Ten Theology Books to Watch For – Oct. 2017

October 5, 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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Pilgrimage as Moral and Aesthetic Formation in Augustine’s Thought

Sarah Stewart-Kroeker

Oxford UP

Augustine’s dominant image for the human life is peregrinatio, which signifies at once a journey to the homeland (a pilgrimage) and the condition of exile from the homeland. For Augustine, all human beings are, in the earthly life, exiles from their true homeland: heaven. Only some become pilgrims seeking a way back to the heavenly homeland, a return mediated by the incarnate Christ. Becoming a pilgrim begins with attraction to beauty. The return journey therefore involves formation, both moral and aesthetic, in loving rightly. This image has occasioned a lot of angst in ethical thought in the last century or so. Augustine’s vision of Christian life as a pilgrimage, his critics allege, casts a pall of groaning and longing over this life in favor of happiness in the next. Augustine’s eschatological orientation robs the world of beauty and ethics of urgency. In Pilgrimage as Moral and Aesthetic Formation in Augustine’s Thought, Sarah Stewart-Kroeker elaborates Augustine’s understanding of moral and aesthetic formation via the pilgrimage image, which she argues reflects a Christological continuity between the earthly journey and the eschatological home that unites love of God and neighbor. From the human desire for beauty to the embodied practice of Christian sacraments, Stewart-Kroeker reveals the integrity of Augustine’s vision of moral and aesthetic formation, which is essentially the ordering of love. This study develops an Augustinian account of the relationship between beauty and morality.

 

A Palestinian Theology of Liberation: The Bible, Justice, and the Palestine-Israel Conflict

Naim Stiphan Ateek

Orbis Books

Addressing what many consider the world’s most controversial conflict, Naim Ateek offers a succinct primer on liberation theology in the context of the Palestinian struggle for freedom and self-determination. Beginning with the historical roots of this struggle, he shows how the memory of the Holocaust served to trump the claims and aspirations of the native inhabitants of Palestine, and how later Israeli occupation and settlements in the West Bank have contributed to their suffering and oppression.

Supported by many Western Christians, Israeli claims to the land rely on a particular exclusivist reading of the Bible. In contrast, a Palestinian theology of liberation responds with a counter-strategy for biblical interpretation, emphasizing the prophetic themes of inclusivity and justice. Ateek concludes by providing principles for achieving security, peace, and justice for all peoples in Israel/Palestine.

 

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