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Religions, Volume 3, Issue 4 (December 2012), Pages 887-1197

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Editorial

Jump to: Research

Open AccessEditorial From the Renaissance to the Modern World—Introduction
Religions 2012, 3(4), 1138-1139; doi:10.3390/rel3041138
Received: 21 November 2012 / Accepted: 22 November 2012 / Published: 6 December 2012
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Abstract
On November 11 and 12, 2011, a symposium held at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill honored John M. Headley, Emeritus Professor of History. The organizers, Professor Melissa Bullard—Headley’s colleague in the department of history at that university—along with Professors Paul
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On November 11 and 12, 2011, a symposium held at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill honored John M. Headley, Emeritus Professor of History. The organizers, Professor Melissa Bullard—Headley’s colleague in the department of history at that university—along with Professors Paul Grendler (University of Toronto) and James Weiss (Boston College), as well as Nancy Gray Schoonmaker, coordinator of the Program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies—assembled presenters, respondents, and dozens of other participants from Western Europe and North America to celebrate the career of their prolific, versatile, and influential colleague whose publications challenged and often changed the ways scholars think about Martin Luther, Thomas More, the Habsburg empire, early modern Catholicism, globalization, and multiculturalism. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From the Renaissance to the Modern World) Print Edition available
Open AccessEditorial Editors’ Introduction to “European Perspectives on the New Comparative Theology”
Religions 2012, 3(4), 1195-1197; doi:10.3390/rel3041195
Received: 19 November 2012 / Accepted: 14 December 2012 / Published: 18 December 2012
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Abstract
This thematic issue of Religions, “European Perspectives on the New Comparative Theology,” asks how comparative theology—an old discipline that has been infused with new energy in recent decades and merited new attention—has been received, understood, and critiqued among theologians and scholars of
[...] Read more.
This thematic issue of Religions, “European Perspectives on the New Comparative Theology,” asks how comparative theology—an old discipline that has been infused with new energy in recent decades and merited new attention—has been received, understood, and critiqued among theologians and scholars of religions in Europe today. How does comparative theology look in light of current understandings of theology, the study of religions, and comparative studies, and the politics of learning in the churches today? [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle Embodying the Global Soul: Internationalism and the American Evangelical Left
Religions 2012, 3(4), 887-901; doi:10.3390/rel3040887
Received: 18 June 2012 / Revised: 13 September 2012 / Accepted: 19 September 2012 / Published: 27 September 2012
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Abstract
In the last half of the twentieth century, neo-evangelicalism moved from an anticommunist nationalist consensus to a new internationalism characterized by concern for human rights, justice, and economic development. Case studies of World Vision, a global relief and development organization, and InterVarsity Christian
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In the last half of the twentieth century, neo-evangelicalism moved from an anticommunist nationalist consensus to a new internationalism characterized by concern for human rights, justice, and economic development. Case studies of World Vision, a global relief and development organization, and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a campus ministry, demonstrate that this trajectory was due in part to a growing global reflex in which many missionaries and third-world evangelicals “spoke back” to American evangelicalism. Interpreting the Bible for themselves—and increasingly for American evangelicals—substantial numbers of non-Western converts and missionaries offered sharp criticisms of American politics, culture, and capitalism. These critiques, sacralized by their origins on the mission field, helped turn some young evangelicals toward Vietnam protests, poverty relief, civil rights, and a tempered nationalism. By the 1970s, these progressive elements—and a more resolute global concern generally—had become important markers of the evangelical left. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progressive Evangelicalism)
Open AccessArticle Allies Advancing Justice: Cooperation between U.S. Bishops and Call to Action to Promote the Peace and Economic Pastoral Letters (1982–1987)
Religions 2012, 3(4), 902-921; doi:10.3390/rel3040902
Received: 3 July 2012 / Revised: 26 September 2012 / Accepted: 29 September 2012 / Published: 1 October 2012
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Abstract
This article discusses a phase of an ongoing relationship between a social movement organization (SMO), Call to Action, and the institutional organization (IO) in which it is embedded, the Catholic Church. Relationships between SMOs and IOs are dynamic. At times they may engage
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This article discusses a phase of an ongoing relationship between a social movement organization (SMO), Call to Action, and the institutional organization (IO) in which it is embedded, the Catholic Church. Relationships between SMOs and IOs are dynamic. At times they may engage in heated conflict related to the SMO’s goal to reform the IO and the desire of the IO leaders to maintain stability. There can also be times when such relationships are less adversarial and even cooperative. This article draws on periodicals, archival data and interviews to describe and analyze a period (1982–1987) when the values and interests of Call to Action and U.S. Bishops coalesced and led to a period of cooperation in which they together promoted the Peace and Economic Pastoral Letters written by the U.S. Conference of Bishops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Work on Catholicism)
Open AccessArticle The New Internationalists: World Vision and the Revival of American Evangelical Humanitarianism, 1950–2010
Religions 2012, 3(4), 922-949; doi:10.3390/rel3040922
Received: 26 July 2012 / Revised: 13 September 2012 / Accepted: 19 September 2012 / Published: 8 October 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (618 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
International relief and development agencies consistently rank among the largest evangelical organizations, and in recent decades, they have gained increased exposure and influence within the greater humanitarian community. World Vision, the largest evangelical agency, is also the largest Christian humanitarian organization in the
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International relief and development agencies consistently rank among the largest evangelical organizations, and in recent decades, they have gained increased exposure and influence within the greater humanitarian community. World Vision, the largest evangelical agency, is also the largest Christian humanitarian organization in the world. Themes of politics and culture wars have led many to scholars to categorize American evangelicals into distinct conservative and liberal parties. Yet the history of American evangelicals’ humanitarianism demonstrates how they often resisted such dichotomies. As evangelical humanitarian agencies expanded exponentially over the past five decades, they came to embrace a “holistic gospel” that helped shape evangelical mission debates concerning the relationship between evangelism and social action; they engaged international evangelicals that forced Americans to reconsider their own categories; and many modeled a practical ecumenism that allowed evangelicals to expand beyond a limited subculture to work alongside other religious and even secular NGOs. While other evangelical progressives fragmented over identity politics or remained tethered to small alterative communities, the leading aid agencies have achieved broad support across evangelicalism, making them some of the most influential voices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Progressive Evangelicalism)
Open AccessArticle The Confessions of Montaigne
Religions 2012, 3(4), 950-963; doi:10.3390/rel3040950
Received: 24 September 2012 / Revised: 10 October 2012 / Accepted: 11 October 2012 / Published: 15 October 2012
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Abstract
Montaigne rarely repented and he viewed confession—both juridical and ecclesiastical—with skepticism. Confession, Montaigne believed, forced a mode of self-representation onto the speaker that was inevitably distorting. Repentance, moreover, made claims about self-transformation that Montaigne found improbable. This article traces these themes in the
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Montaigne rarely repented and he viewed confession—both juridical and ecclesiastical—with skepticism. Confession, Montaigne believed, forced a mode of self-representation onto the speaker that was inevitably distorting. Repentance, moreover, made claims about self-transformation that Montaigne found improbable. This article traces these themes in the context of Montaigne’s Essays, with particular attention to “On Some Verses of Virgil” and argues that, for Montaigne, a primary concern was finding a means of describing a self that he refused to reduce, as had Augustine and many other writers before and after him, to the homo interior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From the Renaissance to the Modern World) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Comparative Theology: Between Theology and Religious Studies
Religions 2012, 3(4), 964-972; doi:10.3390/rel3040964
Received: 26 July 2012 / Revised: 10 October 2012 / Accepted: 12 October 2012 / Published: 15 October 2012
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Abstract
In the German-speaking academy there is a widespread rivalry between theology and religious studies. “Comparative Theology” provokes suspicions from both sides. This contribution first takes a look at the history of the rivalry, refers then to the criticism from both sides against “Comparative
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In the German-speaking academy there is a widespread rivalry between theology and religious studies. “Comparative Theology” provokes suspicions from both sides. This contribution first takes a look at the history of the rivalry, refers then to the criticism from both sides against “Comparative Theology” and suggests a way of positioning it between the two stools. It pleads for distinguishing between the levels of (analytical) method and (constructive) interpretation as far as possible. The comparative approach should be understood and used as a method of comparative analysis in accordance with the standards of religious studies, while theological reflection should constitute the hermeneutical frame of motivation and interpretation. Full article
Open AccessArticle Comparative Theology and Religious Studies in a Non-religious Environment
Religions 2012, 3(4), 973-982; doi:10.3390/rel3040973
Received: 22 August 2012 / Revised: 9 October 2012 / Accepted: 12 October 2012 / Published: 17 October 2012
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Abstract
The intellectual landscape of Europe bears the marks of a long history of cultural perceptions of, and scientific approaches to, religions. The sciences of religions had to establish their autonomy from churches and theologies. However, the cultural context and the institutional set-up of
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The intellectual landscape of Europe bears the marks of a long history of cultural perceptions of, and scientific approaches to, religions. The sciences of religions had to establish their autonomy from churches and theologies. However, the cultural context and the institutional set-up of ‘laïcité’ did not foster the development of comparative religion, much less comparative theology. However, this situation may have an advantage: it should discourage the exercise of comparative theology as a sectarian endeavour apart from broader anthropological perspectives and concerns. Comparative theology should not become the last refuge for religious nostalgia. In Europe, interreligious relationships (and hence comparative theologies) should not be isolated from simple or more sophisticated forms of indifference, agnosticism, or atheism. The active presence of a non-religious environment as well as the growing interest in Buddhism, are challenges to comparative theology: its contents, its approach, its intended audience. Full article
Open AccessArticle Comparative Theology as Liberal and Confessional Theology
Religions 2012, 3(4), 983-992; doi:10.3390/rel3040983
Received: 14 September 2012 / Revised: 10 October 2012 / Accepted: 15 October 2012 / Published: 22 October 2012
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Abstract
For most European scholars, the scope of Comparative Theology is not very clear. They see big differences between the notion of Comparative Theology among its protagonists, e.g., between Keith Ward or Robert Neville and Francis Clooney or James Fredericks. That is why I
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For most European scholars, the scope of Comparative Theology is not very clear. They see big differences between the notion of Comparative Theology among its protagonists, e.g., between Keith Ward or Robert Neville and Francis Clooney or James Fredericks. That is why I will try to define a certain understanding of Comparative Theology which can be defended in accordance with strong European theological traditions. I want to show that Comparative Theology can be understood as one of the best fruits of liberal theology and of a Wittgensteinian interpretation of transcendental philosophy—and that it opens new perspectives for confessional theology. The current development of Islamic theology in Germany is especially challenging for Comparative Theology and the best opportunity to develop it into a project undertaken by scholars of different religions and different intellectual traditions. I will argue that Comparative Theology is not a new discipline within the old disciplines of theology, but that it can give new perspectives to all theological disciplines and thoroughly change their character. Full article
Open AccessArticle Growing up in Wartime England—A Selection from "The Rachel Chronicles: A Kind of Memoir"
Religions 2012, 3(4), 993-1024; doi:10.3390/rel3040993
Received: 18 September 2012 / Revised: 17 October 2012 / Accepted: 18 October 2012 / Published: 29 October 2012
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Abstract
The following contribution is an excerpt from the unpublished memoirs of Austrian Jewish émigrée, Lilian Renée Furst (1931–2009), a pioneer in the field of comparative literature. This journal issue grew out of an April 2011 conference in her memory, held at the National
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The following contribution is an excerpt from the unpublished memoirs of Austrian Jewish émigrée, Lilian Renée Furst (1931–2009), a pioneer in the field of comparative literature. This journal issue grew out of an April 2011 conference in her memory, held at the National Humanities Center, on “Jewish emigres and the Shaping of Postwar Culture.” The nexus between her innovative intellectual contributions and her experience as a Jewish émigré reflects one of the conference's central concerns: How, why, and in what fashion did the émigrés' dislocations shape innovative intellectual paths and cosmopolitan visions of Europe and European culture. Born in Austria and educated in England, Furst pursued an intellectual career in the United States, hoping it would allow her to break out of narrow national boundaries. The excerpt of her memoir here illuminates how her life's work as a pioneer in the field of comparative literary studies grew out of her experience with language as a German-speaking refugee in wartime England. Her memoir written in the third person about “Rachel” also reflects her dual identity as Jew and European. Part I by Dr. Anabel Aliaga-Buchenau, the literary executor of the memoir and a former graduate student of Furst, places “The Rachel Chronicles: A Kind of Memoir” in relation to Furst's other autobiographical writing. Part II includes Furst's own introduction to “The Rachel Chronicles,” followed by her chapter on “Growing up in wartime England.” (The whole of her unpublished memoir is available to researchers in the "Personal Papers of Lilian R. Furst," Girton College Archives, Cambridge University (http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk/db/node.xsp?id=EAD%2FGBR%2F0271%2FGCPP%20Furst)). Part III is a bibliography of Furst's writings. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Idea of a Highest Divine Principle — Founding Reason and Spirituality. A Necessary Concept of a Comparative Philosophy?
Religions 2012, 3(4), 1025-1040; doi:10.3390/rel3041025
Received: 2 September 2012 / Revised: 26 October 2012 / Accepted: 29 October 2012 / Published: 30 October 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (430 KB) | Correction | Supplementary Files
Abstract
By reference to the Platonic, Aristotelian, and Neo-Platonic philosophical traditions (and then to German Idealism, including Husserl and Heidegger), I will indicate the way in which the concept of reason—on the one side—depends on the horizon of spirituality (by searching for the ultimate
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By reference to the Platonic, Aristotelian, and Neo-Platonic philosophical traditions (and then to German Idealism, including Husserl and Heidegger), I will indicate the way in which the concept of reason—on the one side—depends on the horizon of spirituality (by searching for the ultimate ground within us and the striving for the highest good); and inversely—how far the idea of the divine or our spiritual self may be deepened, understood and transmitted by reference to reason and rationality. But whereas philosophical analysis aims at the universal dimensions of spirituality or the divine (as in Plato's idea of the 'highest good', the Aristotelian 'Absolute substance', the 'Oneness of the One' (Plotinus and the Neo-Platonists) or the Hegelian 'Absolute spirit'),—Comparative Theology may preserve the dimension of spirituality or divinity in its individuality and specifity. Comparative Theology mediates between the universality of the philosophical discourse and the uniqueness of our individual experience (symbolized by a sacred person—such as Jesus, Brahman, Buddha or Mohammed) by reflecting and analyzing our religious experiences and practices. Religion may lose its specificity by comparative conceptual analysis within the field of philosophy, but Comparative Theology may enhance the vital dimensions of the very same spiritual experience by placing them in a comparative perspective. Full article
Open AccessArticle Challenging Truths: Reflections on the Theological Dimension of Comparative Theology
Religions 2012, 3(4), 1041-1053; doi:10.3390/rel3041041
Received: 27 September 2012 / Revised: 27 October 2012 / Accepted: 29 October 2012 / Published: 1 November 2012
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Abstract
Given that comparative theology is aimed at learning from the insights of other religious traditions, the comparative theologian’s confessional perspective must be engaged and subject to possible transformation through the discovery of truth in those traditions. Despite Francis Clooney’s and James Fredericks’ attempts
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Given that comparative theology is aimed at learning from the insights of other religious traditions, the comparative theologian’s confessional perspective must be engaged and subject to possible transformation through the discovery of truth in those traditions. Despite Francis Clooney’s and James Fredericks’ attempts to distance comparative theology from the theology of religions, its truth-seeking dimension makes participation in the theology of religions unavoidable. Crucial to integrating what is learned, moreover, is a willingness to allow presuppositions about the other to be challenged and to make revisions if necessary. Keith Ward exhibits this willingness but, on this basis, distinguishes comparative theology from confessional theology, thus obscuring the legitimacy of revision from a committed religious standpoint. Where comparative theologians are willing and able to integrate all that is learned through their study of other traditions, comparative theology can be conceived of as both a confessional enterprise and a contribution to what Wilfred Cantwell Smith called ‘World Theology’—that is, the ongoing attempt to give intellectual expression to the faith of us all. Full article
Open AccessArticle Tradition with a New Identity: Thomist Engagement with Non-Christian Thought as a Model for the New Comparative Theology in Europe
Religions 2012, 3(4), 1054-1074; doi:10.3390/rel3041054
Received: 26 September 2012 / Revised: 13 October 2012 / Accepted: 16 October 2012 / Published: 6 November 2012
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Abstract
British theologians have criticised contemporary comparative theology for privileging learning from other religions to the exclusion of challenge and transformation in the Christian encounter with the thought of other religions. Moreover, a wider concern in Britain about contemporary expressions of theology in the
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British theologians have criticised contemporary comparative theology for privileging learning from other religions to the exclusion of challenge and transformation in the Christian encounter with the thought of other religions. Moreover, a wider concern in Britain about contemporary expressions of theology in the academy, including comparative theology, is about their accountability to the ecclesial communities to which theologians belong. This paper aims to retrieve the Thomist engagement with non-Christian thought as a model for contemporary comparative theology that also addresses these concerns. The paper outlines Aquinas’ understanding of Christian theology’s engagement with non-Christian thought as being one of transformation, using the Biblical image of water changing into wine to illustrate what is involved. The paper points to historical examples of Thomist encounters with Indian thought and suggests some new applications. Using the Thomist model for contemporary comparative theology is a case of tradition coming to have a new identity, one that balances learning with challenge and transformation, one that bridges the divide between the academic and the ecclesial exercise of theology. Full article
Open AccessArticle Globalization and Religion: The Case of Malacca and the Work of Robert Morrison
Religions 2012, 3(4), 1075-1084; doi:10.3390/rel3041075
Received: 2 October 2012 / Revised: 6 November 2012 / Accepted: 7 November 2012 / Published: 7 November 2012
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Abstract
Religion has long been a significant factor in the process of globalization. In this article, the author attempts to explore and review religious factors involved in the history of Malacca (Melaka) and in the missionary work of Robert Morrison in the early 19
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Religion has long been a significant factor in the process of globalization. In this article, the author attempts to explore and review religious factors involved in the history of Malacca (Melaka) and in the missionary work of Robert Morrison in the early 19th century. Malacca has long been a meeting place for various religions in their respective processes of globalization. Robert Morrison was the first Protestant Missionary to come to the Chinese Mainland. He arrived in 1807. However, after 10 years of working in Canton and Macau, he made a proposal for setting up a mission school in Malacca, hence the Anglo-Chinese College of 1818. It was found that, indeed, Morrison had learned much from his experiences in China and in Malacca, especially in paying due respect to Chinese culture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion & Globalization)
Open AccessArticle A European (German) View on Comparative Theology: Dialogue with My Own Past
Religions 2012, 3(4), 1085-1093; doi:10.3390/rel3041085
Received: 1 September 2012 / Revised: 5 November 2012 / Accepted: 12 November 2012 / Published: 14 November 2012
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Abstract
For the last couple of years, particularly after the publication of the (German) book “Comparative Theology” by Bernhold Reinhardt and Klaus von Stosch, there was a significant attentiveness of this subject amongst German scholars. For many, it was the long anticipated antithesis/alternative to
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For the last couple of years, particularly after the publication of the (German) book “Comparative Theology” by Bernhold Reinhardt and Klaus von Stosch, there was a significant attentiveness of this subject amongst German scholars. For many, it was the long anticipated antithesis/alternative to the pluralist theology of religions, even if it had not been devised explicitly to serve as such an alternative. For others, it has been an appropriate way to express their desire for a substantial interreligious dialogue in a theologically responsible way. This paper tries to review some of the major German contributions (being read alongside international ones) and reactions to Comparative Theology and to search for the motive behind its sudden popularity in some circles. It will also try to reconstruct the possibilities for Comparative Theology within the wider setting of the process and development of religious traditions as they grow and change in never-ending interaction and communication within the history of religions, ideas and society. Full article
Open AccessArticle Unifying Themes in the Oeuvre of John M. Headley
Religions 2012, 3(4), 1094-1102; doi:10.3390/rel3041094
Received: 29 October 2012 / Revised: 3 November 2012 / Accepted: 6 November 2012 / Published: 20 November 2012
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Abstract
The great variety of historical figures and themes found in the published works of John Headley since 1963 reveal a unity of themes and values. The numerous persons whom Headley studied all envisioned a humane universal order even as they moved from theoretical
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The great variety of historical figures and themes found in the published works of John Headley since 1963 reveal a unity of themes and values. The numerous persons whom Headley studied all envisioned a humane universal order even as they moved from theoretical reflection to actual political implementation. His more recent work holds up the European legacy of human rights, democracy, and freedom that have become a Western gift and challenge to non-Western cultures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From the Renaissance to the Modern World) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Priesthood Satisfaction and the Challenges Priests Face: A Case Study of a Rural Diocese in the Philippines
Religions 2012, 3(4), 1103-1119; doi:10.3390/rel3041103
Received: 2 October 2012 / Revised: 16 November 2012 / Accepted: 19 November 2012 / Published: 22 November 2012
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Abstract
This article draws from the experience of Catholic priests based in a rural diocese in the Philippines. It will be argued that their satisfaction as diocesan priests is best understood as a religious emotion in spite of the challenges they face on a
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This article draws from the experience of Catholic priests based in a rural diocese in the Philippines. It will be argued that their satisfaction as diocesan priests is best understood as a religious emotion in spite of the challenges they face on a daily basis. Their challenges revolve around economic limitation, problems with their bishop and leaders, and relational isolation brought about by social and geographic distance. In spite of these challenges, priest-respondents have asserted that they are satisfied because they are still able to fulfill their vocation as priests and have an impact on the lives of their parishioners. Priesthood satisfaction in this sense is not an individual state of the mind dependent on the environment and circumstances. Instead, priesthood satisfaction can be understood as a religious emotion that allows them to remain faithful to their vocation as Catholic priests. The nuances explored in this article inform and complement the various studies on priesthood in the West. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Work on Catholicism)
Open AccessArticle The Old and New Comparative Theologies: Discourses on Religion, the Theology of Religions, Orientalism and the Boundaries of Traditions
Religions 2012, 3(4), 1120-1137; doi:10.3390/rel3041120
Received: 10 November 2012 / Revised: 1 December 2012 / Accepted: 3 December 2012 / Published: 4 December 2012
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Abstract
This paper disputes that a strong contrast can be drawn between the Old Comparative Theology and the New Comparative Theology, looking particularly at the arguments of Hugh Nicholson as well as drawing on Francis Clooney. It disputes a simplistic and monolithic dismissal of
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This paper disputes that a strong contrast can be drawn between the Old Comparative Theology and the New Comparative Theology, looking particularly at the arguments of Hugh Nicholson as well as drawing on Francis Clooney. It disputes a simplistic and monolithic dismissal of the Old Comparative Theology as guilty of ‘Orientalism’, and seeks to show that in figures like Rowland Williams, as well as F. D. Maurice that the discipline was important in breaking down boundaries between traditions. Building on this, an argument is made that the New Comparative Theology should be seen as part of a lineage of progression and understanding that links it with the Old Comparative Theology and the Theology of Religions, and that any attempt to see these as different, or contrasting, discourses is based upon a distorted or partial historical understanding. In this the work of Tomoko Masuzawa is also assessed, and issues surrounding the terms ‘religion’ and ‘world religion’ are discussed. It is also suggested that the weight of history may be a factor as to why the New Comparative Theology came to prominence in the USA rather than in Europe, or at least the UK. Full article
Open AccessCommunication Abelard: Celebrity and Charisma—A Response to Dickson
Religions 2012, 3(4), 1140-1143; doi:10.3390/rel3041140
Received: 26 October 2012 / Revised: 4 November 2012 / Accepted: 7 November 2012 / Published: 10 December 2012
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Abstract
One might think that Peter Abelard (1079?–1144?) would be the best example of a medieval charismatic teacher. But his rival and prosecutor St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090?–1153) fits the criteria rather better. Unlike Bernard, Abelard denied that he had sought out disciples. Nevertheless,
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One might think that Peter Abelard (1079?–1144?) would be the best example of a medieval charismatic teacher. But his rival and prosecutor St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090?–1153) fits the criteria rather better. Unlike Bernard, Abelard denied that he had sought out disciples. Nevertheless, he can be shown to have had student followers, even though some of them repudiated him. Abelard is most important as a public intellectual who depended on public institutions (the incipient university of Paris) rather than on private or monastic patronage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Charisma, Medieval and Modern) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle On Vulnerability: Probing the Ethical Dimensions of Comparative Theology
Religions 2012, 3(4), 1144-1161; doi:10.3390/rel3041144
Received: 3 November 2012 / Revised: 4 December 2012 / Accepted: 11 December 2012 / Published: 12 December 2012
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Abstract
Though the notion of vulnerability regularly pops up in Clooney’s reflections on comparative theology, he does not develop a systematic account of it. What precisely vulnerability is and how it influences interreligious dialog do not receive enough theoretical grounding. In this article I
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Though the notion of vulnerability regularly pops up in Clooney’s reflections on comparative theology, he does not develop a systematic account of it. What precisely vulnerability is and how it influences interreligious dialog do not receive enough theoretical grounding. In this article I will probe the complexity of this notion and how it plays out in comparative theology. This will not only enable us to grasp the true originality of Clooney’s project, it will also allow us to uncover its deeper ethical dynamics. For, as I will seek to show, at its core, comparative theology is moved by an ethical concern to enable a just relation between the one’s own tradition and the foreign one. It is my intention to unfold the deep moral dynamics of this particular interreligious approach and to conceptualize the ethical conditions for interreligious learning as present in comparative theology. Full article
Open AccessArticle Charisma and Routine: Shaping the Memory of Brother Richard and Joan of Arc
Religions 2012, 3(4), 1162-1179; doi:10.3390/rel3041162
Received: 12 November 2012 / Revised: 12 December 2012 / Accepted: 12 December 2012 / Published: 13 December 2012
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Abstract
The extraordinary life and fate of Joan of Arc are well known; so is her association with the prophetic preacher, Brother Richard, who predicted the Apocalypse. Less well explained is why contemporaries initially took such an interest in this association, and how and
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The extraordinary life and fate of Joan of Arc are well known; so is her association with the prophetic preacher, Brother Richard, who predicted the Apocalypse. Less well explained is why contemporaries initially took such an interest in this association, and how and why it began to fade from official memory after Joan’s death. Max Weber’s concepts of “charisma” and “routinization” offer valuable tools to deal with these questions. Both Joan and Richard have earned the title “charismatic” but interest in the preacher has generally been secondary to interest in the Maid. A more rigorous adoption of Weber’s meaning of charisma, however, helps to clarify what the relative importance of these figures was in the eyes of contemporaries. It also shifts attention to the significance of messianic prophecy in the years surrounding Joan’s life, the anxieties it generated and the way it was dealt with. In this context, the processions and commemorative ceremonies organized by townspeople, churchmen and royalty during this period deserve further analysis. Seen as forces of “routine”, these ceremonies assume a greater significance than they have usually been granted, as processes that managed the memory of charismatic phenomena. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Charisma, Medieval and Modern) Print Edition available
Open AccessArticle Reasons for and Contexts of Deep Theological Engagement with Other Religious Traditions in Europe: Toward a Comparative Theology
Religions 2012, 3(4), 1180-1194; doi:10.3390/rel3041180
Received: 6 November 2012 / Revised: 13 December 2012 / Accepted: 17 December 2012 / Published: 18 December 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (88 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The different contexts of America and Europe have a significant impact on the development of comparative theology, especially in the German-speaking countries. The latter have found other solutions to the problem of religious pluralism that are not really conducive to comparative theology. Hence,
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The different contexts of America and Europe have a significant impact on the development of comparative theology, especially in the German-speaking countries. The latter have found other solutions to the problem of religious pluralism that are not really conducive to comparative theology. Hence, the double responsibility of Catholic theology in particular toward the university and toward the Church is a part of the discourse policy of theology, which affects the theology of religions and comparative theology. On the one hand, theology is under the protection of the state, and on the other hand theology is threatened by the risk of unreliability due to ecclesiastical paternalism. But the theology of religions and comparative theology do not evade into science of religion or neo-orthodoxy, rather, they take a risk in a theological engagement with other religions, bringing one’s own faith into a deep encounter with other religions and their faiths while delving into points of detail. After giving short descriptions of these tasks, this article shows some examples of practice in comparative theology and gives a prospect into potential further developments of comparative theology in theories of difference and spaces. Full article

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