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Broken Whole, The

Philosophical Steps Toward a Theology of Global Solidarity

In an increasingly precarious global situation, and in light of the postmodern emphasis on difference, efforts to grasp the “whole” as something universally shared by all human beings have fallen short, according to Thomas E. Reynolds. In this book, he explores the philosophical and theological significance of the problem of pluralism and asserts that the shared resources of the world’s religious traditions can be used to cultivate peace and solidarity across diverse boundaries. He engages a range of philosophical thinkers—such as Gadamer, Marcel, Rorty, Foucault, Levinas, Derrida, and Habermas—and brings them into conversation with contemporary theologians and writers in religious studies. Presenting a vision of solidarity that is both religiously charged and philosophically astute, The Broken Whole outlines an inventive approach toward retrieving the relevance of God-talk, an approach rooted in a philosophy of dialogue and cross-cultural hospitality.

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A Brutal Unity

The Spiritual Politics of the Christian Church

Ephraim Radner

To describe the Church as "united" is a factual misnomer—even at its conception centuries ago. Ephraim Radner provides a robust rethinking of the doctrine of the church in light of Christianity's often violent and at times morally suspect history. He holds in tension the strange and transcendent oneness of God with the necessarily temporal and political function of the Church, and, in so doing, shows how the goals and failures of the liberal democratic state provide revelatory experiences that greatly enhance one's understanding of the nature of Christian unity.

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By Bread Alone

The Bible through the Eyes of the Hungry

edited by Sheila E. McGinn, Lai Ling Elizabeth Ngan, and Ahida Calderon Pilarski

Important ecclesiastical documents have stressed the urgency of world hunger and put in the foreground its natural and historical causes, from famine to global austerity measures and welfare. These concerns have not always affected the way the biblical texts themselves have been read, however. Here, inspired by calls, from Dorothee Sölle and Kathleen O’Connor, biblical scholars apply a “hermeneutics of hunger” to the Bible, taking readings of texts from the Old and New Testaments alike on the premise that human hunger and want are urgent concerns that rightly shape the work of interpretation. Too often, however, as the authors show, biblical texts—like Jesus’ well known words that humans do not live “by bread alone”—have been used to marginalize such concerns within religious communities. Their essays here explore the dynamics of hunger and its causation in ancient Israel and the Greco-Roman world and challenge readers to take seriously the centrality of hunger concerns in the Bible.

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By knowledge & by love

charity and knowledge in the moral theology of St. Thomas Aquinas

Michael S. Sherwin

By Knowledge and By Love represents a major contribution to Thomistic moral theology and philosophy by providing a thoughtful examination of Aquinas' psychology of action and his theology of charity.

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Calculated Futures

Theology, Ethics, and Economics

D. Stephen Long and Nancy Ruth Fox with Tripp York

Calculated Futures examines the ethical and theological underpinnings of the free-market economy, investigating not only the morality of corporations and exchange rates, but also how the politics of economics shape people as moral agents. It does this less by insisting on the unfavorable effects of capitalism, and more by drawing on theological virtues, Christian doctrines, and liturgical practices to discover what they might show us about economic exchanges. Calculated Futures seeks a way forward by engaging economics as a social scientific discipline without subordinating theology to it.

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Call of God, The

Women Doing Theology in Peru

Based on conversations with women in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Lima, Peru, The Call of God explores how their faith provides them with an understanding amidst extreme poverty, violence, and displacement. Peru was the birthplace of liberation theology and the poor women of that country were instrumental in its original elucidation. This book introduces the women of El Agustino, where a diverse, dedicated and eloquent group have set out to answer questions, solve problems, and rebuild a society stricken with rampant inflation and terrorism, all in response to the call of God. Without much formal education, these women possess and espouse complex theological propositions with a high degree of independence and proficiency. A careful reading reveals an education of a different sort—one rooted in life’s changing experiences; one directed toward a different liberation.

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Can Only One Religion Be True?

Paul Knitter and Harold Netland in Dialogue

edited by Robert B. Stewart

This volume highlights points of agreement and disagreement on the subject of religious pluralism. The dialogue partners in the discussion are Paul F. Knitter, Paul Tillich Professor of Theology, World Religions, and Culture at Union Theological Seminary, and Harold A Netland, professor of Mission and Evangelism and director of Intercultural Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.

A transcript of the March 2009 Point-Counterpoint event between Knitter and Netland allows the reader to see how each presents his position in light of the others, as well as their responses to selected audience questions. The balance of the volume is comprised of substantive essays on various facets of the question of religious pluralism from a diverse set of scholars. The Greer Heard Point-Counterpoint series takes pride in presenting a fair and balanced case for both sides of complex issues, and in providing the tools for students and scholars to form their own conclusions.

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Capital Punishment and Roman Catholic Moral Tradition, Second Edition

E. Christian Brugger

Why is the Catholic Church against the death penalty? This second edition of Brugger’s classic work Capital Punishment and Roman Catholic Moral Tradition traces the doctrinal path the Church has taken over the centuries to its present position as the world’s largest and most outspoken opponent of capital punishment. The pontificate of John Paul II marked a watershed in Catholic thinking. The pope taught that the death penalty is and can only be rightly assessed as a form of self-defense. But what does this mean? What are its implications for the Church’s traditional retribution-based model of lethal punishment? How does it square with what the Church has historically taught? Brugger argues that the implications of this historic turn have yet to be fully understood. In his new preface, Brugger examines the contribution of the great Polish pope’s closest collaborator and successor in the Chair of Peter, Pope Benedict XVI, to Catholic thinking on the death penalty. He argues that Pope Benedict maintained the doctrinal status quo of his predecessor’s teaching on capital punishment as self-defense, with detectable points of reluctance to draw attention to nontraditional implications of that teaching.

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Carnal Knowledge of God

Embodied Love and the Movement for Justice

by Rebecca M. M. Voelkel

Theologian, pastor, and seasoned activist Rebecca Voelkel offers a theological vision of embodied love, informed by her own experience, research, and pastoral and organizing work with gay, lesbian, transgender, and gender-queer persons. Voelkel lays out a theological vision interwoven with wisdom from social change “movement building,” offering principles that will enable allies to work strategically in the coming “progressive wave.”

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A Case for Character

Towards a Lutheran Virtue Ethics

by Joel D. Biermann

Over the last several decades, perceptive observers of Western civilization have documented what virtually everyone has perceived: as the old foundations of society have toppled, morality and personal character have been set adrift and often vanished altogether. How can character be cultivated when it seems no one is willing or able to provide a definitive description of character to which humans should aspire?

Equipped with explicit texts and a rich heritage detailing the content of human character, it would seem that Christianity is ideally positioned to address this problem.

Yet even the church has often been complicit in undermining and eviscerating a rich, meaningful account of character.

While the reasons for this are many and complicated, one of the more potent singular factors is actually theological. Contemporary Lutheranism, in particular, has struggled with the appropriate place of morality and character formation, as these pursuits often have been perceived as at odds with the central Christian doctrine of justification.

A Case for Character explores this problem and argues that Christian doctrine, specifically as articulated within a Lutheran framework, is altogether capable of encouraging a robust pursuit of character formation while maintaining a faithful expression of justification by grace alone through faith alone.

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