This book, written by a group of New Zealand scholars, theologians, historians and lawyers, examines the question of New Zealand's Western culture and Christianity. The contributors explore recent debates over secularisation, exploring its merits and explanatory power, while also showing its limitations.
This book offers a mature assessment of themes preoccupying David Martin over some fifty years, complementing his book On Secularization. Deploying secularisation as an omnibus word bringing many dimensions into play, Martin argues that the boundaries of the concept of secularisation must not be redefined simply to cover aberrant cases, as when the focus was more on America as an exception rather than on Europe as an exception to the 'furiously religious' character of the rest of the world. Particular themes of focus include the dialectic of Christianity and secularization, the relation of Christianity to multiple enlightenments and modes of modernity, the enigmas of East Germany and Eastern Europe, and the rise of the transnational religious voluntary association, including Pentecostalism, as that feeds into vast religious changes in the developing world. Doubts are cast on the idea that religion has ever been privatised and has lately renetered the public realm. The rest of the book deals with the relation of the Christian repertoire to the nexus of religion and politics, including democracy and violence and sharply criticises polemical assertions of a special relation of religion to violence, and explores the contributions of 'cognitive science' to the debate
This book offers a mature assessment of themes preoccupying David Martin over some fifty years, complementing his book On Secularization. Deploying secularisation as an omnibus word bringing many dimensions into play, Martin argues that the boundaries of the concept of secularisation must not be redefined simply to cover aberrant cases, as when the focus was more on America as an exception rather than on Europe as an exception to the 'furiously religious' character of the rest of the world. Particular themes of focus include the dialectic of Christianity and secularization, the relation of Christianity to multiple enlightenments and modes of modernity, the enigmas of East Germany and Eastern Europe, and the rise of the transnational religious voluntary association, including Pentecostalism, as that feeds into vast religious changes in the developing world. Doubts are cast on the idea that religion has ever been privatised and has lately reentered the public realm. The rest of the book deals with the relation of the Christian repertoire to the nexus of religion and politics, including democracy and violence and sharply criticises polemical assertions of a special relation of religion to violence, and explores the contributions of 'cognitive science' to the debate
The institution of monasticism in the Christian Church is in general decline, at least in so-called “first world” nations. Though there are many reasons for this, monastic leaders are confronted by the reality of fewer communities, monks, and nuns nonetheless. At the same time, many younger Christians are rediscovering the rich heritage of the monastic tradition. Though they themselves might not be called to join a traditional monastery, they are eager to appropriate monastic practices in their own lives. This had led to a movement known as the “new monasticism” or “secular monasticism.” Despite lacking a unified vision and any central organization, these new/secular monastics are attempting, in their own ways, to carry on the tradition and practices of Christian monasticism. As well, there is a movement within historical Christian monasteries to pour new wine into old wineskins. Traditional forms of monasticism are also generally flourishing in developing nations, breathing new life into monasticism. This volume looks at the current monastic landscape to assess where monasticism stands and to imagine ways in which it will grow in the future, leading not only to a renewed Christian monasticism but to new monasticisms.
Evangelicals and Roman Catholics have been responsible for the establishment of many colleges and universities in America. Until recently, however, they have taken very different approaches to the subject of education and have viewed one another's traditions with suspicion. In this volume, Mark Noll and James Turner offer critical but appreciative reassessments of the two traditions. Noll, writing from an evangelical perspective, and Turner, from a Roman Catholic perspective, consider the respective strengths and weaknesses of each approach and what they might learn from the other. The authors then provide brief responses to each other's essays. Thoughtful readers from both traditions will find insightful and challenging ideas regarding the importance of Christian learning and the role of faith in the modern college or university. EXCERPT In many respects, the current volume . . . touch[es] upon three issues: intellectual engagement, tradition, and ecumenism. The basic idea behind the project was to bring [together] a leading American evangelical scholar and a leading American Catholic scholar, both familiar with their own tradition, with one another's tradition, and with the general landscape of "Christian learning," understood to mean what goes on at actual institutions of higher education, as well as the broader world of academic scholarship. Once this goal was formulated, two names quickly leaped to mind: Mark Noll and James Turner--scholars whom I have long suspected might be American reincarnations of the (irenic, erudite) Protestant reformer Philipp Melanchthon and the (irenic, erudite) Catholic humanist Desiderius Erasmus. . . . As planning processes got under way, however, Mark Noll accepted an endowed chair at Notre Dame, bringing his long and distinguished tenure at Wheaton [College] to an end and thereby making among his first tasks in his new post a toe-to-toe encounter with his new colleague and (then-serving) departmental chair, James Turner! Thus our dialogue lost the symbolism of confessionally contrasting institutions, even as we retained the intellectual firepower of the invitees. As readers will discover, those [at the conference] were rewarded with a heady mix of hard-earned erudition, theological commitment, and gracious eloquence--all focused on what I am persuaded are among the more interesting and consequential developments in recent decades: points of (promising) contact and (lingering) conflict between evangelical and Catholic approaches to higher education and scholarship.
In The Future of Religion and the Religion of the Future, Theodore John Rivers explores the relationship between technology and religion. Rivers ultimately suggests that the growing presence of technology makes it a likely candidate for the next religious form, competing with all the major religions in place today.
This book contains the work of international scholars who address the contemporary globalizing antagonism between religion and secularity, in the theoretical and practical pursuit for this antagonism’s reconciliation in a more just, humane and peaceful future society and world.
Religion is alive and well in the modern world, and the social-scientific study of religion is undergoing a renaissance. For much of this century, respected social theorists predicted the death of religion as inevitable consequence of science, education, and modern economics. But they were wrong. Stark and Bainbridge set out to explain the survival of religion. Using information derived from numerous surveys, censuses, historical case studies, and ethnographic field expeditions, they chart the full sweep of contemporary religion from the traditional denominations to the most fervent cults. This wealth of information is located within a coherent theoretical framework that examines religion as a social response to human needs, both the general needs shared by all and the desires specific to those who are denied the economic rewards or prestige enjoyed by the privileged. By explaining the forms taken by religions today, Stark and Bainbridge allow us to understand its persistence in a secular age and its prospects for the future.--Publisher description.
Christianity is turning brown and moving south. The Christianity the West has known is in recession and has all but dwindled out of recognition in the opening years of the twenty-first century. Well over half of the world’s Christians now live in the Global South—Africa, Asia, and Latin America. They are, according to Aberdeen missiologist Andrew Walls, the new Representative Christians. What they think about Christianity will matter more and more and what North America thinks about Christianity will matter less and less. This massive shift in geography and theological point of departure will have a major impact on Christian preaching now and into the future. The Future Shape of Christian Proclamation seeks to begin the conversation about how preaching in the Global South will inform the whole of Christian preaching in the coming years.
Throughout the two-thousand-year span of Christian history, believers in Jesus have sought to articulate their faith and their understanding of how God works in the world. How do we, as we examine the vast and varied output of those who came before us, understand the unity and the diversity of their thinking? How do we make sense of our own thought in light of theirs? The Christian Understandings series offers to help. In this crisp and engaging volume Amy Frykholm offers a tour through more than two millennia of Christian thought on the future. Starting with the contexts of the Hebrew Bible and moving forward, Frykholm outlines the enduring fascination believers have had with future events and the myriad ways they have articulated their beliefs about what the future holds. From the imperial contexts of the book of Revelation to the end times prophecy of Harold Camping, Frykholm presents a thoughtful and insightful tour.
The field of Hindu-Christian studies revives theology as a particularly useful interreligious discipline. Though a sub-division of the broader Hindu-Christian dialogue, it is also a distinct field of study, proper to a smaller group of religious intellectuals. At its best it envisions a two-sided, mutual conversation, grounded in scholars’ knowledge of their own tradition and of the other. Based on the Westcott-Teape Lectures given in India and at the University of Cambridge, this book explores the possibilities and problems attendant upon the field of Hindu-Christian Studies, the reasons for occasional flourishing and decline in such studies, and the fragile conditions under which the field can flourish in the 21st century. The chapters examine key instances of Christian–Hindu learning, highlighting the Jesuit engagement with Hinduism, the modern Hindu reception of Western thought, and certain advances in the study of religion that enhance intellectual cooperation. This book is a significant contribution to a sophisticated understanding of Christianity and Hinduism in relation. It presents a robust defense of comparative theology and of Hindu-Christian Studies as a necessarily theological discipline. It will be of wide interest in the fields of Religious Studies, Theology, Christianity and Hindu Studies.