580 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of Christianity about their New Books
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    • Religion & Spirituality

Interviews with Scholars of Christianity about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/christian-studies

    David Komline, "The Common School Awakening: Religion and the Transatlantic Roots of American Public Education" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    David Komline, "The Common School Awakening: Religion and the Transatlantic Roots of American Public Education" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    The origins of American public schools can help shed light on continued contemporary discussions around religion and education in American discourse. In The Common School Awakening: Religion and the Transatlantic Roots of American Public Education (Oxford UP, 2020), historian David Komline explores the rise of educational models that introduced professional teaching and systematic educational standards alongside a period of interdenominational Protestant cooperation. Some of the origins of American public education were linked to religious revivals in the early nineteenth century, though many of the educational innovations would outlive their religious movement that catalyzed them. Komline's study brings attention to the under-explored religious dimension of the rise of American public education, and provides much-needed insight into the origins some of the perennial tensions of public education in a pluralistic society.
    Ryan David Shelton (@ryoldfashioned) is a social historian of British and American Protestantism and a PhD researcher at Queen’s University Belfast.
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    Barbara Pitkin, "Calvin, the Bible, and History" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Barbara Pitkin, "Calvin, the Bible, and History" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    John Calvin was known foremost for his powerful impact on the fundamental doctrines of Protestantism, and his biblical interpretation continues to attract interest and inquiry. Calvin, the Bible, and History investigates Calvin's exegesis of the Bible through the lens of one of its most distinctive and distinguishing features: his historicizing approach to scripture. Barbara Pitkin here explores how historical consciousness affected Calvin's interpretation of the Bible, sometimes leading him to unusual, unprecedented, and occasionally controversial exegetical conclusions. 
    Through several case studies, Pitkin explores the multi-faceted ways that historical consciousness was interlinked with Calvin's interpretation of biblical books, authors, and themes, analyzing the centrality of history in his engagement with scripture from the Pentateuch to his reception of the apostle Paul. First establishing the relevant intellectual and cultural contexts, Pitkin situates Calvin's readings within broader cultural trends and historical developments, demonstrating the expansive impact of Calvin's concept of history on his reading of the Bible. Calvin, the Bible, and History (Oxford UP, 2020) reveals the significance of his efforts to relate the biblical past to current historical conditions, reshaping an earlier image of Calvin as a forerunner of modern historical criticism by viewing his deep historical sensibility and distinct interpretive approach within their early modern context.
    Zach McCulley (@zamccull) is a historian of religion and literary cultures in early modern England and PhD candidate in History at Queen's University Belfast.
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    Thomas S. Kidd, "Who Is an Evangelical?" (Yale UP, 2019)

    Thomas S. Kidd, "Who Is an Evangelical?" (Yale UP, 2019)

    News and media outlets have become especially attentive to the political leanings of a particular subset of American Protestants: the Evangelicals. Leading historian of American Christianity, Thomas S. Kidd, wrote Who Is An Evangelical?: The History of a Movement in Crisis (Yale UP, 2019) to offer a wide range of readers an easy and accessible summary of this contested religious identity. He shows how gradually a theological identifier has become associated with an ethnic and political markers. In this succinct overview of the movement, Kidd helps to both explain how those political associations were formed, and also how pollsters and popular media presentations overlook groups who might claim this theological heritage, as evangelicalism continues to become a global phenomenon. 
    Ryan David Shelton (@ryoldfashioned) is a social historian of British and American Protestantism and a PhD researcher at Queen’s University Belfast.
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    Clemena Antonova, "Visual Thought in Russian Religious Philosophy: Pavel Florensky's Theory of the Icon" (Routledge, 2019)

    Clemena Antonova, "Visual Thought in Russian Religious Philosophy: Pavel Florensky's Theory of the Icon" (Routledge, 2019)

    Often referred to as “the Russian Leonardo”, religious philosopher and Orthodox parish priest Pavel Florensky was a pivotal figure in the Russian religious renaissance at the turn of the 20th century. In Visual Thought in Russian Religious Philosophy: Pavel Florensky's Theory of the Icon (Routledge 2019), art historian Clemena Antonova (Research Director at Eurasia in Global Dialogue, Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna) challenges prevailing readings of Florensky’s oeuvre, presents an analysis of the thinker’s theory of pictorial space in the icon, and argues for the relevance of his thought to contemporary debates on religion and secularism. In this interview we discuss the religious and pictorial turn in contemporary modernity, the clash between Russian Orthodox clergy and theologians and religious philosophers in the early 20th century, the influence of St. Gregory Palamas on Florensky and his contemporaries, the Slavophile roots and fin-de-siecle manifestations of the theory of full unity, the limits of Florensky’s work in art history, and the challenges that contemporary scholars of Russian religious thought encounter when confronting its problematic aspects.
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    Paul Pearson, "Spiritual Direction from Dante, Volume 2: Ascending Mount Purgatory" (Tan Books, 2020)

    Paul Pearson, "Spiritual Direction from Dante, Volume 2: Ascending Mount Purgatory" (Tan Books, 2020)

    Although Dante’s Divine Comedy is a masterpiece of spiritual writing, it is seldom appreciated as such since most readers never venture beyond the first volume, Inferno, to continue the spiritual journey into Purgatorio. Yet Dante's presentation of Purgatory is something beautifully hopeful. Freedom is the dominant theme here and the rejoicing of captives delivered from their prisons the dominant tone. The people in Purgatory are increasingly concerned for one another and generous, the more so the higher on the mountain they climb. They are interested in one another's well-being and rejoice in one another's victories as though they were their own. The sufferings on Mount Purgatory are not something that happens to the souls there; they happen for them. This has all been designed for their benefit, and they are grateful to God for making it possible. Purgatory is God's merciful plan for allowing us to rediscover the joy and freedom of being human, the joy for which we were created but which sin has smothered and distorted. This is what we can be. This is what we can begin to be, even now, if only we will separate ourselves from sin. What are we waiting for? Join us as we speak with Father Paul Pearson about his recent work, Spiritual Direction from Dante: Ascending Mount Purgatory, and we glean further spiritual insights from the Divine Comedy.
    Father Paul Pearson was ordained to priesthood in 1985 and serves as Dean of Saint Philip’s seminary run by the Oratorians in Toronto.
    Michael Morales is Professor of Biblical Studies at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and the author of The Tabernacle Pre-Figured: Cosmic Mountain Ideology in Genesis and Exodus(Peeters, 2012), Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord?: A Biblical Theology of Leviticus (IVP Academic, 2015), and Exodus Old and New: A Biblical Theology of Redemption (IVP Academic, 2020). He can be reached at mmorales@gpts.edu
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    • 37 min
    K. Kale Yu, "Understanding Korean Christianity: Grassroot Perspectives on Causes, Culture, and Responses" (Pickwick, 2019)

    K. Kale Yu, "Understanding Korean Christianity: Grassroot Perspectives on Causes, Culture, and Responses" (Pickwick, 2019)

    The cultural landscape plays a momentous role in the transmission of Christianity. Consequently, the global expansion of the church has led to the increasing diversification of world Christianity. As a result, scholars are turning more and more to native cultures as the point of focus. Understanding Korean Christianity: Grassroot Perspectives on Causes, Culture, and Responses (Pickwick, 2019) examines how this new discourse evolved as well as presenting a missional methodology based on the study of the native landscapes of Korea. Kale Yu argues that the process of formulating and communicating Christianity was less consistent than is usually supposed. By immersing the reader in the thought and lived experience of various Korean contexts, Professor Yu recreates the diversity of cultural landscapes experienced by Korean Christians of different periods in history. The result is a new interpretation of cross-cultural missional interactions.
    Byung Ho Choi is a Ph.D. Student from South Korea in the Department of History & Ecumenics, concentrating in World Christianity and history of religions at Princeton Theological Seminary.
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    • 1 hr 30 min

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