Ten Theology Books to Watch For – Nov. 2017

November 2, 2017 — Leave a comment

 

Here are a 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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Called to Attraction:
An Introduction to the Theology of Beauty

Brendan Thomas Sammon

Cascade Books

 

What if there is more to beauty than meets the eye? What if beauty named more than the human response to a thing’s appearance, but instead named the very presence of God in the world? And what if beauty provided a power enabling human beings to think in novel and creative ways, to see with new eyes? This book explores the various ways in which the Christian theological tradition has provided responses to these questions. Taking its starting point from the view that beauty is above all a divine name, this book explores the consequences that such a starting point has not only for the human experience of beauty but also for the way in which beauty penetrates to the very heart of human nature, uplifting and inspiring human thought and action to ever new frontiers of existence. In its experience of beauty, so this book argues, the human spirit encounters the divine presence in unexpected and transformative ways, such that one may come to see that not only is God beautiful, but God is beauty itself!

 

Inspiration and Authority in the Middle Ages: Prophets and their Critics from Scholasticism to Humanism

Brian Fitzgerald

Oxford UP

 

Inspiration and Authority in the Middle Ages rethinks the role of prophecy in the Middle Ages by examining how professional theologians responded to new assertions of divine inspiration. Drawing on fresh archival research and detailed study of unpublished manuscript sources from the twelfth to fourteenth centuries, this volume argues that the task of defining prophetic authority became a crucial intellectual and cultural enterprise as university-trained theologians confronted prophetic claims from lay mystics, radical Franciscans, and other unprecedented visionaries. In the process, these theologians redescribed their own activities as prophetic by locating inspiration not in special predictions or ecstatic visions but in natural forms of understanding and in the daily work of ecclesiastical teaching and ministry. Instead of containing the spread of prophetic privilege, however, scholastic assessments of prophecy from Peter Lombard and Thomas Aquinas to Peter John Olivi and Nicholas Trevet opened space for claims of divine insight to proliferate beyond the control of theologians. By the turn of the fourteenth century, secular Italian humanists could lay claim to prophetic authority on the basis of their intellectual powers and literary practices. From Hugh of St Victor to Albertino Mussato, reflections on and debates over prophecy reveal medieval clerics, scholars, and reformers reshaping the contours of religious authority, the boundaries of sanctity and sacred texts, and the relationship of tradition to the new voices of the Late Middle Ages.

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