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One Body, One Spirit, One Hope: Theological Resources for Those Who Struggle to Hope

Joseph Mangina Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

One Body, One Spirit, One Hope: Theological Resources for Those Who Struggle to Hope

Barbara K. Sain

In a recent essay Margaret Adam describes how emphasis on certain ideas about hope in theological discussions can result in the neglect of other valuable ideas about hope from the Christian tradition.1 For example, focus on the revelatory character of human suffering can diminish the importance of a God who transcends suffering, and determination to fight injustice in this world can overshadow longing for eternal life beyond this world. The oppositions Adam describes reveal a characteristic of the larger discussion of Christian hope. The current conversation about hope is actually multiple conversations, with different presuppositions and focal points, that have surprisingly little engagement with each other. In addition to writers who focus on the classical topics of eschatology, such as the afterlife and the end of time, there are theologians who emphasize the social and historical character of hope, others who maintain the traditional understanding of hope as a theological virtue, and pastoral theologians who draw on psychology. To some extent the variety of approaches reflects the richness of the Christian experience of hope. However, the lack of engagement among different schools of thought results in disjunctures and omissions in the conversation. Some situations for which hope is important are not well addressed in the literature.

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1 Wind, Hand, and Stars: Reading the Past, Finding the Future through Divination

McPherson, Robert S. University Press of Colorado ePub
Medium 9780253015709

2 Seeing Things in Abraham Joshua Heschel’s The Sabbath

Ken Koltun-Fromm Indiana University Press ePub

2   Seeing Things in Abraham Joshua Heschel’s The Sabbath

Most of us seem to labor for the sake of things of space. As a result we suffer from a deeply rooted dread of time and stand aghast when compelled to look into its face.

—Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath

When Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907–1972), perhaps the most recognized American Jewish thinker of his generation, published The Sabbath (1951),1 Jews were facing a new reality in America: their lifestyles were far more suburban than urban; there was less antisemitism in the wake of the Holocaust; and yet people were still driven by consumerist pressures and technological advances. Jews were wealthier too, and were living alongside their Christian neighbors, with middle-class choices open to them. With greater acceptance and visibility, American Jews could see a different, more enticing future filled with luxury goods, seductive comforts, safe homes, honest work, and caring families. Though Rosenblatt feared such a home precisely because of those enticements, a good many American Jews sought a calming presence after the horrors of the previous decade. The then popular television series The Goldbergs2 offered homespun advice for common, familial tensions, but those conflicts were often resolved, muted, and visually displaced to allow a more cohesive, accommodating picture. Jews could visualize themselves as the Americans they wanted to be, and yearned for the security of home so often denied them elsewhere. Rosenblatt’s social laboratory was too far away, both geographically and psychologically, from the accommodating charm of American culture.

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Medium 978087178064x

Sacraments or Ordinances

Dale W. Brown Brethren Press PDF

another way body.qxd6/8/051:17 PMPage 110noted the sacramental or spiritual nature of face-to-face relationships.However, sacred observances that others call sacraments, were called ordinances by our forebears. It may be helpful to examine these words in understanding our theology or lack of theology of sacred observances.SacramentalismSacramentalists hold high views of what they name sacraments. The sacred acts are regarded as outward signs of inward grace, the presence of God, the means of grace. The word sacrament means mystery, which believers experience to be strange, awesome, ineffable, and unfathomable. Extremely highchurch dogma regards observance of sacraments to be necessary for salvation. Luther’s influence led most Protestants to reduce the number of sacraments to two, baptism and the Lord’s Supper (eucharist). The RomanCatholic and Orthodox Churches maintain an additional five: confirmation, matrimony, penance (confession), ordination (holy orders), and extreme unction (anointing). The mass embodies holy ritual for the eucharist.

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Medium 9780253008053

23. Wiesel's Contribution to a Christian Understanding of Judaism

Steven T Katz Indiana University Press ePub


Where are we going? Tell me. Do you know?

—Elie Wiesel, “A Mother and Her Daughter,” in A Jew Today

THE BEST OF ELIE WIESEL'S versatile writing includes the brief Holocaust-related dialogues that appear in his books from time to time. Spare and lean, they often consist of a few hundred words or less. These dialogues are distinctive not only for their minimalist quality but also because their apparent simplicity, their unidentified settings, unnamed characters, abrupt and open beginnings and endings raise fundamental questions in moving ways. In Wiesel's A Jew Today one of these dialogues comes from “A Mother and Her Daughter.” “Where are we going?” it begins. “Tell me. Do you know?” The mother tells her daughter, “I don't know,” but then when the child asks again, “Where are we going?” her mother says, “To the end of the world, little girl. We are going to the end of the world.”1

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