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Owning a Scandalous Past and an Uncertain Future
The largest Protestant denomination in the United States is in the midst of a serious identity crisis; many Baptists are revisiting or turning away from the tradition, leaving others to become increasingly uncertain that the denomination can remain viable. Here, however, noted Baptist historian Bill Leonard wades through the murky waters of the Baptist past and explores the historic commitments of this unique people—all in an effort to shed light on its contemporary dilemmas and evaluate the prospects for a Baptist future. While encouraging members of the faith to thoroughly and fairly evaluate their heritage—and its many blunders along the way—Leonard ultimately argues that the Baptists’ contentious “audacious witness” shown throughout its history still has a worthy role to play in the twenty-first century.
The Nightmare Goodness of God
The literary giant G. K. Chesterton is often praised as the"Great Optimist"—God's rotund jester. In this fresh and daring endeavor, Ralph Wood turns a critical eye on Chesterton's corpus to reveal the beef-and-ale believer's darker vision of the world and those who live in it. During an age when the words grace, love, and gospel, sound more hackneyed than genuine, Wood argues for a recovery of Chesterton's primary contentions: First, that the incarnation of Jesus was necessary reveals a world full not of a righteous creation but of tragedy, terror, and nightmare, and second, that the problem of evil is only compounded by a Christianity that seeks progress, political control, and cultural triumph.
Wood’s sharp literary critique moves beyond formulaic or overly pious readings to show that, rather than fleeing from the ghoulish horrors of his time, Chesterton located God's mysterious goodness within the existence of evil. Chesterton seeks to reclaim the keen theological voice of this literary authority who wrestled often with the counterclaims of paganism. In doing so, it argues that Christians may have more to learn from the unbelieving world than is often supposed.
Christian missionaries in China have been viewed as agents of Western imperialist values. Yang Huilin, leading scholar of Sino-Christian studies, has dedicated himself to re-evaluating the history of Christianity in China and sifting through intellectual and religious results of missionary efforts in China. Yang focuses upon local histories of Christianity to chronicle its enduring good. China, Christianity, and the Question of Culture illuminates the unexplored links between Christianity and Chinese culture, from Christianity and higher education in China to the rural acculturation of Christian ideology by indigenous communities. In a distinctly Chinese voice, Yang presents the legacy of Western missionaries in a new light, contributing greatly to now vigorous Sino-Christian theology.
The Shape of Paul’s Thought
For half a century Leander Keck thought, taught, and wrote about the New Testament. He first served as a Professor of New Testament at Vanderbilt Divinity School and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology before becoming Dean and Professor of Biblical Theology at Yale Divinity School. Keck’s lifelong work on Jesus and Paul was a catalyst for the emerging discussions of New Testament Christology and Pauline theology in the Society of Biblical Literature and the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas. Keck wrote a staggering number of now industry-standard articles on the New Testament. Here, they are all collected for the first time. In Why Christ Matters and Christ's First Theologian, readers will discover how Keck gave new answers to old questions even as he carefully reframed old answers into new questions. Keck’s work is a treasure trove of historical, exegetical, and theological interpretation.
Prolegomena to a History of Early Christian Theology
Investigates the history of early Christian theology and the relationship between Christian theology and Christian institutions.
Origins, Developments, Debates
The study of Jesus remains central to Christianity. “Who was and is Jesus?” and “What has he done for us and for our world?” are crucial questions that demand careful consideration and perennial answers. These Christological questions reach to the heart of Christian identity—both in its understanding of itself and in its relation to other world religions. In Christology: Origins, Developments, Debates Gerald O’Collins continues his groundbreaking work in Christology by first tracing its major developments over the last fifty years. He next turns to a theology of resurrection—Christology’ s central event—and the foundational roles played by its two great witnesses, Peter and Paul. O’Collins then masterfully constructs a "theology of religions" that explores the relationship of Christianity to other living faiths precisely in light of the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Christology engages the riches of the tradition and the challenges of the present to aid scholars and students alike who wish to grasp the centrality of the second person of the Trinity to the Christian faith.
A Cultural History of Afro-Atlantic Identity, 1774-1903
During the 18th century, American Puritans introduced migrant and enslaved Africans to the Exodus story. In contrast to the ways white Americans appropriated the texts to defend the practice of slavery, African migrants and slaves would recast the Exodus in defense of freedom and equality, creating narratives that would ultimately propel abolition and result in a wellspring of powerful writing. Drawing on a broad collection of Afro-Atlantic authors, Rhondda Robinson Thomas shows how writers such as Absalom Jones, Daniel Coker, and W.E.B. Du Bois employed the Exodus metanarrative to ask profound, difficult questions of the African experience. These writers employed it as a literary muse, warranting, Thomas contends, that they be classified and studied as a unique literary genre. Through an arresting reading of works renowned to the largely unknown, Claiming Exodus uncovers in these writings a robust foundation for enacting political change and a stimulating picture of Africans constructing their own identity in a new and unfamiliar land.
From George Washington to George W. Bush
Although most prevalent and obvious during the early decades of the Republic, the influence of classical antiquity on American politics persists even into the 21st century. This study tracks the movement of classicism throughout U.S. history and illustrates how the ancient Greeks and Romans continue to influence political theory and determine policy in the United States, from the education of the Founders to the War in Iraq.
Racial Passing and the Color of Cultural Identity
Everybody passes. Not just racial minorities. As Marcia Dawkins explains, passing has been occurring for millennia, since intercultural and interracial contact began. And with this profound new study, she explores its old limits and new possibilities: from women passing as men and able-bodied persons passing as disabled to black classics professors passing as Jewish and white supremacists passing as white.
Clearly Invisible journeys to sometimes uncomfortable but unfailingly enlightening places as Dawkins retells the contemporary expressions and historical experiences of individuals called passers. Along the way these passers become people—people whose stories sound familiar but take subtle turns to reveal racial and other tensions lurking beneath the surface, people who ultimately expose as much about our culture and society as they conceal about themselves.
Both an updated take on the history of passing and a practical account of passing’s effects on the rhetoric of multiracial identities, Clearly Invisible traces passing’s legal, political, and literary manifestations, questioning whether passing can be a form of empowerment (even while implying secrecy) and suggesting that passing could be one of the first expressions of multiracial identity in the U.S. as it seeks its own social standing.
Certain to be hailed as a pioneering work in the study of race and culture, Clearly Invisible offers powerful testimony to the fact that individual identities are never fully self-determined—and that race is far more a matter of sociology than of biology.
For more, including photos, author interviews, news, and author appearances, visit ClearlyInvisibleBook.com.