In the twentieth century eschatology moved into the center of theological attention. At the same time it became as disparate as twentieth century theology itself. This is not conducive to formulating a clear and inspiring vision of Christian hope for the new century. This paper suggests an eschatological "road map" based on the observation that eschatology has traditionally responded to three distinct aspects of the human predicament, i.e. 1) the evil manifesations of sin in society, 2) human finitude (in time), and 3) the limitations of human power and knowledge (in space). This "road map" indicates some typical tensions emerging from a response to these predicaments - both with reference to the content and the social impact of Christian hope.
This article analyzes and assesses two prominent religious themes - the transcendence of the flesh and the association between women and the body - as they appear in popular women's magazines. Such themes are tacitly embedded in these texts' iconography and stories, which define the identity and virtue of womanhood through the body, and which make the achievement of this feminine ideal contingent on the transcendence of physical processes and needs. The religious beliefs that holiness depends on subduing the flesh and its cravings, and that females have especial proximity to the body, present a peculiar - if not precarious - dilemma for women. Women's magazines are not only contemporary carriers of these age-old views; they are also a primary means whereby girls and women negotiate the mixed messages they imply.
The story of Galileo's encounter with the Inquisition in the early 17th Century continues to be an important part of the story of modernity. Galileo is frequently seen as breaking with the scientific heritage of Aristotle to found a new science of nature and, in the process, he also had to do battle with an entrenched biblical literalism in the Catholic Church. According to the generally accepted view, Galileo's break with both Aristotle and the Inquisition is a founding feature of modern culture. This essay challenges such a view and argues that Galileo's science, at least in its principles, is Aristotelian in inspiration, and that Galileo and the theologians of the Inquisition shared first principles concerning both the complementarity of faith and reason as well as the authority of the Church to be the authentic interpreter of the truths of scripture. In fact, the controversy between Galileo and the Inquisition would be unintelligible were it not the case that all parties shared common first principles.
This paper focuses on the circulation of the Testament of Abraham (TAbr) within its Romanian sociohistorical context in an effort to determine how it is this first-century Alexandrian Jewish narrative found cultural relevance in eighteenth-century Romanian society. Textual analysis shows this Greek apocryphon to have been thoroughly "romanianized," reflecting a high degree of interaction between its narrative and social worlds. TAbr circulated outside the monasteries, suggesting that monks intended this text to be read by members of the literate boier, or noble class, who might find in Abraham the model of an exemplary "noble man" and remember the impoverished populace living on their own estates.
The Web has been pitched to us as the ultimate egalitarian utopia. At the same time, newspapers talk about "road kill" on the information highway. Women especially have been counted among those lost in cyberspace. But even if the vision of the Internet as genderless utopia were true, it has troubling implications. Nevertheless, theoretical critiques of Web culture take us only so far. Ad campaigns aside, there are genders on the Internet. What do women on the Web - "wired women" - themselves say about their experiences of gender and embodiment? And what might we imagine to be the theological significance of these gendered bodies in cyberspace?
While feminist ideological critics urge us to "step outside" the ideology of patriarchal texts in order to critique it, social scientific criticism insists that unless we first "step into" the socio-symbolic world refracted through the text, our readings will be compromised by the projections of a modern worldview. This paper explores the tension between these two critical approaches through a focus on current ideological readings of biblical "pornoprophetics," that is, prophetic metaphors of promiscuous women who are stripped and raped as punishment for their transgressions. The conclusion that these images are indicative of misogynic attitudes in ancient Israel is challenged for its failure to account sufficiently for the difference between ancient and modern worldviews.
The "Modernist" crisis in the Roman Catholic Church is not well understood apart from the social-cultural backgrounds of the principal figures involved in it. This essay attempts to describe the context of the crisis from various anthropological perspectives - geographical, cultural, social - and so to illuminate its inner dynamics. The essay's underlying hypothesis is that, since cultures give rise to culture-dependent behaviors, one should be able to discern culturally qualified reactions on the part of protagonists involved in the crisis. The analytical tool used is the geographical anthropology of Emmanuel Todd as modified by the social-cultural anthropologies of Mary Douglas and Bruce Malina.
The Internet is a rich storage house for studying the role of the Bible in contemporary American and Western culture. The examination of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19) on the Internet demonstrates that biblical studies gain from the critical interaction with the digital world. Many religiously oriented Web pages mention the biblical story when they discuss the issue of homosexuality. Others include archaeological findings to prove the historicity for the existence and destruction of the two cities. Numerous Web pages give evidence for the commercial, cultural, and fantastic significance of Sodom and Gomorrah. The study shows that contemporary culture and thus the digital world cannot and should not be ignored in biblical studies. The nexus of Bible and culture promises an enhanced understanding in the social, political, economic, and religious factors that lead to interpretations of Genesis 19 in particular and the Bible in general.