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Orthodoxy and Ecumenism

Towards an Active Metanoia

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Razvan Porumb

This book explores the relationship between the Orthodox tradition and the ecumenical practice of engagement with other Christian traditions. This relationship has for a long time been compromised by an underlying tension, as the Orthodox have chosen to participate in ecumenical encounters while – often at the same time – denouncing the ecumenical movement as deficient and illegitimate. The author perceives this relationship to be even more inconsistent since the core of Orthodoxy as professed by the Orthodox is precisely that of re-establishing the unity and catholicity of the Church of Christ. This vision informs Orthodox identity as essentially a Church of exploration, of engagement and dialogue, a Church committed to drive all other traditions, but also itself back to the «right» primordial faith. The book exposes the risk of Orthodox theology turning into an oppositional picture of Orthodoxy as necessarily opposed to a heterodox antipode, rather than being the continuous dynamic reality of the living Church of Christ. The author proposes the rediscovery of a set of paradigms in an ethos of humble, active metanoia that would enable a more plenary ecumenical operation for the Orthodox as well as a renewed awareness of their own spirituality.
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Lukas Ohly

Was gegenwärtig unter dem Stichwort „Digitalisierung" verhandelt wird, pendelt zwischen Heilsphantasien und Katastrophisierung. Die Theologische Ethik tastet sich gegenwärtig noch unsicher an dieses Thema heran. Das Buch legt eine ethische Grundlegung für die Probleme der angewandten Ethik mit künstlich intelligenten und autonomen Maschinen vor. Insbesondere der moralische Status von Robotern und Künstlicher Intelligenz wird bestimmt.

An Robotern treten wesentliche Phänomene intersubjektiver Begegnungen nicht auf. Man kann sich vor ihnen nicht anhaltend schämen und ihre Lernfähigkeit keinem Wesen zurechnen, das lernt. Damit sind theologische Kriterien des Status des Menschen benannt, die sich nicht nachbauen lassen.

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Towards Scientific Metaphysics, Volume 1

In the Circle of the Scientific Metaphysics of Zygmunt Zawirski. Development and Comments on Zawirski’s Concepts and their Philosophical Context

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Krzysztof Śleziński

The book presents results from research conducted by Zygmunt Zawirski on the theory of knowledge, quantum mechanics, logic, ontology and metaphysics.

The works undertaken in the field of logic, methodology and philosophy of science, and in particular the philosophy of nature and natural science testify to a solid preparation for the fundamental task of developing contemporary scientific philosophy. The emerging mathematical natural science did not have those possibilities which emerged in the 20th Century and which Zygmunt Zawirski (1882-1948) used. In the development of scientific metaphysics, he took into account both the achievements of modern logic, mathematics and physics. Zawirski builds scientific metaphysics by referring to empiricism, broadly understood experience. Modern metaphysics should meet high standards of precision and uniqueness, which is why Zawirski attempts to apply the axiomatic method to both the analysis of the theory of physics and the scientific metaphysics.

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Catholic Religious Minorities in the Times of Transformation

Comparative Studies of Religious Culture in Poland and Ukraine

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Edited by Magdalena Zowczak

In the diasporic communities of Roman Catholics in Ukraine (Murafa) and Greek Catholics in Poland (Biały Bór) religion and the local clergy play a dominant role in the process of constructing new identities. Because of the memory of their ancestors’ deportation trauma the Greek Catholics define their Ukrainianness in opposition to their environment. In Roman Catholics’ case, the change of the liturgy’s language is followed by the Polish tradition’s rejection: they feel Ukrainian. The break of the tradition’s transmission path divides the community and directs them towards (pop)cultural homogenization with the Orthodox. The Greek Catholics are also divided because of their new church; universal in the Christian sense, it proves the overcoming of divisions, not accepted by everyone.

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Peace in Zanzibar

Proceedings of the Joint Committee of Religious Leaders in Zanzibar, 2005–2013

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Arngeir Langås

Peace in Zanzibar: Proceedings of the Joint Committee of Religious Leaders in Zanzibar, 2005–2013 brings a multiperspective analytic lens to the Joint Committee of Religious Leaders for Peace (JVD), a unique Christian-Muslim peace initiative in Zanzibar. Drawing on eight years of experience working as a missionary with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania and serving as a member of the JVD itself, in addition to formal fieldwork, Arngeir Langås asks whether Christian-Muslim cooperation can contribute to peace on the East African islands and, if so, how. Situated in the academic field of missiology and taking abductive reasoning as its primary research method, Peace in Zanzibar demonstrates numerous areas of academic interest that can be addressed through studies of interreligious practice, including identity, syncretism and popular religion, the politicization of religion and the religionization of politics, and state-religion models. This book will find a broad and receptive audience among students, interreligious dialogue practitioners, missionaries, theologians, and missiologists.

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Jan Felicjan Terelak

The author of the book provides a comprehensive examination of stress, an integral part of people’s lives. In the first chapter, he reviews the 20th-century theories of stress, from biological mechanisms of stress through medical concepts to contemporary models of psychological stress. The second chapter provides a detailed classification of sources of stress, based on physical, chronobiological, psychological and social factors. In the third chapter, the author focuses on reactions to stress and presents them from physiological, emotional, cognitive and behavioral perspectives. The fourth chapter focuses on two theoretical constructs: resistance to stress and coping with stress. The author presents task-oriented, emotion-oriented and avoidance-oriented strategies of coping with stress and underlines the role of social support in dealing with stress.

The author emphasizes the fact that stress has many faces. It can be seen as "eustress", which has an important motivational function, forcing us to make efforts and achieve life goals, or "distress", which distracts us from achieving our goals and comfort of life.

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For the Life of the World

An Eastern Christian Approach to Nature and Environmental Care

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Robin Gibbons

For the Life of the World: An Eastern Christian Approach to Nature and Environmental Care explores climate change and global ecological issues via the ability of Christianity—one of the world’s most frequently practiced religions—to provide insight. Author Robin Gibbons outlines the tradition of prior Christian involvement in the issue, drawing upon ideas of freely given care and human stewardship of the world. Recently, the issue of climate change and the Christian community’s inability to act against it has been characterized by a disconnect between human life and nature, with the biblical model of human stewardship subsumed by politics, business, and greed. In contrast, this book advocates for embracing an older model of Christian thought, theoretically surmounting the consequences of climate disaster through care and respect for nature.

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Sickness, Stigma and Spiritual Awakening

A Transpersonal Paradigm for Women with Contested Illnesses

Bernadette Masterson

The author set out to explore a phenomenon she had observed amongst a cohort of women living with chronic «invisible», or contested, illnesses. These women appeared to possess a high degree of altruism, ecological awareness, compassion, and a particular quality of empathic presence. What she didn’t expect to find in their narratives were the accounts of harrowing trauma they endured in the medical battleground of contested illnesses. They described the humiliating effects of being dismissed as reliable witnesses to what was happening in their own bodies, and the sequence of adverse consequences for their health and dignity which occurred as a fallout of not being believed by the medical establishment. The illnesses featured here include ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Electromagnetic Sensitivity, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and Lyme disease. A blend of qualitative methods emerging from the fields of transpersonal theory and contemplative psychology was applied to explore the narratives of ten women, including the author, who experienced awakenings to deeper levels of consciousness and wisdom during their prolonged illnesses. The book presents a unique seven-stage model of spiritual awaking amongst women with contested illnesses which bears relevance for people faced with any kind of life-altering condition.

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From Faith to Works

How Religion Inspires Confidence, Community, and Sacrifice

Michael K. Abel

In From Faith to Works: How Religion Inspires Confidence, Community, and Sacrifice, Michael K. Abel builds on key principles from past theories of religion and group solidarity to determine the origins of religious confidence and explain the essential role doctrinal content plays in the establishment of cohesive religious communities. This book addresses an enduring question: Why do people sacrifice their own personal interests to conform to religious expectations? While religious adherents have long acknowledged their faith as a primary motivator of action, social scientists have tended to minimize its importance. From Faith to Works rectifies this shortcoming by placing faith at the center of its analysis. The information presented in this book will appeal to readers of all faiths as well as those of no faith. Combining theoretical arguments and compelling statistics, From Faith to Works proves a fascinating and unique contribution to social scientific thinking on religion.

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Maryann Amor

Invoking YHWH in 1 Kings 1–2 argues that invocations of YHWH have a number of functions in 1 Kings 1–2, dependent on the identities of the characters speaking, their relationships, and the narrative contexts in which they participate. This book adopts narrative criticism to undertake a close reading of 1 Kings 1–2 that pays particular attention to how the characters and the narrator use invocations of YHWH and the events in the plot that prompt or result from this language. Invoking YHWH in 1 Kings 1–2 highlights the exegetical importance of invocations of YHWH, which have yet to be engaged thoroughly in the field. Aimed at students and those with an interest in the academic study of the Bible, this book’s focus on invocations of YHWH raises new interpretations of 1 Kings 1–2. This study seeks to encourage scholarly attention toward invocations of YHWH that appear outside of these chapters, with the hope that such research will generate new ways of understanding the function of this language in the Bible.