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 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). "
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.
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.
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.
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.