Early Americans have long been considered "A People of the Book" Because the nickname was coined primarily to invoke close associations between Americans and the Bible, it is easy to overlook the central fact that it was a book-not a geographic location, a monarch, or even a shared language-that has served as a cornerstone in countless investigations into the formation and fragmentation of early American culture. Few books can lay claim to such powers of civilization-altering influence. Among those which can are sacred books, and for Americans principal among such books stands the Bible. This Handbook is designed to address a noticeable void in resources focused on analyzing the Bible in America in various historical moments and in relationship to specific institutions and cultural expressions. It takes seriously the fact that the Bible is both a physical object that has exercised considerable totemic power, as well as a text with a powerful intellectual design that has inspired everything from national religious and educational practices to a wide spectrum of artistic endeavors to our nation's politics and foreign policy. This Handbook brings together a number of established scholars, as well as younger scholars on the rise, to provide a scholarly overview--rich with bibliographic resources--to those interested in the Bible's role in American cultural formation.
"The study of the reciprocal relationship between the Bible and popular culture has blossomed in the past few decades, and the time seems ripe for a broadly-conceived work that assesses the current state of the field, offers examples of work in that field, and suggests directions for further study. This Handbook includes a wide range of topics organized under several broad themes, including biblical characters and themes in popular culture; the Bible in popular cultural genres; "lived" examples; and a concluding section in which we take stock of methodologies like Reception History and the impact of the field on teaching and publishing. These topics are all addressed by focusing on specific examples from film, television, comics, music, literature, video games, science fiction, material culture, museums, and theme parks, to name a few. This book represents a major contribution to the field by some of its leading practitioners, and will be a key resource for the future development of the study of Bible and American popular culture"--
An indispensable resource for students and scholars, The Oxford Handbook of the Psalms features a diverse array of essays that treat the Psalms from a variety of perspectives. Classical scholarship and approaches as well as contextual interpretations and practices are well represented. The coverage is uniquely wide ranging.
In recent decades, reception history has become an increasingly important and controversial topic of discussion in biblical studies. Rather than attempting to recover the original meaning of biblical texts, reception history focuses on exploring the history of interpretation. In doing so it locates the dominant historical-critical scholarly paradigm within the history of interpretation, rather than over and above it. At the same time, the breadth of material and hermeneutical issues that reception history engages with questions any narrow understanding of the history of the Bible and its effects on faith communities. The challenge that reception history faces is to explore tradition without either reducing its meaning to what faith communities think is important, or merely offering anthologies of interesting historical interpretations. This major new handbook addresses these matters by presenting reception history as an enterprise (not a method) that questions and understands tradition afresh. The Oxford Handbook of the Reception History of the Bible consciously allows for the interplay of the traditional and the new through a two-part structure. Part I comprises a set of essays surveying the outline, form, and content of twelve key biblical books that have been influential in the history of interpretation. Part II offers a series of in-depth case studies of the interpretation of particular key biblical passages or books with due regard for the specificity of their social, cultural or aesthetic context. These case studies span two millennia of interpretation by readers with widely differing perspectives. Some are at the level of a group response (from Gnostic readings of Genesis, to Post-Holocaust Jewish interpretations of Job); others examine individual approaches to texts (such as Augustine and Pelagius on Romans, or Gandhi on the Sermon on the Mount). Several chapters examine historical moments, such as the 1860 debate over Genesis and evolution, while others look to wider themes such as non-violence or millenarianism. Further chapters study in detail the works of popular figures who have used the Bible to provide inspiration for their creativity, from Dante and Handel, to Bob Dylan and Dan Brown.
This volume highlights the relevance of globalization and the insights of gender studies and religious studies for feminist theology. It focuses on the changing global contexts for the field and its movement towards new models of theology, distinct from the forms of traditional Christian systematic theology and of secular feminism.
This volume on Jewish studies presents surveys of today's interests and directions in the humanities and social sciences. It covers the main areas taught and researched as part of Jewish studies in universities throughout the world, especially in Europe, the US, and Israel.
Evangelical theology is a burgeoning field. This volume surveys the state of the discipline on topics of greatest importance to evangelical theology. Each chapter has been written by a theologian or scholar who is widely recognized for his or her published work and is considered a leading thinker on that topic.
Presbyterianism emerged during the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation. It spread from the British Isles to North America in the early eighteenth century. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Presbyterian denominations grew throughout the world. Today, there are an estimated 35 million Presbyterians in dozens of countries. The Oxford Handbook of Presbyterianism provides a state of the art reference tool written by leading scholars in the fields of religious studies and history. These thirty five articles cover major facets of Presbyterian history, theological beliefs, worship practices, ecclesiastical forms and structures, as well as important ethical, political, and educational issues. Eschewing parochial and sectarian triumphalism, prominent scholars address their particular topics objectively and judiciously.
Ecologically oriented visions of God, the Sacred, the Earth, and human beings. The proposed handbook will serve as the definitive overview of these exciting new developments. Divided into three main sections, the books essays will reflect the three dominant dimensions of the field. Part I will explore
Mormon studies is one of the fastest-growing subfields in religious studies. For this volume, Terryl Givens and Philip Barlow, two leading scholars of Mormonism, have brought together 45 of the top scholars in the field to construct a collection of essays that offers a comprehensive overview of scholarship on Mormons. The book begins with a section on Mormon history, perhaps the most well-developed area of Mormon studies. Chapters in this section deal with questions ranging from how Mormon history is studied in the university to the role women have played throughout Mormon history. Other sections examine revelation and scripture, church structure and practice, theology, society, and culture. The final two sections look at Mormonism in a larger context. The authors examine Mormon expansion across the globe-focusing on Mormonism in Latin America, the Pacific, Europe, and Asia-in addition to the interaction between Mormonism and other social systems, such as law, politics, and other faiths. Bringing together an unprecedented body of scholarship in the field of Mormon studies,The Oxford Handbook of Mormonism will be an invaluable resource for those within the field, as well as for people studying the broader, ever-changing American religious landscape.
Nearly every form of religion or spirituality has a vital connection with art. Religions across the world, from Hinduism and Buddhism to Eastern Orthodox Christianity, have been involved over the centuries with a rich array of artistic traditions, both sacred and secular. In its uniquely multi-dimensional consideration of the topic,The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the Arts provides expert guidance to artistry and aesthetic theory in religion. The Handbook offers nearly forty original essays by an international team of leading scholars on the main topics, issues, methods, and resources for the study of religious and theological aesthetics. The volume ranges from antiquity to the present day to examine religious and artistic imagination, fears of idolatry, aesthetics in worship, and the role of art in social transformation and in popular religion-covering a full array of forms of media, from music and poetry to architecture and film. An authoritative text for scholars and students, The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the Arts will remain an invaluable resource for years to come.
The Oxford Handbook of Systematic Theology brings together a set of original and authoritative accounts of all the major areas of current research in Christian systematic theology, offering a thorough survey of the state of the discipline and of its prospects for those undertaking research and teaching in the field. The Handbook engages in a comprehensive examination of themes and approaches, guiding the reader through current debates and literatures in the context of the historical development of systematic theological reflection. Organized thematically, it treats in detail the full array of topics in systematic theology, as well as questions of its sources and norms, its relation to other theological and non-theological fields of enquiry, and some major trends in current work. Each chapter provides an analysis of research and debate on its topic. The focus is on doctrinal (rather than historical) questions, and on major (rather than ephemeral) debates. The aim is to stimulate readers to reach theological judgements on the basis of consideration of the range of opinion. Drawn from Europe, the UK, and North America, the authors are all leading practitioners of the discipline. Readers will find expert guidance as well as creative suggestions about the future direction of the study of Christian doctrine.
This handbook provides an in-depth survey of historical readings of Quakerism; a treatment of its key theological premises and its links with wider Christian thinking; an analysis of its distinctive ecclesiastical forms and practices; chapters on its social, economic, political, and ethical outcomes; as well as an extensive bibliography.
The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Approaches to the Hebrew Bible brings together 37 essential essays written by leading international scholars, examining crucial points of analysis within the field of feminist Hebrew Bible studies. Organized into four major areas - globalization, neoliberalism, media, and intersectionality - the essays collectively provide vibrant, relevant, and innovative contributions to the field. The topics of analysis focus heavily on gender and queer identity, with essays touching on African, Korean, and European feminist hermeneutics, womanist and interreligious readings, ecofeminist and animal biblical studies, migration biblical studies, the role of gender binary voices in evangelical-egalitarian approaches, and the examination of scripture in light of trans women's voices. The volume also includes essays examining the Old Testament as recited in music, literature, film, and video games. The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Approaches to the Hebrew Bible charts a culturally, hermeneutically, and exegetically cutting-edge path for the ongoing development of biblical studies grounded in feminist, womanist, gender, and queer perspectives.
The Bible was the essence of virtually every aspect of the life of the early churches. The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Biblical Interpretation explores a wide array of themes related to the reception, canonization, interpretation, uses, and legacies of the Bible in early Christianity. Each section contains overviews and cutting-edge scholarship that expands understanding of the field. Part One examines the material text transmitted, translated, and invested with authority, and the very conceptualization of sacred Scripture as God's word for the church. Part Two looks at the culture and disciplines or science of interpretation in representative exegetical traditions. Part Three addresses the diverse literary and non-literary modes of interpretation, while Part Four canvasses the communal background and foreground of early Christian interpretation, where the Bible was paramount in shaping normative Christian identity. Part Five assesses the determinative role of the Bible in major developments and theological controversies in the life of the churches. Part Six returns to interpretation proper and samples how certain abiding motifs from within scriptural revelation were treated by major Christian expositors. The overall history of biblical interpretation has itself now become the subject of a growing scholarship and the final part skilfully examines how early Christian exegesis was retrieved and critically evaluated in later periods of church history. Taken together, the chapters provide nuanced paths of introduction for students and scholars from a wide spectrum of academic fields, including classics, biblical studies, the general history of interpretation, the social and cultural history of late ancient and early medieval Christianity, historical theology, and systematic and contextual theology. Readers will be oriented to the major resources for, and issues in, the critical study of early Christian biblical interpretation.
Author: McManis Professor of Christian Thought Timothy Larsen
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
The Oxford Handbook of Christmas provides a comprehensive account of all aspects of Christmas across the globe, from the specifically religious to the purely cultural. Contributions by experts from across numerous disciplines cover a range of topics, such as decorating trees, carols, cinema, the Nativity, and the influence of consumerism.
Violence has always played a part in the religious imagination, from symbols and myths to legendary battles, from colossal wars to the theater of terrorism. The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence surveys intersections between religion and violence throughout history and around the world. The forty original essays in this volume include overviews of major religious traditions, showing how violence is justified within the literary and theological foundations of the tradition, how it is used symbolically and in ritual practice, and how social acts of violence and warfare have been justified by religious ideas. The essays also examine patterns and themes relating to religious violence, such as sacrifice and martyrdom, which are explored in cross-disciplinary or regional analyses; and offer major analytic approaches, from literary to social scientific studies. The contributors to this volume--innovative thinkers who are forging new directions in theory and analysis related to religion and violence--provide novel insights into this important field of studies. By mapping out the whole field of religion and violence, The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Violence will prove an authoritative source for students and scholars for years to come.
Philosophical theology is aimed primarily at theoretical understanding of the nature and attributes of God and of God's relationship to the world and its inhabitants. During the twentieth century, much of the philosophical community (both in the Anglo-American analytic tradition and in Continental circles) had grave doubts about our ability to attain any such understanding. In recent years the analytic tradition in particular has moved beyond the biases that placed obstacles in the way of the pursuing questions located on the interface of philosophy and religion. The result has been a rebirth of serious, widely-discussed work in philosophical theology. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology attempts both to familiarize readers with the directions in which this scholarship has gone and to pursue the discussion into hitherto under-examined areas. Written by some of the leading scholars in the field, the essays in the Handbook are grouped in five sections. In the first ("Theological Prolegomena"), articles focus on the authority of scripture and tradition, on the nature and mechanisms of divine revelation, on the relation between religion and science, and on theology and mystery. The next section ("Divine Attributes") focuses on philosophical problems connected with the central divine attributes: aseity, omnipotence, omniscience, and the like. In Section Three ("God and Creation"), essays explore theories of divine action and divine providence, questions about petitionary prayer, problems about divine authority and God's relationship to morality and moral standards, and various formulations of and responses to the problem of evil. The fourth section ("Topics in Christian Philosophy") examines philosophical problems that arise in connection with such central Christian doctrines as the trinity, the incarnation, the atonement, original sin, resurrection, and the Eucharist. Finally, Section Five ("Non-Christian Philosophical Theology") introduces readers to work that is being done in Jewish, Islamic, and Chinese philosophical theology.
Christian Dispensationalism, the Taiping Revolution, cargo cults in Oceania, the Baha'i Faith, and the Raelian Movement would seem to have little in common. What they share, however, is a millennial orientation--the audacious human hope for a collective salvation, which may be heavenly or earthly or both. Although many religions feature a belief in personal salvation, millennial faiths are characterized by the expectation that salvation will be accomplished for an entire group by a superhuman agent, with or without human collaboration. The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism offers readers an in-depth look at both the theoretical underpinnings of the study of millennialism and its many manifestations across history and cultures. While the term "millennialism" is drawn from Christianity, it is a category that is used to study religious expressions in diverse cultures, religious traditions, and historical periods. Sometimes, millennial expectations are expressed in peaceful ways. Other times, millennialists become involved in violence. The Oxford Handbook of Millennialism begins with a section that examines four primary types of millennialism. Chapters in the next section examine key issues such as charismatic leadership, use of scripture, prophetic failure, gender roles, children, tension with society, and violence. The rest of the book explores millennialism in a wide variety of places and times, from ancient Near Eastern movements to contemporary apocalyptic and new age movements, including the roles played by millennialism in national and international conflicts. This handbook will be a valuable resource for scholars of religious studies, sociology, psychology, history, and new religious movements.
The study of New Religious Movements (NRMs) is one of the fastest-growing areas of religious studies, and since the release of the first edition of The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements in 2003, the field has continued to expand and break new ground. In this all-new volume, James R. Lewis and Inga B. Tøllefsen bring together established and rising scholars to address an expanded range of topics, covering traditional religious studies topics such as "scripture," "charisma," and "ritual," while also applying new theoretical approaches to NRM topics. Other chapters cover understudied topics in the field, such as the developmental patterns of NRMs and subcultural considerations in the study of NRMs. The first part of this book examines NRMs from a social-scientific perspective, particularly that of sociology. In the second section, the primary factors that have put the study of NRMs on the map, controversy and conflict, are considered. The third section investigates common themes within the field of NRMs, while the fourth examines the approaches that religious studies researchers have taken to NRMs. As NRM Studies has grown, subfields such as Esotericism, New Age Studies, and neo-Pagan Studies have grown as distinct and individual areas of study, and the final section of the book investigates these emergent fields.