Emerging Scholars

Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers

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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The Christian Faith, and the unpublished Ethics.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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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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Illumination in Basil of Caesareas's Doctrine of the Holy Spirit

by Timothy P. McConnell

If Basil of Caesarea receives mention in a standard course of lectures on Christian theology or history it is as the first person to write a dedicated discourse on the Holy Spirit. Ironically, the primary question about Basil for scholars is whether he fully believed in the divinity of the Holy Spirit himself.

Timothy McConnell argues that Basil did regard the Holy Spirit as fully divine and an equal Person of the Holy Trinity. However, Basil refused to use philosophical terminology to make the point, preferring instead to prove the divinity of the Holy Spirit by what the Spirit himself revealed through divine act and Holy Scripture. Thus, “illumination” becomes the primary paradigm that Basil used to argue the divinity of the Holy Spirit, rather than philosophical rationalism of his time.

What Basil called illumination, later theologians would come to refer to as ‘theology of revelation’ setting the stage for this study’s high relevance for contemporary thought.

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In Defense of Doctrine

Evangelicalism, Theology, and Scripture

by Rhyne R. Putman

Questions surrounding the relationship of Scripture and doctrine are legion within the Protestant tradition. How can doctrine develop over time and maintain fidelity to the sacred text, especially for communities who cling to the Reformation principle of sola scriptura? Does not an appeal to contemporary, constructive theology belie commonly held Protestant and Evangelical convictions about the sufficiency of Scripture? Does admission and acceptance of doctrinal development result in a kind of reality-denying theological relativism? And in what way can a growing, postcanonical tradition maintain a sense of continuity with the faith of the New Testament? This study is an apologetic for the ongoing, constructive theological task in Protestant and Evangelical traditions. It suggests that doctrinal development can be explained as a hermeneutical phenomenon and that insights from hermeneutical philosophy and the philosophy of language can aid theologians in constructing explanatory theses for particular theological problems associated with the facts of doctrinal development, namely, questions related to textual authority, reality depiction, and theological identity. Joining the recent call to theological interpretation of Scripture, Putman provides a constructive model that forwards a descriptive and normative pattern for reading Scripture and theological tradition together.

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Innovation within Tradition

Joseph Ratzinger and Reading the Women of Scripture

by Mary Frances McKenna

Innovation within Tradition is an exploration of the meaning and implications of Joseph Ratzinger’s biblical interpretation of the women of salvation history. Mary Frances McKenna argues that Ratzinger’s work, through his development and refinement of the church’s tradition, brings the important role and significance of the female characters of Scripture to the fore by placing them at the heart of Christian faith. Explicating the pope emeritus’s concept of a “female line in the Bible,” which has a profound impact on the meaning and interpretation of the women of salvation history, the volume shows that this concept illustrates the practical value and creative nature of his approach to theology and biblical interpretation. Pivotal to the argument are questions around the findings on the notion of person, feminist theology, salvation history, and Mary, as well as the use of history in theology and biblical interpretation and the potential for the continuing development and deepening of the church’s comprehension of the meaning of revelation. The book advances a constructive approach, in coordination with these questions, for a Trinitarian theology of society, addresses old theological issues anew, and provides a starting point for an interdenominational understanding of Mary.

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