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This book explores Mississippi Christians' beliefs about homosexuality and gay and lesbian civil rights and whether having a gay or lesbian friend or family member influences those beliefs. Beliefs about homosexuality and gay and lesbian rights vary widely based on religious affiliation. Despite having gay or lesbian friends or family members, evangelical Protestants believe homosexuality is sinful and oppose gay and lesbian rights. Mainline Protestants are largely supportive of gay and lesbian rights and become more supportive after getting to know gay and lesbian people. Catholics describe a greater degree of uncertainty and a conditional acceptance of gay and lesbian rights; clear differences between conservative and liberal Catholics are evident. Overall, conservative Christians, both evangelical Protestants and conservative Catholics, hold a religious identity that overshadows their relationships with gay and lesbian friends or family. Conservative religion acts as a deterrent to the positive benefits of relationships with gay and lesbian people.
Interest in and awareness of the demand for social justice as an outworking of the Christian faith is growing. But it is not new. For five hundred years, the Latina/o culture and identity has been shaped by its challenges to the religious, socio-economic, and political status quo, whether in its opposition to Spanish colonialism, Latin American dictatorships, US imperialism in Central America, the oppression of farmworkers, or the current exploitation of undocumented immigrants. Christianity has played a significant role in that movement at every stage. Robert Chao Romero, the son of a Mexican father and a Chinese immigrant mother, explores the history and theology of what he terms the "Brown Church." Romero considers how this movement has responded to these and other injustices throughout its history by appealing to the belief that God's vision for redemption includes not only heavenly promises but also the transformation of every aspect of our lives and the world. Walking through this history of activism and faith, readers will discover that Latina/o Christians have a heart after God's own.
Now a National Bestseller! Evangelicals are losing the culture war. What if it's their fault? In 2016, writer and filmmaker Ben Howe found himself disillusioned with the religious movement he'd always called home. In the pursuit of electoral victory, many American evangelicals embraced moral relativism and toxic partisanship. Whatever happened to the Moral Majority, who headed to Washington in the '80s to plant the flag of Christian values? Where were the Christian leaders that emerged from that movement and led the charge against Bill Clinton for his deception and unfaithfulness? Was all that a sham? Or have they just lost sight of why they wanted to win in the first place? From the 1980s scandals till today, evangelicals have often been caricatured as a congregation of judgmental and prudish rubes taken in by thundering pastors consumed with greed and lust for power. Did the critics have a point? In The Immoral Majority, Howe--still a believer and still deeply conservative--analyzes and debunks the intellectual dishonesty and manipulative rhetoric which evangelical leaders use to convince Christians to toe the Republican Party line. He walks us through the history of the Christian Right, as well as the events of the last three decades which led to the current state of the conservative movement at large. As long as evangelicals prioritize power over persuasion, Howe argues, their pews will be empty and their national influence will dwindle. If evangelicals hope to avoid cultural irrelevance going forward, it will mean valuing the eternal over the ephemeral, humility over ego, and resisting the seduction of political power, no matter the cost. The Immoral Majority demonstrates how the Religious Right is choosing the profits of this world at the cost of its soul--and why it's not too late to change course.
This book explores the roots and relevance of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s approach to black suffering. King's conviction that "unearned suffering is redemptive" reflects a nearly 250-year-old tradition in the black church going back to the earliest Negro spirituals. From the bellies of slave ships, the foot of the lynching tree, and the back of segregated buses, black Christians have always maintained the hope that God could "make a way out of no way" and somehow bring good from the evils inflicted on them. As a product of the black church tradition, King inherited this widespread belief, developed it using Protestant liberal concepts, and deployed it throughout the Civil Rights Movement of the 50's and 60's as a central pillar of the whole non-violent movement. Recently, critics have maintained that King's doctrine of redemptive suffering creates a martyr mentality which makes victims passive in the face of their suffering; this book argues against that critique. King's concept offers real answers to important challenges, and it offers practical hope and guidance for how beleaguered black citizens can faithfully engage their suffering today.
Sex and Gender: Christian Ethical Reflections contains some of the subject's most important analyses in recent decades. The collection covers a wide range of topics: same-sex marriage, sexual minorities and biblical interpretation, sex and power, sexual harassment and sexual abuse, HIV/AIDS and prevention strategy, the military and masculinities, mobile porn and sexting, human trafficking, moral discernment, and more. Contributors represent various theological traditions and draw on scriptural texts as well as such disciplines as philosophy, sociology, psychology, and the life sciences. Each essay is followed by a set of discussion questions--for the classroom or for students to use as an assignment outline--and suggestions for further reading and research. Teachers and students of Christian ethics will appreciate this multidisciplinary approach to one of the most divisive and controversial issues in contemporary culture.
This book advances that history by exploring stories, images and discourses across a worldwide range of geographical, cultural and confessional contexts. Its twelve authors not only enrich our understanding of the significance of the contextual method, but also produce a new range of original ways of doing theology in contemporary situations. The authors discuss some prioritised thematic perspectives with an emphasis on liberating paths, and expand the ongoing discussion on the methodology of theology into new areas. Themes such as interreligious plurality, global capitalism, ecumenical liberation theology, eco-anxiety and the anthropocene, postcolonialism, gender, neo-pentecostalism, world theology, and reconciliation are examined in situated depth. Additionally, voices from Indigenous lands, Latin America, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Europe and North America enter into a dialogue on what it means to contextualise theology in an increasingly globalised and ever-changing world. Such a comprehensive discussion of new ways of thinking about and doing contextual theology will be of great use to scholars in Theology, Religious Studies, Cultural Studies, Political Science, Gender Studies, Environmental Humanities, and Global Studies.
This book provides an original and comprehensive assessment of the hypotheses concerning the origin of resurrection Christology. It fills a gap in the literature by addressing these issues using a transdisciplinary approach involving historical-critical study of the New Testament, theology, analytic philosophy, psychology and comparative religion. Using a novel analytic framework, this book demonstrates that a logically exhaustive list of hypotheses concerning the claims of Jesus' post-mortem appearances and the outcome of Jesus' body can be formulated. It addresses these hypotheses in detail, including sophisticated combinations of hallucination hypothesis with cognitive dissonance; memory distortion; and confirmation bias. Addressing writings from both within and outside of Christianity, it also demonstrates how a comparative religion approach might further illuminate the origins of Christianity. This is a thorough study of arguably the key event in the formation of the Christian faith. As such, it will be of keen interest to theologians, New Testament scholars, philosophers, and scholars of religious studies.
Offers a comprehensive survey and interpretation of contemporary Christian political theology in a newly revised and expanded edition This book presents the latest thinking on the topic of contemporary Christian political theology, with original and constructive essays that represent a range of opinions on various topics. With contributions from expert scholars in the field, it reflects a broad range of methodologies, ecclesial traditions, and geographic and social locations, and provides a sense of the diversity of political theologies. It also addresses the primary resources of the Christian tradition, which theologians draw on when constructing political theologies, and surveys some of the most important figures and movements in political theology. This revised and expanded edition provides the most comprehensive and accessible introduction to this lively and growing area of Christian theology. Organized into five sections, Wiley Blackwell Companion to Political Theology, Second Edition addresses the many changes that have occurred over the last 15 years within the field of political theology. It features new essays that address social developments and movements, such as Anglican Social Thought, John Milbank, Anabaptist Political Theologies, African Political Theologies, Postcolonialism, Political Economy, Technology and Virtuality, and Grass-roots Movements. The book also includes a new essay on the reception of Liberation Theology. Offers essays on topics such as the Trinity, atonement, and eschatology Features contributions from leading voices in the field of political theology Includes all-new entries covering fresh developments and movements like the urgency of climate change, virtuality and the digital age, the economic crisis of 2008, the discourse of religion and violence, and new modalities of war Addresses some important social movements from a theological point of view including postmodernism, grass-roots movements, and more Provides both Islamic and Jewish responses to political theology Written for academics and students of political theology, Wiley Blackwell Companion to Political Theology, 2nd Edition is an enlightening read that offers a wide range of authoritative essays from some of the most notable scholars in the field.
This book is open access under a CC BY-NC-ND license. This book reveals exciting early Christian evidence that Mary was remembered as a powerful role model for women leaders--women apostles, baptizers, and presiders at the ritual meal. Early Christian art portrays Mary and other women clergy serving as deacon, presbyter/priest, and bishop. In addition, the two oldest surviving artifacts to depict people at an altar table inside a real church depict women and men in a gender-parallel liturgy inside two of the most important churches in Christendom--Old Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome and the second Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. Dr. Kateusz's research brings to light centuries of censorship, both ancient and modern, and debunks the modern imagination that from the beginning only men were apostles and clergy.
This exploration of Iberian, Latin American, and US-Hispanic representations of Christ focuses on outliers in art, literature, and theology: Spanish painter Salvador Dalí, Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco, Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, Spanish existentialist Miguel de Unamuno, Brazilian theologian Leonardo Boff, and Mexican philosopher José Vasconcelos, some of the most brilliant stars in the Spanish and Latin American firmament. Their work, and that of others, stands out from the conventional and the traditional, stretching our imagination by opening our eyes to what we do not want to see. The author also reflects on such significant lesser-known writers as New Mexican author, painter, and priest Fray Angélico Chávez; Argentine writer and political leader Ricardo Rojas, author of The Invisible Christ; Mexican American theologian Virgilio Elizondo; and Chicana feminist Gloria Anzaldúa, author of Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. He shows how artists project their concerns onto representations of Christ and how the perceptions of the reader and viewer reflect their culture and their psychology. Along the way, Candelaria explores the philosophical issues of representation in aesthetics and the problems of hermeneutics and identity.
Despite the remarkable growth of Christianity in Africa, Asia, and Latin America in the twentieth century, there is a dearth of primary material produced by these Christians. This volume explores the problem of writing the history of indigenous Christian communities in the Global South. Many such indigenous Christian groups pass along knowledge orally, and colonial forces have often not deemed their ideas and activities worth preserving. In some instances, documentation from these communities has been destroyed by people or nature. Highlighting the creative solutions that historians have found to this problem, the essays in this volume detail the strategies employed in discerning the perspectives, ideas, activities, motives, and agency of indigenous Christians. The contributors approach the problem on a case-by-case basis, acknowledging the impact of diverse geographical, cultural, political, and ecclesiastical factors. This volume will inspire historians of World Christianity to critically interrogate--and imaginatively use--existing Western and indigenous documentary material in writing the history of Christianity in Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Oceania. In addition to the editor, the contributors to this volume include J. J. Carney, Adrian Hermann, Paul Kollman, Kenneth Mills, Esther Mombo, Mrinalini Sebastian, Christopher Vecsey, Haruko Nawata Ward, and Yanna Yannakakis.
Is debate on issues related to faith and reason still possible when dialogue between believers and non-believers has collapsed? Taking God Seriously not only proves that it is possible, but also demonstrates that such dialogue produces fruitful results. Here, Brian Davies, a Dominican priest and leading scholar of Thomas Aquinas, and Michael Ruse, a philosopher of science and well-known non-believer, offer an extended discussion on the nature and plausibility of belief in God and Christianity. They explore key topics in the study of religion, notably the nature of faith, the place of reason in discussions about religion, proofs for the existence of God, the problem of evil, and the problem of multiple competing religious systems, as well as the core concepts of Christian belief including the Trinity and the justification of morality. Written in a jargon-free manner, avoiding the extremes of evangelical literalism and New Atheism prejudice, Taking God Seriously does not compromise integrity or shy from discussing important or difficult issues.
Analytic theology can flourish in the secular academy, and flourish as authentically Christian theology. Analytic Theology and the Academic Study of Religion explains analytic theology to other theologians and scholars of religion, while simultaneously explaining those other fields to analytictheologians. William Wood defends analytic theology from some common criticisms, but also argues that analytic theologians have much to learn from other forms of inquiry. Analytic theology is a legitimate form of theology, and a legitimate form of academic inquiry, and it can be a valuableconversation partner within the wider religious studies academy. Analytic Theology and the Academic Study of Religion articulates an attractive vision of analytic theology, fosters a more fruitful inter-disciplinary conversation, and enables scholars across the religious studies academy tounderstand one another better.
For many of us, the question of whether or not God exists is one of the most perplexing and profound questions of our lives, and numerous philosophers and theologians have debated it for centuries. Laura Ekstrom here takes a new look at the issue of God's existence by examining it against thereality of human suffering, bringing to the fore contentious presuppositions concerning agency and value at the core of the matter. When we survey the world, we observe an enormous amount of pain, including virtually unspeakable kinds of maltreatment and agony, many instances of which seem patentlyunfair, unearned, and pointless. This book argues that, in light of these observations, it is reasonable to conclude that God does not exist.The book unravels the extent and power of arguments from evil. Ekstrom provides a close investigation of a largely overlooked claim at the heart of major free-will-based responses to such arguments, namely that free will is worth it: sufficiently valuable to serve as the good that provides aGod-justifying reason for permitting evil in the world. Through fresh examinations of traditional theodicies, Ekstrom develops an alternative line called divine intimacy theodicy, and makes an extended case for rejecting skeptical theism. The book takes up an argument from evil concerning atraditional doctrine of hell, which reveals a number of compelling issues concerning fault, agency, and blameworthiness. In response to recent work contending that the problem of evil is toothless because God is indifferent to human beings, Ekstrom defends the essential perfect moral goodness ofGod. She further tackles the question of whether or not it is possible to live a religious life as an agnostic or as an atheist.Through rigorous reflection, with deep respect for religious thought and experience, and with sensitivity to the range and kinds of suffering so many endure, Ekstrom firmly advances discussion of the problem of evil and paves the way for further scholarship in the philosophy of religion.
The topic of habitus is one of Thomas Aquinas's greatest contributions to moral theology, but it has been generally neglected in theological scholarship until now. Habits and Holiness is the first work in English to explore Aquinas's rich theology of habit in all of its grandeur and depth. Habits and Holiness shows that most facets of human life and behavior are greatly influenced by habits, which Thomas appraises as an analogous concept that is much broader than previous scholarship has recognized. Habits and Holiness accomplishes three tasks. First, it gives a complete and coherent account of Aquinas's account of habitus. Most accounts of Aquinas's view of habitus focus almost exclusively on "Treatise on Habits" in the Summa Theologiae I-II, qq. 49-54, and speak of habitus in reference to the virtues. However, Aquinas speaks of habitus in many other places, especially his commentaries on Aristotle's works and his commentaries on Sacred Scripture. Aquinas employs the concept of habitus to explain a wide variety of human inclinations, such as instincts, personal and societal custom, acquired skills and virtues, original sin, grace, infused virtues, and Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Second, this book indicates how biological psychology illuminates and enriches Aquinas's account of habit, and vice versa. Finally, Habits and Holiness provides readers with a framework for interpreting and utilizing the vast amount of practical habit literature that exists: it offers a practical analysis of habit development found in Aquinas's works and those of empirical studies. By seeing habits in general as a prism for understanding human action and its influences, Habits and Holiness provides a unique and appealing synthesis of Thomistic virtue theory, the contemporary science of habits, and best practices for eliminating bad habits and living good habits.
In 1885, few Jews in Israel used the holy language of their ancestors, and Hebrew was in danger of being lost-until Ben Zion and his father got involved. Through the help of his father and a community of children, Ben modernized the ancient language, creating a lexicon of new, modern words to bring Hebrew back into common usage. Historically influenced dialogue, engaging characters, and colorful art offer a linguistic journey about how language develops and how one person's perseverance can make a real difference. Influenced by illuminated manuscripts, Karla Gudeon's illustrations bring Ben Zion-and the rebirth of Hebrew-to life.
This comprehensive collection of timeless and powerful stories puts the wisdom of world religions in the hands of young readers. When attempting to find a simple, engaging, and unbiased approach to world religions for her own family, Marilyn McFarlane discovered such a book did not exist. Understanding how important it is for children to build both respect for and knowledge of a variety of religions, regardless of their own faith, McFarlane created Sacred Stories: Wisdom from World Religions. Each captivating story and accompanying sidebar facts and spot illustrations brings to life the key tenets of a particular belief system, while the comprehensive glossary and resource list enable readers to expand their explorations. Including easy-to-understand descriptions and essential stories from Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Native American, and Sacred Earth, Sacred Stories is perfect for parents and teachers who want to expand young readers' understanding of world traditions. The simple, informative, unbiased language of Sacred Stories, combined with its comprehensive resource list and glossary, makes it an ideal learning tool for teachers, librarians, and other educators.
Hanukkah is a wonderful time filled with games, food, family, and fun. It's also the celebration of an ancient miracle, and retelling and remembering the story of that miracle is an essential part of the holiday, for young and old. The story of the courageous Maccabees is retold in simple yet dramatic text, accompanied by vibrant paintings of the battle, the Temple of Jersualem, and the oil which miraculously burned for eight long nights. A traditional recipe for latkes is included, as are directions for the dreidel game, for readers who want to continue the festivities at home.
In a true tale of a young girl in Iran and her grandmother, this beautiful ode to family celebrates small moments of love that become lifelong memories. In this big universe full of many moons, I have traveled and seen many wonders, but I have never loved anything or anyone the way I love my grandma. While Mina is growing up in Iran, the center of her world is her grandmother. Whether visiting friends next door, going to the mosque for midnight prayers during Ramadan, or taking an imaginary trip around the planets, Mina and her grandma are never far apart. At once deeply personal and utterly universal, Mina Javaherbin's words make up a love letter of the rarest sort: the kind that shares a bit of its warmth with every reader. Soft, colorful, and full of intricate patterns, Lindsey Yankey's illustrations feel like a personal invitation into the coziest home, and the adoration between Mina and her grandma is evident on every page.
"Families around the world celebrate faith in many different ways through praying, singing, learning, helping, caring, and more. With stunning photographs from many cultures and religious traditions, Faith celebrates the ways in which people worship around the globe . Thematically organized back matter gives additional information on common expressions of faith, and a glossary describes particular religions and elements of faith depicted in the book. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of this book helps support The Global Fund for Children's grantmaking to community-based projects serving vulnerable children around the world."