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Before Nature

A Christian Spirituality

by H. Paul Santmire

Before Nature caps a set of themes first brought to the fore in Santmire’s previous work, most notably the classic Travail of Nature. Here Santmire continues the pursuit of a theology bound up with nature and its condition, especially the fragility and fervent expectation of nature’s redemption. Out of this concern, Santmire invites readers on a theological and spiritual journey to a prayerful and contemplative knowledge of the Triune God, in which practitioners are inducted into a bountiful relationship with the cosmic and universal ministry of Christ and the Spirit uniting all of nature in a single vision of hope and anticipation. Scholarly, practical, and accessible.

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Behind the Public Veil

The Humanness of Martin Luther King Jr.

by Lewis V. Baldwin

What was Martin Luther King Jr. really like? In this groundbreaking volume, Lewis V. Baldwin answers this question by focusing on the man himself. Drawing on the testimonies of friends, family, and closest associates, this volume adds much-needed biographical background to the discussion, as Baldwin looks beyond all of the mythic, messianic, and iconic images to treat King in terms of his fundamental and vivid humanness. Special attention is devoted to King’s personal insecurities and struggles, his humility and affinity to common people, his delight in pleasant and passionate conversation, his insatiable love for the precious but ordinary things of life, his robust appetite for artfully-prepared and delicious soul food, his enduring appreciation for music and dance, his cheerful and playful attitude and spirit, his abiding interest in games and sports, and his amazing gift of wit, humor, and laughter. King emerges here as an ordinary human being who enjoyed and celebrated life to the fullest, but was never bigger than life. Here we see the personal qualities of King—as a real, fleshly human being—and also as a man shaped by his social and cultural experiences and locations. This book reclaims the man behind the mythology.

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Being Deified

Poetry and Fantasy on the Path to God

by David Russell Mosley

Being Deified examines the importance of deification to Christian theology and the place of human creativity in deification. Deification is an explanatory force for the major categories of Christian theology: creation, fall, incarnation, theological anthropology, as well as the sacraments. Deification explains, in part, the why of creation and the what of humanity: God created in order to deify, humanity is created to be deified; the what of the Fall: the desire for divinity outside of God’s gifts; one of the purposes for the Incarnation: to deify; and what end the sacraments aid: deification. Essential to deification is human creativity for humans are created in the image of God, the Creator. In order to explore this dimension of deification, this essay focuses on works of poetry and fantasy, in many ways the pinnacle of human creativity since both genres cause the making strange of things familiar (language and creation itself) in part to make them better known, particularly as creations of the Creator.

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Being Salvation

Atonement and Soteriology in the Theology of Karl Rahner

by Brandon R. Peterson

Karl Rahner’s theory of how Jesus saves has garnered criticism. Rahner’s portrayal of Jesus has been described by Hans Urs von Balthasar as merely notifying the world of God’s salvific will. Others have doubted whether Rahner thinks Jesus “causes” salvation at all. Even Rahner’s advocates style his Jesus as a kind of sign, albeit an effective one, the primal Sacrament. But another major and yet underappreciated dimension to Rahner’s christology is his identification of Jesus as Representative—both our representative before God and God’s before us. As such a Representative, Jesus is not a redemptive agent who accomplishes human salvation simply through an act, and even less is he a mere exemplar or notification. This Jesus does not only “do” our salvation—rather, he is the locus of salvation itself. He not only “opens” heaven’s gates, but he creates heaven with his own resurrection. Being Salvation uncovers this dimension within Rahner’s theology, relating it to other historical examples of representative soteriology (e.g. Irenaeus’s theory of recapitulation) and to Rahner’s more familiar sacramental soteriological categories. It gives special attention to Rahner’s intense attention to the church fathers early in his career, including Rahner’s untranslated theology dissertation, E latere Christi(“From the Side of Christ”).

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Berlin: 1932-1933

by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"Then came the crisis of 1933." This is Bonhoeffer's own phrase in a letter that documents a turning point in his own life as well as that of the nation. Of Bonhoeffer s own life at this time, his biographer writes, "The period of learning and roaming" from 1928 until 1931 "had come to an end" as the young lecturer, age 26, began to teach "on a faculty whose theology he did not share" and to preach "in a church whose self-confidence he regarded as unfounded." Bonhoeffer was becoming part of a society that was moving toward political, social, and economic chaos."<,/P>

Events moved quickly at the onset of 1933 in Berlin. In only one hundred days the path was cleared by the German Parliament and the Nazi Party for the establishment of the fascist dictatorship. These one hundred days, as well as the preceding and succeeding months, are reflected in the materials in this volume: in letters, in sermons, in Bonhoeffer's university teaching, in manifestos and a church confession, and in his proactive engagement in the developing church struggle. The vast majority of these are translated here for the first time.

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Between Apocalypse and Eschaton

History and Eternity in Henri de Lubac

by Joseph S. Flipper

Between Apocalypse and Eschaton examines the systematic theology of Henri de Lubac, SJ, one of the most significant Catholic theologians of the twentieth century. While much of the recent work on de Lubac centers on the controversies surrounding his theology of the supernatural, Between Apocalypse and Eschaton argues that eschatology is the key to de Lubac’s theological project and critical to understanding the nouvelle théologie, the group of theologians with whom de Lubac was associated. At the time, intra-Catholic controversies arose around the nouvelle théologie as part of a broader anxiety over the loss of the eternal in twentieth-century Europe. The German occupation of France in World War II was the backdrop for a renewed apocalyptic and eschatological thinking among French Catholics. The nouvelle théologie generated a debate over the meaning of “the end” that was critical to understanding the theological, spiritual, and political fissures in the postwar period. After World War II, de Lubac’s writings increasingly focused on the theology of history and eschatology. The present work returns focus to this often neglected aspect of de Lubac’s work.

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Between Magisterium and Marketplace

A Constructive Account of Theology and the Church

by Robert C. Saler

What is the relationship of the church to theology? How does the church relate to the work of creative theological authorship, particularly when authors propose novel claims? Even more, how do ecclesial models, particularly of ecclesial authority, underwrite or authorize how theology is done? Saler takes up these challenging and provocative questions and argues for a fresh ecclesiology of the church as event, specifically as a diffusively spatialized event.

Establishing this claim through the fascinating historical encounters between thinkers like Thomas More and William Tyndale, John Henry Newman and Friedrich Schleiermacher, Between Magisterium and Marketplace provides a theological genealogy of modern ecclesiology, arguing that modern and contemporary ecclesiology is a theological contest not between Barth and Schleiermacher, but rather Newman and Schleiermacher. Constructing an alternative path, Saler turns to the work of a diverse array of authors past and present to argue for a humble yet hopeful view of the theological task in light of contemporary ecclesial opportunities.

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Beyond Apathy

A Theology for Bystanders

by Elisabeth T. Vasko

Theological conversations about violence have typically framed the discussion in terms of victim and perpetrator. Such work, while important, only addresses part of the problem. Comprehensive theological and pastoral responses to violence must also address the role of collective passivity in the face of human denigration. Given the pervasiveness of inaction—whether in the form of denial, willful ignorance, or silent complicity—a theological reflection on violence that holds bystanders accountable, especially those who occupy social sites of privilege, is long overdue. In Beyond Apathy, Elisabeth T. Vasko utilizes resources within the Christian tradition to examine the theological significance of bystander participation in patterns of violence and violation within contemporary Western culture, giving particular attention to the social issues of bullying, white racism, and sexual violence. In doing so, she constructs a theology of redeeming grace for bystanders to violence that foregrounds the significance of social action in bringing about God’s basileia.

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Beyond Church Walls

Cultivating a Culture of Care

by Rick Rouse

Pastoral care has been traditionally understood as pastoral acts administered to individuals or small groups by an ordained or lay religious practitioner. As congregations in the twenty-first century begin to reclaim the missional nature of church, this view must be broadened to include care and concern for the needs of the larger community. A missional perspective of pastoral care embraces the notion that all of God's people—not just trained professionals—are called to partner in the healing and redemption of the world.

In Beyond Church Walls, Rick Rouse sets out to articulate precisely what such an approach to pastoral care looks like—and the substantial impact it can have on congregations and communities. A skilled teacher and pastor with deep experience in real communities, Rouse leads readers through the changing realities of the twenty-first century and to new ways for missional churches to succeed in offering pastoral care for the whole community.

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The Bible as Political Artifact

On The Feminist Study of the Hebrew Bible

By Susanne Sholza

Biblical studies and the teaching of biblical studies are clearly changing, though it is less clear what the changes mean and how we should evaluate them. Susanne Scholz casts a feminist eye on the politics of pedagogy, higher education, and wider society, decrypting important developments in "the architecture of educational power." She also examines how the increasingly intercultural, interreligious, and diasporic dynamics in society inform the hermeneutical and methodological possibilities for biblical exegesis. Taken as a whole, the fourteen chapters demonstrate that the foregrounding of gender, placed into its intersectional contexts, offers intriguing and valuable alternative ways of seeing the world and the Bible‘s place in it.

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