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Before the late sixteenth century, the churches of Florence were internally divided by monumental screens that separated the laity in the nave from the clergy in the choir precinct. Enabling both separation and mediation, these screens were impressive artistic structures that controlled social interactions, facilitated liturgical performances, and variably framed or obscured religious ritual and imagery. In the 1560s and 70s, screens were routinely destroyed in a period of religious reforms, irreversibly transforming the function, meaning, and spatial dynamics of the church interior. In this volume, Joanne Allen explores the widespread presence of screens and their role in Florentine social and religious life prior to the Counter-Reformation. She presents unpublished documentation and new reconstructions of screens and the choir precincts which they delimited. Elucidating issues such as gender, patronage, and class, her study makes these vanished structures comprehensible and deepens our understanding of the impact of religious reform on church architecture.
Chapter 11, “Sacred Dimensions: Church Building and Ecclesiastical Practice,” examines the relationship between church building and ecclesiastical practice in Byzantine Constantinople. It outlines the ways in which architecture accommodates and responds to the exigencies of ritual both on a practical, and on a symbolic level to reveal how church buildings were understood symbolically as worship spaces, manifestations of piety, wealth, power, and prestige, and places of perpetual commemoration.
It is commonly stated that while the author of Acts records some conversions that resulted from Paul's Athenian ministry, it is unlikely that a church was established in the city. This article argues, through an analysis of the use of the κολλάω word family in Luke-Acts, the Septuagint, early Christian writings and other relevant texts, that Luke uses the participle κολληθέντɛς as a way of signifying that a Christian community was indeed gathered together in Athens at this time. Leaving other social groups to join Paul and the other new believers, the new group is fused together by their shared faith, forming a new faith community in this ancient city.
Liberal democracy has been experiencing a crisis of representation over the last decade, as a disconnect has emerged from some of the foundational principles of liberalism such as personal freedom and equality. In this article, I argue that in the third part of Kant’s Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason we can find resources to better understand and counteract this crisis of liberal democracy. Kant gives a powerful argument to include an invisible ethical community under a political community, and this ethical community has to take the form of a church. Kant argues then that any political system, and so also liberal democracy, requires religion to ally citizens in a foundational way with the general principles of that system. This would commit liberal nations to having their foundational principles buoyed by religion. Towards the close of the essay, I attend to how this might impact on liberalism’s commitment to religious and ideological pluralism.
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.
In this article I argue that Kant’s understanding of the universality of radical evil is best understood in the context of human sociality. Because we are inherently social beings, the nature of the human community we find ourselves in has a determinative influence on the sorts of persons we are, and the kinds of choices we can make. We always begin in evil. This does not vitiate responsibility, since through reflection we can become aware of our situation and envision ourselves as members of a different community, one with different expectations, making genuine virtue possible. This understanding of radical evil helps to make sense of Kant’s high regard for the church in Religion.
For some years now the Anglican Church in Nigeria has been contending with the problems arising from the creation of missionary dioceses. Many retreats for the bishops in the missionary dioceses have been held from late 2000 to date, in an effort to find solutions to the problems, yet the problems have continued unabated. The situation provokes concern and interest in public discourse and intellectual circles. This study examines critically the problems of missionary dioceses and the effects of such problems on the workers and their families therein using a historical approach and both primary and secondary sources. The findings show that some of the missionary dioceses were created with poor funding and facilities as there was no adequate preparation for their creation. The study therefore recommends that the Church of Nigeria should support the missionary dioceses to stabilize.
Among the New Testament Gospels, Matthew most emphatically stresses the continued presence of Jesus throughout his ministry and with his disciples after Easter. This is despite sensitivity to the challenge of the cross and experiences of absence or deprivation. Structurally, the Gospel develops this affirmation in relation to the narrative of Jesus’ birth and incarnation, to his ministry, to the governance of the Christian community in its apostolic mission to Israel and the nations. Matthew never quite articulates how this continued presence actually works, whether in spatial or sacramental or pneumatological terms. And yet the emphatic correlation of ‘Jesus’ and ‘Emmanuel’ confirms that each is constituted by the other: being ‘God with us’ (Matt 1.23) means precisely to ‘save his people’ (1.21), and vice versa.
This section provides the main argument of the book, followed by historical background on the development of doctrine and devotion to the Virgin Mary up to the end of the fifth century and the flourishing of the cult from that period onward. This section is followed by one on literary genre, which attempts to justify the structure and argument of the book as a whole. A section on gender, which takes into account recent approaches to this subject in the Byzantine context, develops a methodology for studying the cult of the Virgin Mary. The Introduction finishes by outlining once again the goal of this study: it is to assess early and middle Byzantine texts on the Byzantine Virgin according to the diverse settings and audiences for which these were intended.
This chapter reflects on the theological virtue of hope in the Christian community and how it must be distinguished from mere optimism. Rather than seeing hope as a result of faith, the author proposes to consider both hope and faith from within the horizon of love. In paying particular attention to the transformative spirit of hope in the church, the chapter is written in dialogue with David Jasper’s ecclesiological reflections in his Trilogy.
The present article examines Grotius’ views on the relationship between church and state. He composed most of the works dealing exclusively with this theme in the years before 1618, but his later work is discussed as well. The historical and intellectual background to Grotius’ views is examined, such as the Dutch religious troubles, toleration, Jewish history and Erastianism. This is followed by Grotius’ general views on church and state as expressed in his works and his views on specific aspects, such as lawgiving, the right of resistance by the church, synods, ecclesiastical hierarchy, divine and natural law. It is concluded that Grotius held that there is only one, indivisible sovereign government, and that this is civil government: all external acts in the public space are subject to the sovereign. Abuse of this absolute power is restricted by the fact that the sovereign has to render account to God. Grotius’ lifelong ideal was that of a state based on these principles, with a Christian public church, where toleration of religious differences was practised.
The processes launched at the start of Roman rule continued to support the development of cities and their elites. The 150 years from Hadrian to Diocletian saw enough violence to do severe damage to some of those cities, particularly Alexandria, and occasional revolts disturbed the peace, including one in the Delta at the time of the great plague (smallpox) under Antoninus Pius, which led to the depopulation of many villages. A loss of workers to the plague may have intensified the concentration of landholding in the hands of the wealthy, who could invest in both machinery and capital-intensive crops such as wine. This period also saw the decline of the temples and the beginning of Christianity as a visible (and occasionally persecuted) movement, with the emergence of bishops of Alexandria and the countryside. The Egyptian language acquired a new means of expression in the Coptic alphabet, largely derived from Greek.
This chapter focuses on Pauline ecclesiology, which on some contemporary accounts takes much more prominence than in traditional Protestant theology. In particular, the chapter contrasts the strong ties between soteriology and ecclesiology in the reading of N. T. Wright with the consistent loosening of these ties in the history of Reformed theology. The intrinsic relationship in Paul between church and salvation is investigated by a study of Wright’s reading of Galatians 2 and Ephesians 2. The loosening of this relationship in Reformed theology is traced in the writings of John Calvin, Francis Turretin, and Charles Hodge.
South African Christian churches have been widely recognised as major civil institutions that play a role in the provision of social services to complement the state effort. But the concern is there has been an increase in the number of disputes involving leadership succession in these churches that have had to be adjudicated by the civil courts in the last decade. These disputes impact on the governance, growth, reputation and sustainability of churches. The South African Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) identifies weak or lack of effective succession planning in the governing policies of churches as the major cause of these disputes. Against this backdrop, this article analyses some specific cases to explore how church policies influence succession disputes in South African churches. It further explores how the courts engage and interpret the governance policies of churches in the resolution of these disputes. The article reveals that the findings of the CRL Rights Commission are justified. It observes that, among other issues, some churches lack effective and workable succession planning in their governing policies. The policies on leadership succession of these churches are poorly drafted, thereby creating significant lacunae and vacuums leading to conflicts. The article concludes by identifying some lessons that churches can learn from the judicial approach in the resolution of disputes in order to enhance the quality of church policies, thereby reducing their exposure to succession disputes.
The historical evolution of tribunals in South Africa is important in understanding the stratagem of present-day tribunals. This article attempts to take the reader on a journey from before colonisation to during and after that era. The aim is to address the historical journey of tribunals from a South African perspective, and to analyse Church tribunals regarding their functions, characteristics and daily operations through certain profound cases.
Training lay people to deliver mental health interventions in the community can be an effective strategy to mitigate mental health manpower shortages in low- and middle-income countries. The healthy beginning initiative (HBI) is a congregation-based platform that uses this approach to train church-based lay health advisors to conduct mental health screening in community churches and link people to care. This paper explores the potential for a clergy-delivered therapy for mental disorders on the HBI platform and identifies the treatment preferences of women diagnosed with depression.
We conducted focus group discussion and free-listing exercise with 13 catholic clergy in churches that participated in HBI in Enugu, Nigeria. These exercises, guided by the positive, existential, or negative (PEN-3) cultural model, explored their role in HBI, their beliefs about mental disorders, and their willingness to be trained to deliver therapy for mental disorders. We surveyed women diagnosed with depression in the same environment to understand their health-seeking behavior and treatment preferences. The development of the survey was guided by the health belief model.
The clergy valued their role in HBI, expressed understanding of the bio-psycho-socio-spiritual model of mental disorders, and were willing to be trained to provide therapy for depression. Majority of the women surveyed preferred to receive therapy from trained clergy (92.9%), followed by a psychiatrist (89.3%), and psychologist (85.7%).
These findings support a potential clergy-focused, faith-informed adaptation of therapy for common mental disorders anchored in community churches to increase access to treatment in a resource-limited setting.
Computability is discussed here at length, being the prime example of what Gödel calls formalism independence in his 1946 Princeton Bicentennial Lecture. The emergence of the concept of human effective calculability and of its formal counterpart---simply computability---is traced in the work of Gödel, Chucrh, Hilbert and Bernays, and finally Turing. The reception of Turing’s work on the part of Church and Kleene as well as on the part of Gödel is chronicled.
Dante’s distinctive political theology lies behind two of the most startling surprises of his otherworldly vision, in relation to previous traditions both popular and learned about the afterlife. First, of the approximately 300 characters in Dante’s otherworld, 84 are pagans, and 51 of these are located in a region entirely of Dante’s own invention: the limbo of the virtuous pagans. Second is Dante depiction of contemporary popes, at least four of whom are allotted a place in hell.
Tucked away at the end of the Minor Prophets, the Books of Haggai and Zechariah offer messages of challenge and hope to residents of the small district of Yehud in the Persian Empire in the generations after the return from Babylonian exile. In this volume, Robert Foster focuses on the distinct theological message of each book. The Book of Haggai uses Israel's foundational event - God's salvation of Israel from Egypt - to exhort the people to finish building the Second Temple. The Book of Zechariah argues that the hopes the people had in the prophet Zechariah's days did not come true because the people failed to keep God's long-standing demand for justice, though hope still lies in the future because of God's character. Each chapter in this book closes with a substantive reflection of the ethics of the major sections of the Books of Haggai and Zechariah and their implications for contemporary readers.