Surveying the barriers that contemporary thinking has erected between the natural and the supernatural, between earth and heaven, Hans Boersma issues a wake-up call for Western Christianity. Both Catholics and evangelicals, he says, have moved too far away from a sacramental mindset, focusing more on the here-and-now than on the then-and-there. Yet, as Boersma points out, the teaching of Jesus, Paul, and St. Augustine indeed, of most of Scripture and the church fathers is profoundly otherworldly, much more concerned with heavenly participation than with earthly enjoyment. In Heavenly Participation Boersma draws on the wisdom of great Christian minds ancient and modern Irenaeus, Gregory of Nyssa, C. S. Lewis, Henri de Lubac, John Milbank, and many others. He urges Catholics and evangelicals alike to retrieve a sacramental worldview, to cultivate a greater awareness of eternal mysteries, to partake eagerly of the divine life that transcends and transforms all earthly realities. Hans Boersma makes a superb contribution to evangelical theological reflection in this well-designed book, and it goes a long way to drawing us back from the brink of a fashionable evangelical tendency to reductive historicism. His re-situation of the doctrine of the Incarnation in its historic sacramental language and thought opens up the way to a deeper understanding of the truths of faith that evangelicals and Catholics alike seek to comprehend and nurture. David Lyle Jeffrey Baylor University Theology at its best, says Hans Boersma, is less interested in comprehending the truth than in participating in it. Skillfully marshalling passages from the church fathers and medieval theologians and drawing judiciously on contemporary evangelical and Catholic thinkers, Boersma shows that theology is not primarily an intellectual enterprise but a spiritual discipline by which one enters into the truth and is mastered by it. Though this sacramental tapestry, as he calls it, is as old as the church, it is refreshing to have it presented anew in this engaging book. Robert Louis Wilken University of Virginia
In discussions of worship, the term ’participation’ covers a lot of ground. It refers not only to concrete acts in gathered liturgy, but also to some of the loftiest claims of Christian theology. In this book, Alan Rathe probes the ways in which North American evangelicals have in recent years regarded the landscape of participation. Rathe presents a broad review of evangelical worship literature through a lens borrowed from medieval theology. This brings into surprising focus not only evangelical understandings but also evangelical identities and the historical traditions they reflect, and offers fresh perspectives on such current theological concerns as God’s triunity, missio Dei, and the practical theology of participation. Offering a fresh contribution to a young but important discipline, the liturgically-informed study of evangelical worship practice, this book reconnects the evangelical tradition to the ’Great Tradition’ and in the process re-appropriates classic concepts that are full of promise for contemporary ecumenical dialogue.
A Biannual Journal of Theology, Culture, and History
Author: Gannon Murphy
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
American Theological Inquiry (ATI) reaches thousands of Christian scholars, clergy, and other interested parties, primarily in the U.S. and U.K. The journal was formed in 2007 by Gannon Murphy (PhD Theology, Univ. Wales, Lampeter; Presbyterian/Reformed) and Stephen Patrick (PhD Philosophy, Univ. Illinois; Eastern Orthodox) to open up space for Christian scholars who affirm the Ecumenical Creeds to contribute research throughout the broader Christian scholarly community in America and the West. The purpose of ATI is to provide an inter-tradition forum for scholars who affirm the historic Ecumenical Creeds of Christendom to constructively communicate contemporary theologies, developments, ideas, commentaries, and insights pertaining to theology, culture, and history toward reforming and elevating Western Christianity. ATI seeks a critical function as much or more so as a quasi-ecumenical one. The purpose is not to erase or weaken the distinctives of the various ecclesial traditions, but to widen the dialogue and increase inter-tradition understanding while mutually affirming Christ's power to transform culture and the importance of strengthening Western Christianity with special reference to Her historic, creedal roots. "Theologians, would-be theologians, and the theologically attentive will want to check out American Theological Inquiry." ~ Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009), First Things
Of York, Mariner; who Lived Eight-and-twenty Years in an Uninhabited Island on the Coast of America, Near the Mouth of the Great River Oroonoque. With an Account of His Deliverance Thence, and His After Surprizing Adventures. Complete in One Volume
Could it be that we have lost touch with some basic human realities in our day of high-tech efficiency, frenetic competition, and ceaseless consumption? Have we turned from the moral, the spiritual, and even the physical realities that make our lives meaningful? These are metaphysical questions -questions about the nature of reality- but they are not abstract questions. These are very down to earth questions that concern power and the collective frameworks of belief and action governing our daily lives. This book is an introduction to the history, theory, and application of Christian metaphysics. Yet this book is not just an introduction, it is also a passionately argued call for a profound change in the contemporary Christian mind. Paul Tyson argues that as Western cultures Christian Platonist understanding of reality was replaced by modern pragmatic realism, we turned not just from one outlook on reality to another, but away from reality itself. This book seeks to show that if we can recover this ancient Christian outlook on reality, reframed for our day, then we will be able to recover a way of life that is in harmony with human and divine truth.
"As revolutionary forces gather in the Lacandon jungle of southern Mexico in the fall of 1993, an idealistic American priest vanishes from his post in San Cristobal de Las Casas. The church, immersed in trying to negotiate a peaceful solution to the escalating conflict between wealthy landowners and poverty-stricken indigenas, remains strangely silent in the face of his disappearance. When his sister, only thirty-four but already a hardened battlefield photojournalist, finds out what is going on, she flies to Central America to find him, applying for a job assisting a taciturn Dutch Mayanist in order to provide herself with a cover story. But as it turns out, he, too, is on a secret quest. From the great pyramids of Tikal to the graceful palaces of Palenque to the shadowy guerrilla camps of the vast Lacandon, A Land Without Sin is a modern-day journey into the heart of darkness"--P.  of dust jacket.
Theology after Heidegger must take into account history and language as constitutive elements in the pursuit of meaning. Quite often, this prompts a hurried flight from metaphysics to an embrace of an absence at the center of Christian narrativity. In this book, Conor Sweeney explores the "postmodern" critique of presence in the context of sacramental theology, engaging the thought of Louis-Marie Chauvet and Lieven Boeve. Chauvet is an influential postmodern theologian whose critique of the perceived onto-theological constitution of presence in traditional sacramental theology has made big waves, while Boeve is part of a more recent generation of theologians who even more wholeheartedly embrace postmodern consequences for theology. Sweeney considers the extent to which postmodernism a la Heidegger upsets the hermeneutics of sacramentality, asking whether this requires us to renounce the search for a presence that by definition transcends us. Against both the fetishization of presence and absence, Sweeney argues that metaphysics has a properly sacramental basis, and that it is only through this reality that the dialectic of presence and absence can be transcended. The case is made for the full but restless signification of the mother's smile as the paradigm for genuine sacramental presence.
"If Christian hope is reduced to the salvation of the soul in a heaven beyond death," wrote Jürgen Moltmann, "it loses its power to renew life and change the world, and its flame is quenched." Thomas Rausch, SJ, agrees, arguing that too often the hoped-for eschaton has been replaced by an almost exclusive emphasis on the "four last things"-death and judgment, heaven and hell. But eschatology cannot be reduced to the individual salvation. In his new book, Rausch explores eschatology's intersections with Christology, soteriology, ecclesiology, and, perhaps most intriguingly, liturgy. With the early Christians, he sees God's future as a radically social reality, already present initially in Christian worship, especially in the celebration of the Eucharist. This fresh and insightful work of theology engages voices both ancient and contemporary.