1751 Slices
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Mangina, Joseph Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


Joshua R. Brown


This essay explores how Hans Urs von Balthasar’s conception of Christ’s archetypal experience involves the exemplarity of his filial obedience.1 I argue Balthasar develops an implicit taxonomy of obedience with Christ as the apical “symphonic” obedience in contrast to creaturely and covenantal forms of obedience. By “symphonic,” I mean the attunement of all the parts within a whole—within Jesus, his obedience, his love of God, and existence are all perfectly attuned to one another. Thus, Jesus’s life shows us a “symphonic” obedience wherein all the parts are distinct, yet “sound together” in seamless harmony. Moreover, I mean to show how Balthasar’s attention to this aspect of Jesus is particularly steeped in the filial nature of the Incarnation, and hence his filial obedience is the uniquely symphonic form.

Joshua R. Brown, Loyola University Maryland, Dept. of Theology, 4501 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21210. E-mail: jrbrown@loyola.edu.

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20 “From Ignorance to Truth”: A Baptist Conversion Narrative

HEATHER COLEMAN Indiana University Press ePub

Heather J. Coleman

WHILE ACCOUNTS OF PERSONAL RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE ARE common, the conversion narrative is a relatively rare form of Russian religious writing. The Orthodox Church, to which the vast majority of Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians belonged in the nineteenth century, teaches that salvation is a process. The purpose of the Christian life in Orthodox teaching is to restore, by grace, the union of God and humans, to become perfectly one with God. This is understood to be a long-term development, achieved through regular worship, prayer, reading, and adherence to the commandments. Because of this, and because most people remain within their ancestral faith, accounts of personal religious conversion in imperial Russia tended to come from the relatively small, but growing, number of believers who sought spiritual answers beyond the Orthodox Church among the various sects that populated the religious landscape. By the turn of the twentieth century, the fastest growing groups were evangelicals, in particular the Baptists. In contrast to the Orthodox, Baptist teaching on salvation emphasizes the need for an adult personal conversion. Attesting to such a conversion is the prerequisite for baptism by full immersion and membership in the church. It is not surprising, therefore, that tales of conversion emerged as a major form of Russian Baptist rhetoric and writing.

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Doctores Ecclesiae

Mangina, Joseph Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

The Witness of Athanasius at the (Hoped-For) Nicene Council of 2025 1

Khaled Anatolios

In the spring of 2014, Patriarch Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Churches, made a splash in the news whose ripples extended even to the secular press when he announced that he was collaborating with Pope Francis on plans to hold an ecumenical synod in Nicaea in 2025. In an exclusive interview with the website “asianews.it”, Patriarch Bartholomew reportedly said, “We agreed to leave as a legacy to ourselves and our successors a gathering in Nicaea in 2025, to celebrate together, after 17 centuries, the first truly ecumenical synod, where the Creed was first promulgated.”2 Scholars of fourth-century theology experienced an unforeseen, if short-lived, gratification in witnessing the sudden newsworthiness of the first Nicene council of 325, as various news sites attempted to explain to contemporary audiences the import of that fourth-century gathering. For a brief period, condensed descriptions of the original Nicene council could be found in such venues as “The Huffington Post,” alongside analyses of the “budding bromance” of Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew.3

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46 The Liquidation of the Camps and the Termination of Operation Reinhard

Yitzhak Arad Indiana University Press ePub

The principal decision to terminate Operation Reinhard and close the death camps of Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka was taken by Himmler during his visit to Lublin in March 1943 (see chapter 22). At that time almost all the Jews in the General Government had already been annihilated and the death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau was in full operation and could meet the needs of the Nazi extermination machine. The final date for the closing of Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka now depended on when the cremation of the corpses would be completed. The SS authorities planned to leave absolutely no trace of the death camps. All construction in the camps was to be destroyed or evacuated. The whole area was to be cleaned of debris, plowed over, and trees were to be sown and planted.

The first camp to be dismantled and closed was Belzec.1 The mass deportation to this camp stopped in December 1942. Some transports of Jews from the district of Lvov, which arrived in Belzec after this date, were sent from there to Sobibor. But the liquidation process took several months. Scharführer Werner Dubois, who was in Belzec at that time, testified:

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4. Peppered Moths . . . Evidence for Evolution?

Ken Ham Master Books ePub

Chapter 4

Peppered Moths . . . Evidence for Evolution?

Dr. Tommy Mitchell

Stop me if you have heard this tale before. Its about one of the sacred cows of evolution: the peppered moth. The story of this moth has been set forth for decades as the prime example of evolution in action. It is a fascinating story about how, due to a combination of environmental changes and selective predation, a moth turned into, well, a moth.

The peppered moth, scientifically known as Biston betularia, exists in two primary forms one light colored with spots and one almost black. As the tale goes, in the mid 1800s, the lighter variety of the moth (typica) predominated. During the Industrial Revolution, the lichen on tree trunks died, soot got deposited on trees, and as a result trees got darker. As this change occurred, the population of darker moths (carbonaria) increased, presumably due to the camouflage offered by the darker trees. Bird predators could not see the dark moths against the dark bark. As the darker moth population increased, the lighter moth population decreased.1

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Medium 9780253019622

5. Listening in the Dark: The Yiddish Folklorists’ Claim of a Russian Genealogy / Gabriella Safran

Edited by Andreas Kilcher and Gabriella Indiana University Press ePub

The Yiddish Folklorists’ Claim of a Russian Genealogy


The Lodz Yiddish writer Hershele (Hershl Danilevitsh, 1882–1941) explained why he collected Yiddish folksongs by linking himself to a Russian Christian born almost a century earlier, Aleksei Kol’tsov (1809–1842), a cattle merchant’s son celebrated for his poems spoken in the voice of the Russian peasant. “I am a folk poet,” Hershele asserted, “the Jewish Kol’tsov! I write and collect folk songs.”1 Other Yiddish folklorists during Poland’s productive interwar Jewish “folklore mania” years were also inspired by the Russian writers of the early and mid-nineteenth century. Noah Pryłucki (1882–1941), Warsaw’s leading Jewish philologist, editor, and folklore scholar, began to write down Yiddish tales (translating them into Russian as he did so) after having read the Russian peasant tales anthologized by Aleksandr Afanas’ev (1826–1871); in the introduction to his first volume of folk songs, he quoted Nikolai Gogol (1809–1852); and when he urged the Yiddish writer Sholem Asch to develop a version of Yiddish that would be beautiful, authentic, and appropriate for upper-class speakers, he told him to model himself on the Russian Romantic writers Aleksandr Griboedov (1795–1829), Aleksandr Pushkin (1799–1837),2 and Mikhail Lermontov (1814–1841).3

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Medium 9780253206909

4. Orientation in Time

David Chidester Indiana University Press ePub

The trajectory traced by the Peoples Temple through time was supported and made meaningful by specific strategies of temporal orientation within its worldview. In temporal orientation, individual consciousness is sychronized with shared perceptions of time within a community. The experience of time, as suggested by the sociologists of religion Henri Hubert and Marcel Mauss, may be regarded as an “active tension by which consciousness realizes the harmony of independent durations and different rhythms,” through the cultural media of myths of beginning, myths of the end, historical records, genealogies, sacred calendars, and the patterned rhythms of ritual, work, leisure, and the transitions of the human life cycle.1 There is no universal time scale. Each society, each community, and each group within a society may generate distinctive measuring devices—myths, collective memories, unique histories, shared anticipations, communal calendars, and rhythms of interpersonal relations—that support a unique sense of orientation in time.2 The Peoples Temple cultivated particular temporal orientations toward the beginning and the end of the world, the role of the Temple in the chronicle of human history, and the investment of the body in the rhythms of living, working, and dying for a cause, which can be separated, for purposes of analysis, as orientations in cosmic time, historical time, and body time. These three interlocking aspects of a general orientation in time were essential in the formation of the worldview of the Peoples Temple.

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Medium 9780253356734

6. 1 John 3:20

Kierkegaard, Søren Indiana University Press ePub

[ 6 ]

Great are you, O God; although we only know you as in a mystery and as in a mirror,1 we still adore your greatness in wonder—how much more must we one day extol it when we learn to know it more fully! When I stand under the dome of heaven surrounded by the wonder of creation, then moved and with adoration I praise your greatness, you who easily support the stars eternally and concern yourself in a fatherly manner with the sparrow.2 But when we are gathered here in your holy house, then we are also surrounded on all sides by what in a deeper sense reminds us of your greatness. For great are you, the Creator and Sustainer of the world; but when you, O God, forgave the world’s sin and reconciled yourself with the fallen human race, ah, then you were indeed even greater in your incomprehensible compassion! How could we then not believingly praise and thank and worship you here in your holy house, where everything reminds us of this, especially those who are gathered today to receive the forgiveness of sins and to appropriate anew reconciliation with you in Christ!

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Medium 9780253010278

5 Power and Israel in Martin Buber’s Critique of Carl Schmitt’s Political Theology

Edited by Randi Rashkover and Martin Kav Indiana University Press ePub

“Can political success be attained through religious deed?” asks Martin Buber in his 1930 essay, “Gandhi, Politics, and Us.”1 Buber’s answer is complex and subtle. Religion and politics, he suggests, are distinguishable. Politics is a means and a measure of achievement, whereas religion is a guide and a direction for possibility. However, the cautious and tentative alliance of politics and religion displays a core feature of humanity, the political-theological, which in Buber’s judgment exhibits itself not so much in the decision as to what counts as properly human—a decision between one and another—as it does in the permission to include unexpected kinds within the human fold, an inclusion of both one and another. Hence Buber disputes the account of political theology rendered by his contemporary, the jurist and legal scholar Carl Schmitt.

This chapter tracks the argument Buber has with Schmitt about political theology in order to reckon its value for contemporary thinking about Israel and power. Like Buber himself, the multifaceted position he stakes frankly concedes and even celebrates the uncertainties and contradictions of life that Schmitt forcefully denies. The account of power in Schmitt, Buber generally argues, is one-sided. For effective power in Schmitt’s view arguably collapses politics and theology in order to construct a united front against the opposition or “the enemy.” Schmitt presumes that power coordinates theological warrant and political force, not only so that might is right but even so that any expression of weakness or solicitude is unnatural, or at least unbecoming. Buber demurs. Politics and theology make a combustible pair. Combined, they might wreak more destruction on humankind than any other ill fortune. Yet, held in delicate balance, theology and politics can foster healing and wholesome human activity. The key for Buber is that power does not found or propel human history. History—specifically divine history, or Heilsgeschichte—carries power in its wake. Buber’s alternative to Schmitt, I contend, offers a vision of Israel justified by its deepening and widening of political theology.

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Medium 9781442229198


Pro Ecclesia Rowman & Littlefield Publishers PDF




Tim Perry


The trend among Protestants, and especially evangelical Protestants, to pay greater attention to the place of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Christian doctrine and devotion has been well documented and continues to show no sign of slowing down.2 In the popular and academic publications that grow out of and reflect this interest, however, little notice has been paid to the place and purpose of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Church Dogmatics (CD) of Karl Barth.3 Indeed, in the exploding secondary bibliography of Barth research, scant attention is offered. Only three essays and one book have been published since 1967 that devote themselves exclusively

Rev. Deacon Tim Perry, Ph.D., 5 Oak Crescent, Steinbach, Manitoba R5G 0G3,

Canada. E-mail: timothyscottperry@hotmail.com

1. This article began as a lunchtime conversation about my book, Mary for Evangelicals:

Toward an Understanding of the Mother of Our Lord (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2006) with the Rev. Professor Mac Watts. It is an attempt to answer his question, “What do you think old Barth would make of your book?” A student of T. F. Torrance, Mac was very helpful and encouraging, suggesting the avenues of thought that have led to these pages.

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10 - Myth vs. Reality: Muslim American Philanthropy since 9/11

NoContributor Indiana University Press ePub

Muslim American Philanthropy since 9/11

Shariq A. Siddiqui

THERE ARE DEFINING moments in our lives. I remember my parents describing the moment they first heard that John F. Kennedy was assassinated and when my professors talked about the moment Martin Luther King, Jr., or Robert Kennedy was killed. I was amazed by their memory and used to be thankful that such an event had not occurred in my generation's lifetime. That changed on September 11, 2001.

As I watched the horrific images on television, praying that the perpetrators were not Muslims, I knew that this moment was significant, but I did not realize that it would be a defining moment for Muslim Americans. The lives of Muslim Americans were changed in profound ways on that day. Many have argued that the events that followed due to the tragedy of 9/11 have had a negative effect on Muslim Americans and especially their philanthropic activity. In order to understand the impact on Muslim American philanthropy after September11, 2001, it is important first to understand Islamic philanthropy, learn about Muslim American history, and explore who Muslim Americans are before looking into their philanthropic activities.

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Medium 9780253006479

4 The Subtle Power of Simplicity

McCombs, Richard Indiana University Press ePub


To give subtlety to the simple. (Proverbs 1:4)


The traversed path is: to reach, to arrive at simplicity. (PV, 6–7)


He now followed the method he was in the habit of following—namely, to make everything as simple as possible. (JC, 165)


Do you not come your tardy son to chide, That, lapsed in time and passion, lets go by The important acting of your dread command?

(Shakespeare, Hamlet)

Just as one would not expect to hear a panegyric on meekness and modesty from Nietzsche, the author of the doctrines of the superman and of the “will-to-power,” so one does not expect to hear high praise for simplicity from Kierkegaard, the subtle and sophisticated “indirect communicator.” But, if we listen attentively to Kierkegaard, this is exactly what we hear.

Writing under the Climacus pseudonym, he praises Lessing for writing simply, invites his readers to “talk quite simply about” “great tasks” “as neighbor speaks with neighbor in the evening twilight,” and claims that “the simple” is both essential and the “most difficult” thing “for the wise person to understand” (CUP, 99, 145, 160). We also learn from the philosophical biography of Climacus that his method and habit is “to make everything as simple as possible” (JC, 165). Similarly, Kierkegaard himself speaks highly of simplicity, often refers to his hero Socrates as that “simple wise man of old,” and claims that both the “traversed path” of his authorship and the “Christian movement” are “to reach, to arrive at simplicity” (JFY, 116, 119; PV, 7; original emphasis).

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Response to Contributors

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Response to Contributors

Paul Hinlicky

There are few experiences more gratifying in life, especially the life of a theologian nowadays, than being heard and understood. I am honored for just this reason at the rich, appreciative, and insightfully critical essays written by these four comrades who undertook the daunting task of reading my massive book—Pro Ecclesia board member Joe Small asked me at the last board meeting whether I do books under ten pounds! I am grateful to all four though in distinct and personally particular ways.

My old friend Michael Plekon, student of Peter Berger, Kierkegaard scholar, and ebullient writer in Orthodox theology and spirituality for the past twenty years, writes an unabashedly personal response to what he has read in Beloved Community. This is fitting. We both eschew a certain academic pretense of disinterested objectivity that would downright filter the person out of the theology. Our stories tell a lot about who we are as believers, as thinking believers, and as theologians. The modality here is testimony. The agency is the Spirit who makes quite ordinary folks over into icons of holiness—dare we say that about theologians? Yes, if the stage is God’s world, “this world” including the academy, and if the performance in it is that of a “holy secularity.” This “life as prayer” motif resonates deeply between us and with Plekon’s approbation of Pope Francis—a living icon of this worldly spirituality in our post-Christendom world!

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Introduction: Public Images

Malcolm Bull Indiana University Press ePub

IN A SURVEY conducted in North America in 2003, 44 percent of those questioned said that they had not heard of Seventh-day Adventism. Of those who had, two-thirds were able to provide further information. Some were aware that Adventism was “a religion,” and many knew that Saturday was observed as the Sabbath. Fifteen percent confused Adventists either with Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses. Apart from the Saturday Sabbath, popular awareness of the church’s beliefs and practices was vague. One in fifteen knew of an Adventist hospital in their locality, but among those who muddled Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses, the church was believed to oppose blood transfusions. Altogether, a third of respondents viewed Adventism positively, while a fifth perceived it negatively.1

This is not the profile of a religious group that has captured the popular imagination. Indeed, younger people and some ethnic minorities are even less likely to have heard of the church. Sixty-two percent of adults born after 1964 know nothing of Seventh-day Adventism, as is the case with 38 percent of Caucasians as a whole, 43 percent of African Americans, 67 percent of Hispanics, and 75 percent of Asians.2 Such findings among the young and among rising racial groups indicate that ignorance of the church may actually be growing as time passes. The 44 percent average in 2003 was slightly down from the 47 percent who had not heard of the denomination in 1994, but it was a marked increase from the 30–35 percent who professed ignorance of Adventism in similar polls conducted in the 1970s and 1980s.3

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1 Protestantism in Nazi Germany

Christopher J. Probst Indiana University Press ePub

At the 1927 Königsberg Protestant Church Congress, Paul Althaus gave a rousing and groundbreaking keynote address on Kirche und Volkstum (Church and Nationality). In it, he offered a carefully constructed new political theology that railed against a “foreign invasion” (Überfremdung) in the areas of the arts, fashion, and finance, which he believed had led to a disintegration of the national community (Volksgemeinschaft). The present distress of the German Volk, he charged, was due to the “Jewish threat.” The church’s attempts to penetrate the Volk with the Gospel were opposed by “Jewish influence” in economics, the press, the arts, and literature. Althaus had captured perceptively the mood of Weimar Protestants and provided theological legitimacy for völkisch (nationalistic) thinking in their ranks.

Althaus was one of the most prominent and prolific theologians of the late Weimar and Nazi eras. His carefully constructed doctrine of the “orders of creation” influenced large numbers of German Protestants during late Weimar and the Third Reich. The importance of this innovative theological construct during the Nazi era, its consequences for German Protestant ideology, as well as the influence of its progenitor, require careful examination, which I will undertake shortly. First, however, a few words are in order about some key interpretive issues, the evolution of antisemitism in modern Germany, and some important developments in German Protestantism during the 1920s and 1930s.

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