Ten Theology Books to Watch For [May 2019]

May 10, 2019 — 2 Comments

 

Here are some excellent theology* books that will be released this month:

* broadly interpreted, including ethics, church history, biblical studies, and other areas that intersect with theology

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Disability and the Way of Jesus: Holistic Healing in the Gospels and the Church

Bethany McKinney

IVP Academic

What does healing mean for people with disabilities? The Gospels are filled with accounts of Jesus offering physical healing. But even as churches today seek to follow the way of Jesus, people with disabilities all too often experience the very opposite of healing and life-giving community: exclusion, judgment, barriers. Misinterpretation and misapplication of biblical healing narratives can do great damage, yet those who take the Bible seriously mustn’t avoid these passages either. Bethany McKinney Fox believes that Christian communities are better off when people with disabilities are an integral part of our common life. In Disability and the Way of Jesus, she considers how the stories of Jesus’ healings can guide us toward mutual thriving. How did Jesus’ original audience understand his works of healing, and how should we relate to these texts today? After examining the healing narratives in their biblical and cultural contexts, Fox considers perspectives from medical doctors, disability scholars, and pastors to more fully understand what Jesus does as he heals and how he points the way for relationships with people with disabilities. Personal reflections from Christians with disabilities are featured throughout the book, which concludes with suggestions for concrete practices adaptable to a variety of church settings. Bridging biblical studies, ethics, and disability studies with the work of practitioners, Fox provides a unique resource that is both theologically grounded and winsomely practical. Disability and the Way of Jesus provides new lenses on holistic healing for scholars, laypeople, and ministry leaders who care about welcoming all people as Jesus would.





A Theology of Failure: Žižek against Christian Innocence

Marika Rose

Fordham UP

Everyone agrees that theology has failed; but the question of how to understand and respond to this failure is complex and contested. Against both the radical orthodox attempt to return to a time before the theology’s failure and the deconstructive theological attempt to open theology up to the hope of a future beyond failure, Rose proposes an account of Christian identity as constituted by, not despite, failure. Understanding failure as central to theology opens up new possibilities for confronting Christianity’s violent and kyriarchal history and abandoning the attempt to discover a pure Christ outside of the grotesque materiality of the church.

The Christian mystical tradition begins with Dionysius the Areopagite’s uncomfortable but productive conjunction of Christian theology and Neoplatonism. The tensions generated by this are central to Dionysius’s legacy, visible not only in subsequent theological thought but also in much twentieth century continental philosophy as it seeks to disentangle itself from its Christian ancestry. A Theology of Failure shows how the work of Slavoj Žižek represents an attempt to repeat the original move of Christian mystical theology, bringing together the themes of language, desire, and transcendence not with Neoplatonism but with a materialist account of the world. Tracing these themes through the work of Dionysius and Derrida and through contemporary debates about the gift, violence, and revolution, this book offers a critical theological engagement with Žižek’s account of social and political transformation, showing how Žižek’s work makes possible a materialist reading of apophatic theology and Christian identity.

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2 responses to Ten Theology Books to Watch For [May 2019]

  1. Jim E Montgomery May 11, 2019 at 9:31 am

    Have searched the NT text and not found any democracy in JC’s teachings or His surrounding 1st century. ‘Democracy’ ought be seen by His disciples and as a strawman or at least a pitch in the dirt not be swung at … Don’t get mad at me; it just ain’t there!

  2. Of course democracy isn’t in scripture, but neither are many facets of life in our churches and homes. Should churches not have pianos because they aren’t mentioned in scripture (apologies, of course, to our brothers and sisters in the non-instrumental Churches of Christ) or should Christians forego transportation by automobile or all modern medicine because it isn’t mentioned in scripture?

    Democracy has some serious flaws (the marginalization — and sometimes oppression– of minority groups) but wouldn’t you agree that it’s its a whole lot better than some forms of government, say fascism or totalitarianism? The Reign of God is not a democracy, but in the modern age democracies have allowed the Gospel to flourish in ways that it hasn’t under other systems of government.

    Whether something is or isn’t in scripture is NOT a great test of its validity for us as Christians. Rather we need to think theologically about all the realities of our days and speak honestly about their virtues and their limitations.

    ~ Chris

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