News, Theology

Ten Theology Books to Watch For – August 2020

Here are some excellent new theology books * that will be released in August 2020 :

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

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Theology Books August 2020

Scholastic Affect: Gender, Maternity and the History of Emotions

Clare Monagle

Cambridge UP

Scholastic theologians made the Virgin Mary increasingly perfect over the Middle Ages in Europe. Mary became stainless, offering an impossible but ideologically useful vision of womanhood. This work offers an implicit theory of the utility and feelings of women in a Christian salvationary economy. The Virgin was put to use as a shaming technology, one that silenced and effaced women’s affective lives. The shame still stands to this day, although in secularised mutated forms. This Element deploys the intellectual history of medieval thought to map the moves made in codifying Mary’s perfection. It then uses contemporary gender and affect theory to consider the implications of Mary’s perfection within modernity, mapping the emotional regimes of the medieval past upon the present.


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Theology Books August 2020

Spiritual Traditions and the Virtues: Living Between Heaven and Earth

Mark Wynn

Oxford University Press

Spiritual Traditions and the Virtues develops a philosophical appreciation of the spiritual life. The book shows how a certain conception of spiritual good, one that is rooted in Thomas Aquinas’s account of infused moral virtue, can generate a distinctive vision of human life and the possibilities for spiritual fulfilment. Wynn examines the character of the goods to which spiritual traditions are directed; the structure of such traditions, including the connection between their practical and creedal commitments; the relationship between the various vocabularies that are used to describe, from the insider’s perspective, progress in the spiritual life; the significance of tradition as an epistemic category; and the question of what it takes for a spiritual tradition to be handed on from one person to another. In his account of the virtues, Aquinas shows how our relations to the everyday world can be folded into our relationship to the divine or sacred reality otherwise conceived. In this sense, he offers a vision of how it is possible to live between heaven and earth. Spiritual Traditions and the Virtues considers how that vision can be extended across the central domains of human thought and experience, and how it can deepen and diversify our understanding of what it is for a human life to be lived well.

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