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Christian Economic Ethics

History and Implications

By Daniel K. Finn

What does the history of Christian views of economic life mean for economic life in the twenty-first century? Here Daniel Finn reviews the insights provided by a large number of texts, from the Bible and the early church, to the Middle Ages and the Protestant Reformation, to treatments of the subject in the last century. Relying on both social science and theology, Finn then turns to the implications of this history for economic life today. Throughout, the book invites the reader to engage the sources and to develop an answer to the volume’s basic question.

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Christian Ethics at the Boundary

Feminism and Theologies of Public Life

by Karen V. Guth

In contemporary reflection on Christianity and politics, the work of realist, witness, and feminist theologians has been done in isolation—that is, each school has largely pursued its projects without incorporating the insights of the others. Christian Ethics at the Boundary offers the first approach to public and political theology developed at the boundaries that separate these approaches. Extending the strong contextual work of theologians like Robin W. Lovin and Stanley Hauerwas on one hand, and Kathryn Tanner, Monica A. Coleman, and Mary McClintock Fulkerson on the other, author Karen V. Guth engages the theologies of prominent public theologians Reinhold Niebuhr, John Howard Yoder, and Martin Luther King Jr. to identify new trajectories for future work in Christian ethics. By fostering constructive dialogue between these pivotal public theologians of the twentieth century, their contemporary representatives, and the vanguard voices in feminist and womanist theology, Guth identifies ecclesiology as a new agenda for realist theologians, feminism as a vital form of Christian politics for witness theologians, and “creative maladjustment” as a productive theological stance for all Christian ethicists. In doing so, the work displays an innovative method that enables a vivid, collaborative vision of Christian politics.

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Christian Social Teachings

A Reader in Christian Social Ethics from the Bible to the Present

edited by James M. Childs and George W. Forell

No question has been as persistently nettling as the proper relationship of Christians and the Christian church to political power, and the results have often been calamitous. This classic collection of Christian statements on social ethics, now fully revised and augmented, provides a panoramic view of the 2000-year development of Christian concerns for political justice, peace, civil rights, family law, civil liberties, and other "worldly" issues. In readings that range from the Bible to church fathers to Bonhoeffer and Pope Benedict XVI, these substantial excerpts enable the student to see the flow of Christian thought and the deeper religious context for addressing today's most pressing problems. 

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Christian Thought in America

A Brief History

by Daniel Ott and Hannah Schell

In Christian Thought in America: A Brief History, Daniel Ott and Hannah Schell offer a short, accessible overview of the history of Christian thought in America, from the Puritans and other colonials to the beginning of the twenty-first century. Moving chronologically, each chapter addresses a historical segment, focusing on key movements and figures and tracing general trends and developments. While many texts offer a detailed history of Christianity in the American context, few focus on the philosophical and theological issues, which form an important yet often neglected part of our history.

The narrative aims to underscore the diversity of Christian thought in America by addressing issues in their historical contexts and by examining across a range of traditions. At the same time, it conveys a sense of the vibrancy of Christian thought, as well as the liveliness and creativity of the ongoing theological debates. The book explores several recurring themes that mark the trajectory of Christian thought in America, including the idea of a divine mission, the tendency to privilege the individual, and the influence of the spirit of reform and revival.

Each chapter concludes with a short bibliograpy of recent scholarship for further reading.

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Christopraxis

A Practical Theology of the Cross

by Andrew Root

So argues Andrew Root, who in Christopraxis seeks to reset the entire edifice of practical theology on a new foundation. While not minimizing practical theology’s commitment to the lived and concrete, Root argues that practical theology has neglected deeper theological underpinnings, and seeks to create a practical theology that seeks to be fully post-postmodern, post-Aristotelian, and that in seeking to attend to doctrines such as divine action and justification, is properly and fully theological.

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The Church in Act

Lutheran Liturgical Theology in Ecumencial Conversation

by Maxwell E. Johnson

The Church in Act explores the dynamics of ecclesial and liturgical theology, examining the body of Christ in action. Maxwell E. Johnson, one of the premier liturgical specialists in the field, provides in this volume historical and doctrinal thinking on a diversity of liturgical subjects under the umbrella of Lutheran liturgical theology and in ecumenical conversation. The topics under consideration range from baptismal spirituality to Eucharistic concerns, including real presence, pneumatology, and reservation; discussions on what constitutes liturgical normativity, the diverse hermeneutical approaches to the Revised Common Lectionary, and the place of Mary in ecumenical dialogue and culture (especially Latino-Hispanic); issues of full communion based on a liturgical reading of the Augsburg Confession VII; and specific questions related to liturgy and ecumenism today in light of recent translation changes in Roman Catholic practice. Together, the volume offers a robust account of the liturgical, sacramental, and spiritual practices of the church for scholars, students, pastors, and others who seek to minister in an ecumenical context with increased understanding and insight.

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A Church Undone

Documents from the German Christian Faith Movement, 1932-1940

Edited by Mary M. Solberg

Decades after the Holocaust, many assume that the churches in Germany resisted the Nazi regime. In fact, resistance was exceptional. Almost all Germans were Christians, and almost all Christians in Germany stood by, becoming intentionally or unintentionally complicit in Nazi policies and practices.

In the early 1930s, a movement emerged within German Protestantism with the aim of fully integrating Nazi ideology, German national identity, and Christian faith. The Deutsche Christen or, “German Christians,” as they were called, interpreted the Christian faith and the role of the church in society in service of the Nazi revolution. They married centuries-old Christian anti-Judaism to the Nazis’ racial antisemitism and sought to eradicate all traces of Judaism from Christianity. The “German Christian” publication program, designed to advance their ideology, included books and pamphlets, radio talks and speeches, as well as liturgies and retranslations of Scripture.

For the first time in English, Mary M. Solberg presents a selection of representative documents of the “German Christians.” Her introduction to the volume sets the historical context of the movement and offers short introductions to each of the specific readings. The collection includes key responses critical of the German Christians by Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, among others.

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Citizenship in Heaven and on Earth

Karl Barth's Ethics

by Alexander Massmann

While Karl Barth is one of the most significant theologians of the twentieth century, his contribution to ethics is less well known and subject to controversy among interpreters. Barth combined his commitment to the church and its particular task in faith and theology with a concern for ethics and politics in wider society. By examining the historical development of Barth’s ethics, this study traces the vital influences and considerable shifts in Barth’s understanding of the ethical task, situating him within his political context. Alexander Massmann provides a comprehensive explication and assessment of the full scope of Barth’s ethics, from the first edition of the Romans commentary to the final volume of the Church Dogmatics. General questions of Barth’s methodology in ethics and case studies in applied ethics are both analyzed in their intricate connection to his dogmatic thought. The study highlights how an ethical approach emerged in which the freedom of the gospel allows for considerable openness to empirical insights from other disciplines. The author reevaluates Barth’s ethics in a constructive vision of the role of the church in the quest for a just society.

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Cleansed Lepers, Cleansed Hearts

Purity and Healing in Luke-Acts

by Pamela Shellberg

Illnesses are perceived and understood differently across cultures and over time. Traditional interpretations of New Testament texts frame the affliction lepra (“leprosy”) as addressed either by ritual cleansing or miraculous healing. But as Pamela Shellberg shows, these interpretations are limited because they shift modern ideas of “leprosy” to a first-century context without regard for how the ancients themselves thought about lepra. Reading ancient medical texts, Shellberg describes how Luke might have perceived lepra,/I> and used the language of “clean” and “unclean” and demonstrates how Luke’s first-century understandings shaped his report of Peter’s dream in Acts 10 as a warrant for Gentile inclusion.

Shellberg illuminates Luke’s understanding of “cleansing” as one of his primary expressions of the means of God’s salvation and favor, breaking down and breaking through the distinctions between Jew and Gentile. Shellberg’s conclusions take up the value of Luke’s emphasis on the divine prerogative to declare things “clean” for discussions of inclusion and social distinction today.

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Clothing

by Michele Saracino; edited by David H. Jensen

Reinhold Niebuhr argued that one of the fundamental challenges to human existence is the anxiety caused by our desire to be perfect and godlike while knowing we are limited and mortal. This book explores how human adornment practices negotiate anxieties about our finitude. Through our clothing, we often shield ourselves from feeling our human frailty and from having others detect our emotional, physical, and spiritual vulnerabilities. Looking at the incarnation as a form of "dress," Saracino claims that getting naked with Jesus or embracing our vulnerability is our only hope at creating life-giving relationships with God and others in the global world.

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