Emerging Scholars

Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers


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Emerging Scholars

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Divine Simplicity

A Biblical and Trinitarian Account

By Jordan P. Barrett

Divine Simplicity engages recent critics and address one of their major concerns: that the doctrine of divine simplicity is not a biblical teaching. By analyzing the use of Scripture by key theologians from the early church to Karl Barth, Barrett finds that divine simplicity developed in order to respond to theological errors (e.g., Eunomianism) and to avoid misreading Scripture. The volume then explains how divine simplicity can be rearticulated by following a formal analogy from the doctrine of the Trinity in which the divine attributes are identical to the divine essence but are not identical to each other.

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Dogmatic Aesthetics

A Theology of Beauty in Dialogue with Robert W. Jenson

by Stephen John Wright

The identification of God with beauty is one of the most aesthetically rich notions within Christian thought. However, this claim is often at risk of becoming untethered from core Christian theological confessions. To avoid a theological account of beauty becoming a mere projection of our wildest desires, it must be reined in by dogmatics. To make this case, this book employs the thought of Robert W. Jenson to construct a dogmatic aesthetics. Jenson’s whole theological program is directed by exploring the systematic potential of the core doctrines of the faith that finally opens out into a vast vision of the beauty of God and creatures: “God is a great fugue . . . the rest is music.” Taking Jenson’s cue, the account of beauty presented in this book is propelled by a core conviction of Jenson’s theology: the sole analogue between God and creatures is not “being” or any other metaphysical concept, but Jesus Christ.

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Embedded Grace

Christ, History, and the Reign of God in Schleiermacher's Dogmatics

By Kevin M. Vander Schel

The Christian Faith, and the unpublished Ethics. A commanding volume for scholars and students in modern and contemporary theology.

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Embodied Words, Spoken Signs

Sacramentality and the Word in Rahner and Chauvet

By Rhodora E. Beaton

The twentieth century witnessed renewed interest in a Roman Catholic theology of the word. The contributions of Karl Rahner and sacramental theologian Louis-Marie Chauvet demonstrate the Roman Catholic conviction that the word is fundamentally sacramental: it has the capacity to bear God’s presence to humanity.

.Rhodora Beaton examines the work of Rahner and Chauvet to articulate the relationship between word and sacrament within the context of language, culture, and an already graced world as the place of divine self-expression, and analyzes the implications for Trinitarian theology, sacramentality, liturgy, and action.

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Esther and the Politics of Negotiation

Public and Private Spaces and the Figure of the Female Royal Counselor

By Rebecca S. Hancock

Was Esther unique—an anomaly in patriarchal society? Conventionally, scholars see ancient Israelite and Jewish women as excluded from the public world, their power concentrated instead in the domestic realm and exercised through familial structures. Rebecca S. Hancock demonstrates, in contrast, that because of the patrimonial character of ancient Jewish society, the state was often organized along familial lines. The presence of women in roles of queen consort or queen is therefore a key political, and not simply domestic, feature.

Attention to the narrative of Esther and comparison with Hellenistic and Persian historiography depicting “wise women” acting in royal contexts reveals that Esther is in fact representative of a wider tradition. Women could participate in political life structured along familial and kinship lines. Further, Hancock’s demonstration qualifies the bifurcation of “public” (male-dominated) and “private” (female-dominated) space in the ancient Near East.

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Faith in a Hidden God

Luther, Kierkegaard, and the Binding of Isaac

By Elizabeth Palmer

The story of the binding of Isaac both challenges and inspires people who seek to live faithfully in relationship with a God who surpasses our understanding. Combinding the history of exegesis with a theological exploration of the meaning of faith in the face of suffering, this book examines Luther‘s and Kierkegaard‘s lively--and very different--interpretations of Genesis 22 to demonstrate how the way we read the Bible is crucial to the life of faith.

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The Figure of Adam in Romans 5 and 1 Corinthians 15

The New Creation and its Ethical and Social Reconfigurations

By Felipe de Jesus Legarreta-Castillo

It is widely recognized that in some of his letters, Paul develops a Christology based on a comparison between Adam and Christ, and that this Christology has antecedents in Jewish interpretation of Genesis 1–4. But Paul was not concerned simply to develop themes found in scripture.

Felipe Legarreta gives careful attention to patterns of exegesis in Second-Temple Judaism and identifies, for the first time, a number of motifs by which Jews drew ethical implications from the story of Adam and his expulsion from Eden. He then demonstrates that throughout the “Christological” passages in Romans and 1 Corinthians, Paul is taking part in a wider Jewish exegetical and ethical discussion regarding life in the new creation.

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A Free Corrector

Colin Gunton and the Legacy of Augustine

by Joshua NcNall

A Free Corrector evaluates Colin Gunton’s controversial treatment of Augustine’s theological legacy.

While others have critiqued Gunton’s negative reading of Augustine, McNall goes further in addressing Gunton’s argument regarding Augustine’s “afterlife” (that is, the appropriation of Augustine by crucial figures from the medieval era to the dawn of modern thought).

In the end, A Free Corrector argues that while Gunton was indeed unfair to Augustine, not all his claims about Augustine’s legacy may be so easily dismissed. While Gunton was wrong to claim that Augustine’s doctrine of the Trinity was decidedly monistic, it remains viable to argue that Augustine’s view of the mind as the imago Trinitatis would contribute to problems over time. Likewise, on the doctrine of creation, Gunton was overzealous in his criticisms even while he found more support for his claim that Augustine’s “inward turn” would encourage a problematic preference for mind over matter. The result of this study is thus a plea for balance: while Gunton was far too “free” in his correction of Augustine, it is also true that aspects of his Augustinian narrative remain viable.

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Fullness Received and Returned

Trinity and Participation in Jonathan Edwards

By Sen-Kong Tan

Seng-Kong Tan argues that human participation in the divine —a classical theological axiom most notably associated with the Eastern Orthodox tradition—is a central theme in the theology of Jonathan Edwards. This notion, Tan contends, is found in the Trinitarian self-giving and self-communication of God and actualized in the historical event of the incarnation. As such, it is a defining motif for the entire systematic sweep of Edwards’ theology, which Tan utilizes to focus and unpack the contours of Edwards’ theology. Fullness Received and Returned situates Edwards’ thought within the folds of the classical theological tradition, while arguing that Edwards’ is a unique and creative form of Reformed theology.

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Give Me Children or I Shall Die

Children and Communal Survival in Biblical Literature

By Laurel W. Koepf-Taylor

In the subsistence agricultural social context of the Hebrew Bible, children were necessary for communal survival. In such an economy, children’s labor contributes to the family’s livelihood from a young age, rather than simply preparing the child for future adult work. Ethnographic research shows that this interdependent family life contrasts significantly with that of privileged modern Westerners, for whom children are dependents. This text seeks to look beyond the dominant cultural constructions of childhood in the modern West and the moral rhetoric that accompanies them so as to uncover what biblical texts intend to communicate when they utilize children as literary tropes in their own social, cultural, and historical context.

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