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Classical theology a definition

Many disturbing questions of this kind in turn seemed to be generated by a tension implicit in the Qur'an itself. Some verses spoke of a God who seemed utterly transcendent, so that ''nothing is like him'' (Qur'an 42 11). Such a deity ''is not asked about what he does'' (21 23), and appears to expect only the unquestioning submission (islam) which seemed implicit in the very name of the new religion. But there were many other passages which implied a God who is indeed, in some sense that urgently needed definition, analogous to ourselves a God who is ethically coherent, and whose qualities are immanent in his creation, so that ''Where-sover you turn, there is God's face'' (2 115). This fundamental tension between transcendence and immanence, or, as Muslims put it, between ''affirming difference'' (tanzih) and ''affirming resemblance'' (tashbih), became intrinsic to the structuring of knowledge in the new civilisation. As one aspect of this it could be said, at the risk of very crude...

The first belief monotheism

The Qur'an emerged in contestation with a polytheistic culture, and affirming God's unity (tawhid) is its most fundamental tenet. A characteristic feature of the Qur'an is that its urging of faith in God is accompanied by an argument, which is a straightforward argument from design.17 In numerous passages, the Qur'an argues for the existence, unity and grace of God, for example in the many ''Signs'' verses

Sources of Pluralistic Thought Greece and India

The Gayatri mantra (prayer) of Vishwamitra is an affirmation of this spiritual unity. This is the spirit that was lost by Greece, a loss from which she has still not recovered. It is again this spirit that lies at the heart of the millennia-old heritage of Hinduism. It is also this spirit and freedom that the Church - and the mosque - have sought continually to suppress and extinguish, seeing it as the great enemy of their closed creeds.

Affirmative and negative in the Christology of Bonaventure dynamics

It is in some such terms that we can speak of Bonaventure's 'mystical theology'. For if, speaking now quite generally, the 'mystical' is in some way tied up with the moment of theological negation, of a 'passing beyond', and if, on an adequate account of the apophatic dimension of theological discourse, it has to be understood as determinative of that discourse as mystical in principle and as such then this can be so only in so far as we have abandoned a whole raft of accounts of the relations between the 'apophatic' and the 'cataphatic'. For we are diverted from this account in so far as we suppose that there is some such discourse as 'apophatic discourse'. The apophatic is not given in some negative vocabulary which takes over from the affirmative when we get a mystical urge it is not engaged in by means of some negative chasing game with the affirmative up the ladder of speech about God, thus at the top either to win or to lose out to the affirmative. Rather it is that the tensions...

The Barthian objection

Powerfully as Ticciati's case is made, it seems to share with Barth's the likelihood of its being truer in what it affirms than in what it denies, for while the 'Barthian' and the Vatican Council are at one in affirming the epistemic authority of faith over reason, and the primacy of the historical events of salvation over the non-historical, timeless, standpoint of 'nature', all that would seem obviously to follow from that priority is the tautology that faith must exclude as false any standpoint which is defined or posited as 'natural' in some sense of 'natural' which a priori rivals faith as a 'standpoint'. At any rate we should at least note - if at this stage of the argument we do no more than note it - that when Barth says that 'what God does as the Creator can in the Christian sense only be seen and understood as a reflection, as a shadowing forth of the inner relationship between God the Father and the Son',16 Thomas Aquinas agrees17 with the reservation that in thus far...

The Christian Doctrine of Hereditary

The Christian doctrine of original or hereditary sin is based on the biblical story of the Fall of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 and on the testimony of the Apostle Paul in Romans 5 12 'Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned'.8 The term 'original sin' does not occur in the Bible, but in the second century of the Christian era the Greek church father Irenaeus (c. 130-200) worked out a theory of original sin for the Eastern Church emphasizing the solidarity of the human race with Adam.9 The Latin church father Tertullian (c. 160-225) introduced the concept of inherited sin in the Western Church with the notion of a 'vice of origin' (vitium originis) or corruption of nature transmitted from generation to generation by procreation.10 Tertullian's concept of hereditary sin was refined by later fathers of the Western Church and given consummate expression by St Augustine (354-430), whose...

Politics as Parable of the Kingdom of

The basic, encompassing analogy of God and humanity served as the deep structure of the Church Dogmatics. The story of Jesus is the story of humanity, in which the reconciliation of humanity is already accomplished, so that, echoing Barmen I and II, God in Jesus Christ established and confirmed his original claim to man and hence man's claim against sin and death (Barth 1954 35). Jesus Christ is the man who is both elected and rejected by God. Nothing that happens to people in history falls out of the range of what God has already gone through with Jesus, in struggle and in victory, the triumph of God in and for humanity. This is the basis of Barth's humanism, which is not an affirmation of separate individuals, each secluded in his own identity, apart from and against others, but the vindication of Jesus representing all (Solle 1967). Barth's humanism is a cheerful confidence in God who elects himself to be the God of all, including his enemies and unbelievers - for God's reality...

Sexedgendered relations unnatural identities

How are the connections between these double oppressions to be understood. The key insight is the 'logic of domination' that ecofeminism exposes such a logic ascribes value to the 'upper' part of dualisms and denies value to the 'lower' part. Thus it is not the division between 'upper' and lower' to which ecofeminism objects distinctions of this kind could be an affirmation of diversity. Instead, that those on the lower side are understood to be inferior and subordinate is the outcome of the logic of domination. In a later essay, Warren reproduces this analysis the logic of domination is 'explanatorily basic', for it is by such logic that the hierarchies and dualisms are employed as the basis for subordination and domination.10 Warren's argument, although schematic, is valuable in two ways first, hierarchies themselves are not dismissed but only those hierarchies incorporated within a logic of domination second, her account leaves open the significance of the patriarchal...

The falasifa on origination

Agent, how is a human being an agent There is no way of understanding ''acting'' as between these two agents. In response, I would say indeed, there can be no understanding when there is but one meaning for ''agent.'' But if it had two meanings, then the term comprehended could be attributed to each of them without contradiction, as when it is said that the emir killed someone, and also said that the executioner killed him in one sense, the emir is the killer and in another sense, the executioner. Similarly, a human being is an agent in one sense, and God is an agent in another. The sense in which God Most High is agent is that He is the originator32 of existing things mukhtari' al-mawjud , while the sense in which a human being is an agent is that he is the locus mahall in which power is created after will has been created after knowledge has been created, so that power depends on will, and action is linked to power, as a conditioned to its condition. But depending on the power of...

Scriptures inspiration

If, confessing Scripture's inspiration, one holds to a fairly direct relation between the Bible and the revealed Word of God, then a viewpoint approximating biblical inerrancy follows as a matter of course. God speaks truly. The question concerns whether the focus of Scripture's purpose -which clearly concerns faith and practice according to 2 Timothy 3 i6-I7, among other passages - exempts certain aspects or affirmations of the Bible from truly being the Word of God in the sense implied by verbal, plenary inspiration. Or instead, as inerrantists claim, should Scripture's saving and sanctifying purpose focus our interpretative efforts on finding what the Bible as God's Word truly means and the Latin American Theological Fraternity in Mexico in 1983. Occurring partly in response to liberation theology's influence, its proceedings demonstrate the possibility of genuinely global conversation engaging hermeneutics via doctrine, biblical case studies, and practical theological issues.36...

Confederal municipalism

Second, how are the political relations between nature and the municipality to be understood. For Bookchin, the municipality must operate on the basis of face-to-face democratic procedures in which citizens gather to deliberate and decide on matters that affect the whole community. Forms ofdemocracy that are not based on such direct interaction turn upon systems of representation. Such systems are rejected by Bookchin. However, a difficulty arises when one considers the relations between the municipality and non-human nature. Within a dialectical naturalism, such relations must be attended to after all, the municipality is the context and agent of a political programme where humanity, as nature rendered self-conscious, seeks both the affirmation ofdiversity, complexity and spontaneity in the human polity and ecologically benign ways of affirming these same tendencies in the natural realm. None the less, how is nature accounted for in the political deliberations ofthe polity. Bookchin...

Asian feminist theology

While it would seem that non-Christian women, particularly in India, have made a breakthrough in laying the foundation for a distinctively Asian brand of feminism, the Christian pioneers, barring a few, have tended to apply the dominant model of Western feminism to the Asian context. This was understandably the first wave of Asian feminist theology, accompanied and followed by the second wave which was reflective of the feminist theologians' own personal and collective affirmation of their womanhood within the area of theology, profiting from the contribution of non-Christian women to the feminist debate. The third wave, which is now gaining currency, though not sufficiently documented, reflects the acknowledgment of the class-gender link. Hence, as in Asian liberation theology, so also in Asian feminist theology, the most creative contributions have come from those Christian women who have joined the various (Christian and non-Christian) women's grassroots movements, especially among...

Scarcity sustainability and marginality

The theme of this section is scarcity. In affirming the Marxist rejection of the relation between population and the availability of food, we have noted that too Promethean a stress should not be placed on the correct judgment that scarcity is a social limit. If capitals do indeed destroy the conditions of their own production, then these conditions may be impaired to such a degree as to create significant resistance to any liberatory, socialist, project. In order to theorise the social construction of limits - the capitalist production of nature - together with an account of the reality of natural processes, we may conclude that scarcity should be understood as 'marginality'.

The Standing Conference

The challenges which the Orthodox face in the United States are great and serious. The ongoing division of Orthodoxy into separate jurisdictions continues to weaken its mission and witness. Within most of the jurisdictions, the process of acculturation has not always been easy. In many of them there are some who continue to view the Church chiefly as the preserver of ethnic identity. As some of the jurisdictions move beyond their reliance upon ethnic loyalties, however, they are obliged to speak more clearly about the distinctive features of the Orthodox Christian faith within a religiously pluralistic society. They must express the faith in terms which are understandable and develop ministries which respond to the spiritual needs of people living in this complex society. Within this society, the Orthodox need to distinguish between Old World cultural practices and perspectives that are not essential to the faith and those affirmations that lie at the heart of the faith. In...

Subjectivity As Untruth

According to Plato, Socrates advanced the thesis that all knowledge is recollection.21 This thesis assumes that truth resides eternally within human beings thus they already know the truth and need only to be reminded of it or become conscious of what they have forgotten. From the Socratic viewpoint, therefore, human beings exist essentially in conformity with truth. According to Climacus, however, Socrates constantly departed from this proposition in order to emphasize existence (CUP i. 205-7). While the possibility of affirming the unity of thought and being by way of recollection was always open to him, Socrates preferred to bring it to expression by accentuating existing rather than speculative thought. He perceived that a human being is first of all an existing individual and that existence makes a claim upon all human beings by presenting the task of existing as their essential task in life. The task of existing is to become concrete, not abstract, to accentuate existence rather...

Trinity And Divine Simplicity

Alan pursues these questions of the use of language about God still further. When a noun signifies the divine being, it only seems to signify a quality (Justus) in the case of God it behaves like a pronoun (pronominatur), and signifies not a form attributed to God, but the Divine Form itself (XVII). Similarly, although in other cases we make a 'composite' affirmation when we say, for example, 'Peter is just', in the case of an affirmation made about God, there is nothing 'composite' while negative statements may be made quite straightforwardly about God (proprie et vere) (XVIII). God is just by the justice which is his very self, but when we say he is just, we are really speaking from our knowledge of the effect his justice has on us, and so what he is, is not exactly what he is said to be (XIX). All nouns used of God are used improperly, and so there is propriety in God's being, but impropriety in saying that he is (XX).

Critique and Reconstruction

The androcentric bias within God-talk has also emerged as another important theme, another example of the way in which feminist theologians insist on the politically charged nature of religious language. Dorothee Solle provides a useful example in her protest against the authoritarian ethic implicit in theological metaphors of lordship, power, and fatherhood. Such language sanctifies what she terms a Culture of Obedience in which Christians surrender their destiny to an almighty, other-worldly power, a denial of alternative, life-affirming values of human responsibility and self-worth (Solle 1996 152-3). Another direct connection between religious language and politics - in its broadest sense - is drawn by Sallie McFague's reconstitution of philosophical theology, in which metaphor is used as both deconstructive and reconstructive device. If all language for God is a human construct -provisional and contingent - then it is inevitable that it will reflect, maybe even reify, particular...

Dialectical naturalism

In short, social ecology advances the guidelines for an ecological society. The great divorce between nature and society - or between the 'biological' and the 'cultural' - is overcome by shared developmental concepts such as greater diversity in evolution the wider and more complete participation of all components in a whole and the ever more fecund potentialities that expand the horizon of freedom and self-reflexivity. Society, like mind, ceases to be suigeneris. Like mind, with its natural history, social life emerges from the loosely banded animal community to form the highly institutionalised human community.46 A political theology that explicates a common realm of God, nature and humanity will find much to welcome in this dialectical naturalism a holistic emphasis on the unity of nature and society a dialectical account of human-nature relations towards the affirmation of diversity and differences the stress that nature is a companion of society and is always the...

Myth Metaphor or Truth

Classical Christian belief in the divinity of Christ was challenged by the Quakers and the Unitarians in the early modern period, by the liberal Protestant critique of the history of dogma in the nineteenth century and at the Girton Conference of the Modern Churchmen's Union in 1920. The much discussed volume, The Myth of God Incarnate, which appeared in 1977, summed up the difficulties found by many modern Christian theologians with the credal affirmations. That book's editor, the distinguished philosopher of religion John Hick, will be taken here as the clearest and most challenging exponent of a non-incarnational version of Christianity.

Into the depths philosophies of deep ecology

Writing in the 'foundations of Deep Ecology', Freya Mathews's position is better placed to engage with the problem of locality. She notes that a central problem for deep ecology is whether or not the affirmation of the cosmos as a self-realising and maintaining being invites careful attention to place and habitation. As long as matter continues, why worry about the precise form. Is not a strip mine merely the alteration in the material of a landscape. As long as the cosmic self persists in the pursuit of its conatus, why worry about temporary forms of matter amidst the long-term flux 50 Such a view could be consonant with the destruction of selves and entities. Mathews turns the argument around by insisting that identification with the cosmic self invites the affirmation of the forms of life below the level of the cosmos my relation to the cosmos is thereby mediated by these other teleological configurations oflife. Such spiritual affirmation invites us to view the actually existing...

Academic And Ecclesiastical Theology

Drawn to presenting a picture which is universally true indeed it is rather difficult within the discipline of systematic theology to find a way of acknowledging that the relative importance of different aspects of the truth may vary from time to time or place to place. By contrast a historian is accustomed to making relative statements. The very variety of different points of view, even when based on the same evidence, forces historians to acknowledge that their discipline is concerned with relative truths. This has not, of course, prevented some historians from time to time affirming that their view is the right one, or indeed the only right one but generally speaking a historian is more at home in the world of relativities. Thus the variety of interpretations which has to be acknowledged in relation to different periods can very easily be extended to different places in the same period. It does not necessarily mean abandoning hope of reaching absolute truth in relation to certain...

Presence and absence in Thomass Eucharistic theology

To refocus the building upon an elaborate triptych before which stands an ornate and elevated altar at the east end - in short, to re-equip the cathedral with all that, one may reasonably imagine, was stripped from it forty years later. What will then be the theological-liturgical statement which in that condition the appointments of the cathedral make The answer would seem to be obvious. Here you have a statement of 'holy presence', a fullness oftheological affirmation, a space filled with presence and with a community in that presence. Hence, if the 1535 condition of the cathedral signifies by means of its absence of sign, if, to repeat, it is absence which is the sign, that absence can possess no less the materiality of a sign than does the fullness of sign in 1500. It may be a mistake to eat the meal-ticket thinking it is the meal but if that is the case it is exactly the same mistake to identify the physical, material absences of Zwingli's cathedral with the absence of Christ...

Conclusion Of Cardinal Virtues

Of course the evidence of ST 1-2.61.5 does not determine answers to any of these questions. In fact, there is good reason to think that such questions cannot be answered by unqualified affirmations or negations,52 and ST 1-2.61.5 helps to illustrate this. For one thing, it is clear that in the mind of Aquinas, the Neoplatonic theory of the cardinal virtues does not compete with, but complements, the Aristotelian account. Mark Jordan has said that Aquinas's appropriation of the Neoplatonic hierarchy of virtues stretches the analogy of Aristotelian virtue almost to breaking (Jordan 1993, 239). Yet as we have seen from the discussion above, in Aquinas's mind the analogy does not break the Neoplatonic stretch is, for Aquinas, compatible with Aristotle's ethics.

The continuity of selfidentity through death and resurrection

The concept of resurrection may not have been clear in the mind of Job, but he clearly expresses the desire that his very own self (soul) would survive the destruction of his flesh so that he, in his body, should stand before God. It is his own self-identity -and not another - that must survive, not merely as an extension of his present life, but that he could finally confront God. It was not death itself that tormented Job, but the loss of God's presence and affirmation.

The Challenge Of Esoterism

In his discussion of the visio beata, Kalabadhi again uses a typical kalaam combination of scriptural texts and rational arguments to make another, essentially Ash'arite, affirmation believers will have a true vision of God in the hereafter, but without any modality (kayfiyya) or circumscription.47 Finally, the treatment of theodicy is typically Ash'arite. Jabrism (the theory of absolute compulsion) is formally denied but there is an affirmation of God's creation of every act of the creature as well as of its capacity (istita'a) in acting. Kalabadhi, moreover, disapproves of the typically Mu'tazilite doctrine that God is determined by questions of welfare (maslaha).48

Bonaventure and the centrality of Christ

The structure of Bonaventure's Itinerarium is, however, in one respect misleading if not properly understood, and can seem to work an effect opposed to his manifest intentions. It is perhaps a consequence of the medieval passion for hierarchical structures of thought - the obsession with theological construction modelled on the metaphor of ladders of ascent - that, as Bonaventure sets out his argument in the Itinerarium, you would have the impression that affirmation and negation are successive theological moments, that, as it were, you have first to climb the ladder of affirmation only to throw it away into the gulf of unknowing after you have reached the top. First, we unproblematically affirm then, as if in a distinct theological act, differently and separately motivated, we deny. The consequence is not as such to suggest - though one has the impression that many a modern takes this view anyway - that affirmative and negative theologies are distinct theological strategies, even...

An ecological pneumatology

The first point is to note that fellowship is not to be restricted only to human agents 'To experience the fellowship of the Spirit inevitably carries Christianity beyond itself into the greater fellowship of all God's creatures. For the community of creation, in which all created things exist with one another, for one another, and in one another, is also the fellowship of the Spirit.'2 Against a tendency to associate the actions of the Spirit with the benefits of Christ and thereby to restrict arbitrarily the sphere of the efficacy of the Spirit to the Church,3 the third person of God's Trinity4 is here understood as Creator Spiritus. The theological warrant for such an affirmation is easily discerned 'God's spiritual transcendence of matter, and of all other spirits than himself, writes Geoffrey Wainwright, 'is the unique transcendence of their Creator'. Out of this logic, Wainwright concludes 'In Christian tradition, therefore, the Holy Spirit may be invoked as Creator Spiritus.'5...

Relations of internal and External History

It only states the paradox in a new form and every paradox is the statement of a dilemma rather than an escape from it. It is important, of course, that a paradox be correctly stated and that false simplicity be avoided. We have made some advance toward a correct statement of our dilemma, we believe, when we have recognized that the duality of the history in which there is revelation and of the history in which there is none, is not the duality of different groups or communities, or when we have understood that this dualism runs right through Christian history itself. We are enabled to see why we can speak of revelation only in connection with our own history without affirming or denying its reality in the history of other communities into whose inner life we cannot penetrate without abandoning ourselves and our community. The two-aspect theory allows us to understand how revelation can be in history and yet not be identifiable with miraculous events as...

Theologians and the Study of Culture

Other writers have done as much - James Cone, Michael Eric Dyson, and Jon Michael Spencer have written perceptively on blues, soul, rap and hip hop as forms of community self-affirmation and prophetic critique that have extended the long-standing efforts of the Black churches to empower their people.4 But Pinn goes further, and divides these musical sites of resistance against the Black churches and their preachers and

Difference and indistinction Meister Eckhart

But if'to know an affirmation is to know its negation', then God's being beyond difference entails God's being beyond sameness. If what Jacques Derrida means by saying that 'every other is completely other' is that there is no ultimate 'sameness' of such nature that it stands in no possible relation of 'otherness', then of course he is right, for of course every 'sameness' is determinable by reference to its differences from something With which Derrida may be construed as thus far agreeing he affirms this hegemony of 'difference', he says, not in order to affirm some new ultimacy, only now a purely negative one, but in order to affirm only a penultimacy - which is not, we may add, to insist upon anything, but rather to desist from all possible forms of ultimacy, from every 'destination', even an ultimacy of the negative. To declare the ultimacy of 'differance' is precisely not to propose, but on the contrary to deny, some new ontology of difference, according to which there is an...

The bakriyya salimiyya and karramiyya

When one recites the Qur'an, God Himself recites it by one's tongue, and when one listens to another reciting the Qur'an, one actually hears it from God.23 Again, Tustari vehemently upholds the reality of the attributes of God, or rather, in his curiously nuanced way of putting it, he upholds the reality of the attributes of the attributes. These ''attributes of the attributes'' are strongly affirmed by Tustarai and yet are declared by him to transcend human comprehension ''behind the names and attributes are attributes which the minds afham do not pierce because God is a fire ablaze. There is no way to Him and no escape from plunging into Him.''24 The amodal affirmation of the divine names attributes is a basic Hanbali and Ash'ari response to Mu'tazilism. The latter sought to preserve divine transcendence by the negation (and metaphorical interpretation) of the attributes of God cited in the Qur'an. On the other hand, the ''orthodox'' correctives to Mu'tazilism (be they Hanbalai or...

How deep is deep ecology

From this basic ontological claim, judgments of value follow. For Naess contends that, given such ontological commitments, all forms oflife have an equal right to live. With this view is associated the preference to maintain the maximum diversity of species. The ontological commitments support the view that diversity, and its promotion, are central to a true understanding of the myriad forms of life. Four 'lesser' principles now follow these set out certain requirements in human behaviour. To begin, the deep ecology platform, in this earlier version, includes the overcoming of class divisions (for it is easy to see how the affirmation ofa straight diversity could include the affirmation of the 'diversity' of class). With this we are treated to principles of resistance to pollution and resource depletion and the commitment to complexity and decentralisation. These last can be seen to derive, in a loose way, from the first axiological principle the affirmation ofthe right to life. To...

Incarnation as pedagogy

The welcome stress on the agency of nature was one of the important lessons learned from an engagement with social ist ecofeminism. The second important lesson was the affirmation of the reproduction of nature the centrality of such work needs to be foregrounded, together with women's role in that labour. Women are not to be identified with non-human nature neither are women and nature external to the human project. Instead, such ecofeminism points towards the demand for a new conception of nature in which the continuities of humanity with nature, and the differences of humanity and nature, are construed in fresh ways. Similarly to the positions of social and socialist ecologies, such a development of a human-nature materialism cannot be founded upon domination. Domination affirms differences and continuities but in the wrong sequence and in restrictive ways. What, however, was identified as missing in the ecofeminist literature was a persuasive account of how the otherness ofnature...

Contemporary dilemmas personalism and naturalism

The difficulty with this sort of approach, as Plumwood is quick to point out, is that the end result can be the affirmation of what was previously denied the dualism is merely reversed. Hence personalism gives way to different sorts of naturalism.11 11. In the interests of comprehensiveness, two further moves may be reported. One approach takes the form of trying to raise the lower side of the dualism to the upper side. In debates on ecology this takes the form of the affirmation of technological fixes, the promise of consumer goods for all for, if the dualism has supported the unequal appropriation of 'nature's goods', then the resolution must be to spread goods more widely which in turn means greater reproduction. A different strategy, associated with postmodernism, dissolves all identities, those of humanity and non-human nature alike. The displacement of the modern subject does not yield an immutable natural order. Instead, it reminds us that all identities are constructed....

B Matt 54348Luke 62728 3236

The Jesus Seminar had no doubts that 'Love your enemies' is close to the heart of Jesus' teaching (as also Bultmann, History 105) and were positive in their judgment regarding Matt. 5.45b-46 Luke 6.32, but returned a negative verdict on Matt. 5.44b Luke 6.28, despite the parallels in Romans and Didache (Funk, Five Gospels 145-47, 291-97). Ludemann is even more robust in his affirmation of the authenticity of Matt. 5.44a, since 'it was evaded in primitive Christianity' (Jesus 144). See also Holmen, Jesus 258-72. The nearest parallel outside Jewish tradition is Epictetus 3.22.53-54 the Cynic 'must needs be flogged like an ass, and while he is being flogged he must love those who flog him . . less close parallels in Downing, Christ and the Cynics 23-25 Vaage, Galilean Upstarts47-50.

World Without Love The Greco Roman World and Early Christianity

Harrison notes that the ''Church's care for the needy, for foundlings, widows, the poor, although it had Jewish roots, was new and striking affirmation of a common humanity shared by all, rich and poor, in the traditionally hierarchic context of late antique society.'' The Christians' love for the poor exhibited through the charity of the church made a deep impression in the Roman Empire and contributed to the growth of the church. This is clearly seen in the action of the Emperor Julian (332-363), known as Julian the Apostate because upon becoming emperor in 360 he renounced the Christian faith in which he was reared and embarked upon a campaign to reinstate worship of the old gods of the empire. Rejecting open persecution of the church, Julian strove to displace it by co-opting its social concern. One of Julian's letters, provided by Kidd, noted that Christianity was spreading because of its love for the neighbor. ''I think the impious Galileans i.e., Christians have observed this...

Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev

Before discussing the most important aspects of Orthodox eschatologi-cal expectation, it is necessary to explain two things. First, we must note that eschatology is an area of questions, and not answers,of mysteries, and not of the obvious,of hopes, not of definite, final affirmations. Much of what concerns the future fate of the world and humankind has been revealed to us in holy scripture and the tradition of the Church, but much still remains in the hidden depths of God's mysteries.

Personal Plurality In The Triune

Faith acknowledges that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Theology seeks to disclose the truth of this credal confession, by showing how and why we can truly say that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are 'three persons'. It is faith, and not a rationalization deriving simply from human reasoning, which leads to this affirmation.4 Theological investigation envisages its task as avoiding the dead-ends of Arianism and Sabellianism, in a exercise in contemplation whose fruits are passed on to believers. Standing on this ground, the exposition puts the study of relation and person to work, with precision

Social Trinitarianism

To consider these in reverse order, functional monotheism appeals to the harmonious, interrelated functioning of the divine persons as the basis for viewing them as one God. For example, Richard Swinburne considers God to be a logically indivisible, collective substance composed of three persons who are also substances. He sees the Father as the everlasting active cause of the Son and Spirit, and the latter as permissive causes, in turn, of the Father. Because all of them are omnipotent and perfectly good, they cooperate in all their volitions and actions. It is logically impossible that any one person should exist or act independent of the other two. Swinburne considers this understanding sufficient to capture the intention of the church councils, whose monotheistic affirmations, he thinks, meant to deny that there were three independent divine beings who could exist and act without one another.

Transcendental Multiplicity

But what is this plurality to do with The problem arose very early, and with an acerbic punch, in the very first Trinitarian debates within scholastic theology. One of Abelard's first masters, Roscelin de Compiegne, aroused a heated debate by refusing to accept that the three divine persons could be one single reality (una res). For Roscelin, the affirmation that the three divine persons are a single reality cannot enable one to safeguard the givens of faith, since, amongst these persons, only the Son became incarnate. Consequently, Roscelin held that the three persons are three realities (tres res), which nonetheless have power and will in the way in which three angels or three human souls do so.46 This is the origin of the scholastics' question, which is still there in St Thomas' writings 'Can the three persons be called ''three realities'' (tres res) '47 In the Sentences, Peter Lombard still thinks of the terms for number and quantity as being closely connected. 'When we say three...

Trinitarian Renewal

Protestant theologians endorse (1) with equal insistence - not only the reformers and scholastics of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but many in the nineteenth century as well. Thus the Lutheran Isaak August Dorner, like the Catholic Franzelin, makes much of the trinitarian significance of the Matthean baptismal formula, and takes belief in the Trinity as basic to Christian identity.13 Though he follows Schleiermacher in supposing that the distinctive experience of Christian faith must be the final source and guarantee of Christian doctrine, Dorner insists against his predecessor that such faith requires a robust affirmation of the divine Trinity the objective existence of eternal distinctions in God is the necessary presupposition for personal communion with God through Christ in faith (Dorner 1883, 31, 1 414). In this he does not regard himself as a voice crying in the wilderness, but as perfecting a trinitarian renewal (though he does not call it that) already underway...

Fundamentalism Withdrawal From The Mainstream

Protestant fundamentalism is thus best seen as a specific reaction to developments in the world of early twentieth-century America and is thus, in one sense of the word, thoroughly modern. It was from its outset, and has remained, a countercultural movement that uses central doctrinal affirmations as a means of defining cultural boundaries. Whereas most nineteenth-century forms of American evangelicalism were culturally centralist, committed to engaging with culture in order to transform it through the gospel, the fundamentalist reaction against modern secularism has entailed a separatist attitude toward culture. Certain central doctrines most notably, the absolutely literal authority of scripture and the idea of the premillennial return of Christ have been treated as barriers they are intended as much to alienate secular culture as to give fundamentalists a sense of identity and purpose.

Annotated Bibliography of Books on Theology and Popular Culture

Greeley, Andrew, God in Popular Culture (Chicago Thomas More Press, 1988). This is a collection of essays on artifacts of 1980s' popular culture framed by a theory of the religious imagination. The basic idea here is that, according to Greeley, there is a Catholic sensibility that has always paid attention to the fears, loves, and aspirations of ordinary folk and appropriated to Catholic worship and practice everything that was good, true, and beautiful in the pagan world around it. From this borrowing have come many of the most enduring symbols of God and faith. Attention to such popular culture forces as Madonna, Woody Allen, Clint Eastwood, Bill Cosby and Stephen King (among Greeley's favorites) is thus a form of bottom up theology, a version of liberation theology and a strong affirmation of the sacramentality of life. Some of popular culture, Greeley insists, contains signals of the transcendent, the presence of grace, rumors of angels. The early chapters offer an account of the...

From the Halls of Government

Novak, Staver, and the governor are echoing a similar theme. Displaying the Ten Commandments in recognition of our framers' conviction that our religious liberties derive from God-and even affirming their importance in society's moral foundation-does not constitute the establishment of religion. To diminish their role in the history of this nation based on an extreme reading of the Establishment Clause is a gross overreaction and is utterly incompatible with the intent of the framers. There is a major difference between public acknowledgments of the founders' belief in the foundational importance of the Ten Commandments (and other Judeo-Christian principles) to our liberties and the government's endorsement of the Ten Commandments. While the latter should also not run afoul of the Establishment Clause, the former clearly should not.

Christianity is an Existence Communication

Kierkegaard did not consider himself to be a theologian but only 'a singular kind of poet and thinker' who wrote 'without authority' (WA 165). Like Luther, he did not claim to teach anything new but sought 'once again to read through, if possible in a more inward way, the original text of individual human existence-relationships, the old familiar text handed down from the fathers'(165 cf. CUP i. 629-30).1 While basically affirming and reflecting orthodox Lutheran theology in his authorship, Kierkegaard placed his stamp of original interpretation on a number of Christian doctrines and concepts. In his many works, composed in the short span of little more than a decade, he also mounted a devastating theological critique of the prevailing philosophical, theological, ecclesiastical, cultural, and sociopolitical ideologies and structures of his time, which in his view had severely compromised, confused, changed, and virtually abolished true Christianity. Seeking to reintroduce Christianity...

Can Theology Go Through Kant

It is not hard to see how his line of reasoning ends up having negative, if not devastating, consequences for religion and theology when founded on Kant's philosophy. Peter Byrne interprets Kant's philosophy along the lines of Strawson, and applies this interpretation to Kant's account of religious language in general and Kant's writings on religion in particular. According to Byrne, 'Kant's account of religious language departs from realism as that is understood by many contemporary philosophers' by not being referentially and causally based.8 The significance of Kant's religious writings, in this light, is not their theological affirmation (although Byrne does allow for some minimal amount of affirmation), but their meta-ethical implications. The moral law is transformed in these writings, thinks Byrne, into a set of ethical demands that humans strive to achieve in corporate unison. Referring specifically to Book Three of Religion, Byrne writes, 'Kant's underlying thought The work...

Religious Relativism and Revelation

Ritschl carried on this relational value-theology in a form which has become very familiar. His treatment was based on the recognition that Christian affirmations about God, sin, Christ, salvation, etc., are meaningful only in a Christian context, or -- to state the idea in the broader way in which he put it -- religious judgments are value-judgments which report not simply experience but value-experience in which there has been a response of the whole feeling, willing, desiring person. When a Christian says God he does not mean that a being exists who is the beginning of the solar system or of the cosmos, or the great mathematician who figured out a world in which mathematicians can take delight. What he means, what he points to with the word God, is a being infinitely attractive, which by its very nature calls forth devotion, joy and trust. This God is always my God, our Good, our beginning and our end. To speak about God otherwise, in the first place at least, would be like...

Theological identities regional differences

Imperial policy and papal response were intertwined throughout the post-Chalcedonian era. The first major attempt to defuse contention was the Henotikon issued by the emperor Zeno in 482. His plea that limbs be attached to limbs, that the church was the incorruptible and never-ending mother of our scepters, that he was acting not in order to make innovations in the faith but so as to reassure you, set a tone that would persist.11 Acacius, bishop of Constantinople and the document's doctrinal architect, saw Zeno's move as an opportunity to enhance his own status. The Henotikon, however, while affirming traditional orthodoxy in general terms, was not sufficiently anti-Chalcedonian for eastern extremists - another portent. Nor were western churchmen delighted by Zeno's apparent concessions. Pope Felix III

State Endorsement of Non Christian Values and Hypocrisy in Our Culture

This story is significant for at least two reasons. First, the judge's outspoken affirmation of support for the homosexual activists from the bench shows that politically correct thinking has infiltrated our judicial institutions. Second, the judge clearly and openly intermixed her personal faith with her administration of justice. In the words of separationists, she crossed the line of mixing church and state. But as far as I could tell, there have been no cries of protest from the ACLU or from Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Perhaps to some

What I am saying is this The eschatology of defeat is wrong

You must not suppose that Athanasius was just a positive-thinking optimist, relaxing in quiet, peaceful surroundings. On the contrary he lived through one of the most severe persecutions the world had ever seen, the Emperor Diocletian's all-out attempt to stamp out the Christian faith. Later, Athanasius had to stand practically alone for 40 years in his defense of the doctrine of the Trinity against rampant heresy, being exiled by the government on five occasions and sometimes in peril for his life. In fact, his story gave birth to a proverb Athanasius contra mundum (Athanasius against the world). Yet he never lost sight of the basic fact of world history, that the Word had become flesh, conquering the devil, redeeming mankind, flooding the world with Light which the darkness could not overcome.

The Theological Terminology Of Plurality

Philosophically, according to Aristotle, the 'plural' is that which is 'divisible' or 'divided'.25 To account for the multiplicity, one must turn to the cause or explanation of the division. And this is not identically the same in things which are secondary and composed, and in those which are primary and simple. The cause of the division of secondary and composed things is the diversity of that which is simple and primary. This latter presupposes a plurality amongst primary and simple things. So the first 'division' comes from affirmation and negation (being and non-being). If there is alterity in things, it is because the negation of the one is in some way included in the other.26 The explanation of the alterity of creatures is connected to a reflection on being and non-being, on 'division' and diversity.

Biblical Basis Creation stories

Christian personalism claims to be almost platitudinously traditional in ascribing such importance to people, it treats them as God's children. If this sounds novel, is that an indictment of Christians Or is the very assumption that fulfilment is truly Christian itself an accommodation to the spirit of the age Personalism generally seems to have more work to do to please traditionalists than liberals. The creation stories emphasize not only embodiment but relationship at least an affirmation of the human need for one another's company, which the animals cannot assuage. Genesis 2 ends with the union of Adam and Eve (Trible 1978 102-4). Love, not just duty, can find a foothold here. This triumphant conclusion has been under-emphasized in Christian art many minds have been formed by Michelangelo, who moves straight from Eve's creation to the Fall. But the emphasis from Genesis taken up by Christ is not sinfulness nor even fertility, but the one-flesh union of a man and a...

Religious Apologetics and the Loss of Narrative Reading

No one who pretended to any sort of theology or religious reflection at all wanted to go counter to the real applicative meaning of biblical texts, once it had been determined what it was, even if one did not believe them on their own authority. Hence the right-wing and mediating theologians agreed that the New Testament made the affirmation about Jesus being Savior literally, and that it was to be understood that way (though this agreement did not always cover either the miracles he was reported to have performed or those with which he was purportedly associated, especially the virgin birth nor, as we have noted, did it cover literal acceptance of such Old Testament accounts as the six-day creation or the fall, in the Book of Genesis). And those on the left of course denied that one either has to or can take this affirmation But almost no one, left, right, or center, wanted to be in the position of affirming at the same time that Jesus as the unique, indispensable Savior is the...

Spiritual classics and hermeneutics

Pseudo-Dionysius, make a rigid distinction questionable. There, cataphatic and apophatic theologies are essentially complementary. Creation is a self-revelation of God's goodness because it results from an outpouring of divine life. God can be affirmed and named, for example as 'good'. Yet, even the Christian affirmation of God as Trinity ultimately reveals God as unknowable. Paradoxically, through our relationship to God we realize that God is not our possession or an object of knowledge. Consequently, it is through a way of 'denial' that we move towards the deepest knowledge of God. Contemporary usage of the words apophatic and cataphatic simply to describe different forms of prayer is therefore misleading. Any typology must allow for the fact that they are theological concepts related to our ways of apprehending God and as such are mutually complementary (Louth 1989 Sheldrake 1991 191-8, 211-13).

D Again Why Resurrection

So. once again. why 'resurrection' It remains a question which we cannot answer with great confidence. But presumably there was something in what the first witnesses saw which they could bring to expression only with this term 'resurrection' . There seems to have been something about these Easter experiences which impacted in a determinative and decisive way in the affirmation. 'God has raised Jesus from the dead ' (2) It also should be observed that 'resurrection' is indeed core belief from the beginning. The 'resurrection of Jesus' is itself the beginning of belief in Jesus as exalted, and not simply an elaboration of some other affirmation or prior belief. My own focus remains, as throughout, on the impact on the disciples and eschews any attempt to get behind that belief to some objectively conceived event. But it remains the case that 'the resurrection of Jesus', the articulation in a formulation in these terms, is the impact. It was by means of this language that they 'grasped'...

Liberation According To Samuel Rayan

Ting, who was WSCF Secretary together with M. M. Thomas in the late 1940s, tried as leader of the Three Self Movement, as Principal of Nanjing Theological Seminary and as an Anglican bishop to guard the independence of the Church and the sovereignty of its message over against communist ideology. At the same time he promoted its independence from a Western missionary heritage, and sought to overcome its alienation from Chinese society. One of the mottos of the Three Self Movement - meaning self-supporting, self-administering and self-propagating -was love the country, love the Lord'. This affirmation of national belonging corresponded with the anti-imperialist, nationalist dimension of the Chinese revolution. It was the base for welcoming all that was good for China and its people in the achievements of the communist regime. Theologically this was connected with an affirmation of God's goodness at work in creation and history, and of the scope of the redemptive lordship...

Thomas on inference from creatures to

Before considering whether there is a case for the possibility of a causal argument, let us first consider what Thomas's view of the matter is in principle. There are at least two important texts in which Thomas explicitly raises the question of whether the transcendence of God - which entails God's being spoken of 'analogically' - rules out the possibility of inference being valid to God from creatures, and in both his answer is in an unambiguous negative such inference is not thereby ruled out. The first of these we have already considered 21 on the one hand, Thomas, we saw, maintains that the Christian, who believes in the one true God, and the idolater, who worships some creaturely object as if it were God, contradict each other, which they could not do unless there were something in common between the ways in which they think of God. For unless the idolater was affirming of the idol that it is 'God' in some sense related to that in which the Christian denies that it is God, it...

Fanfare for the common man

Aaron Copland premiered his Fanfare for the Common Man in 1943, a soaring and triumphant tribute in honor of - take your pick - soldiers fighting at that time in Europe and the Pacific, American taxpayers who consented to an early filing deadline that spring, and the poor woman who cleaned his office at night - depending on which music historian is to be believed. Fanfares generally are composed as tributes, or to announce with trumpeted flourish the entrance into the hall of some great individual. Copland's fanfare to the working stiff was deliberately ironic, but the sentiment it expressed has deep roots in American culture. What Charles Taylor has described as the affirmation of the ordinary that is commonly found in Western societies - the elevation, that is, of those aspects of human life concerned with production and reproduction, i.e., work, marriage, and family - has its point of origin in biblical piety.6 The writings of the Hebrew prophets, the parables of Jesus, Augustine's...

Alternatives To The Threefold Typology

Before leaving this particular debate it will be appropriate to note those who have either claimed a fourth option or those who are unhappy with this threefold classification altogether (and, therefore, also with any fourth option). Regarding those who propose a fourth option (DiNoia 1992 Ogden 1992), I can only briefly register some reservations. In DiNoia's case, he restricts the definition of exclusivism to stipulating that only those who explicitly confess Christ in this life will be saved. Hence, his purgatorial option allegedly constitutes a fourth option. In Ogden's case his fourth option rests on the distinction that pluralists claim that other religions are salvific means, while he wishes to claim that they may be salvific means. Ogden claims this to be a new fourth option between inclusivism and pluralism, but it rests on a very shaky definition of pluralism, for not all pluralists are committed to an a priori affirmation of other religions as salvific means. Ogden's...

The crucifixion of nature and the realism of the cross

Despite this welcome affirmation, Hodgson's account fails to underscore that on the cross the God-body is crucified. Contrary to Hodgson's tendency to treat the cross as a cipher in the interaction of God and world, In contrast to these positions, I am arguing that, as mediated by the cross, nature features both as centre and as boundary as affirmation and judgment, blessing and curse. Where does this get us In chapters 2 and 7, I stressed the election of nature as social in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, all that is social is resurrected. If nature is social, as I have argued, then such social nature is also resurrected. Yet, of course, there is no resurrection without crucifixion that which is resurrected is previously crucified. Thus we may speak of the crucifixion of non-human nature. If the commitments ofsocial nature and resurrection are right, then nature is crucified also. Yet, in that nature is a created unity, such nature is crucified as both middle and boundary in the...

By successive addition

Space does not permit a review of the arguments for and against the A- and B-Theories of time respectively. But on the basis of a case such as is presented by Craig (2000a,b), we take ourselves to be justified in affirming the objective reality of temporal becoming and, hence, the formation of the series of temporal events by successive addition. It is noteworthy that contemporary opponents of Zenonian arguments such as Grunbaum resolve those puzzles only by denying the objective reality of temporal becoming and treating time as a continuum of tenselessly existing point-instants. If moments of time and, hence, events really do come to be and elapse, then it remains mysterious how an infinite number of such event-intervals can be traversed or manage successively to elapse.

Imagination and Reason

The alternative to inconsistency in this transition from the method of observation to personal participation, while employing the impersonal patterns of thought relevant to the former, is the abandonment of the practical, moral life to the irrationality of passion or of custom. Some positivists dismiss all judgments about value, all religious affirmations, all references to selves as meaningless because they cannot be translated into words referring to sense-experience or because they cannot be understood by means of the impersonal images of natural science. Morality, politics, religion are simply unintelligible and irrational, they say. But the actuality of value-judgments, of religious devotion, of self-consciousness and consciousness of other selves, of the world of relations between selves, cannot be dismissed with the statement that these things are unintelligible. The consequence of declaring any part of human experience and action to be beyond reason is not to eliminate it from...

The Divinity Of The Holy Spirit

The role and presence of the Holy Spirit are prominent in the contemporary understanding of the Orthodox Church. St Seraphim of Sarov reminds us forcefully that the goal of Christian life is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit.9 But it is important to trace the development of this tradition from the origins of Christianity to the present day. Along with the major contributions of St Maximus the Confessor and St John of Damascus on this subject, it is necessary to recall the importance of St Gregory Palamas's theological vision. The latter was a defender of the spiritual tradition of Hesychasm in the final period of Byzantine history. The apostles' vision of uncreated divine Light on Mt Tabor constituted the scriptural and christological foundation for his doctrine of the distinction, without division or confusion, between the inaccessible divine essence and the divine energies, which are uncreated but in which humans may participate. Thus, Gregory understands the Fathers' traditional...

Knowledge of the Divine Mysteries through Revelation

In every age man is faced by historical circumstances which present him with unfathomable problems.1 Innocent suffering and the triumph of the wicked are two which are the perennial concerns of mankind. Such problems were particularly pressing for a nation like Israel which had a firm belief in God's lordship over creation and history. Consequently any contrast between theological affirmations and historical realities meant that some kind of solution to the apparent contradiction between the two was most pressing. This was especially true in those circumstances where the Jewish people was subject to foreign powers. Throughout the centuries around the beginning of the Christian era the Jewish nation in Palestine had to acclimatize itself to interference and control by the powerful nations which surrounded it, the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt, the Seleucids in Syria, and, of course, Rome in the west. The attempt to understand the divine will in the midst of the power-politics of the...

Priori Arguments for Trinitarian Theism

The chief a priori argument for affirming a plurality of Persons in God is the one already mentioned in the chapter on Creation. If God is thought of by analogy with an isolated individual, some creation or other appears to be necessary for God to have an object of his love. It follows that the supreme goodness of interpersonal relation cannot be predicated of God as such. But the only alternative to making some created object necessary to God, ifGod is love, is to postulate the relation of love given and love received in God. This argument is really an aspect of maximal greatness theology. As was pointed out in chapter 3, the perfection of love cannot be thought of as lacking in that than which no greater can be conceived. Aquinas himself, as Norman Kretzmann shows,18 was persuaded that reason could demonstrate that God is love. Admittedly, for Aquinas, this entailed no more than speaking of the love God has of himself.But, as C. J. F. Williams insists, in an essay of great...

Denying an Objective Standard

Or do your own thing. It should not surprise us that some have turned to the subjectivism of the positive thinking movement think and grow rich, the power of positive thinking, possibility thinking, etc. Furthermore, with this internal-only view of law the church cannot address the world on social issues.

The church in evangelical theology and practice

Robert Webber, the author of several well-known books on the emergent church, posts a website in which he makes explicit connections to evangelical principles and statements.34 Webber expands, in an emergent church direction, the 1977 Chicago Call, a statement which evangelical leaders signed affirming the basic doctrinal positions of historical evangelicalism and calling for a recommitment to those basics.35 On the website he invites those ''younger academic evangelicals'' who are interested to email their support and blog their comments. The thirty-six affirmations that will, at this writing, eventually be an ''emergent church call'' include some that are related to ecclesiology calls to be the people of God, to creedal identity, to narrative worship, to sacramental life, to catechetical teaching, to servant leadership, and to Christian community. A profile takes shape of an emergent evangelical ecclesiology that is focused on sacramental worship grounded in the classic Christian...

The Christian Calling Winning Souls To Christ

And immediately he confessed his new-found faith in Jesus, Philip baptized him and that is the pattern throughout all the other scripture references to water baptism by the first century Church in the book of Acts (CP Ac 9 17-18 10 44-48 16 14-15, 30-34 18 8 19 1-7). As soon as repentant sinners acknowledged their need of salvation they were baptized. Baptism does not have to be a public ceremony to be valid in God's eyes. The Ethiopian Eunuch in Ac 8 36-38 was baptized privately, and his baptism was no less valid than that of the three thousand who got baptized on the day of Pentecost in Ac 2 41. None of this is teaching that water baptism saves. It does not, as Peter clearly teaches in 1Pe 3 18-21, but it is to remind the Church that to be an effective witness for Christ we must conform strictly to His way, not ours, and that means that we have to instruct repentant sinners that the next step after acknowledging their need of salvation is to be baptized as their pledge of a good...

Effecting what is signified

But if that is how Christ is present to us - in an act of radical communication - it is also how Christ is absent. For until we too are raised, that communication with the risen Jesus can only fail of ultimacy. The Eucharist is not yet the kingdom of the future as it will be in the future. It points to it as absent, not because, as a sign, it is in the nature of signs to signify in the absence of the signified, but because by means of the Father's action this human, bodily, sign of eating and drinking acquires a depth, an 'inwardness' of meaning, which realises the whole nature of our historical condition what, in its essential brokenness, the Eucharist haltingly and provisionally signifies, can be fully realised only by the sacrament's abolition in the kingdom itself. The Eucharistic sign, the bodily acts of eating and drinking, thus caught up in this eschatolog-ical two-sidedness, becomes thereby and necessarily a two-sided sign 20 it is affirmation interpenetrated by negation,...

Non Chalcedonian churches and the Church of the East two Christologies in synopsis

The exclusion of aphthartodocetism allowed the Armenian Church to stabilize its Christological position.9 According to John of Ojun, the affirmations of oneness and duality in Christ formed an antinomic pair of which each member was equally important and served to balance the other.10 Following Cyril of Alexandria,11 the miaphysites refused to attribute the same ontological status to the spheres of theologia (concerned with God's eternal being, including the begetting before all ages) and of oikonomia (concerned with God's action within the created order, including the birth at Bethlehem). To the mind of Xosrovikthe Translator (d. c. 730), it was one thingto consider Christ's humanity in its own right and another to examine it in its union with the Creator's hypostasis The Lord's body is human by nature, but divine by union.12 The humanity assumed by God, although integral, no longer belonged to a man, hence this humanity is Divine. According to Isaac Mrut (c. 820-c. 890), Christ has...

History of the concept of culture

If recognition of culture's inclusion of all sorts of (indeed, all) human interactions, was the result of historical imagination, the recognition of the contingency of culture awaited the encounter of European intellectuals with radically different cultures. In a way, paradoxically, we can say that the appreciation of culture's breadth was a consequence of reflection on the historical depth of specific cultures native to Europe, while the appreciation of culture's depth - or rather, its shallowness - arose from reflection on the global breadth of human cultures. Cultural evolutionists such as E. B. Tylor understood human diversity to represent different stages of development, undermining thereby the Romantics' insistence on cultural homogeneity furthermore, they assumed implicit forms of contexualism and functionalism which suggest a non-evaluative relativism (Tanner 1997 19). Anthropologists brought all of these elements into a practically (if provisionally) applicable concept,...

The objection of the nouvelle theologie

Mean the same as the proposition God exists held by a believer'. He adds by way of emphasis that the distinction here is not that between two ways, the pagan and the Christian, of knowing the same truth of God's existence, meaning the same by it, but that 'even the proposition itself God exists means something radically different when held on the basis of philosophy and under the conditions that faith determines',22 thereby seeming to imply, if not exactly affirming, a conclusion not easy to distinguish from that of Karl Barth, namely that a 'God of reason' is a false God. As Barth says 'God is always the One who has made Himself known to man in His own revelation, and not the one man thinks out for himself and describes as God. There is a perfectly clear division there already, epistemologically, between the true God and the false gods.'23 In short, on this account it is false to say what I propose to argue in this essay, that we know by faith that the existence of God is knowable by...

The cosmic heights of deep ecology

So the matter is clear at last we are co-creators with the cosmos. And Mathews proceeds to make a further, even bolder, claim. When we act in support of the cosmos, that is, we practise what Naess and Fox have described as self-realisation, are we connected to the universe in anything more than a voluntaristic sense. Is our joy at seeking to affirm and preserve the conatus of the universe merely accidental or am I in tune with the deepest commitments ofthe universe itself. Here she suggests that, in our feelings of joyful affirmation of the cosmic conatus, the cosmos is indeed expressed in and through us. Thus the affirmation of the universe is not merely a kind of shadow which falls across an unheeding universe nor is it the invention of those with a rare ecological sensibility. Instead, 'what we call love is perhaps the faint psychological shadow in us of that inner spiritual impulse of which our universe is the external manifestation'.74 Thus our 'inward' affirmation - love - is...

Difference and hierarchy the pseudoDenys

Behaving like a soldier maddened by an excess of wine.15 Theological language, for the pseudo-Denys, consists not in a restraint, but in a clamour of metaphor and description, for negative theology is, essentially, a surplus, not a deficit, of description you talk your way into silence by way of an excessus embarrassed at its increasing complexity of differentiation. Hence, if we must also deny all that we affirm, this does not, for the pseudo-Denys, imply any privileging of the negative description or metaphor over the affirmative. For those denials and negations are themselves forms of speech hence, if the divine reality transcends all our speech, then, as he says in the concluding words of Mystical Theology, 'the cause of all is' indeed, ' beyond every assertion' but it is also, and by the same token, 'beyond every denial'.16 You can no more 'capture' God in denials than you can capture God in affirmations. The point of the serial negations of the last two chapters of that work,...

Mission and evangelism evangelical and pentecostal theologies in Asia

First we need to clarify our use of the terms evangelical and pentecostal. 'Evangelical' refers to those who are theologically conservative, subscribing to traditional Christian doctrines and affirming the ultimate authority of the Bible, the importance of personal conversion and the need to obey the Great Commission of Matthew 28 18-20. 'Pentecostal' is used in a broad sense to refer to all who emphasize the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit and take seriously 'signs and wonders' in the life and ministry of the Christian church hence, it applies collectively to 'classical Pentecostals' and 'charismatics' who trace their roots to Azusa Street in 1906, as well as to many varieties of indigenous Asian churches. 1

The Second Authorship Kierkegaards Authorship from 1846 to 1855

Of all of Kierkegaard's authorship, these final works are perhaps the most problematic. In many respects they are a continuation of Kierkegaard's longstanding aim of confronting his contemporaries with the challenge of the Gospel and compelling them to take Christianity seriously. His aim of shaking his fellow Danes out of their religious complacency, however, was accompanied by a portrayal of Christianity that involved not merely dying to the world but also becoming openly hostile to it. In so far as his contemporaries desired the consolations of Christianity without its obligations, Kierkegaard's critique has some justification. His attack can be regarded as an early critique of culture Protestantism, an unholy alliance between Church and State, in which Christianity is reduced to the role of sanctifier of the norms of bourgeois society. In the process of making this attack, however, the life-affirming dimension of Christianity is in danger of being overlooked. The theme of grace,...

Hildebrand as Pope Gregory VII

Gregory VII's conception of the Papal office was sweeping. In its most inclusive form it is expressed in the Dictatus Papae, which was probably his own work, although it has sometimes been ascribed to others. Whether or not it had Gregory as its author, that document undoubtedly reflected his mind. It defined the Papal position in twenty-seven affirmations. Among them the following stand out the Roman Church was founded by God the Roman Pontiff alone deserves the title universal he alone can depose or reinstate bishops he alone may use the imperial insignia he is the only man whose feet princes must kiss he can depose emperors he may transfer a bishop from one see to another he may divide rich bishoprics and unite the poor ones he has the power to ordain a cleric of any church and he who is ordained by him may not receive a higher grade from any other bishop no synod can be called general without his authorization a sentence passed by him cannot be reversed by any one except himself...

Creative Visualization

The practice of spiritual affirmation is further empowered by the use of creative visualization. That deeper pan of ourselves works more with images and emotions than with thoughts and words. Tnus, visualization is part of spiritual practice in virtually all mystical traditions, including Gnostic Christianity. In the Sophian tradition, this art is commonly applied to entering into conscious contact and communion with great masters and angelic beings, but it is also used in conjunction with spiritual affirmations to manifest specific circumstances, situations and events in ourlives hence, in both a spiritual and practical context. Creative visualization is an art. Like any art, it takes practice to gain skill at it. Yet, everyone is capable of creative visualization. In fact, everyone does it every day, only many people are unconscious of it. We all have daydreams. We are all able to visualize things familiar to us, and we certainly all have very vivid sexual fantasies Creative...

Apostolicity and Missions

The idea of primacy in the Armenian Church is unanimous with the Orthodox tradition in its affirmation of the Church as an organic unity. To the Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII, inviting the Armenian Church 'to unite with the Church of Rome', and by this union 'to obey the Pontiff of Rome', Bishop M. Mouradeants in his reply questions the validity of the invitation

Lecture 4 Foundation Of Moral Obligation

I shall use the terms ground and foundation as synonymous. Obligation must be founded on some good and sufficient reason. Be it remembered, that moral obligation respects moral action. That moral action is voluntary action. That properly speaking, obligation respects intentions only. That still more strictly, obligation respects only the ultimate intention. That ultimate intention or choice, which terms I use as synonymous, consists in choosing an object for its own sake, i.e., for what is intrinsic in the object, and for no reason that is not intrinsic in that object. That every object of ultimate choice must, and does, possess that in its own nature, the perception of which necessitates the rational affirmation, that it ought to be universally chosen, by moral agents, for its own sake, or, which is the same thing, because it is what it is, or, in other words still, because it is intrinsically valuable and not on account of its relations. The ground of obligation, then, is that...

The politics of theology politicalideological interpretation of nature

A political theology specifies the liberation of the concept of nature towards the affirmation of un natural humanity. To close this chapter, I offer more detail on the theological style of interpretation that I am calling political-ideological interpretation of nature. Such a theological style departs from the style most commonly found in the area of ecological theology which, in its focus on the significance of Christian symbols in the framing of a vision towards consciousness raising (which may also include the reinterpretation of these symbols themselves), is best described as 'symbolic-hermeneutic'.63

Evidence Against a Divine Whatness

For these reasons, Avicenna limits all of our so-called divine attributes to privations and relations (PP 8.5 2 411 A354 cf. 8.4 2 398 A344 ). In the Liber de philosophia prima, he comments, Moreover, when his (the first's) reality (certitudolhaqiqa) is established, it is established only according to being (anitatem), by the negation of similarities from it and by the affirmation of relations to it, since everything that is, is from it, and what is from it does not have anything in common with it (PP 8.5 2 411 A354 cf. 8.4 2 398 A344 8.7 2 430 A367 ). As Ian R.Netton explains, God is basically unknowable and should only be described in negative terms, and that any 'positive' attributes are attributed relatively and reflect an idea or thought in the mind of the thinker, rather than the reality of the essence of God (Netton 1989, 155).11

Despair As A Sickness Of The Human Spirit

Despair, then, is the failure of the self to become itself, which is due to a disparity in relating to itself as a synthesis of the factors that make up the self. Before examining the precise nature of this disparity, however, we must note that for Anti-Climacus the self is not only a relation that relates itself to itself but also a relation that relates itself to God or that power which establishes it (SUD 13-14). This means that one can become oneself only through a relation to God, who defines what it means to be a human self and makes it possible for one to become that self (30). On this point, non-theistic existentialists who are otherwise deeply indebted to Kierkegaard's analysis of the human situation part company with him in the affirmation of the autonomous freedom of the human self to define and become itself. As Anti-Climacus sees it, however, despair signifies not only a disparity in one's relation to oneself but also in one's relation to God in fact, all despair...

Restatements Of Answers Given In Volume I

The second way of interpreting the meaning of the term God1* identifies God with the universe, with its essence or with special powers within it. God is the name for the power and meaning of reality. He is not identified with the totality of things. No myth or philosophy has ever asserted such an absurdity. But he is a symbol of the unity, harmony, and power of being he is the dynamic and creative center of reality. The phrase dcus sivc natura, used by people like Scotus Erigena and Spinoza, does not say that God is identical with nature but that he is identical with the natura naturans, the creative nature, the creative ground of all natural objects. In modern naturalism the religious quality of these affirmations has almost disappeared, especially among philosophizing scientists who understand nature in terms of materialism and mechanism. In philosophy proper, in so far as it became positivistic and pragmatistic, such assertions about nature as a whole were required. In so far as a...

The Consubstantiality Of The Persons

The recognition of the plurality of the persons is the counterpart of the unswerving affirmation of the identity of person and essence. This identity was emphasized earlier in the scrutiny of the notion of 'person' (q. 29). Thomas comes back to this examination when he deals systematically with the relationships of persons and essence, much later in the Summa Theologiae

The mastery of nature and the concept oflimits

This affirmation connects directly to the consideration of limits. For Grundmann, failure to attend to the domination of nature is thereby to admit to naturalism. To go with biocentrism and ascribe value to nature in the attempt to reduce its exploitation is to engage in naturalistic 'mysticism'. In good Marxist fashion, he connects such mysticism to religion 'But, unless one adopts a mystical or religious standpoint, there is always a human interest behind the attitude that nature should be left out there for itself'.'25 To travel this way is to posit natural laws to which human beings are asked to conform, and so to naturalise scarcity. To take this 'mystical' way, Grundmann argues, is to fall back behind the modern treatmentof nature to which the theme of mastery is central. The outcome of such 'scarcity' is an alienated projection of the fixity oflaws on to nature so as to protect the interests of the rich and powerful - after all, is it not the West that would benefit most if, in...

Freemasonry No longer Esoteric

Appear simply ridiculous, as also the affirmation of the Abb Barruel that everything betrays our Freemasons as the descendants of those proscribed Knights Templars of 1314. The Memoirs of Jacobinism by this Abb , an eye-witness to the horrors of the first Revolution, is devoted in great measure to the Rosicrucians and other Masonic fraternities. The fact alone that he traces the modern Masons to the Templars, and points them out as secret assassins, trained to political murder, shows how little he knew of them, but how ardently he desired, at the same time, to find in these societies convenient scape-goats for the crimes and sins of another secret society which, since its existence, has harbored more than one dangerous political assassin the Society of Jesus.

The politics of deep ecology

In a pertinent criticism, Michael Northcott suggests that this notion of cosmological identification requires 'incorporating the other into self. Rather than privileging the importance of limits in human interaction with nature, this notion of an expansive self effectively abolishes such limits - and encourages such abolition. Such a position erases key aspects of difference between humanity and non-human nature (here Northcott draws on the work of Val Plumwood) and thereby has the appearance of challenging the Western obsession with the concept of the self. Yet, in fact, such a view perpetuates the Eurocentric affirmation of self by incorporating all that which is not self into the expansive self.61 Freya Mathews's position is also open to objections along these lines. If a green society may be, on her account, understood to be a 'self pursuing its own conatus, what is the relation between the telos of the social system and that of selves within that society. Mathews can, of course,...

The disgracing of nature

A veritable industry has grown up in theology to respond to White's thesis.12 The best way to join the debate is, it seems to me, to set out Christianity's case for the affirmation of nature across its many dimensions. Such - with a focus on the interdependence of social humanity and nature - is the purpose ofthis book. In this section, I want to affirm only part of White's thesis the attempted mastery of nature in the West involves the separation - indeed, alienation - of humanity from nature, and, further, that Christianity makes a contribution to this alienation and yet also seeks to overcome it. Indeed, theologically, the issue of the alienation of humanity from nature is graspable only in terms ofdevelopments in the relation between nature and grace through modernity. It is simply not the case that the fate of nature as the object of the dominion of humanity can be traced to Christianity. Instead, Christianity, as the history of the relation between nature and grace in the modern...

Practical Encouragement From This Doctrine

The doctrine of the clarity of Scripture therefore has a very important, and ultimately very encouraging, practical implication. It tells us that where there are areas of doctrinal or ethical disagreement (for example, over baptism or predestination or church government), there are only two possible causes for these disagreements (1) On the one hand, it may be that we are seeking to make affirmations where Scripture itself is silent. In such cases we should be more ready to admit that God has not given us the answer to our quest, and to allow for differences of viewpoint within the church. (This will often be the case with very practical questions, such as methods of evangelism or styles of Bible teaching or appropriate church size.) (2) On the other hand, it is possible that we have made mistakes in our interpretation of Scripture. This could have happened because the data we used to decide a question of interpretation were inaccurate or incomplete. Or it could be because there is...

The Christian Universalist Faith

Many people confuse TRUE CHRISTIAN UNIVERSALISM with pluralistic, humanistic, or secular universalism. Questions asked every day betray the general ignorance prevailing as to the beliefs of TRUE Christian Universalism. No faith is so grand or complete as true Christian Universalism, and yet so misunderstood. People ask if the Christian Universalists believe in God, if they believe in Christ, if they believe in the Bible, if they believe in a hereafter, if they believe in prayer, and even if they believe in punishment,-- when I know of no Christian people who emphasize as strongly as they do the absolute certainty of punishment. It seems to be the opinion of most all Christian people that the Christian Universalists beliefs are founded upon negations, whereas their affirmations express as strong an evangelistic faith as that professed by any other Christians on earth.

A historical survey 600850

Christological controversy1 These divisions went backto the Council of Chalcedon (451) that had attempted to achieve agreement on the Incarnation of Christ among Christians by affirming that, while in Christ there were two perfect natures, human and divine, there was only one hypostasis. For most Christians of the East, it was to Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria (410-44), that they looked for guidance in their understanding of Christ. The bishops at Chalcedon thought that their Christological definition expressed Cyril's understanding of the matter, but many disagreed and rejected Chalcedon. These anti-Chalcedonians, called by their opponents monophysites, had not only survived in the decades after Chalcedon, but had prospered, especially in Syria and Egypt, despite periodic persecution by the Byzantine authorities. Shortly after the fall of Jerusalem to the Persians, the shah, Chosroes II (590-628), decided to exploit this situation by supporting the anti-Chalcedonians in Syria,...

Vatican II and the Church

Latter decree built on a key affirmation the Church founded by Christ 'subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him' yet 'many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside its visible confines' (Lumen Gentium, 8). The document went on to list many ways in which the Catholic Church is 'joined' with other Christians (ibid. 15). In the aftermath of Vatican II, Catholics have also been 'joined' through dialogues and consultations with the vast majority of other Christians. By early 2002 twelve such official international dialogues or consultations were in progress with most Christian Churches, including the Orthodox Churches, the Ancient Oriental Churches, the Anglican Communion, the Lutheran World Federation, the World Methodist Council, the Disciples of Christ, the Pentecostals, the World Evangelical Fellowship, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, the Mennonites, and the World Baptist Alliance.207...

Did Roger Bacon Read Maimonides

One might expect a thinker with such a positive attitude to have known The Guide in the 1260's. Not only was it available it was frequently cited by the new generation of theologians (1250-70). And since there are a number of philosophical issues where one might expect Bacon and Maimonides to be in agreement, one could suppose that he had consulted this work. In an effort to discover any heretofore unnoticed correspondences in both thinkers, I will examine the following five problems (1) Language about God and Analogy, (2) Astrology, (3) Humility as a Virtue and the Crux of Magnanimity, (4) Moral Philosophy as the Finis (Completion) of Philosophical Studies, (5) The distinction of the Wise and the Vulgar, and (6) Philosophical style.

Knowledge from the underside33

Epistemological strategy within social ist ecofeminism. Contrary to those who maintain that standpoint epistemologies require essentialism and the erasure of difference (essentialism, in that there appears to be something inherent 'in' women for this position to be maintained erasure, in that cultural differences and power differentials between actual women -between, say, a white, middle-class European academic and a fieldworker in India - appear to be obliterated), the argument depends on an account of the social location of women. What is privileged is not 'the position of women' but rather the range of practices which are - under present patriarchal conditions - the preserve (but not the reserve) of women. As Salleh notes ' T o say this is not to say that women are any closer to nature than men in some ontological sense. Rather, it is to recall Marx's teaching that human consciousness develops in a dialectical way through sensuous bodily interaction with the material...

Against the reenchantment of nature

As dialectical oppositions in the struggle between modernism and postmodernism. Although Marxism, as he acknowledges, has stressed capitalism as totality to the detriment of the adequate theorisation of locality, yet the Heideggerian affirmation of the re-enchantment of nature also requires criticism. Marx and Heidegger are names which stand for traditions of inquiry which need to be related to each other if the complexities of space and place under capitalism are to be adequately understood.

Walking in Beauty and Holiness

If we remember the beginning of the Commandments and the use of the word Anoki to allude to Eheieh (I am), we may gain some insight to the deeper spiritual implications of this commandment. Essentially, whether in our thoughts or our words, the phrase I am bears great power, and we will speak in detail about this power later in this book. Here, however. we may point to the play of self-affirmations and self-negations that are constantly going on in our minds, hearts, and specch. We are constantly saying I am this, or I am that. Though sometimes we are affirming who and what we truly are, oftentimes we are not affirming the truth and light in us. Instead, we are engaged in negative statements and feelings about ourselves. These, in turn, get projected on others, and we find ourselves saying to others, You are this, or You are that, in ways that negate who and what they truly are. Self-negations and the negation of others are inherently self-destructive. If we engage in this, no one,...

From Tillich to today

Paul Tillich realized this limitation of Dialectical theology, and from his disaffection he developed a position that attempted to incorporate these theologians' critiques of the cultural situation alongside (or within) an affirmation of cultural energies as attempting to express the depth dimension present in all human experience. The point of Tillich's project, the first to be generally known as theology of culture, was fundamentally diagnostic it sought to help culture understand and respond to its real longings. Building upon a cultural ontology which proposed that religion is the substance of culture, culture the form of religion, Tillich developed a quite complex picture of humans as culturally determined, yet equally culturally creative - though that creativity emerges from their encounters with the depth dimension of their lives. Furthermore, his method of correlation sought to identify and articulate the latent hopes, anxieties and understandings of a culture which may be...

Differing Verdicts on the Aristotelianization of Theology

Both Henry and Godfrey disagree with Thomas Aquinas's theory of the subalternation of university theology to the knowledge of God and the blessed. If both fight against Aquinas, they fight even more against one another. Henry begins the battle against Godfrey by affirming the implications of the latter's critique of Aquinas Godfrey's position itself at this stage of his explanation is quite limited. It centers mainly on how a theologian and a simple believer differ in their faith. Both believe and accept the truths of the faith because of their belief. If there is any difference between the two types of believer then it consists in the theologian's superior knowledge of the Scriptures he can tell you the Scriptural warrants for affirming the Trinity of persons, or the Incarnation of the Son of God, or the divine production of creatures. The theologian's knowledge is a science of the Scriptures (scientia sacrae Scripturae).

Revelation and the Moral

Faith in the person who creates the self, with all its world, relieves the mind of the pagan necessity of maintaining human worth by means of imaginations which magnify the glory of man. When the creator is revealed it is no longer necessary to defend man's place by a reading of history which establishes his superiority to all other creatures. To be a man does not now mean to be a lord of the beasts but a child of God. To know the person is to lose all sense of shame because of kinship with the clod and the ape. The mind is freed to pursue its knowledge of the external world disinterestedly not by the conviction that nothing matters, that everything is impersonal and valueless, but by the faith that nothing God has made is mean or unclean. Hence any failure of Christians to develop a scientific knowledge of the world is not an indication of their loyalty to the revealed God but of their unbelief. A genuinely disinterested science may be one of the greatest affirmations of faith and...

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