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Later Medieval Metaphysics Cover

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Later Medieval Metaphysics

Ontology, Language, and Logic

Charles Bolyard

This book begins with standard ontological topics--such as the nature of existence--and of metaphysics generally, such as the status of universals, form, and accidents. What is the proper subject matter of metaphysical speculation? Are essence and existence really distinct in bodies? Does the body lose its unifying form at death? Can an accident of a substance exist in separation from that substance? Are universals real, and, if so, are they anything more than general concepts? Among the figures it examines are Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, Walter Chatton, John Buridan, Dietrich of Freiburg, Robert Holcot, Walter Burley, and the 11th-century Islamic philosopher Ibn-Sina (Avicenna).There is also an emphasis on metaphysics broadly conceived. Thus, additional discussions of connected topics in medieval logic, epistemology, and language provide a fuller account of the range of ideas included in the later medieval worldview.

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Let Her Speak for Herself

Nineteenth-Century Women Writing on Women in Genesis

Marion Ann Taylor and Heather E. Weir, editors

The women of Genesis - Eve, Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Leah, and Rachel - intrigued and informed the lives of nineteenth-century women. These women read the biblical stories for themselves and looked for ways to expand, reinforce, or challenge the traditional understanding of women's lives. They communicated their readings of Genesis using diverse genres ranging from poetry to commentary.

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The Life of Blessed Bernard of Tiron

Geoffrey Grossus

The first English translation of the Vita Bernardi, this book makes accessible to medieval and religious historians one of the more interesting and lively stories of the twelfth century.

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Linking Sexuality and Gender

Naming Violence against Women in The United Church of Canada

Why did it take so long for the United Church of Canada to respond to violence against women?

Tracy J. Trothen looks at the United Church as a uniquely Canadian institution, and explores how it has approached gender and sexuality issues. She argues that how the Church deals with these issues influences its ability to name violence against women.

In examining the Church’s early approaches to gender and sexuality, Tracy J. Trothen discovered that the United Church had tended to see certain structures or roles as sacred and others as demonic. For example, while sex outside marriage was bad or improper, sexual expression within marriage was largely deemed as proper or good, no matter what manifestation it took. This assumption allowed much violence within families and marriages to go unchallenged.

Trothen uncovers significant shifts in this approach through the examination of such issues as redemptive homes, marriage, pornography, abortion, the ordination of women, and family. Then, analyzing three recent case studies, she demonstrates the value of women’s voices in challenging dominant world views. Finally, she suggests how the Church’s approach to human sexuality and gender has facilitated or obstructed the move to address violence against women.

The findings in Linking Sexuality and Gender can be applied to faiths outside the United Church and will be important to anyone interested in church and society, sexuality, gender, or the causal dynamics behind one Canadian institution’s response to violence against women.

Tracy J. Trothen is an assistant professor of systematic theology and ethics, and director of field education at Queen’s Theological College, Queen’s University, Canada. She was ordained in the United Church of Canada. Why did it take so long for the United Church of Canada to respond to violence against women?

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Liturgical Subjects

Christian Ritual, Biblical Narrative, and the Formation of the Self in Byzantium

By Derek Krueger

Liturgical Subjects examines the history of the self in the Byzantine Empire, challenging narratives of Christian subjectivity that focus only on classical antiquity and the Western Middle Ages. As Derek Krueger demonstrates, Orthodox Christian interior life was profoundly shaped by patterns of worship introduced and disseminated by Byzantine clergy. Hymns, prayers, and sermons transmitted complex emotional responses to biblical stories, particularly during Lent. Religious services and religious art taught congregants who they were in relation to God and each other.

Focusing on Christian practice in Constantinople from the sixth to eleventh centuries, Krueger charts the impact of the liturgical calendar, the eucharistic rite, hymns for vigils and festivals, and scenes from the life of Christ on the making of Christian selves. He explores the verse of great Byzantine liturgical poets, including Romanos the Melodist, Andrew of Crete, Theodore the Stoudite, and Symeon the New Theologian. Their compositions offered templates for Christian self-regard and self-criticism, defining the Christian "I." Cantors, choirs, and congregations sang in the first person singular expressing guilt and repentence, while prayers and sermons defined the collective identity of the Christian community as sinners in need of salvation. By examining the way models of selfhood were formed, performed, and transmitted in the Byzantine Empire, Liturgical Subjects adds a vital dimension to the history of the self in Western culture.

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Luther on Faith and Love

Christ and the Law in the 1535 Galatians Commentary

by Sun-young Kim

There has been a distinct tendency in modern scholarship to underestimate Luther’s teaching on love by overemphasizing his teaching on justification. Calling this tendency into question, this volume advances the thesis that Luther’s teaching on faith and love operates as the overriding thematic pair in the dynamics of Christ and the law—structurally and conceptually undergirding the 1535 Galatians commentary. The research situates itself in the landscape of Luther scholarship via a special attention to Finnish Luther scholars and scholarship.

The project argues that in the discussion of proper righteousness and holiness, Luther’s redefined love emerges in harmony with faith. His views on Christian freedom, the Christ-given law of love, the twofold way of fulfilling the law, and his Christological premises demonstrate the logical rationale for reintroducing love. This love, designated as a fruit of faith, is incarnated in three major relations: love toward God, toward others, and toward self.

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The Lutheran Confessions Cover

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The Lutheran Confessions

History and Theology of The Book of Concord

edited by Charles P. Arand, Robert Kolb, James A. Nestingen

From their formulation in the sixteenth century through the present day, every generation of Lutheran leadership has grappled with the centrality and importance of the Lutheran confessional writings.

In this important new volume, Arand, Kolb, and Nestingen bring the fruit of an entire generation of scholarship to bear on these documents, making it an essential and up-to-date class text.

The Lutheran Confessions places the documents solidly within their political, social, ecclesiastical, and theological contexts, relating them to the world in which they took place, and assists readers in understanding the issues at stake in the narratives, both in their own time and in ours.

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Margery Kempe and Translations of the Flesh

By Karma Lochrie

Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Book for 1999

Karma Lochrie demonstrates that women were associated not with the body but rather with the flesh, that disruptive aspect of body and soul which Augustine claimed was fissured with the Fall of Man. It is within this framework that she reads The Book of Margery Kempe, demonstrating the ways in which Kempe exploited the gendered ideologies of flesh and text through her controversial practices of writing, her inappropriate-seeming laughter, and the most notorious aspect of her mysticism, her "hysterical" weeping expressions of religious desire. Lochrie challenges prevailing scholarly assumptions of Kempe's illiteracy, her role in the writing of her book, her misunderstanding of mystical concepts, and the failure of her book to influence a reading community. In her work and her life, Kempe consistently crossed the barriers of those cultural taboos designed to exclude and silence her.

Instead of viewing Kempe as marginal to the great mystical and literary traditions of the late Middle Ages, this study takes her seriously as a woman responding to the cultural constraints and exclusions of her time. Margery Kempe and Translations of the Flesh will be of interest to students and scholars of medieval studies, intellectual history, and feminist theory.

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Mark as Story

An Introduction to the Narrative of a Gospel

by David Rhoads, Joanna Dewey, and Donald Michie

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In this third edition of Mark as Story, Rhoads, Dewey, and Michie take their treatment of the Gospel of Mark to new levels. While retaining their clear and thorough analysis of Mark as a narrative, they now place their study of Mark in the context of orality. The new preface explains the role of Mark in a predominantly oral culture. Throughout the study, they refer to the author as composer, the narrator as performer, the Gospel as oral composition, and the audience as gathered communities. The conclusion hypothesizes a performance scenario of Mark in Palestine shortly after the Roman-Judean War of 66 to 70 CE.

The new edition also highlights the dimensions of Mark that stand in contrast to imperial worldviews and values. The authors argue that the performance of Mark itself was a means to draw audiences into a non-imperial world based on mutual service rather than hierarchical domination. In so doing, they shift the Gospel’s center of gravity from the end of the story to the beginning, configuring it not as "a passion narrative with an extended introduction" but as "the arrival of the rule of God with an extended denouement."

Performing Mark: The appendices for students at the end of the book that offer exercises to interpret the narrative of Mark now also include "Exercises for Learning and Telling Episodes" from the Gospel of Mark by heart as part of the learning process.

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Martin Luther, the Bible, and the Jewish People

A Reader

edited by Brooks Schramm and Kirsi I Stjerna

The place and significance of Martin Luther in the long history of Christian anti-Jewish polemic has been and continues to be a contested issue. It is true that Luther's anti-Jewish rhetoric intensified toward the end of his life, but reading Luther with a careful eye toward "the Jewish question," it becomes clear that Luther's theological presuppositions toward Judaism and the Jewish people are a central, core component of his thought throughout his career, not just at the end. It follows then that it is impossible to understand the heart and building blocks of Luther's theology without acknowledging the crucial role of "the Jews" in his fundamental thinking.

Luther was constrained by ideas, images, and superstitions regarding the Jews and Judaism that he inherited from medieval Christian tradition. But the engine in the development of Luther's theological thought as it relates to the Jews is his biblical hermeneutics. Just as "the Jewish question" is a central, core component of his thought, so biblical interpretation (and especially Old Testament interpretation) is the primary arena in which fundamental claims about the Jews and Judaism are formulated and developed.

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