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Harald Aarbakke

The Eldest Brother and New Testament Christology explores the origin of cultural representations of Jesus as an eldest brother. Through ethnographic surveys, author Harald Aarbakke shows that the role of the eldest brother in different African societies is often accompanied by additional roles, among them mediator, protector and leader. Aarbakke also searches for an exegetical basis for this understanding of Jesus, and argues that an eldest brother Christology can be substantiated by the cultural and literary context of certain New Testament texts (Matt 25:31–46, 28:10; Mark 3:31–35; Rom 8:28–30; Col 1:15–20; Heb 2:10–18).

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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 Kampf um Gläubige und Kinder

Das Mischehenwesen im Rheinland im 19. Jahrhundert. Band 1

Volker Speth

Die Konfessionsverschiedenheit von Ehegatten und die daraus resultierende Frage nach der konfessionellen Beheimatung ihrer Kinder sorgten im 19. Jahrhundert für viele Konflikte innerhalb der Familien, zwischen den Konfessionen und zwischen der katholischen Kirche und dem preußischen Staat. Die strengkatholische Mischehendisziplin mit ihrem Kernelement, dem Versprechen der katholischen Kindererziehung als Bedingung für eine katholische Trauung, war ein Indikator für die Durchsetzung des Ultramontanismus innerhalb der katholischen Kirche und ein Motor für die Herausbildung eines katholischen Milieus. Sie war ein Hauptgrund für die Verschärfung der konfessionellen Spannungen, für die Rekonfessionalisierungstendenzen im 19. Jahrhundert und für die ‚Kölner Wirrenʽ. Sie veranlasste die evangelische Kirche, eine eigene einheitliche Mischehenzucht einzuführen.

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Questioning Authority

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

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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

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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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Benjamin Ogechi Agbara

The work is based on the last command of the risen Jesus to his disciples in Matthew’s account of the events that followed the resurrection of Jesus. The command is: «Make disciples of all nations». The command reverses the initial restriction of the disciples to only the lost sheep of the house of Israel. The work presents the command as the climax of Matthew’s post-resurrection account, which is told in four scenes and each of the scenes contains a command. The last command sanctions the mission to the Gentiles without ending the mission to Israel. Making disciples involves baptism to increase the number of Christians (Church growth) and teaching to increase adherence to the teachings of Jesus (Church life).

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Religion und Religionen bei Karl Barth und Joseph Ratzinger

Impulse für die Theologie der Religionen?

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Michael Müller

Mit der Erklärung «Nostra Aetate» des Zweiten Vatikanischen Konzils wurden die nichtchristlichen Religionen seitens der Katholischen Kirche erstmals positiv in den Blick genommen. Seitdem ist die Theologie der Religionen, die als neue Disziplin in der Folgezeit entstand, um Antwort auf die Frage bemüht, wie die nichtchristlichen Religionen angesichts des christlichen Wahrheitsanspruchs zu bewerten sind.

Die Studie umreißt den Diskussionsstand der neuen Disziplin, beleuchtet die religionstheologischen Überlegungen zweier einflussreicher Theologen des 20. bzw. 21. Jahrhunderts, Karl Barth und Joseph Ratzinger, und fragt, inwiefern sich aus diesen Überlegungen Impulse für die Theologie der Religionen gewinnen lassen.

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Religion: Eine Projektion menschlicher Sehnsüchte, ein Produkt menschlichen Denkens, eine Illusion?

Die Religionskritik von Feuerbach, Marx und Freud als Herausforderung und Chance für den heutigen christlichen Glauben

Balthasar Rengga Ado

Die Studie untersucht die Religionskritik Ludwig Feuerbachs (1804-1872), Karl Marx‘ (1818-1883) und Sigmund Freuds (1856-1939). In der kritischen Ablehnung wird Religion auf einen nicht-religiösen Grund zurückgeführt. Vorausgesetzt wird, dass es für Religion keinen realen Inhalt gibt. Die in der Religion geglaubte Gottheit ist keine Wirklichkeit, sondern menschliche Einbildung, Schöpfung des Menschen, Opium des Volkes, Illusion und Neurose. In ihrer Kritik an der Religion versuchten Feuerbach, Marx und Freud, den Wahrheitsanspruch der Religion mit ihren anthropologischen, sozialen und psychologischen Argumenten zu widerlegen.

Der Religionskritik von Feuerbach, Marx und Freud ist es zwar nicht gelungen, den Wahrheitsanspruch der monotheistischen Weltreligionen zu widerlegen, dennoch weist sie mit Nachdruck auf die Missbrauchs- und Verfallsformen von Religion hin.

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Fred Leavitt

The Profound Limitations of Knowledge explores the limitations of knowledge and argues that neither reasoning nor direct or indirect observations can be trusted. We cannot even assign probabilities to claims of what we can know. Furthermore, for any set of data, there are an infinite number of possible interpretations. Evidence suggests that we live in a participatory universe—that is, our observations shape reality.