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Introduction : Sacred Geographies and Identity Claims: The Revival of Sacred Sites in the Post-Soviet Space

References Aslan, Rose. 2014. The Museumification of Rumi’s Tomb: Deconstructing Sacred Space at the Mevlana Museum. – International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage 2 (2): 1–16. Dubuisson, Eva-Marie and Anna Genina. 2012. Claiming an Ancestral Homeland: Kazakh Pilgrimage and Migration in Inner Asia. – Movement, Power and Place in Central Asia and Beyond: Contested Trajectories , edited by Madeleine Reeves. Abingdon: Routledge, 111–127. Lefebvre, Henri. 1974. The Production of Space . Oxford: Blackwell. Meyer, Birgit and

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A life in need of “neither protection nor preservation”: Joseph Fletcher, Down’s syndrome and euthanasia

Abstract

Joseph Fletcher claims in his Christian situation ethic developed in the nineteen sixties that there is nothing wrong with the use of euthanasia on children born with Down’s syndrome. But is it possible to use his claim of non-persons as non-moral subjects in an ethic that claims not to be legalistic? This paper affirms that Fletcher’s claims are wrong, and that questions motivated by a lack of resources should be answered with a critical discussion regarding those resources. Not with an ethic that supports euthanasia.

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Re-Thinking Atonement in Jonathan Edwards and New England Theology

Abstract

Jonathan Edwards′ New England theology has a great deal more to say that is of contemporary doctrinal interest than it is often credited with, particularly as it relates to the doctrine of atonement. This article explores several anomalous claims made be this 18th and 19th century tradition, and in this way, challenges the recent and growing consensus that Edwards espoused the penal substitution model and his successors a moral government model. I argue that of all that is yet to be considered about their doctrine of atonement, we ought to begin with those claims made about the nature and demands of divine justice.

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Open-Air Preaching: A Long and Diverse Tradition

Abstract

For many people, open-air preaching is associated with a particularly limited understanding of the nature of the event. In part this is related to the fact that open-air preaching has received relatively little serious academic study. From a variety of sources, however, it is possible to piece together something of a critically analytic sketch of the practice. This sketch demonstrates that not only can open-air preaching claim longevity but that in turn it is a practice with considerable diversity as open-air preachers seek to make meaning through their gathering and encounter with audiences.

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ATONEMENT THEORY REVISITED: CALVIN, BEZA, AND AMYRAUT ON THE EXTENT OF THE ATONEMENT

ABSTRACT

Throughout the bulk of the Reformed Tradition’s history within both Europe and the United States, most scholars have dismissed pastor and theologian Moïse Amyraut as a seventeenth century French heretic whose actions and theology led to the demise of the Huguenots in France. However, upon further introspection into Amyraut’s claims as being closer to Calvin (soteriologically) than his Genevan successors, one finds uncanny parallels in the scriptural commentaries and biblical insight into the expiation of Christ between Calvin and Amyraut. By comparing key scriptural passages concerning the atonement, this article demonstrates that Reformed theologian Moïse Amyraut in fact propagated a universal atonement theory which parallels Calvin’s, both men ascribing to biblical faithfulness, a (humanistic) theological method, and similar hermeneutic. As such, both Calvin and Amyraut scripturally contend that God desires and provided the means for the salvation of the whole world. Further, the article demonstrates that Calvin’s successor, Theodore de Beza, could not in fact make the same claims as Amyraut, this article demonstrating that Beza went beyond Calvin’s scriptural approach to Christ’s expiation. Therefore, this article supports a more centrist approach from within and outside the Reformed tradition by demonstrating that Calvin and Amyraut concentrically held to God’s gracious provision in Christ for the saving of the whole world, for those who would believe in Christ for salvation.

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“IMITATE ME”: INTERPRETING IMITATION IN 1 CORINTHIANS IN RELATION TO IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH

ABSTRACT

Several times within 1 Corinthians Paul encourages the Corinthians to imitate him. These are found at critical junctures in the epistle in 1 Corinthians 4:16 and 11:1. The meaning of these sections is in question from the perspective of Corinthian scholars. Several believe that Paul is appealing to apostolic power and authority to coerce the Corinthians to obey him, whereas others find him responding to social situations. This is different from the way that imitation and discipleship are presented within the writings of Ignatius of Antioch. Pauline ideas, specifically those from 1 Corinthians, are known to have influenced Ignatius of Antioch’s writing, and thus Ignatius’ ideas about imitation are likely to reflect the meaning that Paul intended. Ignatius specifically speaks about imitation and discipleship in several places: Ign. Eph. 1, 2, 4; 3:1-3, Ign. Magn. 4:1; 5:1-2; 9:1-6, Ign. Rom. 3:1-2; 6, 3, 1. When these passages are considered, imitation involves suffering and possibly martyrdom. Imitation is also connected to the cross of Christ and is not a means to enforce superiority. Ignatius’ view of imitation would contradict the opinions of some scholars who see Paul’s injunction for imitation as a claim for power. It also supplies more information to the idea than those who claim that it is simply a counter example to the social situation.

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Christian Materialism and the Quest for Human Personhood

Abstract

This paper offers a critical exploration of philosopher Kevin Corcoran’s proposed Christian Materialism. Corcoran’s constitution view claims that we human persons are constituted by our bodies without being identical with the bodies that constitute us. I will critically evaluate this view and argue that Corcoran has not successfully managed to ground a first-person perspective and intentional states in materialism. Moreover, Corcoran’s property dualism about mental states and the idea of the causally efficacy of such states seem incompatible with materialism. Corcoran’s view of imago Dei is also explored and evaluated. Towards the end of the paper I put forward a brief defense of dualism in light of Corcoran’s critique.

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Marilynne Robinson, Gilead, and the Battle for the Soul

Abstract

A widespread view among contemporary philosophers and scientists is that the soul is a mystification. For Marilynne Robinson, American essayist and novelist, the crux of the matter is not the existence of the soul in itself, since this cannot be settled by debate. Rather, she challenges the sort of evidence that her opponents—mostly basing themselves on the work of neuroscientists, and evolutionary biologists—deem to be decisive in determining the question. The soul, she claims, does not appear at the level of our genes and neurons. Rather it is encountered in the many works of art and reflection that human beings have produced from the earliest times. This paper will focus on one such document, Robinson’s novel Gilead (2004), in which she proposes a vision of the soul closely allied to the notion of blessing. Blessing, in turn, is inseparable from metaphor, pointing us to mystery, an elusive reality whose presence we experience only intermittently, although it is always there. Although Robinson’s several collections of essays provide needed context for the view of the soul displayed in the novel, it is our claim that it is the novel that truly turns the tables in the debate, inviting the reader to affirm or deny the soul’s reality not on the basis of the pronouncement of experts but on the basis of the way a given language aligns with experience. The internalization that such a process requires reveals the soul in action. This paper is thus a reading of Robinson’s writings on the soul.

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Limits of Power. Clerical Appointment as Part of Domestic Policy in Sweden after the Reformation, 1560–1611

Abstract

This article examines state-church relations in Sweden by analysing clerical appointment processes in the latter part of the 16th century. The aim is to ascertain whether the king of Sweden could appoint pastors independently, and if not, with whom he was compelled to share the power. Earlier studies argue that the power of the king grew due to the reformation. First, this article examines the number of clerical appointments that were made in the period 1560-1611. The results reveal a remarkable annual variation in the number of clerical appointments. Second, the timing and share of clerical appointments made by the king are studied. The number of appointments made by the king is viewed against the total number of clerical appointments so as to reveal the importance of appointments made by the crown. Third, the article examines the proportion of appointments made by other authorities. The results suggest that the crown’s role in clerical appointment processes varied, but more interestingly, it was not as ubiquitous as earlier researchers suggest. Thus article concludes that crown’s power over the church in 16th century Sweden was not as vast as it has previously been claimed.

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Molinist Gunslingers Redux: A Friendly Response to Greg Welty

Abstract

Philosopher Greg Welty contributed a chapter entitled ‘Molinist Gunslingers: God and the Authorship of Sin’, to a book devoted to answering the charge that Calvinism makes God the author of sin (Calvinism and the Problem of Evil). Welty argues that Molinism has the same problems as Calvinism concerning God’s relationship to sin, regardless of what view of human freedom Molinism may affirm. The Molinist believes that God generally uses his knowledge of the possible choices of libertarianly free creatures in order to accomplish his will. (This knowledge is typically categorized as residing within God’s middle knowledge.) But affirming libertarian freedom for humans, he argues, does not help in dealing with the question of God’s relationship to evil. Therefore, Molinism is no better than Calvinism, at least concerning this issue. In response to Welty, (1) I agree with him that Molinism does not have a moral advantage over what he calls ‘mysterian, apophatic’ Calvinism, but Molinists don’t claim that it does, and (2) I argue that, contra Welty, Molinism indeed does have a moral advantage over the Calvinist versions that do employ causal determinism. Welty does not take ‘intentions’ into consideration in his argument, and this is a serious flaw. In the libertarian model of Molinism, intent originates in the doer of evil. However, in the compatibilist model of causal determinism, ultimately God implants intent. Thus, adherents of causal determinism have difficulty not laying responsibility at the feet of God.

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