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Recruited for Scholarships Recruiting And Scholarship Secrets

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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...

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 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.

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...

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...

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,...

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.

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'...

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...

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.

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.''

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...

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...

The return to theology

The catch with all of this, as many have argued, is its over-riding teleology -another theological category Bloch seeks to transvalue into historical materialism. Unfortunately, Bloch rests heavily on early twentieth-century biblical scholarship, which argued that the Bible broke decisively with the cyclical time of its Ancient Near-Eastern context. Instead, we find, they argued, the first moment of linear, historical time in the Hebrew Bible, something Bloch turns all too quickly into his teleology. And then, in a massive rush, Bloch draws in nearly everything from the earliest documents of the Bible to Hegel, an encyclopaedic sweep we see repeatedly in his texts. But the distinction between two times is highly problematic, not merely since we find both perceptions of time in the Bible and in the Ancient Near East, but also because it imposes foreign categories on the text. And I cannot help but think that Bloch's call for a discernment of myths should have made him much more wary.

Religion And Culture Protestant Models Of Interaction

Niebuhr was concerned with Christianity as a whole, not specifically with Protestantism. Yet a close reading of the book reveals an important point that has been confirmed by all subsequent scholarship. Protestantism did not introduce any new models for understanding its interaction with culture. It worked within existing Christian paradigms, adapting and developing them to meet its concerns but not developing new models of its own. Protestantism may prefer certain models over others, allowing differences of emphasis to be identified. Yet there is no sign of radical innovation in this area.

The New Testament The Tradition Of Interpretation

It is not our present concern to describe the causes of the transition from traditional to modern interpretation, or evaluate them. But one result did emerge clearly from the change. The study of the New Testament was displaced from its former, central place in Christian theology and was seen to provide at best only historical prolegomena, and, at worst, a sharp historical criterion which threw into question the legitimacy of all subsequent developments. Historical-critical study drove a wedge between the original meaning of the New Testament and the uses and abuses it had suffered at the hands of the Church. With the truth of the foundational, literal scheme of salvation history under critical attack, the allegorical interpretations, constructed upon it, stood out even more blatantly as arbitrary and absurd. New Testament scholarship, in Germany first and then elsewhere, broke with its own past and started over again, with a narrower focus on the texts themselves, their dates,...

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

Christianity and Judaism

It must be said that at the beginning of 'Christian' history it would have been very difficult to distinguish Christianity from Judaism. Recent scholarship (Sanders 1977, 1985 Vermes 1983) has emphasized the Jewishness of Jesus, the Jewishness of his first followers, and subsequently the Jewish sectarian nature of early Christianity. There is growing consensus on this point. The difficulty is in locating the moments of separation and distinction, whereby Christianity becomes transformed from a Jewish sectarian group into a non-Jewish world religion. At this point the internal sectarian squabble is turned into an inter-religious dispute with great emotional power at its heart. Jews are charged with deicide (murdering God in Christ) and some explanation must be found for their rejection of the fulfilment of their own religious tradition (hard-heartedness, sin, God's purpose). The history of the production of Islam for Western consumption has been widely documented, (Daniel 1960, 1975...

The Strongest Biblical Archaeological Evidence

Modern scholarship to the Bible they feel that some parts of it are 'contradictory,' and others are simply myths or fables. Some Old Testament stories are rejected by these critics because the events seemed to be 'immoral' (Introduction to Philosophy, a Christian Perspective, 1980, p. 261).

Old Testament History Versus Scholarly History

The value of the Old Testament lay in its literary-aesthetic grappling with these questions. Vatke had seen in Israel's history, as reconstructed by critical scholarship, the outworking of a dialectic of education between the divine and the human. For Robertson Smith also, the critically reconstructed history of Israel could be used positively, as a history of grace. Hofmann, Delitzsch, Arnold and Maurice, on the other hand, accepted Old Testament history at its face value, Hofmann particularly so, because he believed that it was the history of God's involvement in human affairs. If Eichrodt worked ahistorically, G.von Rad (1901-71) fully accepted the consequences of de Wette's 'ugly ditch' (von Rad 1957-61). Working on the basis of the various histories within the Old Testament as isolated by the scholarship of the 1950s, von Rad described the theology of the Jahwist, the Deuteronomists, the Priestly school and the Prophets in his Old Testament...

Authorized common prayer

There are and have been those whose whole Christian life and prayer are, in a phrase of Neville Ward's, the extension of the Liturgy into their seven weekly attempts at living (Ward 1967 17). Liturgy is fixed and authoritative. It was so in the beginning in those rudimentary forms we mentioned above, which co-existed with a great deal that was immediate, spontaneous and extempore. The earliest Eucharistic prayers were probably composed by each individual bishop. It was before long necessary to have set forms in each centre of primitive Christianity to guard against heresy and ensure catholicity and the essential elements. Ever since, liturgy has carried the imprimatur of the Church which devised it, whether it be a rite of Jerusalem, or Antioch, Alexandria or Byzantium, the Roman Missal or the Book of Common Prayer. It rests ultimately on the 'givenness' of the Gospel, mediated by scholarship and the meeting of appointed minds, not on individual experience or personal preference. Its...

P Stengel and M Nilsson on Greek sacrifice The importance ofNilssons work for the purposes of this book

Nilsson were the main representatives of the shift towards ritual in German scholarship on religion, as this had been represented first by the Cambridge School in England. Stengel and Nilsson were classicists concerned with Greek religion, but neither of them avoided the pitfall of evolutionism. They too tried to find 'primitive' ideas, antecedent meanings and purposes hidden under rituals, with the supposition that the peoples practising rituals could no longer understand their initial meaning.53

The Gospel Story and the Hermeneutics of Mediating Theology

The first of these perspectives actually conceals two divergent views. The Calvinist and Puritan inheritors in England and the Super-naturalists in Germany simply took it that all the narratives refer to actual events and describe them just as they happened. The mediating theologians who also commanded much of the biblical scholarship of the eighteenth century, first the Latitudinarians in England and then the Neo-logians in Germany, agreed with them to some extent, specifically on the necessity of a factual interpretation of the story of Jesus and a revealed religion. Beyond that, however, they leaned in the other, more rationalistic, direction. Jesus was indeed the Messiah, so that a historical faith is necessary for one's spiritual well-being. However, this faith has meaning only as an indispensable solution to a universally experienced moral lack or dilemma. Thus the explicative sense of the narrative of Jesus the Messiah is indeed that of ostensive reference, but its religious...

Dead Sea Scrolls on Early Christianity

Qumran literature poses two major challenges to the official position of the Church. The first is doctrinal, and the second historical. But the two are not so easily disentangled. To the lay person, and even the Biblical scholar, Christian religion and Biblical history are all but inseparable to the believing Christian they are indistinguishable. This is further complicated by the fact that most scholars working with the Scrolls happen to come from a Catholic background. The Ecole Biblique is a Dominican institution controlled by the Pontifical Biblical Commission - a Vatican office its members have a strong vested interest in preserving the 'truth' of Christianity as both religion and history. As a result, whenever there has been a conflict between faith and scholarship, scholarship has invariably lost. That is to say, doctrine has dictated the agenda of Father de Vaux and his colleagues. Before long many observers began to notice a concerted effort on the part of Father de Vaux and...

Division and reconciliation

The achievement of Adomnan, abbot of Iona from 679 to 704 or 705, was to transcend the paschal controversy by his scholarship and diplomacy. His Life of Columba, written between 697 and his death, celebrated a saint whose reputation was to be independent of the issue of Easter.30 Although Adomnan's conversion to the Roman Easter, in the course of a diplomatic mission to Northumbria, failed to carry the community of Iona, it did bring over many churches in the northern half of Ireland as well as the Britons of what is now southern Scotland.31 His success in securing the promulgation of The Law of Adomnan in 697 showed how a legal innovation could be made to embrace the whole of Ireland and also the Picts.32 The Law of Adomnan is preserved in Old Irish and is thus aligned with native Irish law, whereas normal early Irish canon law was in Latin. The two major law-books, the Senchas Mar and the Collectio Canonum Hibernensis, one for native Irish law, the other for canon law, date from the...

Challenges To The Historical Approach

Not surprisingly, such an outcome of the reign of the historical method has been detrimental in the eyes of many. Where people have looked to biblical scholarship for spiritual guidance, disappointment has been unavoidable. Predictably, the dominant position of the historical approach has been challenged from various quarters conservative theology, pastoral psychology, contextual theology, and literary criticism. Conservative theologians have stressed the alleged theological unity of the two Testaments and striven towards a canonical, pan-biblical theology (Childs 1992 Stuhlmacher 1992). The enterprise has required them to iron out obvious differences not only between the Testaments but also within each one. Stuhlmacher demands that 'agreement' with the text be included among the guiding principles of historical criticism, but such a requirement runs counter to the rules of sound scholarship which must never let its hands be bound in advance. It is absurd to require that one should...

The Declaration of Independence

But modern scholarship has exposed it as a fallacy. The French scholar Michel Villey, himself a humanist, and other scholars, such as Richard Tuck of England, have shown that Greek and Roman ideas concerning rights did not form the philosophical underpinnings of the American (or English) system as secularists insist. Author Gary Amos explained that the concept of inalienable rights couldn't have come from the Greeks or Romans, but is traceable to the Scriptures. The Greeks, said Amos, were polytheists who would never have subscribed to the notion that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator (singular) with certain unalienable rights. Moreover, according to Amos, the Greeks believed the universe originated from an impersonal divine force, not a personal God as revealed in the Bible. Human beings were an extension of that divine force there was virtually no distinction between humans and the divine, so the Declaration's concept of men being endowed by their creator...

The Christianity of the future

Ancient forms were thus carried into new settings a rich body of scholarship continues to explore the survival in the Christian empire of artistic themes and motifs traditional to classical culture.56 But artistic endeavor can never be divorced from context. The raw material, the patronage, and the skill may have been expensive, dependent on leisure and an informed sense of antecedent, reflecting the wealth and sensibility of the elite. As times changed, however, the bishop was the impresario. The decor presented images of virtue, scenes from sacred writings, emblems of a universal salvation, and a fulfillment beyond death and time. The implications were entirely theological. Gregory of Tours presents a telling vignette the wife of Namatius, bishop of Clermont-Ferrand, used to hold in her lap a book from which she would read stories of events which happened long ago, and tell the workmen what she wanted painted on the walls. The anecdote reinforces several points the church being...

Printing Makes a Difference

When a gentile reads the Talmud or Talmud-related writings, he necessarily enters into Talmud-forbidden ground. If study by gentiles of the written Torah itself is forbidden by Talmudic law, then surely the once-secret Jewish oral tradition of the Torah is prohibited. But when the Talmud is made available in vernacular languages by those who are still believers in its sacred character, as has been done in this century, the traditional criticisms against gentiles who read it necessarily fade. Perhaps even more obviously to those who have struggled through as few as three consecutive pages of the Talmud, by making available a comprehensive index, its defenders in principle thereby opened the book. Its English-translators, editors, and publisher have moved the Talmud from the world of religion exclusively to the world of open scholarship. This has clearly modified the ancient rules.

Scrolls monopoly the collapse and after

This was soon followed by another major development - the publication of the book The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered The First Complete Translation and Interpretation of 50 Key Documents withheld for over 35 years authored by Eisenman and Wise. It represents a major advance in the history of modern Biblical scholarship. It is now a primary source for all research on the subject (including some of the work leading to the present volume). The Introduction to the book (written in third person) describes how the materials happened to come into Eisenman's hands In the light of this sordid history, the Church's charges against Eisenman - as a man more interested in publicity than true scholarship rings hollow. The onus now is on Christian scholars to produce evidence that their Jesus of the Gospels was historical and this evidence will have to be independent of the New Testament. For too long, the Church has gotten away with its claim that the Gospels represent a historical Jesus they will now...

Fueling the Agenda Postmodern Hogwash

This explains, for example the so-called multiculturalists' preoccupation with correcting the record to give truth its proper balance toward all ethnicities. In an article for, Bridgewater State University student J. D. Cassidy described his experience with this in a history course titled Social and Cultural History of Early Modern Europe. The professor told the students that he had excised from the course title the words intellectual history because they were not in step with contemporary scholarship, in that intellectual history deals primarily with dead white males.

God and the Creative Imagination

'Among contemporary theological voices, that of Paul Avis is always wideranging, constructive and sane, combining scholarship with a nuanced feel for tradition. This book covers the central questions in the philosophy of religious language in a way that is digestible and fresh.' 'This is a book of scholarship and integrity. A unique combination of theology and literary methodology.'

Mormonism Another Node In The Matrix Of Power

A most remarkable book Line Upon Line put out by the liberal Mormon scholars shows the remarkable parallels between the generic theology of the Masons and the generic theology of the Mormons. As the LDS church promotes such men, even while criticizing some of their findings, one concludes that this book's scholarship and documentation is not only accurate but approved.

Analytic Hierarchy Process

The Bible, says Beet, contains possible errors in small details or allusions, but it gives us with absolute certainty the great facts of Christianity, and upon these great facts, and upon these only, our faith is based. Evans, Bib. Scholarship and Inspiration, 15, 18, 65 Teach that the shell is part of the kernel and men who find that they cannot keep the shell will throw away shell and kernel together This overstatement of inspiration made Renan, Bradlaugh and Ingersoll skeptics. If in creation God can work out a perfect result through imperfection why cannot he do the like in inspiration If in Christ God can appear in human weakness and ignorance, why not in the written word

Did Roger Bacon Read Maimonides

It has long been the view of Bacon scholarship that sometime after 1247, the Doctor Mirabilis dedicated his energy and financial resources to an investigation of languages, sciences and experimental books, topics which were not always covered in the University Curriculum at Paris (Hackett, 2000, 69-110). The most prominent of these books for Bacon is the Secretum secretorum (Bacon, Secretum secretorum Williams, 1994). The question naturally arises Did Roger Bacon, who quite clearly was a great bibliophile, read the Guide of the Perplexed in the period 1250-1278

Aspects of Byzantine Orthodoxy 8501095 The patriarchate

Controversies of the seventh century over Christology and those of the eighth and ninth over iconoclasm. In both cases appeal to the fathers of the church entailed serious scholarship to ensure that the authorities being cited were authentic - to such an extent that Adolf Von Harnack called the Sixth Ecumenical Council (Constantinople III 680-81) a Council of antiquaries and paleographers. 11 The florilegia of citations from the fathers presented at all these synodal gatherings demonstrate the extensive learning on hand it is an awesome thought that the fathers of Constantinople III spent a whole session listening to readings from the fathers interpreting Christ's agony in the garden. Theodore's monastic reform also revived interest in the Great Asceticon of St. Basil the Great (c. 330-79), as well as other ascetical works, such as those associated with the sixth-century monks of the Gaza desert (Barsanuphius, John, and Dorotheus) and the Ladder of St. John of Sinai (John Climacus fl....

The emergence of Christian visual culture

Most historians agree that few extant examples of recognisably Christian art and architecture can be identified and dated prior to the beginning of the third century. Although older scholarship sometimes argued that this 'late arrival' of Christian art was due to Christians' original resistance to visual art or specially constructed worship spaces, more recent studies have pointed to the difficulty of distinguishing pagan artefacts from Christian ones or secular domestic architecture from house churches, noting the gradual transition from adaptation to innovation discussed above.10 Scholars no longer insist that early Christians were uniformly opposed to figurative art or church buildings, and thus had none. Instead, the absence of artefacts from the first two centuries maybe explained partly as a problem of identification. The absence may also be explained by the vicissitudes of survival. Many of the earliest datable artefacts and iconography probably endured because they were made...

Where Did The Pastor Come From

Up until the second century, the church had no official leadership. That it had leaders is without dispute. But leadership was unofficial in the sense that there were no religious offices or sociological slots to fill. New Testament scholarship makes this abundantly clear.

Orientalism and European Cultural Imperialism

a gross form of Western superiority complex, expressed in a literature and a scholarship that imposed its own false portrayal on the East and refused to care sensitively for the East's own evaluation of itself. By distortion it had its own way with its eastern versions and made these the instrument of control and, indeed, of denigration 19th and 20th century Western Orientalism is thus found uniformly culpable, and a conniver with misrepresentation. 235

Sociology of Religion as an Intellectual Practice

Weber's biases against Catholic and by implication of course Eastern Orthodox versions of Christianity, and for an apparently rationalizing Protestantism, bring into even sharper focus his failure of understanding in regard to ritual and devotional worship. He states in the text we know in English as The Sociology of Religion, 'In practice the Roman Catholic cult of masses and saints actually comes fairly close to polytheism' (cited in Stark 1968 203), when clearly he should know that the cult of saints (to be found in both the Eastern and Western Church) is clearly a post-monotheistic development that is given clear theological recognition in the idea of the Communion of Saints. To cap this Stark points out that Weber has no real grasp of the nature of sacramental practice, even seeing in the Christian Eucharist some kind of manipulative magic (1968 204). It is difficult not to see that for all Weber's astonishing scholarship he was unable to escape in his sociology of Christianity...

From Galileo to the Scrolls monopoly

What wounded Galileo most was the disgrace. It had been visited on him for no reason he could understand. He thought of himself as a devoted Catholic. Small-minded Vatican clerks had humiliated him but they could not stop the progress of science. His was the classic case of truth being crushed by power, genius being silenced by petty bureaucracy. It showed Rome's fear and hatred of the enquiring mind which was to be repeated time after time in the succeeding centuries. It made war on Darwin and Freud, on biblical scholarship, on attempts to understand the world on its own terms (pp. 321-2)

Early reform efforts by Bishops

Dunstan was born about 909 in the south of England. He was related to the royal house and members of his family had occupied important episcopal sees. He is a controversial figure, but from his youth until extreme old age, for he died in 988, when he was nearly eighty, he was influential in the Church, and in his maturity he was also outstanding in affairs of state. He was one of the most learned men in the realm. Indeed, as was so often the case in Western Europe in that age, the repute of his scholarship and mechanical skill led to a popular report that he was an adept in the black arts. He had force of character and initiative which aroused opposition but which also had the capacity to inspire others and to win their veneration and love. There was about him, too, an aura of authentic sanctity which made a profound impression on many.

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

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.)

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 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.

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...

Gods Pleasure and


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...

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

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...

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

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,...

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.

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.

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 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 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...

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 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...

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 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...

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.

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...

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.

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.

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...

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...

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.

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).

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