God and Human Dignity offers a fresh restatement of the nature and scope of human dignity in Christian perspective. Theologians, ethicists, and biblical scholars from around the world here examine the dimensions of human worth in the light of sacred Scripture, doctrine, and ecclesial practice. In contrast to modernity's often monochromatic accounts of human dignity in terms of freedom or rationality, these essays argue that human dignity in Christian perspective is a “many-splendored thing” reflecting humanity's participation in the divine drama of creation, redemption, and new creation. Representing disciplines across the academic spectrum, the essays in God and Human Dignity offer systematic and scriptural perspectives on human dignity that connect to a host of pressing contemporary issues.
Contributors: C. Clifton Black, Russell Botman, Don Browing, J. Kameron Carter, Elaine Graham, Robert W. Jensen, James L. Mays, M. Douglas Meeks, Esther Menn, Peter Ochs, John Polkinghorne, Hans Reinders, Gerhard Sauter, Christoph SchwÃ¶bel, R. Kendall Soulen, Fraser Watts, Michael Welker, and Linda Woodhead.D
Focusing on the Genesis 2 and 3 account, Williams shows how its "historical" interpretation in early Christianity not only misread the text but derived an idea of being human profoundly at odds with experience and contemporary science. After gauging Christianity's several competing notions of human nature -- Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox -- against contemporary biology, Williams turns to sociobiological accounts of the evolution of human dispositions toward reciprocity and limited cooperation as a source of human good and evil. From this vantage point she offers new interpretations of evil, sin, and the Christian doctrine of atonement.
Williams's work, frank in its assessment of traditional misunderstandings, challenges theologians and all Christians to reassess the roots and branches of this linchpin doctrine.
The contributors to "Personal Identity in Theological Perspective aim to recover the ancient biblical account of human beings as made "in the image of God." Their essays fall naturally into three divisions -- retrieving historical discussions of human identity, presenting contemporary challenges to a distinctively Christian anthropology, and offering constructive proposals toward a richer understanding of persons. This volume will provoke discussion and debate on the fundamental question "What does it mean to be human?
Contributors: Stanley J. Grenz
Michael S. Horton
Stanton L. Jones
David H. Kelsey
Mark R. Talbot
William C. Weinrich
Robert Louis Wilken
Mark A. Yarhouse
Over the last thirty years André Droogers has extensively published on the relation between religion, power and play. In this collection of essays the most relevant articles are reprinted. For this volume Droogers wrote an autobiographical introduction, showing how the contingencies of a career may nevertheless lead to a more or less consistent approach.
In Part I of the book articles are included that represent the basic ideas of Droogers’ approach, with an emphasis on margin, inversion, ritual and meaning-making. In part II some of his articles on syncretism and Pentecostalism illustrate his views. Part III contains articles that apply the play-and-power perspective to methodological issues in the study of religion.
Smith's accomplishments are seen most fully in Religion of the Semites, adapted from a number of public lectures he gave at Aberdeen, and first published in 1889. Smith delivered three courses of lectures over three years. It is this set that is reprinted here. Only recently were the notes for the second and third courses of lectures discovered and published.
Religion of the Semites combines extraordinary philological erudition with brilliant theorizing. Among the fundamental emphases of the book are the foci on sacrifice as the key ritual and non-ancient sacrifice as communion with God rather than as penance for sin. Most important is Smith's use of the comparative method: he uses cross-cultural examples from other "primitive peoples" to confirm his reconstruction from Semitic sources.
Smith combines pioneering sociology and anthropology with a staunchly Christian faith. For him, Christianity is an expression of divine revelation. For Smith, only continuing revelation can account for the leap from the collective, ritualistic, and materialistic nature of ancient Semitic religion to the individualistic, creedal, and spiritualized nature of Christianity. Lectures on the Religion of the Semites manages to meld social science with theology, and remains a classic work in the social scientific study of religion.