Centuries after his death, al-Ghazali remains one of the most influential figures of the Islamic intellectual tradition. Although he is best known for his Incoherence of the Philosophers, Moderation in Belief is his most profound work of philosophical theology. In it, he offers what scholars consider to be the best defense of the Ash'arite school of Islamic theology that gained acceptance within orthodox Sunni theology in the twelfth century, though he also diverges from Ash'arism with his more rationalist approach to the Quran. Together with The Incoherence of the Philosophers, Moderation in Belief informs many subsequent theological debates, and its influence extends beyond the Islamic tradition, informing broader questions within Western philosophical and theological thought.
The first complete English-language edition of Moderation in Belief, this new annotated translation by Aladdin M. Yaqub draws on the most esteemed critical editions of the Arabic texts and offers detailed commentary that analyzes and reconstructs the arguments found in the work’s four treatises. Explanations of the historical and intellectual background of the texts also enable readers with a limited knowledge of classical Arabic to fully explore al-Ghazali and this foundational text for the first time.
With the recent resurgence of interest in Islamic philosophy and the conflict between philosophy and religion, this new translation will be a welcome addition to the scholarship.
In addition to being the sixth bishop of the Diocese of New York, Henry Codman Potter (1835-1908) was a prominent voice in the Social Gospel movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This book, the first in-depth study of Potter's life and work, examines his career in the Episcopal church as well as the origins and legacy of his progressive social views.
As industrialization and urbanization spread in the nineteenth century, the Social Gospel movement sought to apply Christian teachings to effect improvements in the lives of the less fortunate. Potter was firmly in this tradition, concerning himself especially with issues of race, the place of women in society, questions of labor and capital, and what he called "political righteousness." Placing Potter against the wider backdrop of nineteenth-century American Protestantism, Bourgeois explores the experiences and influences that led him to espouse these socially conscious beliefs, to work for social reform, and to write such works as Sermons of the City (1881) and The Citizen in His Relation to the Industrial Situation (1902).
In telling Potter's remarkable story, All Things Human stands as a valuable contribution to intellectual and religious history as well as an exploration of the ways in which religion and society interact.
Patrick J. Ryan SJ Catholic University of America Press, 2018 Library of Congress BL80.3.R93 2018 | Dewey Decimal 201.4
Amen: Jews, Christians, and Muslims Keep Faith with God examines faith as it is understood by Jews, Christians and Muslims; it does not aim to be a work of systematic theology or a lengthy explication of the contents of different faith traditions. It offers Jews, Christians and Muslims several approaches to faith as a category of human experience open to God: a faithful God who reaches out to grasp the faithful human being at the same time that the faithful human being reaches out to grasp a faithful God. This two-sided faith, divine and human, lies at the center of each faith tradition. The book examines faith as one might examine a gem, gazing at different facets in turn.
In this careful analysis and evaluation of the monumental influence of Niebuhr, Werpehowski traces four streams that flow from Niebuhr's theology, particularly as it deals with ethics. In a tightly knit and comprehensive investigation of the work of four contemporary ethicists, important in their own right, Paul Ramsey, Stanley Hauerwas, James Gustafson, and Kathryn Tanner, Werpehowski explores how the legacy of Niebuhr has made an impact on their thought and work. He presents a clear, concise, nuanced, analytical criticism of the development of the four ethicist's construction of ethics-and does it in a way that interweaves and puts the four into a dialogue and conversation with Niebuhr and each other.
Addressing a number of substantive issues, including the viability of just war tradition and the relationship between "church" and "world," American Protestant Ethics and the Legacy of H. Richard Niebuhr demonstrates that Christian ethics operates within a set of polar tensions and that such "conversations" as are developed within need to be a part of moral discourse inside and between a variety of communities of faith.
The dream of restoring primitive Christianity lies close to the core of the identity of some American denominations---Churches of Christ, Latter-day Saints, some Mennonites, and a variety of Holiness and Pentecostal denominations. But how can a return to ancient Christianity be sustained in a world increasingly driven by modernization? What meaning might such a vision have in the modern world? Twelve distinguished scholars explore these and related questions in this provocative book.
The Amish Struggle with Modernity
Edited by Donald B. Kraybill and Marc A. Olshan University Press of New England, 1994 Library of Congress BX8129.A6A47 1994 | Dewey Decimal 289.73
Throughout their history, the Amish communities of North America have tried to remain separate from the currents of progress that swirl in the larger society. The authors and others argue that although the nation’s nearly 140,000 Amish continue to resist the influence of worldly institutions, the communities have nonetheless acquiesced to modernity in significant ways. Such change has not been easy and The Amish Struggle with Modernity examines on a national scale dilemmas that arise when a people devoted to plain living face the complexities of modern life.
Analogies of Transcendence
Stephen M. Fields Catholic University of America Press, 2016 Library of Congress BX1795.N36F54 2016 | Dewey Decimal 233.5
The problem of nature and grace lies at the heart of Christian theology. No dimension of divine revelation can be addressed without implicitly drawing reference to this issue.Analogies of Transcendence focuses on the central role that the analogies of being and faith play in developing a solution to the problem. These link God, as self-manifesting transcendence, to the human person as both fallen and justified, and to the material cosmos. Although the proposed solution draws on the work of Maréchal, de Lubac, Balthasar, and Rahner, it criticizes their approach for its underdeveloped analogies that diminish nature in grace's engagement with it. In redressing this weakness, Fr. Fields adapts its solution to the intellectual struggle of our time. This volume examines the origins and structure of modernity, which, it asserts, has not been superseded and is therefore critical of'postmodernism,' as well as of some ambiguous legacies of Thomism.
Temple worship has long distinguished the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from mainstream Christendom. Even the denominations that trace their roots to LDS Church founder Joseph Smith have largely defined temple doctrines and ordinances as relics of the past; others have adopted and restored them to what they deem to be their purest form. To understand the LDS people is to grasp the impact the temple has had on church members as they embraced both temple-related teachings as essential to exaltation as well as the brick-and-mortar structures that stand as symbols of faith and sacrifice.
Christian Larsen has assembled a collection of essays that illuminate the role of the temple and its rocky relationship with controversial subjects such as race and marriage. Some temples were built, abandoned, and given new life; others were either constructed for temporary use or never built at all. The nature of LDS temple ordinances is such that what LDS members deem sacred, others dismiss as secret.
Angels and Demons
Serge-Thomas Bonino Catholic University of America Press, 2016 Library of Congress BT966.3.B6613 2016 | Dewey Decimal 235
Angels occupy a significant space in contemporary popular spirituality. Yet, today more than ever, the belief in the existence of intermediary spirits between the human and divine realms needs to be evangelized and Christianized. Angels and Demons offers a detailed synthesis of the givens of the Christian tradition concerning the angels and demons, as systematized in its essential principles by St. Thomas Aquinas. Certainly, the doctrine of angels and demons is not at the heart of Christian faith, but its place is far from negligible. On the one hand, as part of faith seeking understanding, angelology has been and can continue to be a source of enrichment for philosophy. Thus, reflection on the ontological constitution of the angel, on the modes of angelic knowledge, and on the nature of the sin of Satan can engage and shed light on the most fundamental areas of metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. On the other hand, angelology, insofar as it is inseparable from the ensemble of the Christian mystery (from the doctrine of creation to the Christian understanding of the spiritual life), can be envisioned from an original and fruitful perspective.
Aquinas on Transubstantiation
Reinhard Hutter Catholic University of America Press, 2019 Library of Congress BX2220.H88 2019 | Dewey Decimal 234.163
Aquinas on Transubstantiation treats one of the most frequently mis-understood and mis-represented teachings of Thomas Aquinas—Eucharistic transubstantiation. The study interprets Aquinas’s teaching as an exercise of “holy teaching” (sacra doctrina) that intends to show theologically and back up philosophically the simple yet profound thesis that “transubstantiation” affirms nothing but the truth of Christ’s words at the Last Supper—“This is my body,” “This is my blood.” Yet in order to achieve a contemporary ressourcement of this simple yet profound truth, it is necessary to probe the depths of Thomas Aquinas’s philosophical interpretation of it. For Thomas Aquinas, in regarding the truth of Eucharistic conversion, it is faith that preserves the human intellect from missing or dismissing the mystery announced in Christ’s words. Faith, however, is not intellectually blind, a faith that, as is often erroneously held, is commanded by arbitrary divine dictates to which the will submits in blind obedience. Rather, Aquinas takes faith is sustained, but not constituted, by an intellectual contemplation of the proposed mystery of faith, by faith seeking understanding. Thomas Aquinas unfolds this exercise of understanding guided by faith in the medium of a metaphysical contemplation that affords a profound intellectual appreciation of this central mystery of faith—precisely as mystery. Thomas’s metaphysical contemplation of Eucharistic conversion gestures toward the blinding light of superintelligibility, experienced as the unique darkness that surrounds this sublime mystery of faith. A ressourcement in Thomas Aquinas’s doctrine of transubstantiation also affords an renewed appreciation of the Church’s affirmation of transubstantiation as the most apt term for the interpretation of the mystery of Eucharistic conversion and a greater precision of what is centrally at stake in this mystery in the ongoing ecumenical conversation of this most central Christian teaching. A doctrinally sound, ecumenically informed, and philosophically reflected contemporary Catholic theology cannot afford to ignore or dismiss Aquinas’s surpassing account of Eucharistic conversion.
We have books that contain collected essays, verse, and humor. What we see less often are books that contain collected interviews on various topics. Interviews have a certain outside discipline about them. The one interviewed responds to a question someone else asks of him. Often the questions are unexpected, sometimes annoying. Answers have a freshness to them. They can be more personal, frank.
The responses in At a Breezy Time of Day are occasioned when someone writes or phones with a request for an interview. There may be a common theme but often side questions come up. We are curious about what someone has to say – about sports, about God, about Plato, about education, about books, about just about anything. Usually central questions occur. The same question can be answered in different ways. We often have more to say on a given topic than we do say on our first being asked about it.
These interviews appeared in various on-line and printed sources. Having them collected in one text makes the interview form itself seem more substantial. Interviews too often seem to be passing, ephemeral things, but often we want to hold on to them. There is something more existential about them. Yet there is also something more lightsome about them also. The truth of things seems more bearable when it is spoken, when it has a human voice.
So, as the title of this collection intimates, we begin with the very first interview in the Garden of Eden. We touch many places and issues. The interview always has somewhere even in its written form the touch of the human voice. The one who interviews invites us to speak, to tell us what we hold, why we hold it. Interviews are themselves part of that engagement in conversation that defines our kind in its search for a full knowledge of what is.
We know that when we have said the last word, much remains to be said. We can rejoice both in what we know, and in what we know that we do not know. I believe it was Socrates who, in an earlier form of interview at the end of The Apology, alerted us to be aware of what we know and to await the many other interviews that we hope to carry on with so many others of our kind in the Isles of the Blessed.