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An Apocryphal God

Beyond Divine Maturity

by Mark McEntire

In Portraits of a Mature God, Mark McEntire traced the narrative development of the divine character in the Old Testament, placing the God portrayed at the end of that long story at the center of theological discussion. He showed that Israel’s understanding of God had developed into a complex, multipurpose being who could work within a new reality, a world that included a semiautonomous province of Yehud and a burgeoning Mesopotamian-Mediterranean world in which the Jewish people lived and moved in a growing diversity of ways. Now, McEntire continues that story beyond the narrative end of the Hebrew Bible as Israel and Israel’s God moved into the Hellenistic world. The “narrative” McEntire perceives in the apocryphal literature describes a God protecting and guiding the scattered and persecuted, a God responding to suffering in revolt, and a God disclosing mysteries, yet also hidden in the symbolism of dreams and visions. McEntire here provides a coherent and compelling account of theological perspectives in the apocryphal writings and beyond.

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The Art of Empire

Christian Art in Its Imperial Context

edited by Lee M. Jefferson and Robin M. Jensen

In recent years, art historians such as Johannes Deckers (Picturing the Bible, 2009) have argued for a significant transition in fourth- and fifth-century images of Jesus following the conversion of Constantine. Broadly speaking, they perceive the image of a peaceful, benevolent shepherd transformed into a powerful, enthroned Jesus, mimicking and mirroring the dominance and authority of the emperor. The powers of church and state are thus conveniently synthesized in such a potent image. This deeply rooted position assumes that ante-pacem images of Jesus were uniformly humble while post-Constantinian images exuded the grandeur of power and glory.

The Art of Empire contends that the art and imagery of Late Antiquity merits a more nuanced understanding of the context of the imperial period before and after Constantine. The chapters in this collection each treat an aspect of the relationship between early Christian art and the rituals, practices, or imagery of the Empire, and offer a new and fresh perspective on the development of Christian art in its imperial background.

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Ascent into Heaven in Luke-Acts

New Explorations of Luke's Narrative Hinge

edited by David K. Bryan and David W. Pao

In comparison with other aspects of Jesus’ life and ministry, his ascent into heaven has often been overlooked within the history of the church. However, considering its placement at the end of the Gospel and the beginning of Acts—the only narrative depictions of the event in the New Testament—the importance of Jesus’ ascent into heaven is undeniable for Luke’s two-volume work. While select studies have focused on particular aspects of these accounts for Luke’s story, the importance of the ascension calls for renewed attention to the narratological and theological significance of these accounts within their historical and literary contexts. In this volume, leading scholars discuss the ascension narratives within the ancient contexts of biblical, Second Temple Jewish, and Greco-Roman literature; the literary contours of Luke-Acts; and questions of historical and theological significance in the wider milieu of New Testament theology and early Christian historiography. The volume sets out new positions and directions for the next generations of interpreters regarding one of the most important and unique elements of the Lukan writings.

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Atlas of the Euopean Refomation

edited by Tim Dowley

A new, definitive atlas of the European Reformations has been needed for many years. Now, in anticipation of the upcoming reformation anniversaries, Fortress Press is pleased to offer the Atlas of the European Reformations.

The Atlas of the European Reformations is newly built from the ground up. Featuring more than sixty brand new maps, graphics, and timelines, the atlas is a necessary companion to any study of the reformation era. Consciously written for students at any level, concise, helpful texts guide the experience and interpret the visuals. The volume is perfect for independent students, as well as those in structured courses.

The atlas is broken into four primary parts. “Before the Reformation” presents the larger political, religious and economic context of Europe on the eve of the reformation. “Reformation” presents the major contours of the reformation, including Lutheran, Reformed, English, and Anabaptist movements. “Catholic Reform and Counter-Reformation” provides extensive information on the reforming movements within Catholicism and the responses to other movements. Finally, “Early Modern Europe” sheds fresh light on the movement and implications of the reformation in the later sixteenth

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Augustine on War and Military Service

By Phillip Wynn

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”.

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Augustine's Theology of Preaching

by Peter T. Sanlon

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.

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The Authors of the Deuteronomistic History

Locating a Tradition in Ancient Israel

by Brian Neil Peterson

Peterson engages one of the most enduring controversies in current critical scholarship on the Hebrew Bible, the identities and provenances of the authors of the various “editions” of the Deuteronomistic History. Critically reviewing the presuppositions of scholars reaching back to Martin Noth, and using careful analysis of motif and characterization at each redactional level in each book of the Deuteronomistic History, Peterson asks where we might locate a figure with both motive and opportunity to draw up a proto-narrative including elements of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and the first part of 1 Kings.

Posing his questions in the form of a “Whodunit?” Peterson identifies a particular candidate in the time of David who had both knowledge and a theological and political agenda, qualified to write the first edition. He then extends the method to identify the particular circle who became the custodians of the Deuteronomistic narrative and supplies successive redactions, informed by the original formative vision, down to the time of Jeremiah. Careful argumentation yields surprising results at each stage.

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Barcelona, Berlin, New York: 1928-1931

by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

The period 1928 to 1931, which followed completion of his dissertation, was formative for Bonhoeffer's personal and pastoral and theological direction. Almost all of these nine hundred pages of writings appear in English here for the first time. They document the intense four-year period that included preparation of his postdoctoral thesis; a vicarage in Barcelona; occasional lectures; his postdoctoral academic year at Union Theological Seminary; travel around the United States, Cuba, and Mexico; and his re-entry into the German academic and ecclesial scene.

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Becoming a Christian in Christendom

Radical Discipleship and the Way of the Cross in America's "Christian" Culture

by Jason A. Mahn

How might one live the Christian faith within a culture that idealizes and privileges Christianity while also relativizing it, rendering it redundant and innocuous? Arguing for a reconceptualization of the theology of the cross and radical communal practices, this book brings together two clusters of critics of Christian acculturation and accommodation: (1) Lutherans such as Kierkegaard and Bonhoeffer who lift up radical discipleship against the propensity toward “cheap grace,” and (2) various “Anti-Constantinians,” including neo-monastic communities, who resists the church’s collusion with power politics, symbolized by the conversion of Constantine in the early fourth century.

Drawing on these diverse resources, author Jason Mahn explores some pervasive dangers of America’s new Christendom: its accommodation to an exploitative economy that cheapens the meaning of grace; its endorsement of political liberalism, within which the church becomes another special interest group; its justification of war and other forms of “necessary” violence; and its self-defeating lip-service to religious inclusivity. Mahn provocatively imagines alternatives to conventional Christianity—ones whereby the church embodies an alternative politic, where it commits to cruciform non-violence, appreciates gifts by giving them away, and knows its boundaries well enough to learn from those on the other side.

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Becoming an Anti-Racist Church

Journeying toward Wholeness

By Joseph Barndt

Martin Luther King's observation that 11 a.m. on Sunday is the most segregated hour of the week remains all too true.

Christians addressing racism in American society must begin with a frank assessment of how race figures in the churches themselves, leading activist Joseph Barndt argues. This practical and important volume extends the insights of Barndt's earlier, more general work to address the race situation in the churches and to equip people there to be agents for change in and beyond their church communities.

A hallmark of Barndt's analysis is his keen grasp of the deep yet checkered legacy that American church and church bodies inherit on this question. Yet Barndt also lifts up the ways in which their prophetic work has proved a catalyst for progress in American race relations, and he clearly shows why and how churches can inculcate an anti–racist commitment into their collective lives.

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