This is the first English translation of the last two theological works of Eusebius of Caesarea, Against Marcellus and On Ecclesiastical Theology. The first text was composed after the deposition of Marcellus of Ancyra in 336 to justify the action of the council fathers in ordering the deposition on the grounds of heresy, contending that Marcellus was “Sabellian” (or modalist) on the Trinity and a follower of Paul of Samosata (hence adoptionist) in Christology. Relying heavily upon extensive quotations from a treatise Marcellus wrote against Asterius the Sophist, this text provides important information about ecclesiastical politics in the period before and just after the Council of Nicea, and endeavors to demonstrate Marcellus’s erroneous interpretation of several key biblical passages that had been under discussion since before the council. In doing so, Eusebius criticizes Marcellus’s inadequate account of the distinction between the persons of the Trinity, eschatology, and the Church’s teaching about the divine and human identities of Christ.
On Ecclesiastical Theology, composed circa 338/339 just before Eusebius’s death, and perhaps in response to the amnesty for deposed bishops enacted by Constantius after the death of Constantine in 377 and the possibility of Marcellus’s return to his see, continues to lay out the criticisms initially put forward in Against Marcellus, again utilizing quotations from Marcellus’s book against Asterius. However, we see in this text a much more systematic explanation of Eusebius’s objections to the various elements of Marcellus’s theology and what he sees as the proper orthodox articulation of those elements.
Long overlooked for statements at odds with later orthodoxy, even written off as heretical because allegedly “semi-Arian,” recent scholarship has demonstrated the tremendous influence these texts had on the Greek theological tradition in the fourth century, especially on the orthodox understanding of the Trinity. In addition to their influence, they are some of the few complete texts that we have from Greek theologians in the immediate period following the Council of Nicea in 325, thus filling a gap in the materials available for research and teaching in this critical phase of theological development.
Epiphanius of Cyprus Catholic University of America Press, 2014 Library of Congress BR65.E653A5313 2014 | Dewey Decimal 273.4
Epiphanius of Cyprus was lead bishop of the island from 367 until his death in 403, and he was a contemporary of several of the great church fathers of the patristic era, including Athanasius, Basil, and Jerome. He is well known among modern scholars for his monumental heresiology, the Panarion, as well as for his involvement in several ecclesiastical and theological controversies. Before he began to write his magnum opus, however, he had already completed the Ancoratus, an important theological treatise, written in the form of a letter to Christians in southern Anatolia. The Ancoratus addressed numerous theological issues, particularly in response to the continuous disputes about the divinity of the Son, the developing arguments over the divinity of the Holy Spirit, and the early quarrels over the Incarnation of Christ. In addition, he included his thoughts on proper biblical exegesis, the problematic theology of Origen, and the relationship of the Christian faith with Hellenistic culture. Epiphanius's convictions on these issues represented important contributions to the ongoing theological and cultural controversies of the late fourth century, but he has often been overshadowed in modern scholarship by the work of his more illustrious contemporaries. Because there has been no complete English translation of the Ancoratus to date, this volume adds significantly to the resources available for patristic studies.
In this major theoretical and methodological statement on the history of religions, Jonathan Z. Smith shows how convert apologetic agendas can dictate the course of comparative religious studies. As his example, Smith reviews four centuries of scholarship comparing early Christianities with religions of late Antiquity (especially the so-called mystery cults) and shows how this scholarship has been based upon an underlying Protestant-Catholic polemic. The result is a devastating critique of traditional New Testament scholarship, a redescription of early Christianities as religious traditions amenable to comparison, and a milestone in Smith's controversial approach to comparative religious studies.
"An important book, and certainly one of the most significant in the career of Jonathan Z. Smith, whom one may venture to call the greatest pathologist in the history of religions. As in many precedent cases, Smith follows a standard procedure: he carefully selects his victim, and then dissects with artistic finesse and unequaled acumen. The operation is always necessary, and a deconstructor of Smith's caliber is hard to find."—Ioan P. Coulianu, Journal of Religion
Until recently, science’s ability to describe and define our universe threatened to make religion obsolete. But the well-received hardcover edition of this book demonstrated that, increasingly, God is being revealed through science.
Now available in paperback, this positive work is for all who ponder the mystery and wonder of our universe—and the God who plans and oversees it. Probing the philosophical and theological impact of scientific discoveries, the authors urge us to adopt an analytical and open posture toward both science and religion. In the spirit of Sir Francis Bacon, this fascinating exploration shows us how “the book of God’s works” (natural science) can tell us a great deal about “the book of God’s words” (Scripture).
“We began this book with the idea that the God who has made this awesome and wonderful universe is utterly beyond our capacity to measure and yet is also the God who would be known. He has placed remarkable signs in the heavens, on Earth, and in ourselves: signals of transcendence. We conclude that this universe is here by divine plan, and that science itself, for decades a bastion of unbelief, has once again become the source of humankind’s assurance of intimate divine concern in its affairs.” —from the authors
In The New Flatlanders, teacher, scientist, and chaplain Eric Middleton challenges traditional ways of looking at reality by engaging readers in a "voyage of discovery starting with questions." The book engagingly begins with a discussion group embarking on an exploratory conversation about the nature of the universe and the place of human beings in it. Daunting questions emerge, such as "How can there possibly be a tear or hole in three-dimensional space? And if there is a hole, can something fall through it? Where would it fall to?" In short order, students and teacher are on a quest to develop a "working theory of everything" that takes them from stone circles to quarks, superstrings, quantum theory, the anthropic principle, evolution, consciousness, miracles, chaos, and the spiritual universe.
The key to exploring these questions is finding a language with which to talk about the awe and wonder of today's science alongside the joy of experiencing the spiritual. This is done by interweaving into the discussions the philosophy of "Flatland," a nonreligious entry point to Jesus posited by nineteenth-century clergyman and educator Edwin A. Abbott in his classic parable Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions.
Does scientific evidence give credence to religious belief? Ted Burge, a highly respected physicist in the United Kingdom, draws on his background in the fields of science and theology to address the issue.
The book begins with an analysis of evidence found in the text of the Bible in different translations, proceeds to an examination of interpretations of the Old and New Testaments, and then looks at evidence from the sciences, including archeological findings, geological mappings, and carbon-dating, alongside data from the arts, hymns, literature, and historians' testimonies.
Evidence is presented on:
•Physical, geological, and biological evolution, and their relation to the Genesis story of creation
•Original sin, the origin of death, and the immortality of the soul, as described in Babylonian and other stories, including the Flood and the Tower of Babel
•The Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus, Incarnation and Atonement
•Free will and the nature of love
•Miracles as described in the Bible
•The evolution of belief
•Meditation and prayer as a "conscious interchange of thoughts with God"
Knowledge of science is knowledge of God's creation and often helps to identify some of the things we can say about God, the author points out.
This work is valuable as history, containing as it does contemporary information on the period after 278 A.D. It was used widely during the Middle Ages, and the existence today of nearly 200 manuscript copies is evidence of its past popularity.