“Christianity, Democracy, and the Shadow of Constantine” (Demacopoulos & Papanikolaou, eds.)

From Fordham University Press, a new collection on Orthodox perspectives on the relationship between Christianity and liberal democracy: Christianity, Democracy, and the Shadow of Constantine, edited by Fordham professors George Demacopoulos and Aristotle Papanikolaou. The publisher’s description follows:

9780823274208_10The collapse of communism in eastern Europe has forced traditionally Eastern Orthodox countries to consider the relationship between Christianity and liberal democracy. Contributors examine the influence of Constantinianism in both the post-communist Orthodox world and in Western political theology. Constructive theological essays feature Catholic and Protestant theologians reflecting on the relationship between Christianity and democracy, as well as Orthodox theologians reflecting on their tradition’s relationship to liberal democracy. The essays explore prospects of a distinctively Christian politics in a post-communist, post-Constantinian age.

Oakes, “Conservative Revolutionaries”

New from Wipf and Stock Publishers: Conservative Revolutionaries: Transformation and Tradition in the Religious and Political Thought of Charles Chauncy and Jonathan Mayhew, by John Oakes (Simon Fraser University). The publisher’s description follows:

PICKWICK_TemplateBoston Congregationalist ministers Charles Chauncy (1705-87) and Jonathan Mayhew (1720-66) were significant political as well as religious leaders in colonial and revolutionary New England. Scholars have often stressed their influence on major shifts in New England theology, from traditional Calvinism to Arminianism and, ultimately, to universalism and Unitarianism. They have also portrayed Mayhew as an influential preacher, whose works helped shape American revolutionary ideology, and Chauncy as an active leader of the patriot cause.

Through a deeply contextualized re-examination of the two ministers as “men of their times,” John S. Oakes offers a fresh, comparative interpretation of how their religious and political views changed and interacted over decades. The result is a thoroughly revised reading of Chauncy’s and Mayhew’s most innovative ideas. Conservative Revolutionaries also unearths strongly traditionalist elements in their belief systems, centering on their shared commitment to a dissenting worldview based on the ideals of their Protestant New England and British heritage.

Oakes concludes with a provocative exploration of how the shifting theological and political positions of these two “conservative revolutionaries” may have helped redefine prevailing notions of human identity, capability, and destiny.

 

Bergen, “United States of Jihad”

Forthcoming from Penguin Random House, a new book by Peter Bergen, United States of Jihad: Investigating America’s Homegrown Terrorists. The publisher’s description follows:

Primacy in the Church (Chryssavgis, ed.)

In October, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press released a two-volume set, Primacy in the Church: The Office of Primate and the Authority of Councils, edited by John Chryssavgis (Ecumenical Patriarchate). The publisher’s description follows:

primacy-set-graphic1__10048-1462973145-300-300-1PRIMACY IN THE CHURCH is a careful and critical selection of historical and theological essays, canonical and liturgical articles, as well as contemporary and contextual reflections on what is arguably the most significant and sensitive issue in both inter-Orthodox debate and inter-Christian dialogue—namely, the authority of the primate and the role of councils in the thought and tradition of the Church.

Volume One examines the development and application of a theology of primacy and synodality through the centuries. Volume Two explores how such a theology can inform contemporary ecclesiology and reconcile current practices. Chryssavgis draws together original contributions from prominent scholars today, complemented by formative selections from theologians in the recent past, as well as relevant ecumenical documents.

 

 

Esolen, “Out of the Ashes”

Next month, Regnery Publishing releases Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture, by Anthony Esolen (Providence College). The publisher’s description follows:

9781621575146-frontcover-202x306It’s not your imagination: civilized human society is collapsing. Communities no longer work towards a common good; children are no longer our first priority; businesses no longer value “hard work”; arts and skills have been lost; and gender is decided by the individual, not biology.

We cannot reverse national and global trends, says professor Anthony Esolen; but we can build communities that live up to humanity’s promise and responsibility. In Out of the Ashes, Esolen identifies the gaping problems in our society and lays out a blueprint for reconstruction that puts our future in the hands of individuals focused on the good of the local community.

Todd, “Sinai and the Saints”

Coming soon from InterVarsity Press, Sinai and the Saints: Reading Old Covenant Laws for the New Covenant Community, by James M. Todd III (College of the Ozarks). The publisher’s description follows:

9780830851621What should Christians do with all the laws in the Old Testament?

The Old Testament tells the story of the beginnings of God’s salvation history, and it is part of the authoritative canon of Scripture affirmed by the church. But what role should the laws of the old covenant play in the lives of those living under the new covenant?

Can Christians embrace the commandment to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” but ignore the laws regarding clean and unclean food? Some have suggested that Christians remain under the moral laws of the old covenant, while others have argued that some of the Old Testament laws—for example, the Ten Commandments—still apply to Christians.

James Todd makes a bold claim by contending that as followers of Jesus Christ who stand under a new covenant, Christians are no longer subject to any of the Old Testament laws. Focusing on the laws of the Pentateuch, he then addresses the proper role and benefits of the Old Testament laws in the Christian life. With wit and insight, Todd helps Christians to understand how the laws given to the people of Israel at Mount Sinai should be read by those called to live as saints.

Cockburn, “The Age of Jihad”

From Penguin Random House, a new book arguing that American policy contributed to the rise of the Islamic State, The Age of Jihad, by journalist Patrick Cockburn. The publisher’s description follows:

“Sinicising Christianity” (Zheng, ed.)

In February, Brill Publishers will release Sinicising Christianity edited by Zheng Yangwen (University of Manchester). The publisher’s description follows:

Sinicising Christianity.jpgChinese people have been instrumental in indigenizing Christianity. Sinicising Christianity examines Christianity’s transplantation to and transformation in China by focusing on three key elements: Chinese agents of introduction; Chinese redefinition of Christianity for the local context; and Chinese institutions and practices that emerged and enabled indigenisation. As a matter of fact, Christianity is not an exception, but just one of many foreign ideas and religions, which China has absorbed since the formation of the Middle Kingdom, Buddhism and Islam are great examples. Few scholars of China have analysed and synthesised the process to determine whether there is a pattern to the ways in which Chinese people have redefined foreign imports for local use and what insight Christianity has to offer.

Brett, “The Fatimid Empire”

In February, Edinburgh University Press will release The Fatimid Empire by Michael Brett (University of London). The publisher’s description follows:

fatimid-empireThe Fatimid empire in North Africa, Egypt and Syria was at the centre of the political and religious history of the Islamic world in the Middle Ages, from the breakdown of the ‘Abbasid empire in the tenth century, to the invasions of the Seljuqs in the eleventh and the Crusaders in the twelfth, leading up to its extinction by Saladin. As Imam and Caliph, the Fatimid sovereign claimed to inherit the religious and political authority of the Prophet, a claim which inspired the conquest of North Africa and Egypt and a following of believers as far away as India. The reaction this provoked was crucial to the political and religious evolution of mediaeval Islam. This book combines the separate histories of Isma’ilism, North Africa and Egypt with that of the dynasty into a coherent account. It then relates this account to the wider history of Islam to provide a narrative that establishes the historical significance of the empire.

Bowring, “In Search of the Way”

In February, Oxford University Press will release In Search of the Way: Thought and Religion in Early-Modern Japan, 1582-1860 by Richard Bowring (Cambridge). The publisher’s description follows:

in-search-of-the-wayIn Search of the Way is a history of intellectual and religious developments in Japan during the Tokugawa period, covering the years 1582-1860. It begins with an explanation of the fate of Christianity, and proceeds to cover the changing nature of the relationship between Buddhism and secular authority, new developments in Shinto, and the growth of ‘Japanese studies’. The main emphasis, however, is on the process by which Neo-Confucianism captured the imagination of the intellectual class and informed debate throughout the period. This process was expressed in terms of a never-ending search for the Way, a mode and pattern of existence that could provide not only order for society at large, but self-fulfilment for the individual. The narrative traces how ideas and attitudes changed through time, and is based on the premise that the Tokugawa period is important in and of itself, not merely as a backdrop to the Meiji Restoration of 1868.

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