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American Catholic Studies

Vol. 122 (2011) through current issue

In 1887 the American Catholic Historical Society began publication of a quarterly journal, the Records. In 1913, the Records was merged with American Catholic Historical Researches, a publication founded by Dr. A. A. Lambing of Scottsdale, Pennsylvania and issued by Martin I.J. Griffin. Since 1999, the journal, renamed American Catholic Studies has been published out of Villanova University. American Catholic Studies is the oldest, continuously published catholic scholarly journal in the United States.

American Catholic Studies is a double-blind refereed journal that publishes high quality studies and book reviews for academics, opinion leaders, and informed general readers in the fields of U.S. Roman Catholic history, sociology, theology, architecture, art, cinema, music, popular movements, and related areas.

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The American Jesuits

A History

Raymond Schroth

Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2008

With infectious energy and a genuine gift for storytelling, Raymond A. Schroth recounts the history of Jesuits in the United States. The American Jesuits isn't simply a book for Catholics; it's for anyone who loves a well-told historical tale. For more than 450 years, Jesuit priests have traveled the globe out of a religious commitment to serve others. Their order, the Society of Jesus, is the largest religious order of men in the Catholic Church, with more than 20,000 members around the world and almost 3,000 in the United States. It is one of the more liberal orders in the Church, taking very public stands in the U.S. on behalf of social justice causes such as the promotion of immigrants’ rights and humanitarian aid, including assistance to Africa's poor, and against American involvement in "unjust wars." Jesuits have played an important part in Americanizing the Catholic Church and in preparing Catholic immigrants for inclusion into American society.

Starting off with the first Jesuit to reach the New World—he was promptly murdered on the Florida coast—Schroth focuses on the key periods of the Jesuit experience in the Americas, beginning with the era of European explorers, many of whom were accompanied by Jesuits and some of whom were Jesuits themselves. Suppressed around the time of the American Revolution, the Society experienced resurgence in the nineteenth century, arriving in the U.S. along with waves of Catholic immigrants and establishing a network of high schools and universities. In the mid-twentieth century, the Society transformed itself to serve an urbanizing nation.

Schroth is not blind to the Society’s shortcomings and not all of his story reflects well on the Jesuits. However, as he reminds readers, Jesuits are not gods and they don't dwell in mountaintop monasteries. Rather, they are imperfect men who work in a messy world to “find God in all things” and to help their fellow men and women do the same.

A quintessential American tale of men willing to take risks — for Indians, blacks, immigrants, and the poor, and to promote a loving picture of God—The American Jesuits offers a broad and compelling look at the impact of this 400-year-old international order on American culture and the culture’s impact on the Jesuits.

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The Annotated Luther

The Roots of Reform

edited by Timothy J. Wengert

Volume 1 of The Annotated Luther series contains writings that defined the roots of reform set in motion by Martin Luther, beginning with the 95 Theses (1517) through The Freedom of a Christian (1520). Included are treatises, letters, and sermons written from 1517–1520, which set the framework for key themes in all of Luther’s later works. Also included are documents that reveal Luther’s earliest confrontations with Rome and his defense of views and perspectives that led to his excommunication by Leo X in 1520.

These documents display a Luther grounded in late medieval theology and its peculiar issues, trained in the latest humanist methods of the Renaissance, and, most especially, showing sensitivity toward the pastoral consequences for theological positions and church practice.

Each volume in The Annotated Luther series contains new introductions, as well as annotations, illustrations, and notes to help shed light on Luther's context and interpret his writings for today. The translations of Luther’s writings include updates of Luther’s Works, American Edition or entirely new translations of Luther’s German or Latin writings.

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The Annotated Luther

Word and Faith

edited by Kirsi I. Stjerna

Volume 2 of The Annotated Luther series contains a number of the writings categorized under the theme word and faith. Luther was particularly focused on what the word “does” in order to create and sustain faith. Writings in the volume range from the large core documents Bondage of the Will, Against the Heavenly Prophets, The Smalcald Articles, and Large Catechism to Luther’s own Confession of Faith and treatments of Moses, the Gospels, and Two Kinds of Righteousness.

In the treatises in this volume, we hear Luther’s understanding of Scripture and theology as he continues his growth as teaching theologian, pastor, biblical exegete, and apologist for the faith.

Each volume in The Annotated Luther series contains new introductions, as well as annotations, illustrations, and notes, to help shed light on Luther's context and interpret his writings for today. The translations of Luther’s writings include updates of Luther’s Works, American Edition or entirely new translations of Luther’s German or Latin writings.

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Anti-Judaism in Early Christianity

Volume 2: Separation and Polemic

The second volume in this two-volume work studying the initial developments of anti-Judaism within the church examines the evolution of the Christian faith in its social context as revealed by evidence such as early patristic and rabbinic writings and archaeological findings.

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Antiochene Theoria in the Writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia and Theodoret of Cyrus

by Richard J. Perhai

Biblical scholars have often contrasted the exegesis of the early church fathers from the eastern region and “school” of Syrian Antioch against that of the school of Alexandria. The Antiochenes have often been described as strictly historical-literal exegetes in contrast to the allegorical exegesis of the Alexandrians. Patristic scholars now challenge those stereotypes, some even arguing that few differences existed between the two groups.

This work agrees that both schools were concerned with a literal and spiritual reading. But, it also tries to show, through analysis of Theodore and Theodoret’s exegesis and use of the term theoria, that how they integrated the literal-theological readings often remained quite distinct from the Alexandrians. For the Antiochenes, the term theoria did not mean allegory, but instead stood for a range of perceptions—prophetic, christological, and contemporary. It is in these insights that we find the deep wisdom to help modern readers interpret Scripture theologically.

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Aquinas the Augustinian

The book is composed of eleven essays by an international group of renowned scholars from the United States, England, Switzerland, Holland, and Italy

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Arminius and His Declaration of Sentiments

An Annotated Translation with Introduction and Theological Commentary

W. Stephen Gunter

With this first direct translation of Arminius' Declaration of Sentiments into English from the original Dutch, Stephen Gunter weaves expert translation with valuable notes and theological commentary. Gunter's introduction situates this overlooked but critically important work within its rich historical context and includes a clear, illuminating discussion of the debate over predestination. What emerges is an enlightening portrait of Arminius that challenges modern misconceptions about one of the most significant sixteenth-century theologians.

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The Art of Empire

Christian Art in Its Imperial Context

edited by Lee M. Jefferson and Robin M. Jensen

In recent years, art historians such as Johannes Deckers (Picturing the Bible, 2009) have argued for a significant transition in fourth- and fifth-century images of Jesus following the conversion of Constantine. Broadly speaking, they perceive the image of a peaceful, benevolent shepherd transformed into a powerful, enthroned Jesus, mimicking and mirroring the dominance and authority of the emperor. The powers of church and state are thus conveniently synthesized in such a potent image. This deeply rooted position assumes that ante-pacem images of Jesus were uniformly humble while post-Constantinian images exuded the grandeur of power and glory.

The Art of Empire contends that the art and imagery of Late Antiquity merits a more nuanced understanding of the context of the imperial period before and after Constantine. The chapters in this collection each treat an aspect of the relationship between early Christian art and the rituals, practices, or imagery of the Empire, and offer a new and fresh perspective on the development of Christian art in its imperial background.

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Ascetics, Authority, and the Church in the Age of Jerome and Cassian

Second Edition

Philip Rousseau

In his Ascetics, Authority, and the Church in the Age of Jerome and Cassian, published in 1978, Philip Rousseau presented a survey of asceticism in the western church until about 400, including a selective study of Jerome, and then, moving into the fifth century, a reading of Sulpicius and Cassian. Rousseau explored such societal changes as the eventual triumph of the cenobitic movement and its growing effect within the church, not least on the episcopate. He focused primarily on the development among ascetics of a certain concept of spiritual authority; on the attraction of that concept for a wider audience; and on its enduring formulation within a literary tradition of great influence. For this second edition, Rousseau has supplied a new introduction with extensive bibliographical references in which he charts the ways in which scholarship on early Christian asceticism has developed since his compelling and influential original argument.

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