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Baylor University Press

Baylor University Press

Website: http://www.baylorpress.com/Home

We at Baylor University Press are passionate about books that have a vocation, ones that seek to do "good". In an age that is obsessed with information, we publish, promote, and cultivate wisdom, wisdom that will help better humanity today and usher in a more promising tomorrow.

Established in 1897, Baylor University Press publishes thirty-five new books each year for scholars, students, and intellectually curious general readers. With a leading program in religious studies, Baylor University Press also boasts stellar works of social criticism, publishing in the areas of cultural studies, sociology, rhetoric, political science, history, popular culture, and literary criticism. Baylor University Press is a member of the Association of American University Presses.


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Baylor University Press

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Belonging in Genesis

Biblical Israel and the Politics of Identity Formation

Genesis calls its readers into a vision of human community unconstrained by the categories that dominate modern thinking about identity. Genesis situates humanity within a network of nurture that encompasses the entire cosmos—only then introducing Israel not as a people, but as a promise. Genesis prioritizes a human identity that originates in the divine word and depends on ongoing relationship with God. Those called into this new mode of belonging must forsake the social definition that had structured their former life, trading it for an alternative that will only gradually take shape. In contrast to the rigidity that typifies modern notions, Genesis depicts identity as fundamentally fluid. Encounter with God leads to a new social self, not a “spiritual” self that operates only within parameters established in the body at birth. In Belonging in Genesis, Amanda Mbuvi highlights the ways narrative and the act of storytelling function to define and create a community. Building on the emphasis on family in Genesis, she focuses on the way family storytelling is a means of holding together the interpretation of the text and the constitution of the reading community. Explicitly engaging the way in which readers regard the biblical text as a point of reference for their own (collective) identities leads to an understanding of Genesis as inviting its readers into a radically transformative vision of their place in the world.

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Betjeman

Writing the Public Life

Kevin J. Gardner

A household name in Great Britain, John Betjeman was a public literary figure who openly declared his Christian faith and championed the social and aesthetic joys of Anglicanism as unique to English identity. Through poetry in  newspapers and on radio and television broadcasts, Betjeman celebrated the cultural significance of the Church of England well beyond its religious role. Although a steadfast proponent for Christianity and the Church, Gardner explains, Betjeman nevertheless struggled mightily to believe the faith, and he was forthcoming with his own spiritual failures. In this master study of his writings, Gardner deems Betjeman to be the poet of the Church of England—and demonstrates his works to be a vital part of Anglicanism’s living traditions.

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The Betrayal of Charity

The Sins that Sabotage Divine Love

Matthew Levering

Love was at one time a powerfully unifying force among Christians. In his letters, Paul consistently evokes charity as the avenue to both human and divine communion. If the magnitude of charity was of the upmost importance to early Christians, so were those sins that aimed to distract Christians from acting based on love. Taking seriously the efforts of Paul, and later Thomas Aquinas, to expose and root out the sins against charity, Matthew Levering reclaims the centrality of love for moral, and in fact all, theology.

As Levering argues, the practice of charity leads to inner joy and peace as well as outward mercy, good will, and unity with God and neighbor. The sins against charity—hatred, sloth, envy, discord and contention, schism, war and strife, and sedition and scandal—threaten love’s concrete effects by rebelling against dependence on God and undermining interdependence on others. The Betrayal of Charity seriously considers the consequences of each of the sins against love, compelling individuals and communities to recognize their own loss of charity. In doing so, Levering fosters a spirit of restoration and reminds readers that love—not the sins against it—will have the last word.

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Between East and West/Word and Image

In Between East and West/Word and Image Geng Youzhuang, one of China’s leading intellectuals, offers an original and sophisticated analysis of both Western cultural and literary theory and contemporary Chinese thought. In this fascinating exploration of the respective intellectual traditions within China and the West, Geng shows how the dynamics at work between word and image become a parable for understanding the larger relationship between Chinese and Western ideas. Geng first surveys influential Western thinkers and their ideas, with a special focus on the relations between words and things, signs and meanings, image and language. He next explores the conflicted relationship between religion and literature in the West. Finally, Geng turns his focus to China, discussing the meaning and significance of Sinology and the possibilities of treating China as a sign and referent in contemporary Western thinking. Anyone interested in the forces at work within the intermingling of Eastern and Western literature, writing, and the semiotics of culture will find Between East and West/Word and Image compelling.

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The Bible and Missions

With an Introduction by Sharyn Dowd

Helen Barrett Montgomery was a prominent member of the women’s ecumenical movement of the early twentieth century. With a degree in classics from Wellesley College, Montgomery was a knowledgeable and compelling speaker, author, and teacher of Bible classes containing as many as 250 women.

The Bible and Missions is Montgomery’s second contribution to a series of instructional materials by women and for women. It presented her many years of thought on the significance of women and missions to Protestant culture. The useful new introduction locates Montgomery’s thought in historical context and makes clear what a force she was in her time.

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The Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Volume 1, Scripture and the Scrolls

James H. Charlesworth, editor

The recovery of 800 documents in the eleven caves on the northwest shores of the Dead Sea is one of the most sensational archeological discoveries in the Holy Land to date. These three volumes, the very best of critical scholarship, demonstrate in detail how the scrolls have revolutionized our knowledge of the text of the Bible, the character of Second Temple Judaism, and the Jewish beginnings of Christianity.

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The Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Volume 2, The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Qumran Community

James H. Charlesworth, editor

The recovery of 800 documents in the eleven caves on the northwest shores of the Dead Sea is one of the most sensational archeological discoveries in the Holy Land to date. These three volumes, the very best of critical scholarship, demonstrate in detail how the scrolls have revolutionized our knowledge of the text of the Bible, the character of Second Temple Judaism, and the Jewish beginnings of Christianity.

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The Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Volume 3, The Scrolls and Christian Origins

James H. Charlesworth, editor

The recovery of 800 documents in the eleven caves on the northwest shores of the Dead Sea is one of the most sensational archeological discoveries in the Holy Land to date. These three volumes, the very best of critical scholarship, demonstrate in detail how the scrolls have revolutionized our knowledge of the text of the Bible, the character of Second Temple Judaism, and the Jewish beginnings of Christianity.

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The Black Megachurch

Theology, Gender, and the Politics of Public Engagement

Tamelyn N. Tucker-Worgs

An explosion of flourishing black megachurches has changed the landscape of American religious life. Boasting memberships into the tens of thousands and meeting within both adorned walls and refurbished warehouse buildings, these contemporary fruits of the Civil Rights Movement hold many of the resources necessary to address America's contemporary social disparities. After studying nearly 150 black megachurches, Tamelyn N. Tucker-Worgs asks, How are these church communities engaging the public sphere? And, why are their approaches so varied?

The Black Megachurch sets aside the broad assumptions usually applied to the study of black churches and analyzes the three factors most necessary for social engagement—theological orientation, organization of community development initiatives, and gender-based spheres of labor and leadership. In doing so, Tucker-Worgs underscores the myriad ways in which black megachurches have responded to the changing social climate and concludes that while some have lived up to their potential, others have a long way to go.

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Body and Character in Luke and Acts

The Subversion of Physiognomy in Early Christianity

Mikeal C. Parsons

Early Christianity developed in a world where moral significance was often judged based upon physical appearance alone. Exploring the manifestations of this ancient “science” of physiognomy, Parsons rightly shows how Greco-Roman society, and by consequence the author of Luke and Acts, was steeped in this tradition. Luke, however, employs these principles in his writings in order to subvert the paradigm. Using as examples the bent woman (Luke 13), Zacchaeus (Luke 18), the lame man (Acts 3-4), and the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8), Parsons shows that the Christian community—both early and present-day—is established only in the image of Jesus Christ.

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