In theory, at least, we might achieve a certain sort of invulnerability right at the end of life. Suppose that under favorable circumstances we can live a certain number of years, say 125, but no longer, and also that we can make life as a whole better and better over time. Under these assumptions we might hope to disarm death by spending 125 years making life as good as it can be. If we were lucky enough to (...) accomplish that, afterwards we would be immune to mortal harm. Especially for those who are closer to the beginning of life than to the end, however, this strategy leaves much to be desired. It is like devouring an entire banquet so as to eliminate the danger of someone stealing it from us. Like a feast, a good life is safely ours after it is over, but then safety comes too late to be of any use to us. To be of practical value, we need protection from mortal harm much earlier in life. (shrink)
An integrated overview of history The volume in this series are arranged topically to cover biography, literature, doctrines, practices, institutions, worship, missions, and daily life. Archaeology and art as well as writings are drawn on to illuminate the Christian movement in its early centuries. Ample attention is also given to the relation of Christianity to pagan thought and life, to the Roman state, to Judaism, and to doctrines and practices that came to be judged as heretical or (...) schismatic. Introductions to each volume tie the articles together for an integrated understanding of the history. Offers insights and understanding The aim of the collection is to give balanced and comprehensive coverage, selected on the basis of the following criteria: original and excellent research and writing; subject matter of use to teachers and students; groundbreaking importance for the history of research; background information for issues and opinions. Understanding the development of early Christianity and its impact on Western history and thought offers valuable insights into the modern world and the present state of Christiantiy. It also provides perspective on comparable developments in other periods of history and reveals human nature in its religious dimension. (shrink)
Introduction: The Christian confronts bioethics -- Foundations of bioethics -- Christianity and health care in a fallen world -- Theological doctrines -- Christian virtues -- The beginning of life -- Marriage, procreation, and contraception -- Assisted reproduction -- The human embryo -- The end of life -- Approaching death : dying as a way of life -- Suicide, euthanasia, and the distinction between killing and letting die -- Accepting and forgoing treatment.
Recent scholarship has shown chattel slavery in the Roman Empire to have been a deeply oppressive experience. Paul knew that reality well and used the language of slavery metaphorically in Galatians and Romans to describe humanity's subjection to sin. However, he also made a remarkable shift in his use of the metaphor to indicate a new form of slavery to God which brings freedom, thereby subverting conventional ways of understanding slavery.In Paul's sense, slavery is an ineluctable part of human existence (...) in which we have a choice of being a slave to sin or a slave to God. Becoming a slave means giving up all claims to status and relates to Christ's humble-mindedness in Philippians. The slave is also a model of faithfulness, comparable with God's faithfulness to Israel and Christ's faithfulness to the mission given him by his Father. Being a slave (in Paul's sense) is at the heart of the Christianlife, exemplifying the ‘obedience of faith’, for it is through this faithfulness that we become righteous. (shrink)
From the perspective of cognitive linguistics, metaphor is a way of thinking and understanding rather than an ornamental device used for aesthetic purposes.Conceptual metaphor constitutes a natural device for comprehending those areas of reality that exceed what is describable by literal terms, including especially the sphere of religious experiences. The purpose of this essay is to analyze the conceptual metaphors employed by John Henry Newman in the first volume of his Parochial and Plain Sermons (1834) as a way of explaining (...) the transcendental character of the concept of Christianlife. (shrink)
Among the various descriptions of the Christianlife in Newman’s Parochial and Plain Sermons (1834–1843), the metaphor of war is prominent. This essay examines Newman’s extensive use of the metaphor of war from the viewpoint of cognitive semantics, which assumes that transcendental reality can only be conceived of and described in language that uses such conceptual mechanisms as image schemata, metaphor, metonymy, and conceptual blending. Analyzing the conceptual phenomena inherent in the metaphor of war provides both a better (...) understanding of Newman’s Parochial and Plain Sermons as well as a better appreciation of Newman’s understanding of the Christianlife. (shrink)
Persons and actions in Christian ethics -- Disruption of proper relation with God and others : sin and sins -- Intimacy with God and self-relation -- Fidelity to God and moral acting -- Truthfulness before God and naming moral actions -- Reconciliation in God and Christianlife.
In this paper, I argue by example for the possibility of genuine dilemmas internal to Christian ethics. My example is the life of Sebastian Rodrigues, who is the protagonist of Shusaku Endo's moving novel "Silence". The first part of the paper is devoted to retelling Endo's story, highlighting salient ethical and religious features of the life of Rodrigues. The latter half of the paper argues for an interpretation of the story according to which Rodrigues confronts a real (...) conflict between the obligation to love God with total devotion and the obligation to love one's neighbor as oneself. I conclude with the suggestion that the outcome of this conflict is not ultimately tragic because it serves providentially to move Rodrigues closer to Christ in suffering love. (shrink)
Emotions enter into the structure of Christian virtues in especially central ways because of special features of the Christian virtues-system. Four kinds of virtues can be distinguished-emotion virtues, behavioral virtues, virtues of will power, and attitudinal virtues. A detailed examination of an example of a Christian virtue from each of the last three classes discloses the structural dependency of these virtues on the Christian emotions.
Christians have long understood grace both as a declaration of acceptance and as a power that transforms. This article illumines two theses while investigating the relationship between these understandings of grace in Luther, Calvin, and Barth's development of the law/gospel dialectic and the doctrines of justification and sanctification. First, though each theologian makes use of both understandings of grace, each also tends to emphasize one over the other. The unity and tension within and between these perspectives help to show that (...) while both pictures are of the greatest importance for each other and cannot be separated, they also exist in tension, as long as they are worked out in the lives of sinners. Second, the author claims that the positions of Luther and Barth are more alike than is generally recognized. (shrink)
Inspired by Max Weber's thesis on the Protestant ethic, this volume sets out to understand the role and influence of Christianity on overseas Chinese entrepreneurs working in China during its transition from a centrally-planned economy ...
A part of the “return to religion” now evident in European philosophy, this book represents the culmination of the career of a leading phenomenological thinker whose earlier works trace a trajectory from Marx through a genealogy of psychoanalysis that interprets Descartes’s “I think, I am” as “I feel myself thinking, I am.” In this book, Henry does not ask whether Christianity is “true” or “false.” Rather, what is in question here is what Christianity considers as truth, what kind of truth (...) it offers to people, what it endeavors to communicate to them, not as a theoretical and indifferent truth, but as the essential truth that by some mysterious affinity is suitable for them, to the point that it alone is capable of ensuring them salvation. In the process, Henry inevitably argues against the concept of truth that dominates modern thought and determines, in its multiple implications, the world in which we live. Henry argues that Christ undoes “the truth of the world,” that He is an access to the infinity of self-love, to a radical subjectivity that admits no outside, to the immanence of affective life found beyond the despair fatally attached to all objectifying thought. The Kingdom of God accomplishes itself in the here and now through the love of Christ in what Henry calls “the auto-affection of Life.” In this condition, he argues, all problems of lack, ambivalence, and false projection are resolved. (shrink)
Drawing on the work of Raimond Gaita, the paper considers the role that may be played by the lives of the saints, both in alerting us to the moral standing of other human beings, and in helping us to articulate the concept of "humanity" understood in a morally rich sense. The paper considers whether Gaita's treatment of these themes presents something like a natural law ethic, in the sense of supplying arguments which favour broadly Christian conclusions without depending upon (...) explicitly Christian premises. It also considers whether Gaita's view, contrary to his own belief, invites extrapolation in the direction of a more religiously engaged stance. In these ways, the paper aims to address the question of the relationship between religious and moral understanding in terms that are arguably more fruitful than those suggested by the dominant ethical theories. (shrink)
Introduction: Does anyone actually believe in God? -- Life-orienting stories -- God of the philosophers -- Reasons for believing in God -- Resistance and receptivity -- Belief as a practical issue -- Anthropomorphism and mystery -- Naturalistic stories -- Theistic and naturalistic morality -- Meaning and the limits of meaning -- Conviction, doubt, and humility.
The Dalai Lama once wrote that the object of human existence was to be happy. This sounds extremely glib as happiness in the popular imagination is a feeling and in the words of the song 'the greatest gift that we possess'. On the other hand, von Hugel wrote 'Religion has never made me happy;it's no use shutting your eyes to the fact that the deeper you go, the more alone you will find yourself' This small masterpiece by the late Fr (...) Herbert McCabe of the Dominican order steers a steady courss between these two extremes. We feels instinctively that human beings are designed to enjoy themselves and to be happy and yet we are told that suffering is good for the soul. But in the Catholic tradition the true object of human existence is the vision of God and nothing less than this will ever make us truly happy. But Fr McCabe explores much deeper issues. Is Happiness a pleasure or a pain? You hardly know. Certainly it is not a comfort for comfort spells seciurity and hapiness can take you out of yourself to a degree where all secutiry is left behind. Behind a feeling of exultation, you can sense the flame of incandescent terror. This short book is entirely original and will further enhance McCabe's posthumous reputation. (shrink)