This collection features books and book contributions written by faculty in the Department of Religious Studies at Fairfield University.
This book aims to bring Muslim theology into the present day. Rather than a purely academic pursuit, Modern Muslim Theology argues that theology is a creative process and discusses how the Islamic tradition can help contemporary practitioners negotiate their relationships with God, with one another, and with the rest of creation.
István Keul and Ronald M. Davidson
Ronald M. Davidson is a contributing author, "“Studies in Dhāraṇī Literature IV: A Nāga Altar in 5th Century India”, pp. 123-170.
Book description: The essays in the volume Consecration Rituals in South Asia address the ritual procedures that accompany the installation of temple images in Shaiva, Vaishnava, Buddhist and Jain contexts, in various traditions and historical periods. Through the performance of complex rites designated with the term pranapratishtha (establishment of, or infusion with, life), man-made sculptures are ritually transformed into (receptacles of) deities. The collection is thematically and methodically broad, with a large number of detailed textual studies, but also with ethnographic contributions that discuss contemporary instances of consecration rituals. Among the overarching themes are issues related to historical continuity and change, as well as transformational moments in such rituals.
Paul F. Lakeland
In this unique book, readers are taken on a journey to explore the role of the imagination in the face of mystery, whether it be the mystery of God, whose full reality lies beyond our earthly horizons, or the deepest mysteries of life hinted at in the work of fiction. By attending to a series of novels, Paul Lakeland proposes serious fiction as an antidote to the failure of the religious imagination today and shows how literature might lead the secular mind at least to the threshold of mystery. -- Publisher's description.
Aysha Hidayatullah, Erin Brigham, and Martin Nguyen
Martin Nguyen is a contributing author, "Issues of Immediacy and Identity in Scholarship and Pedagogy for Islam in the Academy," 43-52.
Book description: The Lane Center is pleased to offer The Lane Center Series Volume 4: Islam at Jesuit Colleges and Universities, a published volume of conference remarks.
Annabel Keeler, Sajjad H. Rizvi, and Martin Nguyen
Martin Nguyen is a contributing author, "Qushayri's Exegetical Encounter with the Mi'raj."
Book description: This volume is the first to focus specifically on esoteric interpretation as a phenomenon in the field of Qur'anic exegesis and to show the plurality of ways it has been manifested in different Muslim traditions. Concern with the inner, spiritual implications of the Qur'an has usually been associated with mystical and Sufi trends in Islam. However, there have also been exegetes among the Shi'a, as well as among philosophers, who sought to supplement their understanding of the Qur'an's apparent meaning by eliciting deeper significations through contemplation of the verses. The Spirit and the Letter examines the multiplicity of these esoteric approaches, covering a period that extends from the third/ninth century to the present. It includes chapters on philosophical and Shi'i exegetes, such as Ibn Sina (d. 428/1037) and Mulla Sadra (d. 1045/1635-6), in addition to studies of a range of Sufi perspectives, from al-Sulami (d. 412/1021) and al-Qushayri (d. 465/1072) to Ruzbihan Baqli (d. 606/1209), as well as representatives of the Ibn 'Arabi and Kubrawi schools. Considered together, the range of studies in this volume enable us to see what these approaches have in common and how they differ, and how the hermeneutics and content of exegesis are affected by doctrinal and ideological perspectives of various traditions and periods. Furthermore, they deepen our understanding of what actually constitutes esoteric interpretation and the need to look beyond the letter to the spirit of the Qur'anic word.
Linda Mosher, David Marshall, and Martin Nguyen
Martine Nguyen is a contributing author, “Of Storytellers and Storytelling: A Muslim Response to Christoph Schwöbel," p.93-93.
Conventional wisdom would have it that believing in one God is straightforward; that Muslims are expert at monotheism, but that Christians complicate it, weaken it, or perhaps even abandon it altogether by speaking of the Trinity. In this book, Muslim and Christian scholars challenge that opinion. Examining together scripture texts and theological reflections from both traditions, they show that the oneness of God is taken as axiomatic in both, and also that affirming God's unity has raised complex theological questions for both. The two faiths are not identical, but what divides them is not the number of gods they believe in. The latest volume of proceedings of The Building Bridges Seminar—a gathering of scholar-practitioners of Islam and Christianity that meets annually for the purpose of deep study of scripture and other texts carefully selected for their pertinence to the year's chosen theme—this book begins with a retrospective on the seminar's first fifteen years and concludes with an account of deliberations and discussions among participants, thereby providing insight into the model of vigorous and respectful dialogue that characterizes this initiative.
James L. Heft, Una M. Cadegan, and Nancy Dallavalle
Nancy Dallavalle is a contributing author, "Sex and Gender and Sexuality: Competing Claims? A Catholic Response”.
BOOK DESCRIPTION: So much has changed about Catholic intellectual life in the half century since the end of the Second Vatican Council that it has become difficult to locate the core concepts that make up the tradition. In the Lógos of Love is a collection of essays that grew out of a 2013 conference on Catholic intellectual life co-sponsored by the University of Dayton and the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California. The essays, written by scholars of theology, history, law, and media studies of religion, trace the history of this intellectual tradition in order to craft new tools for understanding the present day and approaching the future. Each essay explores both the promise of Catholic intellectual life and its various contemporary predicaments. How does a changed media landscape affect the way Catholicism is depicted, and the way its adherents understand and communicate among themselves? What resources can the tradition offer for reflection on new understandings of sexuality and gender? How can and should US Catholic intellectual life embrace and enhance-and introduce students to-the new ways in which Catholicism is becoming a more global tradition? What is the role of scholars in disciplines beyond theology? Of scholars who are not Catholic? Of scholars in universities not sponsored by Catholic religious orders or dioceses? By providing context for and proposing responses to these questions, the scholars invite discussion and reflection from a wide range of readers who have one important thing in common-a stake in sustaining a vibrant, flourishing intellectual tradition.
Sabine Shmidtke and Martin Nguyen
Martin Nguyen is a contributing author, "Sufi Theological Thought," 325.
Book description: Within the field of Islamic Studies, scientific research of Muslim theology is a comparatively young discipline. Much progress has been achieved over the past decades with respect both to discoveries of new materials and to scholarly approaches to the field. The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Theology provides a comprehensive and authoritative survey of the current state of the field. It provides a variegated picture of the state of the art and at the same time suggests new directions for future research. Part One covers the various strands of Islamic theology during the formative and early middle periods, rational as well as scripturalist. To demonstrate the continuous interaction among the various theological strands and its repercussions (during the formative and early middle period and beyond), Part Two offers a number of case studies. These focus on specific theological issues that have developed through the dilemmatic and often polemical interactions between the different theological schools and thinkers. Part Three covers Islamic theology during the later middle and early modern periods. One of the characteristics of this period is the growing amalgamation of theology with philosophy (Peripatetic and Illuminationist) and mysticism. Part Four addresses the impact of political and social developments on theology through a number of case studies: the famous mihna instituted by al-Ma'mun (r. 189/813-218/833) as well as the mihna to which Ibn 'Aqil (d. 769/1367) was subjected; the religious policy of the Almohads; as well as the shifting interpretations throughout history (particularly during Mamluk and Ottoman times) of the relation between Ash'arism and Maturidism that were often motivated by political motives. Part Five considers Islamic theological thought from the end of the early modern and during the modern period.
Book description: This work traces the greater narrative of biblical authority in Protestantism through the story of four main Unitarian figures: William Ellery Channing, Andrews Norton, Theodore Parker, and Frederic Henry Hedge. All four individuals played a central role, at different times, in shaping Unitarianism, and in determining how exactly religious authority functioned in their nascent denomination. Besides these central figures, the book goes both backward, examining the evolution of biblical authority from the late medieval period in Europe to the early nineteenth century in America, and forward, exploring the period of Unitarian experimentation of religious authority in the late nineteenth century. The book also brings the book firmly into the present, exploring how questions about the Bible and religious authority are being answered today by contemporary Unitarian Universalists. Overall, this book aims to bring the American Unitarians firmly back into the historical and historiographical conversation, not as outliers, but as religious people deeply committed to solving the Protestant dilemma of religious authority.
Allan Hugh Cole and Paul F. Lakeland
Paul Lakeland is a contributing author, "Knowing our Place(s): The Ecclesial Role(s) of the Theologian," pp. 59-71.
BOOK DESCRIPTION: As a global religion with growing numbers of expressions, Christianity calls for deepening relationships across traditions while also formulating collaborative visions. A thriving church will require Christians from various traditions and on varying trajectories to become familiar with one another, appreciate one another, and work in common service to God in Jesus Christ. In this book, a group of thirteen distinguished scholars from around the world and representing a range of Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant perspectives demonstrate how theological reflection and broad-based ecumenical conversations may serve the church. Reflecting on numerous salient matters facing the global church, these scholars model what may be accomplished in ecumenical conversations that recognize the gifts that come with unity across diversity among those who seek to be faithful to Jesus Christ. -- Publisher description
Paul Crowley S.J. and Paul F. Lakeland
Paul Lakeland is a contributing author, "Set Into the Future: The Role of the Laity," pp. 127-140.
BOOK DESCRIPTION: Leading Catholic scholars explore the agneda of Vatican II and the future of the church. Fifty years after the Second Vatican Council, the Church is still grappling with the meaning and implications of this defining event and the documents it generated. Rather than rehearse well-worn debates over the interpretation of the Council, the contributors to this volume instead focus on where we go from here. What can we do now, with the inspiration of these teachings in a starkly different world? How do we chart a future for the Church from the standpoint of today? These questions are colored by the new atmosphere created by Pope Francis, who has resoundingly endorsed the Council's program for the Church and urged an openness to follow where the spirit leads. Topics include the principle of collegiality, the call to justice, the authority of conscience and religious liberty, interreligious dialogue, the role of women, the laity, and the future of ordained ministry. --Publisher's Description
Ronald M. Davidson
Ronald M. Davidson is a contributing author, "“Studies in Dhāraṇī Literature III: Seeking the Parameters of a Dhāraṇī-piṭaka, the Formation of the Dhāraṇīsaṃgrahas, and the Place of the Seven Buddhas”, pp. 119-180.
Book description: Lewis Rosser Lancaster’s vision led to the establishment of the Group in Buddhist Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1972. The Group continues today as one of the most important programs for the academic study of Buddhism. Lancaster’s dissertation on the Chinese translations of the 8,000 Line Perfection of Wisdom sutra informed the program with a strong philological emphasis, and a focus on the detailed understanding the historical development of a text and the comparative study of different versions. His scholarly projects have included the creation of The Korean Buddhist Canon: A Descriptive Catalogue, which continues to serve as an important tool for research into the Buddhist canon. This work also relates to the contributions he made to Buddhist studies by bringing greater scholarly attention to Korean Buddhism. Much of his recent efforts have been devoted to integrating the power of data search procedures into the study of the history of the canon. These efforts include a challenge to traditional views of texts as self-contained autonomous entities with a clear and identifiable history. Instead texts emerge as events, that is, as nodes in networks, ones that have complex interconnections with one another.
Elizabeth A. Dreyer
One might well be tempted to think that the history of Christianity, particularly its theology, has been largely shaped by men. This book dispels that notion to some degree by highlighting the four women Doctors of the Catholic Church (someone who contributes significantly to the formulation of Christian teaching): Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, and Thérèse of Lisieux. Though they did not intend to be theologians, their teachings about Christian belief and practice mark them as key figures in the history of Christianity. While most of the books written about these four women deals mainly with their spirituality, Accidental Theologians shows how they came to know God, as well as how they changed and challenged the Church in their day. It looks at these women from several perspectives: their life and works, the times in which they lived, the core of their theology, and the implications of their theology for us. Cogent questions for reflection at the end of each chapter prompt readers to delve deeper into the significance of these women for their own lives, and a comprehensive resource list provides opportunities to learn more about these saints. --Publisher's Description
Angela Kim Harkins, Kelley Coblentz Bautch, and John C. Endres
At the origin of the Watchers tradition is the single enigmatic reference in Genesis 6 to the “sons of God” who had intercourse with human women, producing a race of giants upon the earth. That verse sparked a wealth of cosmological and theological speculation in early Judaism. Here leading scholars explore the contours of the Watchers traditions through history, tracing their development through the Enoch literature, Jubilees, and other early Jewish and Christian writings. This volume provides a lucid survey of current knowledge and interpretation of one of the most intriguing theological motifs of the Second Temple period. -- Publisher description.
Angela Kim Harkins, Kelley Coblentz Bautch, and John C. Endres
In addition to being a co-editor, Angela Kim Harkins is also a contributing author, "Elements of the Fallen Angels Traditions in the Qumran Hodayot", pp. 8-24.
Book description: This is volume 53 of the Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monographic Series and contains: Genesis 6:1-4 and the angel stories in the Book of the Watchers (1 Enoch 1-36) / James C. VanderKam -- Elements of the fallen angels traditions in the Qumran Hodayot / Angela Kim Harkins -- The Watchers in rewritten scripture: the use of the Book of the Watchers in Jubilees / Todd R. Hanneken -- The fall and fate of renegade angels: the intersection of Watchers traditions and the Book of Revelation / Kelley Coblentz Bautch -- Resurgent myth: on the vitality of the Watchers traditions in the Near East of late antiquity / John C. Reeves -- Dreamy angels and demonic giants: the Watchers traditions and the origin of evil in early Christian demonology / Silviu N. Bunta -- The Watchers traditions in the Apocryphon of John: fallen angels and the arrogant creator in Gnostic mythology / Pheme Perkins -- The magical arts, angelic intercourse, and giant offspring: echoes of Watchers traditions in medieval scholastic theology / Franklin T. Harkins.
Alexandra Kindell, Elizabeth S. Demers, and Lydia Willsky-Ciollo
Lydia Willsky-Ciollo is a contributing author, "Mary Baker Eddy" - pages 197-199, "Burned-Over District" - pages 94-96, and "William Lloyd Garrison" -pages 264-267."
Book description: This comprehensive two-volume encyclopedia documents how Populism, which grew out of post-Civil War agrarian discontent, was the apex of populist impulses in American culture from colonial times to the present. The Populist Movement was founded in the late 1800s when farmers and other agrarian workers formed cooperative societies to fight exploitation by big banks and corporations. Today, populism encompasses both right-wing and left-wing movements, organizations, and icons. This valuable encyclopedia examines how ordinary people have voiced their opposition to the prevailing political, economic, and social constructs of the past as well how the elite or leaders at the time have reacted to that opposition. The entries spotlight the people, events, organizations, and ideas that created this first major challenge to the two-party system in the United States. Additionally, attention is paid to important historical actors who are not traditionally considered "Populist" but were instrumental in paving the way for the movement—or vigorously resisted Populism's influence on American culture. This encyclopedia also shows that Populism as a specific movement, and populism as an idea, have served alternately to further equal rights in America—and to limit them.
Thomas M. Landy, Karen E. Eifler, Angela Kim Harkins, and Michael P. Pagano
Angela Kim Harkins is a contributing author, "Cultivating Empathy and Mindfulness: Religious Praxis", pp. 275-288.
Michael Pagano is a contributing author, "Exorcizing taboos: teaching end-of-life communication", pp. 176-191.
Book description: Catholic colleges and universities have long engaged in conversation about how to fulfill their mission in creative ways across the curriculum. The "sacramental vision" of Catholic higher education posits that God is made manifest in the study of all disciplines. Becoming Beholders is the first book to share pedagogical strategies about how to do that. Twenty faculty—from many religious backgrounds and teaching in fields as varied as chemistry, economics, English, history, mathematics, sociology, and theology—discuss ways that their teaching nourishes students' ability to find the transcendent in their studies. -- Publisher description
Mitchell Newton-Matza and Lydia Willsky-Ciollo
Lydia Willsky-Ciollo is a contributing author, " 1770 Boston Massacre - - pages 12-15, 1919 and Boston Molasses Disaster - pages 255-257".
Book description: From the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 to the Sandy Hook school massacre of 2012, this two-volume encyclopedia surveys tragic events—natural and man-made, famous and forgotten—that helped shape American history. Tragedies and disasters have always been part of the fabric of American history. Some gave rise to reactions that profoundly influenced the nation. Others dominated public consciousness for a moment, then disappeared from collective memory. Organized chronologically, Disasters and Tragic Events examines these moments, covering both the familiar and the obscure and probing their immediate and long-term effects. Unlike other works that concentrate on a particular type of disaster, for example, weather- or medicine-related tragedies, this two-volume encyclopedia has no such limits. Its entries range from natural disasters, such as hurricanes and tornadoes, to civic disturbances, environmental disasters, epidemics and medical errors, transportation accidents, and more.
Karen Butler and Martin Nguyen
Martin Nguyen is a contributing author, "Letter by Letter: Tracing the Textual Genealogy of a Sufi Tafsir," 217-240.
Book description: Medieval interpretations of the Qur'an often serve as points of reference for Muslim thought; yet Qur'an commentaries were shaped not only by the Qur'an itself, but also by their authors' ideological viewpoints, their theories of interpretation, their methods, and the conventions of the genre. This volume is the first to focus solely on the complicated relationship between exegetes' theoretical aims, their practical methods of writing, and the historical and intellectual contexts of Qur'an commentaries (tafsir). Experts in various aspects of the Qur'an and its interpretation have contributed essays, spanning the 2nd/8th to the 9th/15th centuries, the period in which the commentarial tradition developed and flourished. They emphasise the ways in which geography, human networks, hermeneutical systems and genre boundaries affected the writing of these texts. This volume offers fresh analytical perspectives and addresses new methods for the study of tafsir. It also provides resources for scholars, by including editions and translations of the introductions to al-Basit of Abu'l-Hasan 'Ali al-Wahidi (d. 486/1076) and the Tahdhib fi Tafsir al-Quran of al-Hakim al-Jishumi (d. 494/1101), as well as translated selections from the introduction to the tafsir of 'Abd al-Razzaq al-Kashani (d. 736/1336). The detailed studies in this volume will help scholars and students alike to comprehend accurately the purpose and content of Qur'an commentaries individually and as a genre.
Kimberly Drake and Lydia Willsky-Ciollo
Lydia Willsky-Ciollo is a contributing author, ""Countering the Rhetoric of Slavery: The Critical Roots and Critical Reception of Uncle Tom's Cabin".
Book Description: A survey of fiction that examines society and politics from the margins, often with radical and alternative views of the world. The literature of protest is defined as fiction and poetry that emerges from minority social positions and will critique majority status quo conditions. This literature covers a wide range of periods and will emerge from a variety of international authors and events, from American abolitionist narratives to the critique of the totalitarianism in 1920s Soviet politics. Rounding out the volume are a list of literary works not mentioned in the book that concern the theme as well as a bibliography of critical sources for readers seeking to study this timeless theme in greater depth. -- Publisher description.
Louis H. Feldman, James L. Kugel, Lawrence H. Schiffman, and Angela Kim Harkins
Angela Kim Harkins is a contributing author, "Thanksgiving Hymns (Hodayot"), pp. 2018-2094.
Book description: The Hebrew Bible is only part of ancient Israel’s writings. Another collection of Jewish works has survived from late- and post-biblical times, a great library that bears witness to the rich spiritual life of Jews in that period. This library consists of the most varied sorts of texts: apocalyptic visions and prophecies, folktales and legends, collections of wise sayings, laws and rules of conduct, commentaries on Scripture, ancient prayers, and much, much more. While specialists have studied individual texts or subsections of this vast library, Outside the Bible seeks for the first time to bring together all the major components into a single collection, gathering portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Septuagint, the biblical Apocrypha, and Pseudepigrapha, and the writings of Philo of Alexandria and Josephus. The editors have brought together these diverse works in order to highlight what has often been neglected; their common Jewish background. For this reason the commentaries that accompany the texts devote special attention to references to Hebrew Scripture and to issues of halakhah (Jewish law), their allusions to motifs and themes known from later Rabbinic writings in Talmud and Midrash, their evocation of recent or distant events in Jewish history, and their references to other texts in this collection. The work of more than seventy contributing experts in a range of fields, Outside the Bible offers new insights into the development of Judaism and Early Christianity. This three-volume set of translations, introductions, and detailed commentaries is a must for scholars, students, and anyone interested in this great body of ancient Jewish writings. -- Publisher description
Paul F. Lakeland
Lumen Gentium, Vatican II's Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, changed how the church thinks about the laity, holiness, baptism, and even the nature and purpose of the church itself. In A Council That Will Never End, the highly regarded ecclesiologist Paul Lakeland marks the fiftieth anniversary of this document's promulgation by taking up three major themes of the constitution, analyzing the text, and identifying some of the questions with which it leaves us. These themes are:
-the role of the bishop in the church and the ways Lumen Gentium's teaching relates to various tensions in today's church
-the laity and in particular the mixed blessing of describing them in the category of "secularity"
-and the relationships between the church and the people of God and what they tell us about the ways in which all people are offered salvation.
Lakeland is convinced that Lumen Gentium leaves much unfinished business (as any historical document must), that attending to it will take us beyond much of the now sterile ecclesial divisions, and that the ecclesiology of humility it implies marks the way that theology must guide the church in the years ahead.
John E. Thiel
Winner of the 2014 Alpha Sigma Nu Book Award.
In Icons of Hope: The “Last Things” in Catholic Imagination, John Thiel, one of the most influential Catholic theologians today, argues that modern theologians have been unduly reticent in their writing about “last things”: death, judgment, heaven, and hell. Beholden to a historical-critical standard of interpretation, they often have been reluctant to engage in eschatological reflection that takes the doctrine of the “last things” seriously as real events that Christians are obliged to imagine meaningfully and to describe with some measure of faithful coherence. Modern theology’s religious pluralism leaves room for a speculative style of interpretation that issues in icons of hope—theological portraits of resurrected life that can inform and inspire the life of faith.
Icons of Hope presents an interpretation of heavenly life, the Last Judgment, and the communion of the saints that is shaped by a view of the activity of the blessed dead consistent with Christian belief in the resurrection of the body, namely, the view that the blessed dead in heaven continue to be eschatologically engaged in the redemptive task of forgiveness. Thiel offers a revision of the traditional Catholic imaginary regarding judgment and life after death that highlights the virtuous actions of all the saints in their heavenly response to the vision of God. These constructive efforts are fostered by Thiel’s conclusions on the disappearance of the concept of purgatory in large segments of contemporary Catholic belief, a disappearance attributable to the emergence of a noncompetitive spirituality in postconciliar Catholicism, which has eclipsed the kinds of religious sensibilities that made belief in purgatory a practice in earlier centuries. This noncompetitive spirituality—one that recovers traditional Pauline sensibilities on the gratuitousness of grace—encourages an eschatological imaginary of mutual, ongoing forgiveness in the communion of the saints in this life and in the life to come.
Gerhard Böwering and Martin Nguyen
Martin Nguyen is a contributing author, "Piety and Asceticism," 415-416.
Book description: The first encyclopedia of Islamic political thought from the birth of Islam to today, this comprehensive, authoritative, and accessible reference provides the context needed for understanding contemporary politics in the Islamic world and beyond. With more than 400 alphabetically arranged entries written by an international team of specialists, the volume focuses on the origins and evolution of Islamic political ideas and related subjects, covering central terms, concepts, personalities, movements, places, and schools of thought across Islamic history. Fifteen major entries provide a synthetic treatment of key topics, such as Muhammad, jihad, authority, gender, culture, minorities, fundamentalism, and pluralism. Incorporating the latest scholarship, this is an indispensable resource for students, researchers, journalists, and anyone else seeking an informed perspective on the complex intersection of Islam and politics.
Rosemary P. Carbine, Kathleen J. Dolphin, and Nancy Dallavalle
Nancy Dallavalle is a contributing author, “Icons and Integrity: Catholic Women in the Church and in the Public Square".
Book description: The New Voices Seminar is a lively, intergenerational, and diverse group of women scholars who take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Christianity. Under the leadership of Kathleen Dolphin, the seminar gathers annually at Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, for collegial and collaborative conversation about women in the church and in the world. With Women, Wisdom, and Witness, readers are invited to join their conversation. This collection of essays by seminar members addresses significant contexts of contemporary women's experience: suffering and resistance, education, and the crossroads of religion and public life. Theology is brought to bear on some pressing issues in our time: poverty, sexual norms, trauma and slavery, health care, immigration, and the roles of women in academia and in the church. Readers will discover the rich socio-political, interdisciplinary, and dialogical implications of Catholic women's intellectual and social praxis in contemporary theology and ethics.