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Physician-assisted suicide. Racism. Genetic engineering. Abortion. Poverty. Capital punishment. Our culture is beset by a host of vexing ethical questions. Are there any foundational moral principles to guide us? If so, where do they come from? Christians say that we can--and should--be guided by principles derived from a right understanding of God. But skeptics and those with differing religious convictions argue that ethics and morality need not have anything to do with the God of the Old and New Testaments. Are they correct? Can right and wrong exist without God? Can we, in fact, be good or bad without God? In Paul Chamberlain's intriguing, inventive book, these questions are explored by a cast of five: Ted (a Christian) joins Graham (an atheist), Francine (a moral relativist), William (an evolutionist) and Ian (a secular humanist). Together they have been summoned to the home of a mystery host. And together, to the benefit of their host and the reader, they undertake a fascinating examination of truth, conduct, culture--and a few other things that matter.
The Pentateuch (or the Torah) consists of the first five books of the Bible and is a foundational scripture for millions of people, both Jews and Christians. In this book Paula Gooder and Brad Anderson provide a clear and accessible introduction for those beginning Bible study. Key themes such as creation and the flood, exodus and liberation, as well as covenant and law are presented and analyzed. These themes are explored in their ancient context and from the standpoint of contemporary concerns such as liberation theology, gender issues and ecology. For this new edition introductory sections on the five books of the Pentateuch have been expanded and supplemented, while recent developments in the quest for the origins of the Pentateuch have also been updated. A new chapter on academic approaches to the study of the Pentateuch has been added, along with a section on the 'afterlife' of the Pentateuch which focuses on its place in the history of interpretation, as well as in the arts and culture. Reading lists and references have been updated throughout to take account of the most recent scholarship.
We are told modernity's end will destabilize familiar ways of knowing, doing, and being, but are these changes we should dread-or celebrate? Four significant events (and the iconic images that represent them) catalyze this question: the consecration of openly gay Episcopalian bishop Gene Robinson, the mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, the politicization of the death of Terri Schiavo, and the disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina. Framed by an original appropriation of Michel Foucault, and drawing on resources in visual culture theory and the history of photography, Ellen T. Armour explores the anxieties, passions, and power dynamics bound up in the photographic representation and public reception of these events. Together, these phenomena expose modernity's benevolent and malevolent disruptions and reveal the systemic fractures and fissures that herald its end, for better and for worse. In response to these signs and wonders, Armour lays the groundwork for a theology and philosophy of life better suited to our (post)modern moment: one that owns up to the vulnerabilities that modernity sought to disavow and better enables us to navigate the ethical issues we now confront.
Every work on Jewish thought and law since the twelfth century bears the imprint of Maimonides. A. N. Whitehead's famous dictum that the entire European philosophical tradition 'consists of a series of footnotes to Plato' could equally characterize Maimonides' place in the Jewish tradition. The critical studies in this volume explore how Orthodox rabbis of different orientations-Shlomo Aviner, Naftali Zvi Yehudah Berlin (Netziv), Kalonymus Kalman Shapira, Joseph Kafih, Abraham Isaac Kook, Aaron Kotler, Joseph Soloveitchik, and Elhanan Wasserman-have read and provided footnotes to Maimonides in the long twentieth century. How well did they really understand Maimonides? And where do their arguments fit in the mainstream debates about him and his works? Each of the seven core chapters examines a particular approach. Some rabbis have tried to liberate themselves from the influence of his ideas. Others have sought to build on those ideas or expand them in ways which Maimonides himself did not pursue, and which he may well not have agreed with. Still others advance patently non-Maimonidean positions, while attributing them to none other than Maimonides. Above all, the essays published here demonstrate that his legacy remains vibrantly alive today.
In this volume Wright trains a penetrating historical and theological spotlight on first-century Palestinian Judaism. By describing the history, social make-up, worldview, beliefs, and hope of Palestinian Judaism, Wright familiarizes the reader with the 'world of Judaism' as situated within the world of Greco-Roman culture.
A feminist critique of Judaism as a patriarchal tradition and an exploration of the increasing involvement of women in naming and shaping Jewish tradition.
Studies in Jewish Theology invites the reader into the 'laboratory' of a Jewish theologian as he confronts visceral issues that have confronted classical Jewish theology and that continue to challenge contemporary Jewish theological inquiry. After offering an exposition of the nature of Jewish theology and demonstrating why and how it is crucial and relevant for understanding the nature and meaning of Judaism as a religious faith, the author proposes a creative and compelling methodology for 'doing' Jewish theology. This methodology is then applied to various perennial issues of Jewish theological concern, including: the problem of evil, the nature of God, love and awe of God, God's love and law, theological foundations of the Jewish holydays, philosophies of Jewish law, and the application of Jewish theology to matters of social ethics and spirituality. Attention then turns to a consideration of Jewish-Christian theological dialogue, where a Jewish theology of Christianity, an explic
Islam as a religion and a way of life guides millions of people around the world and has a significant impact on worldly affairs. To many Muslims, however, a philosophical understanding or assessment of Islamic belief is seen as a feeble and religiously inappropriate attempt to understand matters that are beyond rational comprehension. Islam: A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation explores this issue in detail, by guiding readers through a careful study of the relationship between faith and reason in Islam. In particular, it pays close attention to religious objections to philosophizing about Islam, arguments for and against Islamic belief, and the rationality of Islamic belief in light of contemporary philosophical issues, such as problems of religious diversity, evil and religious doubt. This text is ideal for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students seeking an objective, philosophical introduction to Islam, a subject of increasing interest in classrooms around the world.
A compelling interpretation of a foundational concept of Jewish religious life The love of God is arguably the most essential element in Judaism-but also one of the most confounding. In biblical and rabbinic literature, the obligation to love God appears as a formal commandment. Yet most people today think of love as a feeling and wonder how an emotion can be commanded. Jon Levenson traces the origins of the concept to the ancient institution of covenant, showing how covenantal love is a matter neither of sentiment nor of dry legalism. In origin, the love of God is, instead, thoroughly relational in nature, inseparable from the deeply personal two-way relationship that finds expression in God's mysterious love for the people of Israel, who in turn observe God's laws out of profound gratitude for his acts of deliverance and continuing faithfulness to him in the face of temptations to abandon the relationship.
Recipient of a Christianity Today 1993 Critics' Choice Award Now in paperback Stanley Grenz and Roger Olson offer in this text a sympathetic introduction to twentieth-century theology and a critical survey of its significant thinkers and movements. Of particular interest is their attempt to show how twentieth-century theology has moved back and forth between two basic concepts: God's immanence and God's transcendence. Their survey profiles such towering figures in contemporary theology as Karl Barth, Rudolf Bultmann, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, Jurgen Moltmann and Wolfhart Pannenberg. It critiques significant movements like neo-orthodoxy, process theology, liberation theology and theology of hope. And it assesses recent developments in feminist theology, black theology, new Catholic theology, narrative theology and evangelical theology. An indispensable handbook for anybody interested in today's theological landscape.
This exhaustive volume catalogs nearly three thousand demons in the mythologies and lore of virtually every ancient society and most religions. From Aamon, the demon of life and reproduction with the head of a serpent and the body of a wolf in Christian demonology, to Zu, the half-man, half-bird personification of the southern wind and thunder clouds in Sumero-Akkadian mythology, entries offer descriptions each demon's origins, appearance, and cultural significance. Also included are descriptions of the demonic and diabolical members making up the hierarchy of Hell and the numerous species of demons that, according to various folklores, mythologies, and religions, populate the earth and plague mankind.
"Al-Ghazali on Invocations and Supplications" is a translation of the ninth chapter of the "Revival of the Religious Sciences" (Ihya Ulum al-Din), which is widely regarded as the greatest work of Muslim spirituality. "Al-Ghazali on Invocations and Supplications" is probably the most commonly read compendium of personal prayers in the Muslim world, especially those concerning the remembrance of God (dhikr). "Al-Ghazali on Invocations and Supplications" is popular not only for its comprehensiveness and beauty, but also for Ghazali's analytical approach, which explores the psychological and spiritual effects of prayer and the celebration of God's Name. This work is essential reading for those who seek a spiritual life and who desire to walk the meditative and reflective path of "dhikr" prayer.---This new fourth edition of "Al-Ghazali on Invocations and Supplications" includes the invocations and supplications in Arabic for those readers who would like to use them in their prayers and a translation of Abu Hamid al-Ghazali's own Introduction to the "Revival of the Religious Sciences", which gives the reasons that caused him to write the work, the structure of the whole of the "Revival", and places each of the chapters in the context of the others.
In the face of globalized ecological and economic crises, how do religion, the postsecular, and political theology reconfigure political theory and practice? As the planet warms and the chasm widens between the 1 percent and the global 99, what thinking may yet energize new alliances between religious and irreligious constituencies? This book brings together political theorists, philosophers, theologians, and scholars of religion to open discursive and material spaces in which to shape a vibrant planetary commons. Attentive to the universalizing tendencies of "the common," the contributors seek to reappropriate the term in response to the corporate logic that asserts itself as a universal solvent. In the resulting conversation, the common returns as an interlinked manifold, under the ethos of its multitudes and the ecology of its multiplicity. Beginning from what William Connolly calls the palpable "fragility of things," Common Goods assembles a transdisciplinary political theology of the Earth. With a nuance missing from both atheist and orthodox religious approaches, the contributors engage in a multivocal conversation about sovereignty, capital, ecology, and civil society. The result is an unprecedented thematic assemblage of cosmopolitics and religious diversity; of utopian space and the time of insurrection; of Christian socialism, radical democracy, and disability theory; of quantum entanglement and planetarity; of theology fleshly and political.
Purity, Community, and Ritual in Early Christian Literature investigates the meaning of purity, purification, defilement, and disgust for Christian writers, readers, and listeners from the first to third centuries. Anthropological and sociological works over the past decades have demonstrated how purity and defilement rituals, practices, and discourses harness the power of a raw emotion in order to shape and manipulate cultural structures. Moshe Blidstein builds on such theories to explain how early Christian writers drew on ancient Jewish and Greco-Roman traditions on purity and defilement, using them to create new types of community, form Christian identity, and articulate the relationship between body, sin, and ritual. Blidstein discusses early Christian purity issues under several headings: dietary law, death defilement, purity of the heart, defilement of outsiders, and purity of the community. Analysis of the motivations shaping the development of each area of discourse reveals two major considerations: polemical and substantive. Thus, Christian writing on dietary law and death defilement is essentially polemical, constructing Christian identity by marking the purity practices and beliefs of others as false. Concerning the subjects of baptism, eucharist, and penance, however, the discourse turns inwards and becomes more substantive, seeking to create and maintain theories of ritual and human nature coherent with the theological principles of the new religion.
Ethics in Ancient Israel is a study of ethical thinking in ancient Israel from around the eighth to the second century BC. The evidence for this consists primarily of the Old Testament/ Hebrew Bible and Apocrypha, but also other ancient Jewish writings such as the Dead Sea Scrolls and various anonymous and pseudonymous texts from shortly before the New Testament period. Professor John Barton argues that there were several models for thinking about ethics, including a 'divine command' theory, something approximating to natural law, a virtue ethic, and a belief in human custom and convention. Moreover, he examines ideas of reward and punishment, purity and impurity, the status of moral agents and patients, imitation of God, and the image of God in humanity. Barton maintains that ethical thinking can be found not only in laws but also in the wisdom literature, in the Psalms, and in narrative texts. There is much interaction with recent scholarship in both English and German. The book features discussion of comparative material from other ancient Near Eastern cultures and a chapter on short summaries of moral teaching, such as the Ten Commandments. This innovative work should be of interest to those concerned with the interpretation of the Old Testament but also to students of ethics.
Judaism makes the bold argument that the very concept of a religion of 'Judaism' is an invention of the Christian church. The intellectual journey of world-renowned Talmud scholar Daniel Boyarin, this book will change the study of "Judaism"-an essential key word in Jewish Studies-as we understand it today. Boyarin argues that although the world treats the word "Judaism" as appropriate for naming an alleged religion of the Jews, it is in fact a Christian theological concept only adopted by Jews with the coming of modernity and the adoption of Christian languages.
Samuel Stefan Osusky was a leading intellectual in Slovak Lutheranism and a bishop in his church. In 1937 he delivered a prescient lecture to the assembled clergy, "The Philosophy of Fascism, Bolshevism and Hitlerism", that clearly foretold the dark days ahead. As wartime bishop, he co-authored a "Pastoral Letter on the Jewish Question", which publicly decried the deportation of Jews to Poland in 1942; in 1944 he was imprisoned by the Gestapo for giving moral support to the Slovak National Uprising against the fascist puppet regime. Paul R. Hinlicky traces the intellectual journey with ethical idealism's faith in the progressive theology of history that ended in dismay and disillusionment at the revolutionary pretensions of Marxism-Leninism. Hinlicky shows Osusky's dramatic rediscovery of the apocalyptic "the mother of Christian theology", and his input into the discussion of the dialectic of faith and reason after rationalism and fundamentalism.
This book sets forward a series of interesting and less-explored aspects of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik's teachings.
These essays delve into the Rav's approach toward understanding biblical figures, his views on emotions and intellect, his appreciation of R. Yehudah ha-Levi, his understanding of medieval history, and the implications for modernity.
Contents: Introduction; The House of My Pilgrimage; The Personal Interrogative -- Arjuna and the Gita; 'So Help Me -- Who?'; Pronounal Jewry -- God's Own People; The Self-Encounter in Judaism; The Muslim Personal Pronoun Singular; The Muslim Personal Pronoun Plural; The 'We' and the 'I' in the New Testament; Two Great Sexes Animate the World; Our Dividual Being -- The Irony of Mystical Union; Faiths' Pronoun-Users Now; Notes; Index of Names and Terms.
The 365 daily readings found in this devotional have been taken from the writings of Watchman Nee, the noted Chinese pastor/writer. They cover a variety of topics but are bound together by a call to experience Christ as our portion--our all.
"Epistle on Worship: Risalat al-ubudiyya" aims to shed new light on the thought of Ibn Taymiyya who remains one of the most controversial Islamic thinkers today because of his supposed influence on many fundamentalist movements. In this work, Professor James Pavlin argues that the common understanding of Ibn Taymiyya's ideas has been filtered through fragments of his statements-which have been misappropriated by alleged supporters and avowed critics alike-and that most people still have limited access to Ibn Taymiyya's beliefs and opinions as expressed in his own writings. "Epistle on Worship: Risalat al-ubudiyya" aims to begin filling this gap by presenting an annotated translation of one of Ibn Taymiyya's most important epistles on the theology of worship.---The introduction to "Epistle on Worship: Risalat al-ubudiyya" gives the reader an overview of Ibn Taymiyya's biography, situating him in the broader world of Islamic intellectual history by explaining his methodological arguments and theological opinions, while the annotated translation captures the immediacy of his ideas as they impacted his world as well as the relevancy they have for our times.
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