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An Introductory Exposition
In Dialectical Theology and Jacques Ellul, Jacob E. Van Vleet argues that the work of Jacques Ellul is frequently—and deleteriously—misread on account of inattention to the theological underpinning that governs Ellul’s thought. In a penetrating analysis, the first of its kind, Van Vleet provides a substantive account of the theological structure of Ellul’s work and demonstrates the determinative role that theology, especially dialectical theology, plays in a proper understanding of Ellul.
Van Vleet offers a major introduction to Ellul’s thought, his contribution to theology and philosophy, and how his philosophy of technology is both theologically informed and culturally relevant. As well, this work situates Ellul’s theological and philosophical thought within an important genetic context, from Kierkegaard to the dialectical theologians of the twentieth century.
Rethinking Scripture and History through Gregory of Nazianazus and Hans Frei
Key to a theology of scripture and how theology functions in relation to the interpretation of Christianity's religious texts is the important issue of faith and history. Seeking to address a critical problem in theology and the interpretation of scripture raised by modern historical consciousness, Ben Fulford argues for a densely historical and theological reading of scripture centered in a Christological rubric. The argument herein uncovers a pattern of triune action and presence in the rhetorical use of Christian sacred texts, one which draws readers into fuller participation in the shaping of history in Christ. Tracing the problem through the modern theological heritage, the author turns to a comparative account of theologically patterned reading represented by patristic theology in Gregory of Nazianzus and postliberal theology in its pivotal founder, Hans Frei. The book addresses the challenge of historicity and historical consciousness, argues for the relevance of pre-modern approaches to scripture, and offers a fresh and extensive account of two salient figures from the early and contemporary tradition, thus enacting a theology of retrieval as a resource on a present issue of vital importance.
A Theology of Beauty in Dialogue with Robert W. Jenson
The identification of God with beauty is one of the most aesthetically rich notions within Christian thought. However, this claim is often at risk of becoming untethered from core Christian theological confessions. To avoid a theological account of beauty becoming a mere projection of our wildest desires, it must be reined in by dogmatics. To make this case, this book employs the thought of Robert W. Jenson to construct a dogmatic aesthetics. Jenson’s whole theological program is directed by exploring the systematic potential of the core doctrines of the faith that finally opens out into a vast vision of the beauty of God and creatures: “God is a great fugue . . . the rest is music.” Taking Jenson’s cue, the account of beauty presented in this book is propelled by a core conviction of Jenson’s theology: the sole analogue between God and creatures is not “being” or any other metaphysical concept, but Jesus Christ.
Douglas John Hall’s popular and acclaimed writings have inspired and challenged readers four over decades making him of the most widely known theologians in North America. This collection of readings from Douglas John Hall’s essential theological works has been carefully chosen to highlight the author’s most important work. Hall's work takes the measure of Christian belief and doctrine explicitly in light of North American cultural and historical experience. Hall's theological insights challenge churches to embrace change and develop genuine community, uncompromised theology, and honest engagement with the larger culture. To a failed culture and a struggling church, Hall shows the radical implications of a theology of the cross for the shape and practice of church, preaching, ministry, ethics, and eschatology.
Dreaming is an ordinary practice that weaves the mystery of consciousness into everyday life. On any given night, we can experience lucid visions, nightmares, or prophetic dreams that invite us to see the world differently. Christians are betrothed to a God who dreams. As the book of Genesis unfolds, we find God busily untangling the chaos in the cosmos. On the seventh day, God rests and dreams of worlds that teem with life. We know that God dreams because humans, who are made in God’s image, do as well. This book connects Christian traditions and dream stories to our everyday lives so that we might engage the mysteries of life.
Volume 11 in the sixteen-volume Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works English Edition, Ecumenical, Academic, and Pastoral Work: 1931-1932, provides a comprehensive translation of Bonhoeffer’s important writings from 1931 to 1932, with extensive commentary about their historical context and theological significance. This volume covers the significant period of Bonhoeffer's entry into the international ecumenical world and the final months before the beginning of the National Socialist dictatorship. It begins with Bonhoeffer's return to Berlin in June 1931 after his year of study in the United States. In the crucial period that followed, Bonhoeffer continued his preparations for the ministry, began teaching at Berlin University, and became active at international ecumenical meetings. His letters and lectures, however, also document the economic and political turbulence on the European and world stage, and Bonhoeffer directly addresses the growing threat of the Nazi movement and what it portends not only for Germany, but for the world. Several of the documents in this volume, particularly the student notes of his university lecture on "The Nature of the Church" and his lectures on Christian ethics, give important insights into his theology at this point. His ecumenical lectures and reports are significant documents for understanding the ecumenical debates of this period.
Paul's Lament-Midrash in Romans 9-11
God chooses Israel (salvation “first to the Jew and then the gentile”), but without showing favoritism? Paul genuinely grieves for Israel as one speaking “in” Christ, yet prays to be cursed, cut off from Christ? Romans 9–11 remains one of the most difficult and contested biblical texts in scholarship today. Theological discussions often limit the focus of this passage to God’s sovereignty, emphasizing that God’s mind is not known, or to Paul’s defense of God’s faithfulness, insisting that Israel has failed. Less attention has been devoted to Paul’s unique form and style, which, rightly understood, resolve significant issues, revealing the merciful and wise character of God in his choice of Jacob, the lesser son.
David R. Wallace demonstrates how Paul weaves two distinct Jewish literary forms together––lament and midrash—into a logical narrative concerning Israel’s salvation. Attention is given to Paul’s poetical structures, key literary terms, and use of Old Testament contexts. The result is new insight into the meaning of the letter, and into the theology of Paul.
Sacramentality and the Word in Rahner and Chauvet
The twentieth century witnessed renewed interest in a Roman Catholic theology of the word. The contributions of Karl Rahner and sacramental theologian Louis-Marie Chauvet demonstrate the Roman Catholic conviction that the word is fundamentally sacramental: it has the capacity to bear God’s presence to humanity.
.Rhodora Beaton examines the work of Rahner and Chauvet to articulate the relationship between word and sacrament within the context of language, culture, and an already graced world as the place of divine self-expression, and analyzes the implications for Trinitarian theology, sacramentality, liturgy, and action.
Bodies, Desires, and Sexuality in Christianity
The topic of sexuality intersects directly with the most contested historical, theological, and ethical questions of our day. In this edgy yet profound volume, noted scholars and theologians assay the Christian tradition's classic and contemporary understandings of sex, sexuality, and sexual identity.
The project unfolds in three phases: contemporary assessments of the Christian tradition, new thinking about eros and being human religiously, and new perspectives on classic mysteries in light of eros and embodiment.