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Alef, Mem, Tau

Kabbalistic Musings on Time, Truth, and Death

Elliot Wolfson

This highly original, provocative, and poetic work explores the nexus of time, truth, and death in the symbolic world of medieval kabbalah. Demonstrating that the historical and theoretical relationship between kabbalah and western philosophy is far more intimate and extensive than any previous scholar has ever suggested, Elliot R. Wolfson draws an extraordinary range of thinkers such as Frederic Jameson, Martin Heidegger, Franz Rosenzweig, William Blake, Julia Kristeva, Friedrich Schelling, and a host of kabbalistic figures into deep conversation with one another. Alef, Mem, Tau also discusses Islamic mysticism and Buddhist thought in relation to the Jewish esoteric tradition as it opens the possibility of a temporal triumph of temporality and the conquering of time through time.

The framework for Wolfson’s examination is the rabbinic teaching that the word emet, "truth," comprises the first, middle, and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, alef, mem, and tau, which serve, in turn, as semiotic signposts for the three tenses of time—past, present, and future. By heeding the letters of emet we discern the truth of time manifestly concealed in the time of truth, the beginning that cannot begin if it is to be the beginning, the middle that re/marks the place of origin and destiny, and the end that is the figuration of the impossible disclosing the impossibility of figuration, the finitude of death that facilitates the possibility of rebirth. The time of death does not mark the death of time, but time immortal, the moment of truth that bestows on the truth of the moment an endless beginning of a beginningless end, the truth of death encountered incessantly in retracing steps of time yet to be taken—between, before, beyond.

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Aliens and Sojourners

Self as Other in Early Christianity

By Benjamin H. Dunning

Early Christians spoke about themselves as resident aliens, strangers, and sojourners, asserting that otherness is a fundamental part of being Christian. But why did they do so and to what ends? How did Christians' claims to foreign status situate them with respect to each other and to the larger Roman world as the new movement grew and struggled to make sense of its own boundaries?

Aliens and Sojourners argues that the claim to alien status is not a transparent one. Instead, Benjamin Dunning contends, it shaped a rich, pervasive, variegated discourse of identity in early Christianity. Resident aliens and foreigners had long occupied a conflicted space of both repulsion and desire in ancient thinking. Dunning demonstrates how Christians and others in antiquity capitalized on this tension, refiguring the resident alien as being of a compelling doubleness, simultaneously marginal and potent. Early Christians, he argues, used this refiguration to render Christian identity legible, distinct, and even desirable among the vast range of social and religious identities and practices that proliferated in the ancient Mediterranean.

Through close readings of ancient Christian texts such as Hebrews, 1 Peter, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the Epistle to Diognetus, Dunning examines the markedly different ways that Christians used the language of their own marginality, articulating a range of options for what it means to be Christian in relation to the Roman social order. His conclusions have implications not only for the study of late antiquity but also for understanding the rhetorics of religious alienation more broadly, both in the ancient world and today.

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All Abraham's Children

Changing Mormon Conceptions of Race and Lineage

All Abrahams Children is Armand L. Mausss long-awaited magnum opus on the evolution of traditional Mormon beliefs and practices concerning minorities. He examines how members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have defined themselves and others in terms of racial lineages. _x000B_Mauss describes a complex process of the broadening of these self-defined lineages during the last part of the twentieth century as the modern Mormon church continued its world-wide expansion through massive missionary work._x000B_Mauss contends that Mormon constructions of racial identity have not necessarily affected actual behavior negatively and that in some cases Mormons have shown greater tolerance than other groups in the American mainstream. _x000B_Employing a broad intellectual historical analysis to identify shifts in LDS behavior over time, All Abrahams Children is an important commentary on current models of Mormon historiography._x000B__x000B_

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All According to God's Plan

Southern Baptist Missions and Race, 1945-1970

Alan Scot Willis

Southern Baptists had long considered themselves a missionary people, but when, after World War II, they embarked on a dramatic expansion of missionary efforts, they confronted headlong the problem of racism. Believing that racism hindered their evangelical efforts, the Convention's full-time missionaries and mission board leaders attacked racism as unchristian, thus finding themselves at odds with the pervasive racist and segregationist ideologies that dominated the South. This progressive view of race stressed the biblical unity of humanity, encompassing all races and transcending specific ethnic divisions. In All According to God's Plan, Alan Scot Willis explores these beliefs and the chasm they created within the Convention. He shows how, in the post-World War II era, the most respected members of the Southern Baptists Convention publicly challenged the most dearly held ideologies of the white South.

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All Creation is Groaning

An Interdisciplinary Vision for Life in a Sacred Universe

Weavers; Foreword by Walter BrueggemannCarol J. Dempsey and Russell A. Butkus, Editors and

This multi-academic perspective on contemporary environmental issues reminds us of our oneness with the natural world and what that calls us to as moral creatures. Fashioned as a series of stories based on the model of biblical narrative, these seemingly multivalent voices and perspectives are joined together with biblical stories, references, and theological reflection to create in al Creation Is Groaning a seamless story that is both provocative and revelatory.al Creation Is Groaning provides a clear Vision of living life in a sacred universe. This Vision is linked to the biblical Vision of justice and righteousness for al of creation, and humankind's responsibility to hasten the Vision through a call to ethical practice. Critical and hermeneutical, this book reflects an interdisciplinary approach so as to build bridges of understanding between the Bible and contemporary disciplines."Chapters are *Stories from the Heart, - *New Ways of Knowing and Being Known, - *An Islamic Perspective on the Environment, - *Christian Values, Technology, and the Environment Crisis, - *Feeding the Hungry and Protecting the Environment, - *Mental Cartography in a Time of Environmental Crisis, - *Toward an Understanding of International Geopolitics and the Environment, - *Sustainability: An Eco- Theological Analysis, - *The Stewardship of Natural and Human Resources, - *Development of Environmental Responsibility in Children, - *An Ecological View of Elders and Their Families: Needs for the Twenty-First Century, - *Symphonies of Nature: Creation and Re-creation, - *A Sense of Place, - and *Hope Amidst Crisis: A Prophetic Vision of Cosmic Redemption. -"

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All Good Books Are Catholic Books

Print Culture, Censorship, and Modernity in Twentieth-Century America

by Una M. Cadegan

Until the close of the Second Vatican Council in 1965, the stance of the Roman Catholic Church toward the social, cultural, economic, and political developments of the twentieth century was largely antagonistic. Naturally opposed to secularization, skeptical of capitalist markets indifferent to questions of justice, confused and appalled by new forms of high and low culture, and resistant to the social and economic freedom of women—in all of these ways the Catholic Church set itself up as a thoroughly anti-modern institution. Yet, in and through the period from World War I to Vatican II, the Church did engage with, react to, and even accommodate various aspects of modernity. In All Good Books Are Catholic Books, Una M. Cadegan shows how the Church’s official position on literary culture developed over this crucial period.

The Catholic Church in the United States maintained an Index of Prohibited Books and the National Legion of Decency (founded in 1933) lobbied Hollywood to edit or ban movies, pulp magazines, and comic books that were morally suspect. These regulations posed an obstacle for the self-understanding of Catholic American readers, writers, and scholars. But as Cadegan finds, Catholics developed a rationale by which they could both respect the laws of the Church as it sought to protect the integrity of doctrine and also engage the culture of artistic and commercial freedom in which they operated as Americans. Catholic literary figures including Flannery O’Connor and Thomas Merton are important to Cadegan’s argument, particularly as their careers and the reception of their work demonstrate shifts in the relationship between Catholicism and literary culture. Cadegan trains her attention on American critics, editors, and university professors and administrators who mediated the relationship among the Church, parishioners, and the culture at large.

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All in Sync

How Music and Art Are Revitalizing American Religion

Robert Wuthnow

Robert Wuthnow shows how music and art are revitalizing churches and religious life across the nation in this first-ever consideration of the relationship between religion and the arts. All in Sync draws on more than four hundred in-depth interviews with church members, clergy, and directors of leading arts organizations and a new national survey to document a strong positive relationship between participation in the arts and interest in spiritual growth. Wuthnow argues that contemporary spirituality is increasingly encouraged by the arts because of its emphasis on transcendent experience and personal reflection. This kind of spirituality, contrary to what many observers have imagined, is compatible with active involvement in churches and serious devotion to Christian practices.

The absorbing narrative relates the story of a woman who overcame a severe personal crisis and went on to head a spiritual direction center where participants use the arts to gain clarity about their own spiritual journeys. Readers visit contemporary worship services in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Boston and listen to leaders and participants explain how music and art have contributed to the success of these services. All in Sync also illustrates how music and art are integral parts of some Episcopal, African American, and Orthodox worship services, and how people of faith are using their artistic talents to serve others.

Besides examining the role of the arts in personal spirituality and in congregational life, Wuthnow discusses how clergy and lay leaders are rethinking the role of the imagination, especially in connection with traditional theological virtues. He also shows how churches and arts organizations sometimes find themselves at odds over controversial moral questions and competing claims about spirituality. Accessible, relevant, and innovative, this book is essential for anyone searching for a better understanding of the dynamic relationships among religion, spirituality, and American culture.

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All Things Are Possible

The Healing and Charismatic Revivals in Modern America

David Edwin Harrell, Jr.

"... a book about healing revivalists that takes them seriously and treats them fairly." —Journal of Southern History

"... will be a definitive work for some years to come." —Reviews in American History

"Harrell has obviously attended countless rallies, read sheafs of literature, and personally interviewed many of the principals. He... tell[s] the story in a largely biographical format. This makes for lively reading." —Harvey G. Cox, New York Times Book Review

"... will attract readers interested in the reasons behind the various fat and lean periods among revivalists." —Publishers Weekly

"All Things Are Possible is the first book to tell the story of the enterprisers who have personal followings. The narrative is full of surprises: of seriousness and scandal strangely blended. Professor Harrell has done a staggering amount of research in hard to discover sources; his scholarship is impressive and he is eminently fair-minded. Here is a missing link in the chain of American religious movements." —Martin E. Marty, The University of Chicago Divinity School

"Harrell’s book will doubtless be the definitive work on the subject for a long while—who else will wade through Healing Waters and Miracle Magazine with such fastidious care?" —The Kirkus Reviews

This is the first objective history of the great revivals that swept the country after World War II. It tells the story of the victories and defeats of such giants of the revival as William Branham, Oral Roberts, Jack Coe, T. L. Osborn, A. A. Allen. It also tells of the powerful present day evangelists who are carrying on the revival, including Robert Schambach and Morris Cerullo. The book includes pictures of Schambach, Allen, Cerullo, Branham, Roberts, Osborn, Coe and many others. Those who lived through the great revival of the 1950’s and 1960’s will be thrilled to read about those exciting days. Those who do not remember those days need to read this book to see what has led us up to this present moment in time.

David Edwin Harrell, Jr. is a professor of history at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. He has tried to write this book in an objective way, although you may not agree with all that he says. Dr. Harrell has visited Schambach revivals.

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All Things Human

Henry Codman Potter and the Social Gospel in the Episcopal Church

Michael Bourgeois

In addition to being the sixth bishop of the Diocese of New York, Henry Codman Potter (1835-1908) was a prominent voice in the Social Gospel movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This book, the first in-depth study of Potter's life and work, examines his career in the Episcopal church as well as the origins and legacy of his progressive social views. _x000B__x000B_As industrialization and urbanization spread in the nineteenth century, the Social Gospel movement sought to apply Christian teachings to effect improvements in the lives of the less fortunate. Potter was firmly in this tradition, concerning himself especially with issues of race, the place of women in society, questions of labor and capital, and what he called "political righteousness." Placing Potter against the wider backdrop of nineteenth-century American Protestantism, Bourgeois explores the experiences and influences that led him to espouse these socially conscious beliefs, to work for social reform, and to write such works as Sermons of the City (1881) and The Citizen in His Relation to the Industrial Situation (1902). _x000B__x000B_In telling Potter's remarkable story, All Things Human stands as a valuable contribution to intellectual and religious history as well as an exploration of the ways in which religion and society interact.

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All You That Labor

Religion and Ethics in the Living Wage Movement

C. Snarr, 0, 0

“Provides a clear and thoughtful analysis of the living wage and worker justice movements and how they are grounded in Christian social thought. As an activist scholar, Snarr bridges the gap that often exists between the academy and activists. All You That Labor encourages and challenges the movement in a refreshingly honest, yet respectful, manner. A superb new work that activists, as well as scholars, should read!”

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