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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.
A Critique and Revision of the Free Will Defense in Theodicy
God, Evil, and Human Learning explores the age-old question: How is it possible to believe in the God of the Christian faith when the world contains so many grievous evils? Author Fred Berthold Jr. examines the most influential argument used by Christian theologians to answer that question, the “free will defense,” which holds that God is not responsible for the evil in the world, but that evil arises from the human misuse of free will. He points out the weaknesses of this defense and provides a more adequate concept of free will. Berthold argues that free will is a complex of abilities which are acquired—if acquired—through human learning in the context of experiences of actual goods and evils and their consequences. He revises the “free will defense” and offers a new view of the relationship between God and his creatures.
Essays Honoring Ingrid J. Peterson, O.S.F.
Ingrid Peterson, O.S.F., is distinguished in the field of franciscan studies by her work on Clare of Assisi and the women of the early franciscan movement. This book, a collection of essays on those topics by several of the best scholars in the field, is offered in tribute to Peterson and her academic and scholarly contributions to the study of Clare and the women of the early movement. Divided into four parts, part one introduces Peterson, part two takes us into the heart of studies of franciscan women, part three focuses on how Peterson came to the study of medieval history and the volume concludes with Peterson’s own summation of what she leaves for us to do in this field.
In Dialogue with Augustine
In Hermeneutics and the Church, James A. Andrews presents a close reading of De doctrina christiana as a whole and places Augustine's text into dialogue with contemporary theological hermeneutics. The dialogical nature of the exercise allows Augustine to remain a living voice in contemporary debates about the use of theology in biblical interpretation. In particular, Andrews puts Augustine's hermeneutical treatise into dialogue with the theologians Werner Jeanrond and Stephen Fowl. Andrews argues on the basis of De doctrina christiana that the paradigm for theological interpretation is the sermon and that its end is to engender the double love of God and neighbor. With the sermon as the paradigm of interpretation, Hermeneutics and the Church offers practical conclusions for future work in historical theology and biblical interpretation. For Augustine scholars, Andrews offers a reading of De doctrina that takes seriously the entirety of the work and allows Augustine to speak consistently through words written at the beginning and end of his bishopric. For theologians, this book provides a model of how to engage theologically with the past, and, more than that, it offers the actual fruits of such an engagement: suggestions for the discipline of theological hermeneutics and the practice of scriptural interpretation.
All participants in late medieval debates recognized Holy Scripture as the principal authority in matters of Catholic doctrine. Popes, theologians, lawyers—all were bound by the divine truth it conveyed. Yet the church possessed no absolute means of determining the final authoritative meaning of the biblical text—hence the range of appeals to antiquity, to the papacy, and to councils, none of which were ultimately conclusive. Authority in the late medieval church was a vexing issue precisely because it was not resolved.
Liberation theology emphasizes the Christian mission to bring justice to the poor and oppressed. As a part of Christian theology, liberation theology has been most frequently associated with the Catholic Church in Latin America. This groundbreaking work seeks to identify how the theological concepts of liberation theology might be manifested within other world faith traditions.
This is thus the first book that attempts to find a “common ground” for liberation theology across religions. All of the contributors are scholars who share the religion or belief system they describe. Throughout, they endeavor to articulate liberationist concepts from the perspective of those who have been marginalized.