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A study not of the institution of the Church but of Christianity itself, this book explores the Christian people, their beliefs, and their way of life, providing a new understanding of Western Christianity at the time of the Reformation. Bossy begins with a systematic exposition of traditional or pre-Reformation Christianity, exploring the forces that tended to undermine it, the characteristics of the Protestant and Catholic regimes that superseded it, and the fall-out that resulted from its disintegration.
This collection of nineteen essays is the fruit of ongoing collaboration in Biblical Studies between the Universities of Geneva, Lausanne, Manchester and Sheffield. The essays are arranged under three headings (General Studies; Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism; and New Testament, Early Christianity and their Contexts) but share many overlapping interests. In particular, the studies show intriguingly that the concerns of ancient historians are both similar to and different from those of modern historians. Several contributions also demonstrate that the historical value of ancient texts can only become apparent if they are set alongside suitable co-texts, whether from Mesopotamia, from Greek and Roman writings, or from other sources. In addition it is clear in some of the contributions that the interplay between authors and readers is no less significant in history writing than in the production of other genres. Overall the set of essays shows forcefully that history writing, in antiquity as today, is principally about the meaning of the past for the present, only secondarily about the past for its own sake.
Religion has dominated colonialism since the 16th century. 'Religion and the Secular' critically examines how religion has been used to subject indigenous concepts to the needs of colonial powers. Essays present the colonial relationship from the perspective of colonized cultures - including Mexico, Guatemala, Vietnam, India, Japan, South Africa and Canada - and colonizing powers, namely England, Germany and the United States. The volume offers a historical and ethnographical analysis of the relationship between the sacred and the secular, examining religion in relation to politics, economics and civil power.
The first major study of the early Reformation and the Polish monarchy for over a century, this volume asks why Crown and church in the reign of King Sigismund I (1506-1548) did not persecute Lutherans. It offers a new narrative of Luther's dramatic impact on this monarchy — which saw violent urban Reformations and the creation of Christendom's first Lutheran principality by 1525 — placing these events in their comparative European context. King Sigismund's realm appears to offer a major example of sixteenth-century religious toleration: the king tacitly allowed his Hanseatic ports to enact local Reformations, enjoyed excellent relations with his Lutheran vassal duke in Prussia, allied with pro-Luther princes across Europe, and declined to enforce his own heresy edicts. Polish church courts allowed dozens of suspected Lutherans to walk free. Examining these episodes in turn, this study does not treat toleration purely as the product of political calculation or pragmatism. Instead, through close analysis of language, it reconstructs the underlying cultural beliefs about religion and church (ecclesiology) held by the king, bishops, courtiers, literati, and clergy — asking what, at heart, did these elites understood 'Lutheranism' and 'catholicism' to be? It argues that the ruling elites of the Polish monarchy did not persecute Lutheranism because they did not perceive it as a dangerous Other — but as a variant form of catholic Christianity within an already variegated late medieval church, where social unity was much more important than doctrinal differences between Christians. Building on John Bossy and borrowing from J.G.A. Pocock, it proposes a broader hypothesis on the Reformation as a shift in the languages and concept of orthodoxy.
Superstition and Magic in Early Modern Europe brings together a rich selection of essays which represent the most important historical research on religion, magic and superstition in early modern Europe. Each essay makes a significant contribution to the history of magic and religion in its own right, while together they demonstrate how debates over the topic have evolved over time, providing invaluable intellectual, historical, and socio-political context for readers approaching the subject for the first time. The essays are organised around five key themes and areas of controversy. Part One tackles superstition; Part Two, the tension between miracles and magic; Part Three, ghosts and apparitions; Part Four, witchcraft and witch trials; and Part Five, the gradual disintegration of the 'magical universe' in the face of scientific, religious and practical opposition. Each part is prefaced by an introduction that provides an outline of the historiography and engages with recent scholarship and debate, setting the context for the essays that follow and providing a foundation for further study. This collection is an invaluable toolkit for students of early modern Europe, providing both a focused overview and a springboard for broader thinking about the underlying continuities and discontinuities that make the study of magic and superstition a perennially fascinating topic.
Beyond Secular Order is the first of a two-volume workthat expands upon renowned theologian John Milbank’sinnovative attempt to understand both theology and modern thoughtbegun in his previously published classic text Theology andSocial Theory. Continues Milbank’s innovative attempt to understand boththeology and modern thought begun in Theology and SocialTheory – considered a classic work in the development ofsystematic theology Authored by one of the world’s most influential andhighly regarded contemporary theologians Draws on a sweep of ideas and thinkers to argue that modernsecularism is a form of Christian heresy that developed from theMiddle Ages and can only be overcome by a renewed account ofChristendom Shows how this heresy can be transformed into a richer blend ofreligion, modernity and politics Reveals how there is a fundamental homology between modernideas about ontology and knowledge and modern ideas about politicalaction, expressed in both theory and practice

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