This book explores a hitherto neglected area of theological anthropology: the unity of human emotionality and rationality embodied in the biblical concept of the heart. While the theological contours of human reason have for long been clearly drawn and presented as the exclusive seat of the image of God, affectivity has been relegated to a secondary position. With the reintegration of the body into recent philosophical and theological discourses, a number of questions have arisen: if the image (also) resides in the body, how does this change one's view of the theological significance of human affectivity? In what way is our likeness to God realized in the whole of what we are? Can one overcome the traditional dissociation between intellect and affectivity by a renewed theory of love? In conversation with patristic and medieval authors (e.g., Irenaeus, Tertullian, Gregory of Nyssa, Maximus, Aquinas) and in dialogue with more recent interlocutors (Pascal, Ricoeur, Marion, Milbank, John Paul II), this work pursues a novel theological vision of the essential unity of our humanity.
When her longtime marriage abruptly ends in the wake of her husband's infidelity, Madrid college professor Blanca Perea struggles to rebuild her own life by researching that of an enigmatic Spanish writer who died decades earlier. By the best-selling author of The Time in Between. 75,000 first printing.
Does what we are capable of doing define us as human beings? If this basic anthropological assumption is true, where can that leave those with intellectual disabilities, unable to accomplish the things that we propose give us our very humanity? Hans Reinders here makes an unusual claim about unusual people: those who are profoundly disabled are people just like the rest of us. He acknowledges that, at first glance, this is not an unusual claim given the steps taken within the last few decades to bring the rights of those with disabilities into line with the rights of the mainstream. But, he argues, that cannot be the end of the matter, because the disabled are human beings before they are citizens. "To live a human life properly," he says, "they must not only be included in our institutions and have access to our public spaces; they must also be included in other people's lives, not just by natural necessity but by choice." Receiving the Gift of Friendship consists of three parts: (1) Profound Disability, (2) Theology, and (3) Ethics. Overturning the "commonsense" view of human beings, Reinders's argument for a paradigm shift in our relation to people with disabilities is founded on a groundbreaking philosophical-theological consideration of humanity and of our basic human commonality. Moreover, Reinders gives his study human vividness and warmth with stories of the profoundly disabled from his own life and from the work of Jean Vanier and Henri Nouwen in L'Arche communities.
Having left its Christian roots behind, the West faces a moral, spiritual and intellectual crisis. It has little left to maintain its legacy of reason, freedom, human dignity and democracy. Far from capitulating, Jens Zimmermann believes the church has an opportunity to speak a surprising word into this postmodern situation grounded in the Incarnation itself that is proclaimed in Christian preaching and eucharistic celebration. To do so requires that we retrieve an ancient Christian humanism for our time. Only this will acknowledge and answer the general demand for a common humanity beyond religious, denominational and secular divides. Incarnational Humanism thus points the way forward by pointing backward. Rather than resorting to theological novelty, Zimmermann draws on the rich resources found in Scripture and in its theological interpreters ranging from Irenaeus and Augustine to de Lubac and Bonhoeffer. Zimmermann masterfully draws his comprehensive study together by proposing a distinctly evangelical philosophy of culture. That philosophy grasps the link between the new humanity inaugurated by Christ and all of humanity. In this way he holds up a picture of the public ministry of the church as a witness to the world's reconciliation to God.
Gandolfo constructs a theological anthropology that begins with the condition of human vulnerability as a site to answer why human beings experience and inflict terrible suffering. This volume argues that vulnerability is a dimension of human existence that causes us great anxiety, which forms the basis for violence but also affords the possibility of human openness to the redemptive work of divine love. Poised paradoxically between tragic and redemptive vulnerability, human beings need existential resources and empowering practices to cope with and manage our vulnerability in more compassionate ways.
Since the rise of modern industrial society, work has come to pervade and rule the lives of men and women. Although there have been many popular books and church documents on on the Christian understanding of work, this is the first scholarly effort to articulate a developed Protestant theology of work. In Work in the Spirit, Miroslav Volf interprets work from a new perspective - in terms of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. He exhaustively explores the nature of work in both capitalist and socialist societies and considers a variety of work, including industrial, agricultural, medical, political, and artistic work. Examining the importance of alienation in work in industrial and information societies (particularly in the relation of workers to management and technology), he analyzes various forms of such alienation, and elucidates the character of humane work. On the basis of the ÒpneumatologicalÓ theology of work that he develops, Volf rejects the traditional Protestant understanding of work as vocation, and takes the concept of charisma as the cornerstone for his theological reflection on work. He denies that one is ÒcalledÓ to do a particular work irrespective of one's inclinations, and asserts, instead, that it is our privilege to do the kind of work for which God's spirit has gifted us. All human work done in accordance with the will of God, Volf argues, is cooperation with God in the preservation and transformation of the world.
What are human rights? Can theology acknowledge human rights discourse? Is theological engagement with human rights justified? What place should this discourse occupy within ethics? Ethna Regan seeks to answer these questions about human rights, Christian theology, and philosophical ethics. The main purpose of this book is to justify and explore theological engagement with human rights. Regan illustrates how that engagement is both ecumenical and diverse, citing the emerging engagement with human rights discourse by evangelical theologians in response to the War on Terror. The book examines where the themes and concerns of key modern theologians—Karl Rahner, J. B. Metz, Jon Sobrino, and Ignacio Ellacuría—converge with the themes and concerns of those committed to the advancement of human rights. Regan also critically engages with the “disdain” for rights discourse that is found in the postliberal critiques of John Milbank and Stanley Hauerwas. This interdisciplinary volume will be of interest to students and scholars in the fields of systematic theology, theological ethics, human rights, religion and politics, and political theory.
Science and Religious Anthropology explores the convergence of the biological sciences, human sciences, and humanities around a spiritually evocative, naturalistic vision of human life. The disciplinary contributions are at different levels of complexity, from evolution of brains to existential longings, and from embodied sociality to ecosystem habitat. The resulting interpretation of the human condition supports some aspects of traditional theological thinking in the world's religious traditions while seriously challenging other aspects. Wesley Wildman draws out these implications for philosophical and religious anthropology and argues that the modern secular interpretation of humanity is most compatible with a religious form of naturalistic humanism. This book resists the reduction of meaning and value questions while taking scientific theories about human life with full seriousness. It argues for a religious interpretation of human beings as bodily creatures emerging within a natural environment that permits engagement with the valuational potentials of reality. This engagement promotes socially borne spiritual quests to realize and harmonize values in everything human beings do, from the forging of cultures to the crafting of personal convictions.
Analyzes humankind's desire for a transcendent experience of God, connecting ancient spiritual practices with modern spirituality, and addresses questions in such areas as life after death, near-death experiences, and consciousness beyond the grave.
Schizophrenia is often considered one of the most destructive forms of mental illness. Elahe HessamfarÕs personal experience with her daughterÕs illness has led her to ask some pressing and significant questions about the cause and nature of schizophrenia and the ChurchÕs role in its treatment. With a candid and revealing look at the history of mental illness, In the Fellowship of His Suffering describes schizophrenia as a variation of human expression. Hessamfar uses a deeply theological rather than pathological approach to interpret the schizophrenic experience and the effect it has on both the patients and their families. Effectively drawing on the Bible as a source of knowledge for understanding mental illness, she offers a reflective yet innovative view of whether the Church could or should intervene in such encounters and what such an intervention might look like. HessamfarÕs comprehensive work will provoke powerful responses from anyone interested in the prominent social issue of mental illness. Her portrayal of the raging debate between treating ÒinsanityÓ either pastorally or medically will enthral readers, be they Christians, medical students or those in the field of psychiatry and social sciences.
This book treats Pannenberg's stated ambition to write 'a theology more thoroughly Trinitarian than any I know of'. It evaluates it by answering two questions: What does Pannenberg mean by his theology being thoroughly Trinitarian? How far has his subsequent work, especially Systematic Theology, been successful in realizing his stated goal?
Original Scholarly Monograph
Suicide, for years, has been a public health crisis in the Western world. Yet more and more states and countries are allowing physician assisted suicide or euthanasia. Have you wondered whether it is actually wrong to end your life if you are mortally ill? Susan Windley-Daoust engages in an extended discussion with a game dialogue partner who thinks that there are five good reasons to employ physician-assisted suicide--and proves those common reasons (or "tricks of the heart") may be well-intended, but make no moral or spiritual sense. She argues that PAS is based in medical ignorance, a utilitarian understanding of the human, and a spiritual vacuum--and the Christian Church needs to engage these realities quickly and directly by recovering the art of dying well. Ê This book is written to all those considering the issue, from those considering PAS as an option in their own lives, to those called upon to vote on the legality of PAS in their states, to those who minister to the dying.
The moments in Christ's human life noted in the creeds (his conception, birth, suffering, death, and burial) are events which would likely appear in a syllabus for a course in social anthropology, for they are of special interest and concern in human life, and also sites of contention and controversy, where what it is to be human is discovered, constructed, and contested. In other words, these are the occasions for profound and continuing questioning regarding the meaning of human life, as controversies to do with IVF, abortion, euthanasia, and the use of bodies or body parts post mortem plainly indicate. Thus the following questions arise, how do the instances in Christ's life represent human life, and how do these representations relate to present day cultural norms, expectations, and newly emerging modes of relationship, themselves shaping and framing human life? How does the Christian imagination of human life, which dwells on and draws from the life of Christ, not only articulate its own, but also come into conversation with and engage other moral imaginaries of the human? Michael Banner argues that consideration of these questions requires study of moral theology, therefore, he reconceives its nature and tasks, and in particular, its engagement with social anthropology. Drawing from social anthropology and Christian thought and practice from many periods, and influenced especially by his engagement in public policy matters including as a member of the UK's Human Tissue Authority, Banner aims to develop the outlines of an everyday ethics, stretching from before the cradle to after the grave.
The Works of Mercy introduces readers to the seven corporal and spiritual works of mercy, then invites readers to explore mercy in their everyday lives. The third edition features more inclusive language for readers of all faith backgrounds or none, new case studies, and new material on how Pope Francis and his papacy reflect mercy.
While most people throughout history have believed that we are both physical and spiritual beings, the rise of science has called into question the existence of the soul. Many now argue that neurophysiology demonstrates the radical dependence, indeed, identity, between mind and brain. Advances in genetics and in mapping human DNA, some say, show there is no need for the hypothesis of body-soul dualism. Even many Christian intellectuals have come to view the soul as a false Greek concept that is outdated and unbiblical. Concurrent with the demise of dualism has been the rise of advanced medical technologies that have brought to the fore difficult issues at both edges of life. Central to questions about abortion, fetal research, reproductive techologies, cloning and euthanasia is our understanding of the nature of human personhood, the reality of life after death and the value of ethical or religious knowledge as compared to scientific knowledge. In this careful treatment, J. P. Moreland and Scott B. Rae argue that the rise of these problems alongside the demise of Christian dualism is no coincidence. They therefore employ a theological realism to meet these pressing issues, and to present a reasonable and biblical depiction of human nature as it impinges upon critical ethical concerns. This vigorous philosophical and ethical defense of human nature as body and soul, regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees, will be for all a touchstone for debate and discussion for years to come.
In this new volume in the Belief series, Amy Plantinga Pauw reveals how the biblical books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, while often overlooked, are surprisingly relevant for Christian faith today. Both biblical books probe everyday human experiences. They speak to those who seek meaning and purpose in an uncertain world and encourage us to look for God's presence in human life, not in divine visions or messages. They show openness to wisdom insights from many sources, urging us to find the commonalities and connections of our wisdom with those of our religious neighbors. Ultimately, these books affirm that true wisdom, whatever its human source, comes from God. Pauw includes reflections for preaching and teaching throughout her study.
C S Lewis is widely known worldwide, but often enthusiasts are only aware of one part of his work - his children's stories, perhaps, but not his science fiction, or his literary criticism; his popular theology but not his work for the BBC during the Second World War. This volume brings together all aspects of C S Lewis's life and thought. Arranged in alphabetical order, it goes from The abolition of man - a book Lewis wrote in 1943 and described as 'almost my favourite' to Wormwood, a character in The Screwtape Letters. This book will delight anyone who is interested in C S Lewis and wants to learn more about him, his thought, his works and his life.
This overview of Christian anthropology by Hans Schwarz uniquely emphasizes three things: (1) the biblical testimony, (2) the historical unfolding of Christian anthropology through the centuries, and (3) the present affirmation of Christian anthropology in view of rival options and current scientific evidence. Schwarz begins by elucidating the special place occupied by human beings in the world, then ponders the complex issue of human freedom, and concludes by investigating humanity as a community of men and women in this world and in the world beyond. While maintaining a strong biblical orientation, Schwarz draws on a wide range of resources, including philosophy and the natural sciences, in order to map out what it means to be human. Schwarz's Human Being will interest anyone who is concerned with how in the face of fascinating scientific insights we can intelligently talk today about human sinfulness, human freedom, and human beings as children of the God who created us.