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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.
Megachurches and the Iconography of Environment
Buildings and landscapes are as much a part of the Christian church as its creeds—reflecting the faith and proclaiming God. The architecture of the church’s structures and the curating of its grounds are unique windows into the church’s history and the shape of its theological commitments.
Birthed in the iconoclastic spirit of the Reformation, the scapes of Protestant churches have experienced massive shifts in design and scope. From humble beginnings—small buildings and cemeteries—churches today can occupy thousands of square feet across hundreds of acres. The modern megachurch, with its extensive campuses, parking lots, and sprawling lawns, has changed how we think about the church and its spaces. Form follows function, and theology is in both. The shifts in scale, style, and symbol within the church’s common spaces reflect changes in ecclesial priorities, even as they form the theological imagination in new ways.
In ChurchScape, Susan Bratton chronicles the story of the Protestant church’s transformation of landscape and building. Citing the influence of college campuses on megachurch architecture, Bratton examines the features that are a part of many megachurch complexes, including waterscapes, iconography, and outdoor art. Taking readers on a cross-country journey to over two hundred churches, Bratton traces the movement from the small parish building of the nineteenth century to the extensive complexes that form today’s churchscapes. As she moves from church to church, Bratton describes how all the church’s spaces—buildings, greens, gardens, and gateways—together shape its practices, name its beliefs, and form its life together.
Bratton’s work offers the first historical and theological analysis for the megachurch and its physical planners and planters. She demands that all of us look with new eyes at the ways the church may be an innovator without being disruptive, a place of community without becoming exclusive, and a site of abundance without decadence. The church-in-place must consider how its scapes and spaces reflect its sacred life.
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.
James Wm. McClendon, Jr. was the most important “baptist” theologian of the twentieth century. McClendon crafted a systematic theology that refused to succumb to the pressures of individualism, grew out of the immediacy of preaching the text, and lamented the stunted public witness of a fractured Protestant ecclesiology. This two-volume set mixes previously unpublished and published lectures and essays with rare and little known works to form a representative collection of the essential themes of McClendon’s work. The first volume focuses on the philosophical and theological shifts leading to McClendon’s articulation of the baptist vision. The second volume specifically elucidates the more philosophical themes that informed McClendon’s work, including ways in which these themes had immediate theological import. Taken together, the set provides the most comprehensive presentation of McClendon’s work now available, revealing the sustained and systematic character of his vision over the course of his life. These two volumes will provide scholars, preachers, and students with McClendon’s radical, narrative, and connective theology.
James Wm. McClendon, Jr. (1924–2000) was the most important “baptist” theologian of the twentieth century. McClendon crafted a systematic theology that grew out of the immediacy of preaching the text, refused to succumb to the pressures of individualism, and lamented the stunted public witness of a fractured Protestant ecclesiology. This third and final volume of his Collected Works provides a compendium of McClendon’s sermons—examples of what he called “first-order” theology in action. While McClendon was predominantly known as a philosophical theologian, he persisted in the belief that the theology that mattered most occurred in ordinary congregations seeking to bear faithful witness in the world. The sermons in this collection—many rarely seen and never before published—provide an important window into McClendon’s own theology and witness to his convictions about theology's purpose and end. This third volume serves as an invaluable resource for ministers, students, and theologians who seek a fuller understanding of McClendon’s “baptist” theology.
Mary and the Politics of Seventeenth-Century Spanish Theater
Few characters were as ubiquitous in the collective consciousness of early modern Spain as the Virgin Mary. By the 1600s, the cult of the Immaculate Conception had become so popularized that the Hapsburg monarchy issued a decree in defense of the Virgin's purity. In a climate of political disharmony, however, this revered icon—often pictured as the passive, chaste, and pious mother of God—would become an archetype of paradox within the Spanish imagination. In The Comedia of Virginity, Mirzam Perez underscores how the character of the Virgin Mary was represented on the theater stage. Following a concise account of the historical, academic, and political forces operating within Hapsburg Spain, Perez dissects three comedias—three-act productions featuring both drama and comedy—and draws out their multivalent interpretations of Mary. In their own ways, these secular comedias reproduced an uncommonly empowering feminine vision while making light of the Virgin's purity. The Mary of the stage was an active, sinuous, even sensual force whom playwrights would ultimately use to support a fracturing monarchy.