This collection features books and book contributions written by faculty in the Department of Religious Studies at Fairfield University.
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.
Anthony Ciorra, Michael W. Higgins, and Nancy Dallavalle
Nancy Dallavalle is a contributing author, “To Workers: Work and the Working Life Fifty Years After the Council".
Book description: A collection of presentations from the Vatican II Conference, A Universal Call to Holiness, held at Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT. Seven of the presentations are based on the seven speeches given by several cardinals at the conclusion of the council on December 8, 1965.
Reading with an ‘I’ to the Heavens: Looking at the Qumran Hodayot through the Lens of Visionary Traditions
Angela Kim Harkins
This book examines the collection of prayers known as the Qumran Hodayot (= Thanksgiving Hymns) in light of ancient visionary traditions, new developments in neuropsychology, and post-structuralist understandings of the embodied subject. The thesis of this book is that the ritualized reading of reports describing visionary experiences written in the first person "I" had the potential to create within the ancient reader the subjectivity of a visionary which can then predispose him to have a religious experience. This study examines how references to the body and the strategic arousal of emotions could have functioned within a practice of performative reading to engender a religious experience of ascent. In so doing, this book offers new interdisciplinary insights into meditative ritual reading as a religious practice for transformation in antiquity.
Eric F. Mason, Kelley Coblentz Bautch, Angela Kim Harkins, and Daniel Machiela
Angela Kim Harkins is a co-editor of volume 2 as well as a contributing author, “Who is the Teacher of the Teacher Hymns? Re-examining the Teacher Hymns Hypothesis Fifty Years Later.” Pages 449-467.
Book description: These essays honor James C. VanderKam on the occasion of his sixty-fifth birthday and twentieth year on the faculty of the University of Notre Dame. Essays from an international group of scholars address various topics in Second Temple Judaism and biblical studies.
Book description: This book is the first extensive examination of the medieval Qur'an commentary known as the Lata'if al-isharat and the first critical biography of its author, the famous spiritual master Abu al-Qasim al-Qushayri. Written in 5th/11th century Nishapur, an intellectual and cultural crossroads of the Muslim world, the Lata'if al-isharat has endured down through the centuries as an important work of Sufi exegesis. A mystical vision of reality is taught through its line-by-line treatment of the Qur'an as its author was writing as both a Sufi teacher and scholar. This study fully investigates al-Qushayri's life and historical horizon and carefully analyses the structure and method of the commentary. The primary aim of the book is to draw greater attention to the other traditions of exegesis that inform the Sufi approach of the Lata'if al-isharat, an understudied feature of many Sufi commentaries in general. In the case of this commentary, scholarly and pedagogical concerns for language, prophetic sayings, law and theology are interwoven into al-Qushayri's overarching mystical exegesis. Other important aspects of the author's intellectual identity and education clearly influenced the formation of al-Qushayri's Sufi worldview and as a consequence his interpretation of God's word. By delineating these other traditions of exegesis mentioned in al-Qushayri's biography and embedded in his Lata'if al-isharat, we can better appreciate how he and his commentary were part of a wider Sunni historical heritage in addition to the developing Sufi tradition.
Colleen Shantz, Rodney Werline, and Angela Kim Harkins
Angela Kim Harkins is a contributing author, "Religious Experience through the Lens of Critical Spatiality: A Look at Embodiment Language in Prayers and Hymns", pp. 223-242.
Book description: This collection of essays continues the investigation of religious experience in early Judaism and early Christianity begun in Experientia, Volume 1, by addressing one of the traditional objections to the study of experience in antiquity. The authors address the relationship between the surviving evidence, which is textual, and the religious experiences that precede or ensue from those texts. Drawing on insights from anthropology, sociology, social memory theory, neuroscience, and cognitive science, they explore a range of religious phenomena including worship, the act of public reading, ritual, ecstasy, mystical ascent, and the transformation of gender and of emotions. Through careful and theoretically informed work, the authors demonstrate the possibility of moving from written documents to assess the lived experiences that are linked to them. The contributors are István Czachesz, Frances Flannery, Robin Griffith-Jones, Angela Kim Harkins, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte, John R. Levison, Carol A. Newsom, Rollin A. Ramsaran, Colleen Shantz, Leif E. Vaage, and Rodney A. Werline. -- Publisher description.
Jocelyn M. Boryczka, Elizabeth A. Petrino, Paul F. Lakeland, and Elizabeth A. Dreyer
Elizabeth Dreyer is a contributing author, "Do as I do, not as I say: A pedagogy of action," p.21-36.
Paul Lakeland is a contributing author, "Paideia and the Political Process: The Unexplored Coincidence of Jesuit and Feminist Pedagogical Visions", pp. 136-146.
Book description: Given its long tradition of authentic dialogue with other religious and philosophical perspectives, Jesuit education is uniquely suited to address the range of opportunities and challenges teachers and students face in the twenty-first century. At first glance, Jesuit and feminist ways of understanding the world appear to be antagonistic approaches to teaching and learning. But much can be gained by focusing on how feminism, in dialogue with Jesuit education, can form, inform, and transform each other, our institutions, and the people in them. Both traditions are committed to educating the whole person by integrating reason and emotion. Both also argue for connecting theory and practice and applying knowledge in context. As unabashedly value-driven educational approaches, both openly commit to social justice and an end to oppression in its many forms. With strong humanistic roots, Jesuit and feminist education alike promote the liberal arts as critical to developing engaged citizens of the world.
This book explores how the principles and practices of Ignatian pedagogy overlap and intersect with contemporary feminist theory in order to gain deeper insight into the complexities of today’s multicultural educational contexts. Drawing on intersectionality, a method of inquiry that locates individual and collective standpoints in relation to social, political, and economic structures, the volume highlights points of convergence and divergence between Ignatian pedagogy, a five-hundred year old humanistic tradition, and more recent feminist theory in order to explore how educators might find strikingly similar methods that advocate common goals—including engaging with issues such as race, gender, diversity, and social justice. By reflecting on these shared perspectives and inherent differences from both practical and theoretical approaches, the contributors of this volume initiate a dynamic dialogue about Jesuit and feminist education that will enliven and impact our campuses for years to come.
Michael D. Coogan and Angela Kim Harkins
Angela Kim Harkins is a contributing author, "Hymns and Prayers.” pp. 175-83.
Book description: Books of the Bible provides a single source for authoritative reference overviews of scholarship on some of the most important topics of study in the field of biblical studies. The Encyclopedia contains almost 120 in-depth entries, ranging in length from 500 to 10,000 words, on each of the canonical books of the Bible, major apocryphal books of the New and Old Testaments, important noncanonical texts, and thematic essays on topics such as canonicity, textual criticism, and translation.
Books of the Bible has extensive cross-references to other useful points of interest within the Encyclopedia, and comprehensive lists of abbreviations and an index for ease of use. Illustrations of various types supplement the text and enhance its appeal. Bibliographies for all entries further add to its usefulness.
István Keul and Ronald M. Davidson
Ronald M. Davidson is a contributing author, "Observations on an Usnisa Abhiseka Rite in Atikuta's Dharanisamgraha", pp. 77-98.
The essays in this volume, written by specialists working in the field of tantric studies, attempt to trace processes of transformation and transfer that occurred in the history of tantra from around the seventh century and up to the present. The volume gathers contributions on South Asia, Tibet, China, Mongolia, Japan, North America, and Western Europe by scholars from various academic disciplines, who present ongoing research and encourage discussion on significant themes in the growing field of tantric studies. In addition to the extensive geographical and temporal range, the chapters of the volume cover a wide thematic area, which includes modern Bengali tantric practitioners, tantric ritual in medieval China, the South Asian cults of the mother goddesses, the way of Buddhism into Mongolia, and countercultural echoes of contemporary tantric studies.
Volkhard Krecht, Marion Steinicke, and Ronald M. Davidson
Ronald M. Davidson is a contributing author, "Canon and Identity in Indian Esoteric Buddhism as the Confluence of Cultures", pp. 321-341.
This first volume of the series “Dynamics in the History of Religions” reviews the opening conference of the "Käte Hamburger Kolleg” at the Ruhr-University Bochum. The first section concentrates on the formation of what later come to be termed "world religions" through inter-religious contact, the second part focuses on the significance of interreligious contacts also during their expansive phase. Methodological problems of multi-perspective research and especially the lack of a general religious terminology are discussed in the third chapter, while the final papers outline various aspects of secularization and (re-)sacralisation in the age of globalisation as an effect of multicultural contacts in a world wide web of religious interferences.
Buddhist Himalaya: Studies in Religion, History and Culture, vol. 1 [Proceedings of the Golden Jubilee Conference of the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok, 2008]
Alex McKay, Anna Balikci-Denjongpa, and Ronald M. Davidson
Ronald M. Davidson is a contributing author, "Himalayan Buddhist Valleys as Tantric Ecologies", pp. 135-150.
The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology in Gangtok, Sikkim (India) is delighted to announce the publication of the proceedings of the NIT Jubilee Conference held in Gangtok in 2008, which was attended by leading scholars from around 20 nations. The proceedings contain nearly 50 original articles on the religion, history and culture of the Buddhist Himalayas, with a particular emphasis on Sikkim.
Charles Orzech, Henrik H. Sørensen, Richard K. Payne, and Ronald M. Davidson
Ronald M. Davidson is a contributing author, "Abhiseka" and "Sources and Inspirations", pp. 19-27 and 71-75.
In all likelihood, it was the form of Buddhism labeled “Esoteric Buddhism” that had the greatest geographical spread of any form of Buddhism. It left its imprint not only on its native India, but far beyond, on Southeast Asia, Central Asia, including Tibet and Mongolia, as well as the East Asian countries China, Korea and Japan. Not only has Esoteric Buddhism contributed substantially to the development of Buddhism in many cultures, but it also facilitated the transmission of religious art and material culture, science and technology. This volume, the result of an international collaboration of forty scholars, provides a comprehensive resource on Esoteric Buddhism and the Tantras in their Chinese, Korean, and Japanese contexts from the first few centuries of the common era right up to the present.
J. J. Collins, D. Harlow, and Angela Kim Harkins
Angela Kim Harkins is a contributing author, "Hymns, Prayers, and Psalms” pp. 753-757.
Book description: This comprehensive and authoritative volume is the first reference work devoted exclusively to Second Temple Judaism. A striking and innovative project, it combines the best features of a survey and a reference work. The Eerdmans Dictionary of Early Judaism is ecumenical and international in character, bringing together the contributions of a superb group of Jewish, Christian, and other scholars.
Daniel K. Falk, Sarianna Metso, Donald W. Parry, Eibert J.C. Tigchelaar, and Angela Kim Harkins
Angela Kim Harkins is a contributing author, "A New Proposal for Thinking about 1QHa Sixty Years after its Discovery.” Pages 101-134.
Book description: This volume contains a selection of the papers presented at the sixth meeting of the International Organization for Qumran Studies, held in 2007 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on the topic Qumran Cave 1 Revisited: Reconsidering the Cave 1 Texts Sixty Years after Their Discovery. While the opening paper assesses theories about the character of Qumran Cave 1 in relation to the other Qumran caves, all other papers discuss texts from Cave 1, in particular six of the seven large scrolls found there in 1947: the two Isaiah scrolls, the Rule of the Community, the War Scroll, the Thanksgivings Scroll, and the Genesis Apocryphon. Many papers revisit those texts in light of the corresponding versions found in Cave 4.
From Turfan to Ajanta: A Festschrift for Dieter Schlingloff on the Occasion of his Eightieth Birthday, vol. 1
Eli Franco, Monika Zin, and Ronald M. Davidson
Ronald M. Davidson is a contributing author, "The Place of Abhiseka Visualization in the Yogalehrbuch and Related Texts", pp. 185-198.
The dedicated study of South Asia, its classical culture in all its myriad forms, including its literature and religion and not least, its art, has distinguished the entire scholarly life of Dieter Schlingloff. With his vast panoply of interests and his insatiable curiosity, well reflected by his publications, both in their impressive number and their diversity, he has enriched the field of South Asian Studies to a momentous degree. This work is a Festschrift on the occasion of his 80th birthday.
Transforming Relations: Essays on Jews and Christians throughout History in Honor of Michael A. Signer
Franklin T. Harkins and Angela Kim Harkins
Angela Kim Harkins is a contributing author, "Biblical and Historical Perspectives on ‘the People of God’.” Pages 319-339.
Book description: Transforming Relations is a collection of original essays on the history of Jews and Christians in antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the modern era that honors the influential work of Michael A. Signer (1945-2009). Reflecting the breadth of Signer’s research and pedagogical interests, the essays treat various aspects of the Jewish-Christian relationship through the centuries, from the divine law in antiquity to philosemitism in contemporary Christianity, from scriptural interpretation in the twelfth century to Christian Hebraism in the fifteenth, and from the presentation of Christianity in the Talmud and Midrashim to modern Christian understandings of Judaism. The essays are unified in their emphases on two principles that pervade Signer’s own scholarly work: that the sacred texts shared by Jews and Christians serve simultaneously as a point of convergence and divergence for the two religious communities, and that modern practitioners of Judaism and Christianity must recognize and appreciate the other as part of a living tradition.
Margaret Kamitsuka and Paul F. Lakeland
Paul F. Lakeland is a contributing author, "Ecclesiology, Desire and the Erotic" p. 247-260
Book description: The topic of sexuality intersects directly with the most contested historical, theological, and ethical questions of our day. In this edgy yet profound volume, noted scholars and theologians assay the Christian tradition's classic and contemporary understandings of sex, sexuality, and sexual identity.
The project unfolds in three phases: contemporary assessments of the Christian tradition, new thinking about eros and being human religiously, and new perspectives on classic mysteries in light of eros and embodiment. – Publisher description.
Paul F. Lakeland
Yves Congar (1904-1995), a French Dominican theologian, was a prophet in the church of the mid-twentieth century, persecuted in the 1950s only to become perhaps the single most formative influence on Vatican II. To the extent that the agenda of Vatican II remains to be fulfilled, one could say that it is Congar's vision that provides the ongoing agenda of the church. Congar's many contributions ranged from ecumenism to social justice, the Holy Spirit to the identity of the church. Perhaps his most significant and far-reaching influence was his commitment to the role of the laity. Throughout his life he embodied the struggle to join faithfulness to the church with an ongoing commitment to reform and renewal. In recognition of his service to the church, Pope John Paul II named him a cardinal just before his death. This volume provides real insight and fresh hope for those concerned to breathe new life into the church of the twenty-first century. – Publisher description.
Susan Ross, Maria Clara Bingemer, Paul Murray, and Paul F. Lakeland
Paul F. Lakeland is a contributing author, "The Lay Ecclesial Minister: is S/he a Theological Monster?" p. 55-64.
Book description: Concilium is a theological review, perhaps, the most subscribed in the world. It is published five times a year. The editors of the review belong to "who's who" in the world of theology. Each issue takes up and studies a relevant and contemporary theme. The writers of the articles are chosen from among the best scholars of the question in the world. Every contribution reflects deep knowledge and scholarship presented in a highly readable style, and each issue brings home the salient aspects of the question treated. – Publisher description.
Paul F. Lakeland
Drawing on the wisdom and teaching experience of highly respected theologians, the Engaging Theology series builds a firm foundation for graduate study and other ministry formation programs. Each of the six volumes—Scripture, Jesus, God, Discipleship, Anthropology, and Church—is concerned with retrieving, carefully evaluating, and constructively interpreting the Christian tradition.
While paying close attention to the classical "marks of the Church," Paul Lakeland's focus is on what we can learn about the nature of the Church as living communion by examining the values and practices of ordinary believers. Following the advice of Bernard Lonergan, Lakeland adopts a resolutely inductive approach to ecclesial reflection. He explores ten questions that the Church must address, both those that affect the internal workings of the faith community and those that have to do with its relationships to other groups, religious and secular. Finally, he offers a constructive proposal for a contextual ecclesiology of the U.S. Catholic Church that utilizes the images of hospice, pilgrim, immigrant, and pioneer. – Publisher description.
Gerald Mannion and Paul F. Lakeland
Paul F. Lakeland is a contributing author, "John Paul II and Collegiality" p. 184-199.
Book Description: The Vision of John Paul II assesses the writings, work, and ecclesial vision of this long-serving pontiff. Moving beyond the scope of so many other books on John Paul II, this volume seeks to fill a gap by focusing on his lasting influence on pressing issues facing the church today: social justice, women’s roles, collegiality, ecumenism, and interreligious dialogue. – Publisher description.
Tim Muldoon and Paul F. Lakeland
Paul F. Lakeland is a contributing author, "Maturity and the Lay Vocation: From Ecclesiology to Ecclesiality" p. 241-260.
Original essays explore the role of the laity within the Catholic Church and the nature of Catholic identity. –Publisher description.
Larrisa J. Taylor and Martin Nguyen
Martin Nguyen is a contributing author, "Carvan," p.84-86.
Book description: The Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage is an interdisciplinary reference work, giving wide coverage of the role of travel in medieval religious life. Dealing with the period 300-1500 A.D., it offers both basic data on as broad a range of European pilgrimage as possible and clearly written, self-contained introductions to the general questions of pilgrimage research. Also available online as part of Brill's Medieval Reference Library Online (BRMLO) - Webpage BRMLO. Despite widespread modern interest in medieval pilgrimage and related issues, no comprehensive work of this type exists and it will be of interest to scholars and students for personal and academic use. Local sites of pilgrimage are represented in this work as well as the main routes to Rome, Jerusalem and Santiago. Written and material sources relating to pilgrimage are used to illustrate aspects of medieval society, from brewing, book production and the trade in relics, to the development of the towns, art, architecture and literature which pilgrimage engendered. The Encyclopedia of Medieval Pilgrimage will serve as the main starting point for any serious study of this phenomenon.