Religion

Receptive Human Virtues | ,

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This book offers a new reading of Jonathan Edwards’s virtue ethic that examines a range of qualities Edwards identifies as “virtues” and considers their importance for contemporary ethics. Each of Edwards’s human virtues is “receptive” in nature: humans acquire the virtues through receiving divine grace, and therefore depend utterly on Edwards’s God for virtue’s acquisition. By contending that humans remain authentic moral agents even as they are unable to attain virtue apart from his God’s assistance, Edwards challenges contemporary conceptions of moral responsibility, which tend to emphasize human autonomy as a central part of accountability..

Religion

A Charitable Orthopathy | John W. Morehead,Brandon C. Benziger

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Evangelicals and other conservative Christians of the twenty-first century face enormous challenges in the pluralistic public square, not least with Muslims and atheists. Contrary to biblical injunctions to “keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal 5:25b) and to love our neighbors as ourselves (e.g., Matt 22:37–40; Luke 10:25–37)—both of which involve not only behavioral but also important affective elements—we often harbor deep-seated antipathies toward atheists and adherents of other religions. While such feelings are at times justified and help us cope with conflict-related tragedies, they are also often baseless, misconstrued, and counterproductive, priming us to avoid religious others, support discriminatory policies against them, and even confront them in verbal or physical ways. The purpose of this volume is to offer an academically informed yet practically oriented collection of essays that challenges and encourages Christians to engage their religious neighbors in a much more loving, compassionate, hopeful, and courageous—indeed, orthopathic—manner, whether in the realm of politics, in debate and conference venues, on the mission field, or in their own homes, schools, churches, and neighborhoods. As such, a set of reflection and discussion questions is included to facilitate individual and/or group study..

Religion

The Theology of Jonathan Edwards | Michael J. McClymond,Gerald R. McDermott

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Winner of the 2013 Christianity Today Book Award for Theology/Ethics Scholars and laypersons alike regard Jonathan Edwards (1703-58) as North America's greatest theologian. The Theology of Jonathan Edwards is the most comprehensive survey of his theology yet produced and the first study to make full use of the recently-completed seventy-three-volume online edition of the Works of Jonathan Edwards. The book's forty-five chapters examine all major aspects of Edwards's thought and include in-depth discussions of the extensive secondary literature on Edwards as well as Edwards's own writings. Its opening chapters set out Edwards's historical and personal theological contexts. The next thirty chapters connect Edwards's theological loci in the temporally-ordered way in which he conceptualized the theological enterprise-beginning with the triune God in eternity with his angels to the history of redemption as an expression of God's inner reality ad extra, and then back to God in eschatological glory. The authors analyze such themes as aesthetics, metaphysics, typology, history of redemption, revival, and true virtue. They also take up such rarely-explored topics as Edwards's missiology, treatment of heaven and angels, sacramental thought, public theology, and views of non-Christian religions. Running throughout the volume are what the authors identify as five basic theological constituents: trinitarian communication, creaturely participation, necessitarian dispositionalism, divine priority, and harmonious constitutionalism. Later chapters trace his influence on and connections with later theologies and philosophies in America and Europe. The result is a multi-layered analysis that treats Edwards as a theologian for the twenty-first-century global Christian community, and a bridge between the Christian West and East, Protestantism and Catholicism, conservatism and liberalism, and charismatic and non-charismatic churches..

Religion

Protestant Virtue and Stoic Ethics | Elizabeth Agnew Cochran

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The Stoics are known to have been a decisive influence on early Christian moral thought, but the import of this influence for contemporary Christian ethics has been underexplored. Elizabeth Agnew Cochran argues that attention to the Stoics enriches a Christian understanding of the virtues, illuminating precisely how historical Protestant theology gives rise to a distinctive virtue ethic. Through examining the dialogue between Roman Stoic ethics and the work of Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Jonathan Edwards, Cochran illuminates key theological convictions that provide a foundation for a contemporary Protestant virtue ethic, consistent with theological beliefs characteristic of the historical Reformed tradition..

Religion

Between Providence and Choice Biography | Kees Van der Knijff

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Many Christians struggle with the topic of divine guidance. Yet, treatments of such guidance often do insufficient justice to the theological complexities underneath the practical questions. Therefore, in this book the author develops a Reformed approach to guidance using a systematic theological approach. First, he develops a typology of approaches to guidance in contemporary evangelicalism. This typology uncovers a number of underlying theological questions, which are discussed through extensive interactions with the writings of John Calvin and Jonathan Edwards. Based upon these interactions, the author proposes a Reformed approach to divine guidance in which vocation, wisdom, discernment, and transformation are central concepts. Furthermore, this approach to guidance emphasizes the importance of the Christian community and the ongoing influence of the Holy Spirit..

Religion

Sabbath Rest as Vocation | Autumn Alcott Ridenour

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Autumn Alcott Ridenour offers a Christian theological discussion on the meaning of aging toward death with purpose, identity, and communal significance. Drawing from both explicit claims and constructive interpretations of St. Augustine's and Karl Barth's understanding of death and aging, this volume describes moral virtue as participation in Christ across generations, culminating in preparation for Sabbath rest during the aging stage of life. Addressing the inevitability of aging, the prospect of mortality, the importance of contemplative action and expanding upon the virtues of growing older, Ridenour analyzes how locating moral agency as union with Christ results in virtuous practices for aging individuals and their surrounding communities. By responding with constructive theology to challenges from transhumanist, bioethical and medical arenas, the volume highlights implications not only for virtue ethics, but also for the goals of medicine..

Religion

The Global Edwards | Rhys S. Bezzant

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In a globalized world, networks are key, whether they are networks of people, ideas, or interests. In this volume of essays on the texts and teachings of Jonathan Edwards, contributors from each continent ask questions about how the world of Edwards explains or illuminates the world of today, whether in the area of systematics, missions, historiography, politics, church-planting, or biblical studies. Such diverse discourses enrich the networks of scholarship that the contributors represent, and provide a global snapshot of contemporary research in Edwards studies. These papers were presented in August 2015 at the Jonathan Edwards Congress held at Ridley College in Melbourne, Australia, where personal engagement with the topics at hand made the worldwide network of Edwards aficionados and scholars not merely a virtual aspiration but an experience in time and space. This book will not only inform its readers but surprise them as well, as they track the power of eighteenth century theological ideas in the late modern world..

Religion

Longing for the Good Life: Virtue Ethics after Protestantism | Pieter Vos

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This book argues that Protestant theological ethics not only reveals basic virtue ethical characteristics, but also contributes significantly to a viable contemporary virtue ethics. Pieter Vos demonstrates that post-Reformation theological ethics still understands the good in terms of the good life, takes virtues as necessary for living the good life and considers human nature as a source of moral knowledge. Vos approaches Protestant theology as an important bridge between pre-modern virtue ethics, shaped by Aristotle and transformed by Augustine of Hippo, and late modern understandings of morality. The volume covers a range of topics, going from eudaimonism and Calvinist ethics to Reformed scholastic virtue ethics and character formation in the work of Søren Kierkegaard. The author shows how Protestantism has articulated other-centered virtues from a theology of grace, affirmed ordinary life and emphasized the need of transformation of this life and its orders. Engaging with philosophy of the art of living, Neo-Aristotelianism and exemplarist ethics, he develops constructive contributions to a contemporary virtue ethics..

Religion

Jonathan Edwards within the Enlightenment: Controversy, Experience, & Thought | John T. Lowe,Daniel N. Gullotta

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In her Epilogue entitled “What Is His Greatness?”, Ola Elizabeth Winslow stated in the first serious modern biography of Jonathan Edwards: “In a word, it is the greatness of one who had a determining art of initiating and directing a popular movement of far-reaching consequence, and who in addition, laid the foundations for a new system of religious thought, also of far-reaching consequence.” After two and a half centuries since Edwards’s death, Winslow’s statement is undoubtedly true, and perhaps, more so now than ever. The recovery of Edwards pioneered by Perry Miller, Ola Winslow, and Thomas Schafer, among others, has become what is often referred to as an “Edwards renaissance,” and has been made even more popular among lay people by John Piper, Stephen Nichols, and the like. Since the free online access of The Works of Jonathan Edwards by Yale University, dozens of books, and articles, as well as numerous dissertations, each year are written to seek a facet of Edwards’s “greatness,” and thus as an exemplar of his continued “far-reaching consequence.” Jonathan Edwards, more than any other pre-revolutionary colonial thinker, grappled with the promises and perils of the Enlightenment. Organized by John T. Lowe and Daniel N. Gullotta, Jonathan Edwards within the Enlightenment brings together a group of young and early career scholars to present their propping the life, times, and theology of one of America’s greatest minds. Many of these subjects have been seldom explored by scholars while others offer new and exciting avenues into well covered territory. Some of these topics include Edwards’ interaction with and involvement in slavery, colonialism, racism, as well as musings on gender, populism, violence, pain, and witchcraft..

Philosophy

The Routledge Companion to Virtue Ethics | Lorraine L Besser,Michael Slote

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Virtue ethics is on the move both in Anglo-American philosophy and in the rest of the world. This volume uniquely emphasizes non-Western varieties of virtue ethics at the same time that it includes work in the many different fields or areas of philosophy where virtue ethics has recently spread its wings. Just as significantly, several chapters make comparisons between virtue ethics and other ways of approaching ethics or political philosophy or show how virtue ethics can be applied to "real world" problems..

Religion

Themelios, Volume 37, Issue 1 | D. A. Carson

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Themelios is an international, evangelical, peer-reviewed theological journal that expounds and defends the historic Christian faith. Themelios is published three times a year online at The Gospel Coalition (http://thegospelcoalition.org/themelios/) and in print by Wipf and Stock. Its primary audience is theological students and pastors, though scholars read it as well. Themelios began in 1975 and was operated by RTSF/UCCF in the UK, and it became a digital journal operated by The Gospel Coalition in 2008. The editorial team draws participants from across the globe as editors, essayists, and reviewers. General Editor: D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School Managing Editor: Brian Tabb, Bethlehem College and Seminary Consulting Editor: Michael J. Ovey, Oak Hill Theological College Administrator: Andrew David Naselli, Bethlehem College and Seminary Book Review Editors: Jerry Hwang, Singapore Bible College; Alan Thompson, Sydney Missionary & Bible College; Nathan A. Finn, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; Hans Madueme, Covenant College; Dane Ortlund, Crossway; Jason Sexton, Golden Gate Baptist Seminary Editorial Board: Gerald Bray, Beeson Divinity School Lee Gatiss, Wales Evangelical School of Theology Paul Helseth, University of Northwestern, St. Paul Paul House, Beeson Divinity School Ken Magnuson, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Jonathan Pennington, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary James Robson, Wycliffe Hall Mark D. Thompson, Moore Theological College Paul Williamson, Moore Theological College Stephen Witmer, Pepperell Christian Fellowship Robert Yarbrough, Covenant Seminary.

Religion

God and the Moral Life | Myriam Renaud,Joshua Daniel

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How do various concepts of God impact the moral life? Is God ultimately required for goodness? In this edited collection, an international panel of contemporary philosophers and theologians offer new avenues of exploration from a theist perspective for these important questions. The book features several approaches to address these questions. Common themes include philosophical and theological conceptions of God with reference to human morality, particular Trinitarian accounts of God and the resultant ethical implications, and how communities are shaped, promoted, and transformed by accounts of God. Bringing together philosophical and theological insights on the relationship between God and our moral lives, this book will be of keen interest to scholars of the philosophy of religion, particularly those looking at ethics, social justice and morality..

Religion

God, Creation, and Salvation | Oliver D. Crisp

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This collection of studies in theology is written from the perspective of one from within the Christian faith, and seeking greater understanding of the doctrinal deposit of that faith. As a leading scholar in Christian and analytic theology, Oliver D. Crisp summarizes and analyses Christian doctrine, written in the form of traditional dogmatics. Beginning with issues concerning the task of theology, Crisp explores the challenges to systematic theology as a discipline, the uses of Scripture in theological discourse, and the reception of the theology of John Calvin. He then moves issues at the centre of serious theological debate in recent theology, the relationship between God and abstract objects in the thought of Jonathan Edwards, and theological anthropology. This volume culminates with studies that focus on central and defining issues in contemporary systematic and philosophical theology, taking forward a constructive theological program in dialogue with important figures in the Christian tradition, and engaged with some of the best contemporary theological scholarship..

Philosophy

Character | Christian B. Miller,R. Michael Furr,Angela Knobel,William Fleeson

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This collection contains some of the best new work being done on the subject of character from the perspectives of philosophy, theology, and psychology. From creating a virtual reality simulation of the Milgram shock experiments to understanding the virtue of modesty in Muslim societies to defending soldiers' moral responsibility for committing war crimes, these 31 chapters break much new ground and significantly advance our understanding of character. The main topics covered fall under the heading of our beliefs about character, the existence and nature of character traits, character and ethical theory, virtue epistemology, the nature of particular virtues, character development, and challenges to character and virtue from neuroscience and situationism. These papers stem from the work of the Character Project (www.thecharacterproject.com) at Wake Forest University, generously supported by the John Templeton Foundation. This collection is truly unique in featuring the work of many young, up-and-coming voices in their fields with new perspectives to offer. Together their work will significantly shape discussions of character for years to come..

Religion

Journal of Moral Theology, Volume 3, Number 1 | David M. Cloutier,William C. Mattison

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Virtue:Volume 3, Number 1, January 2014, Edited by David Cloutier and William C. Mattison III. Moral Reason, Person and Virtue: The Aristotelian-Thomistic Perspective in the Face of Current Challenges from Neurobiology, Martin Rhonheimer. The Desire for Happiness and the Virtues of the Will, Jean Porter. Elevating and Healing: Reflections on Summa Theologiae I-II q. 109, a. 2, John R. Bowlin. The Case for an Exemplarist Approach to Virtue in Catholic Moral Theology, Patrick M. Clark. After White Supremacy? The Viability of Virtue Ethics for Racial Justice, Maureen H. O'Connell. Ends and Virtues, Angela Knobel. Virtue, Action, and the Human Species, Charles R. Pinches. Progress in the Good: A Defense of the Thomistic Unity Thesis, Andrew Kim. Teresa of Avila's Liberative Humility, Lisa Fullam. Faith, Love, and Stoic Assent: Reconsidering Virtue in the Reformed Tradition, Elizabeth Agnew Cochran. Review Essay: The Resurgence of Virtue in Recent Moral Theology, David Cloutier and William C. Mattison III.

History

Edwards the Mentor | Rhys S. Bezzant

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Among his many accomplishments, Jonathan Edwards was an effective mentor who trained many leaders for the church in colonial America, but his pastoral work is often overlooked. Rhys S. Bezzant investigates the background, method, theological rationale, and legacy of his mentoring ministry. Edwards did what mentors normally do--he met with individuals to discuss ideas and grow in skills. But Bezzant shows that Edwards undertook these activities in a distinctly modern or affective key. His correspondence is written in an informal style; his understanding of friendship and conversation takes up the conventions of the great metropolitan cities of Europe. His pedagogical commitments are surprisingly progressive and his aspirations for those he mentored are bold and subversive. When he explains his mentoring practice theologically, he expounds the theme of seeing God face to face, summarized in the concept of the beatific vision, which recognizes that human beings learn through the example of friends as well as through the exposition of propositions. In this book the practice of mentoring is presented as an exchange between authority and agency, in which the more experienced person empowers the other, whose own character and competencies are thus nurtured. More broadly, the book is a case study in cultural engagement, for Edwards deliberately takes up certain features of the modern world in his mentoring and yet resists other pressures that the Enlightenment generated. If his world witnessed the philosophical evacuation of God from the created order, then Edwards's mentoring is designed to draw God back into an intimate connection with human experience..

Religion

The Oxford Handbook of Jonathan Edwards | Douglas A. Sweeney,Jan Stievermann

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The Oxford Handbook of Jonathan Edwards offers a state-of-the-art summary of scholarship on Edwards by a diverse, international, and interdisciplinary group of Edwards scholars, many of whom serve as global leaders in the burgeoning world of research and writing on 'America's theologian'. As an early modern clerical polymath, Edwards is of interest to historians, theologians, and literary scholars. He is also an interlocutor for contemporary clergy and philosophical theologians. All such readers—and many more—will find here an authoritative overview of Edwards' life, ministry, and writings, as well as a representative sampling of cutting-edge scholarship on Edwards from across several disciplines. The volume falls into four sections, which reflect the diversity of Edwards studies today. The first section turns to the historical Edwards and grounds him in his period and the relevant contexts that shaped his life and work. The second section balances the historical reconstruction of Edwards as a theological and philosophical thinker with explorations of his usefulness for constructive theology and the church today. In part three, the focus shifts to the different ways and contexts in which Edwards attempted to realize his ideas and ideals in his personal life, scholarship, and ministry, but also to the ways in which these historical realities stood in tension with, limited, or resisted his aspirations. The final section looks at Edwards' widening renown and influence as well as diverse appropriations. This Handbook serves as an authoritative guide for readers overwhelmed by the enormity of the multi-lingual world of Edwards studies. It will bring readers up to speed on the most important work being done and then serve them as a benchmark in the field of Edwards scholarship for decades to come..

Religion

The Oxford Handbook of Reformed Theology | Michael Allen,Scott R. Swain

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The Oxford Handbook of Reformed Theology looks back to past resources that have informed Reformed theology and surveys present conversations among those engaged in Reformed theology today. First, the volume offers accounts of the major historical contexts of reformed theology, the various relationships (ancient and modern) which it maintains and from which it derives. Recent research has shown the intricate ties between the patristic and medieval heritage of the church and the work of the reformed movement in the sixteenth century. The past century has also witnessed an explosion of reformed theology outside the Western world, prompting a need for attention not only to these global voices but also to the unique (and contingent) history of reformed theology in the West (hence reflecting on its relationship to intellectual developments like scholastic method or the critical approaches of modern biblical studies). Second, the volume assesses some of the classic, representative texts of the reformed tradition, observing also their reception history. The reformed movement is not dominated by a single figure, but it does contain a host of paradigmatic texts that demonstrate the range and vitality of reformed thought on politics, piety, biblical commentary, dogmatic reflection, and social engagement. Third, the volume turns to key doctrines and topics that continue to receive attention by reformed theologians today. Contributors who are themselves making cutting edge contributions to constructive theology today reflect on the state of the question and offer their own proposals regarding a host of doctrinal topics and themes..

Religion

Understanding Affections in the Theology of Jonathan Edwards | Ryan J. Martin

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This volume argues that the notion of “affections” discussed by Jonathan Edwards (and Christian theologians before him) means something very different from what contemporary English speakers now call “emotions.” and that Edwards's notions of affections came almost entirely from traditional Christian theology in general and the Reformed tradition in particular. Ryan J. Martin demonstrates that Christian theologians for centuries emphasized affection for God, associated affections with the will, and distinguished affections from passions; generally explaining affections and passions to be inclinations and aversions of the soul. This was Edwards's own view, and he held it throughout his entire ministry. Martin further argues that Edwards's view came not as a result of his reading of John Locke, or the pressures of the Great Awakening (as many Edwardsean scholars argue), but from his own biblical interpretation and theological education. By analysing patristic, medieval and post-medieval thought and the journey of Edwards's psychology, Martin shows how, on their own terms, pre-modern Christians historically defined and described human psychology..

Religion

One Holy and Happy Society | Gerald McDermott

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Jonathan Edwards (1703–58) was arguably this country's greatest theologian and its finest philosopher before the nineteenth century. His school if disciples (the "New Divinity") exerted enormous influence on the religious and political cultures of late colonial and early republican America. Hence any study of religion and politics in early America must take account of this theologian and his legacy. Yet historians still regard Edward's social theory as either nonexistent or underdeveloped. Gerald McDermott demonstrates, to the contrary, that Edwards was very interested in the social and political affairs of his day, and commented upon them at length in his unpublished sermons and private notebooks. McDermott shows that Edwards thought deeply about New England's status under God, America's role in the millennium, the nature and usefulness of patriotism, the duties of a good magistrate, and what it means to be a good citizen. In fact, his sociopolitical theory was at least as fully developed as that of his better-known contemporaries and more progressive in its attitude toward citizens' rights. Using unpublished manuscripts that have previously been largely ignored, McDermott also convincingly challenges generations of scholarly opinion about Edwards. The Edwards who emerges from this nook is both less provincial and more this-worldly than the persona he is commonly given..