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This book examines Jewish writers and intellectuals in Austria, analyzing filmic and electronic media alongside more traditional publication formats over the last 25 years. Beginning with the Waldheim affair and the rhetorical response by the three most prominent members of the survivor generation (Leon Zelman, Simon Wiesenthal and Bruno Kreisky) author Andrea Reiter sets a complicated standard for 'who is Jewish' and what constitutes a 'Jewish response.' She reformulates the concepts of religious and secular Jewish cultural expression, cutting across gender and Holocaust studies. The work proceeds to questions of enacting or performing identity, especially Jewish identity in the Austrian setting, looking at how these Jewish writers and filmmakers in Austria 'perform' their Jewishness not only in their public appearances and engagements but also in their works. By engaging with novels, poems, and films, this volume challenges the dominant claim that Jewish culture in Central Europe is almost exclusively borne by non-Jews and consumed by non-Jewish audiences, establishing a new counter-discourse against resurging anti-Semitism in the media.
This collection considers how religious identity interplays with other forms and contexts of identity, specifically those related to sexual identity. It asks how these intersections are formed, negotiated and resisted across time and places, including the UK, Europe, North America, Australia, and the Global South. Questions around 'queer' engagements in same-sex marriages, civil partnerships and other practices (e.g. adoption) have created a number of provoking stances and policy provisions - but what remains unanswered is how people experience and situate themselves within sometimes competing, or 'contradictory', moments as 'religious queers' who may be tasked with 'queering religion'. Additionally, the presumed paradoxes of 'marriage', queer sexuality, religion and youth combine to generate a noteworthy generational absence. This leads to questions about where 'religious queers' reside, resist and relate experiences of intersecting religious and sexual lives. In looking at interconnectedness, this collection offers international contributions which bridge the 'contradictions' in queering religion and in making visible 'religious queers.' It provides insight into older and younger people's understandings of religiosity, queer cultures, and religious groups. A small but active religious minority in the US has received much attention for its anti-gay political activity; much less attention has been paid to the more positive, supportive role that religious-based groups play in e.g. providing housing, education and political advocacy for queer youth. Queer methodologies and intersectional approaches offer a lens both theoretically and methodologically to uncover the salience of related social divisions and identities. This collection is both innovative and sensitive to 'blended' identities and their various enactments.
Making European Muslims provides an in-depth examination of what it means to be a young Muslim in Europe today, where the assumptions, values and behavior of the family and those of the majority society do not always coincide. Focusing on the religious socialization of Muslim children at home, in semi-private Islamic spaces such as mosques and Quran schools, and in public schools, the original contributions to this volume focus largely on countries in northern Europe, with a special emphasis on the Nordic region, primarily Denmark. Case studies demonstrate the ways that family life, public education, and government policy intersect in the lives of young Muslims and inform their developing religious beliefs and practices. Mark Sedgwick's introduction provides a framework for theorizing Muslimness in the European context, arguing that Muslim children must navigate different and sometimes contradictory expectations and demands on their way to negotiating a European Muslim identity.
In God and Natural Order: Physics, Philosophy, and Theology, Shaun Henson brings a theological approach to bear on contemporary scientific and philosophical debates on the ordered or disordered nature of the universe. Henson engages arguments for a unified theory of the laws of nature, a concept with monotheistic metaphysical and theological leanings, alongside the pluralistic viewpoints set out by Nancy Cartwright and other philosophers of science, who contend that the nature of physical reality is intrinsically complex and irreducible to a single unifying theory. Drawing on the work of theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg and his conception of the Trinitarian Christian god, the author argues that a theological line of inquiry can provide a useful framework for examining controversies in physics and the philosophy of science. God and Natural Order will raise provocative questions for theologians, Pannenberg scholars, and researchers working in the intersection of science and religion.
The re-emergence of religion as a significant cultural, social and political, force is not gender neutral. Tensions between claims for women's equality and the rights of sexual minorities on one side and the claims of religions on the other side are well-documented across all major religions and regions. It is also well recognized in feminist scholarship that gender identities and ethno-religious identities work together in complex ways that are often exploited by dominant groups. Hence, a more comprehensive understanding of the changing role and influence of religion in the public sphere more widely requires complex, multidisciplinary and comparative gender analyses. Most recent discussion on these matters, however, especially in Europe, has focused primarily on the perceived subordinate status of Muslim women. These debates are a reminder of the deep interrelation of questions of gender, identity, human rights and religious freedom more generally. The relatively narrow (albeit important) purview of such discussions so far, however, underscores the need to extend the horizon of enquiry vis-a-vis religion, gender and the public sphere beyond the binary of 'Islam versus the West'. Religion, Gender and the Public Sphere moves gender from the periphery to the centre of contemporary debates about the role of religion in public and political life. It offers a timely, multidisciplinary collection of gender-focused essays that address an array of challenges arising from the changing role and influence of religious organisations, identities, actors and values in the public sphere in contemporary multicultural and democratic societies.
In popular imagination, saints exhibit the best characteristics of humanity, universally recognizable but condensed and embodied in an individual. Recent scholarship has asked an array of questions concerning the historical and social contexts of sainthood, and opened new approaches to its study. What happens when the category of sainthood is interrogated and inflected by the problematic category of race? Sainthood and Race: Marked Flesh, Holy Flesh explores this complicated relationship by examining two distinct characteristics of the saint's body: the historicized, marked flesh and the universal, holy flesh. The essays in this volume comment on this tension between particularity and universality by combining both theoretical and ethnographic studies of saints and race across a wide range of subjects within the humanities. Additionally, the book's group of emerging and established religion scholars enhances this discussion of sainthood and race by integrating topics such as gender, community, and colonialism across a variety of historical, geographical, and religious contexts. This volume raises provocative questions for scholars and students interested in the intersection of religion and race today.
The War on Terror has raised many new, thorny issues of how we can determine acceptable action in defense of our liberties. Western leaders have increasingly used spies to execute missions unsuitable to the military. These operations, which often result in the contravening of international law and previously held norms of acceptable moral behavior, raise critical ethical questions-is spying limited by moral considerations? If so, what are they and how are they determined? Cole argues that spying is an act of force that may be a justifiable means to secure order and justice among political communities. He explores how the just war moral tradition, with its roots in Christian moral theology and Western moral philosophy, history, custom and law might help us come to grips with the moral problems of spying. This book will appeal to anyone interested in applied religious ethics, moral theology and philosophy, political philosophy, international law, international relations, military intellectual history, the War on Terror, and Christian theological politics.
The rising importance of community organizing in the US and more recently in Britain has coincided with the developing significance of social movements and identity politics, debates about citizenship, social capital, civil society, and religion in the public sphere. At a time when participation in formal political process and membership of faith groups have both declined dramatically, community organizing has provided a new opportunity for small community groups, marginalized urban communities, and people of faith to engage in effective political action through the developments of inter-faith and cross-cultural coalitions of groups. In spite of its renewed popularity, little critical attention has been paid to community organizing. This book places community organizing within debates about the role of religion in the public sphere and the rise of public theology in recent years. The book explores the history, methodology, and achievements of community organizing, engaging in a series of conversations with key community organizers in the US and Britain. This volume breaks new ground by beginning to articulate a cross-cultural and inter-faith 'Theology for Community Organizing' that arises from fresh readings of Liberation Theology.
This book offers a radical new reading of William James's work on the idea of 'religion.' Moving beyond previous psychological and philosophical interpretations, it uncovers a dynamic, imaginative, and critical use of the category of religion. This work argues that we can only fully understand James's work on religion by returning to the ground of his metaphysics of relations and by incorporating literary and historical themes. Author Jeremy Carette develops original perspectives on the influence of James's father and Calvinism, on the place of the body and sex in James, on the significance of George Eliot's novels, and Herbert Spencer's 'unknown,' revealing a social and political discourse of civil religion and republicanism and a poetic imagination at the heart of James understanding of religion. These diverse themes are brought together through a post-structural sensitivity and a recovery of the importance of the French philosopher Charles Renouvier to James's work. This study pushes new boundaries in Jamesian scholarship by reading James with pluralism and from the French tradition. It will be a benchmark text in the reshaping of James and the nineteenth-century foundations of the modern study of 'religion.'
In this book, Daniel K. Miller articulates a new vision of human and animal relationships based on the foundational love ethic within Christianity. Framed around Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan, Animal Ethics and Theology thoughtfully examines the shortcomings of utilitarian and rights-based approaches to animal ethics. By considering the question of animals within the Christian concept of neighbourly love, Miller provides an alternative narrative for understanding the complex relationships that humans have with other animals. This book addresses significant theological questions such as: Does being created in the image of God present a meaningful distinction between humans and other animals? What does it mean for humans to have dominion (Gen. 1:28) over animals? Is meat eating a moral problem for Christians? In addition to drawing out the significance of Christian theology for field of animal ethics this book also engages environmental and feminist ethics. Miller brings a theological perspective to such questions as: Should care for animals be distinguished from care for the environment, and what role should human emotions play in our ethical dealings with other animals? As the title suggests, this book provides fresh insight into the theological significance of human relationships with other animals.
This volume brings together for the first time some of the world's leading authorities on the German mystic Jacob Boehme, to illuminate his thought and its reception over four centuries for the benefit of students and advanced scholars alike. Boehme's theosophical works have influenced Western culture in profound ways since their dissemination in the early 17th Century, and these interdisciplinary essays trace the social and cultural networks as well as the intellectual pathways involved in Boehme's enduring impact. The chapters range from situating Boehme in the 16th Century Radical Reformation, to discussions of his significance in modern theology. They explore the major contexts for Boehme's reception including the Pietist movement, Russian religious thought and Western esotericism, as well as focusing more closely on important readers: the religious radicals of the English Civil Wars and the later English Behmenists; literary figures such as Goethe and Blake, and great philosophers of the modern age, among them Schelling and Hegel. Together, the chapters illustrate the depth and variety of Boehme's influence and a concluding chapter addresses directly an underlying theme of the volume - asking why Boehme matters today, and how readers in the present might be enriched by a fresh engagement with his apparently opaque and complex writings.
With approximately 200 to 300 million adherents worldwide, Orthodox Christianity is among the largest branches of Christianity, yet it remains relatively understudied. This book examines the rich and complex entanglements between Orthodox Christianity and globalization, offering a substantive contribution to the relationship between religion and globalization, as well as the relationship between Orthodox Christianity and the sociology of religion - and more broadly, the interdisciplinary field of Religious Studies. While deeply engaged with history, this book does not simply narrate the history of Orthodox Christianity as a world religion, nor does it address theological issues or cover all the individual trajectories of each subgroup or subdivision of the faith. Orthodox Christianity is the object of the analysis, but author Victor Roudometof speaks to a broader audience interested in culture, religion, and globalization. Roudometof argues in favor of using globalization instead of modernization as the main theoretical vehicle for analyzing religion, displacing secularization in order to argue for multiple hybridizations of religion as a suitable strategy for analyzing religious phenomena. It offers Orthodox Christianity as a test case that illustrates the presence of historically specific but theoretically distinct glocalizations, applicable to all faiths.
Religious belief, once in the domain of the humanities, has found a new home in the sciences. Promising new developments in the study of religion by cognitive scientists and evolutionary theorists put forward empirical hypotheses regarding the origin, spread, and character of religious beliefs. Different theories deal with different aspects of human religiosity - some focus on religious beliefs, while others focus on religious actions, and still others on the origin of religious ideas. While these theories might share a similar focus, there is plenty of disagreement in the explanations they offer. This volume examines the diversity of new scientific theories of religion, by outlining the logical and causal relationships between these enterprises. Are they truly in competition, as their proponents sometimes suggest, or are they complementary and mutually illuminating accounts of religious belief and practice? Cognitive science has gained much from an interdisciplinary focus on mental function, and this volume explores the benefits that can be gained from a similar approach to the scientific study of religion.
This book offers a wide range of critical perspectives on how secularism unfolds and has been made sense of across Europe and Asia. The book evaluates secularism as it exists today - its formations and discontents within contemporary discourses of power, terror, religion and cosmopolitanism - and the focus on these two continents gives critical attention to recent political and cultural developments where secularism and multiculturalism have impinged in deeply problematical ways, raising bristling ideological debates within the functioning of modern state bureaucracies. Examining issues as controversial as the state of Islam in Europe and China's encounters with religion, secularism, and modernization provides incisive and broader perspectives on how we negotiate secularism within the contemporary threats of terrorism and other forms of fundamentalism and state-politics. However, amidst the discussions of various versions of secularism in different countries and cultural contexts, this book also raises several other issues relevant to the antitheocratic and theocratic alike, such as: Is secularism is merely a nonreligious establishment? Is secularism a kind of cultural war? How is it related to terror ? The book at once makes sense of secularism across cultural, religious, and national borders and puts several relevant issues on the anvil for further investigations and understanding.
Christian churches and groups within Anglo-American contexts have increasingly used popular music as a way to connect with young people. This book investigates the relationships between evangelical Christianity and popular music, focusing particularly on electronic dance music in the last twenty years. Author Stella Lau illustrates how electronic dance music is legitimized in evangelical activities by Christians' discourses, and how the discourses challenge the divide between the 'secular' and the 'sacred' in the Western culture. Unlike other existing books on the relationships between music cultures and religion, which predominantly discuss the cultural implications of such phenomenon, Popular Music in Evangelical Youth Culture examines the notion of 'spirituality' in contemporary popular electronic dance music. Lau's emphasis on the sonic qualities of electronic dance music opens the door for future research about the relationships between aural properties of electronic dance music and religious discourses. With three case studies conducted in the cultural hubs of electronic dance music - Bristol, Ibiza and New York - the monograph can also be used as a guidebook for ethnographic research in popular music.
The path toward modern Jewish politics, a process that required a dramatic reconstruction of Jewish life, may have emerged during a far earlier time frame and in a different geographic and cultural context than has previously been thought. Drawing upon current sociological understanding of social movements, this book places the 1827 organized protest in London as an integral part of a transnational social movement continuum-similar to the abolitionist and women's rights movements-that waxed and waned throughout the 19th century. From its early origins in London in 1827, to Montefiore's gallant style of leadership in the Middle East, to the rise of the Mourning March and street processions of the early twentieth-century, and then on to the civil disobedience of the 1980s, the movement evolved, shifted its contentious center from England to the United States, and adapted to a dramatically altered post-Holocaust environment. This multifaceted and often fractious campaign was never monolithic by nature and was often rife with internal disputes. It ran the gamut between stirring accomplishments and mobilizations that fell far short of expectations. Any attempt to view the lengthy series of international protests as a steady progression of liberality and advancement would be at odds with a far more ambiguous reality. The Rise of Modern Jewish Politics argues that the numerous protest insurgences strengthened Jewish participation in the public sphere and further defined a public political culture. While the movement certainly evolved through the decades, the core values that first arose in London were retained during the course of several contentious cycles that later surfaced both in Britain and the United States. This book utilizes an innovative interpretive framework to formulate a new paradigm of how Jews entered the modern world. The struggle for Jewish rights remains one of the most enduring social movements in modern history.
The past decade has witnessed a renaissance in scientific approaches to the study of morality. Once understood to be the domain of moral psychology, the newer approach to morality is largely interdisciplinary, driven in no small part by developments in behavioural economics and evolutionary biology, as well as advances in neuroscientific imaging capabilities, among other fields. To date, scientists studying moral cognition and behaviour have paid little attention to virtue theory, while virtue theorists have yet to acknowledge the new research results emerging from the new science of morality. Theology and the Science of Moral Action explores a new approach to ethical thinking that promotes dialogue and integration between recent research in the scientific study of moral cognition and behaviour-including neuroscience, moral psychology, and behavioural economics-and virtue theoretic approaches to ethics in both philosophy and theology. More particularly, the book evaluates the concept of moral exemplarity and its significance in philosophical and theological ethics as well as for ongoing research programs in the cognitive sciences.
This book offers an original interpretation of the origin and early reception of the most fundamental claim of Christianity: Jesus' resurrection. Richard Miller contends that the earliest Christians would not have considered the New Testament accounts of Jesus' resurrection to be literal or historical, but instead would have recognized this narrative as an instance of the trope of divine translation, common within the Hellenistic and Roman mythic traditions. Given this framework, Miller argues, early Christians would have understood the resurrection story as fictitious rather than historical in nature. By drawing connections between the Gospels and ancient Greek and Roman literature, Miller makes the case that the narratives of the resurrection and ascension of Christ applied extensive and unmistakable structural and symbolic language common to Mediterranean translation fables, stock story patterns derived particularly from the archetypal myths of Heracles and Romulus. In the course of his argument, the author applies a critical lens to the referential and mimetic nature of the Gospel stories, and suggests that adapting the translation fable trope to accounts of Jesus' resurrection functioned to exalt him to the level of the heroes, demigods, and emperors of the Hellenistic and Roman world. Miller's contentions have significant implications for New Testament scholarship and will provoke discussion among scholars of early Christianity and Classical studies.
The rapid advancement of technology has led to an explosion of speculative theories about what the future of humankind may look like. These technological futurisms have arisen from significant advances in the fields of nanotechnology, biotechnology and information technology and are drawing growing scrutiny from the philosophical and theological communities. This text seeks to contextualize the growing literature on the cultural, philosophical and religious implications of technological growth by considering technological futurisms such as transhumanism in the context of the long historical tradition of technological dreaming. Michael Burdett traces the latent religious sources of our contemporary technological imagination by looking at visionary approaches to technology and the future in seminal technological utopias and science fiction and draws on past theological responses to the technological future with Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Jacques Ellul. Burdett's argument arrives at a contemporary Christian response to transhumanism based around the themes of possibility and promise by turning to the works of Richard Kearney, Eberhard Jungel and Jurgen Moltmann. Throughout, the author highlights points of correspondence and divergence between technological futurisms and the Judeo-Christian understanding of the future.
Scripturalizing the Human is a transdisciplinary collection of essays that reconceptualizes and models scriptural studies as a critical, comparative set of practices with broad ramifications for scholars of religion and biblical studies. This critical historical and ethnographic project is focused on scriptures/scripturalization/scripturalizing as shorthand for the (psycho-cultural and socio-political) work we make language do for and to us. Each essay focuses on an instance of or situation involving such work, engaging with the Bible, Book of Mormon, Bhagavata Purana, and other sacred texts, artifacts, and practices in order to explore historical and ongoing constructions of the human. Contributors use the category of scriptures -understood not simply as texts, but as freighted shorthand for the dynamics and ultimate politics of language-as tools for self-illumination and self-analysis. The significance of the collection lies in the window it opens to the rich and complex view of the highs and lows of human-(un-)making as it establishes the connections between a seemingly basic and apolitical religious category and a set of larger social-cultural phenomena and dynamics.
The history of David's Jerusalem remains one of the most contentious topics of the ancient world. This study engages with debates about the nature of this location by examining the most recent archaeological data from the site and by exploring the relationship of these remains to claims made about David's royal center in biblical narrative. Daniel Pioske provides a detailed reconstruction of the landscape and lifeways of early 10th century BCE Jerusalem, connected in biblical tradition to the figure of David. He further explores how late Iron Age (the Book of Samuel-Kings) and late Persian/early Hellenistic (the Book of Chronicles) Hebrew literary cultures remembered David's Jerusalem within their texts, and how the remains and ruins of this site influenced the memories of those later inhabitants who depicted David's Jerusalem within the biblical narrative. By drawing on both archaeological data and biblical writings, Pioske calls attention to the breaks and ruptures between a remembered past and a historical one, and invites the reader to understand David's Jerusalem as more than a physical location, but also as a place of memory.
Translating Religion advances thinking about translation as a critical category in religious studies, combining theoretical reflection about processes of translation in religion with focused case studies that are international, interdisciplinary, and interreligious. By operating with broad conceptions of both religion and translation, this volume makes clear that processes of translation, broadly construed, are everywhere in both religious life and the study of religion; at the same time, the theory and practice of translation and the advancement of translation studies as a field has developed in the context of concerns about the possibility and propriety of translating religious texts. The nature of religions as living historical traditions depends on the translation of religion from the past into the present. Interreligious dialogue and the comparative study of religion require the translation of religion from one tradition to another. Understanding the historical diffusion of the world's religions requires coming to terms with the success and failure of translating a religion from one cultural context into another. Contributors ask what it means to translate religion, both textually and conceptually, and how the translation of religious content might differ from the translation of other aspects of human culture. This volume proposes that questions on the nature of translation find particularly acute expression in the domains of religion, and argues that theoretical approaches from translation studies can be fruitfully brought to bear on contemporary religious studies.
Metaphysics and Transcendence takes up this story for the future. Arthur Gibson presents a new metaphysics with a genealogy based on counter-intuition and locates counter-intuition and complexity at the foundations of truth. Having devised fresh concepts on the basis of the new frontiers of science and philosophy, the author presents original explanations of transcendence arguing that just as we need revolutionary and original ways of depicting the physical world, so it is with such topics as God, miracles, the resurrection, the source and identity of consciousness and reason itself.
Foucault, Christianity and Interfaith Dialogue develops a new model for interfaith dialogue using the work of the French historian of ideas, Michel Foucault. The author argues that it is the injustice done to the 'Other' by Roman Catholic, Protestant and other centred and unitary models of religious pluralism that allows the introduction of Foucault's de-centring of transcendence and human reason as an alternative model for understanding religious diversity and the role it ought to play, in the constitution of the self and the making of society. This Foucaultian approach provides a new direction for interfaith dialogue in the modern world and leads to an ethical rather than a nihilistic position while fostering a non-unitary theology of religious pluralism and an open-textured process of self-transformation. The author's original and imaginative application and expansion of Foucault's concept of the 'More' from The Archaeology of Knowledge (1969) makes important and original contributions to academic work on Foucault and contemporary theology.
Examining the relationship between Judaism as a religious culture and kibbutz life, this is a ground-breaking work in the research of Judaism. The book takes as its point of departure the historical fact that it was Orthodox pioneers of German origin, in contrast to their Eastern European counterparts, who successfully developed religious kibbutz life. Employing sociological concepts and methods, the author examines the correlations between two evolutionary phases in kibbutz development and two modes of Judaism: the rational Halakhic and the emotive Hassidic modes. In doing this, he explores the relationship between two diverse dispositions towards the divinity - the transcendent and the immanent - and two diverse modes of the self and their related communities. This innovative and insightful work will be of essential interest to scholars of the sociology of religion, Jewish studies, modern Jewish history and Israel's national history, and will also interest those more broadly engaged with theology and religious studies.
How do text, performance, and rhetoric simultaneously reflect and challenge notions of distinct community and religious identities? This volume examines evidence of shared idioms of sanctity within a larger framework of religious nationalism, literary productions, and communalism in South Asia. Contributors to this volume are particularly interested in how alternative forms of belonging and religious imaginations in South Asia are articulated in the light of normative, authoritative, and exclusive claims upon the representation of identities. Building upon new and extensive historiographical and ethnographical data, the book challenges clear-cut categorizations of group identity and points to the complex historical and contemporary relationships between different groups, organizations, in part by investigating the discursive formations that are often subsumed under binary distinctions of dominant/subaltern, Hindu/Muslim or orthodox/heterodox. In this respect, the book offers a theoretical contribution beyond South Asia Studies by highlighting a need for a new interdisciplinary effort in rethinking notions of identity, ethnicity, and religion.
This book provides a significant and insightful exploration of the so-called 'theological turn' in contemporary French thought. The philosopher Jacques Derrida speaks of a deeply ambiguous desire to 'save the name' of God in his work on negative theology, and this desire resonates in different ways in the work of his contemporaries. This turn to religion within the work of a group of thinkers who have been stereotypically identified as relativists or nihilists prompts a series of questions which form the background to this study. Negative Theology and Modern French Philosophy advance a reading of negative theology as an ancient name for something that is essential, not simply to modern French thought, but to all responsible thought and action whatsoever. It will be of essential interest to theologians and philosophers and will also interest those concerned with the work of Derrida and his contemporaries.
In this study, E. Frances King explores how people first learn to relate to the images and artefacts of religious belief within their domestic environments. As a sense of religious belonging is instilled on a daily basis in the home, it also becomes emotionally linked to family, community, and homeland, resulting in two different genealogies - one to do with faith and one to do with motherland - that become entangled.
Adam Smith wrote in a Scotland where Calvinism, Continental natural law theory, Stoic philosophy, and the Newtonian tradition of scientific natural theology were key to the intellectual lives of his contemporaries. But what impact did these ideas have on Smith's system? What was Smith's understanding of nature, divine providence, and theodicy? How was the new discourse of political economy positioned in relation to moral philosophy and theology? In this volume a team of distinguished contributors consider Smith's work in relation to its Scottish Enlightenment religious background, and offer stimulating theological interpretations of his account of fallible human nature, his providential account of markets, and his invisible hand metaphor. Adam Smith as Theologian it is a pioneering study which will alter our view of Smith and open up new lines of thinking about contemporary economics.
The way in which people change and represent their spiritual evolution is often determined by recurrent language structures. Through the analysis of ancient and modern stories and their words and images, this book describes the nature of conversion through explorations of the encounter with the religious message, the discomfort of spiritual uncertainty, the loss of personal and social identity, the anxiety of destabilization, the reconstitution of the self and the discovery of a new language of the soul.
This interesting and provocative work develops a new theological approach to language in the light of contemporary critical theory.
This book provides a sustained, critical and theological engagement with arguably the most crucial aspect of contemporary society - its diversity. The author finds in the social theory of Isaiah Berlin a number of fruitful ways to reframe the debate over these questions, and to contribute to a more positive conversation regarding our fundamental differences. The book focuses particularly on Berlin's critique of monism and idealistic utopianism, arguing that pluralism does not represent a failure in the nature of human society, but a superabundance of possibilities in a created world grounded in the character of God. Bringing Berlin's thought into conversation with other social theorists, philosophers and Christian theologians, the book provides leaders and members of faith communities with a viable model to move beyond tolerance as mere forbearance to a grace which consists of respect and radical acceptance of others.
Religion, Language and Power shows that the language of 'religion' is far from neutral, and that the packaging and naming of what English speakers call 'religious' groups or identities is imbued with the play of power. Religious Studies has all too often served to amplify voices from other centers of power, whether scripturalist or otherwise normative and dominant. This book's de-centering of English classifications goes beyond the remit of most postcolonial studies in that it explores the classifications used in a range of languages - including Arabic, Sanskrit, Chinese, Greek and English - to achieve a comparative survey of the roles of language and power in the making of 'religion' . In contextualizing these uses of language, the ten contributors explore how labels are either imposed or emerge interactively through discursive struggles between dominant and marginal groups. In dealing with the interplay of religion, language and power, there is no other book with the breadth of this volume.