Open Questions: Diverse Thinkers Discuss God, Religion, and Faith is a compelling invitation to each of us to examine our positions on these highly charged subjects. It will both answer questions and inspire new inquiries. In the process of creating this book, author and interviewer Luis F. Rodrigues was driven by his natural and intense curiosity rather than by dogmatic or institutional bias; he had no agenda other than to fairly present multiple points of view on the widely debated topics at hand. This compilation of easy-to-read interviews with individuals like John Dominic Crossan, Dinesh D'Souza, A.C. Grayling, and James Randi will appeal to general readers as well as theologians and academics.
Kort first describes the dynamics of difference and conflicts constituted by theologies and the importance of power for opposing theologies. He provides a model that demonstrates why differences and conflicts, rather than occasional or peripheral effects of theology, are required as central causes. He then applies the analysis and model in the task of reading theologies of more than a dozen modern and contemporary figures.
In his conclusion, Kort returns to the cultural situation he sketched at the beginning, one that creates the conditions for the study and that is often called "postmodern." Kort calls it "a culture of scripture and belief," and he discusses prospects for theology in a culture not characterized by the fact and certainty. "The culture of scripture and belief" calls for theologies that are both forceful and vulnerable to critique.
Religion remains an important influence in the world today, yet the social sciences are still not adequately equipped to understand and explain it. This book builds on recent developments in science, theory, and philosophy to advance an innovative theory of religion that goes beyond the problematic theoretical paradigms of the past.
Drawing on the philosophy of critical realism and personalist social theory, Christian Smith answers key questions about the nature, powers, workings, appeal, and future of religion. He defines religion in a way that resolves myriad problems and ambiguities in past accounts, explains the kinds of causal influences religion exerts in the world, and examines the key cognitive process that makes religion possible. Smith explores why humans are religious in the first place—uniquely so as a species—and offers an account of secularization and religious innovation and persistence that breaks the logjam in which so many religion scholars have been stuck for so long.
Certain to stimulate debate and inspire promising new avenues of scholarship, Religion features a wealth of illustrations and examples that help to make its concepts accessible to readers. This superbly written book brings sound theoretical thinking to a perennially thorny subject, and a new vitality and focus to its study.
What does the Bible say about the future, about death, about human destiny and heaven and hell? This volume presents a clear and comprehensive introduction to the Christian hope for the future that is particularly relevant to today's world.
Hans Schwarz guides readers through the range of opinions on this fascinating subject, showing how our understanding of eschatology has developed and laying out the factors that must be considered when speaking meaningfully about the Christian hope here in the twenty-first century. He surveys the teachings about the future in both the Old and New Testaments, discusses the views of Christian and secular thinkers throughout history--including the challenges posed by science, philosophy, and New Age beliefs--and explores the major themes of eschatology, including death, immortality, and resurrection.