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50 Years On

Probing the Riches of Vatican II

Edited by David Schultenover
Introduction by Stephen Schloesser

Pope John XXIII prayed that the Second Vatican Council would prove to be a new Pentecost. The articles gathered here appeared originally in a series solicited by and published in Theological Studies (September 2012 to March 2014). The purpose of the series was and remains threefold: • To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council • To help readers more fully appreciate its significance not only for the Catholic Church itself but also for the entire world whom the Church encounters in proclamation and reception of ongoing revelation • In their present form, to help readers worldwide engage both the conciliar documents themselves and scholarly reflections on them, all with a view to appropriating the reform envisioned by Pope John XXIII. Contributors: Stephen B. Bevans, SVD; Mary C. Boys, SNJM; Maryanne Confoy, RSC; Massimo Faggioli; Anne Hunt; Natalia Imperatori-Lee; Edward Kessler; Gerald O’Collins, SJ; John W. O’Malley, SJ; Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, SJ; Ladislas Orsy, SJ; Peter C. Phan; Gilles Routhier; Ormond Rush; Stephen Schloesser, SJ; Francis A. Sullivan, SJ; O. Ernesto Valiente; Jared Wicks, SJ

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51% Christian

Finding Faith after Certainty

by Mark Stenberg

God is not an idea. Christian faith is not a set of propositions you either believe or reject. According to a proper Trinitarian understanding, God is essentially relationship, a relationship of sheer, active, ecstatic, self-giving love. If we truly are encountered by this magnificent love of the Trinity, then faith becomes a living and active daily practice. Just like a healthy marriage or a close and loyal friendship, it becomes something you choose every day.

This “51% Christian” moniker is a ridiculous label with a deadly serious point. You now have permission to doubt, to question, to get angry at God. But, in the end, it’s not about you. Faith is about relationship: a living, daily relationship, based on trust, and active in concrete, daily practices.

With this sort of freedom in grace, Stenberg takes a fresh new look at theology, thirteen topics that, one by one, examine the best of what the Bible and the history of Christian practitioners have to say. Looking through this grace-based, radically relational lens, the author offers a lively and engaging discussion of topics such as creation, violence, love, death, heaven, and hell. You might not always agree. But you will not be bored.

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Abraham in the Works of John Chrysostom

By Demetrios E. Tonias

Throughout its first three centuries of existence, the Christian community, while new to the Roman world’s pluralistic religious scene, portrayed itself as an historic religion. The early church community claimed the Jewish Bible as their own and looked to it to defend their claims to historicity. While Jews looked to Moses and the Sinai covenant as the focus of their historical relationship with God, the early church fathers and apologists identified themselves as inheritors of the promise given to Abraham and saw their mission to the Gentiles as the fulfillment of God’s declaration that Abraham would be “a father of many nations” (Gen 17:5).M

It is in light of this background that Demetrios Tonias undertakes the first, comprehensive examination of John Chrysostom’s view of the patriarch Abraham.

By analyzing the full range of references to Abraham in Chrysostom’s work, Tonias reveals the ways in which Chrysostom used Abraham as a model of philosophical and Christian virtue, familial devotion, philanthropy, and obedient faith.

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Accompanied by a Believing Wife

Ministry and Celibacy in the Earliest Christian Communities

Raymond F. Collins

What light does the New Testament shed on the practice of celibacy for the sake of the kingdom? In his newest work, renowned Scripture scholar Raymond F. Collins turns his attention to the question, which, of course, has important implications for the church in our own day. Though the answer is not a simple one, and it does not necessarily translate automatically into clear contemporary ecclesial policy, it still serves as an important foundation for discussion.Collins gives careful consideration of the methodology to be used in approaching the question and to important aspects of the sociocultural context of first-century Palestine, within which the New Testament took form. He then explores what Jesus said to the disciples, several disciples' own statuses as married men, and Paul's teaching and personal example on marriage.Raymond Collins has served the church through his thoughtful and scholarly exegetical work for decades. This latest work of his will long be counted among his best.

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Act and Being

by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Written in 1929-1930 a Dietrich Bonhoeffer's second dissertation, this book deals with the questions of consciousness and conscience in theology from the perspective of the Reformation insight about the origin of human sinfulness in the "heart turned in upon neither to the revelation of God nor to the encounter with the neighbor."

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Acting for Others

Trinitarian Communion and Christological Agency

by Michaela Kusnierikova

This book explores why the metaphor of the church as a family is insufficient. Taking up Arendt’s notions of action and her criticism of privatization, the author examines community, relation, and human subjects through the work of Bonhoeffer and Staniloae. Synthesizing Bonhoeffer and Staniloae, Christian calling is unfolded not only as acting for others, but also with others as Trinitarian participatory response—response to the words and deeds of the three divine Persons acting in communion.

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Aesthetic Revelation

Reading Ancient and Medieval Texts after Hans Urs von Balthasar

Oleg Bychkov

Oleg Bychkov's masterly exposition also shows how the texts analyzed have significantly influenced the development of Western theological thought.

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African Christianity

The Stranger Within

ëWhat makes African Christianity Christian?í, ëwhat is the mission of the African church?í, ëWhat is the theology of the African church?í and, ëWhat is the future of the Church in Africa or more precisely of African Christianity?í Professor Galgalo gives a critical analysis of Christianity in Africa from historical, theological and sociological perspectives.

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After We Die

Theology, Philosophy, and the Question of Life After Death

Stephen T. Davis

In After We Die, philosopher Stephen T. Davis subjects one of Christianity’s key beliefs—that Christians not only will survive death but also will enjoy bodily resurrection—to searching philosophical analysis. Facing each critique squarely, Davis contends that traditional, historic belief about the eschatological future is philosophically defensible. Davis examines personal extinction, reincarnation, and immortality of the soul. By juxtaposing two systems of salvation—reincarnation/karma and resurrection/grace—Davis explores the Christian claim that humans will be raised from the dead, as well as the radical Christian assertions of Jesus’ resurrection, ascension, and long-anticipated return. Davis finally addresses Christian thinking about heaven, hell, and purgatory. The philosophical defense of Christianity’s core beliefs enables Davis to render a reasonable answer to the eternal question of what happens to us after we die. After We Die is essential reading for teachers and students of philosophy, theology, and Bible, as well as anyone interested in a reasoned analysis of historic Christian faith, particularly as it pertains to the inevitable end of each and every human being.

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