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Chapter 7, “Matters of Faith: Catholic Intelligentsia and the Church,” asks how Catholics behaved in Warsaw and why. Roman Catholicism was the religion of the majority of Varsovians and had played an important role in the development of the Polish national project. In the absence of a Polish government, the Church provided a potential locus of authority for Poles. Warsaw’s priests drew particular negative attention from the Nazi occupation for their potential influence and they were viciously persecuted, imprisoned, and often sent to the concentration camp at Dachau. Nevertheless, leaders of the Church, from the pope in Rome to local bishops, were hesitant to provide guidance, support Nazi occupation, or encourage opposition to it. Despite the lack of a top-down Catholic policy, this chapter argues that individual priests and lay Catholic leaders were motivated by their religious faith to form everything from charities to a postwar clerical state. Crucial among Catholics was the question of the developing Holocaust and the role of Polish Jews in Polish Catholic society, which sharply divided them.
This article argues that, unlike some exegetes (e.g. Francis Moloney), Thomas Torrance correctly interpreted Mark 16:19–20 in support of a theology of the ascended Christ's continuing prophetic activity. In the ministry of the Word, Christ remains present and at work witnessing to himself. This prophetic office, associated with and not to be separated from his kingly and priestly functions, is not to be played down. He is the primary agent forever actively involved in Christian proclamation.
This chapter proposes that the author uses an ancient exegetical technique known as “prosopological exegesis.” This method was common in early Christianity, but is not often traced as far back as the NT. After establishing the author’s use, the chapter shows how this method developed out of Greco-Roman rhetorical training as well as literary criticism and also has resonances with Jewish reading strategies as well. Since this method was used by early Christian writers, such as Tertullian, to support a doctrine of the Trinity, this chapter also discusses the extent to which this is true of Hebrews. Finally, the chapter surveys previous literature on speech, or “the word of God,” in Hebrews.
This chapter examines passages in Hebrews where the Father or God is portrayed as the speaker of Scripture quotations (Heb 1:5–13; 5:1–10; 7:1–28; 8:1–13). In Hebrews 1, the Father speaks 7 quotations to the Son or to/about the angels. These quotations show the Son’s superiority. In Hebrews 5, the quotations show how the Son is called to be a priest and how that is linked to his Sonship. In Hebrews 7, the author’s important quotation of Ps 110:4 establishes Jesus as a high priest in the likeness of Melchizedek. Finally, in Hebrews 8, the Father speaks and establishes a “new covenant.” In most instances, a pattern emerges where the Father speaks to the Son and confers authority upon him. These speeches are then “overheard” by the addressees.
How does the Bible represent violence? How does its literary nature shape these representations? How is violence central within biblical theologies? This chapter provides an analytical overview of biblical representations of violence and theorises ‘sanctification’ of violence. Biblical stories feature the range of violence common throughout ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean societies: war, ritual violence and violence between individuals, both ‘criminal’ and normalised. Socio-narrative context determines the legitimacy or illegitimacy of violence attributed to patriarchs, prophets, priests, Israelites, Judeans, ‘foreigners’ and royals. Some violence follows purported divine directive, but much is mundane. Yhwh’s (or divine subordinates’) violence is typically rendered legitimate. The ‘justness’ of divine violence rhetorically impacts explanations of misfortune: suffering of direct and symbolic violence indicates godly punishment. Within the Hebrew Bible and New Testament the notion that divinely decreed violence accomplishes theistic plans enables misrecognition of ritualised violence. Since antiquity, people have employed biblical themes to claim divine approval of violence. Theorisation of ‘religious violence’ facilitates distinguishing between assertions of biblically ‘justified’ violence versus how the biblical anthology represents violence. Investigating portrayals of violence, especially who benefits and who suffers from each portrayal, is key for examining social impacts of ancient ‘biblical violence’ and modern ‘Bible-based violence’.
Chapter 3 follows a clerical chronicler through a typical service at the twelfth-century Monastery of the Caves in Kiev, from the moment he hears the call to prayer to the priest’s final blessing from the ambo. Over the course of the narrative, I name and describe every church book that the chronicler takes up in his hands, and every sort of hymn, prayer, and reading that leaves his lips. In so doing, I attempt to provide a modern academic audience with a glimpse into how the liturgy was lived and experienced, day after day, by the men responsible for writing history in early Rus. I further argue that church books were not simply texts or sources like any other. I suggest, rather, they are the surviving artefacts of a Roman storytelling technology that enveloped its participants in a very special kind of narrative world. In my view, the worship of God, and the ritual retelling of his saving acts, was also a covert form of Byzantine political indoctrination. The liturgical rites inculcated an explicitly eastern Roman social arrangement between ruler and ruled, and they embedded this construct in a series of sacred narratives about the conversion and salvation of the Byzantine Empire.
The chronicle entry for the year 1015 recounts the murder of two of Vladimir’s sons, Princes Boris and Gleb. Once more, a series of close readings reveals a deep liturgical subtext underlying the chronicle text, only this time that subtext is Eucharistic: Prince Boris prepares for death in the exact way that an eastern Christian priest prepares for the Eucharistic sacrifice during the celebration of the divine liturgy. And just as the sacrifice offered in the Eucharist is Christ Himself, so the sacrifice that Boris offers in the chronicle is his own life, and the life of his brother Gleb. A second level of liturgical subtext is also discussed in the chapter, and it is connected to the Byzantine rite for consecrating a new church. The chroniclers in Rus were clearly familiar with this rite and it may have guided their large-scale conception of the founding of Christianity in Rus. Indeed, when we consider what a bishop says and does during the consecration rites—what he prays about and what he asks for—it reveals a crucial theological link between Vladimir’s role as bishop and the martyrdom of his sons Boris and Gleb.
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