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Religion Disqualifies Scholarship

The same Christian beliefs that disqualify football coaches can also make students ineligible for scholarships. Michael Nash, a junior at Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Kentucky, received a Kentucky Educational Excellence scholarship based on academic achievement and college board scores. That is, he thought he received one until the school notified him otherwise in October 2002, having discovered that he would be majoring in philosophy and religion. Regulations prevented the state from making scholarship grants to theology, divinity, or religious students. But the argument that such scholarships would violate the Establishment Clause is suspect for two reasons. The student, not the school, has complete control over the decision as to what major he will pursue. Veterans, moreover, are not precluded from using their GI funds for religious studies. When the American Center for Law and justice filed suit, Cumberland College changed its position and reinstated Nash's eligibility for...

Dramatic Change In Scholarship

Westcott and Hort were both Cambridge professors well known in the field of textual criticism. These men shared several points of interest, including a fascination with the theory of evolution. But the one conviction that most closely united the two men was a prejudiced animosity for the Received Text. Dr. Hort was only twenty-three years old and had not yet even studied textual criticism when he described the Received Text as villainous and vile. 48 In spite of the unorthodoxy of these men, their scholarship has exerted a molding influence upon the distinctive readings of the modern versions. In 1890 a major revision of the KJV was being considered. By this time, spelling and grammar had changed and many of the Old English words used in the KJV were considered obscure in meaning. Some critics believed that increased scholarship and the recent availability of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus necessitated a revision. Although there was much fear and distrust of revision in the public mind, it...

Orthodox scholarship

In the Orthodox Christian tradition scholarship was central, as the Orthodox churches were heirs to the philosophical wisdom and insights of the greatest thinkers of antiquity. Indeed, in some Orthodox churches paintings will be found of philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle, who are seen as forebears of Christian wisdom. Eastern theologians such as Saints Basil the Great (ca. 32979), Gregory of Nyssa (ca. 330-ca. 395), and Gregory Nazianzen (ca. 329-90) were highly versed in the philosophical and general knowledge of their time and brought Christianity into the wider world of thinking. Saint Basil is especially well known for his essay written to adolescents encouraging them to read the Greek classics, since Christians cannot afford to be unlettered. For another Eastern Christian theologian, Saint Maximos the Confessor (ca. 580-622), knowledge, not just moral discipline, was an important step in the Christian's progress in the spiritual life. In modern times we can again point to...

The Blackwell Companion to Modern Theology

The Blackwell Companions to Religion series presents a collection of the most recent scholarship and knowledge about world religions. Each volume draws together newly commissioned essays by distinguished authors in the field, and is presented in a style which is accessible to undergraduate students, as well as scholars and the interested general reader. These volumes approach the subject in a creative and forward-thinking style, providing a forum in which leading scholars in the field can make their views and research available to a wider audience.

Luke Timothy Johnson PhD

Professor Johnson taught at Yale Divinity School from 1976 to 1982 and at Indiana University from 1982 to 1992 before accepting his current position at Emory. He is the author of twenty books, including The Writings of the New Testament An Interpretation (2nd edition, 1998), which is used widely as a textbook in seminaries and colleges. He has also published several hundred articles and reviews. He is currently at work on several books, including one on the Christian creed, one on the future of Catholic biblical scholarship, and one on the influence of Greco-Roman religion on Christianity.

By The Archbishop of Canterbury

Century, there was always an uncomfortable sense of unfinished business about how to relate with those on the other side of doctrinal and political divisions. Modern ecumenism has roots in a large number of missions and negotiations in the past, and these essays will show something of the variety in that history In modern times, eastern Christianity has suffered once again from being the victim of an imposed minority status in many countries the trauma of communist domination and persecution has indelibly marked the churches of eastern Europe. But at the same time, many of the most creative theological elements in contemporary western theology can trace their origins to eastern sources, thanks partly, though not exclusively, to the Russian diaspora. For both Roman Catholic and Reformed thinkers, the eastern world has opened new pathways which relativise, even if they do not always solve, the historic standoffs between diverse western concerns, and offer a different and often more...

The Diversification of the Reformation

Yet other reforming movements were springing up elsewhere in Europe around this time, initially without any knowledge of Luther's activities and aspirations. It is now clear that uncoordinated reforming initiatives were breaking out in many parts of Europe in the 1510s, often in response to local situations or inspired by local heroes. Many of Europe's great cities became epicenters of reforming movements that responded to and addressed their local situations. Recent scholarship, in stressing the intellectual and sociological heterogeneity of the first phase of the Reformation, has made it virtually impossible to think of it as a single, coherent movement.1

The State Of The Field

Drawing together the core topics of Muslim theology from these historically distinct disciplines has brought into sharp relief the very fragmented and sometimes idiosyncratic nature of Western scholarship of Islam, the tradition sometimes known as ''Orientalism''. Overwhelmingly this discipline has been built up from contributions made by individuals, not by schools. Thinkers and texts are brought to the fore during a scholar's lifetime, and may then quickly sink into undeserved obscurity. Occasionally, cultural prejudices which designate Islam as a ''religion of law'' with no natural metaphysical concerns have been salient, and on occasion, such presumptions have uneasily recalled anti-Semitic parallels.8 Yet the huge contributions made by the small number of persistent leaders in this discipline are impossible to ignore texts have been rescued from obscurity and expertly edited, and important studies have been published on many leading thinkers, particularly al-Ash'ari, al-Maturidi,...

The Jewish Religion Its Influence Today by Elizabeth Dilling

Elizabeth Dilling was a widely known critic of Judaism prior World War II until her death in 1967. In writing Jewish Religion, Ms. Dilling chose her research materials with care. Her primary source, the Soncino Talmud, was produced by the finest scholars of Judaism. The Rodkinson Talmud was a monumental work endorsed by Rabbi I. M. Wise, a pioneer of Reform Judaism. Rabbi Dr. Louis Finkelstein, author of The Pharisees The Sociological Background of Their Faith, became president of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America shortly after his book was published, where he was remained for more than 30 years. Thus, Ms. Dilling's research spanned the best that Conservative, Orthodox, and Reform Judaism had to offer in the English language. She also drew from the 12-volume Jewish Encyclopedia, which, though a century old, still stands as a monument to Jewish mainstream scholarship the 10-volume Universal Jewish Encyclopedia from the early 1940's US Government State Department Records, The...

The Practice of Faith

Within relatively homogeneous communities theology is typically understood as a scholarly activity undertaken by people of faith for others who share the same faith within a context of communal religious practice. Scholastic theology in medieval Europe would have been understood in this way. Anselm's celebrated depiction of theology as faith seeking understanding was written in the context of a society in which faith, religion, and Catholicism were all one and the same thing for his readers. In traditional Islamic societies today this is often still the dominant understanding of theology, as it remains among many communities of orthodox Jews, traditionalist Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, and amongst fundamentalist Protestants. However, since the introduction of modern forms of theological scholarship over the last 150 years, especially within university-based theology in the West, the relationship between faith, religious practice, and theology has become far more ambiguous. It...

The Necessity of Historical Inquiry

Be dependent on the scholarly arguments about this verse or that passage. But the new questers of the third quarter of the twentieth century showed that faith could and does have a theologically legitimate interest in the history of Jesus. Honest historical inquiry may be granted insights regarding Jesus which are crucially (in)formative of honest (self-critical) faith. Scholarship in its search for truth, however flawed its perception of that truth, can stimulate and feed, discipline, and even correct faith (when faith makes statements of fact beyond its competence). A faith which regards all critical scrutiny of its historical roots as inimical to faith can never hold up its head or lift up its voice in any public forum.2

Jesus the Jew towards a plausible portrait

The crucifixion is the best-attested fact concerning Jesus. The display of the titulus on the cross accords with known practice the intention in thus advertising the charge was to make a public example of someone condemned. The gospels report that it read, 'The king oftheJews'. The stories ofthe soldiers' horseplay revolve around that royal claim. At the heart of the trial scenes lies the same accusation. The memory of Jesus in the gospels is of someone who provoked speculation that he might be the Messiah' (or anointed one'), the ' son of David', in other words the hoped-for king who was to restore Israel. Scholarship has revealed a wide range of hopes for the future in the literature of Second Temple Judaism, of which one was the return of a Davidic kingdom. It is said (John 6 15) that the crowds tried to make him king after the miraculous feeding whatever happened on that occasion, the story enshrines expectation

The Case for a Balanced History

These histories pay considerable attention to the history of single philosophical traditions. In order to study the philosophical reflection of many significant Muslims and Jews we must look beyond the academic histories of medieval philosophy that are themselves products of the scholarship of recent centuries. What is especially surprising at the end of the twentieth century, is that there is still no history of medieval philosophy that does justice to the philosophy of the three great monotheistic traditions. Considering that we possess recent histories of each tradition, the time is right to move in this

Classical theology a definition

Drawing together the core topics of Muslim theology from these historically distinct disciplines has brought into sharp relief the very fragmented and sometimes idiosyncratic nature of Western scholarship of Islam, the tradition sometimes known as ''Orientalism''. Overwhelmingly this discipline has been built up from contributions made by individuals, not by schools. Thinkers and texts are brought to the fore during a scholar's lifetime, and may then quickly sink into undeserved obscurity. Occasionally, cultural prejudices which designate Islam as a ''religion of law'' with no natural metaphysical concerns have been salient, and on occasion, such presumptions have uneasily recalled anti-Semitic parallels.8 Yet the huge contributions made by the small number of persistent leaders in this discipline are impossible to ignore texts have been rescued from obscurity and expertly edited, and important studies have been published on many leading thinkers, particularly al-Ash'ari, al-Maturidi,...

The Dead Sea Scrolls and their Impact

While many excuses continued to be offered for this unforgivable delay, the real reason was that in the Scrolls the members of the International Team had come upon material from the period of early Christianity that struck at the very foundations of Christian doctrine. It was a classic case of conflict between faith and scholarship, and, as official members of the Church whose doctrines they were sworn to uphold, the International Team led by Father de Vaux chose doctrine over scholarship. For what the members of the Team held in their hands was the doctrinal equivalent of dynamite. Few, including even educated Christians, have any idea of the potentially explosive impact of the Scrolls and their contents on the foundations of Christian belief - especially the position of the Catholic Church. Although a good deal of work still remains to be done before their full implications can be understood, enough is known already in Biblical scholarly circles to say that they pose a threat to the...

The Bible Fact or Fiction

Is the Bible just a collection of myths and legends, or is it the inspired word of God Many assume that modern scholarship has discredited the Bible, but the facts of history and the discoveries of archaeology confirm its contents to be true The Bible recounts the past with amazing accuracy and it predicts the future like no other book

Subjectivity and Belief

Over the past several years I have sought answers to these questions in many different forms of scholarship and writing. These investigations have led me to a set of hunches or intuitions about the way that religious belief molds and shapes a human subject, and the various ways that that human subject retains the form or outline of that belief, long after faith has been lost. I would like to review here some of the work that has been most helpful in leading me to these insights I will conclude by summarizing these ideas in relation to questions of gay and lesbian life in the church.

Great Birthday Party

This ode goes by most of us today, without being told the double meaning it had for those Masons that day. Hail was a masonic sign, a masonic call. The word Pile also meant spear in those days--an illusion to Francis Bacon's role as the Happy genius who was Pallas-Athena the Spear-Shaker. Smiles referred to their fellowship in their brotherhood. The Masons would Fire with their glasses, and the Wine refers to their toasts that vent along with their Firing Glasses. As their gathering was all male it refers to the Men. Because Bacon was like a Christ figure Ben uses the wording in the MIDST. Finally, the word Mystery is full of Masonic connotation. Sir Francis Bacon had revived the Mysteries which only his genius and deep scholarship could have done so well.97

Reactions To Confessional Orthodoxy In The Nineteenth Century

A contemporary and friend of Hofmann, Franz Delitzsch (1813-90), attempted a similar synthesis, albeit with much more orthodox results (Rogerson 1984 111-20). Once again it was the speculative and idealist philosophy of that period that provided the general context for Delitzsch's scholarship. Delitzsch relied upon the work of Anton G nther, a Catholic priest, who attempted to use speculative philosophy as a foundation for articulating theology. His work was greeted with suspicion by his church, and in 1857 it was condemned.

The Point of View

When we recall that quarrel and its consequences we are tempted to turn away with some distaste from a revival of the revelation idea. Does not the re-establishment of a theology of revelation mean the renewal of a fruitless warfare between faith and reason Is it not the sign of a retreat to old entrenchments in which only those veterans of a lost cause, the fundamentalists, are interested To speak of revelation now seems to imply a reversal of the enlightenment in religious thought which began when Schleiermacher asked and answered his rhetorical question to the cultured despisers of faith Do you say that you cannot away with miracles, revelation, inspiration You are right the time for fairy tales is past. Such a reversal appears to be as impossible as it is undesirable. The work of a hundred and fifty years in theology cannot be ignored the methods and the fruits of Biblical and historical criticism as well as of natural and social science cannot be so eliminated from men's minds as...

The Impact Of The Natural Sciences In The Late Nineteenth Century

Unlike de Wette, Wellhausen was mainly interested in reconstructing what had happened. He had no philosophical theological interest in applying his results to his own day. Robertson Smith, on the other hand, was able to combine his sociological interests and his championship of Wellhausen's position with the sincere and fervent evangelical faith that he owed to the Free Church of Scotland. He saw the history of Israelite religion as reconstructed by modern scholarship as a history of grace. It was the story of God dealing graciously with his people and it could inspire modern readers to trust and hope in that same gracious God. In order to maintain his position, Smith not only reconstructed the sacred history he privileged that part of it that was most congenial to his own theology. Thus he argued that the high point of Israelite religion had been that time before and during the early monarchy when families and villages had enjoyed easy access to God in their own celebrations and at...

The Platonic Derivations

We have proceeded on the ground that Aristotle's etymology is authoritative. But nothing is further from the truth. The scholarship of to-day, possessed by an average educated philologist, is far more competent to trace this or any Greek word to its real source, than Plato or Aristotle was able to do. In his analysis of Plato's Cratylus,(8) Grote accurately observes of Plato's etymologies Though sometimes reasonable enough, they are in a far greater number of instances forced, arbitrary, and fanciful. The transitions of meaning imagined, and the structural transformations of words, are alike strange and violent. Such is the light in which these Platonic etymologies appear to a modern critic. But such was not the light in which they appeared either to the ancient Platonists or critics earlier than the last century. The Platonists even thought then full of mysterious and recondite wisdom. So complete has been the revolution of opinion that the Platonic etymologies arenow treated by most...

Black and White Communities

In an ideal world, this chapter would end here, with a call for a complex subjectivity and a way of seeing myself as both inside and outside the condition of faith. My pragmatic side, however, insists on a conclusion that addresses how we might execute a way of life that refuses the paradox of belief and non-belief, one that embodies fragmented subjectivity. What follows from here does not (and cannot) detail that life in full, because, quite honestly, I haven't yet found such a reality. Rather, this ending stands more as a hypothesis or question, an intuition about the directions I intend to head in with my scholarship and life, to solve the problems that accompany the loss of faith.

Johannine Christianity

The complexity of the Johannine corpus renders attempts to trace the contours ofJohannine Christianity difficult. Nonetheless, the sources reveal a community of early followers of Jesus who, using an abundance of biblical symbols, defined themselves rather starkly against the Jewish milieu in which they arose. These believers cultivated an intense devotion to Jesus as the definitive revelation of God's salvific will, and understood themselves to be in intimate contact with him and with one another, under the guidance of the Spirit-Paraclete. They were conscious of their relationship to other believers with whom they hoped to be in eventual union. Their piety found distinctive expression in a reflective literary corpus that explored new ways of expressing faith in Jesus. Their common life included ritual actions known to other followers of Jesus, but they insisted on the unique spiritual value of those rites. Disputes eventually divided the community. By the middle of the second...

What Do You Believe About the Bible

Today, many educated people assume that science and modern scholarship have thoroughly discredited the Bible. This assumption thrives because so many know so little about the Bible. Many people today are simply unaware of discoveries that continue to confirm the historical accuracy of Scripture. Instead, people are encouraged to believe that all religions are equally credible or equally fanciful without ever comparing the sourcebooks of those religions. As a result, millions are unaware of how the Bible is unique, and what amazing features distinguish it from all other religious books.

Reflections on Cultural Studies

First, there is an affinity with the disenfranchised in society. This is the legacy of the Frankfurt School that persists in cultural studies. Hoggart romanticized the working class his students, with a more textured understanding of society, refined this into a concern for subaltern groups like teenage girls, punks, motorcycle gangs, skinheads and Rastafari-ans. This affinity with the disenfranchised extends to advocacy on their behalf. Cultural studies has embraced the view that scholarship should be engaged - both in its research methods (thus the shift toward ethnography) and in its desire for its analyses to move society in a direction that levels out existing power relations.

The Modern Relevance Of Traditional Interpretation

After such a catalogue of complaints, it may seem strange to end with a section, on the modern relevance of traditional interpretation. And there can be no question of a return to the sort of errors and distortions we have just mentioned. But there are, on the other hand, signs that it is no longer to be dismissed summarily, as though predicated on totally false premises, like pre-Copernican astronomy. Research into the work of pre-critical exegetes and commentators is now accepted as a legitimate department of biblical scholarship, and closer study of the past normally elicits a certain affection and respect for its positive achievements. Even the basic aims and methods of traditional interpretation, suitably qualified, are being rehabilitated to scholarly respectability, from a number of different directions. (In popular preaching and bible study, of course, they have always remained the norm.)

The history of interpretation

Childs's theological program thus chimes in with leading secular movements of literary criticism. By no means all those interested in the text's reception are canonical critics some are themselves secular students of the Bible as literature, who simply find the effects the text has had on generations of readers more interesting and important than the quest for its supposed original meaning. But there is no doubt that the theological and literary concerns complement each other well in the present climate of thought. An important influence on the more secular interest in reception history has been the work of Hans-Georg Gadamer. His idea that one never approaches a text cold but always with a pre-understanding was influential in earlier times on such biblical scholars as von Rad. The history of interpretation is a rapidly burgeoning area of study in Old Testament scholarship.

The climate of interpretation

Carl Schmitt frequently denied being a theologian at all (Schmitt 1950 89 1970 30). Being a lay theologian entailed risks he preferred to avoid (1970 101 n. 1 Wacker 1994a 286-92). Scholarship took him at his word, reading him primarily as a legal scholar and a political theorist. Even now much of the attention devoted to him comes from a secularist left uninterested in his religious commitments (McCormick 1997 Balakrishnan 2000). The religious dimension of Schmitt's work did not attract attention until after his death in 1985. First, Schmitt's Glossarium, a postwar diary of notes and reflections, appeared in 1991. It contained abundant evidence that he thought of himself explicitly as a Catholic. In an entry for May 23, 1948, he wrote, For me the Catholic faith is the religion of my fathers. I am Catholic not only by confession but also by historical origin, if I may say so, by race (Lauermann 1994 300 n. 16). And a month later This is the secret keyword to my entire mental and...

The Bible As The Secure Stronghold Of Faith

If the Bible is to be regarded as 'the secure stronghold' that is supposed to establish the truth of Christianity, then from a historical point of view it is important to acquire 'the greatest possible reliability' concerning the authenticity, trustworthiness, and inspiration of the Holy Scriptures by means of philology or historical-critical scholarship (CUP i. 24). While Climacus professes to have great respect for philology, which in his view is a 'wholly legitimate' form of scholarship, he nevertheless detects a certain dubiousness in its efforts inasmuch as it assumes that faith or eternal happiness can be built on the basis of its historical findings, which are never final and always subject to revision (25-6). Climacus thus maintains that historical-critical biblical scholarship does not bring us a single step closer to faith but results instead in the loss of that which is the very condition of faith, namely an 'infinite, personal, impassioned interestedness' in one's eternal...

What JudeOChristian Tradition

Cohen has identified the origins of this myth the Enlightenment and, later, German liberal Protestant scholarship of the late-nineteenth century.14 protestant higher critics of the Old Testament were implacably hostile to Old Testament law, so they attempted to disengage the New Testament from the Old. The Jew of the Old Testament was described as being in bondage to a

Theology and Politics

From the late 1920s he was clear that dogmatics was not a free science (as a university discipline is conventionally thought to be), but one bound to the sphere of the Church, where and where alone it is possible and sensible (Barth 1932 ix). Barth valued secular order, and on that basis resisted interference with academic and other freedoms but his ultimate theological opposition to the Nazis' forcible incorporation of all parts of German society into their total project was grounded on theology's total commitment to the true Lord, who was not Hitler or the Volk or any similarly human authority. (We do not speak about God by speaking about humanity in a loud voice.) Freedom was not from external restraint, nor even for self-determination, but freedom in the service of the Lord of freedom (Barth 1971 68). In binding theology to church, Barth was not putting theological scholarship under the control of unlearned church rulers, but requiring theologians to work as members of the...

The Metaphysical School Of Isfahan

During the late sixteenth century in Isfahaan, the beginnings of a remarkable, widespread and prolific philosophical activity are in evidence. Safavid rulers initiated a new era in Iranian intellectual life by their lavish endowment of many new centres of scholarship, as in the previous century when the mother of the ruling Timurid Shah, Shaahrokh, had been the prime mover in large endowments given to scholarship and the founding of religious colleges (madrasas). One of the major results of this enhanced level of intellectual life in Iran has been described as a period of ''revival'' in the history of post-Avicennan philosophy. Philosophy in this period took the form of the widespread study and teaching of philosophical subjects, in a way quite distinct from the earlier limited engagement of a few thinkers. Also, many of the falsafa works produced in this period are superior to the scholastic textbooks that were generated in Iran from the thirteenth to the late sixteenth century. As...

The apophatic and the cataphatic

An apophatic parsimony and the superfluousness of the cataphatic, of this self-subversive excess of speech and of knowledge. Much in recent theology, as also in comparativist and historiographical scholarship, serves to reinforce a notion of a distinct territory marked out by the name 'mysticism', which is the proper homeland of some free-standing apophaticism, where disruption of speech can go its subversive way uninhibited, on condition that, thus confined, its capacity for generalised theological mayhem is thereby contained.

The continuation of the Christological controversy

So long as Cyril of Alexandria and John of Antioch lived, the peace which had been effected between the theologies which they represented was fairly well preserved. However, that peace proved to be only a truce. After death had removed them from the scene the struggle broke out with renewed fury. Here were two tendencies which could scarcely be reconciled. The one, represented by the scholarship which had been strong at Antioch, stressed the historical study of the Gospel records of the life of Jesus and hence made much of his humanity. The other, with its traditional centre at Alexandria, interpreted the Scriptures allegorically, minimized the historical and therefore the human side of Christ, and gave great weight to the divine in him. It was in part an outgrowth of the position of Athanasius and had been carried further by Cyril, even though the latter had anathematized its extension in the form represented by Apollinaris. As we have suggested, the tension was heightened by...

Many Adjustments No Vital Change

The Methodist order of worship, and Book of Common Worship. The similarities are striking. (Christian Liturgy, 646-647). Ij- Some scholars have tried to tease out of the writings of the church fathers a unified, monolithic liturgy observed by all churches. But recent scholarship has shown that none of their writings can be universalized to represent what was happening in all the churches at a given time (Bradshaw, Origins of Christian Worship, 67-73,158-183). Furthermore. archaeological findings have demonstrated that the writings of the church fathers, who were theologians, do not provide an accurate view of the beliefs or practices of the garden-variety Christians of those times. New Testament professor Graydon F. Snyder's Ante Pacem is a study of the archaeological evidence that contradicts the portrait that the church fathers give of church life before Constantine. According to one seminary writer, Snyder raises the question, do the writings of the intellectuals in early...

Method class conflict as a hermeneutical key

The most intriguing section of Atheism in Christianity is the one before Bloch dives into the biblical texts, one that draws out the political implications of critical biblical scholarship at that time. This scholarship is nothing other than the great, initially German, enterprise of historical-critical biblical studies that came to a slow dominance from the middle of the nineteenth century and is now in an equally reluctant decline. For Bloch, however, such biblical criticism is detective work, one that operates in five zones that I will unfold as I proceed. Yet, I find myself providing a background to Bloch's text, a context within biblical criticism for his own comments on the discipline. Bloch is no slouch in regard to biblical criticism, for the first three items in his investigation of biblical criticism as detective work - vagaries of writing, oral and written texts, and forces of redaction - relate directly to the biblical sub-disciplines of source, form and redaction...

The ulama AND discourses Of Orthodoxy

The scholarly culture of Twelver Shi'ites developed roughly a century later. The primary reason for this lay in the role played by the infallible Imams as supreme guides for the community until 940 in the presence of a living, unerring religious authority, the cultivation of religious scholarship was not perceived as a pressing need. Only after the withdrawal into occultation of the twelfth and final Imam and the consequent disappearance of the Shai'ai community's focal point did Twelver scholars set out to formulate the basis and content of Shi'i orthodoxy. The development of Twelver scholarship was facilitated by a unique source of funding the khums, a fifth of all profits from trade, agriculture and crafts, which lay Twelvers had traditionally given to the Imam and which in the Imam's absence was argued to be due to his representatives, the 'ulama'. By deriving their primary means of support directly from the population, Twelver scholars were able to retain a higher degree of...

Influence and Controversies

Perhaps because of his effort to think theological and ontological lines of thought into each other, Tillich's theology has been of continuing interest to Roman Catholic theologians, prompting ecumenical theological scholarship. It has not been uncritical attention, and it would be difficult to show any broad Tillichian influence on Roman Catholic theology. Nonetheless, he has been found a fruitful subject of study in regard to the nature of the church, and in relation to both Thomist and Franciscan traditions of philosophical theology.22

History and its Discontents

Two centuries elapsed before the process of dis-identification commenced in the mid-seventeenth century Theophilos Korydaleus (1574-1646) interpreted Aristotle as a natural philosopher and not as a Christian apologist. His interpretation was rejected and anathematized the solid synthesis of doctrine, method and world view established by Scholarios remained unchallenged. In 1622, Patriarch Cyril Loukaris invited Korydaleus to reorganize the Patriarchal Academy by introducing contemporary learning and secular scholarship. The reorganization met the staunch opposition of the higher clergy and was soon quashed. Korydaleus' failure became the symbol of a tension that would resurface shortly before the Enlightenment in the uneasy

The Interpretation Of Scripture

Orthodox scholars in modern times have shown unwavering commitment to the above guidelines. The challenge has been how to reclaim the patristic heritage effectively in the context of modern culture in order to advance the mission of the Church. Georges Florovsky, perhaps the foremost Orthodox theologian of the twentieth century, raised the issue in a 1936 proposal for a 'Neo-patristic synthesis'.17 Florovsky's proposal was essentially a plea for moving beyond rigid traditionalism to a more creative theology in the encounter with modern realities. What was needed, according to Florovsky, was to follow the 'mind' (phronema) of the Church Fathers rather than slavishly to quote them. The 'mind' of the Fathers was for him an integration of spirituality and scholarship anchored in the fullness of the gospel and the life of the Church, yet permitting self-criticism and creativity.18 Florovsky did not take up the specifics of the hermeneutical task but wrote valuable theological essays on...

Misleading Presuppositions about Judaism

An older generation of scholarship, both Jewish and Christian, thought in 4. The assumption prevails, e.g., in J. Jeremias, Jerusalem in the Time ofJesus (London SCM, 1969), and in S. Safrai and M. Stern, eds., The Jewish People in the First Century (CRINT I Assen van Gorcum, 2 vols. 1974, 1976). The scholarship of the period is typified by reliance on the great collection of rabbinic material by H. Strack and P. Billerbeck, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament (Munich Beck, 4 vols., 1926-28). which flourished in the heart of the land of Israel up to the 60s of the first century CE. This in turn has resulted in a renewed interest in the pseudepigrapha11 and an increasing recognition that they too have to be described as representing different forms of Judaism. At the same time the extent of Pharisaic influence in firstcentury Israel has been radically questioned,12 and the sharpness of any distinction between 'Judaism' and 'Hellenism' which had allowed a clear demarcation between...

Augustine on Social Life

There are temporal goods that are worthy, peace first and foremost. So human civic life is not simply a remedy for sin - with order and coercion needed to constrain our wickedness - but an expression of our sociality our desire for fellowship our capacity for a diffuse caritas. It follows that Cicero's definition of a res publica, as refracted through the writings of Scipio, is wanting. For Cicero, civic order is an association based on common agreement concerning right and on shared interests. Insufficient, argues Augustine rather, a people gathered together in a civic order is a gathering or multitude of rational beings united in fellowship by sharing a common love of the same things. Using this definition, we not only define what a society is, we can also assess what it is people hold dear - what sort of society is this It is worth noting at this juncture that a debate in current Augustinian scholarship concerns precisely how one should rank the good of political society for...

Difference and the difference

Of course, the post-modern indebtedness to Nietzsche is as contentious in its reading of him as it is in its reading of the medieval traditions which it interprets in that Nietzschean light. But because it is with how in particular Jacques Derrida reads medieval apophaticism as a form of decon-struction, and because it is at least in part on account of his peculiarly 'French' reading of Nietzsche that he reads the medievals as he does, it is not my concern to debate with modern Nietzschean scholarship as to how far Derrida's interpretation of Nietzsche can be defended. For what matters to us is a question of our own how far may Derrida's understanding of language and 'difference' throw light on the theological issue, addressed in its own terms in the Middle Ages, of God's difference, and of the capacity of language to identify and then cross it.

These people rejected much of the Scripture as being literal

Perhaps the most outstanding exponent of the Hope in the early part of this century was Dr. Benjamin B. Warfield, whose writings have influenced many toward an understanding of the of dominion. He is perhaps best known, however, for his writings collected in the volume titled The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible, which has become a recognized classic of conservative scholarship. Examples could be multiplied, but perhaps it is enough to point out that postmillennial-have been such forthright defenders of the Bible's inerrancy that in recent years some opponents have actually accused them of Bibliolatry

Rome the Home of Forgeries

When examined critically, the whole foundation of the Church _ from the Gospels' charge against the Jews of the murder of Jesus, to the Decretals of Gratian, to the theology of Thomas Aquinas - is seen to rest on nothing but a welter of lies. With this awesome record of forgery and falsification, admitted by the Church itself, not the slightest trust can be placed in any official pronouncement coming out of the Church. The Church is first and foremost a propaganda machine that serves itself in the name of serving Jesus. This is as true today as it was a thousand years ago, for old habits die hard in any event, having no spiritual message worth the name there is little else the Church can do to fill its coffers and feed its employees. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Christian scholarship has excelled more at forgery than anything else.

Scriptures inspiration

Indeed, stories of evangelical biblical interpretation range from the awe-inspiring to the absurd. While the aberrations of some biblical iner-rantists20 have given way to the steady increase of competent and even influential biblical scholarship by various evangelicals, there is still progress to make. Following up the Chicago Statement, the International Council on Biblical Hermeneutics of the 1980s was not very successful, and trickle-down effects from scholarship to the pews - and pulpits - have been modest. At worst, evangelicals must confess popular weaknesses such as the influence of the apocalyptic Left Behind novels at best, they can claim the creative and academically influential work of scholars such as N. T. Wright, as well as the theological scholarship of non-Western Christians. In between, they can claim a long heritage of faithful saints who have loved to learn and live out basic biblical teaching. Hermeneutics, Authority and Canon. Reprint. Grand Rapids, MI Baker,...

Once in 28 Years Sun At Point of Creation This Year Talmud Tells

This appeared in the California Jewish Voice (October 24, 1952) over an article by Rabbi Samuel Rubin. A long-winded hairsplitting article uses the old number and letter juggling to make an appearance of scholarship. Leap years of 13 months fall on Wednesday in Nissan, the Rabbis add 19 and 28 making 47. Now rest your brain you will need it. The Jewish Voice article continues

The Blackwell Companion to Postmodern Theology

The Blackwell Companions to Religion series presents a collection of the most recent scholarship and knowledge about world religions. Each volume draws together newly-commissioned essays by distinguished authors in the field, and is presented in a style which is accessible to undergraduate students, as well as scholars and the interested general reader. These volumes approach the subject in a creative and forward-thinking style, providing a forum in which leading scholars in the field can make their views and research available to a wider audience.

The Syriac Churches Early Liturgical Traditions

At one time scholars were of the opinion that the Syriac liturgies were branches of a common Antiochene liturgical tradition, with two forks, East and West Syrian. The Maronite rite was seen as a variant of the West Syrian rite. However, more recent scholarship has emphasized that the East Syrian rite was centred on Edessa, not Antioch, and that the Maronite liturgical tradition seems to have blended some elements from the Edessan tradition with elements from the Antiochene tradition. (Macomber 19 73).

Theology And Philosophical Method

It was the signifying function of words in particular which preoccupied mediaeval scholarship more consistently than perhaps any other topic in the study of the artes of grammar, logic and rhetoric. Augustine looked into the matter briefly in his De Magistro. There, in a dialogue, he and his son Adeodatus discuss a line of the Aeneid (II.659) word by word, asking what each word signifies. Their purpose is to discover whether it is true that every word must signify in order to be a word at all, as was Aristotle's view. In the De Interpretatione he distinguishes words from mere sounds by their power of signi36fying. A true word is a vox significativa. Augustine and his son proceed comfortably enough until they come to the word nihil. How can nihil signify something if what it signifies is 'nothing' (This nice little puzzle was taken up again by the Carolingian scholar Fredegisus.)4 The Roman grammarians also held that it is the function of words to signify....

Sarah Pessin Introduction

Avicenna is subject to a variety of well-known criticisms, perhaps most famously that he made of existence an accident.2 Rahman and others have, I think convincingly, argued that in fact, Avicenna does not literally treat existence as an accident.3 However, there seems to remain in both Avicenna and Aquinas scholarship the residual sense that even if he did not literally mean to make of existence an accident Avicenna does resort to invoking a misleading 'essence+existence' image, if you will.4 As such, the critic points to, if not an actual philosophical error, then at the very least Avicenna's misleading invocation of existence 'happening to' or 'being added to' essence as reflecting something crude, or flawed, in his thinking. Avicenna's analysis, then, is regarded as somewhat clumsy, and is seen as revealing a struggle on his part with the complex issues of ontology. This struggle, we are told by this version of the history of philosophy, is surmounted only once we reach Aquinas'...

Son of Man The Issues

Would that it were so straightforward. These initial simple observations cloak a controversy which has raged (the term is not inappropriate) for more than a century and shows no sign of abating. Indeed, the ongoing 'Son of Man' debate is one of the great embarrassments for modern historical scholarship, since it has been unable to produce any major consensus.78 Does, then, the fragmentation of scholarly judgment on this topic simply illustrate the truth of the postmodern critique of historical method Given the extent of the motif in the Jesus tradition, that would be an important conclusion with considerable ramifications.

The Transmission Of Knowledge

The fundamental method of transmission at the heart of the emerging Islamic disciplines was the face-to-face encounter of teacher and student. Students took private lessons with their teachers or -more frequently - participated in their mentors' teaching circles, in which the master would deliver a lecture, seated, to a cluster of students, the most advanced of whom sat closest to him. Lectures were typically, though not always, based on a text or texts, which the teacher read out in sections, explaining and commenting on each segment. Students took notes, or had notes taken for them by professional scribes. Depending on the nature of the subject and the disposition of the teacher, students could participate by asking questions, voicing their disagreements and engaging the teacher in debate. At the conclusion of each class, students would revisit their notes, ideally committing them to memory, and discuss their contents with fellow students. Many of the classical works of Islamic...

The comprehensiveness of religious content in islamic law

Ijtihaad was seen as a standing obligation in Islamic law to neglect it was not merely a cause for censure but also an act of disobedience to God.25 The widespread notion that the ''door of ijtihad was closed'' in later centuries as a matter of theological principle has been shown in recent scholarship to be without historical foundation.26

The Lutheran Doctrine of Justification

Fundamental to this is that which later scholarship has come to characterize as the law-gospel dialectic. Luther operated with an understanding of humanity that saw its basic sin as being that of self-justification. This was manifested in any number of ways. At the Heidelberg Disputation of 1518, Luther referred to those whom he called theologians of glory.5 A thinly veiled attack on both the medieval schoolmen and contemporary Catholic theologians, this name was used to describe those Luther regarded as attempting to create God in their own image by building up a picture of God and his attributes which reflected their own human expectation of who God should be and what he should expect from human beings. The result was a God who bears a striking resemblance to sinful humanity. As an alternative, Luther proposed a theology of the cross - a theology which begins at the point at which God himself has chosen to reveal himself. According to Luther, this point is the cross, where all human...

The Coptic Orthodox Church

Although something about worship in Egypt may be gleaned from Clement and Origen, the first liturgical compilation of note is the Canons of Hippolytus (c.336) and the eucol-ogy attributed to Bishop Sarapion of Thmuis (c.350). The former is one redaction of the so-called apostolic tradition attributed to Hippolytus, the integrity of which has been seriously challenged in late twentieth-century scholarship. The latter is a collection of prayers, some probably by Serapion, but by no means all from the same author. It includes prayers for catechumens for oil before and after baptism for sanctification of the waters of baptism prayers with laying on of hands for deacons, priests and bishops prayers for the sick and an anaphora with a distinct shape, showing traces of the use of the Didache, which in some parts of Egypt was regarded as canonical scripture. However, in the process which led to the emergence of a regional as opposed to a local liturgy, we find Syrian or Cappadocian influence...

C To Replace the Jerusalem Cult

Such theses have the value for Christian scholarship of tracing back to Jesus' own intention a new cult (eucharist) to replace the Temple. But they suffer from the major drawback that the first Christians, who evidently continued to attend the Temple, and to participate in the sacrificial system, must then have wholly misunderstood Jesus' intention in the matter.176 And Chilton's version in particular has to transpose talk of 'my body' and 'my blood' into the idea of bread as Jesus' (replacement for the) flesh of sacrifice and wine as Jesus' (replacement for the) blood of sacrifice. But the firmer link between the last supper and Jesus' Temple protest (occupation) is thus gained at the expense of the link between the last supper and Jesus' death. Since the latter is so clear already in the earliest forms of the tradition the result is, once again, a hypothesis forced upon the tradition rather than one which grows out of the tradition. We are not likely to gain adequate answers to why...

Israels Eschatological History

Scholarship generally agrees that the one Israel of the twelve tribes was first constituted inside Canaan, after the tribes' entries into the land. Much about its initial polity is disputed. Was it for a time an amphictiony, a cultically united confederation How much of the story told in the books of Judges and Samuel is historical For our purposes, one point is knowable and decisive in the earliest times, legislation and jurisdiction were supposed to belong directly to the Lord, the specific God of Israel, who spoke through men of God, prophets in the later terminology persons so taken over by God that their judgments are his judgments. When Israel eventually wanted to have a normal mid-Eastern monarchy, to be like other nations, the Lord said to the currently judging prophet, T hey have rejected me from being king over them (1 Sam. 8 7-20).

Critique and Reconstruction

Silences, inconsistencies, incoherences, and ideological mechanisms of androcentric records and scholarship (Fiorenza 1996b 172-3) remembrance involves the vital commission to insist on women's inclusion as autonomous subjects, even against the grain of their historical absence and invisibility Women are Church, and always have been Church, called and elected by God (p. 172) and transformation rests on the recovery of the historical evidence of the ekklesia gynaikon, or discipleship of equals, which serves to animate a new paradigm for authentic discipleship and praxis by standing as the normative pattern for continuing communities of inclusive faith and practice. Fiorenza's criterion for authentic sources and norms thus places less emphasis on correspondence with historical events - as archetype - so much as fidelity to the testimony of the past as a prototype upon which contemporary communities should model themselves.

A The Preeminent Role Attributed to Mary of Magdala and Other Women

Bode, The First Easter Morning The Gospel Accounts ofthe Women's Visit to the Tomb of Jesus (AB 45 Rome Biblical Institute, 1970) 151-75. W. L. Craig, Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity ofthe Resurrection of Jesus (Lewiston Meilen, 1989) marshalls the arguments and presses the case most strongly (352-73). Cf. also the even-handed review in J. M. G. Barclay, 'The Resurrection in Contemporary New Testament Scholarship', in G. D'Costa, ed., Resurrection Reconsidered (Oxford Oneworld, 1996) 13-30 (here 18-23).

The Genesis of the Wall of Separation Everson v Board of Education

5 Actually, Jefferson's language ostensibly advocating a wall of separation between church and state was introduced into our case law in the earlier Supreme Court case of Reynolds v. U.S. 98 U.S. 145 (1878), but the language didn't yet give rise to a revolution in church state case law. In that case, Chief Justice Waite quoted Jefferson's famous language in an 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Church Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship that the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ' make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State. In Chapter Seven, I discuss recent scholarship arguing that Jefferson's...

The Mutual Interdependence Of Bible And Liturgy

Thus another definitive aspect of scripture is its ecclesial character. St Irenaeus of Lyons in the late second century argued powerfully that scripture belonged exclusively to the Church. Those outside of the Church had no right to it. Modern scholarship has corroborated the fact that the historical origins of the Bible, in both Israel and the Church, lie primarily in the respective communal memories and traditions celebrated in acts of worship and handed down by word of mouth over generations. For example, the Pentateuch and the Gospels largely incorporate oral traditions and interpretations first transmitted orally and eventually committed to writing. Justin Martyr referred to the Gospels as the 'memoirs' of the apostles. In the case of the apostle Paul, we have the composition of individual letters by a specific and known author. He too, however, lived, worked and wrote within the broad stream of the Jewish and Christian traditions. In fact part of Paul's distinct concern was firm...

Homosexual Seminars and Gay Studies

Of special concern was the finding that UNC did not offer majors, minors, and certainly not certificates in sexuality studies. After all, according to the report, Over the last three decades, the study of sexuality has become established in the U.S. and elsewhere as a rich, vibrant area of research. That says it all, does it not The study recommended that to correct this disparity UNC must actively encourage department chairs and faculty to revise existing courses to include material relevant to sexuality studies and to develop new courses and to explicitly communicate to the departments that sexuality studies is a valued and legitimate area of research, teaching and scholarship. It urged the acquisition of a full-time director of sexual studies.

Love in the Modern World

Plato translation project, Schleiermacher completed it, and it remains a landmark of Plato scholarship. typology to clarify thinking about the concept of love. In his ''Intellectual Autobiography'' Nygren states ''The task of scientific scholarship is to describe not to evaluate. Again and again in my work it is emphasized that the terms agape and eros are not used as value judgements, but purely and exclusively as descriptions.'' Nygren makes the same point in his ''Reply to Interpreters and Critics.''

The Hermeneutics of Suspicion and the Problem of History

Publishing his Life of Jesus (1835), which became one of the most influential and controversial books in modern religious thought, among not only scholars but also the general public. Strauss is responsible for introducing a new interpretive key into biblical scholarship, which he called mythological criticism, intended as a mediating position between rationalistic interpretation (which took miracle stories to be either misinterpretations of scientifically explainable events or deliberate frauds), on the one hand, and orthodox interpretation (which assumed that the gospels present wholly reliable eye-witness accounts of supernatural occurrences), on the other. Strauss thus undercuts the common assumption of both sides, that the biblical account provides factual information about the real Jesus. He was convinced that whatever facts could be established are insufficient to give us a Jesus worthy of religious faith. Strauss does not maintain that the individual authors fictionalized the...

Rabbinic Textual Evidence

The period under investigation in this chapter is covered by the Mishnah, the Tosefta, and the Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmuds. Modern scholarship frequently treats the historical information in these documents with a high degree of suspicion, because it appears that the opinions presented are essentially ahistorical. Some material is presented anonymously, while some is associated with specific Sages. Even when we can locate these Sages historically between the first century bce and the sixth century ce, accurate transmission of the sayings attributed to them is still debated. 3 Pagan is another term that has come under scrutiny. It is a derogatory term for an idol-worshipper, its Latin root meaning rustic or, more colloquially, country bumpkin. Heathen is obviously not preferable to pagan, and non-Jew and Gentile are terms too broad to be useful in the context of Greco-Roman divinities. Thus, scholarship has not yet found a more inventive and respectful term with which to refer to...

A Who Were the Sinners

One of the more spicey controversies of recent historical Jesus scholarship was occasioned by the swingeing criticism levelled by Sanders against Jeremias's answer to the question. Jeremias had confused the issue by defining 'sinners' as 'a specific term for those engaged in despised trades' and by lumping them together with 'the amme-ha-aretz (people of the land), the uneducated, the ignorant, whose religious ignorance and moral behaviour stood in the way of their access to salvation, according to the convictions of the time'.186 Sanders responded that the term 'sinners' means 'the wicked', or as we might say, law-breakers, 189. Sanders, Jesus and Judaism 198-206 also Historical Figure 226-37 also with W. D. Davies, 'Jesus from the Jewish Point of View', in Horbury et al., eds., Judaism 3.618-77 (here 636-43). Sanders' polemic against Jeremias drew vigorous protest from his former McMaster colleague Ben Meyer, 'A Caricature of Joachim Jeremias and His Work', JBL 110 (1991) 451-62,...

Inquisition today the case of Allegro77

With such an attitude, it was not long before it became clear to Father Roland de Vaux and other members of the Intemational Team that John Allegro would have to be silenced before he could become a major problem. In this they succeeded, but not before he created a storm in Biblical circles. It is not as if Allegro set out to create problems for the Church as an agnostic he seems never to have understood that scholarship is not everything, especially as far as the Church is concerned. And he paid the price for this ignorance in terms of his own career and reputation. A brilliant Biblical scholar and a pioneering student of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Allegro was made to look like some sort of a nut. It is only now, with the release of the Scrolls, that his views are being vindicated. Truth has finally triumphed. Allegro's work on the Scrolls was extraordinarily productive, especially when matched against the output of his Ecole Biblique colleagues which appears slight by comparison. Men...

The Structure of Metzs Fundamental Theology with a Practical Intent

Karl Rahner self-consciously violated this stringent division of dogmatic (viz. systematic) from fundamental theology, and Metz carries that transgression of disciplinary borders over into his own work. Rahner argued that contemporary philosophical pluralism, the knowledge-explosion in general, and the impact of modern biblical scholarship combine to make the neoscholastic project untenable in fact, regardless of whether it was ever tenable in principle. Consequently, a successful justification of faith (the task of fundamental theology) would have to draw on the contents of faith, rather than leaving them to subsequent elaboration in systematic theology. This does not entail an exhaustive consideration of a given doctrine, but an investigation on a first level of reflection. The new fundamental theology would elaborate doctrinal contents to the extent necessary for showing how they could cohere with, bring to words, and concretize the modern person's experience of his or her...

Monuments and religious buildings

The Church and the court working together were the main stimuli for artistic production. Monasticism remained at the heart of Ethiopian Christianity. The great centres of early Ethiopian Christian culture and learning were founded in the north, notably those monasteries founded by the Nine Saints in Tigray which included the well-known monastery of Dabra Damo. The mid- to late thirteenth century saw monasteries being founded further south, such as the island monastery at Lake Hayq at Amhara (Dabra Hayq 'Hstifanos). Dabra Asbo at Shawa (later called Dabra Libanos from the mid-fifteenth century) was established by St Takla Haymanot of Shawa (d. 1313). Later the area of Lake Tana was developed as a monastic centre, mostly in the first half of the fourteenth century the Monasteries of Dabra Daga 'Hstifanos and Dabra Gwegweben were established on its eastern shore. One of the great courtly centres in Ethiopian Christian history was developed at Gondar, which flourished between the...

The Phenomenon Of Levelling In The Present

For Kierkegaard, the phenomenon of levelling is of 'profound importance' because it heralds 'the ascendancy of the category generation over the category individuality ' in the present age (TA 84). In his view, levelling constitutes the 'basic tendency' of the modern age, which has gone through various concrete upheavals that approximate levelling but do not qualify as genuine levelling because they are not sufficiently abstract (90). As Kierkegaard understands it, levelling is not equivalent to the elimination of class or economic differences between individuals but has to do fundamentally with the loss of individuality in the abstraction of the public or crowd.7 Although oriented towards social equality, the modern age goes astray in the implementation of this ideal by giving it expression in the form of levelling, which in Kierkegaard's view is the very opposite of equality because it does not value individuals. Rather, levelling constitutes 'abstraction's victory over individuals'...

The Augustinian Hermits

Multitude of new movements, some of which smacked of heresy or were in danger of becoming heretical. Quite understandably, they sought to draw them together into a structure which could meet Rome's approval and through which they could serve the Church. In 1243 Pope Innocent IV brought hermits in Tuscany under the Augustinian rule and appointed Cardinal Richard Annibaldi as their supervisor. More than any other one man, Annibaldi was responsible for the growth of the order. A Papal bull of 1256 which merged several bands of hermits into a closer union is usually regarded as the decisive landmark in making the Austin Friars an order. Before the close to the thirteenth century the Augustinians had conformed to the pattern of the Dominicans. They became a preaching order and based that preaching upon theological training and scholarship.

The Creation of New Saints

It was in any case a good step to produce a vita or passion in order to promote a cult and to keep a saint's memory alive for the future. As far as most of the new medieval saints were concerned, local cults and the restricted circulation of their vitae were the only medium. In the East Syrian liturgical tradition in particular a comparatively small number of saints, most of them from the early Christian period, are honoured by individual liturgical commemoration and commonly celebrated feasts. But also in the other Syrian Churches, the number of saints who are generally commemorated is quite restricted today. Thus, those traditions which are easily accessible from modern church calendars cover only a very small field. To have a full picture of Syrian cults and hagi-ographic writings, it would be necessary to include a broad historical overview including various local traditions from the past and the present. This remains a challenge for future scholarship.

Truth and Consequences

In our modern age, many seriously doubt or openly disbelieve that an all-powerful supernatural God inspired Scripture. Many assume that the Bible is no different than any other humanly authored book. Many also assume that modern scholarship has completely discredited the Bible, and that no evidence exists that proves otherwise. Yet, as we have seen in this booklet, the truth is just the opposite These widely held beliefs and assumptions are, in reality, fictions that are totally contrary to the facts

Lecture Twenty Four Christianities Popular and Real

Reveals the enduring tension in Christianity between official religion (which is all about controlled power) and popular religion (in which power eludes official channels). Official religion always claims to be real religion, tending to despise the popular. Academic study of religion, for a variety of reasons, has tended to follow the same path. Thus, we know much more about Christianity's official leaders, doctrines, moral teachings, and forms of organization than we do about the actual religious lives of Christians. Only recently has scholarship paid due attention to popular forms of Christianity, although its messiness makes analysis difficult. We have learned just enough to open our eyes to see afresh the history of Christianity and its current manifestations.

Is The Jesus Of History The Same As The Jesus Of Faith

Gregory Boyd, a Yale- and Princeton-educated scholar who wrote the award-winning Cynic Sage or Son of God, offered a devastating critique of the Jesus Seminar, a group that questions whether Jesus said or did most of what's attributed to him. He identified the Seminar as an extremely small number of radical-fringe scholars who are on the far, far left wing of New Testament thinking. The Seminar ruled out the possibility of miracles at the outset, employed questionable criteria, and some participants have touted myth-riddled documents of extremely dubious quality. Further, the idea that stories about Jesus emerged from mythology fails to withstand scrutiny. Said Boyd The evidence for Jesus being who the disciples said he was is just light years beyond my reasons for thinking that the left-wing scholarship of the Jesus Seminar is correct. In sum, the Jesus of faith is the same as the Jesus of history.

The Papacy attains its height as a legislative and administrative structure

It seems also significant that the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire reached a climax not far from the same time. The struggle between Pope and Emperor continued and in some respects was intensified. Both contestants were reinforced by the revival of scholarship and with it the study of law.

Gods Pleasure and


The slow decline of the Papacy

The decline of the Papacy became even more marked during the reign of Celes-tine's successor, Boniface VIII (Benedict Gaetani), who held the See of Peter from 1294 to 1303. Related to several Popes, among them probably Innocent III, with long experience in the Papal curia and as Papal legate, he brought scholarship and undoubted ability to the post. He was a lover of learning and promoted the founding of universities. He made as great claims for Papal authority as were ever promulgated. In his bull Unam Sanctam, issued in 1299, he declared that it is altogether necessary to salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff. He sought to make good this sweeping assertion. But, tactless, quick-tempered, lordly, and a lover of magnificence, he was far from being the equal of the greatest of his predecessors in ability or character and was defeated in his chief efforts to enforce his will. In spite of a Papal excommunication and interdict, a prince whom he opposed...

The Puritan Contribution

The church fathers were greatly influenced by their Greco-Roman culture. Many of them, in fact, were pagan philosophers and orators before they became Christians. As already stated, this is why their church services reflected a blending of pagan culture and Jewish synagogue forms. Further, recent scholarship has shown that the writings of the fathers on Christian worship were written later than assumed and have been reshaped by various layers of tradition (Bradshaw, Origins of Christian Worship, ch. 3). The church fathers were heavily influenced by paganism and Neoplatonism. Will Durant, Caesar and Christ, 610-619,650-651. See also Durant's Age of Faith, 63.74,521-524.

Different Christianities

The identification of the various 'belief-pictures' discernible in the New Testament writings, each author, each book having its own 'world' of ideas and communication, has dominated recent scholarship. It has also revolutionized many intuitive and long-held assumptions about Christianity. For instance to begin with it was pure, clear and unified ('one faith, one church, one Lord'), and only later did human weakness (and diabolical manoeuvre) produce diversity and error. Or, to be a little more sophisticated, early Christianity was in agreement on certain fundamentals about basic facts of Jesus' career, like his death and resurrection about his status in God's purpose as universal saving agent about certain moral priorities such as the centrality of love, the renunciation of family and property ties, monogamous marriage and no divorce. There might well be differences of emphasis and of custom, but they concerned only peripheral matters (perhaps the details of worship or baptismal...

Prolife Truth Orthodox John Paul Ii

This 1978 article by Fr Wuerl (now Bishop of Pittsburgh) recalls the confusion sowed by wayward theologians after Vatican II, and presents the formation of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars in 1977 as a move to restore Catholic scholarship to conformity with the Magisterium of the Church. FIDELITY WITNESS LAITY

Theology in the academy and the input of philosophical anthropology 18801900

In an attempt to answer these criticisms, Victor Ivanovich Nesmelov (1863193 7), a teacher at Kazan Theological Academy, advanced an alternative moral account of expiation, though worked out somewhat in parallel with the ideas of Sergius. To start off, he recategorized dogmatics under anthropology as opposed to patristic scholarship. His point was that references to Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition were ineffective, as they necessarily presupposed a prior belief in the truth of Christianity, whereas in his opinion the only way to arrive at universal agreement is through a scientific account of the problem of humanity. In his two-volume treatise, The Science of Man (1899-1906), Nesmelov tackles St. Theophan's now-traditional conception of the Fall, arguing that the Fall was in fact nothing more than a mistake of Adam's which he made while still in an infantile spiritual state, in which condition a person was absolutely bound to offend God and so lose his or her moral freedom. Because...

Christian Orthodox Category Iiib

The nationalist drive in the Romanian Church continued unabated, as scholarship attempted to re-create a distinct Romanian ecclesiastical past 9 During the period i892-ig> o5 new conflicts arose between the churches of Romania and Constantinople over ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the regions of Epiros and Macedonia. The Romanians raised claims over Vlach-speaking communities, which they wanted to bring under the control of Romanian authorities on account of linguistic affinities.2o In i925 the assumption of patriarchal status by the autocephalous Romanian Church came about after consultations, which secured the ready agreement of Constantinople. The elevation of the auto-cephalous church of Romania to patriarchal status was the last symbolic act in the articulation and assertion of the national community of the Greater Romania produced by World War I.

The Idea Of Philosophy

This was in part the result of the major changes in cultural patterns brought about by the fall of the Roman Empire. It was no longer the case that those who ruled Europe were educated in rhetoric and philosophy. Many were illiterate, and most were more concerned with the practicalities of war and government than with patronage of learning. It fell largely to the monasteries and the cathedral schools (where clergy who were to serve the cathedral were trained) to sustain what level of scholarship they could. Bede's mentor, Benedict Biscop (c.628-89), travelled on the continent, spent some time as a monk at Lerins, and brought back from Rome, and Monte Cassino in South Italy, the manuscripts which were to lay the foundation of the libraries of the monasteries he founded at Wearmouth and Jarrow in the north of England. Bede was given into his care as a child oblate at the age of 7. He spent a productive life making the heritage of books a working part of the tradition of Western monastic...

The Speculative Point Of View

This humorous satire on the presumed isomorphism between being a Christian and being a Dane suggests to Climacus that objectivity is so omnipresent in Danish society that 'even the wife of a civil servant argues from the whole, from the state, from the idea of society, from geographic scholarship to the single individual' (51, translation modified). In other words, there is an ideological isomorphism between speculative thought and Danish society as well as between being a Christian and being a Dane, making Climacus's critique of the speculative point of view applicable to

Pre Conciliar Pascendi and Divino Afflante Spiritu

Textual criticism and the rise and growth of the historical method followed. Literary and historical criticism combined in what was to be characterised as 'historical-critical method'.85 In all this, Roman Catholic Biblical scholarship lagged far behind, preferring to 'play it safe' with a 'severely traditional exegesis'86 which eschewed, and was indifferent or even hostile to, the developing critical tradition.87 In the meantime, Protestant Biblical exegesis, incarnated perhaps most vividly in the person of the Lutheran form critic and theologian, Rudolf Bultmann (18841976), explored the highways of a 'demythologised' New Testament.88 Yet it is now admitted on all sides - Protestant and Catholic alike - that the most significant advance in Biblical exegesis since the pre-critical period to ad 1650 was the development and application of the historical-critical method. And it was the Encyclical of Pius XII, Divino Afflante Spiritu of 1943, which fell like a great stone into the pool of...

Can Theology Go Through Kant

In Kant's Moral Religion, Wood writes, 'Much careful and fruitful labour has been devoted to the analysis of the subtle argumentation of Kant's epistemology and moral philosophy but his philosophical outlook as a whole, his view of the world and man's place in it, is often grotesquely caricatured'.26 He goes on to challenge the Kant establishment in the following way 'there is an area of Kant's philosophical thought - itself badly neglected by responsible scholarship - which though no less demanding on the reader than most of his writing, does give us a more or less direct access to Kant's outlook as a whole. This area of thought is Kant's investigation of rational religious faith'.27 Wood's point is that most interpretations of Kant on rational religious faith are too reductive or simplistic, and more needs to be done to understand the vast resources grounding religious faith in Kant's philosophy. Ironically, as noted earlier, Wood's subsequent work on Kant never brings to fruition...

Angelic Descent and Apocalyptic Epistemology The Teachings of Enoch and the Fallen Angels in the Book of the Watchers

In using the redactional growth of the Book of the Watchers to shed light on its final form, this chapter departs from most previous scholarship on the traditions about the fallen angels in this apocalypse. Consistent with R. H. Charles' foundational work on 1 Enoch, modern research into the Enochic myth of angelic descent has commonly focused on the earliest unit, 1 En. 6-11, and has approached these chapters from source-critical and form-critical perspectives. By isolating material that features different themes and angelic figures, scholars have sought to recover the originally independent traditions that lie behind this section of the Book of the Watchers.7

Religious Relativism and Revelation

He helped also by means of this approach, as Schleiermacher had done before him, to clear up the discrepancies between religious and non-religious views of the same event. As Schleiermacher had pointed out, the strange question whether the same statement can be true in philosophy and untrue in theology, or vice versa, can no longer arise for the reason that the statement as it occurs in the one can find no place in the other and, alike as they may sound, their difference must always be presupposed. The renewal of the faith method in theology had other important consequences it gave impetus to the historical examination of Christian faith, since scholarship was encouraged to seek the bases of that faith in Christian life itself rather than in idealistic or other philosophic dogma it re-enforced the interest of Christians in the historic Jesus and in his religious faith it provided strength for the growing social gospel and invigorated the moral life of the...

Traditional Uses Of The Bible Become Unviable

The direct impact of this development on theology may seem negative. For it seems obvious that if biblical studies are taken really seriously, traditional ways of using the Bible in theology, even in modified forms, become unviable. This is due to the recognition by biblical scholarship of the wide diversity of beliefs within the New Testament itself, the non-historicity of crucial 'events' bound to end up by pointing out that the New Testament lacks that uniqueness on which some generations of biblical scholars used to put a lot of stress. In the words of Gerd Theissen, historical-critical scholarship shows

The Intellectivity Argument


The Trinity In Worship And Sacraments

The primary source of trinitarian doctrine is scripture. Orthodox Christians therefore recognise the importance of studying the Bible and being 'nourished' thereby, as they perpetually rediscover the sacramental sense of the Word of God. And scripture is both interpreted and experienced, or relived, in the liturgical life of the Church. Liturgical and sacramental theology thus constitute jointly an essential guide for understanding the Holy Trinity and for entering into communion with it. Fr Alexander Schmemann demonstrates in his Introduction to Liturgical Theology that one may truly speak of liturgical theology, thus introducing a new concept into scholarship.5 He speaks firstly of the sanctification of time by the liturgical cycles of the day, week and year, showing that each of these divisions of time reveals the mystery of Christ and, in consequence, that of the Holy Trinity. Sacramental remembrance, carried out

The Search for an Invulnerable Area for Faith

More effective and of more lasting influence was the contribution of Kahler. He took the challenge of historical criticism more seriously, and instead of ducking the challenge he accepted it in full. 'We do not possess any sources for a Life of Jesus which a historian can accept as reliable and adequate'. Historical scholarship leaves us with 'mere probabilities'. The sources contain nothing capable of sustaining a biography of Jesus.21 Despite Lessing, the effective assumption in life of Jesus research had been that faith must rest on the historical Jesus, that is, on Jesus insofar as he could be uncovered and reconstructed by historical-critical research. But the multiplicity of different reconstructions only made faith harder and not easier.22 More to the point, only a few scholars have the specialist training to carry through such reconstruction. Is faith, then, to depend on the findings of a few scholars Are critical historians to become the new priests and pope of Christian...

The theological impact of humanism

The impact of humanism upon the theology of the early sixteenth century was considerable, and may be illustrated by considering its implications for biblical scholarship. The literary and cultural programme of humanism can be summarized in the slogan ad fontes back to the original sources. The squalor of the medieval period is bypassed, in order to recover the intellectual and artistic glories of the classical period. In much the same way, the 'filter' of medieval biblical commentaries was abandoned, in order to engage directly with the original texts. Applied to the Christian Church, the slogan ad fontes meant a direct return to the title deeds of Christianity to the patristic writers, and supremely to the Bible, studied in its original languages. This necessitated direct access to the Greek text of the New Testament. to retain these practices and beliefs) and with equally great delight by the reformers (who wanted to eliminate them). Three classic examples of translation errors will...

Selfdifferentiation among Christian groups the Gnostics and their opponents

When around 180 ce Bishop Irenaeus of Lyons wrote his Detection and refutation of gnosis falsely so-called, known simply by the Latin title Adversus haereses ('Against heresies'), he hoped to bring order to a confused situation. A bewildering number of'Christian' groups and teachers offered interested persons salvation, often in the form of gnosis ('knowledge' or 'acquaintance') with God. Yet the teachings and practices of these 'Christians' displayed an astonishing diversity on such issues as the nature(s) of God and the creator of this world and the content and interpretation of scripture. Irenaeus presented his readers with a powerfully simple way to make sense of these competing claims.1 There was, he argued, a single consistent Christian truth, deposited in a single church spread throughout the world in communities that could trace their heritage back to Christ and his original apostles. All other groups that claimed to be Christian, despite their seemingly infinite variety, in...

What I Would Like My Friends To Know About Freemasonry

HOW DO MASONS ENHANCE THEIR COMMUNITIES Masons assist public schools and other public bodies in a variety of ways. Masons and members of Masonic affiliated bodies assist as tutors. Some Lodges have scholarship programs, student recognition programs, and activities recognizing the achievements of students and teachers. Masons serve as volunteers for many community projects. The reason you may not have learned about this involvement is that Masons seek only to provide service.

The Metaphysics of Exodus

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE ( nature of the entity that 'is, through itself, necessary being' must be identical with its being, he steps outside the confines of natural theology to observe that 'Moses was taught this sublime truth by the Lord' when (in Exod. 3 13-14) Moses asked what he should tell the Israelites if they asked for God's name and the Lord answered 'I am Who Am (Ego sum qui sum). Say to the children of Israel, Who Is (Qui est) has sent me to you' . Aquinas interprets the oracular reply, not implausibly, as the Lord's revealing 'that God's very being is his essential nature (quod ipsum divinum esse est sua essentia vel natura)' (22.211). No doubt biblical scholarship would dismiss Aquinas's interpretation, even as applied to the Latin text of the passage. I'm in no position to defend it as an interpretation, though I can imagine, and perhaps even share, the intellectual satisfaction he seems to have felt on seeing this connection...

The Archbishopric and the Patriarchate of Preslav

Skopje, and Nis and elsewhere continued to exist. Keen to have young people trained as teachers and men of letters, Boris sent many young Bulgarians, including his son Symeon, to study in Constantinople. In 886 he welcomed to his capital Pliska the disciples of the brothers Cyril and Methodius Clement, Nahum and Angelarius, who had been expelled from Great Moravia. With their help he embarked on a wide-ranging programme of education and scholarship, resulting in the creation of the Preslav and the Ohrid schools. The prince assigned many prominent Bulgarians to the monasteries, so that they could devote themselves to full-time scholarship. Among them were his brother Doks and his son Tudor Doksov. In 889 Boris I abdicated in favour of his son Vladimir and retired to a monastery, where he could devote his time to study and literary work. In 893, however, he could no longer put up with his son's attempts to revive paganism, deposed him by force and had him blinded. After that he took an...