The Psychology of Christian Character Formation offers clergy and those preparing for ministry some of the potential riches provided by rapidly developing branches of contemporary scientific psychology of which they might otherwise be unaware. Joanna Collicutt, an experienced psychologist and theological educator, focuses on the psychology of character, virtue and spirituality. Furthermore, the psychology is not used to support training in pastoral ministry to others, but rather to support the reader’s own self-awareness and spiritual growth. Joanna Collicutt understands Christian formation as Christian communities and their members growing up into conformity with the character of Christ through the action of the Holy Spirit. This is explored in the three parts of the book: first, an exploration of the process of Christian formation that includes a detailed analysis of the character of Jesus of Nazareth; secondly some focused psychology aimed at supporting an informed self-awareness in the reader; finally – and the most lengthy section – a series of chapters devoted to using psychological insights to help cultivate the Christ-like characteristics identified in the first section.
Lutheran Studies of the Law, Anthropology, Worship, and Virtue
Author: Gifford A. Grobien
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Category: Christian ethics
Ethical Formation in Christian Worship investigates worship and formation in view of Christian anthropology, particularly union with Christ. Traditions which value justification by faith wrestle to some degree with how to describe and encourage ethical formation when salvation and righteousness are presented as gracious and complete. The dialectic of law and gospel has suggested to some that forgiveness and the advocacy of ethical norms contend with each other. By viewing justification and formation in light of Christ's righteousness which is both imputed and imparted, it is more readily seen that forgiveness and ethics complement each other. In justification, God converts a person, by which he grants new character. Traditional Lutheran anthropology says that this regeneration grants a new nature in mystical union with Jesus Christ. By exploring the Finnish Luther School led by Tuomo Mannermaa, Gifford A. Grobien explains how union with Christ imparts righteousness and the corresponding new character to the believer. Furthermore, as means of grace, the Word and sacraments are the means of establishing union with Christ and nurturing new character. Considering Louis-Marie Chauvet's "symbolic order" and Bernd Wannenwetsch's understanding of worship as Christianity's unique "form of life," Grobien argues that worship practices are the foundational and determinative context in which grace is offered and in which the distinctively Christian ethos supports virtues consistent with Christian character. This understanding is also coordinated with Stanley Hauerwas's narrative ethics and the traditional Lutheran practice of ethical instruction by the Ten Commandments.
A Christian Education in the Virtues examines the connection between human nature and human flourishing. It draws on ancient and medieval sources to explore the formation of the person based on a Christian anthropology, emphasising the communal nature of the virtuous life and provides a richer approach to the question of contemporary character education. The book argues that the only way to understand and construct our character virtues is to have a clear picture of what is the purpose and meaning of human life. It highlights the importance of engaging with moral issues and makes the case that, for Christian educators, human flourishing is inseparable from God’s active relationship to human beings. The book also explores a teleological approach to character education goals. To educate the whole person in the light of an all-embracing Christian worldview is challenged by secular and liberal ideology and is often seen as irrational to the modern mind. Overall, the text seeks to demonstrate that many aspects of a Neo-Aristotelian-Thomist theoretical underpinning for Christian character education holds out a viable option for Christians. It therefore argues the case for the educational potential of Christian character education. This important book will be essential reading for academics, researchers and students in the fields of character and virtue education, religious education and the philosophy of education. The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com/books/oa-mono/10.4324/9781003141877, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.
New Directions from Philosophy, Psychology, and Theology
Author: Christian B. Miller
Publisher: Oxford University Press
This collection contains some of the best new work being done on the subject of character from the perspectives of philosophy, theology, and psychology. From creating a virtual reality simulation of the Milgram shock experiments to understanding the virtue of modesty in Muslim societies to defending soldiers' moral responsibility for committing war crimes, these 31 chapters break much new ground and significantly advance our understanding of character. The main topics covered fall under the heading of our beliefs about character, the existence and nature of character traits, character and ethical theory, virtue epistemology, the nature of particular virtues, character development, and challenges to character and virtue from neuroscience and situationism. These papers stem from the work of the Character Project (www.thecharacterproject.com) at Wake Forest University, generously supported by the John Templeton Foundation. This collection is truly unique in featuring the work of many young, up-and-coming voices in their fields with new perspectives to offer. Together their work will significantly shape discussions of character for years to come.
on Character Formation, Ethical Education, and the Communication of Values in Late Modern Pluralistic Societies
Author: Michael Welker
Publisher: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt
Late modern pluralistic societies are characterised by an infinitely multi-coloured individuality of their citizens and a wealth of associations and groups. This "plurality", which is difficult to grasp, is welcomed by many people as a source of freedom, but feared by some people inside and many observers outside as a social chaos. However, this plurality is countered by a limited number of so-called "social systems", which are to a large extent characterised by organisational, institutional and normative structures and weight. The overwhelming majority of the contributions in this volume deal with the Christian religion, as pluralistic societies today thrive substantially in Christian environments. Contributions by Peter Carnley, Gregor Etzelmüller, Johannes Eurich, Jennifer Herdt, Admiel Kosman, Piet Naudé, Waihan Ng, Friederike Nüssel, Bernd Oberdorfer, Martin Percy, Stephen Pickard, Raja Sakrani, William Schweiker, Philipp Stoellger, Milton Wan, Renee Ip, and Michael Welker. [Der Einfluss der Religion auf Charakterbildung, ethische Erziehung und Kommunikation von Werten in spätmodernen pluralistischen Gesellschaften] Spätmoderne pluralistische Gesellschaften sind von einer unendlich vielfarbigen Individualität ihrer Bürgerinnen und Bürger und einer Fülle von Zusammenschlüssen und Gruppierungen geprägt. Diese schwer zu fassende "Pluralität" wird von vielen Menschen als Quellgrund der Freiheit begrüßt, von manchen Innenstehenden und vielen Außenstehenden aber auch als soziales Chaos gefürchtet. Doch dieser Pluralität steht eine begrenzte Zahl von sogenannten "sozialen Systemen" gegenüber, die in hohem Maße organisatorisch, institutionell und normativ geprägt sind. Die überwältigende Mehrzahl der Beiträge diese Bandes behandeln die christliche Religion, da pluralistische Gesellschaften heute wesentlich in christlichen Umgebungen gedeihen. This book on the influence of religion on the ethos of pluralistic societies is part of a series of ten international research projects with contributions from all continents. The influences of the market, law, science, politics, media, family, education, medicine and defense will also be examined.
What is mindfulness? And should we as Christians be mindful? Mindfulness programmes are increasingly being used for issues as wide-ranging as depression, pain, employee engagement, and character development, and many Christians are wondering what to make of all this. In this book, experienced psychologists explain what is meant by "being mindful", help readers to view mindfulness more broadly than the context of Buddhism in which it is often framed, and profile the rich Christian tradition of mindful-like practice. By bringing a Christ-centred approach to mindful awareness, the authors demonstrate how to apply this practice to discipleship and spiritual growth. Readers are equipped to decide the extent to which they wish to learn and practice mindfulness, to approach it without fear, and to draw on the good within it to develop their relationship with Jesus.
In today's church, use of the term transformation has become commonplace. Various perspectives are offered on what a Christian view of transformation is--and on how it may be achieved. These often-conflicting views suggest an ecclesial landscape characterized by pluralism, division, fragmentation, confusion, relativism, individualism, pragmatism, and subjectivism. Despite the current interest in transformational theology, the absence of a common, coherent, and integrated vision (and the lack of transformation) is often accepted and affirmed. Re-Envisioning Transformation looks at the possibility of moving toward a vision of transformational theology that is cohesive, unified, broad, effectual, and distinctly Christian. In this book, the contributions of two radically different"theologians of the Christian life" are examined. This provides the basis from which to develop a comprehensive and integrated framework of transformational theology--pointing God's people toward the need to express and live out a distinctly Christian vision.
A Comprehensive Survey of Theory and Best Practice
Author: Martyn Percy
The Study of Ministry is a comprehensive guide to the theory and practice of ministry that attends to historical sources, the social sciences, pastoral theology, ecclesiology and cultural studies. The book argues for the study of ministry to be taken seriously as an aspect of ecclesiology and pastoral theology, providing a stimulating resource both for practising ministers and for all those training for ministry in a range of denominations. Contents Introduction Part One: Understanding Ministry Part Two: Models, Methods, and Resources Part Three: Ministry in Christian Tradition Part Four: Styles of Christian Ministry Part Five: Issues in Christian Ministry Conclusion
Daily Bible Reflections for Lent and Easter on the Lord's Prayer
Author: JOANNA. COLLICUTT
In this updated edition of a classic text, Joanna Collicutt shows how growing as a Christian is rooted in the prayer Jesus gave us. As we pray the Lord's Prayer, we express our relationship with God, absorb gospel values and are also motivated to live them out. As we pray to the Father, in union with the Son, through the power of the Spirit, so we begin to take on the character of Christ.'Her literary style is delightfully unstuffy, tight, direct, and humorous. Collicutt comes across as a familiar friend, a fellow traveller who understands and empathises with the human condition, boldly walking with you to draw you to your true home.'David Wilbourne, former Assistant Bishop of LlandaffPreviously published as a BRF Lent Book.
Even the most casual contemporary observer of Christianity must recognise that the notion of Christian community being identifiable through the mutual love of its members (John 13:35) is difficult to reconcile with the schismatic reality of current ecclesial life. Nonetheless, disagreement remains an ethical subject neglected by theologians. A Theology of Disagreement: New Testament Ethics for Ecclesial Conflicts examines how New Testament texts inform Christian approaches to disagreement. Drawing on New Testament themes, the book explores the nature of an ethic of disagreement, and its practical implications for the church’s public theological witness, as well as its liturgy
Spiritual direction is a burgeoning ministry in today’s church where the emphasis is on joining in with what God is already doing in the world – an approach that presupposes spiritual discernment. This guide explores spiritual direction from biblical and theological perspectives and aims both to inform teaching and equip practitioners with greater reflective skills. Written by two experienced teachers and practitioners, it includes: • God and Spiritual Direction – divine presence and absence, discerning God, relationship and the Trinity, images of the Holy Spirit; • Humanity and God – being made in the image of God, sin, addiction, desire, freedom, psychology in direction; • The Bible and Spiritual Direction – scripture as a source and authority for direction; uses and abuses of the Bible in direction; • Spiritual Direction across the Christian traditions; • Spiritual Direction and the Church – boundaries, accountability and safeguarding.
Done properly, integration enriches our understanding of both Christianity and psychology. Through biblical and theological grounding, this expert overview takes stock of the integration project to date, provides an introduction for those who wish to come on board, highlights work yet to be done, and offers a framework to strategically organize next steps.
Evolutionary Psychology, Christian Faith, and the Quest for Human Flourishing
Author: Justin L. Barrett
Publisher: InterVarsity Press
What does God's creation of humanity through the process of evolution mean for how we think about human flourishing? Combining scientific evidence with wisdom from the Bible and Christian theology, this introduction explores how the field of evolutionary psychology can be a powerful tool for understanding human nature and our distinctively human purpose.
A Guide for Instructors, Administrators, and Accrediting Agencies
Author: Joanne J. Jung
The unfortunate reputation of online courses today is one of little or no effort on the professor's part and little or no learning on the student's part. A missing element in online courses is the kind of mutual engagement between student and instructor that provides not only a higher level of learning but also lasting character formation within the student. Character Formation in Online Education stems from author Joanne Jung's years of experience teaching online courses with the aim of improving the teaching environment for professors and the learning environment for students. By replicating, customizing, and incorporating the best and most effective practices of what a great professor does in on-campus classes, reimagined for an online delivery system, Jung shows how a higher level of learning and transformation can be achieved through online learning communities. Handy and practical, this user-friendly book provides guidance, helpful tools, and effective suggestions for growing learning communities in online courses that are marked by character growth in students—the kind of growth that is central to the mission of Christian higher education.
An Introduction to Worldview Issues, Philosophical Foundations, and Models of Integration
Author: David N. Entwistle
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Professor David Entwistle's Integrative Approaches to Psychology and Christianity is now available in a fully revised 3rd edition. Changes and additions have made throughout this unique volume, including: * 42 additional pages * expanded list of models discussed * more questions for discussions, and * an updated bibliography. As disciplines, psychology and theology share an overlapping interest in the nature and functioning of human beings. This book provides an introduction to many of the worldview issues and philosophical foundations that frame the relationship of psychology and theology, includes scholarly reflection on the integration literature, and surveys five paradigms of possible relationships between psychology and Christianity. The book is designed to help readers become aware of the presuppositional backdrops that each of us brings to these issues, and to understand various approaches for relating psychology and Christianity as partly based on presuppositional assumptions. Questions at the end of each chapter are included to help readers evaluate both the material and their own burgeoning approach to integration. This book is ideal as a textbook for students of psychology and other behavioral and social sciences (social work, sociology, theology, counseling, pastoral counseling) at both the graduate and undergraduate level. It is also written for the broader readership of psychologists, counselors, pastors, and others who are interested in integration. Instructional Resources Professor Entwistle has provided PowerPoint presentations to accompany each chapter of the book. Instructors are free to download these presentations and use them in their classes. Integrative Approaches - 00 - Preface and Introduction Integrative Approaches - 01 - Athens-and-Jerusalem Integrative Approaches - 02 - Faith and Science Integrative Approaches - 03 - The Soul of Psychology Integrative Approaches - 04 - Windows on the World Integrative Approaches - 05 - Epistemology Integrative Approaches - 06 - Metaphysics Integrative Approaches - 07 - Philosophical Anthropology Integrative Approaches - 08 - Models Integrative Approaches - 09 - Enemies Integrative Approaches - 10 - Intermediate-Models Integrative Approaches - 11 - Allies Integrative Approaches - 12 - Research-Practice Integrative Approaches - 13 - Finding-Your-Place Appendix 1: Suggested Assignments
Exploring Our Deepest Questions-- Why Are We Here and Why Does It Matter?
Author: Alister Mcgrath
Publisher: Tyndale Momentum
In Born to Wonder, Alister McGrath, a prolific Oxford scholar, scientist, and theologian, explores the deepest mystery at the heart of life itself. Life is a gift. We never asked to be born. Yet here we are, living in this strange world of space and time, trying to work out what it's all about before the darkness closes in and extinguishes us. We are adrift on a misty, grey sea of ignorance, seeking a sun-kissed island of certainty, on which we might hope to find clear answers to our deepest and most poignant questions. What is the point of life? Why are we here? And what is it about us that makes us want to ask these questions? As far as we know, we're the only species on earth that asks these questions, and dares to hope that we might find an answer. It seems that we are born to wonder, not merely to exist. From time to time, all of us find ourselves overwhelmed by a sense of awe or mystery, often when confronted with the beauty of nature, whether it is a mountain stream or the vast expanse of ocean waters. That is when we see a flicker of a grander vision of reality, perhaps lying beyond the horizons of our experience. It is as if, for only a moment, a veil is removed, and we catch a half-glimpsed sight of a promised land, waiting to be mapped and explored. This sense of wonder fuels much of humanity's creativity and its search for understanding.
Rediscovering the Visual and Poetic Contours of Salvation
Author: Karen Case-Green
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
"Tell all the Truth but tell it slant." (Emily Dickinson) This course follows the contours of the salvation story through the lens of the arts. Putting visual art and poetry in conversation with the Bible, it seeks to engage the imagination. Rather than analyzing the narrative, the reader is invited to behold it and respond to it through "making"--either verbally or visually. At times, the church has treated the imagination like an embarrassing relative. Yet the Bible is image-rich, drawing widely on the imagination, and we are each made in the image of the creator God. It is time to bring the imagination out of the corner! "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Eph 2:10 NIV) Whether following it as a group or reading it alone, this course book will appeal to anyone with an interest in the salvation story and the arts. It is particularly for those who feel permission is needed to pick up a paintbrush--or any other creative medium--just for the love of it.
Three men go on a risky journey through a forbidden Zone in search of fulfillment. They fail. They come home. The end. The plot of Tarkovsky's Stalker is a joke. Taking its title from 2 Corinthians, Perfect in Weakness explores Stalker as a ludic parable. And the subject of this parable is faith. Faith as folly, faith as a dangerous, last-ditch attempt to attain the unattainable. To fail, to fail again, and to carry on regardless. Stalker is about crossing borders, boundaries, conventions. To transgress, to disrupt, to deconstruct is the dark impulse behind Tarkovsky's personal vision. It is also the illicit, revolutionary message at the heart of the gospel: tear down this temple, and have faith. Like one of Deleuze's rhizomes, or David Tracy's fragments, Perfect in Weakness aims to throw out thoughts, ideas, and connections in unexpected (even unintended) directions, drawing new and unlikely texts into the field of film theology--Patristic thought, Christian Neoplatonism, and Renaissance literature. Perfect in Weakness suggests we see cinema itself as the ultimate apocalyptic art form--letting light into the darkness, and then throwing it on a screen.
Reimagining Nature is a new introduction to the fast developing area of natural theology, written by one of the world’s leading theologians. The text engages in serious theological dialogue whilst looking at how past developments might illuminate and inform theory and practice in the present. This text sets out to explore what a properly Christian approach to natural theology might look like and how this relates to alternative interpretations of our experience of the natural world Alister McGrath is ideally placed to write the book as one of the world’s best known theologians and a chief proponent of natural theology This new work offers an account of the development of natural theology throughout history and informs of its likely contribution in the present This feeds in current debates about the relationship between science and religion, and religion and the humanities Engages in serious theological dialogue, primarily with Augustine, Aquinas, Barth and Brunner, and includes the work of natural scientists, philosophers of science, and poets
Christian theology has concentrated too much on issues around guilt and the needs of the perpetrator of sin, but ignored the strong biblical theme of shame and the needs of the sinned-against. This book seeks to address this lack of serious engagement with shame in scripture. Tracing the story of shame through the biblical story of creation, exodus and exile the author shows how key narratives in the Hebrew scriptures, such as those of David and Job can be read as offering commentary on shaming abuse of privilege and power. Ultimately, the book argues, the culmination of scripture is with the ultimate shaming moment – that of God, on the cross. Provocative and timely, the book demonstrates a crucial lens through which to understand scripture, and is a vital resource for preachers and biblical scholars alike.