Here are some excellent new theology books * that will be released in May 2021:
See a book here that you’d like to review for us?
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Brittany E. Wilson
Oxford University Press
As inheritors of Platonic traditions, many Jews and Christians today do not believe that God has a body. God is instead invisible and incorporeal, and even though Christians believe that God can be seen in Jesus, God otherwise remains veiled from human sight. In this ground-breaking work, Brittany E. Wilson challenges this prevalent view by arguing that early Jews and Christians often envisioned God as having a visible form.
Within the New Testament, Luke-Acts in particular emerges as an important example of a text that portrays God in visually tangible ways. According to Luke, God is a perceptible, concrete being who can take on a variety of different forms, as well as a being who is intimately intertwined with human fleshliness in the form of Jesus. In this way, the God of Israel does not adhere to the incorporeal deity of Platonic philosophy, especially as read through post-Enlightenment eyes. Given the corporeal connections between God and Jesus, Luke’s depiction of Jesus’s body also points ahead to future controversies concerning his divinity and humanity in the early church. Indeed, questions concerning God’s body are inextricably linked with Christology and shed light on how we are to understand Jesus’s own visible embodiment in relation to God.
In The Embodied God, Wilson reframes approaches to early Christology within New Testament scholarship and calls for a new way of thinking about divine-and human-bodies and embodied experience.
Luke Timothy Johnson
“For me, Paul has always been the most difficult and therefore also most delightful advocate and interpreter of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the human experience of God’s transforming power through Christ. In Paul’s letters above all I have found the quality of mind and the depth of conviction that could arouse in me both excitement and passion. And it is Paul’s letters, above all, that show how important and difficult is life together in the church.”
With the contextual framework in place from volume one of The Canonical Paul, Luke Timothy Johnson now probes each of the thirteen biblical letters traditionally attributed to the apostle Paul in a way that balances respect for historical integrity with attention to present-day realities. In doing so, Johnson reforges the connection between biblical studies and the life of the church, seeking to establish once again the foundational and generative role that the thirteen letters of Paul have had among Christians for centuries.
Far from being a “definitive theology” of Paul, or an oversimplified synthesis, Interpreting Paul provides glimpses into various moments of Paul’s thinking and teaching that we find in Scripture, modeling how one might read his letters closely for fresh, creative interpretations now and into the future. Approached in this way, both in minute detail and as a whole canon, Paul’s letters yield rich insights, and his voice becomes accessible to all readers of the Bible.
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