Description : The scholars who have contributed to this volume of essays are Jewish and Christian thinkers who, without melding their different religious traditions and scholarly methods, have developed complementary responses to what they believe is wrong with contemporary biblical scholarship in Judaism and Christianity. The purpose of this collection is to draw attention to the similarities among these responses and to the possibility that they may contribute to a family of postcritical methods for interpreting the scriptural traditions. The postcritical scholars employ current methods of critical, scientific inquiry to clarify the language, the historical contexts, and the didactic messages of the biblical traditions. They do not, however, find these methods sufficient. They argue that the biblical traditions communicate to their practitioners some rules of action that cannot be deciphered within the terms set by canons of critical reason that emerged in the European Renaissance and Enlightenment. Rather, among the Bible's unique rules of action are the principles for interpreting the traditions themselves. Postcritical scholars attempt to identify these rules of interpretation, producing what editor Peter Ochs has come to term postcritical Scriptural interpretation. It is neither strictly modern nor premodern. This form of inquiry emerges in the dialogue that is now unfolding between a contemporary family of scholars and their scriptural traditions.
Description : In this title, Shirley Lucass examines the history of the concept of messiah in biblical, and post-biblical traditions. For 2000 years, Judaism and Christianity have been at odds with one another. The problem at the heart of the division is the concept of messiah. Shirley Lucass looks directly at the concept of messiah from an historical perspective and examines its roots in ancient Jewish literature, and its development within the Christian tradition, aiming not only to trace the biblical and extra-biblical developments of the concept, but to outline a platform for religious dialogue. Lucass begins with a survey of methodological approaches, and then moves on to consider the origins of the messiah concept in ancient near eastern kingship, the 'anointed' in the Second Temple period and the messiah as outlined in the New Testament and in post 70 CE Messianism. Lucass contends that the New Testament concept of messiah is not inconsistent with, nor incompatible with the Jewish antecedent traditions, and it is this conclusion which enables her to present a valuable chapter on the implications of this study for inter-religious dialogue.
Description : This comparative study examines how scriptures - the Bible and the Qur'an - were interpreted in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam throughout history, with emphasis on the pivotal medieval period. Topics discussed include the challenges of translating scripture, its literal and non-literal meanings, its portrayal in art, and its relation to secular literature.
Description : Homosexuality is one of the most hotly debated issues in the church today. This book arises directly out of the current discussion of what the Bible says about the morality of homosexual acts and relationships. Taking up the question from both sides of the debate, twelve biblical scholars, psychologists, and theologians debate the meaning of the scriptural passages on homosexuality -- from Genesis, Leviticus, Romans, and 1 Corinthians -- in light of contemporary scientific and exegetical evidence. Balanced and well reasoned, this volume will help readers constructively engage this pressing, highly sensitive subject.
Description : One of the prime issues that needs to be addressed in dialogical encounter between the three monotheistic faiths of the world is that concerning the authority and interpretation of Holy Writ, since Jews, Christians and Muslims alike consider their Scriptures to be divine revelation. It is incumbent upon each of these religions to apprise itself of the hermeneutical approach employed by the others in ascribing current meaning to ancient scriptural texts. This is not only important as a means for the enhancement of inter-religious understanding but is also of great interest to society at large. What role does the Jewish Bible, the Christian Bible, and the Qu'ran play in the thinking and the lives of contemporary Jews, Christians, and Muslims? How are these Holy Scriptures interpreted in terms of present-day circumstances? How much room do the three religions allow for bringing their basic messages and biblical-theological traditions into rapport with constantly changing social, political and economic conditions? Is the concept of hermeneutical space acceptable to these religions? If so, in what sense and at what level? Is it possible to identify the scopusof a text and then reconstitute it textually, as it were, in light of the social and ethical questions thrown up by new contextual developments? Can interpretive adjustments be made without jeopardizing the core message of the text involved? And do the three monotheistic religions stand open to one another for influence in this regard? Has one or another of them taken hermeneutical cues from the others? Is there room for mutual learning within the hermeneutical space mentioned above or is this a sacred space closed to all influence from other traditions? These are among the central questions raised and dealt with in this interreligious collection of essays, perhaps the only dialogical symposium to date to deal exclusively with the doctrine and hermeneutics of Holy Scripture in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Description : This volume explores the relationship between the Qur'an and the Jewish and Christian traditions, considering aspects of continuity and reform. The chapters examine the Qur'an's retelling of biblical narratives, as well as its reaction to a wide array of topics that mark Late Antique religious discourse, including eschatology and ritual purity, prophetology and paganism, and heresiology and Christology. Twelve emerging and established scholars explore the many ways in which the Qur'an updates, transforms, and challenges religious practice, beliefs, and narratives that Late Antique Jews and Christians had developed in dialogue with the Bible. The volume establishes the Qur'an's often unique perspective alongside its surprising continuity with Judaism and Christianity. Chapters focus on individual suras and on intra-Qur'anic parallels, on the Qur'an's relationship to pre-Islamic Arabian culture, on its intertextuality and its literary intricacy, and on its legal and moral framework. It illustrates a move away from the problematic paradigm of cultural influence and instead emphasizes the Qur'an's attempt to reform the religious landscape of its time. The Qur'an's Reformation of Judaism and Christianityoffers new insight into the Islamic Scripture as a whole and into recent methodological developments, providing a compelling snapshot of the burgeoning field of Qur'anic studies. It is a key resource for students and scholars interested in religion, Islam, and Middle Eastern Studies. intricacy, and on its legal and moral framework. It illustrates a move away from the problematic paradigm of cultural influence and instead emphasizes the Qur'an's attempt to reform the religious landscape of its time. The Qur'an's Reformation of Judaism and Christianityoffers new insight into the Islamic Scripture as a whole and into recent methodological developments, providing a compelling snapshot of the burgeoning field of Qur'anic studies. It is a key resource for students and scholars interested in religion, Islam, and Middle Eastern Studies.
Description : This volume assembles several important studies that examine the role of language in meaning and interpretation. The various contributions investigate interpretation in the versions, in intertestamental traditions, in the New Testament, and in the rabbis and the targumim. The authors, who include well-known veterans as well as younger scholars, explore the differing ways in which the language of Scripture stimulates the understanding of the sacred text in late antiquity and gives rise to important theological themes. This book is a significant resource for any scholar interested in the interpretation of Scripture in and just after the biblical period.
Description : One of the slogans of the reformation was ecclesia reformata semper reformanda Â? 'the reformed church always reforming'. Churches throughout the western world are currently engaged in reform and renewal programmes through internal structural reforms as well as movements such as 'emerging church'. This book presents a challenging theology of church reform and renewal that offers a contemporary understanding of this historic slogan. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, Bradbury discerns processes and practices which are perpetually reforming and renewing the identity of the church. It examines doctrinal and confessional conceptions of the church, re-examines texts concerned with covenantal renewal and explores Jewish-Christian dialogue as an example of renewal. A constructive theology is offered utilizing the categories of collective memory and mimetic practice. This upholds fundamental Christian identity, whilst driving the process of reform and renewal under God in the context of a three-way relationship between God, the church and the world.
Description : This collection of letters is a continuation of my earlier collection, The Gabriel Letters. I stumbled on the idea of writing imagined letters from an archangel advising a young guardian, while reading an introduction to C. S. Lewis Screwtape Letters. It has been a marvelous way perhaps delusional of standing back and imagining that I can see the world through angel eyes. The amazing result for me has been a sense of objectivity and good will. The intended purpose of the letters is to apply to all things the idea of Gods complete love (self-sacrificing, eternal, parent-like love). This idea is the center of Christianity. It is Jesus message, and it is St. Pauls good news. If we desire to be Christian, we should begin, it seems to me, by attempting to apply Jesus teachings to all things: to our behavior; to our human relationships, especially family; to our work and our business dealings; to the way we run our churches; and to the way we study the scriptures. If we take Jesus seriously, we must reevaluate much of the Bible the parts which are not specifically the teachings of Jesus. Jesus, Himself, questioned much of the scriptures. These letters cover a variety of subjects, many of them Biblical. Some Biblical passages need correction in light of Jesus ideas. Some Biblical passages are so marvelous that we need to lift them to the sky and shout, Look at this! Some Biblical passages are confusing, and we need to wrestle with them. But in all, we should be trying to see them through Jesus eyes. To see through Jesus eyes is, I suspect, what the true Gabriel wants, and it is the intent of this book. - Richard V. Shriver