front cover of Abiding Grace
Abiding Grace
Time, Modernity, Death
Mark C. Taylor
University of Chicago Press, 2018
Post-war, post-industrialism, post-religion, post-truth, post-biological, post-human, post-modern. What succeeds the post- age? Mark C. Taylor returns here to some of his central philosophical preoccupations and asks: What comes after the end? 

Abiding Grace navigates the competing Hegelian and Kierkegaardian trajectories born out of the Reformation and finds Taylor arguing from spaces in between, showing how both narratives have shaped recent philosophy and culture. For Hegel, Luther’s internalization of faith anticipated the modern principle of autonomy, which reached its fullest expression in speculative philosophy.  The closure of the Hegelian system still endures in the twenty-first century in consumer society, financial capitalism, and virtual culture. For Kierkegaard, by contrast, Luther’s God remains radically transcendent, while finite human beings and their world remain fully dependent. From this insight, Heidegger and Derrida developed an alternative view of time in which a radically open future breaks into the present to transform the past, demonstrating that, far from autonomous, life is a gift from an Other that can never be known.

Offering an alternative genealogy of deconstruction that traces its pedigree back to readings of Paul by way of Luther, Abiding Grace presents a thoroughgoing critique of modernity and postmodernity’s will to power and mastery. In this new philosophical and theological vision, history is not over and the future remains endlessly open.
[more]

front cover of Abortion in Early Modern Italy
Abortion in Early Modern Italy
John Christopoulos
Harvard University Press, 2020

A comprehensive history of abortion in Renaissance Italy.

In this authoritative history, John Christopoulos provides a provocative and far-reaching account of abortion in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy. His poignant portraits of women who terminated or were forced to terminate pregnancies offer a corrective to longstanding views: he finds that Italians maintained a fundamental ambivalence about abortion. Italians from all levels of society sought, had, and participated in abortions. Early modern Italy was not an absolute anti-abortion culture, an exemplary Catholic society centered on the “traditional family.” Rather, Christopoulos shows, Italians held many views on abortion, and their responses to its practice varied.

Bringing together medical, religious, and legal perspectives alongside a social and cultural history of sexuality, reproduction, and the family, Christopoulos offers a nuanced and convincing account of the meanings Italians ascribed to abortion and shows how prevailing ideas about the practice were spread, modified, and challenged. Christopoulos begins by introducing readers to prevailing ideas about abortion and women’s bodies, describing the widely available purgative medicines and surgeries that various healers and women themselves employed to terminate pregnancies. He then explores how these ideas and practices ran up against and shaped theology, medicine, and law. Catholic understanding of abortion was changing amid religious, legal, and scientific debates concerning the nature of human life, women’s bodies, and sexual politics. Christopoulos examines how ecclesiastical, secular, and medical authorities sought to regulate abortion, and how tribunals investigated and punished its procurers—or did not, even when they could have. Abortion in Early Modern Italy offers a compelling and sensitive study of abortion in a time of dramatic religious, scientific, and social change.

[more]

front cover of Abortion Rights as Religious Freedom
Abortion Rights as Religious Freedom
Peter S. Wenz
Temple University Press, 1992
"This excellent books is bound to stir debate on the abortion issue and to occupy a rather distinctive position." --R.G. Frey, Bowling Green State University With the current composition of the Supreme Court and recent challenges to Roe v. Wade, Peter S. Wenz's new approach to the ethical, moral, and legal issues related to a woman's right to elective abortion may turn the tide in this debate. He argues that the Supreme Court reached the right decision in Roe v. Wade but for the wrong reasons. Wenz contends that a woman's right to terminated her pregnancy should be based, not on her constitutional right to privacy, but on the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom, a basis for freedom of choice that is not subject to the legal criticisms advanced against Roe. At least up to the 20th week of a pregnancy, one's belief whether a human fetus is a human person or not is a religious decision. He maintains that because questions about the moral status of a fetus are religious, it follows that anti-abortion legislation, to the extent that it is predicated on such "inherently religious beliefs," is unconstitutional. In this timely and topical book, Wenz also examines related cases that deal with government intervention in an individual's procreative life, the regulation of contraceptives, and other legislation that is either applied to or imposed upon select groups of people (e.g., homosexuals, drug addicts). He builds a concrete argument that could replace Roe v. Wade. Reviews "In this important study of abortion and the Constitiution, legal philosopher Peter Wenz contends that Roe v. Wade was wrongly argued but well conlcuded. Wenz presents a substantial review of Supreme Court decisions on abortion, then critically exposes flaws, including the privacy justification for abortion as well as the trimester scheme. --Religious Studies Review "In this major work, Peter Wenz has analyzed the relation of the Constitution's religion clauses to the abortion controversy. His principal contribution is to shift the argument from the right of privacy (invoked, he believes, unsuccessfully in Roe v. Wade) to the Establishment Clause. The Court's concern in Roe was whether the statute unduly burdened a fundamental right. But tested by the Establishment Clause, statutes may violate the Constitution by implicitly endorsing a religious belief, namely, the personhood of the unborn. Wenz concludes that the Establishment Clause permits abortions prior to the twenty-first week of pregnancy." --C. Herman Prichett, Professor of Political Science Emeritus, University of California, Santa Barbara "This is an original and scholarly exposition of the view that abortion rights fall under the religion clauses of the First Amendment. The view defended is an important alternative to the privacy defense upon which the Roe v. Wade decision was based and should help to expand the ethical and constitutional debate about abortion rights." --Mary Anne Warren, Associate Professor of Philosophy, San Francisco State University, and author of Gendercide: The Implications of Sex Selection Contents Preface Introduction Roe v. Wade under Attack • Individual Rights and Majority Rule • Constitutional Interpretation • Preview of Chapters 1. The Derivation of Roe v. Wade Economic Substantive Due Process • Due Process and the Family • Contraception and Privacy in Griswold v. Connecticut • Contraception and Privacy in Eisenstadt v. Baird • Blackmun's Privacy Rationale in Roe v. Wade • Stewart's Due Process Rationale in Roe v. Wade • Tribe on Substantive Due Process • Conclusion 2. Potentiality and Viability The Roe v. Wade Decision • The Concept of Viability in Abortion Cases • Dividing the Gestational Continuum • The Genetic Approach to Personhood • Viability versus Similarity to Newborns • Two Consequentialist Arguments • Feminism and Viability • Conclusion 3. The Evolution of "Religion" Religion in the Abortion Debate • The Original Understanding of the Religion Clauses • The Evolution of Religion Clause Doctrine • Incorporation of the Religion Clauses • From Belief to Practice • Alleviating Indirect Burdens on Religious Practice • Expanding the Meaning of "Religion" • The Original Understanding View • Bork: Conservative or Moderate? • Conflicts between the Religion Clauses • The Elusive Meaning of "Religion" • Conclusion 4. The Definition of "Religion" The Adjectival Sense of Religion • Religious Beliefs Independent of Organized Religions • Religious Belief as Fundamental to Organized Religion • Secular Beliefs Related to Material Reality • Secular Beliefs Related to Social Interaction • Secular Facts versus Secular Values • The Court's Characterizations of Secular Beliefs • Secular (Nonreligious) Belief • The Epistemological Standard for Distinguishing Religious from Secular Belief • Judicial Examples of Religious Beliefs • General Characteristics of Religious Beliefs • Summary 5. "Religion" in Court The Epistemological Standard Applied • Cults and Crazies • Secular Religions • Tensions between the Religion Clauses • The Unitary Definition of "Religion" 6. Fetal Personhood as Religious Belief Anti-Contraception Laws and the Establishment Clause • Belief in the Existence of God • Belief in the Personhood of Young Fetuses • Distinguishing Religious from Secular Determinations of Fetal Personhood • Religious versus Secular Uncertainty • Environmental Preservation and Animal Protection versus Fetal Value • Greenawalt's Argument • The Reach of Secular Considerations • Secular versus Religious Matters • Conclusion 7. The Regulation of Abortion The Trimester Framework and Its Exceptions • O'Connor's Objections to the Trimester Framework • Superiority of the Establishment Clause Approach to the Trimester Framework • Required Efforts to Save the Fetus • The Neutrality Principle • Appropriate Judicial Skepticism • Undue Burdens and Unconstitutional Endorsements • Conclusion 8. Abortion and Others Public Funding of Abortion • The Establishment Clause Approach to Public Funding • The Court's Funding Rationale • The Court's Inconsistent Rationale • Publicly Funded Family Planning Clinics • Spousal Consent • The Court's Flawed Parental Consent Rationale • Information Requirements • Spousal and Parental Consent • The Establishment Clause Approach: Medical Dimension • The Establishment Clause Approach: Religious Dimension • Implications of the Establishment Clause Approach • The Court's Inconsistency • Equivalent Results • Parental Notification • Conclusion Conclusion Justice Scalia's View • The Fundamental Flaw in Roe • The Rationale for the Establishment Clause Approach • Advantages of the Establishment Clause Approach Notes Glossary of Terms Annotated Table of Cases Bibliography Index About the Author(s): Peter S. Wenz is Professor of Philosophy and Legal Studies at Sangamon State University.
[more]

front cover of Above the Fray
Above the Fray
The Red Cross and the Making of the Humanitarian NGO Sector
Shai M. Dromi
University of Chicago Press, 2020
From Lake Chad to Iraq, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) provide relief around the globe, and their scope is growing every year. Policy makers and activists often assume that humanitarian aid is best provided by these organizations, which are generally seen as impartial and neutral. In Above the Fray, Shai M. Dromi investigates why the international community overwhelmingly trusts humanitarian NGOs by looking at the historical development of their culture. With a particular focus on the Red Cross, Dromi reveals that NGOs arose because of the efforts of orthodox Calvinists, demonstrating for the first time the origins of the unusual moral culture that has supported NGOs for the past 150 years.

Drawing on archival research, Dromi traces the genesis of the Red Cross to a Calvinist movement working in mid-nineteenth-century Geneva. He shows how global humanitarian policies emerged from the Red Cross founding members’ faith that an international volunteer program not beholden to the state was the only ethical way to provide relief to victims of armed conflict. By illustrating how Calvinism shaped the humanitarian field, Dromi argues for the key role belief systems play in establishing social fields and institutions. Ultimately, Dromi shows the immeasurable social good that NGOs have achieved, but also points to their limitations and suggests that alternative models of humanitarian relief need to be considered.
[more]

front cover of Absence And Light
Absence And Light
Meditations From The Klamath Marshes
John R. Campbell
University of Nevada Press, 2002
"In order to accept the enormous responsibility that comes of being in the world, we must first conceive, in spite of all the obstacles, the state of actually being the world." It is for this reason that John R. Campbell came to the Klamath marshes, a wetland in southern Oregon formed by three ancient, shallow lakes.
Absence and Light is Campbell's account of his exploration of the marshes and a meditation on the world he found there, on his growing understanding of the physical, emotional, moral, and aesthetic meaning of that world, on his own growth as a man. Through Campbell's eyes, we observe the stirring and astonishing beauty of the marshes and their creatures, and the utter poignancy of their fragility before the heedless ambitions of humankind.
This is nature writing at its most profound and moving, writing that in examining and defining the world of nature helps us to understand the very complicated and contradictory realities of being human. Campbell's luminous descriptions and mystical insights will long linger in the reader's memory.
[more]

front cover of Abusing Religion
Abusing Religion
Literary Persecution, Sex Scandals, and American Minority Religions
Megan Goodwin
Rutgers University Press, 2020
Sex abuse happens in all communities, but American minority religions often face disproportionate allegations of sexual abuse. Why, in a country that consistently fails to acknowledge—much less address—the sexual abuse of women and children, do American religious outsiders so often face allegations of sexual misconduct?  Why does the American public presume to know “what’s really going on” in minority religious communities?  Why are sex abuse allegations such an effective way to discredit people on America’s religious margins? What makes Americans so willing, so eager to identify religion as the cause of sex abuse? Abusing Religion argues that sex abuse in minority religious communities is an American problem, not (merely) a religious one.
 
[more]

front cover of Adam's Gift
Adam's Gift
A Memoir of a Pastor's Calling to Defy the Church's Persecution of Lesbians and Gays
Jimmy Creech
Duke University Press, 2011
Jimmy Creech, a United Methodist pastor in North Carolina, was visited one morning in 1984 by Adam, a longtime parishioner whom he liked and respected. Adam said that he was gay, and that he was leaving The United Methodist Church, which had just pronounced that “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” could not be ordained. He would not be part of a community that excluded him. Creech found himself instinctively supporting Adam, telling him that he was sure that God loved and accepted him as he was. Adam’s Gift is Creech’s inspiring first-person account of how that conversation transformed his life and ministry.

Adam’s visit prompted Creech to re-evaluate his belief that homosexuality was a sin, and to research the scriptural basis for the church’s position. He determined that the church was mistaken, that scriptural translations and interpretations had been botched and dangerously distorted. As a Christian, Creech came to believe that discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people was morally wrong. This understanding compelled him to perform same-gender commitment ceremonies, which conflicted with church directives. Creech was tried twice by The United Methodist Church, and, after the second trial, his ordination credentials were revoked. Adam’s Gift is a moving story and an important chapter in the unfinished struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil and human rights.

[more]

front cover of Adopting the Stranger as Kindred in Deuteronomy
Adopting the Stranger as Kindred in Deuteronomy
Mark R. Glanville
SBL Press, 2018

Investigate how Deuteronomy incorporates vulnerable, displaced people

Deuteronomy addresses social contexts of widespread displacement, an issue affecting 65 million people today. In this book Mark R. Glanville investigates how Deuteronomy fosters the integration of the stranger as kindred into the community of Yahweh. According to Deuteronomy, displaced people are to be enfolded within the household, within the clan, and within the nation. Glanville argues that Deuteronomy demonstrates the immense creativity that communities may invest in enfolding displaced and vulnerable people. Inclusivism is nourished through social law, the law of judicial procedure, communal feasting, and covenant renewal. Deuteronomy’s call to include the stranger as kindred presents contemporary nation-states with an opportunity and a responsibility to reimagine themselves and their disposition toward displaced strangers today.

Features:

  • Exploration of the relationship of ancient Israel’s social history to biblical texts
  • An integrative methodology that brings together literary-historical, legal, sociological, comparative, literary, and theological approaches
  • A thorough study of Israelite identity and ethnicity
[more]

logo for Harvard University Press
Adultery and Divorce in Calvin’s Geneva
Robert Kingdon
Harvard University Press, 1995

In Calvin’s Geneva, the changes associated with the Reformation were particularly abrupt and far-reaching, in large part owing to John Calvin himself. Adultery and Divorce in Calvin’s Geneva makes two major contributions to our understanding of this time. The first is to the history of divorce. The second is in illustrating the operations of the Consistory of Geneva—an institution designed to control in all its variety the behavior of the entire population—which was established at Calvin’s insistence in 1541. This mandate came shortly after the city officially adopted Protestantism in 1536, a time when divorce became legally possible for the first time in centuries.

Robert Kingdon illustrates the changes that accompanied the earliest Calvinist divorces by examining in depth a few of the most dramatic cases and showing how divorce affected real individuals. He considers first, and in the most detail, divorce for adultery, the best-known grounds for divorce and the best documented. He also covers the only other generally accepted grounds for these early divorces—desertion.

The second contribution of the book, to show the work of the Consistory of Geneva, is a first step toward a fuller study of the institution. Kingdon has supervised the first accurate and complete transcription of the twenty-one volumes of registers of the Consistory and has made the first extended use of these materials, as well as other documents that have never before been so fully utilized.

[more]

front cover of Aesthetic Revelation
Aesthetic Revelation
Reading Ancient and Medieval Texts after Hans Urs von Balthasar
Oleg Bychkov
Catholic University of America Press, 2010
Oleg Bychkov's masterly exposition also shows how the texts analyzed have significantly influenced the development of Western theological thought.
[more]

logo for Georgetown University Press
The Aesthetics of Solidarity
Our Lady of Guadalupe and American Democracy
Georgetown University Press, 2023

How aesthetic religious experiences can create solidarity in marginalized communities

Latine Catholics have used Our Lady of Guadalupe as a symbol in democratic campaigns ranging from the Chicano movement and United Farm Workers’ movements to contemporary calls for just immigration reform. In diverse ways, these groups have used Guadalupe’s symbol and narrative to critique society’s basic structures—including law, policy, and institutions—while seeking to inspire broader participation and representation among marginalized peoples in US democracy.

Yet, from the outside, Guadalupe’s symbol is illegible within a liberal political framework that seeks to protect society’s basic structures from religious encroachment by relegating religious speech, practices, and symbols to the background.

The Aesthetics of Solidarity argues for the capacity of Our Lady of Guadalupe—and similar religious symbols—to make democratic claims. Author Nichole M. Flores exposes the limitations of political liberalism’s aesthetic responses to religious difference, turning instead to Latine theological aesthetics and Catholic social thought to build a framework for interpreting religious symbols in our contemporary pluralistic and participatory democratic life. By offering a lived theology of Chicanx Catholics in Denver, Colorado, and their use of Guadalupe in the pursuit of justice in response to their neighborhood’s gentrification, this book provides an important framework for a community of interpretation where members stand in solidarity to respond to justice claims made from diverse religious and cultural communities.

[more]

front cover of Affective Trajectories
Affective Trajectories
Religion and Emotion in African Cityscapes
Hansjörg Dilger, Astrid Bochow, Marian Burchardt, and Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon, editors
Duke University Press, 2019
The contributors to Affective Trajectories examine the mutual and highly complex entwinements between religion and affect in urban Africa in the early twenty-first century. Drawing on ethnographic research throughout the continent and in African diasporic communities abroad, they trace the myriad ways religious ideas, practices, and materialities interact with affect to configure life in urban spaces. Whether examining the affective force of the built urban environment or how religious practices contribute to new forms of attachment, identification, and place-making, they illustrate the force of affect as it is shaped by temporality and spatiality in the religious lives of individuals and communities. Among other topics, they explore Masowe Apostolic Christianity in relation to experiences of displacement in Harare, Zimbabwe; Muslim identity, belonging, and the global ummah in Ghana; crime, emotions, and conversion to neo-Pentecostalism in Cape Town; and spiritual cleansing in a Congolese branch of a Japanese religious movement. In so doing, the contributors demonstrate how the social and material living conditions of African cities generate diverse affective forms of religious experiences in ways that foster both localized and transnational paths of emotional knowledge.

Contributors. Astrid Bochow, Marian Burchardt, Rafael Cazarin, Hansjörg Dilger, Alessandro Gusman, Murtala Ibrahim, Peter Lambertz, Isabelle L. Lange, Isabel Mukonyora, Benedikt Pontzen, Hanspeter Reihling, Matthew Wilhelm-Solomon
[more]

front cover of Africae Munus
Africae Munus
Ten Years Later
Agbaw-ebai
St. Augustine's Press, 2022
With great foresight and vision for the Church, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI carefully integrated theological, catechetical and pastoral themes in the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Africae Munus. Maurice A. Agbaw-Ebai and Matthew Levering, in the introduction to this collection of reflections and studies focused on the Pope Emeritus’ themes, affirm the African continent’s status as a global center for the growth of the Catholic Church in the twenty-first century and the future of the international Catholic community.
     Building on the vitality and enthusiasm of the Church in Africa, it is important to lift their faith through scholarly research and academic reflections. We cannot fully appreciate the dedication, commitment and perseverance of the Catholic community throughout the African continent if we do not know the truth of their sufferings and persecution and understand their resilience in the light of faith. This collection, drawn from the halls of academia, provides an important contribution to the understanding and advancement of Catholic Africa, following the insights and enlightenment of Pope Emeritus Benedict. It is my hope that these essays will enrich your understanding and experience of the Catholic faith.

— From the Preface by Seán Patrick Cardinal O’Malley
[more]

front cover of African Art and Leadership
African Art and Leadership
Edited by Douglas Fraser and Herbert M. Cole
University of Wisconsin Press, 1972
A series of fourteen thought-provoking essays by art historians, anthropologists, and historians analyzes the complex interactions between art and leadership in sub-Saharan Africa. Amply and carefully illustrated throughout.
[more]

front cover of African Vodun
African Vodun
Art, Psychology, and Power
Suzanne Preston Blier
University of Chicago Press, 1994
Beads, bones, rags, straw, leather, pottery, fur, feathers and blood—these are the raw materials of vodun artworks. The power of these images lies not only in their aesthetic, and counter-aesthetic, appeal but also in their psychological and emotional effect. As objects of fury and force, these works are intended to protect and empower people and cultures that have long been oppressed.

In this first major study of its kind, Suzanne Preston Blier examines the artworks of the contemporary vodun cultures of southern Benin and Togo in West Africa as well as the related voudou traditions of Haiti, New Orleans, and historic Salem, Massachusetts. Blier employs a variety of theoretically sophisticated psychological, anthropological, and art historical approaches to explore the contrasts inherent in the vodun arts—commoners versus royalty, popular versus elite, "low" art versus "high." She examines the relation between art and the slave trade, the psychological dynamics of artistic expression, the significance of the body in sculptural expression, and indigenous perceptions of the psyche.

Throughout, Blier pushes African art history to a new height of cultural awareness that recognizes the complexity of traditional African societies as it acknowledges the role of social power in shaping aesthetics and meaning generally. This book will be of critical importance not only to those concerned with African, African American, and Caribbean art, but also to anthropologists, African diaspora scholars, students of comparative religion and comparative psychology, and anyone fascinated by the traditions of voudou and vodun.

"An extraordinary tour de force."—Choice

"Extraordinarily detailed....Blier's examination of the entire, often mysterious history of vodun is...in a word, definitive."—Booklist

"A serious study that concentrates on the hidden power of objects and the meaning behind that potency is long overdue. Welcome Susan Blier's African Vodun....Certainly a must for...those concerned with the psychology of art."—Janet L. Stanley, Art Documentation

"[Blier] is usually sensitive to the need to resist imposing Western artistic values and academic methodologies inappropriately upon such art. But she offers the reader a gift even more precious; she offers rare insights into how various art forms—sculpture and home architecture in particular—yield meanings for the African users of such art.—Norman Weinstein, Boston Book Review
[more]

front cover of After God
After God
Mark C. Taylor
University of Chicago Press, 2007

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

 

[more]

front cover of After Pandemic, After Modernity
After Pandemic, After Modernity
The Relational Revolution
Giulio Maspero
St. Augustine's Press, 2022
The global pandemic has levied a heavy toll on humanity, but in its wake appears a great opportunity. Amidst what he calls a crisis of modernity, Giulio Maspero points to a phenomenon that can be seen in plain sight. "The absence of personal relationships highlighted by the health crisis exposes the consequences of the modern matrix, which, having lost its Christian element, now risks transforming itself into a digital matrix, substantially configuring itself as a technognosis."   

Without Trinitarian framework ancient and new idols emerge, as the Covid-19 tragedies have shown. Yet post-pandemic must be a moment of clarity and realism, as we can see how necessary it is that humanity place itself in relation to something beyond. The post-modern journey, however, must be in the spirit of Christian humanism or else any so-called progress will no longer be unable to speak authentically of our humanity. That is to say, the relational dimension of human life will be erased right along with the other ills that plague our earth. 
[more]

front cover of Afterlives of Affect
Afterlives of Affect
Science, Religion, and an Edgewalker’s Spirit
Matthew C. Watson
Duke University Press, 2020
In Afterlives of Affect Matthew C. Watson considers the life and work of artist and Mayanist scholar Linda Schele (1942–98) as a point of departure for what he calls an excitable anthropology. As part of a small collective of scholars who devised the first compelling arguments that Maya hieroglyphs were a fully grammatical writing system, Schele popularized the decipherment of hieroglyphs by developing narratives of Maya politics and religion in popular books and public workshops. In this experimental, person-centered ethnography, Watson shows how Schele’s sense of joyous discovery and affective engagement with research led her to traverse and disrupt borders between religion, science, art, life, death, and history. While acknowledging critiques of Schele’s work and the idea of discovery more generally, Watson contends that affect and wonder should lie at the heart of any reflexive anthropology. With this singular examination of Schele and the community she built around herself and her work, Watson furthers debates on more-than-human worlds, spiritualism, modernity, science studies, affect theory, and the social conditions of knowledge production.
[more]

front cover of Agape Love
Agape Love
Tradition In Eight World Religions
Sir John Templeton
Templeton Press, 1999

The tradition of agape, or unconditional love, is not exclusive to any religion. It is a primary underlying principle found in religions worldwide. The concept of altruistic love challenges the spiritual person to "love your enemies" or to "love without thought of return." It is a love that flows out to others through compassion, kindness, tenderness, and charitable giving.

Buddhists have a path of compassion, where caring for others becomes the motivating force behind existence. Hindus have a branch of yoga, the heart-centered path, that leads to enlightenment through an overwhelming love for God that takes the form of loving all humanity. Eastern religions, such as Taoism and Confucianism, see transcendent love as essential to true wisdom.

Love is a universal theme of love found in all religious traditions, Buddhist, Christian, Islam, or others. As we realize that all religions have this spiritual principle of love at their core, we can develop a sense of shared humanity. The religious tradition of agape love examined in this book will inspire those who are learning to grow in compassion and love for all people.

[more]

front cover of The Age of Scientific Naturalism
The Age of Scientific Naturalism
Tyndall and His Contemporaries
Bernard Lightman
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020
Physicist John Tyndall and his contemporaries were at the forefront of developing the cosmology of scientific naturalism during the Victorian period. They rejected all but physical laws as having any impact on the operations of human life and the universe. Contributors focus on the way Tyndall and his correspondents developed their ideas through letters, periodicals and scientific journals and challenge previously held assumptions about who gained authority, and how they attained and defended their position within the scientific community.
[more]

front cover of Aging in the Church
Aging in the Church
How Social Relationships Affect Health
Neal M. Krause
Templeton Press, 2008

A growing number of studies indicate that older people in the church form social ties that have a significant positive impact on their physical and mental health. In Aging in the Church, Neal Krause comprehensively assesses the various relationships that stem from church involvement.

Among the many types of relationships Krause explores are close companion friendships, social-support structures (such as assistance provided by fellow church members during difficult times), and interactions that arise from Bible study and prayer groups. Through his thorough investigation of the underlying links between these relationships and the ways they relate to attributes like forgiveness, hope, gratitude, and altruism, the author hopes to explain why older adults who are involved in religious activities tend to enjoy better physical and mental health than those who are not engaged in religious communities. Going beyond merely reviewing the existing research on this subject, Aging in the Church provides a blueprint for taking research on church-based social relationships and health to the next level by identifying conceptual and methodological issues that investigators will confront as they delve more deeply into these connections.

Though these are complex issues, readers will find plain language and literature drawn from a wide array of disciplines, including sociology, psychology, public health, medicine, psychiatry, nursing, social work, gerontology, and theology. Literature, poetry, philosophy, and ethical ideas supplement the insights from these diverse fields. As a result, Aging in the Church takes on a genuinely interdisciplinary focus that will appeal to various scholars, researchers, and students.

[more]

front cover of The Albigensian Crusades
The Albigensian Crusades
Joseph R. Strayer
University of Michigan Press, 1992
Interprets thirteenth-century crusades in terms of the development of Europe, especially France
[more]

front cover of The Alchemical Body
The Alchemical Body
Siddha Traditions in Medieval India
David Gordon White
University of Chicago Press, 1996
The Alchemical Body excavates and centers within its Indian context the lost tradition of the medieval Siddhas. Working from previously unexplored alchemical sources, David Gordon White demonstrates for the first time that the medieval disciplines of Hindu alchemy and hatha yoga were practiced by one and the same people, and that they can be understood only when viewed together. White opens the way to a new and more comprehensive understanding of medieval Indian mysticism, within the broader context of south Asian Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Islam.

"White proves a skillful guide in disentangling historical and theoretical complexities that have thus far bedeviled the study of these influential aspects of medieval Indian culture."—Yoga World

"Anyone seriously interested in finding out more about authentic tantra, original hatha yoga, embodied liberation . . . sacred sexuality, paranormal abilities, healing, and of course alchemy will find White's extraordinary book as fascinating as any Tom Clancy thriller."—Georg Feuerstein, Yoga Journal
[more]

front cover of All Abraham's Children
All Abraham's Children
Changing Mormon Conceptions of Race and Lineage
Armand L. Mauss
University of Illinois Press, 2003
All Abraham’s Children is Armand L. Mauss’s long-awaited magnum opus on the evolution of traditional Mormon beliefs and practices concerning minorities. He examines how members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have defined themselves and others in terms of racial lineages.
 
Mauss describes a complex process of the broadening of these self-defined lineages during the last part of the twentieth century as the modern Mormon church continued its world-wide expansion through massive missionary work.
 
Mauss contends that Mormon constructions of racial identity have not necessarily affected actual behavior negatively and that in some cases Mormons have shown greater tolerance than other groups in the American mainstream.
 
Employing a broad intellectual historical analysis to identify shifts in LDS behavior over time, All Abraham’s Children is an important commentary on current models of Mormon historiography.
 
[more]

logo for Georgetown University Press
All God's Animals
A Catholic Theological Framework for Animal Ethics
Christopher Steck, SJ
Georgetown University Press, 2019

The book is the first of its kind to draw together in conversation the views of the early Church, contemporary biblical and theological scholarship, and post-conciliar teachings. Steck develops a comprehensive, Catholic theology of animals based on an in-depth exploration of Catholicism's fundamental doctrines—trinitarian theology, Christology, pneumatology, eschatology, and soteriology. All God's Animals makes two central claims. First, we can hope that God will include animals of the present age in the kingdom inaugurated by Christ. Second, because of this inclusion, our responses to animals should be guided by the values of the kingdom.  As Christians await the final liberation of all creation, they are to be witnesses to God’s kingdom by embodying its ideals in their relations with animal life.  Because the kingdom's fullness is yet to come and because our world remains marked by the wounds of sin, however, Christian treatment of animals will at times require acts that are at odds with the kingdom’s ideals (for example, those causing suffering and death). Steck examines each of these ideas and explores all of their complexities.

[more]

front cover of All Politics Are God’s Politics
All Politics Are God’s Politics
Moroccan Islamism and the Sacralization of Democracy
Ahmed Khanani
Rutgers University Press, 2021
Contemporary mass media descriptions of Muslims often suggest that Islam and Muslims are fundamentally undemocratic. Policy-makers in the West have weaponized these descriptions in attempts to legitimize anti-Muslim right-wing policy developments across the West and in the United States in particular, from surveillance in the aftermath of 9/11 to the anti-Islamic travel ban of 2017. But are Muslims undemocratic? Ahmed Khanani argues that this is not the case. In All Politics are God's Politics, Khanani shows that in fact, the opposite holds true: for socially conservative, politically active Muslims (Islamists), democracy or dimuqrāṭiyya reflects and extends their religious values. By drawing on conversations with over 100 Islamists in Morocco, this book enables readers to understand and appreciate the significance of dimuqrāṭiyya as a concept alongside new prospects for Islam and democracy in the Arab Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Khanani's in-depth analysis of the Moroccan case brings these Islamists and their attending political views to the forefront.

 
[more]

front cover of The Altruism Reader
The Altruism Reader
Selections from Writings on Love, Religion, and Science
Thomas Oord
Templeton Press, 2007

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

[more]

front cover of Ambient Sufism
Ambient Sufism
Ritual Niches and the Social Work of Musical Form
Richard C. Jankowsky
University of Chicago Press, 2021
Ambient Sufism is a study of the intertwined musical lives of several ritual communities in Tunisia that invoke the healing powers of long-deceased Muslim saints through music-driven trance rituals. Richard C. Jankowsky illuminates the virtually undocumented role of women and minorities in shaping the ritual musical landscape of the region, with case studies on men’s and women’s Sufi orders, Jewish and black Tunisian healing musical troupes, and the popular music of hard-drinking laborers, as well as the cohorts involved in mass-mediated staged spectacles of ritual that continue to inject ritual sounds into the public sphere. He uses the term “ambient Sufism” to illuminate these adjacent ritual practices, each serving as a musical, social, and devotional-therapeutic niche while contributing to a larger, shared ecology of practices surrounding and invoking the figures of saints. And he argues that ritual musical form—that is, the large-scale structuring of ritual through musical organization—has agency; that is, form is revealing and constitutive of experience and encourages particular subjectivities. Ambient Sufism promises many useful ideas for ethnomusicology, anthropology, Islamic and religious studies, and North African studies. 
[more]

front cover of American Catholic Hospitals
American Catholic Hospitals
A Century of Changing Markets and Missions
Wall, Barbra Mann
Rutgers University Press, 2011

In American Catholic Hospitals, Barbra Mann Wall chronicles changes in Catholic hospitals during the twentieth century, many of which are emblematic of trends in the American healthcare system.

Wall explores the Church's struggle to safeguard its religious values. As hospital leaders reacted to increased political, economic, and societal secularization, they extended their religious principles in the areas of universal health care and adherence to the Ethical and Religious Values in Catholic Hospitals, leading to tensions between the Church, government, and society. The book also examines the power of women--as administrators, Catholic sisters wielded significant authority--as well as the gender disparity in these institutions which came to be run, for the most part, by men. Wall also situates these critical transformations within the context of the changing Church policy during the 1960s. She undertakes unprecedented analyses of the gendered politics of post-Second Vatican Council Catholic hospitals, as well as the effect of social movements on the practice of medicine.

[more]

front cover of American Muslim Women, Religious Authority, and Activism
American Muslim Women, Religious Authority, and Activism
More Than a Prayer
By Juliane Hammer
University of Texas Press, 2012

Following the events of September 11, 2001, American Muslims found themselves under unprecedented scrutiny. Muslim communities in the United States suffered from negative representations of their religion, but they also experienced increased interest in aspects of their faith and cultures. They seized the opportunity to shape the intellectual contribution of American Muslims to contemporary Muslim thought as never before. Muslim women in particular—often assumed to be silenced, oppressed members of their own communities—challenged stereotypes through their writing, seeking to express what it means to be a Muslim woman in America and carrying out intra-Muslim debates about gender roles and women’s participation in society. Hammer looks at the work of significant female American Muslim writers, scholars, and activists, using their writings as a lens for a larger discussion of Muslim intellectual production in America and beyond.

Centered on the controversial women-led Friday prayer in March 2005, Hammer uses this event and its aftermath to address themes of faith, community, and public opinion. Tracing the writings of American Muslim women since 1990, the author covers an extensive list of authors, including Amina Wadud, Leila Ahmed, Asma Barlas, Riffat Hassan, Mohja Kahf, Azizah al-Hibri, Asra Normani, and Asma Gull Hasan. Hammer deftly examines each author’s writings, demonstrating that the debates that concern American Muslim women are at the heart of modern Muslim debates worldwide. While gender is the catalyst for Hammer’s study, her examination of these women’s intellectual output touches on themes central to contemporary Islam: authority, tradition, Islamic law, justice, and authenticity.

[more]

logo for University of Illinois Press
THE AMERICAN QUEST FOR THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH
Richard T. Hughes
University of Illinois Press, 1988
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.
 
[more]

logo for Georgetown University Press
The American Search for Peace
Moral Reasoning, Religious Hope, and National Security
George S. Weigel Jr. and John P. Langan, SJ, Editors
Georgetown University Press, 1991

Revolutions and aborted revolutions and bitter civil and "local" wars in the 1980s and since have raised new questions about national security, its definition, and its implementation. Nevertheless, a number of basic philosophical and political issues remain constant at a level deeper than tactical considerations. These are what eight accomplished philosophers, political scientists, Christian ethicists, and policymakers came together to discuss. They ask the fundamental and perduring questions of pacifism, war, intervention, and political negotiation. They focus on such problems as ascertaining the role of the churches in the quest for peace, defining "national interest" and "national purpose," and construing intervention in other that strictly unilateral terms.

[more]

front cover of America's Spiritual Capital
America's Spiritual Capital
Nicholas N. Capaldi
St. Augustine's Press, 2012

front cover of Analogies of Transcendence
Analogies of Transcendence
Stephen M. Fields
Catholic University of America Press, 2016
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.
[more]

front cover of The Analyst and the Mystic
The Analyst and the Mystic
Psychoanalytic Reflections on Religion and Mysticism
Sudhir Kakar
University of Chicago Press, 1992
"This work is of importance for psychoanalysts and scholars of the psychology of religion. Kakar makes a scholarly and significant contribution to the objectification of what psychoanalysis and Hindu mystical tradition have in common."—Ana Maria Rizzuto, Tufts University
[more]

front cover of The Anarchy of Black Religion
The Anarchy of Black Religion
A Mystic Song
J. Kameron Carter
Duke University Press, 2023
In The Anarchy of Black Religion, J. Kameron Carter examines the deeper philosophical, theological, and religious history that animates our times to advance a new approach to understanding religion. Drawing on the black radical tradition and black feminism, Carter explores the modern invention of religion as central to settler colonial racial technologies wherein antiblackness is a founding and guiding religious principle of the modern world. He therefore sets black religion apart from modern religion, even as it tries to include and enclose it. Carter calls this approach the black study of religion. Black religion emerges not as doctrinal, confessional, or denominational but as a set of poetic and artistic strategies for improvisatory living and gathering. Potentiating non-exclusionary belonging, black religion is anarchic, mystical, and experimental: it reveals alternative relationalities and visions of matter that can counter capitalism’s extractive, individualistic, and imperialist ideology. By enacting a black study of religion, Carter elucidates the violence of religion as the violence of modern life while also opening an alternate praxis of the sacred.
[more]

logo for University of Chicago Press
Ancestral Voices
Religion and Nationalism in Ireland
Conor Cruise O'Brien
University of Chicago Press, 1995
Scholar and statesman Conor Cruise O'Brien illuminates why peace has been so elusive in Northern Ireland. He explains the conflation of religion and nation through Irish history into our own time. Using his life as a prism through which he interprets Ireland's past and present, O'Brien identifies case after case of the lethal mixing of God with country that has spilled oceans of blood throughout this century of nationalism and that, from Bosnia to Northern Ireland, still curses the world.

"O'Brien's bravura performance [is] seductive in its intellectual sweep and literary assurance."—Toby Barnard, Times Literary Supplement

"Has the magical insistence which Conor Cruise O'Brien can produce at his best. . . . Where he looks back to his own childhood the book shines. He writes of his mother and father with effortless grace and candor, with a marvelous, elegant mix of affection and detachment."—Observer
[more]

front cover of The Ancient Roman Afterlife
The Ancient Roman Afterlife
Di Manes, Belief, and the Cult of the Dead
By Charles W. King
University of Texas Press, 2020

In ancient Rome, it was believed some humans were transformed into special, empowered beings after death. These deified dead, known as the manes, watched over and protected their surviving family members, possibly even extending those relatives’ lives. But unlike the Greek hero-cult, the worship of dead emperors, or the Christian saints, the manes were incredibly inclusive—enrolling even those without social clout, such as women and the poor, among Rome's deities. The Roman afterlife promised posthumous power in the world of the living.

While the manes have often been glossed over in studies of Roman religion, this book brings their compelling story to the forefront, exploring their myriad forms and how their worship played out in the context of Roman religion’s daily practice. Exploring the place of the manes in Roman society, Charles King delves into Roman beliefs about their powers to sustain life and bring death to individuals or armies, examines the rituals the Romans performed to honor them, and reclaims the vital role the manes played in the ancient Roman afterlife.

[more]

front cover of Animal Intimacies
Animal Intimacies
Interspecies Relatedness in India's Central Himalayas
Radhika Govindrajan
University of Chicago Press, 2018
What does ­it mean to live and die in relation to other animals?  Animal Intimacies posits this central question alongside the intimate—and intense—moments of care, kinship, violence, politics, indifference, and desire that occur between human and non-human animals. 
 
Built on extensive ethnographic fieldwork in the mountain villages of India’s Central Himalayas, Radhika Govindrajan’s book explores the number of ways that human and animal interact to cultivate relationships as interconnected, related beings.  Whether it is through the study of the affect and ethics of ritual animal sacrifice, analysis of the right-wing political project of cow-protection, or examination of villagers’ talk about bears who abduct women and have sex with them, Govindrajan illustrates that multispecies relatedness relies on both difference and ineffable affinity between animals.  Animal Intimacies breaks substantial new ground in animal studies, and Govindrajan’s detailed portrait of the social, political and religious life of the region will be of interest to cultural anthropologists and scholars of South Asia as well.  
[more]

front cover of Animal Sacrifices
Animal Sacrifices
edited by Tom Regan, introduction by John Bowker
Temple University Press, 1987

The issues of animal rights and the use of animals in scientific experimentation are fraught with controversy. In an effort to define the bases of such strong emotional response towards an ethical issue, this book presents the teachings of the major religions of the world concerning animals and, more specifically, their use in science. Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Confucianism are represented in this collection of eight essays by religious authorities.

Scriptural writings, written and oral tradition, law, religious parables, and even folklore are used to illustrate the position of each religion on this question. When there are no specific teachings regarding the relatively recent use of animals in scientific research, conclusions are derived from the view of man’s relations with the rest of the world.

In addition to the essays dealing with specific religions, there is also a chapter detailing recent uses of animals in scientific research throughout the world. It is estimated that 500 million animals a year are sacrificed to science. This volume attempts to find out for what purposes they are used, under what conditions, and with what legal protection.

Based on a conference which explored the views of religion toward scientific experimentation on animals, this collection of essays addresses an explosive issue from a number of different perspectives. Animal Sacrifices is a fair-minded and informative discussion of a contemporary ethical dilemma.

Contributors: John Bowker, Sidney Gendin, Rabbi Dr. J. David Bleich, Andrew Linzey, James Gaffney, Al-Hafiz, B. Z. Masri, Basant K. Lal, Christopher Chapple, Rodney L. Taylor, and the editor.


[more]

logo for University of Illinois Press
Animal Theology
Andrew Linzey
University of Illinois Press, 1995
“What are we to say of a theology which has so proceeded on the basis of a moral neglet of God’s creatures?” asks Andrew Linzey. In Animal Theology, he seeks ways in which doctrine can help morally motivated Christians to perceive meaning in animal suffering.

In Linzey’s view, animal rights is synonymous with animal theology. Linzey argues that historical theology, creatively defined, must reject humanocentricity. Questioning the assumption that if theology is to speak on this issue, “it must only do so on the side of the oppressors,” Linzey investigates not only the abstractions of theory, but also the realities of hunting, animal experimentation, and genetic engineering. His is a pioneering, vital, and unequivocally Christian voice advocating on behalf of the countless creatures who share our world and our lives but cannot speak for themselves.
[more]

logo for University of Illinois Press
Animals on the Agenda
Questions about Animals for Theology and Ethics
Edited by Andrew Linzey and Dorothy Yamamoto
University of Illinois Press, 1998
      This encyclopedic volume is the most comprehensive collection of original
        studies on animals and theology ever published. Contributors from both
        sides of the Atlantic tackle fundamental questions about theology and
        how it is put into practice.
      Do animals have immortal souls? Does Christ's reconciling work include
        animals? Contributors address these issues and more in the context of
        scriptural perspectives, the Christian tradition, historical disputes,
        and obligations to animals.
      As Andrew Linzey points out in his introduction, it cannot be right for
        theological practitioners to carry on their business as though the world
        of animals were invisible. Mainstream Christianity still propagates a
        range of ideas about animals that are hugely detrimental to their status
        and welfare. This important volume argues that it is time for a change.
 
[more]

front cover of The Anointed
The Anointed
Evangelical Truth in a Secular Age
Randall J. Stephens and Karl W. Giberson
Harvard University Press, 2011

American evangelicalism often appears as a politically monolithic, textbook red-state fundamentalism that elected George W. Bush, opposes gay marriage, abortion, and evolution, and promotes apathy about global warming. Prominent public figures hold forth on these topics, speaking with great authority for millions of followers. Authors Stephens and Giberson, with roots in the evangelical tradition, argue that this popular impression understates the diversity within evangelicalism—an often insular world where serious disagreements are invisible to secular and religiously liberal media consumers. Yet, in the face of this diversity, why do so many people follow leaders with dubious credentials when they have other options? Why do tens of millions of Americans prefer to get their science from Ken Ham, founder of the creationist Answers in Genesis, who has no scientific expertise, rather than from his fellow evangelical Francis Collins, current Director of the National Institutes of Health?

Exploring intellectual authority within evangelicalism, the authors reveal how America’s populist ideals, anti-intellectualism, and religious free market, along with the concept of anointing—being chosen by God to speak for him like the biblical prophets—established a conservative evangelical leadership isolated from the world of secular arts and sciences.

Today, charismatic and media-savvy creationists, historians, psychologists, and biblical exegetes continue to receive more funding and airtime than their more qualified counterparts. Though a growing minority of evangelicals engage with contemporary scholarship, the community’s authority structure still encourages the “anointed” to assume positions of leadership.

[more]

front cover of Anthropocentrism and Its Discontents
Anthropocentrism and Its Discontents
The Moral Status of Animals in the History of Western Philosophy
Gary Steiner
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010

Anthropocentrism and Its Discontents is the first-ever comprehensive examination of views of animals in the history of Western philosophy, from Homeric Greece to the twentieth century.

In recent decades, increased interest in this area has been accompanied by scholars’ willingness to conceive of animal experience in terms of human mental capacities: consciousness, self-awareness, intention, deliberation, and in some instances, at least limited moral agency.  This conception has been facilitated by a shift from behavioral to cognitive ethology (the science of animal behavior), and by attempts to affirm the essential similarities between the psychophysical makeup of human beings and animals.

Gary Steiner sketches the terms of the current debates about animals and relates these to their historical antecedents, focusing on both the dominant anthropocentric voices and those recurring voices that instead assert a fundamental kinship relation between human beings and animals.  He concludes with a discussion of the problem of balancing the need to recognize a human indebtedness to animals and the natural world with the need to preserve a sense of the uniqueness and dignity of the human individual.

[more]

front cover of The Anthropology of Christianity
The Anthropology of Christianity
Fenella Cannell, ed.
Duke University Press, 2006
This collection provides vivid ethnographic explorations of particular, local Christianities as they are experienced by different groups around the world. At the same time, the contributors, all anthropologists, rethink the vexed relationship between anthropology and Christianity. As Fenella Cannell contends in her powerful introduction, Christianity is the critical “repressed” of anthropology. To a great extent, anthropology first defined itself as a rational, empirically based enterprise quite different from theology. The theology it repudiated was, for the most part, Christian. Cannell asserts that anthropological theory carries within it ideas profoundly shaped by this rejection. Because of this, anthropology has been less successful in considering Christianity as an ethnographic object than it has in considering other religions. This collection is designed to advance a more subtle and less self-limiting anthropological study of Christianity.

The contributors examine the contours of Christianity among diverse groups: Catholics in India, the Philippines, and Bolivia, and Seventh-Day Adventists in Madagascar; the Swedish branch of Word of Life, a charismatic church based in the United States; and Protestants in Amazonia, Melanesia, and Indonesia. Highlighting the wide variation in what it means to be Christian, the contributors reveal vastly different understandings and valuations of conversion, orthodoxy, Scripture, the inspired word, ritual, gifts, and the concept of heaven. In the process they bring to light how local Christian practices and beliefs are affected by encounters with colonialism and modernity, by the opposition between Catholicism and Protestantism, and by the proximity of other religions and belief systems. Together the contributors show that it not sufficient for anthropologists to assume that they know in advance what the Christian experience is; each local variation must be encountered on its own terms.

Contributors. Cecilia Busby, Fenella Cannell, Simon Coleman, Peter Gow, Olivia Harris, Webb Keane, Eva Keller, David Mosse, Danilyn Rutherford, Christina Toren, Harvey Whitehouse

[more]

front cover of The Antigay Agenda
The Antigay Agenda
Orthodox Vision and the Christian Right
Didi Herman
University of Chicago Press, 1997
In The Antigay Agenda, Didi Herman probes the values, beliefs, and rhetoric of the organizations of the Christian Right. Tracing the emergence of their antigay agenda, Herman explores how and why these groups made antigay activity a top priority, and how it relates to their political history.

"A penetrating analysis of the Christian Right's antigay agenda and of how that agenda is derived from the Christian Right's peculiar vision of American history and the Christian faith."—Rev. Peter J. Gomes, Boston Book Review

"Public intellectualism at its best. . . . A comprehensive summary of the conservative Protestant worldview."—Michael Joseph Gross, Boston Phoenix Literary Section

"Presents considerable information not previously part of the nation's political discourse. . . . [Herman] dissects the Christian Right's antigay stance dispassionately giving, as it were, the devil his due. For anyone on either side of this passionate and important conflict, that is an impressive accomplishment."—Hastings Wyman, Jr., Washington Post Book World
[more]

logo for University of Missouri Press
The Apocalypse in Germany
Klaus Vondung & Translated by Stephen D. Ricks
University of Missouri Press, 2001

Originally published in German in 1988, The Apocalypse in Germany is now available for the first time in English. A fitting subject for the dawn of the new millennium, the apocalypse has intrigued humanity for the last two thousand years, serving as both a fascinating vision of redemption and a profound threat.

A cross-disciplinary study, The Apocalypse in Germany analyzes fundamental aspects of the apocalypse as a religious, political, and aesthetic phenomenon. Author Klaus Vondung draws from religious, philosophical, and political texts, as well as works of art and literature. Using classic Jewish and Christian apocalyptic texts as symbolic and historical paradigms, Vondung determines the structural characteristics and the typical images of the apocalyptic worldview. He clarifies the relationship between apocalyptic visions and utopian speculations and explores the question of whether modern apocalypses can be viewed as secularizations of the Judeo-Christian models.

Examining sources from the eighteenth century to the present, Vondung considers the origins of German nationalism, World War I, National Socialism, and the apocalyptic tendencies in Marxism as well as German literature—from the fin de siècle to postmodernism. His analysis of the existential dimension of the apocalypse explores the circumstances under which particular individuals become apocalyptic visionaries and explains why the apocalyptic tradition is so prevalent in Germany.

The Apocalypse in Germany offers an interdisciplinary perspective that will appeal to a broad audience. This book will also be of value to readers with an interest in German studies, as it clarifies the riddles of Germany's turbulent history and examines the profile of German culture, particularly in the past century.

[more]

front cover of Apocalyptic Sheep and Goats in Matthew and 1 Enoch
Apocalyptic Sheep and Goats in Matthew and 1 Enoch
Elekosi F. Lafitaga
SBL Press, 2022

An alternative understanding of apocalyptic eschatology in the Gospel of Matthew

Matthew’s eschatological imageries of judgment are often identified as apocalyptic and referred to as Matthew’s apocalyptic discourses. In this volume Elekosi F. Lafitaga reexamines Matthew’s vision of the sheep and goats in the judgment of the nations, which are often interpreted as metaphors for the saved and the condemned. Lafitaga views these images in the wider context of the rhetoric of apocalyptic communication stretching back to Matthew 3. This broader context reveals that the vision of Matthew 25 serves to exhort Israel in the here and now according to the torah, with salvation for Israel involving an indispensable responsibility to love and serve humanity. Central to Lafitaga’s analysis is the highly probable scenario that the material in Matthew is dependent on the Book of Dreams (1 Enoch 83–90).

[more]

front cover of Apostles of Change
Apostles of Change
Latino Radical Politics, Church Occupations, and the Fight to Save the Barrio
By Felipe Hinojosa
University of Texas Press, 2021

2021 Finalist Raul Yzaguirre Best Political/Current Affairs Book, International Latino Book Awards

Winner of the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education Inaugural Book Award

Unraveling the intertwined histories of Latino radicalism and religion in urban America, this book examines how Latino activists transformed churches into staging grounds for protest against urban renewal and displacement.

In the late 1960s, the American city found itself in steep decline. An urban crisis fueled by federal policy wreaked destruction and displacement on poor and working-class families. The urban drama included religious institutions, themselves undergoing fundamental change, that debated whether to stay in the city or move to the suburbs. Against the backdrop of the Black and Brown Power movements, which challenged economic inequality and white supremacy, young Latino radicals began occupying churches and disrupting services to compel church communities to join their protests against urban renewal, poverty, police brutality, and racism.

Apostles of Change tells the story of these occupations and establishes their context within the urban crisis; relates the tensions they created; and articulates the activists' bold, new vision for the church and the world. Through case studies from Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and Houston, Felipe Hinojosa reveals how Latino freedom movements frequently crossed boundaries between faith and politics and argues that understanding the history of these radical politics is essential to understanding the dynamic changes in Latino religious groups from the late 1960s to the early 1980s.

[more]

front cover of Appropriately Subversive
Appropriately Subversive
Modern Mothers in Traditional Religions
Tova Hartman Halbertal
Harvard University Press, 2003

How do mothers reconcile conflicting loyalties--to their religious traditions, and to the daughters whose freedoms are also constrained by those traditions? Searching for answers, Tova Hartman Halbertal interviewed mothers of teenage daughters in religious communities: Catholics in the United States, Orthodox Jews in Israel.

Sounding surprisingly alike, both groups described conscious struggles between their loyalties and talked about their attempts to make sense of and pass on their multiple commitments. They described accommodations and rationalizations and efforts to make small changes where they felt that their faith unjustly subordinated women. But often they did not feel they could tell their daughters how troubled they were. To keep their daughters safe within the protective culture of their ancestors, the mothers had to hide much of themselves in the hope that their daughters would know them more completely in the future.

Moving and unique, this book illuminates one of the moral questions of our time--how best to protect children and preserve community, without being imprisoned by tradition.

[more]

front cover of Aquinas and the Market
Aquinas and the Market
Toward a Humane Economy
Mary L. Hirschfeld
Harvard University Press, 2018

Economists and theologians usually inhabit different intellectual worlds. Economists investigate the workings of markets and tend to set ethical questions aside. Theologians, anxious to take up concerns raised by market outcomes, often dismiss economics and lose insights into the influence of market incentives on individual behavior. Mary L. Hirschfeld, who was a professor of economics for fifteen years before training as a theologian, seeks to bridge these two fields in this innovative work about economics and the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas.

According to Hirschfeld, an economics rooted in Thomistic thought integrates many of the insights of economists with a larger view of the good life, and gives us critical purchase on the ethical shortcomings of modern capitalism. In a Thomistic approach, she writes, ethics and economics cannot be reconciled if we begin with narrow questions about fair wages or the acceptability of usury. Rather, we must begin with an understanding of how economic life serves human happiness. The key point is that material wealth is an instrumental good, valuable only to the extent that it allows people to flourish. Hirschfeld uses that insight to develop an account of a genuinely humane economy in which pragmatic and material concerns matter but the pursuit of wealth for its own sake is not the ultimate goal.

The Thomistic economics that Hirschfeld outlines is thus capable of dealing with our culture as it is, while still offering direction about how we might make the economy better serve the human good.

[more]

front cover of Aquinas and the Theology of the Body
Aquinas and the Theology of the Body
Thomas Petri
Catholic University of America Press, 2016
Pope John Paul's Theology of the Body catecheses has garnered tremendous popularity in theological and catechetical circles. Students of the Theology of the Body have generally interpreted it as innovative not only in its presentation of the Church's teaching on marriage and sexuality, but also as radically advancing that teaching. Aquinas and the Theology of the Body offers a somewhat different interpretation. Fr. Thomas Petri argues that the philosophy and theology of Thomas Aquinas substantially contributed to John Paul's intellectual formation, which he never abandoned. A correct interpretation of the Theology of the Body requires, therefore, a thorough understanding of Thomistic anthropology and theology, which has been mostly lacking in commentaries on the pope's important contributions on the subject of marriage and sexuality.
[more]

logo for Georgetown University Press
Aquinas, Feminism, and the Common Good
Susanne M. DeCrane
Georgetown University Press, 2004

To dismiss the work of philosophers and theologians of the past because of their limited perceptions of the whole of humankind is tantamount to tossing the tot out with the tub water. Such is the case when feminist scholars of religion and ethics confront Thomas Aquinas, whose views of women can only be described as misogynistic. Rather than dispense with him, Susanne DeCrane seeks to engage Aquinas and reflect his otherwise compelling thought through the prism of feminist theology, hermeneutics, and ethics.

Focusing on one of Aquinas's great intellectual contributions, the fundamental notion of "the common good"—in short, the human will toward peace and justice—DeCrane demonstrates the currency of that notion through a contemporary social issue: women's health care in the United States and, specifically, black women and breast cancer. In her skillful re-engagement with Aquinas, DeCrane shows that certain aspects of religious traditions heretofore understood as oppressive to women and minority groups can actually be parsed, "retrieved," and used to rectify social ills.

Aquinas, Feminism, and the Common Good is a bold and intellectually rigorous feminist retrieval of an important text by a Catholic scholar seeking to remain in the tradition, while demanding that the tradition live up to its emphasis on human equity and justice.

[more]

front cover of Aquinas on the Emotions
Aquinas on the Emotions
A Religious-Ethical Inquiry
Diana Fritz Cates
Georgetown University Press, 2009

All of us want to be happy and live well. Sometimes intense emotions affect our happiness—and, in turn, our moral lives. Our emotions can have a significant impact on our perceptions of reality, the choices we make, and the ways in which we interact with others. Can we, as moral agents, have an effect on our emotions? Do we have any choice when it comes to our emotions?

In Aquinas on the Emotions, Diana Fritz Cates shows how emotions are composed as embodied mental states. She identifies various factors, including religious beliefs, intuitions, images, and questions that can affect the formation and the course of a person's emotions. She attends to the appetitive as well as the cognitive dimension of emotion, both of which Aquinas interprets with flexibility. The result is a powerful study of Aquinas that is also a resource for readers who want to understand and cultivate the emotional dimension of their lives.

[more]

front cover of Archaeology of the Night
Archaeology of the Night
Life After Dark in the Ancient World
Nancy Gonlin
University Press of Colorado, 2020

How did ancient peoples experience, view, and portray the night? What was it like to live in the past when total nocturnal darkness was the norm? Archaeology of the Night explores the archaeology, anthropology, mythology, iconography, and epigraphy of nocturnal practices and questions the dominant models of daily ancient life. A diverse team of experienced scholars uses a variety of methods and resources to reconstruct how ancient peoples navigated the night and what their associated daily—and nightly—practices were.

This collection challenges modern ideas and misconceptions regarding the night and what darkness and night symbolized in the ancient world, and it highlights the inherent research bias in favor of “daytime” archaeology. Numerous case studies from around the world (including Oman, Mesoamerica, Scandinavia, Rome, Great Zimbabwe, Indus Valley, Peru, and Cahokia) illuminate subversive, social, ritual, domestic, and work activities, such as witchcraft, ceremonies, feasting, sleeping, nocturnal agriculture, and much more. Were there artifacts particularly associated with the night? Authors investigate individuals and groups (both real and mythological) who share a special connection to nighttime life.

Reconsidering the archaeological record, Archaeology of the Night views sites, artifacts, features, and cultures from a unique perspective. This book is relevant to anthropologists and archaeologists and also to scholars of human geography, history, astronomy, sensory studies, human biology, folklore, and mythology.

Contributors: Susan Alt, Anthony F. Aveni, Jane Eva Baxter, Shadreck Chirikure, Minette Church, Jeremy D. Coltman, Margaret Conkey, Tom Dillehay, Christine C. Dixon, Zenobie Garrett, Nancy Gonlin, Kathryn Kamp, Erin Halstad McGuire, Abigail Joy Moffett, Jerry D. Moore, Smiti Nathan, April Nowell, Scott C. Smith, Glenn R. Storey, Meghan Strong, Cynthia Van Gilder, Alexei Vranich, John C. Whittaker, Rita Wright

[more]

front cover of Arguing the Just War in Islam
Arguing the Just War in Islam
John Kelsay
Harvard University Press, 2007

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.

[more]

front cover of An Argument for Same-Sex Marriage
An Argument for Same-Sex Marriage
Religious Freedom, Sexual Freedom, and Public Expressions of Civic Equality
Emily R. Gill
Georgetown University Press, 2015

The relationship between religious belief and sexuality as personal attributes exhibits some provocative comparisons. Despite the nonestablishment of religion in the United States and the constitutional guarantee of free exercise, Christianity functions as the religious and moral standard in America. Ethical views that do not fit within this consensus often go unrecognized as moral values. Similarly, in the realm of sexual orientation, heterosexuality is seen as the yardstick by which sexual practices are measured. The notion that "alternative" sexual practices like homosexuality could possess ethical significance is often overlooked or ignored.

In her new book, An Argument for Same-Sex Marriage, political scientist Emily Gill draws an extended comparison between religious belief and sexuality, both central components of one’s personal identity. Using the religion clause of the First Amendment as a foundation, Gill contends that, just as US law and policy ensure that citizens may express religious beliefs as they see fit, it should also ensure that citizens may marry as they see fit. Civil marriage, according to Gill, is a public institution, and the exclusion of some couples from a state institution is a public expression of civic inequality.

An Argument for Same-Sex Marriage is a passionate and timely treatment of the various arguments for and against same-sex marriage and how those arguments reflect our collective sense of morality and civic equality. It will appeal to readers who have an interest in gay and lesbian studies, political theory, constitutional law, and the role of religion in the contemporary United States.

[more]

logo for Georgetown University Press
Artificial Nutrition and Hydration and the Permanently Unconscious Patient
The Catholic Debate
Ronald P. Hamel and James J. Walter, Editors
Georgetown University Press, 2007

During the past few decades, high-profile cases like that of Terry Schiavo have fueled the public debate over forgoing or withdrawing artificial nutrition and hydration from patients in a persistent vegetative state (PVS). These cases, whether involving adults or young children, have forced many to begin thinking in a measured and careful way about the moral legitimacy of allowing patients to die. Can families forgo or withdraw artificial hydration and nutrition from their loved ones when no hope of recovery seems possible?

Many Catholics know that Catholic moral theology has formulated a well-developed and well-reasoned position on this and other end-of-life issues, one that distinguishes between "ordinary" and "extraordinary" treatment. But recent events have caused uncertainty and confusion and even acrimony among the faithful. In his 2004 allocution, Pope John Paul II proposed that artificial nutrition and hydration is a form of basic care, thus suggesting that the provision of such care to patients neurologically incapable of feeding themselves should be considered a moral obligation. The pope's address, which seemed to have offered a new development to decades of Catholic health care ethics, sparked a contentious debate among the faithful over how best to treat permanently unconscious patients within the tenets of Catholic morality.

In this comprehensive and balanced volume, Ronald Hamel and James Walter present twenty-one essays and articles, contributed by physicians, clergy, theologians, and ethicists, to reflect the spectrum of perspectives on the issues that define the Catholic debate. Organized into six parts, each with its own introduction, the essays offer clinical information on PVS and feeding tubes; discussions on the Catholic moral tradition and how it might be changing; ecclesiastical and pastoral statements on forgoing or withdrawing nutrition and hydration; theological and ethical analyses on the issue; commentary on Pope John Paul II's 2004 allocution; and the theological commentary, court decisions, and public policy resulting from the Clarence Herbert and Claire Conroy legal cases.

A valuable resource for students and scholars, this teachable volume invites theological dialogue and ethical discussion on one of the most contested issues in the church today.

[more]

front cover of As French as Everyone Else?
As French as Everyone Else?
A Survey of French Citizens of Maghrebin, African, and Turkish Origin
Authored by Sylvain Brouard and Vincent Tiberj
Temple University Press, 2011

France is often depicted as the model of assimilationist or republican integration in the international literature on immigration. However, rarely have surveys drilled down to provide individual responses from a double representative sample. In As French as Everyone Else?, Sylvain Brouard and Vincent Tiberj provide a comprehensive assessment of the state of integration in France and challenge the usual crisis of integration by systematically comparing the "new French" immigrants, as well as their children and grandchildren born in France, with a sample of the French general population.

The authors' survey considers a wide range of topics, including religious affiliation and religiosity, political attitudes and political efficacy, value systems (including gender roles, work ethics, and anti-Semitism), patterns of integration, multiple identities and national belongings, and affirmative action. As the authors show, despite existing differences, immigrants of Maghrebin, African, and Turkish origin share a wide scope of commonality with other French citizens.

[more]

front cover of Asian Migrants and Religious Experience
Asian Migrants and Religious Experience
From Missionary Journeys to Labor Mobility
Edited by Bernardo Brown and Brenda S.A. Yeoh
Amsterdam University Press, 2018
Typically, scholars approach migrants’ religions as a safeguard of cultural identity, something that connects migrants to their communities of origin. This ethnographic anthology challenges that position by reframing the religious experiences of migrants as a transformative force capable of refashioning narratives of displacement into journeys of spiritual awakening and missionary calling. These essays explore migrants’ motivations in support of an argument that to travel inspires a search for new meaning in religion.
[more]

front cover of Astrotopia
Astrotopia
The Dangerous Religion of the Corporate Space Race
Mary-Jane Rubenstein
University of Chicago Press, 2022
A revealing look at the parallel mythologies behind the colonization of Earth and space—and a bold vision for a more equitable, responsible future both on and beyond our planet.
 
As environmental, political, and public health crises multiply on Earth, we are also at the dawn of a new space race in which governments team up with celebrity billionaires to exploit the cosmos for human gain. The best-known of these pioneers are selling different visions of the future: while Elon Musk and SpaceX seek to establish a human presence on Mars, Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin work toward moving millions of earthlings into rotating near-Earth habitats. Despite these distinctions, these two billionaires share a core utopian project: the salvation of humanity through the exploitation of space.
 
In Astrotopia, philosopher of science and religion Mary-Jane Rubenstein pulls back the curtain on the not-so-new myths these space barons are peddling, like growth without limit, energy without guilt, and salvation in a brand-new world. As Rubenstein reveals, we have already seen the destructive effects of this frontier zealotry in the centuries-long history of European colonialism. Much like the imperial project on Earth, this renewed effort to conquer space is presented as a religious calling: in the face of a coming apocalypse, some very wealthy messiahs are offering an other-worldly escape to a chosen few. But Rubenstein does more than expose the values of capitalist technoscience as the product of bad mythologies. She offers a vision of exploring space without reproducing the atrocities of earthly colonialism, encouraging us to find and even make stories that put cosmic caretaking over profiteering.
[more]

front cover of Authors of the Impossible
Authors of the Impossible
The Paranormal and the Sacred
Jeffrey J. Kripal
University of Chicago Press, 2010

Most scholars dismiss research into the paranormal as pseudoscience, a frivolous pursuit for the paranoid or gullible. Even historians of religion, whose work naturally attends to events beyond the realm of empirical science, have shown scant interest in the subject. But the history of psychical phenomena, Jeffrey J. Kripal contends, is an untapped source of insight into the sacred and by tracing that history through the last two centuries of Western thought we can see its potential centrality to the critical study of religion.

Kripal grounds his study in the work of four major figures in the history of paranormal research: psychical researcher Frederic Myers; writer and humorist Charles Fort; astronomer, computer scientist, and ufologist Jacques Vallee; and philosopher and sociologist Bertrand Méheust. Through incisive analyses of these thinkers, Kripal ushers the reader into a beguiling world somewhere between fact, fiction, and fraud. The cultural history of telepathy, teleportation, and UFOs; a ghostly love story; the occult dimensions of science fiction; cold war psychic espionage; galactic colonialism; and the intimate relationship between consciousness and culture all come together in Authors of the Impossible, a dazzling and profound look at how the paranormal bridges the sacred and the scientific.

[more]

front cover of Awesome Families
Awesome Families
The Promise of Healing Relationships in the International Churches of Christ
Kathleen Jenkins
Rutgers University Press, 2005

Denounced by some as a dangerous cult and lauded by others as a miraculous faith community, the International Churches of Christ was a conservative evangelical Christian movement that grew rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s.

Among its followers, promises to heal family relationships were central to the group's appeal. Members credit the church for helping them develop so-called "awesome families"-successful marriages and satisfying relationships with children, family of origin, and new church "brothers and sisters." The church engaged an elaborate array of services, including round-the-clock counseling, childcare, and Christian dating networks-all of which were said to lead to fulfilling relationships and exciting sex lives. Before the unified movement's demise in 2003-2004, the lure of blissful family-life led more than 100,000 individuals worldwide to be baptized into the church.

In Awesome Families, Kathleen Jenkins draws on four years of ethnographic research to explain how and why so many individuals-primarily from middle- to upper-middle-class backgrounds-were attracted to this religious group that was founded on principles of enforced community, explicit authoritative relationships, and therapeutic ideals. Weaving classical and contemporary social theory, she argues that members were commonly attracted to the structure and practice of family relationships advocated by the church, especially in the context of contemporary society where gender roles and family responsibilities are often ambiguous.

Tracing the rise and fall of this fast-growing religious movement, this timely study adds to our understanding of modern society and offers insight to the difficulties that revivalist movements have in sustaining growth.
 

[more]


Send via email Share on Facebook Share on Twitter