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This book discusses selected works on Chinese religion in the People's Republic of China (PRC) published since World War II. The work begins with brief overviews of religion in premodern and modern China, first by scholars in China, and then as understood by Western scholars. The bulk of the book consists of 1,005 annotated bibliographic entries--works by Chinese writers from the PRC and Western writers from East Asia, North America, and Europe. Though many entries deal with pre-1970 China, the emphasis is on the past two decades, which have been the most productive in the history of Western publications. The inclusion of some 200 entries for this time period by authors from China makes this an important work for students and scholars in contemporary Chinese religion.
Word and Glory challenges recent claims that Gnosticism, especially as expressed in the Nag Hammadi tractate Trimorphic Protennoia, is the most natural and illuminating background for understanding the Prologue of the Fourth Gospel. Scriptural allusions and interpretive traditions suggest that Jewish wisdom tradition, mediated by the synagogue of the diaspora, lies behind the Prologue and the Fourth Gospel as a whole, not some form of late first-century Gnosticism. Several features of the Fourth Gospel reflect the synagogue and nascent Christianity's struggle to advance and defend its beliefs about Jesus who, as God's son and Agent, was understood as the embodiment of the Divine Word. All of the ingredients that make up Johannine christology derive from dominical tradition, refracted through the lens of Jewish interpretive traditions. There is no compelling evidence that this christology derived from or was influenced by gnostic mythology. Word and Glory also develops and tests criteria for assessing the relative value of post-New Testament sources for the interpretation of New Testament documents.
In this age of political correctness, Christmas has become our most controversial holiday. Each year brings new court battles over nativity scenes on public property and heated school board meetings in the public schools. Author Albert J. Menendez traces this dispute as far back as the fourth century, when Catholic orthodoxy turned Christmas into a major propaganda tool as well as a religious observance. Over the centuries there has been a surprising amount of disagreement among the various Christian sects about the nature of the Christian observance and whether Christmas should be celebrated as a holiday at all. The English Puritans and the Scottish Presbyterians, for example, were adamantly opposed to Christmas celebrations. In our own day, the controversy has engendered a complex legal tangle stretching from local councils to the United States Supreme Court. Menendez reviews the specific arguments and decisions in the judicial debate over religious symbols in the public square, and he explores the broader implications of the controversy for church-state relations. The December Wars provides a fascinating historical and legal perspective on our most popular holiday.
[Bockie's] description of Kongo culture is vivid, beautifully clear, and absolutely authentic, as only a native could make it. . . . I don't know of anything of its kind that is both as good, ethnographically, and as readable. -Wyatt MacGaffey Simon Bockie has written an engaging, often personal account of the views and behaviors surrounding death in his own society, the Kongo of Lower Zaire, northern Angola, and the Congo. -Cahiers d'Etudes africaines . . . excellent book of Kongo religious life and thought . . . -Religion It is a book that is remarkably well written, both for its readability and for its explanatory value. . . . the book is a superb starting place for understanding Kongo religion, and will work as an introduction to African religion in general as well. -International Journal of African Historical Studies . . . an excellent introduction for anyone seeking to understand Kongo traditional culture and thought. -Oshun Rich in anecdote and case histories, Death and the Invisible Powers is a personal account of the spiritual life of the Kongo people. It describes the ancient traditions that nourish a culture whose name symbolizes the heart of Central Africa.
America's dean of intelligent comedy doesn't think the Bible is a laughing matter. His good look at the good book is a closely reasoned examination of Scripture , designed to encourage rational analysis of the most influential document of Western civilisation. Although the Bible has been consulted for more than twenty centuries, Allen asserts that there remains an extensive degree of common ignorance about it. Noting that most people today rarely read the Bible, Allen is convinced that the millions who do read it are not able to understand certain passages at all.
The T'ang (618-907) and Sung (960-1279) dynasties were times of great change in China. The economy flourished, the population doubled, printing led to a great increase in the availability of books, Buddhism became a fully sinicized religion penetrating deeply into ordinary life. This volume represents a collaborative effort of nine scholars of Chinese religion, history, and thought to begin addressing the question of how changes in the religions of the Chinese people were implicated in the momentous social and cultural changes of this period.
Beginning with the experience of God's perfect love, Allen shows that the main Christian doctrines -- Creation, Trinity, Incarnation, Kingdom of God, Resurrection -- are life-giving truths that nourish us, guide our actions, and help us know what we may expect and hope for.
Taking a critical look at feminism and exploring its explicit and implicit spiritual dimensions, this revised and updated new edition of Women and Spirituality engages in a reflective dialogue with contemporary women's voices. It asks to what extent patriarchal oppression and androcentric thinking are inherent not only in Christianity but in all religious beliefs, practices and institutions. This is the only book which provides a comprehensive survey of current discussions in feminist theology and spirituality and offers a wide-ranging account of women and world religions and raising thought-provoking questions about the spiritual dimensions of human life.