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This title argues that Christian understanding of salvation is not about a future in heaven but a way of life that shapes the present. This book draws on methods in practical theology. It begins with a deep concern for the threat to the world's future created by tensions between the 'Christian West' and 'Muslim East' and considers the impact these concerns have on attitudes towards Muslims in the West both within and outside of Christianity. "Salvation as Praxis" argues that a Christian understanding of salvation is not simply about a hope for the future in heaven, but about a way of life that shapes the present and works for a better future in this world. The book argues that such ways of thinking about salvation must be given greater prominence when thinking about inter-faith questions. In practice, that should lead the Christian community, in solidarity with their Muslim brothers and sisters, to engage in radical transformative action to make the world a safer and better place for all its inhabitants.
In the study of Judaism, the Zohar has captivated the minds of interpreters for over seven centuries, and continues to entrance readers in the modern day. Yet despite these centuries of study, very little attention has been devoted to the literary dimensions of the text, to formal appreciation of its status as one of the great works of religious literature. The Art of Mystical Narrative offers a critical approach to the Zohar story, seeking to explore the interplay between fictional discourse and mystical exegesis. Eitan Fishbane argues that the narrative must be understood first and foremost as a work of the fictional imagination, a representation of a world and reality invented by the thirteenth century authors of the text. He claims that the text functions as a kind of dramatic literature, one in which the power of revealing mystical secrets is demonstrated and performed for the reading audience. The Art of Mystical Narrative offers a fresh, interdisciplinary perspective on the intersections of literary and religious studies.
This is the second volume in the four-volume edition of The Works of Lucy Hutchinson, the first-ever collected edition of the writings of the pioneering author and translator. This volume brings together for the first time the religious writings of Hutchinson (1620-81). She is well known for her classic narrative of the Civil War period, Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson, and for her Biblical poem Order and Disorder; these writings lay out the theological underpinnings of those works, making it possible to chart the development of her ideas in detail. They go beyond the practical piety often expected of women writers, translating Latin texts and exploring the nature of theological knowledge. Some works are published here for the first time, others have not been available since 1817. Detailed introductions and commentaries make these writings fully accessible to non-specialists and offer comparisons with contemporaries like John Owen and John Milton.
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.
The first comprehensive history of the pietistic movement that shaped modern Judaism This is the first comprehensive history of the pietistic movement that shaped modern Judaism. The book's unique blend of intellectual, religious, and social history offers perspectives on the movement's leaders as well as its followers, and demonstrates that, far from being a throwback to the Middle Ages, Hasidism is a product of modernity that forged its identity as a radical alternative to the secular world. Hasidism originated in southeastern Poland, in mystical circles centered on the figure of Israel Baal Shem Tov, but it was only after his death in 1760 that a movement began to spread. Challenging the notion that Hasidism ceased to be a creative movement after the eighteenth century, this book argues that its first golden age was in the nineteenth century, when it conquered new territory, won a mass following, and became a mainstay of Jewish Orthodoxy. World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the Holocaust decimated eastern European Hasidism. But following World War II, the movement enjoyed a second golden age, growing exponentially. Today, it is witnessing a remarkable renaissance in Israel, the United States, and other countries around the world. Written by an international team of scholars, Hasidism is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand this vibrant and influential modern Jewish movement.
The words, phrases, and stories of the New Testament permeate the English language. Indeed, this relatively small group of twenty-seven works, written during the height of the Roman Empire, not only helped create and sustain a vast world religion, but also have been integral to the larger cultural dynamics of the West, above and beyond particular religious expressions. Looking at the New Testament through the lens of literary study, Kyle Keefer offers an engrossing exploration of this revered religious text as a work of literature, but also keeps in focus its theological ramifications. Unique among books that examine the Bible as literature, this brilliantly compact introduction offers an intriguing double-edged look at this universal text-a religiously informed literary analysis. The book first explores the major sections of the New Testament-the gospels, Paul's letters, and Revelation-as individual literary documents. Keefer shows how, in such familiar stories as the parable of the Good Samaritan, a literary analysis can uncover an unexpected complexity to what seems a simple, straightforward tale. At the conclusion of the book, Keefer steps back and asks questions about the New Testament as a whole. He reveals that whether read as a single document or as a collection of works, the New Testament presents readers with a wide variety of forms and viewpoints, and a literary exploration helps bring this richness to light. A fascinating investigation of the New Testament as a classic literary work, this Very Short Introduction uses a literary framework-plot, character, narrative arc, genre-to illuminate the language, structure, and the crafting of this venerable text. 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.
One of the central arguments of post-metaphysical theology is that language is inherently 'metaphysical' and consequently that it shoehorns objects into predetermined categories. Because God is beyond such categories, it follows that language cannot apply to God. Drawing on recent work in theology and philosophy of language, Kevin Hector develops an alternative account of language and its relation to God, demonstrating that one need not choose between fitting God into a metaphysical framework, on the one hand, and keeping God at a distance from language, on the other. Hector thus elaborates a 'therapeutic' response to metaphysics: given the extent to which metaphysical presuppositions about language have become embedded in common sense, he argues that metaphysics can be fully overcome only by defending an alternative account of language and its application to God, so as to strip such presuppositions of their apparent self-evidence and release us from their grip.
In our post-Christian, pluralistic society, responding to the perception that Christians are prejudiced, anti-intellectual, and bigoted has become a greater challenge than ever before. The result is often intimidation, withdrawal, and even doubts among God's people about what we really believe. Bestselling author and teaching pastor at Living on the Edge, Chip Ingram, wants to change that. In Why I Believe, he gives compelling answers to questions about - the resurrection of Christ - the evidence of an afterlife -the accuracy and intellectual feasibility of the Bible - the debate between creation and evolution - the historicity of Jesus - and more The solid, biblical, logical answers he shares will satisfy the honest doubts that every believer experiences now and then, and will provide practical, thoughtful answers that can be shared with family and friends. This is the perfect resource for churches, small groups, and individuals who long not only to really know what and why they believe, but also to be equipped to explain the intellectual justification for their faith in everyday language.
This groundbreaking study offers an innovative critical analysis of poetry as a resource for reflective practice in the context of continuing professional development. In the contemporary drive in all professions for greater rigour in education, training, and development, little attention is paid to the inner shape of learning and meaning-making for individuals and groups, especially ways in which individuals are formed for the task of their work. Building on empirical research into the author's professional practice, the book takes the use of poetry in clergy continuing ministerial development as a case-study to examine the value of poetry in professional learning. Setting out the advantages and limitations of poetry as a stimulant for imaginative, critical reflexivity, and formation within professional reflective practice, the study develops a practical model for group reflection around poetry, distilling pedagogical approaches for working effectively with poetry in continuing professional development. Drawing together a number of strands of thinking about poetry, Practical Theology, and reflective practice into a tightly argued study, the book is an important methodological resource. It makes available a range of primary and secondary sources, offering researchers into professional practice a model of ethnographic research in Practical Theology which embraces innovative methods for reflexivity and theological reflection, including the value of auto-ethnographic poetry.
"Pardes has a remarkable gift for asking new questions about familiar texts and providing fresh insights into old problems. By looking closely at the key metaphors and the narrative details of the biblical story of the formation of the Israelite nation, she has teased out of the text a compelling biography."--Robert Alter, Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley
"Ilana Pardes elegantly recasts the mythic story of Israel's emergence as the story of the birth, individuation, initiation, and maturity of an emergent subject. Ambivalences, deferrals, power struggles, and multiple memories all characterize Israel's development and the stories told about it. Through a set of close and graceful readings, Pardes persuasively argues that the first five books of the Bible constitute, not the history, but the biography of a nation." --Elizabeth A. Castelli, Barnard College, author of "Imitating Paul: A Discourse of Power
"The book of books has generated many other works, but Ilana Pardes's "The Biography of Ancient Israel" is in a class by itself. In beautiful, spare prose, she reconstructs the way the biblical authors imagined the history of ancient Israel. Artfully weaving literary and psychological insights, she has given us an entirely fresh view of the Bible as original as it is brilliant. This is a book for every reader of the Bible who wishes 'to wrest tradition away from a conformism that is about to overpower it.'"--David Biale, author of "Eros and the Jews"
"This is a wonderful book and a delight to read. The idea of treating the exodus story as a collective biography is quite original, and makes possible a genuinely illuminating reading ofthe story."--Michael Walzer, author of "Exodus and Revolution"
The Hebrew Old Testament, which contains some of the world s most ancient religious texts, was written and repeatedly re-edited over the course of several centuries from about 1000 BCE. It reached its final form at the hands of editors who were monotheists. They believed that their god Yahweh was the only true God, and that he had been worshipped exclusively by their ancestors from the time of Abraham. They edited their sources to reflect this belief. However we can strip away this veneer of later monotheism to view the ancient stories themselves. These bear witness to Israelite religion as practised before 600 BCE. Far from being monotheistic, this religion was a fascinating polytheistic paganism, close to the religion of the surrounding Canaanites. In this religion Yahweh, far from being God as understood by modern western monotheism, was a distinctive tribal deity. This book will be of particular interest to the large numbers of western people who come from a broadly Christian or Jewish background but have left those faiths behind to explore paganism or New Age spirituality.
The Song of Songs with English translation ( hebrew), illustrated by renowned painter Ze'ev Raban.
It's frequently said that we live in a ""post-truth"" age. That obviously can't be true, but it does name a real problem on our hands. Getting things right is hard, especially if they're complicated. It takes preparation, diligence, and honesty. Wisdom, according to Thomas Aquinas, is the quality of right judgment. This book is about the problem of becoming wise, the problem ""before truth."" It is about that problem particularly as it comes up for religious, philosophical, and theological truth claims. Before Truth: Lonergan, Aquinas, and the Problem of Wisdom proposes that Bernard Lonergan's approach to these problems can help us become wise. One of the special problems facing Christian believers today is our awareness of how much our tradition has developed. This development has occurred along a path shot through with contingencies. Theologians have to be able to articulate how and why doctrines, institutions, and practices that have developed?and are still developing?should nevertheless be worthy of our assent and devotion. What is happening when doctrine is developing? How do we relate the truth of the New Testament to the dogmas formulated by the Councils? In what sense is a theological theory ""true""? Can we still do metaphysics?the science of ""being as being""?even though we do not know all of being? How can we distinguish true and false developments in our religious tradition, in philosophy, or in theology? On what basis should we accept Jesus Christ as the supreme teacher of wisdom? Part One explores Lonergan's apprenticeship to Thomas Aquinas, and the influence of that apprenticeship on Lonergan, his distinctive approach to philosophy and the method of theology. Part Two shows how Lonergan tried to implement his ideas by taking soundings in his theology. Jeremy Wilkins looks at his analysis of the development of Trinitarian doctrine, his appreciation for Thomas Aquinas's theory of the Trinity, and his account of the human wisdom of Christ, the supreme teacher.
...you have not only collected a great deal of very important material but have also organized them wonderfully well and this from a carefully worked out sociological approach. This has given us a really fine study in comparative religion, which you have brought a modern mind to work upon. Niharranjan Ray, renowned Indologist, on the first edition. Encouraged by the reception the first edition received, the author expanded its scope and coverage and the second edition included the following chapters: Introduction; The Mothers: Forms of the Cult; Mother Goddesses in Literary and Mythological Records; Mother Goddesses in Archaeology; and Mother Goddesses and the Advanced Religious Systems. In addition, there were three appendices, viz., Regional Distribution of the Goddess Cult; The Female-Dominated Societies; and Fertility Rites as the Basis of Tantricism. To further enrich the work two more appendices, viz., The Realm of Kamakhya, and Important Puranic Goddesses, along with an updated bibliography have been added in the present (Third) edition. The study, a standard work on the subject, correlates the cult of Indian Mother Goddess with similar cults found in different parts of the world. It reveals interesting historical processes working behind the origin and development of the cult. It further highlights its popularity among the masses, specially among the lower order, its functional role in space and time and its entry into the so called higher forms of religious systems of India and abroad. The study is marked by the authors accent on comparative treatment and on the social basis of religious ideas and deft handling of a bewildering variety of sources.
Throughout history, the image of the non-Jew in Judaism has profoundly influenced the way in which Jews interact with non-Jews. It has also shaped the understanding that Jews have of their own identity, as it determines just what distinguishes them from the non-Jews around them. A crucial element in this is the concept of Noahide law, understood by the ancient rabbis and subsequent Jewish thinkers as incumbent upon all humankind, unlike the full 613 divine commandments of the Torah, which are incumbent on Jews alone. The approach adopted in this now classic study is to consider the history of the idea of Noahide law, and to show how the concept is relevant to practical discussions of the halakhah pertaining to non-Jews and to relations between Jews and non-Jews. The seven chapters that make up the first part of this study examine each of the Noahide laws in turn, with a view to showing their halakhic development in the rabbinic sources, in the codes, and in the responsa literature. The discussion draws primarily on classical texts by traditional commentators as they attempt to deal with living issues from the rabbinic world as equally vital concerns in their own time. The second part of the book deals with the theory of Noahide law, concluding with a consideration of why it is an appropriate starting point for Jewish philosophy today. 'Any reader interested in understanding how the non-Jew has been perceived throughout Jewish history should certainly turn to The Image of the Non-Jew in Judaism for an authoritative discussion . . . scholarly . . . provides insight, not only into the classical Jewish perceptions of non-Jews and their place in the world, but also into Jewish-Christian and Jewish-Muslim relations and a more sophisticated understanding of Jewish law vis- -vis the Gentile.' David Tesler, AJL Reviews.
The relationship between secularism, democracy, religion, and gender equality has been a complex one across Western democracies and still remains contested. When we turn to Muslim countries, the situation is even more multifaceted. In the views of many western commentators, the question of Women Rights is the litmus test for Muslim societies in the age of democracy and liberalism. Especially since the Arab Awakening, the issue is usually framed as the opposition between liberal advocates of secular democracy and religious opponents of women's full equality. Islam, Gender, and Democracy in Comparative Perspective critically re-engages this too simple binary opposition by reframing the debate around Islam and women's rights within a broader comparative literature. Bringing together leading scholars from a range of disciplines, it examines the complex and contingent historical relationships between religion, secularism, democracy, law, and gender equality. Part One addresses the nexus of religion, law, gender, and democracy through different disciplinary perspectives (sociology, anthropology, political science, law). Part Two localizes the implementation of this nexus between law, gender, and democracy and provides contextualized responses to questions raised in Part One. The contributors explore the situation of Muslim women's rights in minority conditions to shed light on the gender politics in the modernization of the nation and to ponder on the role of Islam in gender inequality across different Muslim countries.
World-leading researchers, including Nobel Laureates and rising young stars, examine some of the most important and fundamental questions at the forefronts of modern science, philosophy, and theology, taking into account recent discoveries from a range of fields. This fascinating book is ideal for anyone seeking answers to deep questions about the universe and human life. The remarkable career of Charles H. Townes, inventor of the maser and laser for which he shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics, has spanned seven decades. His interests have ranged from the origin of the Universe to the structure of molecules, always focusing on the nature of human life. Honouring his work, this book explores the most basic questions of science, philosophy, and the nature of existence: How did the Universe begin? Why do the fundamental constants of nature have the values they do? What is human consciousness, and do we have free will?
Dr. Erica Brown is one of the foremost Jewish educators of our time. In In the Narrow Places, she brings her extraordinary teaching skills to the subject of the Three Weeks, the period of mourning commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples. For each day of the Three Weeks, she presents a short, inspirational essay based on biblical texts followed by a kavana a spiritual focus that involves reflection, imagination or action to transform these somber days of remembrance into a period of introspection and spiritual growth. Alongside the traditional prophecies of doom and consolation traditionally read during the Three Weeks, In the Narrow Places offers a new process for rebuilding and a re-affirmation of hope.
Abridged from the four-volume "The Passion of al-Hallaj, " one of the major works of Western orientalism, this book explores the life and teaching of a famous tenth-century Sufi mystic and martyr, and in so doing describes not only his experience but also the whole milieu of early Islamic civilization. Louis Massignon (1883-1962), France's most celebrated Islamic specialist in this century and a leading Catholic intellectual, wrote of a man who was for him a personal inspiration.
From reviews of the four-volume translation:
A Profound and Stirring Call to Action in Our Troubled World from One of America's Great Religious Leaders
"Conscience may be understood as the hidden inner compass that guides our lives and must be searched for and recovered repeatedly. At no time more than our own is this need to retrieve the shards of broken conscience more urgent." from the Introduction
This clarion call to rethink our moral and political behavior examines the idea of conscience and the role conscience plays in our relationships to government, law, ethics, religion, human nature and God and to each other. From Abraham to Abu Ghraib, from the dissenting prophets to Darfur, Rabbi Harold Schulweis probes history, the Bible and the works of contemporary thinkers for ideas about both critical disobedience and uncritical obedience. He illuminates the potential for evil and the potential for good that rests within us as individuals and as a society.
By questioning religion's capacity and will to break from mindless conformity, Rabbi Schulweis challenges us to counter our current suppressive culture of obedience with the culture of moral compassion, and to fulfill religion s obligation to make room for and carry out courageous moral dissent."
Method in Theology stands with Insight as Bernard Lonergan's most important work. It is Lonergan's answer to those who would argue that in this time of cultural change and dissolution, the believer is afloat on a sea of multiplying theologies, without rudder or compass. Lonergan was resolute in his refusal to be defeatist on this point. While agreeing that theology must continually change to mediate between religion and culture, he worked out an integral method to guide and control this ongoing process. Method in Theology is the fruit of this labour. This critical edition has benefited from extensive research into Lonergan's typescripts and from consulting the recordings from several institutes where he lectured over the course of the work's development. Lonergan's intention was to provide a set of methods that would guide a collaborative community in the ongoing construction of a theology that would move from recovery of the data through resolution of conflicts to contemporary formulations and applications. With this work, the cognitional theory of Insight: A Study of Human Understanding underwent a surprising set of developments in the form of what he calls functional specialization.
One of the most influential books in the history of literature,
recognized as the greatest literary masterpiece in Arabic, the
Qur'an is the supreme authority and living source of all Islamic
teaching, the sacred text that sets out the creed, rituals, ethics,
and laws of Islam. First published in 2004, M. A. S. Abdel Haleem's
superb English translation has been acclaimed for both its
faithfulness to the original and its supreme clarity. Now Haleem's
translation is published side-by-side with the original Arabic
text, to give readers a greater appreciation and understanding of
the holy book.
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