This book presents a powerful, attractive, religiously compelling portrait of the thought of a major Christian theologian who might, for this book, have remained only an obscure name in the handbooks of patrology. It is based on an intelligent and careful reading of Maximus's own writings. Here the history of theology has become itself a way of theological reflection.
Key Elements of the Emergent ChrTransformationistian Cosmology
Author: Robert Govaerts
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
This book presents a realistic and thoroughly spiritual outlook upon the entire created reality. It lets us envisage that various created entities are participant in a relationship with God that becomes increasingly one of an intimate personal quality; that is, a relationship of love. It thus invites discernment that the universal reality is valuable in its own right and not only as a good for the use of humanity. Drawing mainly upon Scripture, ancient writers (especially Maximus the Confessor), as well as contemporary natural sciences, this book encourages the reader to perceive human salvation not as a lifting of humanity out of creation, but as a transformation into God's presence in the midst of the wider created order. It shows that Christian faith at its best does not exclude the wider creation but provides us with insight and hope for a harmonious being-in-God that is inclusive of creation. It shows that Christian faith can be a resource that helps overcome the ecological crisis.
In From Laws to Liturgy Edward Epsen shows that, using an idealist metaphysics as a tool, one can give coherent theological expression to biblical revelation about creation in a manner that is conversant with explanatory issues in philosophy and science.
This study contextualizes the achievement of a strategically crucial figure in Byzantium's turbulent seventh century, the monk and theologian Maximus the Confessor (580-662). Building on newer biographical research and a growing international body of scholarship, as well as on fresh examination of his diverse literary corpus, Paul Blowers develops a profile integrating the two principal initiatives of Maximus's career: first, his reinterpretation of the christocentric economy of creation and salvation as a framework for expounding the spiritual and ascetical life of monastic and non-monastic Christians; and second, his intensifying public involvement in the last phase of the ancient christological debates, the monothelete controversy, wherein Maximus helped lead an East-West coalition against Byzantine imperial attempts doctrinally to limit Jesus Christ to a single (divine) activity and will devoid of properly human volition. Blowers identifies what he terms Maximus's "cosmo-politeian" worldview, a contemplative and ascetical vision of the participation of all created beings in the novel politeia, or reordered existence, inaugurated by Christ's "new theandric energy". Maximus ultimately insinuated his teaching on the christoformity and cruciformity of the human vocation with his rigorous explication of the precise constitution of Christ's own composite person. In outlining this cosmo-politeian theory, Blowers additionally sets forth a "theo-dramatic" reading of Maximus, inspired by Hans Urs von Balthasar, which depicts the motion of creation and history according to the christocentric "plot" or interplay of divine and creaturely freedoms. Blowers also amplifies how Maximus's cumulative achievement challenged imperial ideology in the seventh century—the repercussions of which cost him his life-and how it generated multiple recontextualizations in the later history of theology.
The bestselling author of The Lamb’s Supper continues his thoughtful exploration of the complex relationship between the Bible and the Catholic liturgy in a revelatory work that will appeal to all readers. Scott Hahn has inspired millions of readers with his perceptive and unique view of Catholic theology and worship, becoming one of the most looked-to contemporary authorities in these areas. In Letter and Spirit, Hahn extends the message he began in The Lamb’s Supper, offering far-reaching and profound insights into what the Bible teaches us about living the spiritual life. For both Christians and Jews, the texts of the Bible are not simply records of historical events. They are intended, through public recitations in churches and synagogues, to bring listeners and readers into the sweeping story of redemption as it unfolds in the Bible. Focusing on the Catholic Mass, Hahn describes how God’s Word is meant to open our eyes to the life-giving power of the sacraments, and how the liturgy brings about the “actualization” of the saving truths of Scripture. Letter and Spirit is a stunningly original contribution to the field of biblical studies and will help Hahn’s many loyal and enthusiastic readers understand the relationship between the Bible and the Mass in a deeper way.
Our world is inundated with war, poverty, disease, economic crises, terrorism, unemployment, fatherlessness, addictions, divorce, abortion, sex trafficking, racism, depression and anxiety, information and stimulation overload, and the list goes on and on. Where do people find relief? How do people find true peace and hope? Do they find it? Do they even find it in church, or do they endlessly and hopelessly search? Truth Therapy is a devotional strategy for spiritual formation and discipleship that employs scripture, basic Christian truths, the names of God, and faith affirmations blended with cognitive-behavioral theory. It is an intentional approach that tackles many of the maladies of our day that impede believers from growing and overcoming in Christ, such as stress, worry, fear, depression, and anxiety. The fundamental premises of Truth Therapy are that lies bind us, but the truth sets us free. The lies we believe are the primary weapons used to defeat us, while the truth we believe can be the key to setting us free. Truth Therapy provides a framework for identifying and evaluating the lies we believe and replacing those lies with the truth found in the word of God for every area of our life. Truth Therapy can be used in multiple settings, such as personal devotions, group devotions, small group study, discipleship, counseling, and in intercession.
New Softcover Edition with Index! Considered by Ratzinger devotees as his greatest work on the Liturgy, this profound and beautifully written treatment of the "great prayer of the Church" will help readers rediscover the Liturgy in all its hidden spiritual wealth and transcendent grandeur as the very center of our Christian life. Among the many liturgical issues that he covers in this work, Cardinal Ratzinger discusses fundamental misunderstandings of the Second Vatican Council's intentions for liturgical renewal, especially the orientation of prayer at the Eucharistic sacrifice, the placement of the tabernacle, and the posture of kneeling. Other important topics he discusses include the following: the essence of worship; Jewish roots and new elements of the Christian Liturgy; the historic and cosmic dimensions of the Liturgy; the relationship of the Liturgy to time and space; art, music, and the Liturgy; active participation of all the faithful; gestures, posture, and vestments. "My purpose here is to assist this renewal of understanding of the Liturgy. Its basic intentions coincide with what Guardini wanted to achieve. The only difference is that I have had to translate what Guardini did at the end of the First World War, in a totally different historical situation, into the context of our present-day questions, hopes, and dangers. Like Guardini, I am not attempting to involve myself with scholarly discussion and research. I am simply offering an aid to the understanding of the faith and to the right way to give the faith its central form of expression in the Liturgy." - Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, from the preface
The Philokalia (literally "love of the beautiful or good") is, after the Bible, the most influential source of spiritual tradition within the Orthodox Church. First published in Greek in 1782 by St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain and St. Macarios of Corinth, the Philokalia includes works by thirty-six influential Orthodox authors from the fourth to fifteenth-centuries such as Maximus the Confessor, Peter of Damascus, Symeon the New Theologian, and Gregory Palamas. Surprisingly, this important collection of theological and spiritual writings has received little scholarly attention. With the growing interest in Orthodox theology, the need for a substantive resource for philokalic studies has become increasingly evident. The purpose of the present volume is to remedy that lack by providing an ecumenical collection of scholarly essays on the Philokalia that will introduce readers to its background, motifs, authors, and relevance for contemporary life and thought.
The Relationship between Old and New Covenants as the Hermeneutical Key for Christian Theology of Religions
Author: Adam Sparks
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
A fundamental requirement in an inclusivist understanding of the relationship between Christianity and other religions is evidence of God's salvific activity outside any knowledge of Christ. This is commonly identified in the religion of Old Testament Israel. On this basis an analogy (the Israel analogy) is drawn between the religion of the old covenant and contemporary non-Christian religions. Closely related is the parallel argument that as Christ has fulfilled the Old covenant, he can also be seen as the fulfillment of other religious traditions and their scriptures. This study outlines the use of the Israel analogy and the fulfillment model, subjecting these concepts to a biblical and theological critique revealing that the exegetical and patristic data are misconstrued in support of these concepts. Furthermore, the Israel analogy and the fulfillment model undermine the sui generis relationship between the old and new covenants and fail to respect the organic, progressive nature of salvation history. They also misconstrue the old covenant and the nature of its fulfillment in the new covenant. The Israel analogy and fulfillment model rely on a correspondence between the chronologically premessianic (Israel) and the epistemologically premessianic (other religions), and therefore consider the BC condition to continue today. In so doing, they undermine the significance of the Christ-event by failing to appreciate the decisive effect of this event on history and the nature of existence. It marks a radical turn in salvation history, a crisis point, rendering the BC period complete and fulfilled. Therefore the concept of a continuing premessianic condition or state is seriously flawed, as are the Israel analogy and fulfillment model. Thus the inclusivist paradigm reliant in large part on these defective concepts is also problematic, and proponents of this paradigm need to reconsider its basis.