• 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

    • 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
      January 2017

      Orthodoxy

      With an Introduction by Jon Elsby

      by G. K. Chesterton

      G. K. Chesterton wrote of Orthodoxy that it represented an attempt ‘to state the philosophy in which I have come to believe’ and to do so ‘in a vague and personal way, in a set of mental pictures rather than in a series of deductions’. For most of its readers, it is the wittiest and most rollicking defence of the Christian faith ever written. Anticipating much modern theology, Catholic and Protestant, Chesterton’s apologia is more personalistic than propositional. He understands that, in order to be credible, a belief system must appeal to the heart as well as to the mind. No one has set out more engagingly the reasons for believing in Christianity as the timeless truth about who we are, and rejecting the alternatives as fads and fashions. Jon Elsby, author of Light in the Darkness and Wrestling With the Angel, has written extensively on Christian apologists and apologetics, and has penned an illuminating introduction for this edition of Orthodoxy, which also contains brief notes and an index.

    • Christian theology
      May 2010

      Bible and Ecology

      Rediscovering the Community of Creation

      by Richard Bauckham (By (author))

      In this well-argued and timely book, Bauckham considers the relationship of humans to the rest of creation. He argues that there is much more to the Bible’s understanding of this relationship than the mandate of human dominion given in Genesis 1, which has too often been used as a justification for domination and exploitation of the earth’s resources. He also critiques the notion of stewardship as being on the one hand presumptuous, and on the other too general a term to explain our key responsibilities in caring for the earth. In countering this, he considers other biblical perspectives, including the book of Job, the Psalms and the Gospels, and re-evaluates the biblical tradition of ‘dominion’, in favour of a ‘community of creation’. With its clear analysis and thought-provoking conclusions, The Bible and Ecology is an essential read for anyone interested in a biblically grounded approach to ecology.

    • Christian theology
      April 2010

      Door into the Sacred

      A Meditation on the Hail Mary

      by Paul Murray (By (author))

      A short but intense and beautifully written study of the ‘Hail Mary’ by the Irish theologian, poet and Dominican priest, Paul Murray. For almost an entire millennium the most commonly repeated prayer in the Church, apart from the Our Father, has been the Hail Mary. It’s a prayer that, with great simplicity and ease, brings us at once into the mystery of God incarnate, the mystery of Jesus, son of Mary. For countless numbers of people over the centuries it has proved to be a threshold of grace, a real opening into the mystery and meaning of God’s love, a ‘holy door’. The Hail Mary is a prayer which is easy to say, easy to pray. But as Paul Murray shows in this short book it also has a radiance and depth of theological truth. "My hope in writing this tiny book is that, by giving space to some of the most moving and most profound reflections ever written on the Hail Mary, a door will open for the reader into a world in which the strenuous task of thinking and the easeful grace of feeling can both be considered sacred, and where wisdom and enchantment, theology and devotion, are found, at core, to be one and the same thing."

    • Christian theology
      January 2002

      Resurrection

      Interpreting the Easter Gospel

      by Rowan Williams (By (author))

      Shows in a thought provoking and profound manner, how the experience of the resurrection was from the first one of forgiveness and of healing memories of injury, guilt and failure.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      June 2017

      The World According to Theologygrams

      Making sense of Christianity through badly-drawn diagrams

      by Rich Wyld

      A follow-up to Theologygrams, this second book follows the same structure – theology themed diagrams plus commentary on each double-page, taking the reader deeper into the meaning and interpretation of the subject matter with wit and humour. ;

    • Christian theology
      July 2014

      Theologygrams

      Theology explained in diagrams

      by Rich Wyld (By (author))

      Theologygrams is a brilliant introduction to theology presented in the form of easy-to-understand diagrams. Rich Wyld’s runs the popular Theologygrams blog, and here presents 100 original diagrams – in full colour – for the non-specialist reader. Some diagrams come with a small piece of descriptive text to help explain the theological concept. Clever, cheeky and genuinely instructive, Theologygrams will be loved by non-academics, plus students and tutors in-the-know!

    • Christian theology
      November 2018

      When God Was a Bird

      Christianity, Animism, and the Re-Enchantment of the World

      by Wallace, Mark I.

      In a time of rapid climate change and species extinction, what role have the world’s religions played in ameliorating—or causing—the crisis we now face? One can point to Christianity’s otherworldly theologies, which privilege our spiritual aspirations over our natural origins, as bearing a disproportionate burden for creating humankind’s exploitative attitudes toward nature. And yet, buried deep within the Christian tradition are startling portrayals of God as the beaked and feathered Holy Spirit—the “animal God” of historic Christian witness. Through biblical readings, historical theology, continental philosophy, and personal stories of sacred nature, this book recovers the Christian God as a creaturely, avian being promiscuously incarnated within all things. This beautifully and accessibly written book shows that “Christian animism” is not a contradiction in terms but Christianity’s natural habitat. Challenging traditional Christianity’s self-definition as an otherworldly religion, Wallace paves the way for a new Earth-loving spirituality grounded in the ancient image of an animal God who signals the presence of spirit in everything, human and more-than-human alike.

    • Christian theology
      December 2018

      Crucified Wisdom

      Theological Reflection on Christ and the Bodhisattva

      by Heim, S. Mark

      This work provides the first systematic discussion of the Bodhisattva path and its importance for constructive Christian theology. Crucified Wisdom examines specific Buddhist traditions, texts, and practices not as phenomena whose existence requires an apologetic justification but as wells of tested wisdom that invite theological insight. With the increasing participation of Christians in Buddhist practice, many are seeking a deeper understanding of the way the teachings of the two traditions might interface. Christ and the Bodhisattva are often compared superficially in Buddhist–Christian discussion. This text combines a rich exposition of the Bodhisattva path, using Śāntideva’s classic work the Bodicaryāvatāra and subsequent Tibetan commentators, with detailed reflection on its implications for Christian faith and practice. Author S. Mark Heim lays out root tensions constituted by basic Buddhist teachings on the one hand, and Christian teachings on the other, and the ways in which the Bodhisattva or Christ embody and resolve the resulting paradoxes in their respective traditions. An important contribution to the field of comparative theology in general and to the area of Buddhist–Christian studies in particular, Crucified Wisdom proposes that Christian theology can take direct instruction from Mahāyāna Buddhism in two respects: deepening its understanding of our creaturely nature through no-self insights, and revising its vision of divine immanence in dialogue with teachings of emptiness. Heim argues that Christians may affirm the importance of novelty in history, the enduring significance of human persons, and the Trinitarian reality of God, even as they learn to value less familiar, nondual dimensions of Christ’s incarnation, human redemption, and the divine life. Crucified Wisdom focuses on questions of reconciliation and atonement in Christian theology and explores the varying interpretations of the crucifixion of Jesus in Buddhist–Christian discussion. The Bodhisattva path is central for major contemporary Buddhist voices such as the Dalai Lama and Thích Nhât Hanh, who figure prominently as conversation partners in the text. This work will be of particular value for those interested in “dual belonging” in connection to these traditions.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      September 2019

      Der reformierte Schleiermacher

      by Anne Käfer

    • Christian theology
      May 2019

      A Theology of Failure

      Žižek against Christian Innocence

      by Marika Rose

      Rose builds upon Zizek's work, while remaining deeply critical at key moments.

    • Philosophy of religion
      May 2008

      The Metamorphosis of Finitude

      An Essay on Birth and Resurrection

      by Emmanuel Falque, Translated by George Hughes

    • Christian theology
      January 2003

      Toward a Theology of Eros

      Transfiguring Passion at the Limits of Discipline

      by Edited by Virginia Burrus, and Catherine Keller

    • Philosophy of religion
      January 2008

      Through Narcissus' Glass Darkly

      The Modern Religion of Conscience

      by David S. Pacini

    • Philosophy of religion
      May 2008

      The Metamorphosis of Finitude

      An Essay on Birth and Resurrection

      by Emmanuel Falque, Translated by George Hughes

    • Christian theology

      Columba

      Pilgrim and Penitent, 597-1997

      by Ian C. Bradley

    • Christian theology

      The Owl and the Stereo

      An Introduction to Radical Christianity.

      by David. Osborne

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