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.
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.
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.
This volume provides the first comprehensive treatment of the central topics in the contemporary philosophy of religion from a Thomist point of view. It focuses on central themes, including religious knowledge, language, science, evil, morality, human nature, God and religious diversity. It should prove valuable to students and faculty in philosophy of religion and theology, who are looking for an introduction to the Thomist tradition.
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?
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.
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.
Augustine and Modernity is a fresh and challenging addition to current debates about the Augustinian origins of modern subjectivity and the Christian genesis of Western nihilism. It firmly rejects the dominant modern view that the modern Cartesian subject, as an archetype of Western nihilism, originates in Augustine's thought. Arguing that most contemporary interpretations misrepresent the complex philosophical relationship between Augustine and modern philosophy, particularly with regard to the work of Descartes, the book examines the much overlooked contribution of Stoicism to the genealogy of modernity, producing a scathing riposte to commonly-held versions of the 'continuity thesis'. Michael Hanby identifies the modern concept of will that emerges in Descartes' work as the product of a notion of self more proper to Stoic theories of immanence than to Augustine's own rigorous understandings of the Trinity, creation, self and will. Though Augustine's encounter with Stoicism ultimately resulted in much of his teaching being transferred to Descartes and other modern thinkers in an adulterated form, Hanby draws critical attention to Augustine's own disillusionment with Stoicism and his interrogation of Stoic philosophy in the name of Christ and the Trinity. Representing a new school of theology willing to engage critically with other disciplines and to challenge their authority, Augustine and Modernity offers a comprehensive new interpretation of De Trinitate and of Augustinian concepts of will and soul. Revealing how much of what is now thought of as 'Augustinian' in fact has its genealogy in Stoic asceticism, it interprets the modern nihilistic Cartesian subject not as a logical consequence of a true Christian Trinitarian theology, but rather of its perversion and abandonment.
Why is theology often divorced from ministry? Why is ministry left bereft of a robust theology? Ray S. Anderson, a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary for over thirty years, has left a legacy of provocative reflections on these questions. In this book Christian Kettler provides a sure guide to major themes in the work of one of the most creative theological minds to have sought to integrate theology and ministry. Early experience on a South Dakota farm and in a California parish helped form the theologian whose radical incarnational theology of the kenotic community provided a new basis for a broader, risk-taking ecclesiology. Anderson also brought theological anthropology to the front of the agenda, and therefore into ministry to actual hurting human persons. His challenging theological reflections can provoke the mind, stir the heart, and guide compassionate and wise incarnational ministry. Each chapter ends with a case study from an actual life situation, to test out and work through the implications of Anderson's theology.