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Description : Originally published in English in 1988, Joseph Ratzinger's Eschatology remains internationally recognized as a leading text on the "last things"--heaven and hell, purgatory and judgment, death and the immortality of the soul. This highly anticipated second edition includes a new preface by Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI and a supplement to the bibliography by theologian Peter A. Casarella. Eschatology presents a balanced perspective of the doctrine at the center of Christian belief--the Church's faith in eternal life. Recognizing the task of contemporary eschatology as "to marry perspectives, so that person and community, present and future, are seen in their unity," Joseph Ratzinger brings together recent emphasis on the theology of hope for the future with the more traditional elements of the doctrine. His book has proven to be as timeless as it is timely.
Description : The moments in Christ's human life noted in the creeds (his conception, birth, suffering, death, and burial) are events which would likely appear in a syllabus for a course in social anthropology, for they are of special interest and concern in human life, and also sites of contention and controversy, where what it is to be human is discovered, constructed, and contested. In other words, these are the occasions for profound and continuing questioning regarding the meaning of human life, as controversies to do with IVF, abortion, euthanasia, and the use of bodies or body parts post mortem plainly indicate. Thus the following questions arise, how do the instances in Christ's life represent human life, and how do these representations relate to present day cultural norms, expectations, and newly emerging modes of relationship, themselves shaping and framing human life? How does the Christian imagination of human life, which dwells on and draws from the life of Christ, not only articulate its own, but also come into conversation with and engage other moral imaginaries of the human? Michael Banner argues that consideration of these questions requires study of moral theology, therefore, he reconceives its nature and tasks, and in particular, its engagement with social anthropology. Drawing from social anthropology and Christian thought and practice from many periods, and influenced especially by his engagement in public policy matters including as a member of the UK's Human Tissue Authority, Banner aims to develop the outlines of an everyday ethics, stretching from before the cradle to after the grave.
Description : In his probing study of the role of death rites in the making of Islamic society, Leor Halevi imaginatively plays prescriptive texts against material culture and advances new ways of interpreting highly contested sources. His original research reveals that religious scholars of the early Islamic period produced codes of funerary law not only to define the handling of a Muslim corpse but also to transform everyday urban practices. Relying on oral traditions, these scholars established new social patterns in the cities of Arabia, Mesopotamia, and the eastern Mediterranean. They distinguished Islamic rites from Christian, Jewish, and Zoroastrian rites and changed the way men and women interacted publicly and privately. In each chapter Halevi explores a different layer of human interaction, following the movement of the corpse from the deathbed to the grave. In the process he analyzes the real and imaginary relationships between husbands and wives, prayer leaders and mourners, and even dreamers and the dead. He describes how Muslims wailed for the deceased, prepared corpses for burial, marched in funerary processions, and prayed for the dead, highlighting the specific economic and political factors involved in these rituals as well as key religious and sexual divisions. Offering a unique perspective on the making of Islamic social and religious ideals during this early period, Halevi forges a fascinating link between the development of funerary rites and the efforts of an emerging religion to carve out its own, distinct identity. Muhammad's Grave is a groundbreaking history of the rise of Islam and the roots of contemporary Muslim attitudes toward the body and society.
Description : Most contemporary Christians acknowledge the doctrine of hell, but they’d rather not think about how God punishes the wicked. The authors of Four Views on Hell meet this subject head-on with different views on what the Scriptures say. Is hell to be understood literally as a place of eternal smoke and flames? Or are such images simply metaphors for a real but different form of punishment? Is there such a thing as “conditional immortality,” in which God annihilates the souls of the wicked rather than punishing them endlessly? Is there a Purgatory, and if so, how does it fit into the picture? The interactive Counterpoints forum allows the reader to see the four views on hell—literal, metaphorical, conditional, and purgatorial—in interaction with each other. Each view in turn is presented, critiqued, and defended. This evenhanded approach is ideal for comparing and contrasting views in order to form a personal conclusion about one of Christianity’s key doctrines. The Counterpoints series provides a forum for comparison and critique of different views on issues important to Christians. Counterpoints books address two categories: Church Life and Bible and Theology. Complete your library with other books in the Counterpoints series.