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The interpretation of Anselm of Canterbury's Proslogion has a long and rich tradition. However, its study is often narrowly focused on its so-called "ontological argument." As a result, engagement with the text of this work tends to be lopsided, and the prayerful purpose that undergirds the whole book is often completely ignored. Even the most rigorous engagements with the Proslogion often have little to say, for instance, about how the prayers of Proslogion 1, 14, and 18 contribute materially to Anselm's argument, or how his doctrine of God develops organically from the divine formula in the early chapters to the doctrines of eternity, simplicity, and Trinity in later chapters. There are very few works that offer a sustained analysis to Anselm's flow of thought throughout the entire Proslogion, and no one has explored how Anselm's doctrine of creaturely joy in heaven in Proslogion 24-26 is a fitting climax and resolution to the book. Anselm's Pursuit of Joy attempts a sustained, chapter-by-chapter textual analysis of the Proslogion, and offers the first effort to situate Anselm's doctrine of heaven in Proslogion 24-26 as the climax of the earlier themes of Anselm's work. Gavin Ortlund suggests that the basic purpose of Anselm's argument in the Proslogion is to seek the visio Dei that he articulates as his soul's deepest desire (Proslogion 1). While Anselm's argument for God's existence (Proslogion 2-4) is an important piece of this effort, it is only one step of a larger trajectory of thought that leads Anselm to meditate further on God's nature as the highest good of the human soul (Proslogion 5-23), and then to anticipate the joy of possessing God in heaven (Proslogion 24-26). In other words, the establishment of God's existence is only the penultimate consequence of Anselm's famous formula "that than which nothing greater can be thought"-his ultimate concern is with the infinite creaturely joy that is entailed by his existence. The Proslogion is, far more than an argument for God's existence, a meditation on God as the chief happiness of the human soul.
The medieval theory of the caliphate, epitomized by the Abbasids (750-1258), was the construct of jurists who conceived it as a contractual leadership of the Muslim community in succession to the Prophet Muhammed's political authority. In this book, Huseyin Yilmaz traces how a new conception of the caliphate emerged under the Ottomans, who redefined the caliph as at once a ruler, a spiritual guide, and a lawmaker corresponding to the prophet's three natures. Challenging conventional narratives that portray the Ottoman caliphate as a fading relic of medieval Islamic law, Yilmaz offers a novel interpretation of authority, sovereignty, and imperial ideology by examining how Ottoman political discourse led to the mystification of Muslim political ideals and redefined the caliphate. He illuminates how Ottoman Sufis reimagined the caliphate as a manifestation and extension of cosmic divine governance. The Ottoman Empire arose in Western Anatolia and the Balkans, where charismatic Sufi leaders were perceived to be God's deputies on earth. Yilmaz traces how Ottoman rulers, in alliance with an increasingly powerful Sufi establishment, continuously refashioned and legitimated their rule through mystical imageries of authority, and how the caliphate itself reemerged as a moral paradigm that shaped early modern Muslim empires. A masterful work of scholarship, Caliphate Redefined is the first comprehensive study of premodern Ottoman political thought to offer an extensive analysis of a wealth of previously unstudied texts in Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Turkish.
Graham Ward argues that the study of theology and religion, as a single academic discipline, plays a vital role in helping us to understand politics, world affairs, and the nature of humanity itself. Religion can be used to justify inhumane actions, but it also feeds dreams, inspires hopes, and shapes aspirations. By invoking a sense of wonder about the natural world, religion can promote scientific discoveries, and by focusing on shared experiences, religion helps to bind societies together. Some scientists now believe that religious feeling might be hard-wired into our DNA, a fundamental aspect of what makes us human. Because religion is rooted in the imagination itself, its study involves staring into the profundities of who we are. Religion will not go away, so it needs to be understood.
Reimagining Nature is a new introduction to the fast developing area of natural theology, written by one of the world s leading theologians. The text engages in serious theological dialogue whilst looking at how past developments might illuminate and inform theory and practice in the present. * This text sets out to explore what a properly Christian approach to natural theology might look like and how this relates to alternative interpretations of our experience of the natural world * Alister McGrath is ideally placed to write the book as one of the world s best known theologians and a chief proponent of natural theology * This new work offers an account of the development of natural theology throughout history and informs of its likely contribution in the present * This feeds in current debates about the relationship between science and religion, and religion and the humanities * Engages in serious theological dialogue, primarily with Augustine, Aquinas, Barth and Brunner, and includes the work of natural scientists, philosophers of science, and poets
Have you ever prayed for a sick friend? Does God heal today? If so, why are so many people in pain around us? We have all heard stories of miraculous healings. But can we believe them? Why are some people healed and some not? Does God give ordinary Christians the authority to heal? As Ken Blue explores these questions he found plenty of answers, but none that satisified him. He wanted answers that were true to Scripture and true to a loving and just God. His search into the Bible and into the ministry of healing has produced a rich and very human book. Here is a book for everyone who has ever prayed for a sick friend.
Finalist: 2014 National Jewish Book Award, Modern Jewish Thought and Experience This study seeks to examine the relationship between the two major categories of commandments (mitzvot): ritual commands (between man and his Maker) and social interpersonal commands (between man and his neighbor). It is argued here that when there is a clash between these two categories, and one cannot carry out both, the interpersonal mitzvot almost always override those of a ritual nature. Different scenarios from a broad spectrum of Jewish law are cited to prove this contention, and the conclusion is underscored through the examination of the behavior and rulings of several leading Jewish legal authorities. Finally, the implications of this conclusion and their impact on religious educational direction and rationale are also discussed.
Philosophical theology is aimed primarily at theoretical
understanding of the nature and attributes of God and of God's
relationship to the world and its inhabitants. During the twentieth
century, much of the philosophical community (both in the
Anglo-American analytic tradition and in Continental circles) had
grave doubts about our ability to attain any such understanding. In
recent years the analytic tradition in particular has moved beyond
the biases that placed obstacles in the way of the pursuing
questions located on the interface of philosophy and religion. The
result has been a rebirth of serious, widely-discussed work in
Since their discovery in 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls have become an icon in popular culture that transcends their status as ancient Jewish manuscripts. Everyone has heard of the Scrolls, but amidst the conspiracies, the politics, and the sensational claims, it can be difficult to separate the myths from the reality. In this Very Short introductions, Timothy Lim discusses the cultural significance of the finds, and the religious, political and legal controversies during the seventy years of study since the discovery. He also looks at the contribution the Scrolls have made to our understanding of the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible, and the origins of early Christianity. Exploring the most recent scholarly discussions on the archaeology of Khirbet Qumran, and the study of the biblical texts, the canon, and the history of the Second Temple Period, he considers what the scrolls reveal about sectarianism in early Judaism. Was the archaeological site of Qumran a centre of monastic life, a fortress, a villa, or a pottery factory? Why were some of their biblical texts so different from the ones that we read today? Did they have 'a Bible'? Who were the Essenes and why did they think that humanity is to be divided between 'the sons of light' and those in darkness? And, finally, do the Scrolls reflect the teachings of the earliest followers of Jesus? 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.
Where does our conscience come from? How reliable is it? In the West conscience has been relied upon for two thousand years as a judgement that distinguishes right from wrong. It has effortlessly moved through every period division and timeline between the ancient, medieval, and modern. The Romans identified it, the early Christians appropriated it, and Reformation Protestants and loyal Catholics relied upon its advice and admonition. Today it is embraced with equal conviction by non-religious and religious alike. Considering its deep historical roots and exploring what it has meant to successive generations, Paul Strohm highlights why this particularly European concept deserves its reputation as 'one of the prouder Western contributions to human rights and human dignity throughout the world.' Using examples from popular culture including the Disney classic Pinocchio, as well as examples from contemporary politics, he explores the work of thinkers such as Nietzsche, Freud, and Aquinas, to show how and why conscience remains a motivating and important principle in the contemporary world. 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.
Al-Ghazali on Poverty and Abstinence is the thirty-fourth chapter of the Revival of the Religious Sciences. It falls in the section dealing with the virtues. Ghazali traces poverty and abstinence back to the Prophet Muhammad who exhorted the faithful to love the poor and described this love as a key to heaven. But behind the Prophet's love of the poor lay his legendary humility, and the life of poverty on which Ghazali expatiates in this treatise refers to what every devoted follower of the Prophet is meant to adopt, not simply an accidental state of destitution that might befall anyone. What is true piety? What spiritual infirmities impede the path of poverty? These are the questions that preoccupy Ghazali in the Book on Poverty and Abstinence. His aim in this chapter is to teach the ordinary believer about inner purification through inner poverty and abstinence. The result is a rich tapestry of practises, thoughts, concepts and anecdotes drawn from some of the most fascinating figures in the tradition of practical ethics in Islam, a tradition that harks back to the enduring examples of pre-Islamic prophets like Jesus, Moses and Joseph.
Even a cursory glance at the news is enough to convince us that the world is falling into chaos. But we haven't seen anything that compares to what will happen in the final events leading to the second coming of Jesus Christ. For anyone who longs to know what the future holds--and especially for those who look for a glimmer of hope in our broken world--highly respected pastor and Bible teacher Bryant Wright offers a book that shows God has not lost control over his creation. In fact, he has a sovereign plan that includes ultimate victory for the church and the salvation of his people, Israel. God's timeless promises offer hope to believers who are grieved at the state of the world. Wright carefully illuminates the signs of the times that point toward his glorious appearing and millennial reign, and answers common questions, such as: - What does the Bible say about the antichrist? - What will be the future of Israel? - Where is Armageddon, what will happen there, and why?
Comprised of primary sources assembled from a broad chronological and geographic spectrum, "Islamic Theological Themes" is a comprehensive anthology of primary Islamic sacred texts in translation. The volume includes rare and never before translated selections, all freshly situated and introduced with a view to opening doors into the larger world of Islamic life, belief, and culture. From pre-theological material on the scriptural end of the spectrum, to the more practical material at the other, John Renard broadens our concepts of what counts as "Islamic theology," situating Islamic theological literature within the context of the emerging sub-discipline of Relational/Comparative Theology. Divided into five parts, students and scholars will find this collection to be an indispensible tool.
This book develops and applies the methodology of Tawhid ("monotheism") as law and the Sunnah (the teachings of Prophet Muhammad) in the Qur'an in establishing a transdisciplinary foundation for the study of Islamic economics, finance, society, and science. It employs the Tawhidi String Relation (TSR), a new theoretical framework in contemporary Islamic sciences, in the methodological formalisation and application of the Tawhidi worldview - as the primal ontological law of monotheism. It employs a deeply Qur'anic exegesis, and a mathematical, philosophical, and socio-scientific mode of inquiry in deriving, developing, and empirically applying the Qur'anic methodology of "unity of knowledge". It is the first book of its kind in rigorously studying the true foundation of the Qur'anic concept of 'everything' - as the world-system extending between the heavens and Earth. The qur'anic terminology of the precept of this "world-system" in its most comprehensive perspective is A'lameen, the terminology in the Qur'an that accounts for the generality and details of the world-systems that are governed by the method of evaluation of the objective criterion of wellbeing. Wellbeing objective criterion is evaluated subject to inter-causal relations between systemic entities, variables, and functions. The cardinal principle of Tawhid in its relationship with the world-system conveys the corporeal meaning of monotheism in its cognitive implication of abstraction and application. Such a study has not been undertaken in existing Islamic socio-scientific literature in analysing Islamic economics, finance, science, and society collectively, using Tawhidi law as a theoretical framework. This book will be relevant to all such scholars who are interested in studying the monotheistic law and the Islamic principles, particularly Tawhid, Shari'ah, and Islamic philosophical thought.
Lion DuFour's Dictionary of Biblical Theology is written for Catholics who want to better understand the Bible. Seventy distinguished scholars and eighteen specialized translators have collaborated to produce this classic in Catholic biblical studies. The Dictionary presents the key theological concepts of the Bible in a way helpful to both the scholar and average reader. This Updated Second Edition includes: More than 350 topics and biblical terms such as faith, the Eucharist, and prayer Solid Catholic biblical perspective Dozens of Scripture references for each topic
The Christian doctrine of justification is of immense interest to historians and theologians ,and continues to be of major importance in modern ecumenical discussions. The present work appeared in its first edition in 1986, and rapidly became the leading reference work on the subject. Its many acclaimed features include a detailed assessment of the semantic background of the concept in the Ancient Near East, a thorough examination of the doctrine of the medieval period, and an especially careful analysis of its development during the critical years of the sixteenth century. The substantially rewritten fourth edition thoroughly updates the work, responding to the latest developments in scholarly literature and user feedback. It will remain an essential resource for all concerned with the development of Christian doctrine, the history of the Reformation debates on the identity of Christianity, and modern discussions between Protestants and Roman Catholics over the nature of salvation.
Thirty years ago, Alvin Plantinga gave a lecture called "Two Dozen (or so) Theistic Arguments," which served as an underground inspiration for two generations of scholars and students. In it, he proposed a number of novel and creative arguments for the existence of God which have yet to receive the attention they deserve. In Two Dozen (or so) Arguments for God, each of Plantinga's original suggestions, many of which he only briefly sketched, is developed in detail by a wide variety of accomplished scholars. The authors look to metaphysics, epistemology, semantics, ethics, aesthetics, and beyond, finding evidence for God in almost every dimension of reality. Those arguments new to natural theology are more fully developed, and well-known arguments are given new life. Not only does this collection present ground-breaking research, but it lays the foundations for research projects for years to come.
Many of us, even on our happiest days, struggle to quiet the constant buzz of anxiety in the background of our minds. All kinds of worries-worries about losing people and things, worries about how we seem to others-keep us from peace of mind. Distracted or misled by our preoccupations, misconceptions, and, most of all, our obsession with ourselves, we don't see the world clearly-we don't see the world as it really is. In our search for happiness and the good life, this is the main problem. But luckily there is a solution, and on the path to understanding it, we can make use of the rich and varied teachings that have developed over centuries of Buddhist thought. With clarity and compassion, Nicolas Bommarito explores the central elements of centuries of Buddhist philosophy and practice, explaining how they can improve your life and teach you to live without fear. Mining important texts and lessons for practical guidance, he provides a friendly guide to the very practical goals that underpin Buddhist philosophy. After laying out the basic ideas, Bommarito walks readers through a wide range of techniques and practices we can adopt to mend ingrained habits. Rare for its exploration of both the philosophy that motivates Buddhism and its practical applications, this is a compassionate guide to leading a good life that anyone can follow.
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