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Cultural Conversions

Unexpected Consequences of Christian Missionary Encounters in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia

by Heather Sharkey

Sharkey examines in this volume some of the unexpected consequences of Christian missionary encounters. In contrast to most studies of missionary encounters (which focus on individual countries, regions, or missions, or only address audiences within certain fields) this collection bridges African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian studies. Moreover, it spans colonial and postcolonial periods while connecting a diverse set of Western missionary players-Catholic and Protestant, as well as British, American, Swedish, Italian, German, French and Irish. Its cases highlight developments in the Maghreb, the Nile Valley, Palestine, Zambia, Eritrea, India and Sri Lanka. Together the essays compellingly illustrate the diverse societal response to missionary “conversions.”

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Daily Labor of the Early Franciscans

David Flood

In his early studies Flood focused on the history of the brotherhood with special emphasis on the development of the Early Rule. Eventually, the social structures of early Franciscan life led to the economics of the early Franciscan movement and the importance of work in the life of Francis and his companions. Told from the vantage point of a historian, Flood leads the reader through his analysis of the early movement

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De papen van Brugge

De seculiere clerus in een middeleeuwse wereldstad

Hendrik Callewier

Het karikaturale beeld van de losbandige middeleeuwse geestelijken herbekeken. Het 15de-eeuwse Brugge was een middeleeuwse grootstad. In deze metropool floreerden luxenijverheden, internationale handel en maakte het Bourgondische hof grote sier. Brugge telde in deze periode enkele honderden geestelijken: kanunniken en pastoors, maar ook kapelanen en talrijke zangers. Onder hen vinden we enkele van de meest vooraanstaande componisten, zangers, ambtenaren en professoren van de lage landen terug, o.a. Gilles Binchois, Gilles Joye, Guillaume Dufay en Antoine Haneron. De Brugse kanunnik Joris Vander Paelen werd door Jan Van Eyck als een devoot man afgebeeld, maar sommige kronieken schetsen een ander beeld van de laatmiddeleeuwse clerus: “Zijn het dan allemaal hebzuchtige en eerzuchtige dieven, hoogmoedige en wellustige hoerenlopers en maagdenonteerders?” In De papen van Brugge wordt de levenswandel van niet minder dan 1298 seculiere geestelijken onderzocht. Het karikaturale beeld van de hypocriete, geile, ijdele of vraatzuchtige pastoor wordt door Hendrik Callewier aan de hand van rijke archiefbronnen herbekeken en bijgesteld.

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Deviant Calvinism

Broadening Reformed Theology

by Oliver D. Crisp

Deviant Calvinism seeks to show that the Reformed tradition is much broader and more variegated than is often thought. Crisp’s work focuses on a cluster of theological issues concerning the scope of salvation and shows that there are important ways in which current theological discussion of these topics can be usefully resourced by attention to theologians of the past.

The scope of atonement, in particular, is once again a hot topic in current evangelical theology. This volume addresses that issue via discussion of eternal justification, whether Calvinists can be free-will libertarians (like Arminian theologians); whether the Reformed should be universalists, and if they are not, why not; whether Reformed theology is consistent with a universal atonement; and whether the hypothetical universalism of some Calvinists is actually as eccentric and strange a doctrine as is sometimes thought. This book contributes to theological retrieval within the Reformed theology, and establishes a wider path to thinking Calvinism differently.

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Dialogue of Love

Breaking the Silence of Centuries

Edited by John Chryssavgis

In 1964, a little-noticed albeit pioneering encounter in the Holy Land between the heads of the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church spawned numerous contacts and diverse openings between the two “sister churches,” which had not communicated with each other for centuries._x000B__x000B_Fifty years later, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew meet in Jerusalem to commemorate_x000B_that historical event and celebrate the close relations that have developed through mutual exchanges of formal visits and an official theological dialogue that began in 1980. This book contains three unique chapters: The_x000B_first is a sketch of the behind-the-scenes challenges and negotiations that accompanied the meeting in_x000B_1964, detailing the immediate consequences of the event and setting the tone for the volume. The second_x000B_is an inspirational account, interwoven with a scholarly evaluation of the work of the North American Standing Council on Orthodox/Catholic relations over the past decades. The third chapter presents a recently discovered reflection on the meeting that took place fifty years ago by one of the most important Orthodox theologians of the twentieth century, expressing cautious optimism about the future of Christian unity.

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer's "Letters and Papers from Prison"

A Biography

Martin E Marty

For fascination, influence, inspiration, and controversy, Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Letters and Papers from Prison is unmatched by any other book of Christian reflection written in the twentieth century. A Lutheran pastor and theologian, Bonhoeffer spent two years in Nazi prisons before being executed at age thirty-nine, just a month before the German surrender, for his role in the plot to kill Hitler. The posthumous Letters and Papers from Prison has had a tremendous impact on both Christian and secular thought since it was first published in 1951, and has helped establish Bonhoeffer's reputation as one of the most important Protestant thinkers of the twentieth century. In this, the first history of the book's remarkable global career, National Book Award-winning author Martin Marty tells how and why Letters and Papers from Prison has been read and used in such dramatically different ways, from the cold war to today.

In his late letters, Bonhoeffer raised tantalizing questions about the role of Christianity and the church in an increasingly secular world. Marty tells the story of how, in the 1960s and the following decades, these provocative ideas stirred a wide range of thinkers and activists, including civil rights and antiapartheid campaigners, "death-of-God" theologians, and East German Marxists.

In the process of tracing the eventful and contested history of Bonhoeffer's book, Marty provides a compelling new perspective on religious and secular life in the postwar era.

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The Dionysian Mystical Theology

by Paul Rorem

The Dionysian Mystical Theology introduces the Pseudo-Dionysian “mystical theology,” with glimpses at key stages in its interpretation and critical reception through the centuries. In part one, the elusive Areopagite’s own miniature essay, The Mystical Theology, is quoted in its entirety, sentence by sentence, with commentary. Its cryptic contents would be almost impenetrable without judicious reference to the rest of the Dionysian corpus: The Divine Names, The Celestial Hierarchy, The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, and the ten Letters. Of special importance is the Dionysian use of negations in an “apophatic” theology that recognizes the transcendence of God beyond human words and concepts.

Stages in the reception and critique of this Greek corpus and theme are sketched in part two: first, the initial sixth-century introduction and marginal comments (Scholia) by John of Scythopolis; second, the early Latin translation and commentary by the ninth-century Carolingian Eriugena and the twelfth-century commentary by the Parisian Hugh of St. Victor; and third, the critical reaction and opposition by Martin Luther in the Reformation. In conclusion, the Dionysian apophatic is presented alongside other forms of negative theology in light of modern and postmodern interests in the subject.

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Early Christianity in Pompeiian Light

People, Texts, Situations

edited by Bruce W. Longenecker

Scholars of early Christianity are awakening to the potential of Pompeii’s treasures for casting light on the settings and situations that were commonplace and conventional for the first urban Christians. The uncovered world of Pompeii, destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 C.E., allows us to peer back in time, capturing a heightened sense of what life was like on the ground in the first century – the very time when the early Jesus-movement was beginning to find its feet. In light of the Vesuvian material remains, historians are beginning to ask fresh questions of early Christian texts and perceive new contours, nuances, and subtleties within the situations those texts address. The essays of this book explore different dimensions of Pompeii’s potential to refine our lenses for interpreting the texts and situations of early Christianity. The contributors to this book (including Carolyn Osiek, David Balch, Peter Oakes, Bruce Longenecker, and others) demonstrate that it is an exciting time to explore the interface between the Vesuvian contexts and the early Jesus-movement.

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