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The Texts @ Contexts series gathers scholarly voices from diverse contexts and social locations to bring new or unfamiliar facets of biblical texts to light. In 1 and 2 Corinthians, scholars from a variety of cultural and social locations shed new light on themes and dynamics in Paul’s most intriguing letters to a complex church. Subjects include race, identity, and privilege; ritual, food, and power; community, culture, and love. These essays de-center the often homogeneous first-world orientation of much biblical scholarship and open up new possibilities for discovery.
The Hermeneia Translation
1 Enoch was an important and popular text in ancient Judaism, well attested among the manuscripts at Qumran, and a key piece of the puzzle of the development of early Judaism and Christian origins. George W. E. Nickelsburg and James C. VanderKam have now revised their translation in conjunction with their publication of the complete two volumes on 1 Enoch in the Hermeneia commentary series. This is the only English translation of 1 Enoch that takes into consideration all of the textual data now available in the Ethiopic version and the Greek texts, in addition to the Dead Sea Aramaic fragments.
Translations, Introductions, and Notes
Fresh translations of early Jewish texts 4 Ezra and 2 Baruch, written in the decades after the Judean War, which saw Jerusalem conquered, the temple destroyed, and Judaism changed forever.
This handy volume makes these two important texts accessible to students, provides expert introductions, and illuminates the interrelationship of the texts through parallel columns.
Throughout its first three centuries of existence, the Christian community, while new to the Roman world’s pluralistic religious scene, portrayed itself as an historic religion. The early church community claimed the Jewish Bible as their own and looked to it to defend their claims to historicity. While Jews looked to Moses and the Sinai covenant as the focus of their historical relationship with God, the early church fathers and apologists identified themselves as inheritors of the promise given to Abraham and saw their mission to the Gentiles as the fulfillment of God’s declaration that Abraham would be “a father of many nations” (Gen 17:5).M
It is in light of this background that Demetrios Tonias undertakes the first, comprehensive examination of John Chrysostom’s view of the patriarch Abraham.
By analyzing the full range of references to Abraham in Chrysostom’s work, Tonias reveals the ways in which Chrysostom used Abraham as a model of philosophical and Christian virtue, familial devotion, philanthropy, and obedient faith.
Paul and the Ancestors in Postcolonial Africa
"Father Abraham had many sons . . ." So goes the chorus that the Shona people learned from European missionaries as part of the broader experience of colonization that they share with other African peoples. Urged to abandon their ancestors and embrace Christianity, the Shona instead engaged in a complex and ambiguous negotiation of ancestral myths, culture, and power.
Israel Kamudzandu explores this legacy, showing how the Shona found in the figure of Abraham himself a potent resource for cultural resistance, and makes intriguing comparisons with the ways the apostle Paul used the same figure in his interaction with the ancestry of Aeneas in imperial myths of the destiny of the Roman people. The result is a groundbreaking study that combines the best tradition-historical insights with postcolonial-critical acumen. Kamudzandu offers at last a model of multi-cultural Christianity forged in the experience of postcolonial Zimbabwe.
Readings from Acts are offered only during Easter, so how can preachers make this important book come alive throughout the church year?
Acts of the Apostles helps the preacher identify possibilities for sermons based on texts and themes in the book of Acts. While offering a basic exegetical framework for interpreting passages in Acts in their historical, literary, rhetorical, and theological contexts, this volume also suggests ways in which the preacher can relate passages and motifs from Acts to the congregation and world today.
The Axial Age in Asia and the Near East
The years 800-200 BCE comprise one of the most creative and influential eras in world history. Karl Jaspers termed this epoch “the Axial Age,” to indicate its pivotal importance in the evolution of human thought. The ferment of religious and philosophical activity centered in four distinct regions of civilization: East Asia, South Asia, West Asia, and the Northeastern Mediterranean. Each of these areas witnessed the emergence of several imaginative individuals whose exemplary lives and teachings prompted their followers to create the traditions that led to the birth of the world religions. Zoroaster, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Gautama Buddha, Confucius, Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle side by side, we are able to see more clearly the questions with which they struggled, their similarities and differences, and how their ideas have influenced religious thought down to our day.
Third Wave Womanist Religious Thought
Third wave womanism is a new movement within religious studies with deep roots in the tradition of womanist religious thought—while also departing from it in key ways. After a helpful and orienting introduction, this volume gathers essays from established and emerging scholars whose work is among the most lively and innovative scholarship today. The result is a lively conversation in which 'to question is not to disavow; to depart is not necessarily to reject' and where questioning and departing are indications of the productive growth and expansion of an important academic and religious movement.
Did our modern understanding of just war originate with Augustine? In this sweeping reevaluation of the evidence, Philip Wynn uncovers a nuanced story of Augustine’s thoughts on war and military service, and gives us a more complete and complex picture of this important topic. Wynn’s book reevaluates Augustine’s thought on war and challenges the common assumptions about Augustine and the doctrine of “just war”.
Scholarship has painted many pictures of Augustine—the philosophical theologian, the refuter of heresy, or contributor to doctrines like Original Sin—but the picture of Augustine as preacher, says Sanlon, has been seriously neglected. When academics marginalize the Sermones ad Populum, the real Augustine is not presented accurately. In this study, Sanlon does more, however, than rehabilitate a neglected view of Augustine.
How do the theological convictions that Augustine brought to his preaching challenge, sustain, or shape our work today? By presenting Augustine’s thought on preaching to contemporary readers Sanlon contributes a major new piece to the ongoing reconsideration of preaching in the modern day, a consideration that is relevant to all branches of the twenty-first century church.