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Jesuits Encounter Contemporary Judaism
The largest order of religious in the Roman Catholic Church, the Society of Jesus has been at the forefront of the Church's efforts at dialogue across religions.Understanding and improving relations between the Church and the Jewish people has been a major focus of the Holy See and the Society of Jesus for many years. This book, the fruit of a major conference on the history,nature, and dynamics of relations between Jesuits and contemporary Jewish life, brings together a rich, wide-ranging selection of essays by Jesuit scholars and pastoral leaders, a leading Jewish studies scholar,and a leading rabbi. Drawing on a variety of approaches in historical and constructive theology, literary criticism, and spirituality, the contributors explore historical, philosophical, theological, cultural, and institutional themes-from Ignatian perspectives on Halakhic spirituality and the role played in Jesuit history by Jews forced to convert to Christianity to Jesuit perspectives on Hannah Arendt, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Harold Bloom.
Bringing Catholicism to the West in the Early Republic
American religious histories have often focused on the poisoned relations between Catholics and Protestants during the colonial period or on the virulent anti-Catholicism and nativism of the mid- to late nineteenth century. Between these periods, however, lies an important era of close, peaceable, and significant interaction between these discordant factions. Frontiers of Faith: Bringing Catholicism to the West in the Early Republic examines how Catholics in the early nineteenth-century Ohio Valley expanded their church and strengthened their connections to Rome alongside the rapid development of the Protestant Second Great Awakening. In competition with clergy of evangelical Protestant denominations, priests and bishops aggressively established congregations, constructed church buildings, ministered to the faithful, and sought converts. Catholic clergy also displayed the distinctive features of Catholicism that would inspire Catholics and, hopefully, impress others. The clerics’ optimism grew from the opportunities presented by the western frontier and the presence of non-Catholic neighbors. The fruit of these efforts was a European church translated to the American West. In spite of the relative harmony with Protestants and pressures to Americanize, Catholics relied on standard techniques of establishing the authority, institutions, and activities of their faith. By the time Protestant denominations began to resent the Catholic presence in the 1830s, they also had reason to resent Catholic successes—and the many manifestations of that success—in conveying the faith to others. Using extensive correspondence, reports, diaries, court documents, apologetical works, and other records of the Catholic clergy, John R. Dichtl shows how Catholic leadership successfully pursued strategies of growth in frontier regions while continually weighing major decisions against what it perceived to be Protestant opinion. Frontiers of Faith helps restore Catholicism to the story of religious development in the early republic and emphasizes the importance of clerical and lay efforts to make sacred the landscape of the New West.
Franciscans and the Church Today
Over the centuries in word and deed, Franciscan scholars and practitioners have demonstrated a clear and faithful understanding of what it means to live as followers of Christ in a defined ecclesia. Francis of Assisi was eminently clear about his attitude toward the Church, understood both as community and institution.
Catholic Women and the Art of Departure
The personal narratives of nine 20th-century Catholic female authors -- Monica Baldwin, Antonia White, Mary McCarthy, Mary Gordon, Mary Daly, Barbara Ferraro, Patricia Hussey, Karen Armstrong, and Patricia Hampl -- speak eloquently about the process of departure from the church and its institutions. This study explores each author's breaking of the taboo associated with women leaving their "proper place." It locates five themes at the heart of all of their narratives: reversal, boundary crossing, diaspora, renaming, and recycling. Debra Campbell grapples with the spirituality of departure depicted by all nine women, for whom the very process of leaving Catholic institutions is a Catholic enterprise. These narratives support the popular maxim that no one ever really leaves the church. In the final chapter, Campbell examines narratives of return, confirming the book's overarching theme that neither departure nor return is ever finished.
Andrew of Caesarea and His Apocalypse Commentary in the Ancient Church
In this interesting and insightful work, Eugenia Scarvelis Constantinou, the leading expert on Andrew of Caesarea and the first to translate his Apocalypse commentary into any modern language, identifies an exact date for the commentary and a probable recipient. Her groundbreaking book, the first ever written about Andrew, analyzes his historical milieu, education, style, methodology, theology, eschatology, and pervasive and lasting influence. She explains the direct correlation between Andrew of Caesarea and fluctuating status of the Book of Revelation in Eastern Christianity through the centuries.
In Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Critical Appropriation of Russian Religious Thought, Jennifer Newsome Martin offers the first systematic treatment and evaluation of the Swiss Catholic theologian’s complex relation to modern speculative Russian religious philosophy. Her constructive analysis proceeds through Balthasar’s critical reception of Vladimir Soloviev, Nicholai Berdyaev, and Sergei Bulgakov with respect to theological aesthetics, myth, eschatology, and Trinitarian discourse and examines how Balthasar adjudicates both the possibilities and the limits of theological appropriation, especially considering the degree to which these Russian thinkers have been influenced by German Idealism and Romanticism. Martin argues that Balthasar’s creative reception and modulation of the thought of these Russian philosophers is indicative of a broad speculative tendency in his work that deserves further attention. In this respect, Martin consciously challenges the prevailing view of Balthasar as a fundamentally conservative or nostalgic thinker. In her discussion of the relation between tradition and theological speculation, Martin also draws upon the understudied relation between Balthasar and F. W. J. Schelling, especially as Schelling's form of Idealism was passed down through the Russian thinkers. In doing so, she persuasively recasts Balthasar as an ecumenical, creatively anti-nostalgic theologian hospitable to the richness of contributions from extra-magisterial and non-Catholic sources.