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American Religious Liberalism

Edited by Leigh E. Schmidt and Sally M. Promey

Religious liberalism in America has often been equated with an ecumenical Protestant establishment. By contrast, American Religious Liberalism draws attention to the broad diversity of liberal cultures that shapes America's religious movements. The essays gathered here push beyond familiar tropes and boundaries to interrogate religious liberalism's dense cultural leanings by looking at spirituality in the arts, the politics and piety of religious cosmopolitanism, and the interaction between liberal religion and liberal secularism. Readers will find a kaleidoscopic view of many of the progressive strands of America's religious past and present in this richly provocative volume.

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The Amish

A Concise Introduction

Steven M. Nolt

There seems to be no end to our fascination with the Amish, a religious minority that has both placed itself outside the mainstream of American culture and flourished within it. Yet most people know very little about the nuanced relationship the Amish have with society or their own communities.

Drawing on more than twenty years of fieldwork and collaborative research, Steven M. Nolt’s The Amish: A Concise Introduction is a compact but richly detailed portrait of Amish life. In fewer than 150 pages, readers will come away with a clear understanding of the complexities of these simple people. Writing in engaging and accessible language, Nolt explains how the Amish at once operate within modern America and stand very much apart from the world. Arguing that Amish life is shaped equally by internal and external social, political, and economic contexts, Nolt explores Amish identity as emerging from a complex cultural negotiation with modernity. He takes on much-hyped topics such as Rumspringa and reveals the distinctive Amish approach to technology. He also explains how Amish principles stand in contrast to contemporary American values, including rational efficiency, large-scale organization, and Western notions of individuality.

Authoritative, informative, and illustrated, this guide provides a vivid introduction to a way of life many find fascinating but few truly understand.

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An Amish Paradox

Diversity and Change in the World's Largest Amish Community

Charles E. Hurst and David L. McConnell

Holmes County, Ohio, is home to the largest and most diverse Amish community in the world. Yet, surprisingly, it remains relatively unknown compared to its famous cousin in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Charles E. Hurst and David L. McConnell conducted seven years of fieldwork, including interviews with over 200 residents, to understand the dynamism that drives social change and schism within the settlement, where Amish enterprises and nonfarming employment have prospered. The authors contend that the Holmes County Amish are experiencing an unprecedented and complex process of change as their increasing entanglement with the non-Amish market causes them to rethink their religious convictions, family practices, educational choices, occupational shifts, and health care options. The authors challenge the popular image of the Amish as a homogeneous, static, insulated society, showing how the Amish balance tensions between individual needs and community values. They find that self-made millionaires work alongside struggling dairy farmers; successful female entrepreneurs live next door to stay-at-home mothers; and teenagers both embrace and reject the coming-of-age ritual, rumspringa. An Amish Paradox captures the complexity and creativity of the Holmes County Amish, dispelling the image of the Amish as a vestige of a bygone era and showing how they reinterpret tradition as modernity encroaches on their distinct way of life.

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Analogia Entis

On the Analogy of Being, Metaphysics, and the Act of Faith

Steven A. Long

Analogia Entis: On the Analogy of Being, Metaphysics, and the Act of Faith is an intellectually rigorous and systematic account of Thomas’s teaching regarding the analogy of being. Steven A. Long’s work stands in contradistinction to historical-doctrinal surveys and general introductions, retrieving by way of an interpretation of Aristotle and Aquinas the indispensable role that analogy of being plays for metaphysics and, consequently, for theology. In his later writings St. Thomas did not return to questions about the analogy of being that he had answered earlier in his career. This has led most historical-textual treatments of analogy in current scholarship to the mistaken conclusion that Thomas actually changed his answers to these questions. Scholars fail to see the continuity between his treatment in the Summa theologiae and his earlier De veritate. Long's study demonstrates the coherence of St. Thomas’s earlier and later analyses. It shows how Thomas’s later account in the Summa theologiae necessarily presupposes his earlier teaching.

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Anglican Communion in Crisis

How Episcopal Dissidents and Their African Allies Are Reshaping Anglicanism

Miranda K. Hassett

The sign outside the conservative, white church in the small southern U.S. town announces that the church is part of the Episcopal Church--of Rwanda. In Anglican Communion in Crisis, Miranda Hassett tells the fascinating story of how a new alliance between conservative American Episcopalians and African Anglicans is transforming conflicts between American Episcopalians--especially over homosexuality--into global conflicts within the Anglican church.

In the mid-1990s, conservative American Episcopalians and Anglican leaders from Africa and other parts of the Southern Hemisphere began to forge ties in opposition to the American Episcopal Church's perceived liberalism and growing toleration of homosexuality. This resulted in dozens of American Episcopal churches submitting to the authority of African bishops.

Based on wide research, interviews with key participants and observers, and months Hassett spent in a southern U.S. parish of the Episcopal Church of Rwanda and in Anglican communities in Uganda, Anglican Communion in Crisis is the first anthropological examination of the coalition between American Episcopalians and African Anglicans. The book challenges common views--that the relationship between the Americans and Africans is merely one of convenience or even that the Americans bought the support of the Africans. Instead, Hassett argues that their partnership is a deliberate and committed movement that has tapped the power and language of globalization in an effort to move both the American Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion to the right.

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Anglicans in Canada

Controversies and Identity in Historical Perspective

Alan L. Hayes

From the first worship services onboard English ships during the sixteenth century to the contentious toughmindedness of early clergymen to current debates about sexuality, Alan L. Hayes provides a comprehensive survey of the history of the Canadian Anglican Church. Unprecedented in the annals of Canadian religious history, it examines whether something like an Anglican identity emerged from within the changing forms of doctrine, worship, ministry, and institutions. _x000B__x000B_With writing that conveys a strong sense of place and people, Hayes ultimately finds such an identity not in the relatively few agreements within Anglicanism but within the disagreements themselves. Including hard-to-find historical documents, Anglicans in Canada is ideal for research, classroom use, and as a resource for church groups.

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Angry Like Jesus

Using His Example to Spark Your Moral Courage

by Sarah Sumner

Few people realize that the Gospels include at least fifteen different stories about Jesus’ anger. When was Jesus angry? What was He angry about? Is Jesus’ anger relevant today? Is it right for a Christian to be angry? Although sinful anger cannot achieve the righteousness of God, godly anger can rouse a sleeping church. Godly anger lights a flame that fuels people to wake up and be truthful out loud, so that many (who don’t expect it) can be healed. Godly anger is powerful. It’s an aspect of real love. It ushers in true hope because it knows that God is faithful. It dares to take a risk because it trusts that God has its back.

Without the salt of Jesus’ anger, people accept what’s unacceptable. We allow what we shouldn’t allow. We don’t make changes we should make. We deceive ourselves into thinking that corruption doesn’t need to be opposed. Godly anger is not afraid. It assumes responsibility. It motivates us to confront things we wish did not exist. Jesus’ anger is God’s gift to help deliver us.

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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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The Anointed Church

Toward a Third Article Ecclesiology

by Gregory J. Liston

The phrase Third Article Theology is used in two senses: first, to characterize a methodological approach that intentionally starts with the Spirit, and second, as the theological understanding that emerges from this approach. Over recent decades, Spirit Christology has utilized the approach of Third Article Theology to gain significant insight into the person and life of Christ. The Anointed Church extends this work, providing the first constructive and systematic ecclesiology developed through the approach of Third Article Theology. Gregory J. Liston argues that a pneumatological lens irreducibly informs the connection between other theological doctrines and ecclesiology. Utilizing this insight, the Church is examined from the vantage points of Christology and the Trinity through such a pneumatological lens. The constituent features of a Third Article Ecclesiology developed in this manner are compared and contrasted with critical evaluations of ecclesiological understandings developed through alternative approaches, particularly those of Barth, Zizioulas, and Volf. Arguing that the immanent identity of the Spirit is reprised on a series of expanding stages (Christologically, soteriologically, and, most pertinently here, ecclesiologically), Liston concludes that the Church can be characterized as existing in any and all relationships where, by the Spirit, the love of Christ, is offered and returned.

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