Scholarly Works - Divinity


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 100
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Ritual. An introduction.
    (Taylor & Francis) Pickstock, CJC
    One notable recurring trope is that of the ellipsis, borne especially of an awareness, when studying forms and theories of ritual, of human finitude. The essays in this volume seem to circle around this gap, finding it almost everywhere, as if every mundane hollow betokened that apparent interval between the human being and God: the gap between one human being and others (Bergem, Williams, Richman), ritual and subjectivity (Manzon), presence and absence (Aspray), the gap within meaning that is wrought by ‘the absurd’, of the ‘as if’ (Wolff); the rift between neutrality and emotion (Richman), between ritual form and human experience (Williams, Richman), between matter and spirit, between selfhood and one’s realization of vulnerability in wholeness (Smith). These wide-ranging topics thematise the hybridity of human nature – part-beast, part-God; part matter, part mind; part-fallen, part-saved; part-dispersed, part-unified; and the human being’s need for, and ambivalence towards ritual rehabilitation or re-alignment, against the tide of time’s vicissitudes. Many of the essays return to the human contrivance of adventitious pretence, of an ‘as if’, through the artefactions of play, irony or spectacle, through which she throws a bridge over the ellipses of her finitude. This ‘as if’ suggests to us that ritual is primordial, that a form of imitation or copying takes the lead over innovation, that such audacious proffering of a version of reality through enactment, is the initiative through which human action ceases to be merely human; that vaunting a path which is half-invented and half-received, is our human originality and creativity; that copying is our authentic human idiom.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    What does othering make? David Jones's A, A, A Domine Deus
    (University of Notre Dame) Pickstock, CJC
    In his poem “A, a, a Domine Deus,” David Jones encapsulated his outlook in its mode of that ambivalent anguish which he could never quite extirpate. The title, which serves also as a non-identical refrain, derives from the lamentations of Jeremiah over fallen Jerusalem.1 The poem also invokes the prophet Ezekiel’s vision of a valley of dry bones,2 as taken up by T. S. Eliot in The Waste Land, 3 and, in their absence, the “living creatures,” which were for him an enigmatic theophany. Jones records how he has diligently sought to discern both craft and signs within the contrivances of modern mass production and modernist architecture, but seems finally to confess in despair that he can find neither. His despair cannot be merely aesthetic, for he takes the physical productions of a civilisation to be the crucial indicators of the health of a culture, and so, in this case, the absence of signs is itself a sign of final decay, of the erosion of the West, which he consistently affirmed, in the wake of Oswald Spengler.4 Yet his own signs of despair, his “A, a, a,” and his “Eia!,” are not simply his own, but are also the collective cries of this culture also. In that sense, Jones speaks ambivalently from both outside and within his own times.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    How Much Is Christology? A Response to Katherine Sonderegger’s Systematic Theology, vol. 1: The Doctrine of God
    (Brill) McFarland, IA; McFarland, Ian [0000-0002-0661-4551]
    The first volume of Katherine Sonderegger's Systematic Theology challenges the modern theological practice of making Christology the ground and reference point for all dogmatic statements. This article raises some Christological counter-questions to Sonderegger's proposal.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Of Lions, Arabs & Israelites: Some Lessons from the Samson Story for Writing the History of Biblical Scholarship
    (De Gruyter, 2018-09-05) Kurtz, PM; Kurtz, Paul Michael [0000-0002-0900-1654]
    This paper follows a thread of evidence employed across many languages and lands, genres and generations to defend the historicity of the Samson story. Based upon this interpretative history, the short essay stresses some necessary lessons for scholars writing the history of biblical scholarship. It extends beyond an interest in history to show the relevance the history of biblical scholarship has for present research on ancient history and biblical literature.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Towards a Comprehensive Explanation for the Stylistic Diversity of the Septuagint Corpus
    (Brill, 2019) Dhont, Marieke; Dhont, Marieke [0000-0003-1520-3794]
    No two translations within the Septuagint corpus are the same: some texts have been translated "literally," others "freely," some are written in "good," others in "Hebraizing" Greek. Scholars studying the translation technique of the Septuagint have generally been focusing on individual books, or on groups of books that appear to be closely related, such as the Pentateuch or the Minor Prophets. The diverse character of the books in the Septuagint has made it difficult to see these translations as part of a literary corpus in which all texts relate to one another. However, these books all belong broadly to the same context, namely that of Greek-speaking Jews in the Hellenistic era. I propose a new approach to understand how we can understand the diversity regarding style and translation technique in the Septuagint corpus, by looking at how Jews developed their own literary traditions in Greek.
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    (Tyndale House Publishers, 2016-11-01) Phillips, KL
    As a rule, no two Tiberian Bibles are alike when it comes to their masoretic notes. Indeed, the masora magna notes can be thought of as part of the unique fingerprint of each individual manuscript. Notwithstanding, this study presents the first evidence of two Pentateuch codices containing identical masora magna, and explores how these codices relate to one another. Both these codices were the work of Samuel b. Jacob, the scribe who wrote the Leningrad Codex. Thus, this study contributes to our understanding of the scribal habits of this important figure
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    Rituals of knowing: rejection and relation in disability theology and Meister Eckhart
    (Informa UK Limited, 2018-05-27) Smith, DGW; Smith, DGW [0000-0003-0061-3125]
    One of the most powerful claims of disability theology is that the rejection of persons with disabilities somehow correlates with a rejection of God. This ‘correlative rejection’ is, however, frequently just stated rather than explored in detail, something this paper therefore seeks to remedy by examining one example of the correlative rejection that draws together the ethical concerns of theologians writing on intellectual disability with Meister Eckhart’s teaching on the human relationship with God. Here the correlative rejection is exposed as an inevitable result of the narrow emphasis on autonomy and rationality in human self-perception which shape the habituated, even ritualised ways that we try to know persons with intellectual disabilities and God. By contrast, truly knowing and relating to persons with intellectual disabilities, God, and finally also ourselves, relies on a reconciliation with the dependence, vulnerability, and non-rational forms of exchange that a narrow attachment to autonomy and rationality seems directly to occlude. The correlative rejection thus signals both a practical and epistemological problem which results from how we view ourselves and how we subsequently relate to and try to know others, the harmful effects of which are both ethical and spiritual.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Barth backwards: reading the Church Dogmatics 'from the end'
    (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2018) McDonald, Rob
    AbstractThis article proposes a way of reading Karl Barth'sChurch Dogmaticsbackwards or ‘from the end’. Employing this method to exploreThe Doctrine of GodandThe Doctrine of the Word of Godhighlights two aspects of Barth's theology. The first is the importance of communion to Barth's account of the immanence and economy of God, especially in his understanding of God as the ‘Lord of Glory’. The second is Barth's careful balancing of christology and pneumatology across the first two volumes of theDogmaticsthrough the use of a chiastic structure that underpins his construal of divine election and his account of divine revelation.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    An Augustinian response to Jean-Louis Chrétien’s phenomenology of prayer
    (Informa UK Limited, 2018) Aspray, S; Aspray, S [0000-0002-1879-4641]
    This article interrogates Jean-Louis Chrétien’s phenomenological judgement of prayer as a call to the transcendent other, by juxtaposing Chrétien’s appreciation with the style and content of Augustine’s Confessions. In the Confessions, prayer is less the contradiction (‘shattering’) of presence than it is the paradox of simultaneous presence-and-absence, God being both the most intimate and the most remote at the same time. It is concluded that Chrétien’s phenomenology fails to understand prayer as the reciprocity it claims to articulate because, despite affirming both the presence and the absence of God to the one praying, phenomenology cannot hold both these propositions in tension but must continually resolve them into a contradiction in which the subject ‘discovers’ God only by falling back on the self. The question is one of style and genre: Augustine’s speech addresses someone whereas Chrétien’s does not. In as much as he follows the phenomenological style established by Husserl, Chrétien cannot value any speech except that which is ‘descriptively’ self-referential.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Early Unitarians and Islam: revisiting a ‘primary document’
    (Faith and Freedom, 2018) Meggitt, JJ; Steers, David; Lingwood, Stephen; Meggitt, Justin [0000-0002-0103-0565]
    This paper is primarily concerned with a meeting that never happened and a letter that was never delivered. On the face of it, hardly a promising subject but one that is of far greater significance than it might, at first, appear. Sometime in the summer of 1682, just as a Moroccan ambassador was about to leave for home after a lengthy and successful visit to England,i some Unitarians in London attempted to deliver a bundle of papers to him. On hearing that they were concerned with religious matters, he declined to accept them, and so, unread, they passed into the hands of the Master of the Ceremonies, Sir Charles Cotterell, and from him to a Church of England priest, Thomas Tenison. When, over a decade later, Tenison became Archbishop of Canterbury, they found their way into the holdings of the library of Lambeth Palace, where they can still be consulted today.ii They rarely are. Indeed, the bulk of the material remains in the Latin in which it was originally composed. Although a few scholars have discussed this ‘curious case’,iii mostly in passing, and the occasional work of contemporary Unitarian literature does refer to it,iv though not always accurately,v the incident is largely forgotten.
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    On Crane’s Psychologistic Account of Intentionality
    (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2018-12) Zarepour, MS; Zarepour, MS [0000-0002-5356-1691]
    The intuition that we can think about non-existent objects seems to be in tension with philosophical concerns about the relationality of intentionality. Tim Crane’s psychologism removes this tension by proposing a psychologistic account of intentionality according to which intentionality is a purely non-relational notion. I argue that his account has counterintuitive consequences regarding our thoughts about existing objects, and as such is insufficiently plausible to convince us to reject the relationality of intentionality.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Affective attunement and the experience of the numinous: reflections on Rudolf Otto’s Das Heilige
    (Informa UK Limited, 2017-01-02) Hedley, Douglas; Hedley, Douglas [0000-0003-3886-4114]
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Gods and giants: Cudworth’s platonic metaphysics and his ancient theology
    (Informa UK Limited, 2017-09-03) Hedley, Douglas; Hedley, Douglas [0000-0003-3886-4114]
    The Cambridge Platonists are modern thinkers and the context of seventeenth-century Cambridge science is an inalienable and decisive part of their thought. Cudworth’s interest in ancient theology, however, seems to conflict with the progressive aspect of his philosophy. The problem of the nature, however, of this ‘Platonism’ is unavoidable. Even in his complex and recondite ancient theology Cudworth is motivated by philosophical considerations, and his legacy among philosophers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries should not be overlooked. In particular we will draw on the scholarship of the German Egyptologist Jan Assmann in order to reassess the significance of Cudworth’s theory of religion for later philosophical developments.
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    Predicting Divine Action
    (Bar Ilan University) Burling, HDP
    This article sets out a formal procedure for determining the probability that God would do a specified action, using a subset of the theologian’s beliefs I will refer to as ‘moral knowledge’: our beliefs about what is right for us to do, and our beliefs about the details of situations which bear on what we should do. Why would we want to determine such probabilities? To begin answering, I point out how predictions of divine action are central to natural theology, as well as relevant to other pieces of religious reasoning (section 2). After setting out the procedure (sections 3-6), I will give a better answer to another obvious criticism. Perhaps natural theology has got by well enough so far with implicit or explicit judgments about what God would do, and when we have needed to be explicit about the probability of these predictions, ‘ball-parked’ figures based on ‘hunches’ or ‘intuitions’ have served us well, whereas the precision I offer brings needless complexity. I will therefore explain (section 7) how this increased precision helps interlocutors to structure discussions and focus on the deeper sources of disagreement in natural theological controversies.
  • ItemPublished versionOpen Access
    (Tyndale House Publishers) Phillips, KL
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    A Turke turn'd Quaker: conversion from Islam to radical dissent in early modern England
    (Taylor & Francis, 2019) Meggitt, JJ; Meggitt, Justin [0000-0002-0103-0565]
    The study of the relationship between the anglophone and Islamic worlds in the seventeenth century has been the subject of increas- ing interest in recent years, and much attention has been given to the cultural anxiety surrounding “Turning Turke”, conversion from Christianity to Islam, especially by English captives on the Barbary coast. Conversion in the other direction has attracted far less scrutiny, not least because it appears to have been far less com- mon. Conversion from Islam to any form of radical dissent has attracted no scholarship whatsoever, probably because it has been assumed to be non-existent. However, the case of Bartholomew Cole provides evidence that such conversions did take place, and examining the life of this “Turke turn’d Quaker” provides an insight into the dynamics of cross-cultural conversion of an exceptional kind.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    Frieden schließen auf Konzilien? Zwei Beispiele aus dem vierten Jahrhundert
    (Brill Deutschland GmbH, 2018-06-20) Graumann, Thomas; Graumann, Thomas [0000-0001-8188-0465]
    The essay examines two exemplary attempts to ‘make peace’ between rivaling theological factions in the middle of the fourth century. The negotiations conducted in Alexandria in 362, of which the Tomus ad Antiochenos provides a distillation, confirm the importance of exploring theological concepts and terminological preferences on all sides in order to find common ground. Conflicting loyalties ultimately fracture chances for an accord. The so-called second session of Rimini (359) – as presented by Jerome – reveals more clearly the crucial significance of establishing the legitimacy of any agreement in social and cultural as well as in intellectual terms. Former opponents present and perform the theological consensus achieved in a public display so that regained communion can be seen, heard and experienced. In the process the import of theological consent is amplified and transformed by ceremonial enactment into the celebratory demonstration of harmony and communality as well as a common mind.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    The Logic of Representation in Political Rituals
    (Informa UK Limited, 2018-05-27) Mogård Bergem, R; Mogård Bergem, Ragnar [0000-0001-8453-0516]
    Political rituals, like the sovereign acclamation described in Rousseau’s social contract, exhibit a logic of representation that seem to oscillate between presence and absence, and enact a problematic identification of the people as a multitude of individuals and as a whole. This article explores this logic of rituals by comparing problems of political representation in Rousseau and Agamben with the highest principle of Aristotle’s philosophy. It thus elucidates the problem of representation in rituals of political power.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    The grammar of the gospel: justification as a theological criterion in the Reformation and in Paul's letter to the Galatians
    (Cambridge University Press, 2018-08-01) Linebaugh, JA
    Since at least the time of Albert Schweitzer's attempt to move justification from die Mitte to the margins, the question of the centre of Paul's theology has included a criticism of the Reformation's classification of justification as ‘the lord, ruler, and judge’ of theology. For the reformers, however, this designation is not so much a claim about the centrality of the vocabulary of justification as it is a claim about the grammar of the gospel: justification, because it is articulated as an antithesis, says both what the gospel is not and what the gospel is. With this understanding of the theological function of justification in view, the role of justification in Paul's letter to the Galatians can be reconsidered: the antithetical grammar of justification is a critical and hermeneutical criterion in Galatians, both identifying and negating the ‘other gospel’ even as it picks out and proclaims ‘the gospel of Christ’.
  • ItemAccepted versionOpen Access
    "He Fathers-Forth Whose Beauty Is Past Change," but "Who Knows How?": Evolution and Divine Exemplarity
    (Project MUSE, 2018) Davison, Andrew; Davison, Andrew [0000-0003-0716-2080]
    Writing rapidly in pencil in 1842, Charles Darwin produced a sketch of ideas that would grow to become his Origin of Species. Much that would revolutionize our understanding of biology was already present, not least his conclusion that ‘specific forms are not immutable’. In this paper, I consider how that mutability bears upon the theological conviction that every creature is related to God as a likeness to its exemplar, drawing particularly on the work of Thomas Aquinas. It is clear from a letter, dated 11 January 1844, that Darwin saw his insight to be a disruptive one, writing to his friend Joseph Dalton Hooker that ‘I am almost convinced (quite contrary to opinion I started with) that species are not (it is like confessing a murder) immutable.’