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Classical Traditions in Contemporary Perspective
Gabriel Said Reynolds tells the story of Islam in this brief illustrated survey, beginning with Muhammad's early life and rise to power, then tracing the origins and development of the Qur’an juxtaposed with biblical literature, and concluding with an overview of modern and fundamentalist narratives of the origin of Islam. Reynolds offers a fascinating look at the structure and meaning of the Qur'an, revealing the ways in which biblical language is used to advance the Qur'an's religious meaning. Reynolds' analysis identifies the motives that shaped each narrative—Islamic, Jewish, and Christian. The book’s conclusion yields a rich understanding of diverse interpretations of Islam’s emergence, suggesting that its emergence is itself ever-developing.
A Narrative Approach to Spiritual Care
Couples can make significant progress toward resolving their own problems when they receive appropriate guidance from a caring person. This book outlines five tasks focused on identity, agency, and meaning that spiritual caregivers can use to empower couples for significant change in just three to five conversations. Critically integrating desert spiritual theology with empirical data about successful marriages, Bidwell advocates for mutuality and partnership within covenanted relationships, which allows partners to create an alliance strong enough to resist the forces that threaten relationships—especially the negative influences of criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and withdrawal.
Pastors who adopt the approach outlined in the text will "travel lightly" in terms of pastoral power, decentering themselves so that couples can identify and build on their unique strengths and relationship with the divine.
Thinking and Working across Borders
Empowering Memory and Movement, Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza completes a three-volume look across her influential work and career. In Transforming Vision (2011), she drew from decades of pioneering scholarship to offer the contours of a critical feminist hermeneutic. The chapters in Changing Horizons (2013) sketched out a theory of liberation. Now, the consequences for a liberating praxis are elaborated in interviews and essays that chart Schüssler Fiorenza’s own personal and professional history as these are intertwined with the history of the worldwide movement for emancipation and full equality. Empowering Memory and Movement looks back, but also looks around at challenges and potentialities on the global scene, and looks ahead to an emancipatory future, with a critical and wise engagement with scripture and the interpretive tradition always at the center.
Character Studies in the Gospel of John
The last thirty years have seen an increased interest in the Bible as literature and story. Yet “character” appears to be neglected in both literary theory and narrative criticism. Indeed, there is not even agreement amongst scholars on how to approach, analyze and classify characters.
Applying a comprehensive theory of character to the Gospel of John, Cornelis Bennema provides a fresh analysis of both the characters and their responses to Jesus. While the majority of scholars view most Johannine characters as “flat,” Bennema demonstrates that many are complex, developing, and “round.” John’s broad array of characters and their responses to Jesus correspond to people and their choices in real life in any culture and time. This book highlights how John’s Gospel seeks to challenge its readers, past and present, about where they stand in relation to Jesus.
with Wiesel, Buber, Heschel, Arendt, Levinas
Marc Ellis maintains that the most vital questions about Judaism are prefigured in the work of Elie Wiesel, Martin Buber, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Hannah Arendt, and Emmanuel Levinas. Ellis's work is framed by encounters with each thinker's work, focusing on topics of God, the Holocaust, the prophetic legacy, philosophical and ethical standpoints, and Jewish empowerment and dissent.
Two generations after the Holocaust and Israel's founding, Ellis argues that the uncertain future of Judaism requires a deeply personal and intellectual exploration of Jewish tradition and identity, in conversation with the best philosophical and theological minds of recent years.
The Man in His Place and Time
What was there in Jesus' person, behavior, and words that prompted not only much enthusiasm but also much hostility? This compelling portrait of the man Jesus of Nazareth by two pioneers of the anthropological study of early Christianity answers this vital question. They bring the fruit of years of scholarship to bear on a radical figure in Roman Galilee and on his encounters with others and the movement those encounters inspired. They give close attention to the everyday realities that shaped those encounters: the facts of travel, common meals, domestic space, and the interactions of bodies. The result is a refreshing new look at the man who proved so significant-and so controversial-in Western culture.
Narratives of Hope in the Face of Death and Trauma
Our experiences of hope in the face of difficult times are as varied as our lives, and yet very little of the literature on hope has effectively examined the multi-faceted ways in which we hope.
What are the major ways in which hope manifests itself in our time? And how should we understand these different ways of looking traumatic events in the eye?
For answers to these questions and others, Pamela McCarroll provides an outstanding introduction and orientation. A skilled and compassionate storyteller, McCarroll introduces readers to five expressions of hope through detailed and poignant case studies. On that foundation she then builds a discussion of the possibilities, limitations, and value of each approach.
The result is an engaging and optimistic exploration of hope in difficult times.
Quantum Physics and Theology
The Doctrine of the Trinity is an exercise in wonder. It is drawn from the wonder of our own existence and the diverse experiences of the divine encountered by the early Christian community. From the earliest days of Christianity, theologians of the church have drawn upon the most sophisticated language and understandings of their time in an attempt to clarify and express that faith and this task is no different today.
But how should we attempt to articulate that faith today? In this volume, Ernest Simmons engages precisely that question by asking what the current scientific understanding of the natural world might contribute to our reflection upon the relationship of God and the world in a Triune fashion.
The result is a fruitful engagement between the ancient and the current, the theological and the scientific.
Longing and Envy in Paul's Christology
The self-emptying of Christ (kenosis) in Philippians 2 has long been the focus of attention by Christian theologians and interpreters of Paul's Christology. David E. Fredrickson sheds dramatic new light on familiar texts by discussing the centuries-old language of love and longing in Greek and Roman epistolary literature, showing that a "physics" of desire was related to notions of power and dominance. Paul’s kenotic Christology challenged not only received notions of the power of the gods but of the very nature of love itself as a component of human society.
Public and Private Spaces and the Figure of the Female Royal Counselor
Was Esther unique—an anomaly in patriarchal society? Conventionally, scholars see ancient Israelite and Jewish women as excluded from the public world, their power concentrated instead in the domestic realm and exercised through familial structures. Rebecca S. Hancock demonstrates, in contrast, that because of the patrimonial character of ancient Jewish society, the state was often organized along familial lines. The presence of women in roles of queen consort or queen is therefore a key political, and not simply domestic, feature.
Attention to the narrative of Esther and comparison with Hellenistic and Persian historiography depicting “wise women” acting in royal contexts reveals that Esther is in fact representative of a wider tradition. Women could participate in political life structured along familial and kinship lines. Further, Hancock’s demonstration qualifies the bifurcation of “public” (male-dominated) and “private” (female-dominated) space in the ancient Near East.