Book launch: ‘Polis, Ontology, Ecclesial Event’ edited by Sotiris Mitralexis

We are pleased to announce the book launch of Polis, Ontology, Ecclesial Event: Engaging with Christos Yannaras’ Thought edited by Sotiris Mitralexis, a selection of essays celebrating the contribution of the Greek Orthodox theologian Christos Yannaras to theology, philosophy and political theory.

 

Polis, Ontology, Ecclesial Event: Engaging with Christos Yannaras’ Thought

Polis, Ontology, Ecclesial Event 9780227176696Christos Yannaras (born 1935 in Athens, Greece) has been proclaimed “without doubt the most important living Greek Orthodox theologian” (Andrew Louth), “contemporary Greece’s greatest thinker” (Olivier Clément), “one of the most significant Christian philosophers in Europe” (Rowan Williams).

However, until recently the English-speaking scholar did not have first-hand access to the main bulk of his work: in spite of the relatively early English translation of his The Freedom of Morality (1984), most of his books appeared in English fairly recently – such as Person and Eros (2007), Orthodoxy and the West (2006), Relational Ontology (2011) or The Schism in Philosophy (2015). In this volume, chapters shall examine numerous aspects of Yannaras’ contributions to Orthodox theology, philosophy and political thought, based on his relational ontology of the person, later popularised in the Anglophone sphere by John Zizioulas. From political theology to Heidegger and the philosophy of language, from Yannaras’ critique of religion to the patristic grounding of the theology of the person and from Orthodoxy to the West, this volume comprises a panorama of Christos Yannaras’ transdisciplinary contributions.

The Author
Sotiris Mitralexis is Seeger Fellow at Princeton University, Assistant Professor of philosophy at the City University of Istanbul and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Winchester. He holds a doctorate in Philosophy from the Freie Universitat Berlin, a doctorate in Theology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and a degree in Classics from the University of Athens. He has taught philosophy in Istanbul, Athens and Berlin.

Associate Editors
Andreas Andreopoulos
Pui Him Ip
Isidoros Katsos
Dionysios Skliris

AVAILABLE FROM THE 31ST OF MAY

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Check out our New Reviews!

We are pleased to present some reviews from Reading Religion, Theological Studies, Ching Feng, The English Historical Review, The Expository Times, Reviews in Religion and Theology and Journal of Reformed Theology . If any of these titles intrigue you, feel free to check out the links for more information and to make your order.

 

The Human Icon

The Human Icon: A Comparative Study of Hindu and Orthodox Christian Beliefs
By Christine Mangala Frost

‘Without judgement or obvious inclusion of cultural bias, the text provides an informative entry point for strengthening understanding of aspects of [Hinduism and Orthodox Christianity]. …. Additionally, and congruous with the topical orientation of the book, the subjects covered are well defined and contextualized, and are given contemporary relevance. …. The appeal of The Human Icon can be found in its sensitivity and appreciation to religious practice, belief, and devotion, and its discussion of influences and commonalities that increases understanding of Hinduism through the inclusion of a discussion of Christianity.’ Madhavi Venkatesan, Reading Religion, 27 February 2018

 

Guns and GospelGuns and Gospel: Imperialism and Evangelism in China
By Ambrose Mong

‘By outlining the Chinese mission history, Mong draws attention to both global and local forces that influenced the passions, visions, and actions of different Protextant missions, the missionaries’ perception of China as ‘the Other’, and the dissemination of Christianity in a Chinese context …. Guns and Gospel is an essential reading for anyoen interested in Chinese Christianity, interreligious dialogues, and cross-cutural engagements.’ –  Joseph Tse-hei Lee, Ching Feng, 16.1-2 (2016)

 

Subversive Meals

Subversive Meals: An Analysis of the Lord’s Supper under Roman Domination during the First Century
By R. Alan Streett

‘The book has many good qualities and I recommend it. The bibliography is extensive, including opposing or different views, and the text is well organized with frequent summaries that keep focus on the theme.’ – Michael L. Cook, Theological Studies, Vol 79, 2018

 

 

Nationhood, Providence, and WitnessNationhood, Providence, and Witness: Israel in Modern Theology and Social Theory
By Carys Moseley

If anything can be said about this book it is that is surely has the momentum. …. [T]he book offers a thorough and provocative assessment of four important voices in modern theology on the matter of nationhood and national identities. …. Yet, Moseley shares her praiseworthy concerns and motives, illustrated by her decision to understand nationhood in the context of missiology.’ – Ruben van de Belt, Journal of Reformed Theology, Volume 10, Issue 4, 2016

 

Ecclesiology and the Scriptural Narrative of 1 Peter

Ecclesiology and the Scriptural Narrative of 1 Peter
By Patrick T. Egan

‘In general, the book gives a refreshingly theological reading and a clear, accessible exegetical argument. It provides a useful resource for thinking about the use of scripture in the NT, even if one disagrees with some of its claims.’ – Katherine M. Hockey, The Expository Times, Volume 129, Number 6, March 2018

 

 

Perfecting PerfectionPerfecting Perfection: Essays in Honour of Henry D. Rack
Edited by Robert Webster

‘Unlike some Festschriften this is a valuable (and reasonably priced) collection which is considerably more than the sum of its parts, and a suitable tribute to an outstanding scholar.’ – G.M. Ditchfield, The English Historical Review, Volume 133, Issue 560, 20 March 2018

 

 

An Ethiopian Reading of the Bible

An Ethiopian Reading of the Bible: Biblical Interpretation of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church
By Keon-Sang An

‘There is no doubt that the transdisciplinary approach of this book to ecclesiology represents a unique and remarkable contribution to the field….[I] would warmly recommend this book to anyone interested in studying ecclesiology. It is not just the innovative perspective that makes this volume an important accomplishment, but also the gathered variety of methodologies and ecclesiological loci which it presents.’ – Petre Maican, Reviews in Religion and Theology, January 2018

 

 

May Special Offers!

A number of choice titles are available from our website at a discounted price. Don’t miss this opportunity, the offers will end on the 31st of May!

Book of the Month:

The Literary Construction of the Other in the Acts of the Apostles

 

The Literary Construction of the Other in the Acts of the Apostles: Charismatics, the Jews, and Women
By Mitzi J. Smith
An analysis of the Acts of the Apostles showing how the text uses its characterisation of the Other to reinforce the self-identity of the earliest Christians.

Paperback was £15.75 -> Now 15% discount £13.39

 

Special Offers:
The Acts of Paul

 

The Acts of Paul: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary
By Richard I. Pervo
An erudite commentary on the Acts of Paul, one of the most important of the Apocryphal Acts, including an improved translation of the text.

Paperback was £25.75 -> Now 10% discounted £23.18

 

Apostle Paul

 

Apostle Paul: A Polite Bribe
By Robert Orlando
A rethinking of St Paul’s role in shaping the emerging Christian religion, emphasising his human, political and material interactions with his contemporaries.

Paperback was £15.50 -> Now 10% discounted £13.95

 

Beyond Old and New Perspectives on Paul

Beyond Old and New Perspectives on Paul: Reflections on the Work of Douglas Campbell
Edited by Chris Tilling
A collection of extracts and essays developing the theological implications of Douglas Campbell’s ground-breaking work in the field of Pauline studies.

Paperback was £25.75 -> Now 10%  discounted £23.18

February Special Offers!

A number of choice titles are available from our website at a discounted price. Don’t miss this opportunity, the offers will end on the 28th of February!

Book of the Month:

9780227176221_cover Sculptor.indd

The Sculptor and His Stone: Selected Readings on Hellenistic and Christian Learning and Thought in the Early Greek Fathers
Edited by Archbishop Chrysostomos
A collection of essays exploring the importance of classical Hellenistic thought in the early development of the Eastern Orthodox tradition.

Paperback was £15.00 -> Now 15% discount £12.75

 

Special Offers:
Did Jesus Speak Greek_9780227175484

Did Jesus Speak Greek?: The Emerging Evidence of Greek Dominance in First-Century Palestine
By G. Scott Gleaves
A critique of the Aramaic Hypothesis that has dominated historical Jesus studies, suggesting that the language Jesus and his followers spoke was Greek.

Paperback was £17.75 -> Now 10% discounted £15.98

 

 

One and the Three_9780227175149

The One and the Three: Nature, Person and Triadic Monarchy in the Greek and Irish Patristic Tradition
By Chrysostom Koutloumousianos
A fertile study of convergences in early monastic thought in Ireland and Byzantine Greece, revealing theological insights into ecclesiology and the Trinity.

Paperback was £25.75 -> Now 10% discounted £23.18

 

Divine Essence and Divine Energies
Divine Essence and Divine Energies: Ecumenical Reflections on the Presence of God in Eastern Orthodoxy
Edited by C. Athanasopoulos and C. Schneider
Essays exploring, from a multiplicity of viewpoints, the philosophical and theological dimensions of the essence-energy distinction in Orthodox Christianity.

Paperback was £25.75 -> Now 10% discounted £23.18

 

 

 

Hot Off the Press: New Reviews!

We are delighted to present some reviews from Anglican and Episcopal History, Church Times and Reviews in Religion and Theology. If any of these titles intrigue you, feel free to check out the links for more information and to make your order.

 

Role of Death in Life_9780227175729

The Role of Death in Life: A Multidisciplinary Examination of the Relationship between Life and Death
Edited by John Behr and Conor Cunningham

‘The book is especially valuable for its engagement with both Catholic and Orthodox theology, the latter often underrepresented in dialog with science and medicine. Theologians will be particularly drawn to this book because it offers fresh prospectives on incarnation and resurrection and overcoming of death with life. Those with interest in death and dying will also find it stimulating for offering constructive proposals and multidisciplinary perspectives.’  – Sarah K. Pinnock, Religion and Theology

 

9780227175064_cover TrinityP.inddThe Trinity and the Vindication of Christian Paradox: An Interpretation and Refinement of the Theological Apologetic of Cornelius Van Til
By B.A. Bosserman

‘The book is both a guide to and a constructive step forward for the theological and apologetic Trinitarian thought of Cornelius van Til.… [M]ost surprising and compelling however, was his explication of van Til’s appropriation of aspects of absolute idealism…. Bosserman has opened a door for renewed study of Van Til and reveals any superficial dismissals of van Til as being unwarranted – he is clearly a figure worth engaging. The monograph is a welcomed investigation of van Til and should be engaged by Reformed students, scholars, and pastors.’ – Greg Parker Jr., Reviews in Religion and Theology, January 2018

 

C S Lewis 9780227173381 copy

C.S. Lewis and a Problem of Evil: An Investigation of a Pervasive Theme
By Jerry Root

‘A study that is not only comprehensive in its coverage but also clear in noting the theological and anthropological implications of Lewis’ work for the individual and the church as they relate to culture…. A thoughtful read fot all Lewis readers.’
Iain S. Maclean, Anglican and Episcopal History, December 2017

 

9780227176177 cover Flesh.inddThe God of All Flesh: And Other Essays
Edited by Walter Brueggemann and K.C. Hanson

‘[T]his volume highlights some of the collected essays written between 1974 and 2009 as Festschriften by famed biblical scholar, Walter Brueggemann…. This reviewer’s first exposure to the thought, work, and writing of Professor Brueggemann came in graduate school with is remarkable book, The Prophetic Immigration. That work opened up a very different and helpful angle in understanding the phenomenon of prophets, and as a result, there has always been a deep indebtedness to him. Likewise, the reader will remain grateful and indebted to Walter Brueggemann for the many insights provided by The God of All Flesh and Other Essays.’ – Clifford Chalmers Cain, Reviews in Religion and Theology, January 2018

 

9780227176290_cover Icons.indd

From Icons to Idols: Documents on the Image Debate in Reformation England
By David J. Davis

‘[D]avis’ anthology is well-crafted and informative…. By including material from a variety of viewpoints, Davis ensures that readers from a variety of viewpoints and denominational background will find selections that resonate with their own understanding of the topic. The breadth and depth of the included material make Davis’ anthology a helpful tool that offers the promise of continued use as a collection of authoritative documents on an important subject.’ – Derek R. Davenport, Reviews in Religion and Theology, January 2018

 

The Forgiveness of Sins9780227176054_cover Forgiveness.indd
By Tim Carter

‘This learned and comprehensive monograph surveys the idea of the forgiveness of sins in the Old and New Testaments, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and early Christian writings both orthodox and heterodox down to Augustine in the fifht century.… [S]triking and original insights emerge… [F]or anyone interested in forgiveness and atonement it is essential reading.’ – John Barton, Church Times, 19 January 2018

 

9780227175774_cover Trenches2.indd

Ecclesiology in the Trenches: Theory and Method under Construction
Edited by Sune Fahlgren and Jonas Ideström

‘There is no doubt that the transdisciplinary approach of this book to ecclesiology represents a unique and remarkable contribution to the field….[I] would warmly recommend this book to anyone interested in studying ecclesiology. It is not just the innovative perspective that makes this volume an important accomplishment, but also the gathered variety of methodologies and ecclesiological loci which it presents.’ – Petre Maican, Reviews in Religion and Theology, January 2018

 

Three Theological Mistakes_9780227175286

Three Theological Mistakes: How to Correct Enlightenment Assumptions about God, Miracles, and Free Will
By Ric S. Machuga

‘[Three Theological Mistakes] provides a valuable service by exposing the roots, and the questionableness, of many views which are still too often taken for granted…. The book is recommended to all those who are interested in questions of theological method, all who are interested in the relationship of theology to science and philosophy, and all who are interested in the effects of the Enlightenment on theology.’ – William J. Brennan III, Reviews in Religion and Theology, January 2018

 

The Greatness of Humility: St Augustine on Moral Excellence9780227176009_cover2 Humility.indd
By Joseph J. McInerney

‘[T]he Greatness of Humility is a well-argued and clear account of an undertheorized virtue in Augustine’s corpus. McInerney’s book stands as a fine exegetical and historical study as well as a normative proposal for humility’s place in moral perfection. Because of this, the book is accessible to readers with a variety of interests, from Augustine and virtue ethics to Hume and Nietzsche…. In short, this volume is a helpful study of an underappreciated aspect of Augustine’s moral thought that is able to reach a wider audience than most books of its kind.’ – Luke Zerra, Reviews in Religion and Theology, January 2018

 

9780227175071_cover AquinasL.inddAquinas on Israel and the Church: The Question of Supersessionism in the Theology of Thomas Aquinas
By Matthew A. Tapie

‘Aquinas on Israel and the Church provides an excellent and thorough analysis of Aquinas’ theology…. Matthew Tapie brings a great deal of clarity to the discussion on Aquinas’ views…. [T]apie’s work is well worth reading for anyone concerned with Christian-Jewish relations or the theology Thomas Aquinas.’Ben Thompson, Reviews in Religion and Theology, January 2018

Frankfurt Book Fair 2017 — A Great Experience!

On October 11th – 15th, James Clarke & Co./Lutterworth Press had a wonderful time attending the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest trade fair for books. Nearly 300,000 people were in attendance, and we were delighted to strike up conversations with visitors about our book titles, as well as meeting fellow publishing companies.

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Many people stopped by our stall to ask about our new James Clarke books, in particular The Human Icon: A Comparative Study of Hindu and Orthodox Christian Beliefs by Christine Mangala Frost and Sin, Grace and Free Will: A Historical Survey of Christian Thought (Volume 1) by Matthew Knell. It also pleased us to receive inquiries on our new Lutterworth books, such as David Wilkinson’s The Alfred Wallis Factor: Conflict in Post-War St Ives Art and Sophie Neville’s The Making of Swallows and Amazons (1974).

The Frankfurt Book Fair was a meeting of friends both old and new – and we hope to see you there next year!

Meet the Author: Our Q&A with Jeff Brown

We sat down for a chat with Jeff Brown, author of Corporate Decision-Making in the Church of the New Testament. In addition to discussing his book, Jeff also touched upon his writing process, influences, and future projects.

jeff

1. What inspired you to write Corporate Decision-Making in the Church of the New Testament?

The book is normally listed in the area of New Testament, but I wrote it as a dissertation for my degree in Systematic Theology. I have had an interest in Church Order since my seminary days. The idea that church members should be involved in decision-making, and not just several leaders or simply the hierarchy has always made sense to me. It seemed to me, as well, that the New Testament described this. So I began the project with an idea I thought was likely true, and wanted to see if it would prove out. It is a lot like trying to prove an hypothesis in the realm of the Natural Sciences.

I had a second motivation: if we find out exactly what the New Testament has to say about group decision-making in the church, it will help toward a healthy church order today, regardless of one’s denomination.

 

2. What does your writing typical process consist of?

Of all that I have published, two books have been academic. Usually, what I write is on a non-academic level. But in this case, I will have to answer about academic writing. Standard dissertation form tends to kill everyone’s interest from the start. So I tried to do some rewriting to make my book more interesting. I see the book as an exercise in Systematic Theology. In my first year of seminary, I was fascinated with my theology courses, and learned that all good theology is based on good Scriptural exegesis, and compared with Historical Theology. Secondly, one needs to interact with a range of theological viewpoints to be credible in one’s statements. So that is how I approached my topic. I pursued every lead I could that had a bearing on any of my arguments. I had to be willing to listen to those who contradicted my basic views as well.

As I began my research, I became aware of the need to add the Social World of the New Testament, which was the environment in which the order of churches arose. I think that by the approach I have used: 1) attention to the Social World of the New Testament, 2) consideration of theological concepts associated with the subject, 3) thorough exegesis, 4) comparison with early church history, and 5) interaction with a range of theological viewpoints, one can come up with credible theology.

 

3. In layman’s terms, what are the main ideas that Corporate Decision-Making in the Church of the New Testament explores?

Thanks for framing the question this way. Theologians tend to use jargon and complicated sentences. My book demonstrates that according to the New Testament, entire congregations took part in some church decisions: from choosing leaders to determining church doctrine. At other times, specific groups made decisions by themselves. The reasons for the decisions and who made them are understandable from the various historical events. In my conclusions I recommend that churches today use the same practices.

 

4. Which writers or academics do you think have had the greatest impact on you and why?

I have to begin with my professors in my undergraduate studies in Biology and Chemistry. Their instruction forced me into academic discipline, and I learned the scientific process well. I am sure it guides my writing to this day. Mortimer Adler’s book, How to Read a Book, had a significant impact on my thinking when I was a seminary student. It teaches the reader how to develop critical thinking skills, and what books are vital for intellectual life. I was also influenced by Augustus Hopkins Strong’s Systematic Theology. I was impressed by how he put his theology together using biblical exegesis, theologians from a broad spectrum, church history, philosophy, and even the poets. Of course, it is dated, and I have since used other, newer works more heavily. But his volume was and is an intellectual challenge. People usually blink when I tell them I have read it three times. Calvin’s Institutes have had a significant impact on my theology and my thinking. My copy is well-marked. The truth is, whether people praise Calvin or denounce him, if they are Protestants and preachers, they are all more influenced by Calvin’s Institutes than they could imagine. I should also mention two professors who challenged me during my theology and doctoral studies. Rolland McCune and Kevin Bauder.

 

5. Who do you think the book will appeal most to?

My book is intended, first of all, for those who are interested in the subject of Church Polity. But I hope to interest those who haven’t pursued the subject, because all church leaders need to be knowledgeable in it. It is an academic book, so it will not appeal to the average reader. Still, my brother, who did not study theology and never took a Greek or Hebrew course in his life, was interested and read it all the way through.

 

6. What are the most obscure notions the book explores?

Most people would not be familiar with a phenomenon in the Roman Empire called “Voluntary Societies”. These societies would be comparable today to various private social organizations: cultural, ethnic, academic, athletic, etc. Voluntary Societies mimicked the political structure of the democratic Greek city. They were normally small (rarely more than 200 members), and brought people of different social status, even slaves, together. They were quite widespread in the Empire during the early days of the Church of the New Testament. In the last few decades, scholars have begun to pay attention to the influence of Voluntary Societies on the Church itself.

 

7. Who are your favourite authors (at any stage of life / career)?

That one is hard to limit. I will try: Cicero, Mark Twain, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Martin Luther, John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon, W.G.T. Shedd, F.F. Bruce, Helmut Thielicke, Stanley Jaki, Michael Polyani, Daniel Berlinski. I have begun reading the Puritans, and really appreciate them.

 

8. How has your research developed since the publication of Corporate Decision-Making in the Church of the New Testament in 2014 and have there been any recent developments in the subject or in your thoughts and ideas on the subject?

I haven’t really been able to pursue recent developments in this field since my book was published in 2013. I have had to pour nearly all my energies into our church here in Nuremberg and into the Lay Bible Institute we began seven years ago. I have noticed, however, that my book has been used in academic articles and two other books on church polity. Most books on Church Order have not devoted an entire section to the impact of the New Testament world on Christian church polity. I think this has been intriguing to some who have looked at my book.

 

9. Do you have any future books or research projects lined up for the future? Please tell us about these.

Yes, I have written a short commentary on the Book of Acts in the German language. It is with a German publisher, and should be out in the next six months. In addition, another pastor that I mentored and I have come up with a hermeneutics course for the average Bible-reader (without theological training). It includes both an instructor’s and a participant’s handbook. We are talking now with a German publisher for the course. I am also nearly finished with a manuscript in German on the subject of the Kingdom of God. Most works on this theme begin with the Gospels. In Acts 28, you find that the Apostle Paul began the subject with the Pentateuch (Acts 28:23). The Kingdom of God has its own story in Scripture, really. If you pay attention to it, you understand that Christ is intensively at work now: regardless of belief or unbelief. I am trying to follow Paul’s lead. A fourth project I have is the same subject, on a popular level in the English language. It will take a while. I am writing it for my two daughters, but I will of course look for a publisher.

 

10. Alongside having taking a diverse interest in the world of academia, we would be delighted to learn about any additional projects or hobbies!

I enjoy vegetable gardening. I love hiking in the mountains of southern Germany. I used to play basketball, but I stopped a few years ago, since I could not keep up with the 20-year-olds! I enjoy asking religious opinions and talking about my faith in Christ in the pedestrian zone of our city. People are very often willing to talk, and you can learn a great deal about what people really think about God by doing that.

 

Corporate Decision Making 9780227174692

 

Corporate Decision-Making in the Church of the New Testament is available now.