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Ecclesiology, Nonviolence, and Witness
This book argues that Christian nonviolence is both formed by and forms ecclesial life, creating an inextricable relationship between church commitment and resistance to war. Examining the work of John Howard Yoder, Dorothy Day, William Stringfellow, and Robert McAfee Brown, this book explores how each thinker’s advocacy for nonviolent resistance depends deeply upon the ecclesiology out of which it comes. These forms comprise four strands of a comprehensive Christian approach to a nonviolent witness rooted in ecclesial life. Because each of these figures’ ecclesiology implicates a different mode of resistance to war and a different relation between ecclesiology and resistance to war, the volume argues that any account of an ecclesially-informed resistance to war must be open to a multitude of approaches, not as pragmatic concessions, but as a foretaste of ecumenical unity. Insofar as the pursuit of peace in the world can be seen as a church bearing out the work of the Spirit, the approach of other ecclesial traditions can be seen not as competitors but as common works of the Spirit, which other traditions may learn from and be challenged by.
For the first time in nearly 20 years, the essential theological writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer have been drawn together in a helpful one-volume format. The Bonhoeffer Reader brings the best English translation to students, and provides a ready-made introduction to the thought of this essential thinker.
Drawn from decades of classroom teaching experience, the readings selected ensure that this volume provides everything necessary to introduce Bonhoeffer’s thought to the student of theology.
Every reading has been skillfully introduced and placed in the larger context of Bonhoeffer’s life and work by two respected Bonhoeffer scholars, Clifford J. Green and Michael DeJonge. Footnotes and textual apparatus have been carefully edited with the theology student in mind. The readings have been selected by a renowned group of teachers, scholars, and Bonhoeffer experts. Newly written introductions frame each reading in a concise, helpful way. This book is an essential resource for all those who study the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
Spirit and Service in the Lutheran Confessions
The Reformation-era writings that make up the Lutheran Confessions remain lively resources for Christian ministry and mission today. Because each of the documents within the Book of Concord was written with a specific context and rhetorical purpose in mind, each has its own compelling story and objectives. Luther’s catechisms present the faith for daily life at the grass-roots level, with teaching elements that we might now view as typical of social media and multimedia. The Augsburg Confession and its Apology provide an adaptable foundation for preaching, teaching, church organization, and dialogue that is rooted in the promise of Christ, received through faith. Fifteen years after the Diet of Worms, the Smalcald Articles reveal yet another “Here I stand” moment for Luther. Finally, the Formula of Concord shows how the next generations of Lutherans used collaboration and consensus as they wrestled with important themes of faith and life. In summary, as these texts engage us with their stories, they invite us to consider what is most important about our journeys of faith and Christian witness in today’s twenty-first-century contexts.
Scriptural Authority and Biblical Theology
The purpose of this collection of Brueggemann's essays is to bring to the fore a much more extensive critical engagement on his part with the current discussion about the Old Testament, its character, its authority, its theology, and especially its God.... Readers of these essays who think they may have grasped what Brueggemann has to say about the theology of the Old Testament from reading his magnum opus will find that he is still thinking, still listening, and still helping us understand the scriptures of Israel and the church at an ever deeper level.
Churches and Hip-Hop—A Basic Guide to Key Issues
What is Hip-Hop, and how does it impact the Black Church? How do Black Churches think about Hip-Hop? How does it integrate Hip-Hop? How do these different, yet deeply interrelated communities think about the key topics of modern life—be it gender, sex, race, or globalization?
These questions and more are the concern of the CERCL Writing Collective, under the mentorship of Anthony Pinn. In this innovative project, ten individuals write as one voice to illuminate the ways that Hip-Hop and the Black Church agree, disagree, and inform each other on key topics.
This book grows out of the popular religion and Hip-Hop course, soon to be offered as an open enrollment online course, offered at Rice University by Anthony Pinn and Bernard ‘Bun B’ Freeman. Like the course, the book offers engaging insights into one of today’s most important musical genres and reflects on its broad cultural impact.
The Bible through the Eyes of the Hungry
Important ecclesiastical documents have stressed the urgency of world hunger and put in the foreground its natural and historical causes, from famine to global austerity measures and welfare. These concerns have not always affected the way the biblical texts themselves have been read, however. Here, inspired by calls, from Dorothee Sölle and Kathleen O’Connor, biblical scholars apply a “hermeneutics of hunger” to the Bible, taking readings of texts from the Old and New Testaments alike on the premise that human hunger and want are urgent concerns that rightly shape the work of interpretation. Too often, however, as the authors show, biblical texts—like Jesus’ well known words that humans do not live “by bread alone”—have been used to marginalize such concerns within religious communities. Their essays here explore the dynamics of hunger and its causation in ancient Israel and the Greco-Roman world and challenge readers to take seriously the centrality of hunger concerns in the Bible.
Blueprint for a Church in Exile
The language of exile, focused with theological and biblical narratives and coupled with depictions of real-life exilic communities, can equip church leaders as agents in the creation of new communities.
It is commonplace today to hear Christians say we are a “church in exile” or a church in a “post-Christendom” society. But what does this really mean? In order for the church to make sense of this claim, we need some concrete descriptions of exilic life so that, in our reflections on congregational formation, we can begin to develop a more substantive language for our exilic experience.
In By the Rivers of Babylon, Robert Hoch reads the larger North American tradition of Christian worship and mission through the prism of visibly marginalized communities, communities that know the power of Babylon concretely. That is, they know displacement through some combination of physical dislocation, ethnicity, economic marginality, and political stigma. This readable and practical book is an essential resource for pastors and church leaders in these communities.
Paul Knitter and Harold Netland in Dialogue
This volume highlights points of agreement and disagreement on the subject of religious pluralism. The dialogue partners in the discussion are Paul F. Knitter, Paul Tillich Professor of Theology, World Religions, and Culture at Union Theological Seminary, and Harold A Netland, professor of Mission and Evangelism and director of Intercultural Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.
A transcript of the March 2009 Point-Counterpoint event between Knitter and Netland allows the reader to see how each presents his position in light of the others, as well as their responses to selected audience questions. The balance of the volume is comprised of substantive essays on various facets of the question of religious pluralism from a diverse set of scholars. The Greer Heard Point-Counterpoint series takes pride in presenting a fair and balanced case for both sides of complex issues, and in providing the tools for students and scholars to form their own conclusions.
The Pastoral Power of Christian Ritual
Caregiving practices in churches often center around listening and giving counsel, making referrals, and creating support groups for specific needs. In Caring Liturgies, Susan Marie Smith proposes that Christian ritual is both a method and a means for helping people through liminal times of transition and uncertainty, even vulnerability and fear. It teaches readers to recognize the ritual needs of fellow Christians and thus create post-baptismal rites of passage and healing that might strengthen and support them in the fulfillment of their ministries.
The book extends the usefulness of denominational "occasional services" books and other resources by suggesting ways to build a rite around a central symbolic action, pointing out issues of ritual honesty and ethics, and identifying skills and attributes necessary to preparing and leading a rite. Numerous narrative examples help to flesh out the principles and illustrate the key argument: that rituals are necessary means to enable human growth and maturity, both through times of suffering and times of transition, and that ritual-making leaders are central to the ongoing health of the church.
Towards a Lutheran Virtue Ethics
Over the last several decades, perceptive observers of Western civilization have documented what virtually everyone has perceived: as the old foundations of society have toppled, morality and personal character have been set adrift and often vanished altogether. How can character be cultivated when it seems no one is willing or able to provide a definitive description of character to which humans should aspire?
Equipped with explicit texts and a rich heritage detailing the content of human character, it would seem that Christianity is ideally positioned to address this problem.
Yet even the church has often been complicit in undermining and eviscerating a rich, meaningful account of character.
While the reasons for this are many and complicated, one of the more potent singular factors is actually theological. Contemporary Lutheranism, in particular, has struggled with the appropriate place of morality and character formation, as these pursuits often have been perceived as at odds with the central Christian doctrine of justification.
A Case for Character explores this problem and argues that Christian doctrine, specifically as articulated within a Lutheran framework, is altogether capable of encouraging a robust pursuit of character formation while maintaining a faithful expression of justification by grace alone through faith alone.