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Series Editors: Jörg Ulrich, Anna Usacheva, and Siam Bhayro
This series welcomes multidisciplinary research on the history of ancient and medieval anthropology broadly understood in terms of both its European heritage and its reception of, and engagement with, various cultural and intellectual traditions (e.g. in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Coptic, Syriac, Arabic etc.). This series encourages multidisciplinary studies of the various philological, textual, and archeological sources concerned with the development of anthropological theories in ancient medicine, philosophy, religion, and theology, as well as the subsequent theoretical and practical interactions between these theories. Particularly welcome are studies that emphasise the fundamental connection between different philosophical, scientific, and socio-cultural contexts where anthropological theories were produced and applied, and that analyse the implications of these theories in ethical, ascetic, ecological, gender, and political life from classical Antiquity up to the Middle Ages. Attempts to understand human beings as biological, physiological, religious, and socio-cultural entities persisted from Antiquity and are echoed in the establishing of the complex and multifarious European identity. In grasping this cross-cultural and diversified process, one is able to see the foundations of contemporary scientific, religious, and political discourses that treat the human being and how humanity relates to the world.
Theologische Beiträge zu einer ökumenischen Kultur
Volume Editor: Daniel Munteanu
Codices Sabaiticus 232 & Holy Cross 104, Jerusalem
This new and revolutionary edition of Origen’s Commentary on Matthew is based on the version in Codex Sabaiticus 232, the most important of all because, unlike the 24 codices consulted by Erich Klostermann in his standard edition of 1941, it contains not only episodic ‘passages’, but also unique flowing text. The same codex also reveals for the first time how heavily Origen’s work was used, and sometimes copied to the letter, by ancient authors. Against the prevailing opinion, Professor Panayiotis Tzamalikos incontrovertibly confirms his long-standing thesis that the Commentary on Matthew is much later than the Contra Celsum.
Origen’s detractors, both ancient and modern alike, in order to show how much of a ‘heretic’ Origen was, point the finger at a garbled, untrustworthy, and heavily interpolated Latin rendering of his De Principiis, whereas reference to his Commentary on Matthew has always been scarce, and Pamphilus’ illuminating and documented Apology for Origen is normally paid almost no attention.
The author demonstrates that, unless the correlations of Origen’s work to both Greek philosophy and subsequent Patristic literature are knowledgeably delved and brought to light, it is impossible to recognise the real Origen, which has far too little to do with current allegations concerning pivotal aspects of his thought. By means of his commentary on this Greek text, P. Tzamalikos, as he did with his previous books, casts light on the widespread and multiform miscomprehension of Origen’s fundamentals, and demonstrates that this is a terra still calling for informed and unbiased exploration.
Der Glaube an Christus. Herausgegeben von Patrick Becker. Übersetzt von Mechtildis Hofmann
Vor 50 Jahren geschrieben, nimmt das Buch die grundlegende Erfahrung unserer heutigen Zeit zum Thema: Veränderung. Es zeigt auf, warum das Christentum gerade nicht im Gegenüber dazu zu verstehen ist, sondern selbst den Wandel im Kern der Botschaft trägt und daher heute aktuell wie nie ist. Martelet geht es um die zentralen Themen des Christentums, um die individuelle religiöse Erfahrung des Einzelnen, um die Eucharistie als verbindende Größe und um die Auferstehung als zentrale Botschaft. Im Kern steht dabei ein Glaube an den Wandel, der tiefergeht, als es der technische Fortschritt je ermöglichen könnte. Damit legt Martelet ein hoch aktuelles Buch vor, dass dem vorherrschenden innerweltlichen Fortschrittsoptimismus ein christliches Angebot gegenüberstellt, das nicht im Widerspruch zur modernen Welterfahrung steht, sondern diese sinnstiftend umfängt.

Abstract

Whereas the idea of human rights is often imagined as placing limits on the political sphere from a standpoint outside it, I argue that it is better conceived as a political project that draws authority from its claim to be apolitical. Such an understanding enables us to historicize human rights and to assess it politically and morally, alongside other normative projects. Samuel Moyn has argued that the contemporary understanding of human rights as rooted in the dignity of the person emerged out of twentieth-century Catholic personalist theology. In the latter half of the essay I consider Simone Weil’s objections to the personalist conception of dignity and suggest that Weil’s idea of an impersonal, sovereign good provides an alternative conception of value.

In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society

Abstract

The development of human rights thinking in the United Nations and the Catholic Church has operated on a separate track from the development of thinking regarding environmental concerns. This paper traces this historical divergence and some factors contributing to this divergence. It argues that climate stability is the most pressing earth system problem and not only should not be neglected by human rights thinkers (as in Catholic circles) or actively resisted in human rights circles (as argued by a prominent academic human rights lawyer); rather, a stable climate system should be considered a basic human right.

In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society
Author: Sigrid Müller

Abstract

This paper investigates the extent to which Christian tradition can be used to support human dignity and human rights in contemporary society. It explores the Christian tradition for ideas that correspond to the four main dimensions of human dignity: anthropological, moral, legal, and practical. It examines how these dimensions relate to the two main Christian perspectives that define human dignity, namely the imago Dei paradigm and dignity of the human soul or person. Concluding observations demonstrate that the corresponding Christian ideas offer a solid foundation for developing a strong Christian narrative and engagement in support of human dignity and human rights. However, an analysis of the two dominating concepts also indicates that a reception that excludes the universal aspect of the imago Dei paradigm can endanger a full acceptance of human dignity and human rights. Therefore, it is necessary to continue existing ecumenical efforts to create a complementary reading of the two traditions.

In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society

Abstract

Catholic teaching proposes a definition of sexual human dignity that finds truth and love in the meaning of sexual acts between spouses in heterosexual marriage. For those acts to be moral between fertile couples, they must be potentially-reproductive acts, but that requirement does not hold for infertile couples. The Church proposes sexual norms and legislation based on that definition. We propose a definition of human sexuality that finds love and truth in all just and loving heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual potentially-reproductive and non-reproductive acts, and we propose norms and legislation based on that definition. Underlying these different proposals are different sexual anthropologies and definitions of human dignity. In this paper we first briefly explain and then critique Catholic teaching on homosexual orientation, moral norms governing homosexual relationships, and legislative norms derived from these teachings and defended by the Church.

In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society

Abstract

Human rights and their universality can lead to restrictions for individuals resulting from duties, which correspond to human rights of all human beings. This characteristic of human rights emphasizes the need for an ethical justification. Addressing the question of how human rights can be justified represents, therefore, an expression of respect for pluralism and particularity. Beyond that, human dignity and human rights lay the foundation for pluralism and particularity as they see all human beings as individuals that are all different and unique, and not as members of a collective. Only human rights protection of the autonomy of each individual allows all human beings to be particular and fosters pluralism. Finally, the concept of “adaptation” contributes to an understanding of the interaction between pluralism and particularity and human dignity and human rights as their foundation by capturing the relationship between human dignity and human rights and religious and worldview-based communities.

In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society
Author: Tina Beattie

Abstract

This paper considers the question of women’s ordination to the sacramental priesthood in the context of human dignity and rights. Differentiating between two forms of ontological or intrinsic dignity – the universal dignity of the human being made in the imago Dei, and the particular dignity of those baptised into the imago Trinitatis – it argues that the refusal of ordination to women is a violation of baptismal dignity that constitutes a refusal of women’s rights. It analyses the arguments against women’s ordination and shows them to be based on a misreading of Thomas Aquinas, on the innovative concept of sexual complementarity which has replaced the earlier hierarchical model of sexual difference, and on appeals to mystery that might be better described as mystification. It concludes that the refusal to allow women to respond to the call to ordination is based on a modern form of essentialised sexual difference that is alien to the Catholic tradition and that violates Christological orthodoxy, insofar as it suggests that women are not able to image Christ.

In: Interdisciplinary Journal for Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society