Religion, Mark C. Taylor argues in After God, is more complicated than either its defenders or critics think and, indeed, is much more influential than any of us realize. Our world, Taylor maintains, is shaped by religion even when it is least obvious. Faith and value, he insists, are unavoidable and inextricably interrelated for believers and nonbelievers alike.
The first comprehensive theology of culture since the pioneering work of Paul Tillich, After God redefines religion for our contemporary age. This volumeis a radical reconceptualization of religion and Taylor’s most pathbreaking work yet, bringing together various strands of theological argument and cultural analysis four decades in the making.
Praise for Mark C. Taylor
“The distinguishing feature of Taylor’s career is a fearless, or perhaps reckless, orientation to the new and to whatever challenges orthodoxy. . . . Taylor’s work is playful, perverse, rarefied, ingenious, and often brilliant.”—New York Times Magazine
Yadlapati traces religious perspectives on trust, humility, belonging, commitment, and lively skepticism as they relate to faith and doubt. Drawing on various doctrines, scriptures, and the writings of great religious thinkers such as C. S. Lewis, Søren Kierkegaard, Karl Barth, and Raimon Panikkar, Yadlapati demonstrates how doubt can serve to enhance faith, not hinder it. Defending the rich tapestry of faith and doubt against polarization, Against Dogmatism reveals an ecumenical middle way, a spiritual approach native to traditions in which faith and doubt are interwoven in constructive and dynamic ways.
From the Pilgrims who settled at Plymouth Rock to Christian Coalition canvassers working for George W. Bush, Americans have long sought to integrate faith with politics. Few have been as successful as Hollywood evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson.During the years between the two world wars, McPherson was the most flamboyant and controversial minister in the United States. She built an enormously successful and innovative megachurch, established a mass media empire, and produced spellbinding theatrical sermons that rivaled Tinseltown's spectacular shows. As McPherson's power grew, she moved beyond religion into the realm of politics, launching a national crusade to fight the teaching of evolution in the schools, defend Prohibition, and resurrect what she believed was the United States' Christian heritage. Convinced that the antichrist was working to destroy the nation's Protestant foundations, she and her allies saw themselves as a besieged minority called by God to join the "old time religion" to American patriotism.Matthew Sutton's definitive study of Aimee Semple McPherson reveals the woman, most often remembered as the hypocritical vamp in Sinclair Lewis's Elmer Gantry, as a trail-blazing pioneer. Her life marked the beginning of Pentecostalism's advance from the margins of Protestantism to the mainstream of American culture. Indeed, from her location in Hollywood, McPherson's integration of politics with faith set precedents for the religious right, while her celebrity status, use of spectacle, and mass media savvy came to define modern evangelicalism.
Media coverage of the Danish cartoon crisis and the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan left Westerners with a strong impression that Islam does not countenance depiction of religious imagery. Jamal J. Elias corrects this view by revealing the complexity of Islamic attitudes toward representational religious art. Aisha’s Cushion emphasizes Islam’s perceptual and intellectual modes and in so doing offers the reader both insight into Islamic visual culture and a unique way of seeing the world.Aisha’s Cushion evaluates the controversies surrounding blasphemy and iconoclasm by exploring Islamic societies at the time of Muhammad and the birth of Islam; during early contact between Arab Muslims and Byzantine Christians; in medieval Anatolia and India; and in modern times. Elias’s inquiry then goes further, to situate Islamic religious art in a global context. His comparisons with Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, and Hindu attitudes toward religious art show them to be as contradictory as those of Islam. Contemporary theories about art’s place in society inform Elias’s investigation of how religious objects have been understood across time and in different cultures.Elias contends that Islamic perspectives on representation and perception should be sought not only in theological writings or aesthetic treatises but in a range of Islamic works in areas as diverse as optics, alchemy, dreaming, calligraphy, literature, vehicle and home decoration, and Sufi metaphysics. Unearthing shades of meaning in Islamic thought throughout history, Elias offers fresh insight into the relations among religion, art, and perception across a broad range of cultures.
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.
This anthology brings together, for the first time, leading essays and book chapters from theologians, philosophers, and scientists on their research on ethics, altruism, and love. Because the general consensus today is that scholarship in moral theory requires empirical research, the arguments of the leading scholars presented in this book will be fundamental to those examining issues in love, ethics, religion, and science.
The first half of The Altruism Reader offers essential selections from religious texts, leading contemporary scholars, and cutting-edge ethicists. Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism are represented. Among the highly respected writers are Thomas Aquinas, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, John Polkinghorne, Stephen Pope, Louis Fischer, Amira Shamma Abdin, Katharine Doob Sakenfeld, and Daniel Day Williams.
The book’s second half features primary readings on love and altruism from the sciences. Here the focus is on anthropology, psychology, sociology, biology, and neurology, with material written by Daniel C. Batson, David Sloan Wilson, Robert Wright, Stephen G. Post, Robert Axelrod, Richard Dawkins, Holmes Rolston III, and other renowned scientists and philosophers.
“Virtually all people act—and often talk—as if they have some clue about love. We speak about loving food, falling in love, loving God, feeling loved, and loving a type of music. We say that love hurts, love waits, love stinks, and love means never having to say you’re sorry. We use the word and its derivatives in a wide variety of ways . . . . My definition of love is this: To love is to act intentionally, in sympathetic response to others (including God), to promote well-being.” —Thomas Jay Oord
Every child knows what it means to play, but the rest of us can merely speculate. Is it a kind of adaptation, teaching us skills, inducting us into certain communities? Is it power, pursued in games of prowess? Fate, deployed in games of chance? Daydreaming, enacted in art? Or is it just frivolity? Brian Sutton-Smith, a leading proponent of play theory, considers each possibility as it has been proposed, elaborated, and debated in disciplines from biology, psychology, and education to metaphysics, mathematics, and sociology.Sutton-Smith focuses on play theories rooted in seven distinct “rhetorics”—the ancient discourses of Fate, Power, Communal Identity, and Frivolity and the modern discourses of Progress, the Imaginary, and the Self. In a sweeping analysis that moves from the question of play in child development to the implications of play for the Western work ethic, he explores the values, historical sources, and interests that have dictated the terms and forms of play put forth in each discourse’s “objective” theory.This work reveals more distinctions and disjunctions than affinities, with one striking exception: however different their descriptions and interpretations of play, each rhetoric reveals a quirkiness, redundancy, and flexibility. In light of this, Sutton-Smith suggests that play might provide a model of the variability that allows for “natural” selection. As a form of mental feedback, play might nullify the rigidity that sets in after successful adaption, thus reinforcing animal and human variability. Further, he shows how these discourses, despite their differences, might offer the components for a new social science of play.
This collection of ten essays constitutes the proceedings of a two-day conference held at Harvard in October 2007. The conference focused on three medieval manuscripts of Ambrosian chant owned by Houghton Library. The Ambrosian liturgy and its music, practiced in and around medieval Milan, were rare regional survivors of the Catholic Church’s attempt to adopt a universal Roman liturgy and the chant now known as Gregorian. Two of the manuscripts under scrutiny had been recently acquired (one perhaps the oldest surviving source of Ambrosian music), and the third manuscript, long held among the Library’s collections of illuminated manuscripts, had been newly identified as Ambrosian.The generously illustrated essays gathered here represent the work of established experts and younger scholars. Together they explore the manuscripts as physical objects and place them in their urban and historical contexts, as well as in the musical and ecclesiastical context of Milan, Italy, and medieval Europe.
During a career spanning sixty years, the Reverend Billy Graham’s resonant voice and chiseled profile entered the living rooms of millions of Americans with a message that called for personal transformation through God’s grace. How did a lanky farm kid from North Carolina become an evangelist hailed by the media as “America’s pastor”? Why did listeners young and old pour out their grief and loneliness in letters to a man they knew only through televised “Crusades” in faraway places like Madison Square Garden? More than a conventional biography, Grant Wacker’s interpretive study deepens our understanding of why Billy Graham has mattered so much to so many.Beginning with tent revivals in the 1940s, Graham transformed his born-again theology into a moral vocabulary capturing the fears and aspirations of average Americans. He possessed an uncanny ability to appropriate trends in the wider culture and engaged boldly with the most significant developments of his time, from communism and nuclear threat to poverty and civil rights. The enduring meaning of his career, in Wacker’s analysis, lies at the intersection of Graham’s own creative agency and the forces shaping modern America.Wacker paints a richly textured portrait: a self-deprecating servant of God and self-promoting media mogul, a simple family man and confidant of presidents, a plainspoken preacher and the “Protestant pope.” America’s Pastor reveals how this Southern fundamentalist grew, fitfully, into a capacious figure at the center of spiritual life for millions of Christians around the world.
Anselm of Canterbury (1033–1109 CE), in his work Proslogion, originated the “ontological argument” for God’s existence, famously arguing that “something than which nothing greater can be conceived,” which he identifies with God, must actually exist, for otherwise something greater could indeed be conceived. Some commentators have claimed that although Anselm may not have been conscious of the fact, the Proslogion as well as his Reply to Gaunilo contains passages that constitute a second independent proof: a “modal ontological argument” that concerns the supposed logical necessity of God’s existence. Other commentators disagree, countering that the alleged second argument does not stand on its own but presupposes the conclusion of the first.Anselm’s Other Argument stakes an original claim in this debate, and takes it further. There is a second a priori argument in Anselm (specifically in the Reply), A. D. Smith contends, but it is not the modal argument past scholars have identified. This second argument surfaces in a number of forms, though always turning on certain deep, interrelated metaphysical issues. It is this form of argument that in fact underlies several of the passages which have been misconstrued as statements of the modal argument. In a book that combines historical research with rigorous philosophical analysis, Smith discusses this argument in detail, finally defending a modification of it that is implicit in Anselm. This “other argument” bears a striking resemblance to one that Duns Scotus would later employ.
The life and miracles of a pagan holy man.This biography of a first-century AD holy man has become one of the most widely discussed literary works of later antiquity. In a grandly baroque style style Philostratus portrays a charismatic teacher and religious reformer from Tyana in Cappadocia (modern central Turkey) who travels the length of the known world, from the Atlantic to the river Ganges. His miracles, which include extraordinary cures and mysterious disappearances, together with his apparent triumph over death, caused pagans to make Apollonius a rival to Jesus of Nazareth.In his three-volume Loeb edition of this third-century work, Christopher Jones gives a much improved Greek text and an elegant translation with full explanatory notes. The Life of Apollonius is formally a biography (by far the longest that survives from antiquity), but in reality a combination of travel narrative, rhetorical showpiece, and much else. In the introduction, Jones addresses the question of how far the Life is history and how far fiction. He also discusses the survival and reception of the work through Late Antiquity and up to modern times, and the role that it continues to play in controversies about Christianity.
The life and miracles of a pagan holy man.Philostratus' colorful biography of Apollonius of Tyana, recounting the sayings and miracles of a Pythagorean sage, incidentally provoked a long-lasting debate between pagans and Christians. This volume, which completes the Loeb Classical Library edition of the Life of Apollonius of Tyana, provides full context for that much discussed third-century portrayal of a charismatic religious teacher.Here is a new translation of the surviving letters of Apollonius, augmented and illuminated by recent discoveries. These letters reveal Apollonius' personality and his religious and philosophical ideas. New for this edition is a selection of ancient reports about Apollonius from authors such as St. Jerome and St. Augustine.Philostratus' biography was quickly caught up in the religious struggles that marked the rise of Christianity. An official in Diocletian's empire named Hierocles used it as ammunition in an anti-Christian polemic, initiating a controversy that lasted well into modern times. The reply by Eusebius, the fourth-century bishop of Caesarea, was originally included in editions of the Life of Apollonius in order to serve as a spiritual antidote and to provide cover for the publishers; today it is an essential chapter in the history of Philostratus' masterpiece.
The distinguished Moroccan philosopher Mohammed Abed al-Jabri, in this summary of his own work, examines the status of Arab thought in the late twentieth century. Al-Jabri rejects what he calls the current polarization of Arab thought between an imported modernism that disregards Arab tradition and a fundamentalism that would reconstruct the present in the image of an idealized past.
Both past and present intellectual currents are examined. Al-Jabri first questions the current philosophical positions of the liberals, the Marxists, and the fundamentalists. Then he turns to history, exploring Arab philosophy in the tenth and twelfth centuries, a time of political and ideological struggle. In the writings of Ibn Hazm and Averroës, he identifies the beginnings of Arab rationalism, a rationalism he traces through the innovative fourteenth–century work of Ibn Khaldun.
Al-Jabri offers both Western readers and his own compatriots a radical new approach to Arab thought, one that finds in the past the roots of an open, critical rationalism which he sees as emerging in the Arab world today.
During his lifetime, Archbishop Oscar Romero chose to live the Christian Gospel in a radical way, defending, supporting, and serving the poor, and confronting the oppressive and murderous violence of the Salvadoran dictatorship. As a result, in March 1980, while celebrating Mass in a small chapel in El Salvador, he was assassinated.
With Archbishop Oscar Romero, Damian Zynda offers a compelling examination of the bishop’s eventful life. Zynda delves into the psychological and spiritual depths of Romero’s faith, tracing its progression from age thirteen up to the episcopacy and his prophetic stand against the government.
Jihad, with its many terrifying associations, is a term widely used today, though its meaning is poorly grasped. Few people understand the circumstances requiring a jihad, or "holy" war, or how Islamic militants justify their violent actions within the framework of the religious tradition of Islam. How Islam, with more than one billion followers, interprets jihad and establishes its precepts has become a critical issue for both the Muslim and the non-Muslim world.John Kelsay's timely and important work focuses on jihad of the sword in Islamic thought, history, and culture. Making use of original sources, Kelsay delves into the tradition of shari'a--Islamic jurisprudence and reasoning--and shows how it defines jihad as the Islamic analogue of the Western "just" war. He traces the arguments of thinkers over the centuries who have debated the legitimacy of war through appeals to shari'a reasoning. He brings us up to the present and demonstrates how contemporary Muslims across the political spectrum continue this quest for a realistic ethics of war within the Islamic tradition.Arguing the Just War in Islam provides a systematic account of how Islam's central texts interpret jihad, guiding us through the historical precedents and Qur'anic sources upon which today's claims to doctrinal truth and legitimate authority are made. In illuminating the broad spectrum of Islam's moral considerations of the just war, Kelsay helps Muslims and non-Muslims alike make sense of the possibilities for future war and peace.
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.
A richly illustrated collection of essays on visual biblical interpretation
For centuries Christians have engaged their sacred texts as much through the visual as through the written word. Yet until recent decades, the academic disciplines of biblical studies and art history largely worked independently. This volume bridges that gap with the interdisciplinary work of biblical scholars and art historians. Focusing on the visualization of biblical characters from both the Old and New Testaments, essays illustrate the potential of such collaboration for a deeper understanding of the Bible and its visual reception. Contributions from Ian Boxall, James Clifton, David B. Gowler, Jonathan Homrighausen, Heidi J. Hornik, Jeff Jay, Christine E. Joynes, Yohana A. Junker, Meredith Munson, and Ela Nuțu foreground diverse cultural contexts and chronological periods for scholars and students of the Bible and art.
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.
A vastly informative and rare early-American pioneer autobiography rescued from obscurity.
In this remarkable memoir, Daniel Parker (1781–1861) recorded both the details of everyday life and the extraordinary historical events he witnessed west of the Appalachian Mountains between 1790 and 1840. Once a humble traveling salesman for a line of newly invented clothes washing machines, he became an outspoken advocate for abolition and education. With his wife and son, he founded Clermont Academy, a racially integrated, coeducational secondary school—the first of its kind in Ohio.
However, Parker’s real vocation was as a self-ordained, itinerant preacher of his own brand of universal salvation. Raised by Presbyterian parents, he experienced a dramatic conversion to the Halcyon Church, an alternative, millenarian religious movement led by the enigmatic prophet Abel Sarjent, in 1803. After parting ways with the Halcyonists, he continued his own biblical and theological studies, arriving at the universalist conclusions that he would eventually preach throughout the Ohio River Valley.
David Torbett has transcribed Parker’s manuscript and publishes it here for the first time, together with an introduction, epilogue, bibliography, and extensive notes that enrich and contextualize this rare pioneer autobiography.
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