With great foresight and vision for the Church, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI carefully integrated theological, catechetical and pastoral themes in the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Africae Munus. Maurice A. Agbaw-Ebai and Matthew Levering, in the introduction to this collection of reflections and studies focused on the Pope Emeritus’ themes, affirm the African continent’s status as a global center for the growth of the Catholic Church in the twenty-first century and the future of the international Catholic community.
Building on the vitality and enthusiasm of the Church in Africa, it is important to lift their faith through scholarly research and academic reflections. We cannot fully appreciate the dedication, commitment and perseverance of the Catholic community throughout the African continent if we do not know the truth of their sufferings and persecution and understand their resilience in the light of faith. This collection, drawn from the halls of academia, provides an important contribution to the understanding and advancement of Catholic Africa, following the insights and enlightenment of Pope Emeritus Benedict. It is my hope that these essays will enrich your understanding and experience of the Catholic faith.
— From the Preface by Seán Patrick Cardinal O’Malley
This anthology provides a coherent, interdisciplinary theoretical base for students of African American religious studies and will assist in the design of programs and courses for lay theological education and training. To this end, the editor has assembled material from Old and New Testament studies, theology, church history, pastoral counseling, worship, and social action.
Mark C. Taylor University of Chicago Press, 2007 Library of Congress BL51.T3944 2007 | Dewey Decimal 200.903
Religion, Mark C. Taylor argues in After God, is more complicated than either its defenders or critics think and, indeed, is much more influential than any of us realize. Our world, Taylor maintains, is shaped by religion even when it is least obvious. Faith and value, he insists, are unavoidable and inextricably interrelated for believers and nonbelievers alike.
The first comprehensive theology of culture since the pioneering work of Paul Tillich, After God redefines religion for our contemporary age. This volumeis a radical reconceptualization of religion and Taylor’s most pathbreaking work yet, bringing together various strands of theological argument and cultural analysis four decades in the making.
Praise for Mark C. Taylor
“The distinguishing feature of Taylor’s career is a fearless, or perhaps reckless, orientation to the new and to whatever challenges orthodoxy. . . . Taylor’s work is playful, perverse, rarefied, ingenious, and often brilliant.”—New York Times Magazine
Centuries after his death, al-Ghazali remains one of the most influential figures of the Islamic intellectual tradition. Although he is best known for his Incoherence of the Philosophers, Moderation in Belief is his most profound work of philosophical theology. In it, he offers what scholars consider to be the best defense of the Ash'arite school of Islamic theology that gained acceptance within orthodox Sunni theology in the twelfth century, though he also diverges from Ash'arism with his more rationalist approach to the Quran. Together with The Incoherence of the Philosophers, Moderation in Belief informs many subsequent theological debates, and its influence extends beyond the Islamic tradition, informing broader questions within Western philosophical and theological thought.
The first complete English-language edition of Moderation in Belief, this new annotated translation by Aladdin M. Yaqub draws on the most esteemed critical editions of the Arabic texts and offers detailed commentary that analyzes and reconstructs the arguments found in the work’s four treatises. Explanations of the historical and intellectual background of the texts also enable readers with a limited knowledge of classical Arabic to fully explore al-Ghazali and this foundational text for the first time.
With the recent resurgence of interest in Islamic philosophy and the conflict between philosophy and religion, this new translation will be a welcome addition to the scholarship.
Patrick J. Ryan SJ Catholic University of America Press, 2018 Library of Congress BL80.3.R93 2018 | Dewey Decimal 201.4
Amen: Jews, Christians, and Muslims Keep Faith with God examines faith as it is understood by Jews, Christians and Muslims; it does not aim to be a work of systematic theology or a lengthy explication of the contents of different faith traditions. It offers Jews, Christians and Muslims several approaches to faith as a category of human experience open to God: a faithful God who reaches out to grasp the faithful human being at the same time that the faithful human being reaches out to grasp a faithful God. This two-sided faith, divine and human, lies at the center of each faith tradition. The book examines faith as one might examine a gem, gazing at different facets in turn.
What is the role of Judaism and Jewish existence in America? And what role does America play in matters Jewish? This anthology considers these questions and offers a look at how the diverse body of Jewish thought developed within the historical and intellectual context of America.
In this volume, editors Michael Marmur and David Ellenson bring together the distinctive voices of those who have shaped the bold and shifting soundscape of American Jewish thought over the last few generations. The contributors tackle an array of topics including theological questions; loyalty and belonging; the significance of halakhic, spiritual, and ritual practice; secularization and its discontents; and the creative recasting of Jewish peoplehood. The editors are careful to point out how a plurality of approaches emerged in response to the fundamental ruptures and challenges of continuity posed by the Holocaust, the establishment of the state of Israel, and the civil rights movement in the twentieth century.
This volume also includes a wide swath of the most distinctive currents and movements over the last eighty years: post-Holocaust theology, secular forms of Jewish spirituality, ultra-orthodoxy, American neo-orthodoxy, neo-Hasidism, feminism and queer theory, diasporist critiques of Zionism, and Zionist militancy. This collection will serve as both a testament to the creativity of American Jewish thought so far, and as an inspiration for the new thinkers of its still unwritten future.
Andrew Linzey University of Illinois Press, 1995 Library of Congress BT746.L56 1995 | Dewey Decimal 241.693
“What are we to say of a theology which has so proceeded on the basis of a moral neglet of God’s creatures?” asks Andrew Linzey. In Animal Theology, he seeks ways in which doctrine can help morally motivated Christians to perceive meaning in animal suffering.
In Linzey’s view, animal rights is synonymous with animal theology. Linzey argues that historical theology, creatively defined, must reject humanocentricity. Questioning the assumption that if theology is to speak on this issue, “it must only do so on the side of the oppressors,” Linzey investigates not only the abstractions of theory, but also the realities of hunting, animal experimentation, and genetic engineering. His is a pioneering, vital, and unequivocally Christian voice advocating on behalf of the countless creatures who share our world and our lives but cannot speak for themselves.
Applying the ethical concepts of Thomas Aquinas to contemporary moral problems, this book both presents new interpretations of Thomist theology and offers new insights into today's perplexing moral dilemmas. This volume addresses such contemporary issues as internalized oppression, especially as it relates to women and African-Americans; feminism and anger; child abuse; friendship and charity; and finally, justice and reason.
The collection revives Aquinas as an ethicist who has relevant things to say about contemporary concerns. These essays illustrate how Thomistic ethics can encourage and empower people in moral struggles. As the first book to use Aquinas to explore such issues as child abuse and oppression, it includes a variety of approaches to Aquinas's ethics.
Aquinas and Empowerment is a valuable resource for students of classical thought and contemporary ethics.
Economists and theologians usually inhabit different intellectual worlds. Economists investigate the workings of markets and tend to set ethical questions aside. Theologians, anxious to take up concerns raised by market outcomes, often dismiss economics and lose insights into the influence of market incentives on individual behavior. Mary L. Hirschfeld, who was a professor of economics for fifteen years before training as a theologian, seeks to bridge these two fields in this innovative work about economics and the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas.
According to Hirschfeld, an economics rooted in Thomistic thought integrates many of the insights of economists with a larger view of the good life, and gives us critical purchase on the ethical shortcomings of modern capitalism. In a Thomistic approach, she writes, ethics and economics cannot be reconciled if we begin with narrow questions about fair wages or the acceptability of usury. Rather, we must begin with an understanding of how economic life serves human happiness. The key point is that material wealth is an instrumental good, valuable only to the extent that it allows people to flourish. Hirschfeld uses that insight to develop an account of a genuinely humane economy in which pragmatic and material concerns matter but the pursuit of wealth for its own sake is not the ultimate goal.
The Thomistic economics that Hirschfeld outlines is thus capable of dealing with our culture as it is, while still offering direction about how we might make the economy better serve the human good.
Pope John Paul's Theology of the Body catecheses has garnered tremendous popularity in theological and catechetical circles. Students of the Theology of the Body have generally interpreted it as innovative not only in its presentation of the Church's teaching on marriage and sexuality, but also as radically advancing that teaching. Aquinas and the Theology of the Body offers a somewhat different interpretation. Fr. Thomas Petri argues that the philosophy and theology of Thomas Aquinas substantially contributed to John Paul's intellectual formation, which he never abandoned. A correct interpretation of the Theology of the Body requires, therefore, a thorough understanding of Thomistic anthropology and theology, which has been mostly lacking in commentaries on the pope's important contributions on the subject of marriage and sexuality.
Aspects of Islam
Ron Geaves Georgetown University Press, 2005 Library of Congress BP161.3.G435 2005 | Dewey Decimal 297
On a Monday in August 2004, three Muslim girls sat with each other on the floor of a mosque surrounded by boxes of books. Two wore traditional Muslim dress, their companion was dressed Western style, but their intention was the same. They were involved in a project to distribute almost 2 million dollars worth of books, DVDs, and videos to over 300 British public libraries. Their aim was not to convert or proselytize but to educate the public about their faith and try to offset the negative image of Islam that has developed since 9/11. Perhaps of more significance was the fact that the books used for the project were not the 'insider' literature produced by the mosques, but works of Western academics that approached their subject in a neutral and informative manner.
Ron Geaves offers a thematic and experiential exploration of the Muslim religion and world that shows it is not some homogenous entity but the dynamic faith you would expect to find in a religion over fourteen centuries old, consisting of over a billion people stretching from the USA to China.
Readers of the book require no previous knowledge of the subject. Chapters are dedicated to individual topics and range from a look at Western media representation of Islam, through controversial issues such as martyrdom, shari'a law, jihad, and the place of women. It examines the ideas of community, Sufism, fundamentalism and other sects within the faith, and also explains the source of many of the interpretations of the Prophet Mohammed, and the importance of the Muslim concept of unity.
By examining the divisions that exist within contemporary Islam, Geaves makes a special contribution to the ongoing examination of today's Muslim communities. By offering a way to better understand this tradition, Geaves helps to counteract the oversimplifications that seem to dominate popular discourse about Muslims and instead shows them as participants in a religious tradition that is still unfolding, struggling to recognize and respect its diversities while seeking to maintain a unity that all parts of it acknowledge as central.
We have books that contain collected essays, verse, and humor. What we see less often are books that contain collected interviews on various topics. Interviews have a certain outside discipline about them. The one interviewed responds to a question someone else asks of him. Often the questions are unexpected, sometimes annoying. Answers have a freshness to them. They can be more personal, frank.
The responses in At a Breezy Time of Day are occasioned when someone writes or phones with a request for an interview. There may be a common theme but often side questions come up. We are curious about what someone has to say – about sports, about God, about Plato, about education, about books, about just about anything. Usually central questions occur. The same question can be answered in different ways. We often have more to say on a given topic than we do say on our first being asked about it.
These interviews appeared in various on-line and printed sources. Having them collected in one text makes the interview form itself seem more substantial. Interviews too often seem to be passing, ephemeral things, but often we want to hold on to them. There is something more existential about them. Yet there is also something more lightsome about them also. The truth of things seems more bearable when it is spoken, when it has a human voice.
So, as the title of this collection intimates, we begin with the very first interview in the Garden of Eden. We touch many places and issues. The interview always has somewhere even in its written form the touch of the human voice. The one who interviews invites us to speak, to tell us what we hold, why we hold it. Interviews are themselves part of that engagement in conversation that defines our kind in its search for a full knowledge of what is.
We know that when we have said the last word, much remains to be said. We can rejoice both in what we know, and in what we know that we do not know. I believe it was Socrates who, in an earlier form of interview at the end of The Apology, alerted us to be aware of what we know and to await the many other interviews that we hope to carry on with so many others of our kind in the Isles of the Blessed.