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Stephen Strehle

Stephen Strehle is a leading scholar of church/state issues. In this volume, he focuses his rigorous historical analysis and philosophical acumen upon a topic of great interest today and source of cultural wars around the globe—the process of secularization. The book starts with a discussion of early capitalism and how it saw the real world functioning well-enough on its own principles of individual struggle and self-interest, without needing religious or moral principles to meddle in its affairs and eventually dispelling the need for any intelligent design or providential orchestration of life through the work of Darwin. The book then discusses the growth of the secular point of view: how historians dismissed the impact of religion in developing modern culture, how scientists conceived of the universe running on self-sufficient or mechanistic principles, and how people no longer looked to the providential hand of God to explain their suffering. The book ends with a discussion of how the Deist concept of human autonomy became a political policy in America through Jefferson’s concept of a wall of separation between church and state and how the US Supreme Court proceeded to dismiss the importance of religion in shaping or justifying the values of the nation and its laws. The book is accessible to most upper-level and graduate students in a wide-variety of disciplines, keeping technical and foreign words to a minimum and leaving scholarly details or debates to its extensive notes.

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Yil Song

This book pays special attention to the hermeneutical location where the fig-tree story appears in Mark 11; it is situated between Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and his "Temple incident" in Mark 11. The fig-tree story plays a pivotal role in understanding the stories immediatlely preceding and following it. It reverses the mode of Jesus’ entry from being triumphal to untriumphal, and convinces the first Markan readers to feel at ease in confronting Jesus’ outrage in the Temple. The way in which Jesus entered Jerusalem contradicts the common description of the entry as a triumphant one. Additionally, the story finds a proper solution to the problem of Jesus’ actions in the Temple being shockingly in contrast to his overall character as revealed through the Markan Gospel.


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To Whom Belongs the Land?

Leviticus 25 in an African Liberationist Reading

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Ndikho Mtshiselwa

The main question of this book, which focuses on the role of the Old Testament in the South African context, is: If reread from an African liberationist perspective in the context of land redistribution and socio-economic justice in South Africa, could the Israelite Jubilee legislation in Leviticus 25:8–55 offer liberating and empowering possibilities for the poor in South Africa? The exegesis of Leviticus 25:8–55 in which the historical-critical method is employed lays the foundation for the contextualisation of the issues arising from the exegesis. Furthermore, within the African liberationist framework, the South African context serves as a lens to interpret Leviticus 25:8–55. The striking parallels between the contexts from which the text of Leviticus 25:8–55 emerged and the context of the modern reader of the Bible in South Africa are shown. In the end, it is argued that when re-read from an African liberationist perspective and in the context of the land redistribution and socio-economic justice discourse, Leviticus 25:8–55 can contribute positively to the redress of inequality and consequently to poverty alleviation in South Africa.

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Dios de repente

Análisis filológico y fenomenológico de los testimonios de conversión de Paul Claudel, André Frossard y Manuel García Morente

José María Contreras Espuny

En este estudio se ahonda en tres testimonios autógrafos de conversión súbita al catolicismo en el siglo XX: Paul Claudel, Manuel García Morente y André Frossard. Se abre el libro con un primer apartado donde se describe el esquema fenomenológico que despliega este tipo de experiencias para, acto seguido, abrir el debate filológico sobre la naturaleza de estos textos y su relación dentro del género autobiográfico. En el sentido filosófico y teológico, se rastrean los antecedentes en las distintas experiencias místicas y se resaltan los paralelismos con casos clásicos, como serían los de San Pablo de Tarso y San Agustín de Hipona. En el sentido filológico, se plantea la posibilidad de un subgénero dada la idiosincrasia particular que narrativamente configuran los tres escritos. Posteriormente, se procede al análisis pormenorizado de cada uno de los testimonios, tendiendo puentes comparativos que nos ayuden a ponderar las particularidades personales, filosóficas y filológicas de la experiencia y de los escritos que las describen.

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Number, Word, and Spirit

Rethinking T. F. Torrance’s Theological Science From a Pneumatological Perspective

Aaron Yom

This book contributes to the study of Thomas F. Torrance by promoting his realist agenda, and the same time, expanding his program that takes into consideration a well-nuanced pentecostal spirituality. More specifically, it assesses the foundational methodological framework of Torrance’s scientific approach to theology for the purpose of constructing a triadic methodological structure for theological science. In doing so, it not only recognizes Torrance’s efforts to bridge the gap between science (number), word (hermeneutics), and spirit (theo-philosophy), but also critically reviews his theo-scientific project by identifying his restrictive tendencies that limit the full outworking of human spirituality and imagination. Based upon this analysis, this study constructively modifies Torrance’s theological science by complementing his realist agenda with the pentecostally driven pneumatological imagination. In the final analysis, Number, Word, and Spirit argues that theological science grounded on the pneumatological imagination can expand the restrictive tendencies of Torrance’s theo-scientific project, thereby giving rise to a triadic analogical approach that recognizes the interplay of ontologic, informal logic, and translogic for the development of a theo-scientific method. The book can be used as a secondary reading material for the courses in theological method, interdisciplinary studies, and faith and science dialogue.

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Old Paths and New Ways

Negotiating Tradition and Relevance in Liturgy

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Robert Lilleaasen

The relationship between tradition and relevance is a core feature in religious practice in general and public worship in particular. On the one hand, worship is a bearer of religious traditions, i.e. traditions are maintained in the practice of public worship, and the worship enables individuals to connect with these traditions. On the other hand, it is a quest for relevance in public worship. In order to maintain existing worshippers and attract new participants, congregations have to consider their ability to connect their core values to the needs and expectations of existing and potential participants. This dual purpose of the worship causes a need for negotiation, and it is this negotiation between tradition and relevance that this book investigates. Old Paths and New Ways is a case study of the negotiation between tradition and the quest for relevance in liturgy.

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Myth, Mind and Religion

The Apocalyptic Narrative

Abraham Rotstein

The French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss scoured the Amazon forest for the myths of its primitive peoples. He found that a certain logic governed the construction of these myths—his mythologique; he regarded this logic as innate in the human mind and thus universal. Despite this claim of universality, Lévi-Strauss deliberately sidestepped the myths of the biblical religions as well as the myths of modern societies. This proved to be a missed opportunity since these myths lend themselves very well to his mode of analysis.


The apocalyptic narrative is the ongoing myth of Western society. It makes its first appearance in the Bible in the story of the Exodus and in the Passion of Christ. Its characteristic feature is its opening scenario of one or another form of unendurable oppression— whether the Pharaoh in Egypt for the Jews or the bondage of the body for Christians. “Lord and servant” is the binary pair that prevails and through a process of inversion leads to the Kingdom of Heaven (celestial or terrestrial). The work of Augustine and Luther follow suit as surprisingly enough, do the Lutheran Hegel and the Hegelian Marx. In every case, the initial oppression is inverted and a sublime destination ensues.

A demonic version of the same apocalyptic narrative appears in the 1930s. The Nazis point to their own tale of ‘oppression’ of the German people and in the same fashion proclaim the Dritte Tausendjährige Reich. It is a terrible irony but perhaps Lévi-Strauss’s mythologique may help us to see through the ‘glass’ a little less darkly.

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Paniel Reyes Cárdenas

The aim of this work is to respond to the following question: how did Charles S. Peirce find unity for his pragmatist philosophy through the formulation of Scholastic Realism? The author proposes the said doctrine to be a reading guide, leading us through the different stages of Peirce’s work as a philosopher. By understanding his realist doctrine, we can see why he believed it was a viable theory for understanding the problem of Universals. This book demonstrates why, in Peirce’s mind, such a problem has pervaded the history of philosophy. The author’s line of argument reveals that Scholastic Realism is crucial to the understanding of his philosophy, which is a new approach in Peirce scholarship. It provides a useful framework for asking questions about reality in the same way that Peirce himself did. As a result, the author shows that Peirce’s realism addresses different yet related philosophical problems, leading Peirce to brand the final version of his philosophy as «Scientific Metaphysics». The conclusion offers an interpretation of the Scholastic Realism principle as a solution to Peirce’s concerns – a useful idea to achieve a better theory of reality in his struggle to realize metaphysics a posteriori. Peirce’s doctrine is presented alongside some of its uses, especially in the fields of abstraction theory, and also in the fundamental principles of mathematics. This work should advance our comprehension of the problems related to Peirce’s philosophy as well as shedding light on pragmatism and its origins as well as the battle between realism and nominalism.

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On Mysticism, Ontology, and Modernity

A Theological Engagement with Secularity

Christopher Shaw

This new study offers a serious and long-overdue examination of the unstable bifurcation between theology and secularity. Rather than understanding these two formative elements of culture to be in a constant state of opposition, the author chooses an alternative path toward their reconciliation. In this way, a constructive relationship is developed between secular and theological ideas wherein they symbiotically challenge one another in such a way as to create new and/or re-examined opportunities for thinking about God, the world, and, indeed, the self.

The book first of all embarks upon a hermeneutical reading of Meister Eckhart’s defining statement that «Being is God» and ultimately arrives (via Kant, Hegel, Gadamer, Henry, and others) at a mystically informed understanding of God’s presence both in the world and in the «heart and mind» of the human experience – an understanding that defies conventional categories and static cultural identities. It is an important study of the history, the present, and the future of religious thought, presenting a hopeful image of unity and love in a world that has been for too long divided by difference.

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The Pilgrimage and Conversion of Thomas Chalmers

Following His Journey from Anstruther to Glasgow

David C Jackson

This book follows the life and work of Thomas Chalmers (1780–1847) from his childhood in Anstruther to the end of his ministerial career in Glasgow in 1823. He became a theologian, minister and Scottish reformer and is best remembered for his involvement in the Disruption of 1843. Following Chalmers’ career up to the end of his Glasgow period offers a range of valuable insights into the human, spiritual and theological dimensions of a man who was once described by Thomas Carlyle as «the chief Scotsman of his age». It has been decades since Chalmers and his work have received any notable scholarly attention and this book attempts to unravel his complicated nature by pursuing a forensic investigation into his communitarian ideology and attitude towards social reform. New facts have come to light, not least the apparent reversion of Chalmers’ conversion, recognised and discussed here for the first time, allowing the reader to form a more accurate picture of his legacy within Scottish religious history. As the author meticulously unravels his subject’s disturbing psychological mindset, he provides a compelling critique of the Church of Scotland and examines the role of John Bunyan’s Mr Christian as Chalmers’ model and mentor.