Over 700,000 copies of the original hardcover and paperback editions of this stunningly popular book have been sold. Karen Armstrong's superbly readable exploration of how the three dominant monotheistic religions of the world—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—have shaped and altered the conception of God is a tour de force. One of Britain's foremost commentators on religious affairs, Armstrong traces the history of how men and women have perceived and experienced God, from the time of Abraham to the present. From (...) classical philosophy and medieval mysticism to the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the modern age of skepticism, Armstrong performs the near miracle of distilling the intellectual history of monotheism into one compelling volume. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Traditional Christian Thought in Late Antiquity: Gregory Nazianzen and Christological Spirituality in the Fourth Century * Traditional Christian Thought in Early Modernity: John Calvin and Ecclesiastical Discipline in the Sixteenth Century * Traditional Christian Thought in Post Modernity: Ion Bria and Pastoral Ecclesiology in the Twentieth Century * Radical Christian Thought in Early Post Modernity: Erich Fromm and Psychoanalitical Christology in the First Half of the Twentieth Century * Radical Christian Thought in Mid Post Modernity: Paul (...) Ricoeur and the Fallibility Theory in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century * Radical Christian Thought in Late Post Modernity: Vito Mancuso and Faith Reassessment in the Twenty First Century . (shrink)
Translator's note -- Foreword by Boris Jakim -- On the essence of the historical : the meaning of tradition -- On the nature of the historical : the metaphysical and the historical -- Of celestial history : god and man -- Of celestial history : time and eternity -- The destiny of the Jews -- Christianity and history -- The Renaissance and humanism -- The end of the Renaissance and the crisis of humanism : the advent (...) of the machine -- The end of the Renaissance and the crisis of humanism : the disintegration of the human image -- Spiritual development and the eschatological problem -- The doctrine of progress and the goal of history -- Epilogue: the will to life and the will to culture. (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)
Challenging the assumption that the concept of divine action is necessarily paradoxical, on the grounds that God is radically transcendent of finitude, or can perform only a master act of creating and sustaining the universe, Frank Kirkpatrick defends as philosophically credible the Christian conviction that God is a personal Agent who also acts in particular historical moments to further the divine intention of fostering universal community. Kirkpatrick claims that God and the world are distinct realities "together bound" in a mutual (...) relationship of reciprocal historical action. In this relationship, God both acts upon and responds to human beings in specific moments in their history. The implications of this claim for understanding the biblical narrative, the problem of evil, cosmological theories, and the realism of Christian community are pursued. (shrink)
Christianity began as a little-known Jewish sect, but rose within 300 years to dominate the civilised world. It owed its rise in part to inspired moral leadership, but also to its success in assimilating, criticising and developing the philosophies of the day, which offered rationally approved life-styles and moral directives. Without abandoning their allegiance to their founder and to Holy Scripture, Christians could therefore present their faith as a 'new philosophy'. This book, which is written for non-specialist readers, provides (...) a concise conspectus of the emergence of philosophy among the Greeks; an account of its continuance in early Christian times, and its influence on early Christian thought, especially in formulating the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation; and finally a brief critical assessment of the philosophy of St Augustine - arguably the greatest philosopher of the first millennium. (shrink)
Activity and Participation in Late Antique and Early Christian Thought is an investigation into two basic concepts of ancient pagan and Christian thought. The study examines how activity in Christian thought is connected with the topic of participation: for the lower levels of being to participate in the higher means to receive the divine activity into their own ontological constitution. Torstein Theodor Tollefsen sets a detailed discussion of the work of church fathers Gregory of Nyssa, Dionysius the Areopagite, Maximus the (...) Confessor, and Gregory Palamas in the context of earlier trends in Aristotelian and Neoplatonist philosophy. His concern is to highlight how the Church Fathers thought energeia (i.e. activity or energy) is manifested as divine activity in the eternal constitution of the Trinity, the creation of the cosmos, the Incarnation of Christ, and in salvation understood as deification. (shrink)
This book traces the varying conceptions of the nature of God's existence from Aristotle, through the pagan Neoplatonists, to thinkers such as Augustine, Boethius, and Aquinas (in the West) and Dionysius the Areopagite, Maximus the Confessor, and Gregory Palamas (in the East). The result is a powerful comparative history of philosophical thought in Christendom that provides documentation for the schism between the Eastern and Western churches.
The influence of John Locke's thought in Europe and America rests largely on his articulation and defence of a liberal political philosophy, and in his formulation of a theory of knowledge where experience and environment provide the exclusive starting points in the educational process. Generally he continues to be associated with the eighteenth-century 'Age of Reason' or Enlightenment, where the malleability of human nature, together with the inherent dignity and freedom of the individual, were placed at the forefront of reform (...) efforts on both sides of the Atlantic. This book argues that while Locke's concern for the enhancement of individual autonomy, religious toleration, and constitutional government was indeed fundamental to later generations, Locke himself viewed the improvement of the human condition in terms of its relationship to the ancient Christian story. In particular, Locke's larger integration 'project' was to assist his contemporaries in their efforts both to recognise and to secure the greatest happiness. Locke, in other words, was chiefly interested in life beyond the grave, in salvation, and his recommendations for the reform of politics, education and religion were all viewed by the author as instrumental to the chief business of humankind. Locke's universe was a God-directed one, where human's were set specific tasks and where reward was contingent upon behaviour in this life. Locke viewed himself as a defender of the historical faith, and his work was devoted to broadening the opportunities for individual salvation. (shrink)
One of the most significant cultural achievements of Late Antiquity lies in the domains of philosophy and religion, more particularly in the establishment and development of Neoplatonism as one of the chief vehicles of thought and subsequent channel for the transmission of ancient philosophy to the medieval and renaissance worlds. Important, too, is the emergence of a distinctive Christian philosophy and theology based on a foundation of Greek pagan thought. This book provides an introduction to the main ideas of Neoplatonism (...) and some of the ways in which they influenced Christian thinkers. (shrink)
In late antiquity Plato's philosophy became a battlefield between the competing discourses and rival intellectual paradigms represented by Hellenism and Christianity. Focusing on Theodoret of Cyrrhus' Graecarum Affectionum Curatio, Dr Siniossoglou examines the philosophical, rhetorical and political dimensions of the Neoplatonic-Christian conflict of interpretations over Plato. He shows that the apologist's aim was to procure a radical shift in Hellenic intellectual identity through the appropriation of Platonic concepts and terminology. The apologetical strategies of appropriation are confronted with the perspective (...) of the intended audience, the Hellenic elite, by means of comparative discourse analysis. The outcome is a reconstruction of a vital trial of strength between Neoplatonic hermeneutics and the Christian rhetorical mode of rewriting Plato. The volume concludes that the fundamental Hellenic-Christian opposition outweighed any linguistic merging that might have occurred between the two systems, and that this opposition outlived the dominance of Christianity in late antique society and politics. (shrink)
Many studies written about the Jewish-Christian relationship are primarily historical overviews that focus on the Jewish background of Christianity, the separation of Christianity from Judiasm, or the medieval disputations between the two faiths. This book is one of the first studies to examine the relationship from a philosophical and theological viewpoint. Carefully drawing on Jewish classical sources, Novak argues that there is actual justification for the new relationship between Judaism and Christianity from within Jewish religious tradition. He (...) demonstrates that this new relationship is possible between religiously committed Jews and Christians without the two major impediments to dialogue: triumphalism and relativism. One of the very few books on this topic written by a Jewish theologian who speaks specifically to modern Christian concerns, it will provide the groundwork for a more serious development of Jewish-Christian dialogue in our day. (shrink)
A reader's guide -- An endpoint called origin -- High atop the dune -- Alphabetical liftoff -- Portable yet homebound -- One for all -- The mediating body -- Salve Regina -- The last flame -- Parricidal Christ -- Every man for himself -- The eternity of the eternal.
This book traces, for the first time, a revolution in philosophy which took place during the early centuries of our era. It reconstructs the philosophical basis of the Stoics' theory that fragments of an ancient and divine wisdom could be reconstructed from mythological traditions, and shows that Platonism was founded on an argument that Plato had himself achieved a full reconstruction of this wisdom, and that subsequent philosophies had only regressed once again in their attempts to "improve" on his achievement.