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Enkindling Love

The Legacy of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross

by Gillian T. W. Ahlgren

Enkindling Love chronicles the journey toward a living partnership with God, as articulated by two of Christianity's great mystical teachers. Excerpts from the seven moradas (dwelling places) of Teresa of Avila’s Interior Castle are held together with selections from John of the Cross’s Dark Night of the Soul, Spiritual Canticle, and The Living Flame of Love, in order to show stages of growth and transformation as this partnership moves from its nascent potential through deepening friendship and intimacy to the full fruition of the mystical life. Moving through the process via textual passages and commentary, readers are invited to consider God’s desire for partnership with us and how the love of God actively invites us into deeper relationship not only with God but also with self and other. Because Teresa and John experienced God’s love as a transforming power, they teach that it is a participatory reality that shapes and remakes us, even as if invites us to collaborate with God in the remaking of our world.

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The Enlightenment Bible

Translation, Scholarship, Culture

Jonathan Sheehan

How did the Bible survive the Enlightenment? In this book, Jonathan Sheehan shows how Protestant translators and scholars in the eighteenth century transformed the Bible from a book justified by theology to one justified by culture. In doing so, the Bible was made into the cornerstone of Western heritage and invested with meaning, authority, and significance even for a secular age.

The Enlightenment Bible offers a new history of the Bible in the century of its greatest crisis and, in turn, a new vision of this century and its effects on religion. Although the Enlightenment has long symbolized the corrosive effects of modernity on religion, Sheehan shows how the Bible survived, and even thrived in this cradle of ostensible secularization. Indeed, in eighteenth-century Protestant Europe, biblical scholarship and translation became more vigorous and culturally significant than at any time since the Reformation. From across the theological spectrum, European scholars--especially German and English--exerted tremendous energies to rejuvenate the Bible, reinterpret its meaning, and reinvest it with new authority.

Poets, pedagogues, philosophers, literary critics, philologists, and historians together built a post-theological Bible, a monument for a new religious era. These literati forged the Bible into a cultural text, transforming the theological core of the Judeo-Christian tradition. In the end, the Enlightenment gave the Bible the power to endure the corrosive effects of modernity, not as a theological text but as the foundation of Western culture.

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The Environmental Vision of Thomas Merton

Monica Weis

Nature was always vital in Thomas Merton’s life, from the long hours he spent as a child watching his father paint landscapes in the fresh air, to his final years of solitude in the hermitage at Our Lady of Gethsemani, where he contemplated and wrote about the beauty of his surroundings. Throughout his life, Merton’s study of the natural world shaped his spirituality in profound ways, and he was one of the first writers to raise concern about ecological issues that have become critical in recent years. In The Environmental Vision of Thomas Merton, author Monica Weis suggests that Merton’s interest in nature, which developed significantly during his years at the Abbey of Gethsemani, laid the foundation for his growing environmental consciousness. Tracing Merton’s awareness of the natural world from his childhood to the final years of his life, Weis explores his deepening sense of place and desire for solitude, his love and responsibility for all living things, and his evolving ecological awareness.

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Envisioning Islam

Syriac Christians and the Early Muslim World

By Michael Philip Penn

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Episcopalians and Race

Civil War to Civil Rights

Gardiner H. Shattuck, Jr.

Meeting at an African American college in North Carolina in 1959, a group of black and white Episcopalians organized the Episcopal Society for Cultural and Racial Unity and pledged to oppose all distinctions based on race, ethnicity, and social class. They adopted a motto derived from Psalm 133: ""Behold, how good and joyful a thing it is, for brethren to dwell together in unity!"" Though the spiritual intentions of these individuals were positive, the reality of the association between blacks and whites in the church was much more complicated. Episcopalians and Race examines the often ambivalent relationship between black communities and the predominantly white leadership of the Episcopal Church since the Civil War. Paying special attention to the 1950s and 60s, Gardiner Shattuck analyzes the impact of the civil rights movement on church life, especially in southern states. He discusses the Church's lofty goals--exemplified by the Episcopal Society for Cultural and Racial Unity--and ignoble practices and attitudes, such as the failure to recognize the role of black clergy and laity within the denomination. The efforts of mainline Protestant denominations were critically important in the struggle for civil rights, and Episcopalians expended a great deal of time and resources in engaging in the quest for racial equality and strengthening the missionary outreach to African Americans in the South. Shattuck offers an insider's history of Episcopalians' efforts, both successful and unsuccessful, to come to terms with race and racism since the Civil War.

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The Evangelical Movement in Ethiopia

Resistance and Resilience

Tibebe Eshete

In this sweeping history, Tibebe Eshete presents a new view of Ethiopian Christianity. Synthesizing existing scholarship with original interviews and archival research, he demonstrates that the vernacular nature of the Ethiopian church played a critical role in the development of a state church. He also traces the effects of the political on the religious: the growth of other “counter-cultural” movements in 1960s Ethiopia, such as renewal movements, youth discontentment, and the Marxist regime (under which the church still flourished). This strikingly authentic work refutes the thesis that evangelicalism was imported. Instead, Eshete shows, it was a genuine indigenous response to cultural pressures.

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Exploring Church History

by Derek Cooper

Fortress Press’s Foundations for Learning series prepares students for academic success through compelling resources that kick-start their educational journey into professional Christian ministry.

In Exploring Church History, Derek Cooper invites readers to consider the purpose and significance of church history in the lives of individuals and communities today. Rather than offering an exploration of bygone eras and outdated events, Cooper brings history to life by emphasizing how past events, individuals, and movements shape how we understand the world around us.

Exploring Church Historyis divided into three convenient sections to aid those approaching the field of church history for the first time. While the first and second sections offer theoretical reasons why and how we study church history, the third section puts theory into practice by introducing readers to the major contours of world Christian history.

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Extremist for Love

Martin Luther King Jr., Man of Ideas and Nonviolent Social Action

By Rufus Burrow Jr.

In an era where people are often sorted into the categories of ‘thinker’ and ‘doer’, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stands out – a rare mix of the deeply profound thinker and intellect who put the fruit of that reflection into the service of direct social action.

In this helpful telling of King’s life, Dr. Rufus Burrow knits together the story of King’s family, his intellectual journey, and his experience of the pervasive racism of America in that era in a way that highlights the connections between King’s thought and his actions. The result is a renewed understanding of the roots of King’s actions and a fresh appreciation for how intellectual activity can impact our world in surprisingly direct ways.

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Faith in the City

Preaching Radical Social Change in Detroit

Angela D. Dillard

“The dynamics of Black Theology were at the center of the ‘Long New Negro Renaissance,’ triggered by mass migrations to industrial hubs like Detroit. Finally, this crucial subject has found its match in the brilliant scholarship of Angela Dillard. No one has done a better job of tracing those religious roots through the civil rights–black power era than Professor Dillard.” —Komozi Woodard, Professor of History, Public Policy & Africana Studies at Sarah Lawrence College and author of A Nation within a Nation: Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) and Black Power Politics “Angela Dillard recovers the long-submerged links between the black religious and political lefts in postwar Detroit. . . . Faith in the City is an essential contribution to the growing literature on the struggle for racial equality in the North.” —Thomas J. Sugrue, University of Pennsylvania, author of The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit Spanning more than three decades and organized around the biographies of Reverends Charles A. Hill and Albert B. Cleage Jr., Faith in the City is a major new exploration of how the worlds of politics and faith merged for many of Detroit’s African Americans—a convergence that provided the community with a powerful new voice and identity. While other religions have mixed politics and creed, Faith in the City shows how this fusion was and continues to be particularly vital to African American clergy and the Black freedom struggle. Activists in cities such as Detroit sustained a record of progressive politics over the course of three decades. Angela Dillard reveals this generational link and describes what the activism of the 1960s owed to that of the 1930s. The labor movement, for example, provided Detroit’s Black activists, both inside and outside the unions, with organizational power and experience virtually unmatched by any other African American urban community. Angela D. Dillard is Associate Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan. She specializes in American and African American intellectual history, religious studies, critical race theory, and the history of political ideologies and social movements in the United States.

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