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Illumination in Basil of Caesareas's Doctrine of the Holy Spirit Cover

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Illumination in Basil of Caesareas's Doctrine of the Holy Spirit

by Timothy P. McConnell

If Basil of Caesarea receives mention in a standard course of lectures on Christian theology or history it is as the first person to write a dedicated discourse on the Holy Spirit. Ironically, the primary question about Basil for scholars is whether he fully believed in the divinity of the Holy Spirit himself.

Timothy McConnell argues that Basil did regard the Holy Spirit as fully divine and an equal Person of the Holy Trinity. However, Basil refused to use philosophical terminology to make the point, preferring instead to prove the divinity of the Holy Spirit by what the Spirit himself revealed through divine act and Holy Scripture. Thus, “illumination” becomes the primary paradigm that Basil used to argue the divinity of the Holy Spirit, rather than philosophical rationalism of his time.

What Basil called illumination, later theologians would come to refer to as ‘theology of revelation’ setting the stage for this study’s high relevance for contemporary thought.

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The Imposing Preacher

Samuel DeWitt Proctor and Black Public Faith

By Adam L. Bond

As a distinguished Baptist pastor, educator, and public servant, Samuel DeWitt Proctor made it his mission to serve American life by fighting against racism. In The Imposing Preacher, Adam Bond shows how Proctor, as the product of a prophetic black church tradition, a social gospel-laced liberal Protestantism, and a black middle-class integrationist ethos, envisioned a type of pulpit activism through which the United States could realize a civil society and genuine community, and was able to anticipate and contest some of the themes articulated in the black religious movements of the late twentieth century.

Bond shows Proctor to be a public theologian committed to developing an inclusive and racially pluralistic global society that confronts racism as the social crisis of its time. Proctor did not respond to segregation through marches and visible protests. Instead he saw the classroom and the pulpit as the sacred spaces for dialogue about race in America. In this way, he presents an alternative model of religious and social leadership and for studies of African American religion in the twentieth century.

In the Shadow of the Incarnation Cover

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In the Shadow of the Incarnation

Essays on Jesus Christ in the Early Church in Honor of Brian E. Daley, S.J.

Edited by Peter W. Martens

The early centuries of the Christian church are widely regarded as the most decisive and influential for the formation of the church’s convictions about Jesus Christ. The essays in this volume offer readers a fresh orientation, and ground-breaking analyses, of the figure of Jesus in late antiquity. Written by historians and theologians who examine the thought of leading theologians, Latin and Greek, from the second through the seventh centuries, these essays honor and complement the scholarship of Brian E. Daley, Catherine F. Huisking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. While most discussions still confine patristic Christology to its conciliar trajectory, this volume broadens our horizons. The essays gathered here explore aspects of early Christology that cannot be narrowly confined to the path marked by the ecumenical councils. The contributors locate Jesus within a rich matrix of relationships: they explore how early Christian theologians connected Jesus Christ to their other doctrinal concerns about God, the gift of salvation, and the eschaton, and they articulate how convictions about Jesus Christ informed numerous practices, including discipleship, martyrdom, scriptural interpretation, and even the practice of thinking well about Christ.

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Interpreting Bonhoeffer

Historical Perspectives, Emerging Issues

Edited by Clifford J. Green and Guy C. Carter

In the early twenty-first century, interest in the life and work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer is increasing significantly. In this environment, how should we understand and interpret Bonhoeffer? Interpreting Bonhoeffer explores the many questions surrounding the complexities of Bonhoeffer’s life, work, and historical context and what they might mean for how we understand and interpret Bonhoeffer now and in the future. Looks at issues of interpreting Bonhoeffer’s work and legacy in light of increased interest from across the theological spectrum.

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Inventing Authority

The Use of the Church Fathers in Reformation Debates over the Eucharist

Esther Chung-Kim

Adding great historical insight to the events of the sixteenth century, Inventing Authority uncovers how and why the Protestant reformers came, in their dissent from the Catholic church, to turn to the Church Fathers and align their movements with the early church. Discovering that the reformers most frequently appealed to patristic sources in polemical contexts, Esther Chung-Kim adeptly traces the variety and creativity of their appeals to their forebears in order to support their arguments—citing them to be authoritative for being “exemplary scriptural exegetes” to “instruments of choice.” Examining three generations of sixteenth-century reformers—from such heavy-weights as Calvin and Luther to lesser-known figures like Oecolampadius and Hesshusen—Chung-Kim offers an analysis of striking breadth, one that finds its center by focusing in on the perennially contentious topic of the Eucharist. Filling a significant lacuna in the early history of the Lutheran and Reformed traditions, Inventing Authority is an important and eye-opening contribution to Reformation studies.

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The Invention of Peter

Apostolic Discourse and Papal Authority in Late Antiquity

By George E. Demacopoulos

On the first anniversary of his election to the papacy, Leo the Great stood before the assembly of bishops convening in Rome and forcefully asserted his privileged position as the heir of Peter the Apostle. This declaration marked the beginning of a powerful tradition: the Bishop of Rome could leverage the cult of St. Peter, and the popular association of St. Peter with the city itself, to his advantage. In The Invention of Peter, George E. Demacopoulos examines this Petrine discourse, revealing how the link between the historic Peter and the Roman Church strengthened, shifted, and evolved during the papacies of two of the most creative and dynamic popes of late antiquity, ultimately shaping medieval Christianity as we now know it.

By emphasizing the ways in which this rhetoric of apostolic privilege was employed, extended, transformed, or resisted between the reigns of Leo the Great and Gregory the Great, Demacopoulos offers an alternate account of papal history that challenges the dominant narrative of an inevitable and unbroken rise in papal power from late antiquity through the Middle Ages. He unpacks escalating claims to ecclesiastical authority, demonstrating how this rhetoric, which almost always invokes a link to St. Peter, does not necessarily represent actual power or prestige but instead reflects moments of papal anxiety and weakness. Through its nuanced examination of an array of episcopal activity—diplomatic, pastoral, political, and administrative—The Invention of Peter offers a new perspective on the emergence of papal authority and illuminates the influence that Petrine discourse exerted on the survival and exceptional status of the Bishop of Rome.

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Irenaeus

Life, Scripture, Legacy

edited by Paul Foster and Sara Parvis

Champion of martyrs, scourge of heretics, erudite theologian, shrewd politician—no account of early Christianity is complete without careful consideration of Irenaeus of Lyons. Here a team of international scholars examines aspects of the saint’s life, historical context, engagement with scripture, and his ecclesiastical and theological legacy for succeeding generations.

Jewish-Christian Interpretation of the Pentateuch in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies Cover

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Jewish-Christian Interpretation of the Pentateuch in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies

By Donald H. Carlson

The pseudo-Clementine writings are one of the most intriguing and valuable sources for early Jewish Christianity. They offer a second- or third-century polemic against the form of Christianity that eventually won out, the Gentile-majority, law-free Christianity that took Paul as its champion. Carlson's interest here is in the highly unusual theory expressed in the Homilies that the Pentateuch is saturated with “false pericopes,” and that the teaching of Jesus, the “true prophet,” is the criterion for establishing what the Pentateuch really means. This, creative study examines the pseudo-Clementine writings and sheds light on our understanding of the early Jewish followers of Jesus.

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Journal of Moravian History

Vol. 12 (2012) through current issue

One of the fascinating aspects of the history of Christianity is its incredible diversity of expression and evolution, particularly as Christianity left Europe, bound for the shores of America. The Moravian Church (Unitas Fratrum or “Unity of the Brethren”) arose in what is now known as the Czech Republic in the late fourteenth century. Fleeing persecution, the Moravians arrived in North America, settling especially in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and later in what is now Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The history of the Moravian Church is vital for understanding not only European church history but also the history of the church in North America.

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The King James Bible and the World It Made

David Lyle Jeffrey

The King James translation of the Bible ushered in a new eloquence that until 1611had not existed in the English language. Four centuries later, the literary and historical power of this Bible continues to awe. Originally conceived to help unify Protestants during the English Reformation, many of the Bible’s phrases still saturate popular prose—as evidenced by sayings such as “an eye for an eye” and Abraham Lincoln’s famous “a house divided against itself,” and even in the intonations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the music of Johnny Cash. The King James Bible and the World It Made brings into conversation leading contemporary scholars who articulate how this celebrated translation repeatedly influenced the language of politics, statecraft, and English literature while offering Christians a unique resource for living the faith.

Including Mark Noll, Alister McGrath, Lamin Sanneh, David Bebbington, Robert Alter, Philip Jenkins, and Laura Knoppers, this collection highlights the most notable facets of the King James Bible and the history it created, and astutely reflects on its relevance to the modern world.

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