Flight 785 is bound for London and Brussels, but its passengers are destined to arrive at an unexpected destination. Theirs is a journey that will continue until they each find their true home and, in the process, uncover their innermost being.
Written by Naomi Gladish Smith, The Arrivals will intrigue readers from all walks of life and faiths and provoke discussion. We follow a small group of travelers---a husband and wife on their way to Ireland, a young woman beginning a fellowship at a prestigious British university, business people on their way to various conferences and meetings in Brussels, a minister coming to terms with his wife's desertion and his own fading faith, a small boy going to meet his mother in London---as they slowly unravel the mystery of the afterlife and learn that home is truly where the heart is.
The essays are loosely connected through their bearing on one or more of three themes: the role of orality in the transmission of chant circa 700-1400; varying degrees of stability or instability in the transmission of chant; and the role of the formula in the construction of chant. Throughout, Karp uses 202 musical examples.
The first essay evaluates forms of evidence that may shed light on the nature of orality that led to the surviving notational records of Gregorian chant and assembles evidence that supports the conclusion that fidelity of transmission represented an important goal of the Franks. The second essay treats formulas that cross the boundaries of individual liturgical genres and modes. The third essay defines the varying kinds of musical formulas in chant and proposes a chronological ordering of the genre of second-mode tracts.
The fourth essay treats the transmission of a stable melody and explores the ways in which one basic melody may be adapted to texts of widely differing structures and lengths. The fifth essay deals with a group of unstable melodies that furnished difficulties in modal classification. The sixth essay explores the problems faced by scribes seeking to represent in diastematic notation melodies employing tones not normally admitted into the medieval gamut. The seventh essay takes up the role of the formula in introits, a neumatic genre intended forchoral performance.
The two final essays look at second-mode tracts and at the interrelationship between Roman and Gregorian chant.
For the early Christians, "pagan" referred to a multitude of unbelievers: Greek and Roman devotees of the Olympian gods, and "barbarians" such as Arabs and Germans with their own array of deities. But while these groups were clearly outsiders or idolaters, who and what was pagan depended on the outlook of the observer, as Christopher Jones shows in this fresh and penetrating analysis. Treating paganism as a historical construct rather than a fixed entity, Between Pagan and Christian uncovers the ideas, rituals, and beliefs that Christians and pagans shared in Late Antiquity.
While the emperor Constantine's conversion in 312 was a momentous event in the history of Christianity, the new religion had been gradually forming in the Roman Empire for centuries, as it moved away from its Jewish origins and adapted to the dominant pagan culture. Early Christians drew on pagan practices and claimed important pagans as their harbingers--asserting that Plato, Virgil, and others had glimpsed Christian truths. At the same time, Greeks and Romans had encountered in Judaism observances and beliefs shared by Christians such as the Sabbath and the idea of a single, creator God. Polytheism was the most obvious feature separating paganism and Christianity, but pagans could be monotheists, and Christians could be accused of polytheism and branded as pagans. In the diverse religious communities of the Roman Empire, as Jones makes clear, concepts of divinity, conversion, sacrifice, and prayer were much more fluid than traditional accounts of early Christianity have led us to believe.
A Publishers Weekly Best Religion Book of the Year
A Choice Outstanding Academic Title
For many Americans, being Christian is central to their political outlook. Political Christianity is most often associated with the Religious Right, but the Christian faith has actually been a source of deep disagreement about what American society and government should look like. While some identify Christianity with Western civilization and unfettered individualism, others have maintained that Christian principles call for racial equality, international cooperation, and social justice. At once incisive and timely, Christian delves into the intersection of faith and political identity and offers an essential reconsideration of what it means to be Christian in America today.
“Bowman is fast establishing a reputation as a significant commentator on the culture and politics of the United States.”
“Bowman looks to tease out how religious groups in American history have defined, used, and even wielded the word Christian as a means of understanding themselves and pressing for their own idiosyncratic visions of genuine faith and healthy democracy.”
“A fascinating examination of the twists and turns in American Christianity, showing that the current state of political/religious alignment was not necessarily inevitable, nor even probable.”
The Community of Believers offers the proceedings of the 2013 Building Bridges seminar, a dialogue between leading Christian and Muslim scholars under the stewardship of Georgetown University.
These essays consider such themes as the Church as mystical body of Christ versus the Church as proclamation; the roots and uses of the term ummah and its development over time; Christian desires for communion, experiences of division, and approaches to unity; the history of Muslim disunity; twentieth-century Christian ecclesiology and its responses to a post-Christendom and post-Christian world; and the Arab Spring as a case study for contemplating accommodationism, conservatism, reformism, and fundamentalism as Muslim strategies to address the pressures of modernism. The volume also includes texts and commentaries used in the seminar’s discussions of each topic and a concluding essay summarizing the tone, content, and style of participant exchanges throughout the seminar.
The term "Abrahamic religions" has gained considerable currency in both scholarly and ecumenical circles as a way of referring to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In The Family of Abraham, Carol Bakhos steps back from this convention to ask a frequently overlooked question: What, in fact, is Abrahamic about these three faiths? Exploring diverse stories and interpretations relating to the portrayal of Abraham, she reveals how he is venerated in these different scriptural traditions and how scriptural narratives have been pressed into service for nonreligious purposes.
Grounding her study in a close examination of ancient Jewish textual practices, primarily midrash, as well as medieval Muslim Stories of the Prophets and the writings of the early Church Fathers, Bakhos demonstrates that ancient and early-medieval readers often embellished the image of Abraham and his family--Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael, and Isaac. Her analysis dismantles pernicious misrepresentations of Abraham's firstborn son, Ishmael, and provocatively challenges contemporary references to Judaism and Islam as sibling religions.
As Bakhos points out, an uncritical adoption of the term "Abrahamic religions" not only blinds us to the diverse interpretations and traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam but also artificially separates these faiths from their historical contexts. In correcting mistaken assumptions about the narrative and theological significance of Abraham, The Family of Abraham sheds new light on key figures of three world religions.
A unique interreligious dialogue provides needed context for deeper understanding of interfaith relations, from ancient to modern times
Freedom is far from straightforward as a topic of comparative theology. While it is often identified with modernity and even postmodernity, freedom has long been an important topic for reflection by both Christians and Muslims, discussed in both the Bible and the Qurʾan. Each faith has a different way of engaging with the idea of freedom shaped by the political context of their beginnings. The New Testament emerged in a region under occupation by the Roman Empire, whereas the Qurʾan was first received in tribal Arabia, a stateless environment with political freedom.
Freedom: Christian and Muslim Perspectives, edited by Lucinda Mosher, considers how Christian and Muslim faith communities have historically addressed many facets of freedom. The book presents essays, historical and scriptural texts, and reflections. Topics include God’s freedom, human freedom to obey God, autonomy versus heteronomy, autonomy versus self-governance, freedom from incapacitating addiction and desire, hermeneutic or discursive freedom vis-à-vis scripture and tradition, religious and political freedom, and the relationship between personal conviction and public order.
The rich insights expressed in this unique interfaith discussion will benefit readers—from students and scholars, to clerics and community leaders, to politicians and policymakers—who will gain a deeper understanding of how these two communities define freedom, how it is treated in both religious and secular texts, and how to make sense of it in the context of our contemporary lives.
As he goes about his milking chores on a cold October morning, Bishop Leon Shetler daydreams of escaping the Ohio winter and taking a bus to the Pinecraft Amish community in Florida for a vacation. His reverie is suddenly interrupted when young Crist Burkholder enters the barn, head down, hat in hand, to make a confession. ”I just killed Glenn Spiegle.”
“An Amish murderer?” Sheriff Robertson asks when he arrives on the scene. “Who will believe that?” But Burkholder is adamant about his guilt, fueled by the passion of his love for Vesta Miller, the young woman both he and Spiegle so desperately wanted to marry.
No sooner does the sheriff start his investigation than he learns of two more murders in the Pinecraft community, and a startling connection is made. There’s no way around it — Professor Mike Branden will have to put his research trip on hold and, along with detective Ricky Niell, travel south to investigate. There they discover the disturbing truth about Spiegle’s conversion to the Amish faith and the reason for the long–smoldering hatred that has reached into the secluded pastoral valleys of Holmes County.
In Harmless as Doves, P. L. Gaus takes the action to Florida in one of the most exciting mysteries in this series. This is Gaus at his best.
Mike Moran first attended Little Rock Catholic High School for Boys-all four years. On the basketball team, he was a point guard. Then, as "Mr. Moran," he taught English for forty years, also at Little Rock Catholic High School for Boys. Recently retired, Moran wrote the boys a novel. The tale revolves around a struggling small-town basketball team with a nerdy manager and a Walter Mittyesque coach. Presented with too few players to scrimmage in practice, the manager takes it upon himself to spread the word throughout the school: "We need you on the team." Three young students appear, diminutive in stature and with scrawny chests, unimpressive at first sight. But with the trio, and their fleet leader Jesse Crosse, the team first experiences shock, then inspiration and constant surprises. The team bonds, leading to stories that will be retold a very long time in a small, out-of-the-way town. It's not a long novel; like one's high school years, it goes by before you know it. Only the message is eternal.
A rare example of musical scholarship from the Tudor period, in translation and fully annotated
John Dygon was the prior of St. Augustine’s monastery in Canterbury when Henry VIII boldly dissolved the English Catholic Church during the 1530s and reorganized it under royal control. Only a single copy of Dygon’s manuscript on music theory has survived, held by Trinity College, Cambridge. This volume will be the first publication of these two treatises, providing both a scholarly transcription and English translation.
Dygon’s treatise provides a rare and important example of musical scholarship from the early Tudor period, demonstrating the status of music education at the time, the affiliations of English scholarship with music study in Europe, and the music that was actually performed in England. The treatises address questions of musical notation, especially regarding rhythmic proportions, as well as practical issues about performance. Theodor Dumitrescu’s introduction situates Dygon’s treatises within the larger history of European music, paying close attention to its borrowings from and adaptations of prior treatises.
True religious faith cannot be confirmed by any external proofs. Rather, it is founded on a basic act of trust—and the common root of that trust, for Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions, is a belief in the divine creation of the universe. But with Learning to Trust in Freedom, David B. Burrell asks the provocative question: How do we reach that belief, and what is it about the universe that could possibly testify to its divine origins? Even St. Augustine, he points out, could only find faith after a harrowing journey through the lures of desire—and it is that very desire that Burrell seizes on as a tool with which to explore the origin and purpose of the world. Delving deep into the intertwinings of desire and faith, and drawing on St. John of the Cross, Edith Stein, and Charles Taylor, Burrell offers a new understanding of free will, trust, and perception.
More than forty years ago in the state archives of Lucca, Italy, musicologist Reinhard Strohm noticed that bindings on some of the books were unusual: they consisted of the pages of a centuries-old music manuscript. In the following years, Strohm worked with the archivists to remove these leaves and reassemble as much as possible of the original manuscript, a major cultural recovery now known as The Lucca Choirbook.
The recovered volume comprises what remains of a gigantic cathedral codex commissioned in Bruges around 1463 and containing English, Franco-Flemish, and Italian sacred music of the fifteenth century—including works by the celebrated composers Guillaume Du Fay and Henricus Isaac.
This facsimile of the choirbook includes all the known leaves, ordered according to their proper placement in the original codex. In the introduction, Strohm tells the fascinating story of this choirbook, identifying its early users and reconstructing its travel from Bruges to Lucca.
Donated in the late fifteenth century to the papal choir, the musical manuscript Cappella Sistina14 reflects a new style of mass composition used by some of the era’s most noted composers. Masses for the Sistine Chapel makes the complete contents of the Cappella Sistina14—held in the Vatican Library—available for the first time.
Featuring fifteen masses and four mass fragments, this volume includes works by such composers as Guillaume Du Fay, Johannes Ockeghem, and Antoine Busnoys. In a comprehensive introduction and critical commentary on each work, Richard Sherr places the choirbook in its historical context, describing its physical makeup as well as the repertory. Sherr’s critical edition of this celebrated manuscript finally provides the insight necessary to inform future performances and recordings of its influential contents.
Prayer: Christian and Muslim Perspectives is a rich collection of essays, scriptural texts, and personal reflections featuring leading scholars analyzing the meaning and function of prayer within their traditions. Drawn from the 2011 Building Bridges seminar in Doha, Qatar, the essays in this volume explore the devotional practices of each tradition and how these practices are taught and learned. Relevant texts are included, with commentary, as are personal reflections on prayer by each of the seminar participants. The volume also contains a Christian reflection on Islamic prayer and a Muslim reflection on Christian prayer. An extensive account of the informal conversations at the seminar conveys a vivid sense of the lively, penetrating, but respectful dialogue that took place.
Italian preachers during the Reformation era found themselves in the trenches of a more desperate war than anything they had ever imagined. This war—the splintering of western Christendom into conflicting sects—was physically but also spiritually violent. In an era of tremendous religious convolution, fluidity, and danger, preachers of all kinds spoke from the pulpit daily, weekly, or seasonally to confront the hottest controversies of their time. Preachers also turned to the printing press in unprecedented numbers to spread their messages.
Emily Michelson challenges the stereotype that Protestants succeeded in converting Catholics through superior preaching and printing. Catholic preachers were not simply reactionary and uncreative mouthpieces of a monolithic church. Rather, they deftly and imaginatively grappled with the question of how to preserve the orthodoxy of their flock and maintain the authority of the Roman church while also confronting new, undeniable lay demands for inclusion and participation.
These sermons—almost unknown in English until now—tell a new story of the Reformation that credits preachers with keeping Italy Catholic when the region’s religious future seemed uncertain, and with fashioning the post-Reformation Catholicism that thrived into the modern era. By deploying the pulpit, pen, and printing press, preachers in Italy created a new religious culture that would survive in an unprecedented atmosphere of competition and religious choice.
Often called the musical equivalent of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Trent codices have dramatically broadened our understanding of Renaissance music. Much has been written about this collection of fifteenth-century music manuscripts, most of which were discovered in the Cathedral at Trent, but none of the seven codices--generally called Trent 87 through Trent 93--has ever been published in its entirety. Thus Rebecca Gerber’s edition of Trent 88, which took more than a decade to prepare, will be the first to appear. As such, this volume is a landmark in the publication of early music.
Trent 88 comprises an extensive anthology of 145 compositions tailored to the ceremonial and daily religious services of the period. The international scope of the collection is both impressive and significant: early English, French, German, and Spanish mass cycles appear alongside simple hymns and Magnificats. Music by renowned composers—including Guillaume Du Fay, Johannes Ockeghem, Johannes Cornago, and John Bedingham—is joined here by an even larger repertory of anonymous compositions with great aesthetic and historical value. Edited to accommodate both scholars and performers, and augmented with Gerber’s expert introduction, this volume will significantly deepen existing knowledge of a crucial period in the history of music.
The sermon as crafted by the early New England preachers was the most prominent literary form of its day, yet the earliest Puritan texts have as a rule been available only in rare-book collections. This anthology of sermons of the first generation of preachers fills a serious gap in American literature. The preachers collected here, the most widely published of their time, were among the eighty or more who emigrated to Massachusetts Bay during the 1630s. They are John Cotton of Boston, Thomas Shepard of Cambridge, and Thomas Hooker of Hartford, the three foremost "lights of the western churches," and two eminent colleagues, Peter Bulkeley of Concord and John Davenport, first of New Haven and later of Boston.
The selections are chosen to be representative of the lengthy works from which they are drawn, to reflect the major concerns and styles of the preachers' work as a whole, and to demonstrate the genre of the sermon as developed by the early American Puritans. Not only does this anthology represent an important contribution to literary history, but the sermons also illustrate a doctrine uniquely elaborated in this period—a consistent and emphatic narrative, mythlike in its repetition and heroics, of the progress of the soul from a state of nature to a state of salvation. This theme may be seen as a three-stage-development, although individual sermons may vary. These stages—preparation, vocation, and regeneration—determine the order of the selections.
The editors' introductory material supplies a comprehensive and thorough discussion of the early New England sermons, concentrating on their role, history, structure, style, and subject matter. A separate essay on the texts of the sermons describes the relationship between the early printed versions and their form as delivered in the pulpit. The introduction preceding each selection presents original research on the historical circumstances of the preaching and publication of the work from which the sermon is drawn. The editors have also provided brief biographies of the preacfiers represented here, an annotated list of recommended background reading, and the most exhaustive checklist available of authoritative editions of the sermons of these five preachers.
This book will be useful to colonial specialists as well as to students of early American literature, religion, and history. The texts are critically edited for readability, with modernized spelling and annotations of unfamiliar phrases and allusions.
The third book in Naomi Gladish Smith’s acclaimed series about souls in the afterlife follows a new group of seekers on their journey to heaven—or hell.
Kate Douglas, who spent a lifetime on earth teaching young students, in death finds herself at the Academy, a school for new arrivals in the afterlife. Barely accustomed to her new existence, she’s confronted with the soul of her troubled nephew Dan, who took his own life. Dan struggles to find his path in this new world, encountering the innocent Birgit, who in life was an abused girl, and the beautiful Pegeen, who draws him into the dangerous territory bordering hell. But even as Kate teams up with her friend Frank and budding angel Percy to try to help Dan face his inner demons, Kate must deal with her own issues: her helplessness at watching her husband Howard, still on earth and dying of a degenerative disease; her attraction to Frank; and an assignment to guide a particularly difficult new arrival named Janet. Their fates intertwine as each searches within to discover whether they ultimately bound for heaven or hell.
Inspired by Emanuel Swedenborg’s descriptions of the afterlife, Smith paints a vivid picture of the world of spirits, a spiritual realm between heaven and hell where inner truths are revealed and the distance between any two people is no more than a thought.
Opening with the sermon preached in June 1935 at the dedication of the Chapel and closing with one by Willimon delivered at the beginning of the 2003–4 school year, this volume presents Protestant Christianity at its most eloquent and prophetic. Some sermons are pure meditations on biblical texts; others are period pieces in the best sense of the term, reflecting on such contemporary concerns as civil rights, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, and the wars in Europe, Vietnam, and Iraq. Willimon provides a brief introduction to each sermon, commenting on the work and thought of the preacher. Diverse in subject and style, the sermons collected in this volume are a treasure for those who love fine preaching, a resource for those studying the history of homiletics, and a light to rekindle the memories of those who have worshiped in the Chapel over the years.
What might a spirit feel on first awakening in the afterlife? Fear, confusion, denial?
When Maggie Stevens, a former world-class gymnast, first awakens in a hospital bed, she is amazed that her body is pain-free. After all, she fell off a balance beam during a competition and crashed head-first onto the auditorium floor. What Maggie doesn't at first realize is that the hospital is like no place on earth. She meets other newly arrived "patients": Kate Douglas, a no-nonsense academic who suffered a heart attack; Ryan James, a handsome musician, who is recovering from a motorcycle crash; Frank Chambers, an ex-cop from Chicago, and Patrick Riley, a church organist, both of whom arrived from a Swiss cancer clinic; and Claire and Swen, a young couple running away from the army. When they all learn that they didn't recover from their illnesses and injuries, they go on an adventure to discover the nature of their new reality. Each must discover that their earthly choices and intentions paved the way for their final destination.
The debate between the two friends is presented here in the form of a correspondence they conducted over a period of two years (and did not originally intend for publication). It has undergone very little editing and revision; the authors have wanted to preserve the spontaneous give and take of their exchange. Together they have produced a work of philosophical dialogue that is unusually fruitful in its ability to clarify some fundamental issues of religion.
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