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)
Christian Metaphysics - Made in the Image of God is a book for those that seek a deeper understanding in knowing who God is, and how we as human beings relate to him physically, emotionally, and spiritually in a metaphysical way, both now and in the future.
In this brief paper I reflect upon the Bible's portrayal of God as pointing beyond itself toward a notion of divinity many religions can embrace, but one only imperfectly expressed in the biblical portrait itself. I argue that a fuller recognition of the *fallibility* of the biblical portrait can lead us to a deeper and more satisfying appreciation of the Bible itself.
Vor allem die prophetischen Texte versteht er als dramatisch inszenierende Rede, deren Dramatik allerdings nicht von einer Aufführungspraxis abhängt. Der Titel "Gottes Wahrnehmungen" ist aber noch in einem andern Sinn zu verstehen.
Introduction: the problem of estrangement from Scripture in Christian ethics -- Learning about reading the Bible for ethics -- Reading self-consciously : the hermeneutic solution -- Reading together : the communitarian solution -- Focusing reading : the biblical ethics solution -- Reading doctrinally : the biblical theology solution -- Reading as meditation : the exegetical theology solution -- Listening to the saints encountering the ethos of Scripture -- Augustine's ethos of salvific confession -- Luther's ethos of consoling doxology (...) -- Singing the ethos of God -- Ethical exegesis : what have we encountered -- Exploring the place of Christian ethics in Scripture. (shrink)
I suggest that in teaching about God we remind students of the following four essential points: (1) belief in the existence of God is not a necessary condition for religious commitment; (2) belief in the existence of God is not a sufficient condition for religious commitment; (3) the existence of God is not the only supernatural hypothesis that merits serious discussion; and (4) a successful defense of traditional theism requires not only that it be more plausible than atheism or (...) agnosticism but also that it be more plausible than all other supernatural alternatives. (shrink)
The text discusses the importance of religion as a symbolic construct which derives from fundamental human needs. At the same time, religious symbolism can function as an explanation for the major crises existent in the lives of individuals or their communities, even if they live in a democratic or a totalitarian system. Its presence is facilitated by the assumption of the biographical element existent in the philosophical and theological reflection and its extrapolation in a biography which concerns the communities and (...) its governmental resorts. It is in this context that we discuss the way in which the myth concerning the death of God can influence the formation of political ethics relevant for the contemporary man. From the analysis of the signification of the death of God in the contemporary Judaic theology and philosophy emerges a series of important elements for the creation of a political ethics situated between biblical morals and the extermination of the innocents in the 20th century. (shrink)
Christianity is mediated through culture and people's cultural practices. One such cultural practice is African kingship. African kingship conveys on the ruler sovereignty, power, authority and supremacy over people under one's jurisdiction. Intricately linked to respect for elders and those in power, African church leaders are at an intersection of the African kingship leadership style and the biblical kingship leadership style. Consciously or unconsciously, church leaders tend to embrace the African kingship approach to leadership and to a lesser extent (...)biblical servant leadership. In such a situation, what God-image of biblical leadership could be discerned for constructive church leadership? In response, the God-image of Servant King as all powerful God, although vulnerable and serving, provides the framework for a transformative approach to church leadership in Africa. (shrink)
«Palabra de Dios» no se dice sólo con referencia a las Sagradas Escrituras; Jesucristo es la Palabra de Dios por antonomasia frente a la cual las demás expresiones de Palabra de Dios, incluyendo la Biblia, lo serán en sentido análogo y dependiente. Esto significa que tras la hermenéutica bíblica cristiana subyace la fe cristológica, de tal modo que lo que se predica de la naturaleza de la Sagrada Escritura, Palabra de Dios puesta por escrito, sea consecuencia directa de lo que (...) se predica de Jesucristo, Palabra de Dios encarnada. Ello, además de incidir en la vida y la fe del creyente, tiene importantes implicaciones epistemológicas, metodológicas y práxicas para la hermenéutica bíblica hoy. «Word of God» doesn’t onlj refer to the Holj Scaptures; Jesús Christ is the Word of God par excellence against which all other expressions of God’s Word, including the Bible, are anahgous and dependent. This means that behind Christian biblical hermeneutics lies faith in Christ, so that what is preached on the nature of the Holj Scripture, the written Word of God, is directlj dependent on what is preached about Jesús Christ, the Word of God incarnate. This, besides influencing the ufe and faith of the beüever, has important epistemological, methodological and practical consequences for current biblical hermeneutics. (shrink)
In this article I argue that the integration of biblical exegesis and metaphysical argumentation in Turretin's doctrine of God is due to his views in epistemology and semantics. Anyone reading Turretin's Locus de Deo will recognize that it is not limited to scriptural exegesis and exploration of biblical concepts. The biblical orientation is, of course, prominent, but in addition he combines it with logic and metaphysics. I argue that by adhering to an instrumental view of reason, and (...) an analogical or partially univocal theory of theistic reference, he is able to construct a concept of God which draws first and foremost on the Christian canon and in addition on logic and metaphysics. (shrink)
The paper presents, according to the dialectical metaphysics of choice, arguments in favor of the proposition that the biblical story of creation is a philosophical construct, within which the religious message (obedience, disobedience, sin) is abrogated in the philosophical perspective of the Absolute (equality of the subjects in the definition of good and evil); it has been stated that the story of creation contains an antinomian perception of God as a symbol of man (both a hierarchical and non-hierarchical relationship (...) between the parties, the latter being preferred and ascribed the status of a “divine image”); the paper proposes that the Old Testament is a literary work, rather than religious scripture, and contains a broad range of cultural experience, including elements of a philosophical outlook, which religion and theology subject to a simplified and biased interpretation, groundlessly universalizing a traditional culture based on domination andobedience. (shrink)
By its alternative depiction of God's non-violent creative power at the start of the biblical canon, Gen 1 signals the Creator's original intent for shalom and blessing at the outset of human history, prior to the rise of human (or divine) violence. Gen 1 constitutes a normative framework by which we may judge all the violence that pervades the rest of the Bible.
Este trabalho aborda a narração de Deus como fonte de sentido para vida no contexto das tradições religiosas que se fundam na leitura e apropriação de textos tidos como sagrados. A partir da hipótese de que a fé monoteísta é fundamentalmente uma “fé textual”, o presente trabalho toma por referencial teórico o pensamento do filósofo francês Paul Ricoeur. O objetivo a que me proponho é apresentar de forma sintética traços de sua hermenêutica bíblica a partir da articulação entre interpretação, tradição (...) e tradução. O percurso deste ensaio conduz inicialmente à teoria do texto de Ricoeur, em seguida aborda sua fenomenologia hermenêutica da consciência religiosa da falta, para enfim buscar a articulação entre tradição e tradução em uma leitura filosófica da bíblia. A articulação entre as hermenêuticas bíblica e filosófica aponta para a possibilidade do desenvolvimento de uma filosofia da religião que tem por propósito pensar mais e de maneira diferente a contribuição da leitura dos textos religiosos para a busca de sentido da existência humana. Para tanto, se faz necessário o respeito pela pluralidade de crenças e práticas no interior e fora das diversas tradições religiosas. Palavras-chave: Hermenêutica. Texto. Tradição. Tradução.This paper approaches the narration of God as a source of meaning to life in the context of religious traditions that are based on reading and appropriation of texts considered sacred. From the hypothesis that the monotheistic faith is fundamentally a "textual faith", this paper takes as a theoretical framework the thought of the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur. I intend to present in a synthetic trace his biblical hermeneutics from the relationship between interpretation, translation and tradition. This paper initially gets to the theory of Ricoeur’s texts, and then approaches his hermeneutic phenomenology of the religious consciousness of fault; finally it searches for the relationship between tradition and translation in a philosophical reading of the Bible. The articulation between the biblical and philosophical hermeneutics points to the possibility of developing a philosophy of religion that wants to think in a different way the contribution of reading religious texts in the search for meaning of human existence. Therefore, it is necessary to respect the diversity of beliefs and practices inside and outside of the various religious traditions. Keywords: Hermeneutics. Text. Tradition. Translation. (shrink)
Young-earth creationism is one of the more peculiar manifestations of broader evangelical culture. It continues to be the most common view of the relationship between science and Scripture held in the evangelical community and, unfortunately but understandably, the view of science most non-Christians associate with evangelicalism. For scientifically literate non-Christians, it presents an obstacle to Christian faith, and for young Christians who have been raised to equate YEC with the teaching of Scripture, it can destroy their faith altogether when (...) its falsity is discovered. With a view toward encouraging a culture of biblical and scientific literacy and overcoming the anti-intellectual legacy of fundamentalism that sustains this particular “scandal of the evangelical mind”, we offer a synoptic critique of young-earth creationism while developing and defending an evangelically acceptable alternative for understanding the relationship between God’s works and God’s words. (shrink)
In this review of Warren Nord's Does God Make a Difference? Taking Religion Seriously in Our Schools and Universities, Walter Feinberg provides a detailed analysis of Nord's argument that the study of religion should be constitutionally mandated as a corrective to the overwhelmingly secular course of study offered in contemporary public schools and universities. Nord bases his claim on both constitutional and educational grounds. His constitutional argument is that, due to their secular bias, schools fail in their requirement to take (...) a neutral stance toward religion; he contends that this creates a school environment hostile to religion that thus requires a legal remedy. Nord's primary educational argument is that religion courses are needed to counterbalance the secular bias dominant in public schools and universities. Feinberg delineates how Nord's constitutional argument fails and how his educational argument has serious flaws and contradictions. According to Feinberg, a stronger argument for mandating courses on religion in schools would be that because public schools exist in a religiously infused environment, it is important for students to be exposed to alternative understandings that promote reflection on and criticism of one's own beliefs, including religious beliefs. Feinberg concludes that if religion is to be taught in the public schools, it needs to be justified on civic rather than religious grounds. (shrink)
In this paper I outline an argument for the existence of God. This argument suggests that, if an all-good supernatural agent were to exist, such as the God of Theism, then He could not perform an immoral act. From this premise alone a formal proof for the existence of God can be derived. Perhaps unsurprisingly, when this argument is examined closely it is revealed to be fallacious. However, what we find is that the fallacy involves a special type of equivocation; (...) one that illustrates the difference between non-truth-functional subjunctive conditionals and truth-functional material conditionals. (shrink)
Conflicts over the proper role of religion in schools-and particularly in public schools supported by tax monies-are frequently featured in news reports. For example, in the United States there currently are conflicts over the teaching of evolution, inserting the word God in the pledge of allegiance, conducting school holiday celebrations, posting the biblical Ten Commandments in schools, and praying at school functions. People who are interested in such controversies often-or, perhaps, usually-fail to understand the historical backgrounds to the (...) conflicts and therefore do not recognize the very complex factors that affect why the controversies become so heated. To help readers gain a better understanding of such matters, this book focuses on the seven major types of conflicts that have become particularly confrontational during the first decade of the twenty-first century. The cases on which the chapters focus concern issues that currently are being hotly debated in America. Controversies are described in relation to their historical origins and the author shows how the history affects current understanding of the issues. Thomas does not take sides in the arguments; rather, he lays out the arguments, their historical and cultural contexts, and the groups that debate them and their goals. Anyone wishing to gain a better understanding of the controversies surrounding religion in American schools will be happy to find here not just a review of the issues, but a deeper consideration of the causes, consequences, and future of the debates and the role of religion in our public schools. (shrink)