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The Collected Works of James Wm. McClendon, Jr.

Volume 1

by James Wm. McClendon, Jr., with introduction by Nancey Murphy

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The Collected Works of James Wm. McClendon, Jr.

Volume 2

James Wm. McClendon

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 This two-volume set mixes previously unpublished and published lectures and essays with rare and little known works to form a representative collection of the essential themes of McClendon’s work.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.

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The Collected Works of James Wm. McClendon, Jr.

Volume 3

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.

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The Comedia of Virginity

Mary and the Politics of Seventeenth-Century Spanish Theater

Mirzam C. Perez

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.

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A Company of Women Preachers

Baptist Prophetesses in Seventeenth-Century England

Curtis W. Freeman, editor

When the Baptist movement began four centuries ago, revolutionary forces had destabilized the centers of social control that had long kept women in their place. In the early seventeenth century, Baptist women began to speak their minds. Through their prophetic writings, these women came to exercise considerable influence and authority among the early churches. When Baptists became more institutionalized later in the century, the egalitarian distinction dissipated and women’s voices again, for a long history, were silenced. However, long ago, in early Baptist life in England, women did preach—well and often. In A Company of Women Preachers, Curtis Freeman collects and presents a critical edition of these prophetic women’s texts, retrieving their voices so that their messages and contributions to the tradition may once again be recognized.

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Compromising Scholarship

Religious and Political Bias in American Higher Education

George Yancey

Conservative and liberal commentators alike have long argued that social bias exists in American higher education. Yet those arguments have largely lacked much supporting evidence. In this first systematic attempt to substantiate social bias in higher education, George Yancey embarks on a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the social biases and attitudes of faculties in American universities—surveying professors in disciplines from political science to experimental biology and then examining the blogs of 42 sociology professors. In so doing, Yancey finds that politically—and, even more so, religiously—conservative academics are at a distinct disadvantage in our institutions of learning, threatening the free exchange of ideas to which our institutions aspire and leaving many scientific inquiries unexplored.

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The Constitution of Religious Freedom

God, Politics, and the First Amendment

Dennis J. Goldford

Uncovering what is really at stake in American religious identity

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Convenient Myths

The Axial Age, Dark Green Religion, and the World That Never Was

Iain Provan

The contemporary world has been shaped by two important and potent myths. Karl Jaspers’ construct of the “axial age” envisions the common past (800-200 BC), the time when Western society was born and world religions spontaneously and independently appeared out of a seemingly shared value set. Conversely, the myth of the “dark green golden age” as narrated by David Suzuki and others asserts that the axial age, and the otherworldliness that accompanied the emergence of organized religion, ripped society from a previously deep communion with nature. Both myths contend that to maintain balance we must return to the idealized past. In Convenient Myths, Iain Provan illuminates the influence of these two deeply entrenched and questionable myths, warns of their potential dangers, and forebodingly maps the implications of a world founded on such myths.

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Converts to Civil Society

Christianity and Political Culture in Contemporary Hong Kong

by Lida V. Nedilsky

Lida V. Nedilsky captures the public ramifications of a personal, Christian faith at the time of Hong Kong’s pivotal political turmoil. From 1997 to 2008, in the much-anticipated reintegration of Hong Kong into Chinese sovereignty, she conducted detailed interviews of more than fifty Hong Kong people and then followed their daily lives, documenting their involvement at the intersection of church and state.

Citizens of Hong Kong enjoy abundant membership options, both social and religious, under Hong Kong’s free market culture. Whether identifying as Catholic or Protestant, or growing up in religious or secular households, Nedilsky’s interviewees share an important characteristic: a story of choosing faith. Across the spheres of family and church, as well as civic organizations and workplaces, Nedilsky shows how individuals break and forge bonds, enter and exit commitments, and transform the public ends of choice itself. From this intimate, firsthand vantage point, Converts to Civil Society reveals that people’s independent movements not only invigorate and shape religious community but also enliven a wider public life.

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Crippled Grace

Disability, Virtue Ethics, and the Good Life

Shane Clifton

Crippled Grace combines disability studies, Christian theology, philosophy, and psychology to explore what constitutes happiness and how it is achieved. The virtue tradition construes happiness as whole-of-life flourishing earned by practiced habits of virtue. Drawing upon this particular understanding of happiness, Clifton contends that the experience of disability offers significant insight into the practice of virtue, and thereby the good life.
 
With its origins in the author’s experience of adjusting to the challenges of quadriplegia, Crippled Grace considers the diverse experiences of people with a disability as a lens through which to understand happiness and its attainment. Drawing upon the virtue tradition as much as contesting it, Clifton explores the virtues that help to negotiate dependency, resist paternalism, and maximize personal agency. Through his engagement with sources from Aristotle to modern positive psychology, Clifton is able to probe fundamental questions of pain and suffering, reflect on the value of friendship, seek creative ways of conceiving of sexual flourishing, and outline the particular virtues needed to live with unique bodies and brains in a society poorly fitted to their diverse functioning. 
 
Crippled Grace is about and for people with disabilities. Yet, Clifton also understands disability as symbolic of the human condition—human fragility, vulnerability, and embodied limits. First unmasking disability as a bodily and sociocultural construct, Clifton moves on to construct a deeper and more expansive account of flourishing that learns from those with disability, rather than excluding them. In so doing, Clifton shows that the experience of disability has something profound to say about all bodies, about the fragility and happiness of all humans, and about the deeper truths offered us by the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love.

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