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Pilgrims in the Port

The Identity of Migrant Christian Communities in Rotterdam

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Robert Calvert

This publication investigates new ways of understanding international churches. Based upon recent fieldwork, six migrant Christian communities in Rotterdam were analysed using congregational study methods on how they construct identity. Through the frames of ‘koinonia’, ‘diakonia’ and ‘kerygma’, this research reflects on their composition, characteristics, leadership style, language and social capital. Language is found to be an important shaper or ‘carrier’ of identity and acts both as badge and bridge of identity. In building identity, MCCs do not behave in ways expected or consistent with the process of integration.

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Carlos Blanco

The Integration of Knowledge explores a theory of human knowledge through a model of rationality combined with some fundamental logical, mathematical, physical and neuroscientific considerations. Its ultimate goal is to present a philosophical system of integrated knowledge, in which the different domains of human understanding are unified by common conceptual structures, such that traditional metaphysical and epistemological questions may be addressed in light of these categories. Philosophy thus becomes a "synthesizer" of human knowledge, through the imaginative construction of categories and questions that may reproduce and even expand the conceptual chain followed by nature and thought, in an effort to organize the results of the different branches of knowledge by inserting them in a broader framework.

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In Pursuit of an Orthodox Christian Epistemology

A Conversation with Carl F. H. Henry

Jonathan Mutinda Waita

Everybody is confronted by three fundamental questions, which are of great interest to philosophy and theology: The metaphysical—"What is reality?", the epistemological—"How do we know what we think we know?", and the ethical—"How should we, therefore, live in light of what we know about reality?" Of these three, the epistemological question is of greatest importance, owing to its concern with the justification of knowledge, on the basis of which we can attempt to respond to the rest. This book is motivated by the realization that although everybody attempts to respond to these questions, not everybody provides a valid answer to the questions. In consultation with Carl F. H. Henry, who was a trailblazer for evangelical orthodoxy, this book attempts to provide valid and sound answers to these epistemological and metaphysical questions for millions of Christians, whose answers to these questions continue to be ridiculed by liberals and secularists. This book operates with a realization that since our surest Christian knowledge about the nature and works of God emanates from God’s self-disclosure rather than our human discovery, the Bible, as God’s special revelation occupies an important place in true Christian epistemology. A corollary to the centrality of the Bible to the Christian epistemology is the epistemic sufficiency of human language and reason. This book defines Christian epistemological orthodoxy against such heterodox systems as Kantian phenomenology, Barthian Neoorthodoxy, Ayerian Logical Positivism, and Whiteheadian Process Thought and their respective trajectories. The book is a must-read for philosophy, theology, and apologetic courses.

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Culture – A Life of Learning

Clifford Geertz und aktuelle gesellschaftliche Herausforderungen

Edited by Franz Gmainer-Pranzl and Barbara Schellhammer

Der US-amerikanische Kulturanthropologe Clifford Geertz (1926–2006), der durch seine Methode der dichten Beschreibung die ethnologische Forschung maßgeblich veränderte und nachhaltig prägte, bezeichnete seine Auseinandersetzung im Rückblick als A Life of Learning. In diesem Band greifen Sozial-, Kultur- und Religionswissenschaftler/innen diesen Gedanken auf, um das Werk Clifford Geertz‘ und die von ihm eingeleitete interpretative Wende zu würdigen und interdisziplinär zu diskutieren. Es ist vor allem Geertz‘ Verständnis von Kultur als Netz von Bedeutungen, das zu einer Weiterentwicklung der Debatte über Migration, Fremdheit, Integration, Interkulturalität und interreligiösen Dialog beiträgt und unterschiedliche Disziplinen befruchtet.

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The Case for a Proto-Gospel

Recovering the Common Written Source Behind Mark and John

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Gary Greenberg

In this landmark study of the literary relationship between the gospel of John and the synoptic gospels, Gary Greenberg presents compelling evidence for the existence of a written pre-canonical Alpha gospel that contained almost all of the main episodes in the adult life of Jesus (excluding major speeches, such as discourses, parables, and "I Am" sayings) and which became the written source for the core biography of Jesus in Mark, Luke, John, and Matthew. While Mark used the Alpha gospel with only slight variations, John had profound theological disagreements with it, objecting to its theological message about how to obtain eternal life, the depiction of Jesus, and other matters. This induced him to rewrite the Alpha gospel so that it conformed to his own very different theological agenda. Consequently, John’s gospel functions as a thorough theological critique of Mark, but the changes he introduced made it difficult to see how he and Mark worked from the same written source. By using John’s theological concerns as a filter for reading and understanding what objections John would have with Mark’s Jesus stories, The Case for a Proto-Gospel reverse-engineers the editorial path taken by John and reconstructs the content of the Alpha gospel. Finally, the author discusses the relationship of the other two synoptic gospels to the Alpha gospel, asserting that Luke also knew the Alpha gospel but used Mark as his primary source, and that while Matthew did not know the Alpha gospel, his use of Mark as a primary source ensured that his core biography of Jesus also derived from this earlier source.

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Jesus Among Giants

Religious Biographies in Comparative Context

William Cully Allen

Jesus Among Giants: Religious Biographies in Comparative Context compares and contrasts Jesus to Mahāvīra, Buddha, Krishna, Confucius, Laozi, Moses, and Muhammad in terms of their missions and messages. These foundational religious figures are introduced in their particular socio-political context—on their own terms, in their own words, within the canons of their respective sacred scriptural traditions. Each chapter features the biography of a foundational religious figure, their teachings, a comparative analysis, and a suggestion about what Christians might learn from other foundational religious characters.

Jesus Among Giants offers a new approach to comparative religion as a confrontational conference of conflicting claims in search of uncommon insights into truth. This book observes striking similarities and discerns distinguishing differences but does not harmonize or hierarchize competing visions into a single coherent version of truth. Rather, it exposes and respects differences for the sake of determining the unique identity of each religious figure featured.

There is no avoiding controversy and conflict among the foundational figures of the world’s religions. Religious identities are forged in the face of differences. To adequately appreciate any one spiritual giant requires understanding them all. To know who Jesus is means knowing who he isn’t. Readers are invited to face the facts and fictions, myths and messages, and claims and counter-claims that clearly distinguish Jesus among giants.

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Personhood and Epistemic Interactivism in Indigenous Esan Thought

From theories of representation to an African knowledge system

Sylvester Idemudia Odia

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Žižek Studies

The Greatest Hits (So Far)

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Edited by David J. Gunkel and Paul A. Taylor

Žižek Studies: The Greatest Hits (So Far) assembles and presents the best work published in the field of Žižek Studies over the last ten years, providing teachers, students, and researchers with a carefully curated volume of leading-edge scholarship addressing the unique and sometimes eclectic work of Slovenian philosopher and cultural critic Slavoj Žižek. The chapters included in this collection have been rigorously tested in and culled from the (virtual) pages of the International Journal of Žižek Studies, a leading open access journal that began publication in 2007. The book is organized into three sections or subject areas where Žižek and his seemingly indefatigable efforts have had significant impact: philosophy, politics, and popular culture. As a "greatest hits," the book offers the long-time fan and uninitiated newcomer alike a comprehensive overview of the wide range of opportunity in the field of Žižek studies and a remarkable collection of truly interdisciplinary "hits" from a diverse set of innovative and accomplished writers.

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M. Alroy Mascrenghe

Samson as God’s Adulterous Wife reveals striking parallels between the depiction of Samson in the Book of Judges and the prophetic literature’s metaphorical representations of Israel as an adulterous woman. This book endeavors to understand why Judges dwells on Samson’s sexual and romantic relationships while the personal lives of the other six judges are not afforded the same narrative attention. M. Alroy Mascrenghe compares adulterous Samson with idolatrous Israel and argues that Samson’s life is marked by the same cycles of adultery, bondage, crying out, and deliverance that structure the Book of Judges as a whole. Mascrenghe continues to pursue the theme of God’s adulterous wife through a comparison of the Levite-concubine story of Judges 19 to that of Hosea and Gomer.

Samson as God’s Adulterous Wife demonstrates the author’s own method for recognizing narrative allusions, based on insights drawn from the field of software engineering. Drawing from a wide variety of disciplines—including narratology, sociology, and theological hermeneutics—Samson as God’s Adulterous Wife offers a fresh perspective on the role of the Samson story within the broader intertextual thematic space of the Hebrew Bible.

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Psychoanalysis – the Promised Land?

The History of Psychoanalysis in Poland 1900–1989. Part I. The Sturm und Drang Period. Beginnings of Psychoanalysis in the Polish Lands during the Partitions 1900–1918

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Paweł Dybel

The book is the first systematic study of the beginnings of psychoanalysis on Polish lands in Galicia (Austria-Hungary) and Congress Poland (Russia) during the partitions of Poland in the years between 1900 and 1918. The birth of the movement was presented on a broad cultural background, as an element of the assimilation processes among Polish Jews. At the same time, Freud's and Jung's theories began to gain popularity in Polish medical, philosophical, artistic and literary circles. By 1918, over a dozen articles on psychoanalysis had been published in Polish scientific and philosophical journals. Freud himself was vitally interested in this process, sending Ludwig Jekels to Krakow in the role of – as he wrote – an "apostle" of his theory in the circles of the Polish intelligentsia.