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See below for a selection of the latest books from History of religion category. Presented with a red border are the History of religion books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great History of religion books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
In this volume, Randall B. Smith provides a revisionist account of the scholastic culture that flourished in Paris during the High Middle Ages. Exploring the educational culture that informed the intellectual and mental habits of Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure, he offers an in-depth study of the prologues and preaching skills of these two masters. Smith reveal the intricate interrelationships between the three duties of the master: lectio (reading), disputatio (debate), and praedicatio (preaching). He also analyzes each of Aquinas and Bonaventure's prologues from their student days to their final works, revealing both their artistry and their instructional character. Written in an engaging style, this book serves as an invaluable resource that will enable scholars and students to read thirteenth-century sermons, prologues, and biblical commentaries with greater understanding and ease.
Reading Old English Biblical Poetry considers the Junius 11 manuscript, the only surviving illustrated book of Old English poetry, in terms of its earliest readers and their multiple strategies of reading and makingmeaning. Junius 11 begins with the Creation story and ends with the final vanquishing of Satan by Jesus. The study is framed by particular attention to the materiality of the manuscript and how that might have informed its early reception, and it broadens considerations of reading beyond those of the manuscript's compiler and possible patron. As a book, Junius 11 reflects a rich and varied culture of reading that existed in and beyond houses of God in England in the tenth and eleventh centuries, and it points to readers who had enough experience to select and find wisdom, narrative pleasure, and a diversity of other things within this orany book's contents.
Illness and Authority examines the lived experience and early stories about St. Francis of Assisi through the lens of disability studies. This new approach re-centres Francis's illnesses and infirmities and highlights how they became barriers to wielding traditional modes of masculine authority within both the Franciscan Order he founded and the church hierarchy. So concerned were members of the Franciscan leadership that the future saint was compelled to seek out medical treatment and spent the last two years of his life in the nearly constant care of doctors. Unlike other studies of Francis's ailments, Illness and Authority focuses on the impact of his illnesses on his autonomy and secular power, rather than his spiritual authority. From downplaying the comfort Francis received from music to disappearing doctors in the narratives of his life, early biographers worked to minimize the realities of his infirmities. When they could not do so, they turned the saint's experiences into teachable moments that demonstrated his saintly and steadfast devotion and his trust in God. Illness and Authority explores the struggles that early authors of Francis's vitae experienced as they tried to make sense of a saint whose life did not fit the traditional rhythms of a founder-saint.
Inspired by the work of eminent scholar Richard Kieckhefer, The Sacred and the Sinister explores the ambiguities that made (and make) medieval religion and magic so difficult to differentiate. The essays in this collection investigate how the holy and unholy were distinguished in medieval Europe, where their characteristics diverged, and the implications of that deviation. In the Middle Ages, the natural world was understood as divinely created and infused with mysterious power. This world was accessible to human knowledge and susceptible to human manipulation through three modes of engagement: religion, magic, and science. How these ways of understanding developed in light of modern notions of rationality is an important element of ongoing scholarly conversation. As Kieckhefer has emphasized, ambiguity and ambivalence characterize medieval understandings of the divine and demonic powers at work in the world. The ten chapters in this volume focus on four main aspects of this assertion: the cult of the saints, contested devotional relationships and practices, unsettled judgments between magic and religion, and inconclusive distinctions between magic and science. Freshly insightful, this study of ambiguity between magic and religion will be of special interest to scholars in the fields of medieval studies, religious studies, European history, and the history of science. In addition to the editor, the contributors to this volume are Michael D. Bailey, Kristi Woodward Bain, Maeve B. Callan, Elizabeth Casteen, Claire Fanger, Sean L. Field, Anne M. Koenig, Katelyn Mesler, and Sophie Page.
Protestantism during the early modern period is still predominantly presented as a European story. Advancing a novel framework to understand the nature and impact of the Protestant Reformations, this volume brings together leading scholars to substantially integrate global Protestant experiences into accounts of the early modern world created by the Reformations, to compare Protestant ideas and practices with other world religions, to chart colonial politics and experiences, and to ask how resulting ideas and identities were negotiated by Europeans at the time. Through its wide geographical and chronological scope, Protestant Empires advances a new approach to understanding the Protestant Reformations. Showcasing selective model approaches on how to think anew, and pointing the way towards a multi-national and connected account of the Protestant Reformations, this volume demonstrates how global interactions and their effect on Europe have played a crucial role in the history of the 'long Reformation' in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Compunction was one of the most important emotions for medieval Christianity; in fact, through its confessional function, compunction became the primary means for an affective sinner to gain redemption. Cultures of Compunction in the Medieval World explores how such emotion could be expressed, experienced and performed in medieval European society. Using a range of disciplinary approaches - including history, philosophy, art history, literary studies, performance studies and linguistics - this book examines how and why emotions which now form the bedrock of modern western culture were idealized in the Middle Ages. By bringing together expertise across disciplines and medieval languages, this important book demonstrates the ubiquity and impact of compunction for medieval life and makes wider connections between devotional, secular and quotidian areas of experience.
The malign figure of the Antichrist endures in modern culture, whether religious or secular; and the spectral shadow he has cast over the ages continues to exert a strong and powerful fascination. Philip C. Almond tells the story of the son of Satan from his early beginnings to the present day, and explores this false Messiah in theology, literature and the history of ideas. Discussing the origins of the malevolent being who at different times was cursed as Belial, Nero or Damien, the author reveals how Christianity in both East and West has imagined this incarnation of absolute evil destined to appear at the end of time. For the better part of the last two thousand years, Almond suggests, the human battle between right and wrong has been envisaged as a mighty cosmic duel between good and its opposite, culminating in an epic final showdown between Christ and his deadly arch-nemesis.
A master historian traces the flourishing of organized religion in Manhattan between the 1880s and the 1960s, revealing how faith adapted and thrived in the supposed capital of American secularism. In Gilded Age Manhattan, Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant leaders agonized over the fate of traditional religious practice amid chaotic and multiplying pluralism. Massive immigration, the anonymity of urban life, and modernity's rationalism, bureaucratization, and professionalization seemingly eviscerated the sense of religious community. Yet fears of religion's demise were dramatically overblown. Jon Butler finds a spiritual hothouse in the supposed capital of American secularism. By the 1950s Manhattan was full of the sacred. Catholics, Jews, and Protestants peppered the borough with sanctuaries great and small. Manhattan became a center of religious publishing and broadcasting and was home to august spiritual reformers from Reinhold Niebuhr to Abraham Heschel, Dorothy Day, and Norman Vincent Peale. A host of white nontraditional groups met in midtown hotels, while black worshippers gathered in Harlem's storefront churches. Though denied the ministry almost everywhere, women shaped the lived religion of congregations, founded missionary societies, and, in organizations such as the Zionist Hadassah, fused spirituality and political activism. And after 1945, when Manhattan's young families rushed to New Jersey and Long Island's booming suburbs, they recreated the religious institutions that had shaped their youth. God in Gotham portrays a city where people of faith engaged modernity rather than foundered in it. Far from the world of disenchantment that sociologist Max Weber bemoaned, modern Manhattan actually birthed an urban spiritual landscape of unparalleled breadth, suggesting that modernity enabled rather than crippled religion in America well into the 1960s.
In the wake of the civil wars in Congo from 1960 to 1973, international and internal struggles for power led to famines, the collapse of public health and a huge population of refugees. This book explores the role played by missionaries from the US, Canada and the UK who organized aid, and shows how they had to redefine their roles in independent Africa after the end of colonialism. Partnering US government officials to overcome the humanitarian crisis as the politics of aid threatened to sink their efforts, Protestant aid programs also worked with US-backed Congolese military efforts to crush leftist rebels and joined with Angolan rebels to help hundreds of thousands of Angolan refugees fleeing Portuguese colonialism. After Mobutu Sese Seko seized power in 1965, they found themselves adjusting with difficulty to the rise of Congolese religious leaders who demanded aid workers and donor agencies accept African control over development projects. In this examination of the changing history of humanitarianism in Central Africa, the author shows how aid workers, who believed themselves to be politically neutral humanitarians, had to question their privileged role, and negotiate new ways of collaboration. Offering material aid and support, they hoped to heal the wounds of colonial repression and the violence of independence - abandoned hospitals, starving refugees, economic recession - yet also sought to ensure a Christian Congo would emerge allied to Western countries. The author explores the role of Protestant aid workers in the ethnic violence of South Kasai province; shows how Protestant aid became a tool in US-back counterinsurgency campaigns against leftist rebels; examines the interplay of Congolese and Western medicine in the work of Protestant medical volunteers; and discusses conflict in the aims of the missionaries and Africans over the control of aid funds and aid initiatives. Jeremy Rich is Associate Professor of History, Marywood University. His books include A Workman is Worthy of His Meat: Food and Colonialism in the Gabon Estuary (2007).
What does it really mean to be modern? The contributors to this collection offer critical attempts both to re-read Max Weber's historical idea of disenchantment and to develop further his understanding of what the contested relationship between modernity and religion represents. The approach is distinctive because it focuses on disenchantment as key to understanding those aspects of modern society and culture that Weber diagnosed. This is in opposition to approaches that focus on secularization, narrowly construed as the rise of secularism or the divide between religion and politics, and that then conflate this with modernization as a whole. Other novel contributions are discussions of temporality - meaning the sense of time or of historical change that posits a separation between an ostensibly secular modernity and its religious past - and of the manner in which such a sense of time is constructed and disseminated through narratives that themselves may resemble religious myths. It reflects the idea that disenchantment is a narrative with either Enlightenment, Romantic, or Christian roots, thereby developing a conversation between critical studies in the field of secularism (such as those of Talal Asad and Gil Anidjar) and conceptual history approaches to secularization and modernity (such as those of Karl Loewith and Reinhart Koselleck), and in the process creates something that is more than merely the sum of its parts.