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Between an Animal and a Machine

Stanisław Lem’s Technological Utopia


Pawel Majewski

The subject of this book is the philosophy of Stanisław Lem. The first part contains an analysis and interpretation of one of his early works, The Dialogues. The author tries to show how Lem used the terminology of cybernetics to create a project of sociology and anthropology. The second part examines Lem’s essay Summa technologiae, which is considered as the project of human autoevolution. The term «autoevolution» is a neologism for the concept of humans taking control over their own biological evolution and form in order to improve the conditions of their being. In this interpretation, Summa is an example of a liberal utopia, based on the assumption that all human problems can be resolved by science. Various social theories, which can be linked to the project of autoevolution, are presented in the final part.

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Jan Zozulak

This book analyses the process of development of Byzantine thought, which carries original solutions to fundamental philosophical questions and an original understanding of the world and humanity. The author defines the contents and characteristics of Byzantine philosophy, discusses the most important factors of its development as well as the role of Greco-Roman world and the place of Christian thinkers in this process. He also takes into consideration the Alexandrian school and the School of Antioch, the relationship between Byzantine philosophy and Greek Patristics and the attempts to restore the Byzantine neptic thought after the fall of Constantinople. The study is based on Byzantine sources, written in Greek.

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Homo Psychicus as Human and on Becoming a Person

Towards a theory of the human being between the analogue and the digital

Alf Nilsson

This book is about unifying, in one and the same theory, the human being, Homo psychicus, both as an affective/internal presentation being and an operative, cognitive being. In this way, we see two human abilities – on the one hand, Silvan Tomkins’ comprehensive theories of our innate biological affects and, on the other hand, Jean Piaget’s theories of Homo psychicus as an operative, cognitive being – in one theory. According to Piaget the basis for operations is to be found in our innate reflexes. Overarching perspectives of this derivation are found in development: evolutionary, phylogenetic, ontogenetic and epigenetic. The author’s empirical research is directed towards development of a «percept-genetic» method called the Percept-genetic Object-Relation Test (PORT). This method is employed in the description and illustration of how Homo psychicus may become a person. Thus, this subject is discussed from an epigenetic and a clinical perspective.

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Edited by Nicholas Fennell and Graham Speake

This book is about the Russian contribution to monasticism on Mount Athos and the Athonite contribution to Russian spirituality and marks the millennium of the Russian presence on Mount Athos. Athos has been the spiritual heart of the Orthodox world for even longer and Russian pilgrims have congregated there throughout its history. Russian monks visiting Athos have returned to their homeland with the treasures of Athonite spirituality such as the practice of hesychasm in the sixteenth century, the Patristic anthology known as the Philokalia in the eighteenth century, and the spiritual classic The Way of a Pilgrim in the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century the Russian monastic population fluctuated wildly, but still they produced influential elders such as St Silouan and Fr Sophrony, and Athonite elders continue to exercise enormous influence on the revived Russian Orthodox Church to this day. The papers collected in this volume, first delivered as contributions to a conference held by the Friends of Mount Athos in February 2017 at Madingley Hall, Cambridge, span the breadth of the millennium.

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Der apokalyptische Abessinier und die Kreuzzüge

Wandel eines frühislamischen Motivs in der Literatur und Kartografie des Mittelalters


Mordechay Lewy

Die Studie will den unbeachteten Wandel des frühislamischen Motivs eines apokalyptischen Abessiniers, «Dhu‘l Suwayqatayin al-Habaschi», der Mekka zerstören soll, bis zu seiner Integrierung in Prophetien des 5. Kreuzzugs und in der «Recuperatio»-Literatur nach dem Verlust von Akkon im Jahre 1291 rekonstruieren. Gleichzeitig untersucht sie eine unbekannte eschatologische Bedrohungszone am Horn von Afrika, die in mittelalterlichen Karten eine Allianz zwischen Kreuzrittern und Abessiniern gegen den Islam insinuiert. Die Studie gibt Antworten auf folgende Fragen: Wie wurden eschatologische Erwartungen in Weltkarten konfiguriert, wie konnte das Horn von Afrika zu einer gegen den Islam gerichteten eschatologischen Region werden und wie konnte ein Hadith-Motiv in anti-islamische Prophetien und Rückeroberungspläne Eingang finden?

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The Vigilant God

Providence in the Thought of Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, and Barth, Second Edition

Horton Davies

The Vigilant God by Horton Davies, a non-conformist minister who taught in the Religion Department of Princeton University and attended church regularly, is a reconsideration of the belief that God is still active in history. It is a reassessment of the theology of Providence in the thought of four major Christian theologians (Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, and Barth) and of their views on predestination, theodicy, and free will, leading the author to consider the role it might have for the future of humanity.

The book starts with a sketch of the biblical sources relating to Providence, predestination, election, and reprobation. Davies sees Augustine’s doctrine of Providence and his view of evil as privatio boni, as greatly influenced by Plato and his followers. He dwells on Aquinas the man, his life and his character, open to Aristotle and his Jewish and Arab commentators, before plunging into the structure of his encyclopedic thought and works. Davies appreciates Calvin’s regard for Scripture as a means of illumination of the Spirit, but rejects the pastor’s views on predestination as tyrannical and unjust, and believes that Barth’s positive insistence on God’s universal mercy is necessary against the horrors perpetrated in the twentieth century.

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Questioning Authority

The Theology and Practice of Authority in the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion


Ellen K. Wondra

Questioning Authority analyzes current conflicts concerning authority in the Anglican church and offers a new framework for addressing them. It argues that authority in the church is fundamentally relational rather than juridical. All members of the church have authority to engage in discerning the church’s identity, direction, and mission. Most of this authority is exercised in personal interactions and group practices of consultation and direction. Formal authority in the church confers power so responsibilities can be fulfilled. Church relations always include conflict, which may be creative and helpful rather than divisive. Conflict arises because persons and groups follow Christ in ways related to their own cultural context while also being in communion with others. Communion in the church requires embracing diversity, recognizing and respecting others’ perspectives, and working together to discover and create common ground. Today’s church needs more participatory forms of governance and decision-making that are conciliar and synodal.

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The Earth and the Land

Studies about the Value of the Land of Israel in the Old Testament and Afterwards


Edited by Hendrik J. Koorevaar and Mart-Jan Paul

In the Bible, the land of Israel is more than a piece of ground. It is a theological symbol, because it was an essential part of Israel’s practice of its relationship with God. The land is connected to a lifestyle and to the carrying out of religious acts, like the sacrifices and the celebrations. Aspects of this are the use of the land and the enactment of ecological and humanitarian obligations. In this volume, we concentrate on the religious viewpoints, especially how the promised land can be seen from the Old and New Testament perspective. Before practical conclusions are drawn, it is important to have a good overview of the subject in the entire Bible. The chosen approach is historic-canonical and implies that we use the order of Bible books from the Hebrew canon. Two additional chapters show the Jewish and Islamic viewpoints.

This book has received the Franz Delitzsch Award 2018.

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Incorruptible Love

The K. H. Ting Story


Jia Ma and Suyun Liao

K. H. Ting (1915–2012) was an important Christian leader and theologian in China. Indeed, since the late-1970s, he has been seen as the spokesperson for Christianity in China. Many stories surround his life, but it is sometimes unclear which ones are true, making him a mysterious figure.

K. H. Ting became the principal of Jinling Theological Seminary in 1952 and remained in this position until his death, making him the longest-standing principal of any theological seminary in the world. He experienced many difficult times in his 97 years, and in any ways the history of Christianity in China is reflected through the ups and downs he experienced. In Incorruptible Love: The Story of K. H. Ting, the authors offer Christians, as well as people of other spiritual beliefs, intellectuals, and the general public, a greater understanding of K. H. Ting’s life and beliefs. This biography will help people learn not only about K. H. Ting, but also about the fundamentals of Chinese Christianity.

Written in a blend of creative and academic writing styles, Incorruptible Love makes the story of K. H. Ting vivid and convincing. This text can be used in courses on Christianity in China, the Chinese Church, religion in China, and modern Chinese history.

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Alterität und ihr Anderes

Fallstudien zum Selbst-, Welt- und Gottesverhältnis bei Friedrich D. E. Schleiermacher und Martin Luther


Rinja Müller

Das typologische Spektrum der Denkformen von Alterität ist breit. Es erstreckt sich zwischen leerer Gleichheit und unzugänglicher Fremdheit. Eine besondere Zuspitzung erfährt das Thema in der Theologie im Gottesgedanken. Das Buch behandelt diesen Problemzusammenhang anhand von Fallstudien zu Schleiermacher und Luther. Bei der Interpretation geht es zugleich um die Frage nach Genese und Quellen von Alterität in übergreifenden Zusammenhängen. Im Mittelpunkt stehen hierbei die großen theologischen Gegensatzverhältnisse zwischen Gott und Sünde im Horizont, ebenso die vielfältigen Differenzkorrelationen von Selbst und Welt. Dies findet eine Zuspitzung in der Fokussierung von Entsprechungen zwischen Gottes-, Sozial- und Selbstverhältnissen: Theologie wird mit der Logik von Soziologie und Psychologie verknüpft.