ; Preface1. Paul and the Messiah Knowing the Name or Having the Mind?2. How To Begin with Jesus3. Apocalyptic Covenantal Narrative or Cosmic Invasion?4. The Justified People of God Messianic Israel or Saved Sinners?5. Theology, Mission and Method Paul’s and Ours

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      April 2006

      Kierkegaard on Faith and the Self

      Collected Essays

      by C. Stephen Evans

      Kierkegaard on Faith and the Self represents a rich collection of studies that allow Søren Kierkegaard to speak directly to the questions of contemporary readers. Evans analyzes Kierkegaard as a philosopher, his perspectives on faith, reason, and epistemology, ethics, and his view of the self. Evans makes a strong case that Kierkegaard has something crucial to say to the Christian church as a philosopher and something equally crucial to say to the philosophical world as a Christian believer. ; AcknowledgmentsPrefaceA Note on Citations from KierkegaardSIGLAPART ONE. Introduction1 Kierkegaard as a Christian ThinkerPART TWO. Kiekegaard the Philosopher2 Realism and Antirealism in Kierkegaard's Concluding Unscientific Postscript3 Kant and Kierkegaard on the Possibility of Metaphysics4 The Role of Irony in Kierkegaard's Philosophical Fragments5 Kierkegaard's View of Humor: Must Christians Always Be Solemn?6 Misusing Religious Language: Something about Kierkegaard and The Myth of God IncarnatePART THREE. Kierkegaard on Faith, Reason, and Reformed Epistemology7 Is Kierkegaard an Irrationalist? Reason, Paradox, and Faith8 Apologetic Arguments in Philosophical Fragments9 The Relevance of Historical Evidence for Christian Faith: A Critique of a Kierkegaardian View10 Kierkegaard and Plantinga on Belief in God: Subjectivity as the Ground of Properly Basic Religious Beliefs11 Externalist Epistemology, Subjectivity, and Christian Knowledge: Plantinga and KierkegaardPART FOUR. Kierkegaard on Ethics and Authority12 Faith as the Telos of Morality: A Reading of Fear and Trembling13 A Kierkegaardian View of the Foundations of Morality14 Kierkegaard on Religious Authority: The Problem of the CriterionPART FIVE. Kierkegaard on the Self: Philosophical Psychology15 Who is the Other in The Sickness unto Death? God and Human Relations in the Constitution of the Self16 Kierkegaard's View of the Unconscious17 Does Kierkegaard Think Beliefs Can Be Directly Willed?18 Where There's a Will There's a Way: Kierkegaard's Theory of ActionPART SIX. Conclusion19 Where Can Kierkegaard Take Us?NotesBibliographyIndex

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      March 2009

      Invisible Conversations

      Religion in the Literature of America

      by Roger Lundin

      American literature offers exceptional resources for understanding the complex role religion has played in the life of the culture and in the experience of its people. In recent decades, however, the academic study of that literature has largely treated religion, in the words of a noted scholar, as an "invisible domain." In joining the rich conversations that have enlivened American culture for centuries, Invisible Conversations seeks to bring to light the vital role that religion has played in the literature of the United States. ; Introduction by Roger Lundin Part 1 Religion and American Fiction1. Finding a Prose for God: Religion and American FictionDenis Donoghue2. American Literature and/as Spiritual InquiryLawrence BuellPart 2 Religion and American Poetry3. Variety as Religious Experience: The Poetics of the Plain StyleElisa New4. Keeping the Metaphors Alive: American Poetry and TransformationBarbara PackerPart 3 Literature, Religion, and the African American Experience5. Genres of Redemption: African Americans, the Bible, and Slavery from Lemuel Haynes to Frederick DouglassMark A. Noll6. Balm in Gilead: Memory, Mourning, and Healing in African American AutobiographyAlbert J. Raboteau7. The Race for Faith: Justice, Mercy, and the Sign of the Cross in African American LiteratureKatherine Clay Bassard8. Forms of RedemptionJohn StaufferPart 4 Literature, Religion, and American Public Life9. Hamlet without the Prince: The Role of Religion in Postwar NonfictionAlan Wolfe10. "The Only Permanent State": Belief and the Culture of IncredulityAndrew DelbancoPart 5 Theology and American Literature11. How the Church Became Invisible: A Christian Reading of American Literary TraditionStanley Hauerwas and Ralph C. Wood12. "The Play of the Lord": On the Limits of CritiqueRoger LundinNotes Index

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      May 2012


      2012 Baylor Lady Bears NCAA Champions

      by Jennifer Reiss Hannah

      The limited-edition, commemorative 2012 Lady Bears Book.With 96 pages of official four-color photography, player profiles, and game-by-game summaries and highlights, Invincible follows the 2011-2012 Lady Bears as Coach Kim Mulkey guides them to a 40-0 record and the NCAA championship.From the perfect regular season to Brittney Griner's tournament dunk seen around the world to their eventual redemption in Denver, Invincible celebrates this remarkable team and invites fans to relive this record-breaking season. Sic 'em, Lady Bears!

    • 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
      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
      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
      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
      July 2015

      Science Fiction Theology

      Beauty and the Transformation of the Sublime

      by Alan P. R. Gregory

      Science fiction imagines a universe teeming with life and thrilling possibility, but also hidden and hideous dangers. Christian theology, often a polemical target for science fiction, reflects on the plenitude out of which and for which the universe exists. In Science Fiction Theology, Alan Gregory investigates the troubled relationship between science fiction and Christianity and, in particular, how both have laid claim to the modern idea of sublimity.To the extent that science fiction has appropriated—and reveled—in the sublime, it has persisted in a sometimes explicit, sometimes subterranean, relationship with Christian theology. From its seventeenth-century beginnings, the sublime, with its representations of immensity, has informed the imagining of God. When science fiction critiques or reinvents religion, its writers have engaged in a literary guerrilla war with Christianity over what is truly sublime and divine.Gregory examines the sublime and its implicit theologies as they appear in early American pulp science fiction, the horror writing of H. P. Lovecraft, science fiction narratives of evolution and apocalypse, and the work of Philip K. Dick. Ironically, science fiction’s tussle with Christianity hides the extent to which the sublime, especially in popular culture, serves to distort the classical Christian understanding of God, secularizing that God and rendering God’s transcendence finite. But by turning from the sublime to a consideration of the beautiful, Gregory shows that both Christian and science-fictional imaginations may discover a new and surprising conversation. ; Introduction1. Sublime Fiction?2. Pulp Fiction, or the Sublime Subversion of the Boy-Engineer3. Wells and Stapledon: The Evolutionary Sublime4. Philip Dick versus the Sublime5. The Apocalyptic Sublime6. From the Sublime to the BeautifulConclusion

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      July 2015

      Why Christ Matters

      Toward a New Testament Christology

      by Leander E. Keck

      For half a century Leander Keck thought, taught, and wrote about the New Testament. He first served as a Professor of New Testament at Vanderbilt Divinity School and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology before becoming Dean and Professor of Biblical Theology at Yale Divinity School. Keck’s lifelong work on Jesus and Paul was a catalyst for the emerging discussions of New Testament Christology and Pauline theology in the Society of Biblical Literature and the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas. Keck wrote a staggering number of now industry-standard articles on the New Testament. Here, they are all collected for the first time. In Why Christ Matters and Christ's First Theologian, readers will discover how Keck gave new answers to old questions even as he carefully reframed old answers into new questions. Keck’s work is a treasure trove of historical, exegetical, and theological interpretation. ; Preface1. The Renewal of New Testament Christology2. What, Then, Is New Testament Christology?3. The Second Coming of the Liberal Jesus?4. Jesus the Jew5. Jesus and Judaism in the New Testament6. Anthropology and Soteriology in Johannine Christology7. Christology, Soteriology, and the Praise of God in Romans8. "Jesus" in Romans9. The New Testament and Nicea

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      September 2015

      A Theology of Political Vocation

      Christian Life and Public Office

      by John E. Senior

      Power, money, endless competition. A zero-sum game. Politics as usual. Only the hearty or craven need apply. The political actors have lost sight of the politics of a common good. A Theology of Political Vocation takes up the question of public life precisely where most discussions end. Proving that moral ambiguity does not exclude moral possibility, author John Senior crafts a theology of political vocation not satisfied simply by theologies of sin and grace and philosophical theories of power. For Senior, political theology moves beyond merely staking a claim within a public conversation, a move that prizes discursive skills and aims at consensus concerning shared norms and values. Political theology must offer an account of a political vocation. Senior connects political deliberation to moral judgment, explores use and consequence of power, analyzes political conflict and competition, and limns the ethics of negotiation and compromise. In light of this richer understanding of political vocation, Senior develops theological resources appropriate to a variety of ecologies—ordinary citizens, political activists, and elected officials. A Theology of Political Vocation shows how Christian politicians can work faithfully within the moral ambiguity of political life to orient their work—and indeed, their very selves—toward the common good. ; AcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Statecraft in a Machiavellian Age1. What Is a Political Vocation?2. Responsibility and Representation3. Vocation and Formation in Political Space4. The Moral Ambiguity of Political Space5. The Journey of Political Vocation6. The Project of Political Vocation 7. Irony as a Political Virtue8. Good Political CompetitionConclusion: The Possibility of Political Vocation

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      August 2015

      Sociology of Religion

      A David Martin Reader

      by David Martin, Dedong Wei, Zhifeng Zhong, Grace Davie

      Sociologist David Martin has framed the secularization debate, guided Pentecostal studies, and shaped the scholarly study of religion. Martin’s work possesses both theoretical depth and global perspective. This reader celebrates his best and most important work. It is essential reading for scholars and students who want to learn more about modernization and cultural change, Pentecostalism and the Global South, peace and violence, religion and sociology, and theology and politics. ; Section I: RELIGION AND PACIFISM, PEACE AND VIOLENCE1. The Denomination2. Basic Categories: Troeltsch and Weber3. The Break with Nature4. Catholic Compromise and Sectarian Rejection5. Can We Blame Religion or Human Nature?6. Recapitulations and MutationsSection II: RELIGION AND POLITICS7. The Religious and the Political8. Christianity, Violence and Democracy9. Protestantism and Democracy10. Why and How the Two Revolutions Were ForbiddenSection III: SECULARISATION11. Toward Eliminating the Concept of Secularisation12. Secularisation and the Future of Christianity13. What I Really Said about Secularisation14. Does the Advance of Science Mean Secularisation?15. Has Secularisation Gone into Reverse?Section IV: PENTECOSTALISM16. Anglo and Latin: Rival Civilizations, Alternative Patterns17. The Methodist Model18. The Argument Summarized and Extended19. PentecostalismSection V: BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES20. Historical Background: Dissenters and Abstainers21. Believing without Belonging22. The United States in Central European Perspective23. Another Strange DeathSection VI: THEOLOGY AND SOCIOLOGY24. The Sociological Mode and the Theological Vocabulary25. The Paradigm and the Double Structure26. Modes of Change27. What Is Christian Language?28. Does the Sociological Viewpoint Bear on the Theistic Vision?29. Changing Your Holy GroundSection VII: FAITH, CULTURE AND EDUCATION30. Order and Rule31. Parts and Wholes, Objectives and Objectivity32. The Christian, the Political and the Academic

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