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Become Like the Angels

Benjamin P. Blosser

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Becoming a Christian in Christendom

Radical Discipleship and the Way of the Cross in America's "Christian" Culture

by Jason A. Mahn

How might one live the Christian faith within a culture that idealizes and privileges Christianity while also relativizing it, rendering it redundant and innocuous? Arguing for a reconceptualization of the theology of the cross and radical communal practices, this book brings together two clusters of critics of Christian acculturation and accommodation: (1) Lutherans such as Kierkegaard and Bonhoeffer who lift up radical discipleship against the propensity toward “cheap grace,” and (2) various “Anti-Constantinians,” including neo-monastic communities, who resists the church’s collusion with power politics, symbolized by the conversion of Constantine in the early fourth century.

Drawing on these diverse resources, author Jason Mahn explores some pervasive dangers of America’s new Christendom: its accommodation to an exploitative economy that cheapens the meaning of grace; its endorsement of political liberalism, within which the church becomes another special interest group; its justification of war and other forms of “necessary” violence; and its self-defeating lip-service to religious inclusivity. Mahn provocatively imagines alternatives to conventional Christianity—ones whereby the church embodies an alternative politic, where it commits to cruciform non-violence, appreciates gifts by giving them away, and knows its boundaries well enough to learn from those on the other side.

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Becoming a Self

by Merold Westphal

Becoming a Self provides a reader's guide to the book often taken to be Kierkegaard's most important contribution to philosophy and theology.

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Becoming Friends of Time

Disability, Timefulness, and Gentle Discipleship

John Swinton

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Becoming God

The Doctrine of Theosis in Nicholas of Cusa

Nancy J. Hudson

The doctrine of theosis means a salvation that is the deification of the saved. The saved actually become God. This unusual doctrine lies at the heart of Nicholas of Cusa's (1401-1464) mystical metaphysics. It is here examined for the first time as a theme in its own right, along with its implications for Cusanus's doctrine of God, his theological anthropology, and his epistemology.

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Before Nature

A Christian Spirituality

by H. Paul Santmire

Before Nature caps a set of themes first brought to the fore in Santmire’s previous work, most notably the classic Travail of Nature. Here Santmire continues the pursuit of a theology bound up with nature and its condition, especially the fragility and fervent expectation of nature’s redemption. Out of this concern, Santmire invites readers on a theological and spiritual journey to a prayerful and contemplative knowledge of the Triune God, in which practitioners are inducted into a bountiful relationship with the cosmic and universal ministry of Christ and the Spirit uniting all of nature in a single vision of hope and anticipation. Scholarly, practical, and accessible.

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Behind the Public Veil

The Humanness of Martin Luther King Jr.

by Lewis V. Baldwin

What was Martin Luther King Jr. really like? In this groundbreaking volume, Lewis V. Baldwin answers this question by focusing on the man himself. Drawing on the testimonies of friends, family, and closest associates, this volume adds much-needed biographical background to the discussion, as Baldwin looks beyond all of the mythic, messianic, and iconic images to treat King in terms of his fundamental and vivid humanness. Special attention is devoted to King’s personal insecurities and struggles, his humility and affinity to common people, his delight in pleasant and passionate conversation, his insatiable love for the precious but ordinary things of life, his robust appetite for artfully-prepared and delicious soul food, his enduring appreciation for music and dance, his cheerful and playful attitude and spirit, his abiding interest in games and sports, and his amazing gift of wit, humor, and laughter. King emerges here as an ordinary human being who enjoyed and celebrated life to the fullest, but was never bigger than life. Here we see the personal qualities of King—as a real, fleshly human being—and also as a man shaped by his social and cultural experiences and locations. This book reclaims the man behind the mythology.

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Being Deified

Poetry and Fantasy on the Path to God

by David Russell Mosley

Being Deified examines the importance of deification to Christian theology and the place of human creativity in deification. Deification is an explanatory force for the major categories of Christian theology: creation, fall, incarnation, theological anthropology, as well as the sacraments. Deification explains, in part, the why of creation and the what of humanity: God created in order to deify, humanity is created to be deified; the what of the Fall: the desire for divinity outside of God’s gifts; one of the purposes for the Incarnation: to deify; and what end the sacraments aid: deification. Essential to deification is human creativity for humans are created in the image of God, the Creator. In order to explore this dimension of deification, this essay focuses on works of poetry and fantasy, in many ways the pinnacle of human creativity since both genres cause the making strange of things familiar (language and creation itself) in part to make them better known, particularly as creations of the Creator.

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Being Salvation

Atonement and Soteriology in the Theology of Karl Rahner

by Brandon R. Peterson

Karl Rahner’s theory of how Jesus saves has garnered criticism. Rahner’s portrayal of Jesus has been described by Hans Urs von Balthasar as merely notifying the world of God’s salvific will. Others have doubted whether Rahner thinks Jesus “causes” salvation at all. Even Rahner’s advocates style his Jesus as a kind of sign, albeit an effective one, the primal Sacrament. But another major and yet underappreciated dimension to Rahner’s christology is his identification of Jesus as Representative—both our representative before God and God’s before us. As such a Representative, Jesus is not a redemptive agent who accomplishes human salvation simply through an act, and even less is he a mere exemplar or notification. This Jesus does not only “do” our salvation—rather, he is the locus of salvation itself. He not only “opens” heaven’s gates, but he creates heaven with his own resurrection. Being Salvation uncovers this dimension within Rahner’s theology, relating it to other historical examples of representative soteriology (e.g. Irenaeus’s theory of recapitulation) and to Rahner’s more familiar sacramental soteriological categories. It gives special attention to Rahner’s intense attention to the church fathers early in his career, including Rahner’s untranslated theology dissertation, E latere Christi(“From the Side of Christ”).

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Believing in Order to See

On the Rationality of Revelation and the Irrationality of Some Believers

Jean-Luc Marion

Faith and reason, especially in Roman Catholic thought, are less contradictory today than ever. But does the supposed opposition even make sense to begin with? One can lose faith, but surely not because one gains in reason. Some, in fact, lose faith when reason is not able to make sense of the experience of our lives. Yet, we actually lose reason by losing faith. Examining such topics as the role of the intellectual in the church, the rationality of faith, the infinite worth and incomprehensibility of the human, the phenomenality of the sacraments, and the phenomenological nature of miracles and of revelation more broadly, this book spans the range of Marion’s thought on Christianity. Throughout he stresses that faith has its own rationality, structured according to the logic of the gift that calls forth a response of love and devotion through kenotic abandon.

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