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Who is Lucifer? The orthodox Christian view tells us that he challenged God, fell from Heaven, tempted Eve and created death and suffering. Then he became Satan, horned king of Hell. Yet as Lynn Picknett explains, Devil was only a new incarnation of the old woodland deity Pan, while Lucifer was a personification of the Morning Star, the planet Venus and its goddess. 'He' was therefore originally 'she', and a divine representation of love, beauty and human warmth. Indeed, many ancient goddesses were known as Lucifera, or 'Light-bringer' - an honour extended to Mary Magdalene in her true role as goddess-worshipping priestess and Christ's successor. While thousands follow Lucifer in order to achieve earthly wealth and power, Picknett explains that such misguided behaviour is far from true Luciferan principles - the audacious pushing ever outwards of the limits of human knowledge, startlingly exemplified by the little-known heresies of Leonardo da Vinci. Ironically, controversial modern scientists, who see no proof of a God, much less of a Devil, may possess the key to the existence of the old archetypal adversaries.; Urging a radical shift in both religious and scientific paradigms, Pi
In this book, Robin Gill argues that moral passion and rational ethical deliberation are not enemies, and that moral passion often lurks behind many apparently rational ethical commitments. He also contends that though moral passion is a key component of truly selfless moral action, without rational ethical deliberation it can also be extremely dangerous. Gill maintains that a reanalysis of moral passion is overdue. He inspects the gap between the 'purely rational' accounts of ethics provided by some moral philosophers and the normative positions that they espouse and/or the moral actions that they pursue. He also contends that Christian ethicists have not been adept at identifying their own implicit moral passion or at explaining why it is that doctrinal positions generate passionately held moral conclusions. Using a range of disciplines, including cognitive science and moral psychology, alongside the more usual disciplines of moral philosophy and religious ethics, Gill also makes links with moral passion in other world faith traditions.
Regarded by believers as the foundation stone of their faith, and as a stumbling block by those who struggle to believe, the resurrection of Jesus lies at the heart of the Christian gospel. James D. G. Dunn sets out clearly and fairly the arguments for and against Jesus' resurrection, and explains why most biblical scholars believe the weight of historical evidence points in its favour.
This is a comprehensive examination of Christian doctrine, practically explained The Inspiration of Scripture, the Trinity, sin, the Incarnation, the Atonement, Justification, Christian Liberty, Baptism, the Church, the Lord?'s Supper, the Second Coming, the Resurrection, Hell and Heaven. It equips the reader to present their faith intelligently to others.
Most Christians believe God is in control, but they are unsure of how to reconcile that control with their struggles with sin, with the command to evangelize, and with the immense suffering in the world and their own lives. Laing offers an introduction to the doctrine of providence based on the theory of middle knowledge, first articulated in the sixteenth century. This view describes how creatures have true free will and God has perfect knowledge of what each creature could and would do in any circumstance. Middle knowledge helps answer the most perplexing theological questions: predestination and salvation, the existence of evil, divine and human authorship of Scripture, and science and the Christian faith. Laing provides extensive biblical support as well as practical applications for this theology.
Luigi Gioia provides a fresh description and analysis of Augustine's monumental treatise, De Trinitate, working on a supposition of its unity and its coherence from structural, rhetorical, and theological points of view. The main arguments of the treatise are reviewed first: Scripture and the mystery of the Trinity; discussion of 'Arian' logical and ontological categories; a comparison between the process of knowledge and formal aspects of the confession of the mystery of the Trinity; an account of the so called 'psychological analogies'. These topics hold a predominantly instructive or polemical function. The unity and the coherence of the treatise become apparent especially when its description focuses on a truly theological understanding of knowledge of God: Augustine aims at leading the reader to the vision and enjoyment of God the Trinity, in whose image we are created. This mystagogical aspect of the rhetoric of De Trinitate is unfolded through Christology, soteriology, doctrine of the Holy Spirit and doctrine of revelation. At the same time, from the vantage point of love, Augustine detects and powerfully depicts the epistemological consequences of human sinfulness, thus unmasking the fundamental deficiency of received theories of knowledge. Only love restores knowledge and enables philosophers to yield to the injunction which resumes philosophical enterprise as a whole, namely 'know thyself'.
What awaits us beyond the grave is perhaps the fundamental human mystery. Visionary accounts of the afterlife are attested long before the Common Era, and loomed large in the imaginative universe of early Christianity. The medieval Irish inherited and further transformed this tradition, producing vivid eschatological narratives which had a profound impact throughout Europe as well as being works of remarkable literary and spiritual power in their own right. Under the headings `Soul and Body', `The Seven Heavens', `The Next World', and `The Judgement and its Signs', this book presents critical editions, with translation and commentary, of 26 eschatological texts from the Old, Middle, and Early Modern Irish periods, together with related material in Latin and Old English. Some of these works are here edited for the first time. Extended essays survey Irish eschatological literature a whole, and place it in its wider context; and the volume concludes with a comprehensive handlist of Irish eschatological compositions. This book consists of two volumes.
It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.Drawing on this Irish saying, poet, storyteller and theologian Padraig O Tuama relates ideas of shelter and welcome to journeys of life, using poetry, story, biblical refelction and prose to open up gentle ways of living well in a troubled world. The fourth gospel tells of Jesus arriving in the room where the disciples are gathered, full of fear, on Easter Sunday. He does not chide or admonish; instead he says 'Peace be with you', which, in the Aramaic of his day, was simply a greeting. To people locked in a room of fear he said 'Hello,' welcoming them to a place of deep encounter: encounter with themselves, with their fear, with each other and with the incarnate one in their midst.Interweaving everyday stories with narrative theology, gospel reflections with mindfulness and Celtic spirituality with poetry, In the Shelter reveals the transformational power of welcome.
Will I be `raptured`? Will there be an `antichrist`? What might heaven be like? And did someone mention a `Millennium'?? In A Guide to the End of the World, Pete Lowman skilfully tackles all these questions and more! Guiding us through the Biblical end-time prophecies, he reflects on how these glorious, terrifying and perplexing visions might find fulfilment in our post-modern world. Differing views on key Scriptures are presented, together with concise and accessible analyses of Revelation and Christ's famous Matthew 24 discourse, leaving readers with a thorough grasp of the issues. Steeped in Scripture and overflowing with heartfelt passion for God, A Guide to the End of the World will leave you more informed and more desirous of Jesus' return, whatever you conclude...
Thomas Aquinas, an Italian Catholic priest in the early thirteeth century, is considered to be one of the great Christian thinkers who had, and who still has, a profound influence on Western thought. He was a controversial figure who was exposed and engaged in conflict. This Very Short Introduction looks at Aquinas in a historical context, and explores the Church and culture into which Aquinas was born. It considers Aquinas as philosopher, and looks at the relationship between philosophy and religion in the thirteenth century. Fergus Kerr, in this engaging and informative introduction, will make The Summa Theologiae, Aquinas's greatest single work, accessible to new readers. It will also reflect on the importance of Thomas Aquinas in modern debates and asks why Aquinas matters now. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
In 1517, Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses, an act often linked with the start of the Reformation. In this work, Eric Leland Saak argues that the 95 Theses do not signal Luther's break from Roman Catholicism. An obedient Observant Augustinian Hermit, Luther's self-understanding from 1505 until at least 1520 was as Brother Martin Luther, Augustinian, not Reformer, and he continued to wear his habit until October 1524. Saak demonstrates that Luther's provocative act represented the culmination of the late medieval Reformation. It was only the failure of this earlier Reformation that served as a catalyst for the onset of the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation. Luther's true Reformation discovery had little to do with justification by faith, or with his 95 Theses. Yet his discoveries in February of 1520 were to change everything.
Maximus the Confessor (c.580-662) has become one of the most discussed figures in contemporary patristic studies. This is partly due to the relatively recent discovery and critical edition of his works in various genres, including On the Ascetic Life, Four Centuries on Charity, Two Centuries on Theology and the Incarnation, On the 'Our Father', two separate Books of Difficulties, addressed to John and to Thomas, Questions and Doubts, Questions to Thalassius, Mystagogy and the Short Theological and Polemical Works. The impact of these works reached far beyond the Greek East, with his involvement in the western resistance to imperial heresy, notably at the Lateran Synod in 649. Together with Pope Martin I (649-53 CE), Maximus the Confessor and his circle were the most vocal opponents of Constantinople's introduction of the doctrine of monothelitism. This dispute over the number of wills in Christ became a contest between the imperial government and church of Constantinople on the one hand, and the bishop of Rome in concert with eastern monks such as Maximus, John Moschus, and Sophronius, on the other, over the right to define orthodoxy. An understanding of the difficult relations between church and state in this troubled period at the close of Late Antiquity is necessary for a full appreciation of Maximus' contribution to this controversy. The volume provides the political and historical background to Maximus' activities, as well as a summary of his achievements in the spheres of theology and philosophy, especially neo-Platonism and Aristotelianism.
Pacifism is popular. Many hold that war is unnecessary, since
peaceful means of resolving conflict are always available, if only
we had the will to look for them. Or they believe that war is
wicked, essentially involving hatred of the enemy and carelessness
of human life. Or they posit the absolute right of innocent
individuals not to be deliberately killed, making it impossible to
justify war in practice.
A shortened version of Kreeft's much larger Summa of the Summa, which in turn was a shortened version of the Summa Theologica. The reason for the double shortening is pretty obvious: the original runs some 4000 pages (The Summa of the Summa was just over 500.) The Summa is certainly the greatest, most ambitious, most rational book of theology ever written. In it, there is also much philosophy, which is selected, excerpted, arranged, introduced, and explained in footnotes here by Kreeft, a popular Thomist teacher and writer. St. Thomas Aquinas is universally recognized as one of the greatest philosophers who ever lived. His writings combine the two fundamental ideals of philosophical writing: clarity and profundity. He is a master of metaphysics and technical terminology, yet so full of both theoretical and practical wisdom. He is the master of common sense. The Summa Theologica is timeless, but particularly important today because of his synthesis of faith and reason, revelation and philosophy, and the Biblical and the classical Greco-Roman heritages. This little book is designed for beginners, either for classroom use or individually. It contains the most famous and influential passages of St. Thomas' philosophy with copious aids to understanding them.
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