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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 in Human Transformation

Toward a New Paradigm in Bible Studies

By Walter Wink

"Historical biblical criticism is bankrupt." That startling affirmation began The Bible in Human Transformation when it first appeared in 1975. Wink asserts that despite the valuable contributions of the historical-critical method, we have reached the point where this method is incapable of allowing Scripture to evoke personal and social transformation today. More than thirty years later, Wink now looks back in a new preface over the more and less humanizing developments in New Testament studies of the last few decades and renews his call for a transforming approach to biblical interpretation.

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Biblical Interpretation in the Early Church

by Michael Graves

Biblical Interpretation in the Early Church is part of Ad Fontes: Early Christian Sources, a series designed to present ancient Christian texts essential to an understanding of Christian theology, ecclesiology, and practice. The books in the series will make the wealth of early Christian thought available to new generations of students of theology and provide a valuable resource for the Church. This volume focuses on how Scripture was interpreted and used for teaching by early Christian scholars and church leaders.

Developed in light of recent Patristic scholarship, Ad Fontes volumes will provide a representative sampling of theological contributions from both East and West. The series aims to provide volumes that are relevant for a variety of courses: from introduction to theology to classes on doctrine and the development of Christian thought. The goal of each volume is not to be exhaustive, but rather representative enough to denote for a non-specialist audience the multivalent character of early Christian thought, allowing readers to see how and why early Christian doctrine and practice developed the way it did.

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Bipolar Faith

A Black Woman's Journey with Depressioni and Faith

by Monica A. Coleman

Monica A. Coleman’s great-grandfather asked his two young sons to lift him up and pull out the chair when he hanged himself, and that noose stayed in the family shed for years. The rope was the violent instrument, but it was mental anguish that killed him. Now, in gripping fashion, Coleman examines the ways that the legacies of slavery, war, sharecropping, poverty, and alcoholism mask a family history of mental illness. Those same forces accompanied her into the black religious traditions and Christian ministry. All the while, she wrestled with her own bipolar disorder.

Bipolar Faith is both a spiritual autobiography and a memoir of mental illness. In this powerful book, Monica Coleman shares her life-long dance with trauma, depression, and the threat of death. Citing serendipitous encounters with black intellectuals like Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Angela Davis, and Renita Weems, Coleman offers a rare account of how the modulated highs of bipolar II can lead to professional success, while hiding a depression that even her doctors rarely believed. Only as she was able to face her illness was she able to live faithfully with bipolar.

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Bitten by a Camel

Leaving Church, Finding God

Kent Dobson climbed Mount Sinai in search of the God who had eluded him. Instead he got bitten by a camel. The senior pastor of one of the most prominent churches in America, Dobson was growing disillusioned with his faith. One Sunday, he preached, “I don’t know what the word God means anymore.” He left the church, but his quest for God became more intense than ever. On the foundation of Jesus and the Bible, Dobson reconstructs a faith that is life-giving and true—true to himself and true to God.

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