N.T. Wright takes us on a fascinating journey through ancient beliefs about life after death, from the shadowy figures who inhabit Homer's Hades, through Plato's hope for a blessed immortality, to the first century, where the Greek and Roman world (apart from the Jews) consistently denied any possibility of resurrection. We then examine ancient Jewish beliefs on the same subject, from the Bible to the Dead Sea Scrolls and beyond. This sets the scene for a full-scale examination of early Christian beliefs about resurrection in general and that of Jesus in particular, beginning with Paul and working through to the start of the third century. Wright looks at all the evidence, and asks: Why did the Christians agree with Jewish resurrection belief while introducing into it - across the board - significant modifications? To answer this question we come to the strange and evocative Easter stories in the gospels and asks whether they can have been late inventions. Wright seeks the best historical conclusions about the empty tomb and the belief that Jesus really did rise bodily from the dead, recognizing that it was this belief that caused early Christians to call Jesus 'Son of God'. In doing so, they posed a political challenge as well as a theological one. These challenges retain their power in the twenty-first century.
This book, written for religious and nonreligious people alike in clear and accessible language, explores a teaching central to both Jewish and Christian traditions: the teaching that at the end of time God will cause the dead to live again. Although this expectation, known as the resurrection of the dead, is widely understood to have been a part of Christianity from its beginnings nearly two thousand years ago, many people are surprised to learn that the Jews believed in resurrection long before the emergence of Christianity. In this sensitively written and historically accurate book, religious scholars Kevin J. Madigan and Jon D. Levenson aim to clarify confusion and dispel misconceptions about Judaism, Jesus, and Christian origins. Madigan and Levenson tell the fascinating but little-known story of the origins of the belief in resurrection, investigating why some Christians and some Jews opposed the idea in ancient times while others believed it was essential to their faith. The authors also discuss how the two religious traditions relate their respective practices in the here and now to the new life they believe will follow resurrection. Making the rich insights of contemporary scholars of antiquity available to a wide readership, Madigan and Levenson offer a new understanding of Jewish-Christian relations and of the profound connections that tie the faiths together.
This highly anticipated two-book fourth volume in N. T. Wright's magisterial series, Christian Origins and the Question of God, is destined to become the standard reference point on the subject for all serious students of the Bible and theology. The mature summation of a lifetime's study, this landmark book pays a rich tribute to the breadth and depth of the apostle's vision, and offers an unparalleled wealth of detailed insights into his life, times, and enduring impact.
At the center of Christianity is Jesus of Nazareth--whose maleness is used by many to justify the subordination of women and to emphasize that men, rather than women, better represent Jesus. This raises a number of questions that are the subject of this book. What is the significance of Jesus' maleness? Does it reveal the character of God? Is it foundational for the gospel? Is Jesus' maleness associated with an ongoing created order of male priority? Our answers will affect Christianity's task of love, justice, and reconciliation in a world that is characterized by the global marginalization, oppression, and abuse of women.
Liturgical Theology at the Margins of Life and Death
Author: Bruce T. Morrill
Publisher: Liturgical Press
Would many believers consider a wake or funeral an act of worship? What does it mean to say that in anointing the sick or administering Viaticum to the dying humans are healed? Such questions plumb the biblical and traditional depths of the paschal mystery. Just as Jesus' ministry at the social-religious margins revealed the center of his faith in God'??s reign, so also the church's ministry to sickness and death reveals much about the baptismal and Eucharistic worship so central to its entire life. In Divine Worship and Human Healing Bruce Morrill turns to the rites serving the sick, dying, deceased, and grieving to show why sacramental liturgy is so fundamental to the life of faith. Readers will appreciate both his compelling narratives from actual pastoral experience and his engagement with biblical, theological, historical, and social-scientific resources. Morrill invites readers to discover how the liturgical ministry of healing discloses God's merciful love amid communities of faith. Jesuit Father Bruce Morrill discusses new book on Liturgical Theology from Jesuit Conference USA on Vimeo. Bruce T. Morrill, SJ, holds the Edward A. Maloy Chair of Catholic Studies in the divinity school at Vanderbilt University where he is also Professor of Theological Studies. In addition to numerous journal articles, book chapters, and reviews, he has published several books, most recently Encountering Christ in the Eucharist: The Paschal Mystery in People, Word, and Sacrament (Paulist Press, 2012). His most recent book with liturgical Press is Divine Worship and Human Healing: Liturgical Theology at the Margins of Life and Death Pueblo/Liturgical Press, 2009). "
Harold W. Attridge has engaged in the interpretation of two of the most intriguing literary products of early Christianity, the Gospel according to John and the Epistle to the Hebrews. His essays explore the literary and cultural traditions at work in the text and its imaginative rhetoric aiming to deepen faith in Christ by giving new meaning to his death and exaltation. His essays on John focus on the literary artistry of the final version of the gospel, its playful approach to literary genres, its engaging rhetoric, its delight in visual imagery. He situates that literary analysis of both works within the context of the history of religion and culture in the first century, with careful attention to both Jewish and Greco-Roman worlds. Several essays, focusing on the phenomena connected with "Gnosticism", extend that religio-historical horizon into the life of the early Church and contribute to the understanding of the reception of these two early Christian masterpieces.
How to Correct Enlightenment Assumptions about God, Miracles, and Free Will
Author: Ric Machuga
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
- Is the existence of God a matter of faith or knowledge? - Does God sometimes act miraculously or are there physical causes for everything? - Is morality absolute or relative? - Are humans truly free or does God's sovereignty determine everything? - When bad things happen, is God the cause or are they the fault of humans? Too frequently Christians answer these questions with a Yes to one side and a No to the other side. Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth answer Yes to both. Following their model, Machuga defends a "third way" which transcends the Enlightenment dichotomies of fideism vs. rationalism, supernaturalism vs. naturalism, relativism vs. absolutism, free will vs. predestination, and God's justice vs. his mercy. Machuga begins by showing how these false dichotomies grew out of the Enlightenment assumptions of mechanism, universal quantification, and mono-causation. He then corrects these demonstrably dubious assumptions by articulating a theory of dual-causation. The result is a thoroughly biblical understanding of God, miracles, and free will that can withstand the contemporary criticisms of both science and philosophy.
Studying the New Testament requires a determination to encounter this collection of writings on its own terms. This classic introduction by Charles B. Puskas, revised with C. Michael Robbins, provides helpful guidance. Since the publication of the first edition, which was in print for twenty years, a host of new and diverse cultural, historical, social-scientific, socio-rhetorical, narrative, textual, and contextual studies has been examined. Attentive also to the positive reviews of the first edition, the authors retain the original tripartite arrangement on 1) the world of the New Testament, 2) interpreting the New Testament, and 3) Jesus and early Christianity. This volume supplies readers with pertinent primary and secondary material. The new edition carries on a genuine effort to be nonsectarian, and although it is more of a critical introduction than a general survey, it is recommended to midlevel college and seminary students and to anyone who wants to be better informed about the New Testament.
The Origin of Christology and the History of Jewish-Hellenistic Religion
Author: Martin Hengel
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
This work significantly advances the critical discussion of New Testament Christology. Hengel examines the titles Son and God. He points toward an inner consistency and dynamic in the development of the doctrine of Christ in primitive Christianity as the movement proceeded from the Gospels' account of the death of Jesus to the high Christology present in the Pauline writings. Historical scholarship and theological -- one might even say dogmatic -- questions must not stand in unresolved contradiction. On the contrary, the historian misunderstands the nature of New Testament Christology if he does not grasp its theological concern and its inner consistency, while a dogmatic approach that does not take seriously the historical course of Christianity is in danger of becoming no more than abstract speculation. It is therefore vitally important to unite historical research and the theological search for truth.
New Testament theology ought to be both descriptive and constructive-this is the argument of New Testament Theology: Extending the Table. According to Isaak, New Testament theology is descriptive in that it deals with the accounts that people narrate of their experience with Yahweh, the God of Israel, in the light of Easter. It is constructive in that it joins the diverse testimonies of the New Testament writers into a textured and thick space within which contemporary followers of Jesus continue to be shaped by the ancient yet living Spirit of God. Isaak's approach is historical, thematic, and theological in orientation. It explores the conversation taking place "around the table," where the writers of the NT share their guiding vision of God's saving work among them, and their passion for the Christian church engaged in God's mission. The differing perspectives of the New Testament authors are held together without reduction, forming a deep and rich space within which ongoing community reflection and praxis can take place.
Pentecostal and charismatic renewal movements have seen great growth over the last century and have engaged with many Christian traditions. Yet there are signs that all is not well, and there is a need to develop theologies of renewal that engage with practice and across the traditions if the movements are to continue to grow. In particular, this book seeks an ecumenical engagement between David Watson and Thomas Merton, leaders in the charismatic and monastic renewal movements. The aim is to reflect on the theological roots of these renewal movements through a study of particular people who lived them in practice and sought to help others understand how the triune God was at work. This is done against the wider background of contemporary renewalist theology to develop constructive proposals for renewal theology in the future. Receptive ecumenism provides the method for bringing the different voices into conversation in ways that also point forward in approaches to ecumenical dialogue. It is thus a study relevant to those seeking new ways in theology, those involved in renewal and ecumenical movements, students of Thomas Merton, and all who seek to better understand the Christian renewal movements that have swept the world.
A Canonical Approach to the Theology of the New Testament
Author: Matthew Y. Emerson
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
In Christ and the New Creation, Matthew Emerson takes a fresh approach to understanding New Testament theology by using a canonical methodology. Although typically confined to Old Testament theology, Emerson sees fruitfulness in applying this method to New Testament theology as well. Instead of a thematic or book-by-book analysis, Emerson attempts to trace the primary theological message of the New Testament through paying attention to its narrative and canonical shape. He concludes that the order of the books of the New Testament emphasize the story of Christ's inauguration, commissioning, and consummation of the new creation.
In einer Phase von Selbstzweifeln und Depression gerät Emmanuel Carrère in eine Krise des Unglaubens. Er wendet sich dem Christentum zu und versucht, sich zum Glauben zu überzeugen. Nach einer Zeit der intensiven Auseinandersetzung mit den Ursprüngen des Christentums und dem Versuch, konsequent den christlichen Idealen zu folgen, gerät er in eine zweite Krise, eine Krise des Glaubens. In radikaler Ehrlichkeit stellt sich der vernunft- und psychoanalysegeprägte Pariser Intellektuelle der Gretchenfrage und der eigenen Tradition : Was bedeutet uns der Glaube, was uns persönlich und was unserer Gesellschaft ? Um dieser Frage auf den Grund zu gehen, vertieft er sich in die Anfänge des Christentums, er findet Identifikationsfiguren in Paulus, dem Revolutionär, Lukas, dem Intellektuellen und fragt nach der Kraft, mit der es ihnen gelang, etwas zu glauben, was niemand sonst glaubte und eine so machtvolle Tradition zu begründen. Er bringt diese überaus fesselnde frühe Geschichte des Christentums, voll politischer und gesellschaftlicher Unruhen und Intrigen, dem Leser so nahe, dass dieser unmittelbar herausgefordert wird, sein eigenes Verhältnis zur Tradition und zum Glauben zu hinterfragen. Carrère gelingt es in diesem einzigartigen und brisanten Buch, seine eigene Lebens- und Glaubensgeschichte mit der historischen Handlung zu verweben und den Leser mit den unendlichen Facetten des Glaubens und Nichtglaubens zu konfrontieren. Ob ablehnend oder bejahend : An den Fragen des Glaubens kommt heute niemand vorbei.
In this substantial volume, Thomas Schreiner takes up the study of New Testament theology, looking for the themes that emerge from a detailed reading of the whole rather than considering the individual writings separately. Two themes in particular emerge. The first concerns redemptive history and the kingdom of God. The New Testament writers adopt the Old Testament vision of God's reign and affirm that it has come in Jesus Christ, although final fulfillment is yet to come. Second, the ultimate goal of the kingdom is God's glory. Schreiner goes on to relate these themes to the life of the believer and the community of faith. Pastors and students will find this a comprehensive and illuminating survey of the unifying themes found throughout the New Testament.