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

 

 

Advertisements

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

Guest Blog: A review of Margaret G. Sim’s ‘A Relevant Way to Read’ by Zoe Hollinger

James Clarke & Co is proud to present a guest blog post from Zoe Hollinger, a PhD student studying the intertextuality and the use of the Old Testament in Hebrews from Belfast.

Review of Margaret G. Sim’s, A Relevant Way to Read: A New Approach to Exegesis and Communication. Cambridge: James Clark and Co., 2016; 136 pages; £17.50; ISBN: 9780227174425.

Relevant Way to Read_9780227174425
A Relevant Way to Read: A New Apporach to Exegesis and Communication by Margaret G. Sim

In A Relevant Way to Read, Margaret G. Sim draws from her background as a linguist and Bible translator in order to provide a brief introduction to relevance theory and its application to biblical studies. Relevance theory originated as an attempt to explain how humans communicate, emphasising the importance of inferring information and optimising relevance. Although some of the insights gained from relevance theory have influenced how linguists translate Scripture, little work has been done on how the theory may benefit NT exegesis. Through her utilisation of relevance theory, the subject of her PhD, Sim intends to provide a new angle through which old interpretive problems can be examined (p117).

Sim’s study can be divided into two parts: the first section provides the theory behind her study (chapters 1-2), whilst the second demonstrates how one can apply this theory to particular areas of NT interpretation (chapters 3-7).

Chapter 1 introduces the reader to debates regarding the nature of communication and authorial intent. In contrast to deconstructionism, which denies that texts have meaning, Sim argues that relevance theory provides a more satisfying explanation for how humans communicate. This is because the very creation of a text implies that the author intends to communicate with her audience (p2). This reality coheres with the basic premise of relevance theory: “The speaker assumes that a hearer listens to what he has to say because she is interested in it: it has relevance for her” (p4).

In chapter 2, Sim begins with a short orientation to the topic of relevance theory, charting its origins in the work of Deirdre Wilson and Dan Sperber, before discussing the main points of the theory and providing a definition of key concepts used: underdeterminacy, inference, metarepresentation, and ostension.

Chapters 3-7 demonstrate the working out of relevance theory by applying it to a number of contentious issues in NT interpretation.

Chapter 3 deals with how the NT authors re-present their thoughts, and the thoughts of others, in their writings. As a result, Sim examines the understanding of NT metaphor and issues surrounding the use of the OT within the NT. She concludes that the expectation of exact resemblance in citations is a modern notion and should be abandoned, and that more weight should be given to the use of metaphor, echoes and allusions when attempting to gain insight into a NT author’s communicative intent (p51).

Sim redefines irony in chapter 4 as “echoing a thought, belief or utterance of another while maintaining a distancing attitude to such an utterance” (p70) and demonstrates the usefulness of such a definition through an analysis of 1 and 2 Corinthians.

In chapter 5, Greek particles are analysed to determine how they can guide interpretation. Sim is rightly critical of the idea that each particle has a fixed lexical meaning and shows, through the use of relevance theory, how these words signal to the reader what the author desires to communicate.

Chapter 6 examines the difficulty of understanding conditional sentences. Sim encourages a move away from traditional categories ‘factual’ and ‘counterfactual’ since the potentiality of a conditional sentence is decided on pragmatic terms. Instead, she focuses on the logical relationship between the two clauses of the conditional sentence in order to provide a clearer exegesis of NT passages.

pompeii-couple2

Chapter 7 concludes the book by providing a summary of Sim’s argument, as well as touching on issues relating to tense and time in Greek verbs. This is not a detailed discussion, however, since the chapter’s aim is to encourage scholars to employ the basic insights of relevance theory in their future research. Sim illustrates and provides support for her arguments with a wide variety of examples drawn from day-to-day interactions, NT passages, ancient Greek authors, and even classic works of literature. Each chapter ends with a summary of the key points dealt with in the chapter. Sim also provides a more substantial glossary at the back of the book as well as further reading for those interested in understanding relevance theory in more detail.

For non-specialists with no previous background in linguistics, A Relevant Way to Read provides a clear and concise introduction to relevance theory. The book is comprehensive in its summary of the main ideas associated with relevance theory, but does not overwhelm the reader with unnecessary information. Sim avoids the over-use of technical vocabulary and only provides enough linguistic theory to enable a biblical scholar to apply it to the text of the NT. Scholars more aware of the intricacies involved in the arguments surrounding relevance theory may protest that Sim has not covered everything that there is to be said about relevance theory, but that is not her purpose (p28), and, as with any short introduction, the book is necessarily selective.

Sim’s book is to be commended for its originality. It sets a precedent for further research into biblical texts, since relevance theory has not garnered the attention it deserves in biblical studies. Nonetheless, the novelty of this theory may mean that some of Sim’s conclusions are open to further questioning or refinement, but the benefit of this is that it invites scholars to interact with how relevance theory applies to specific problems in NT interpretation.

Sim’s attention to the original NT Greek text will appeal to students with a background in Biblical languages, but the provision of her own English translation of each text means that students with little or no grasp of the original Greek are still able to understand the force of her arguments.

Overall, Sim has written an incredibly accessible orientation to relevance theory and its application to NT exegesis, one which will appeal to senior biblical scholars and graduate students alike.  It is sure to influence a number of future studies as scholars seek out new and original methods to apply to NT texts.

Zoe Hollinger is currently undertaking a PhD on intertextuality and the use of the Old Testament in Hebrews, under the supervision of W. Gordon Campbell at Union Theological College, Belfast.

If you would like to get involved in writing a guest blog post for either our James Clarke site or Lutterworth Press, we would be delighted to hear from you!

Please send your name, degree title and university to sales@lutterworth.com, along with the topic that you wish to cover.

www.jamesclarke.co.uk

‘Mong’s is an authentic voice and merits great attention’: reviews of ‘Accommodation and Acceptance: An Exploration of Interfaith Relations.’

Accommodation and Acceptance shows us a ‘gentle way’ for dialogue, mutual respect and even the ‘holy envy’ of admiration which should be ours in the interreligious encounter of the twenty-first century. Mong’s is an authentic voice and merits great attention.”

Rev James F. Loughran, SA, Director of the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute, New York

Accommodation and Acceptance_9780227175187
Accommodation and Acceptance: An Exploration in Interfaith Relations  by Ambrose Mong
 
‘Mong masterfully shows how Christian faith needs to be reconceptualized in its encounter with Asian religions, from Christology to ecclesiology to Trinitarian theology. This book is a must-read not only for Asian Christians but also, and one may argue especially, for Western Christians.’
Professor Peter C. Phan, Ellacuria Chair of Catholic Social Thought, Georgetown University
Accommodation and Acceptance: An Exploration in Interfaith Relations is available to purchase now! For more reviews, extracts and to get your copy, go to: http://tinyurl.com/zlq9o36

“Relevant” Exegesis

A wonderfully positive review from Larry Hurtado of one of our most recent titles: A Relevant Way to Read by Margaret G. Sim.

Larry Hurtado's Blog

In a recent book, Margaret Sim lays out an approach to exegesis of the Greek NT that draws upon the insights of linguistics, especially what is known as “relevance theory”:  A Relevant Way to Read:  A New Approach to Exegesis and Communication (Cambridge:  James Clarke, 2016).

Sim is herself an expert in linguistics and completed her PhD here with a fine work that likewise applied “relevance theory.”  The published form = Marking Thought and Talk in New Testament Greek:  New Light from Linguistics on the Particles ἱνα and  ὁτι (James Clark, 2011).  In her more recent book, Sim widens the scope to address verbal irony (and how to detect it), several “small words” such as those addressed in her earlier book, conditional sentences, and several other matters, one of them being “verbal aspect.”

The first couple of chapters lay out in simple terms what “relevance theory” is in linguistics, and how it offers…

View original post 224 more words

#Reviews from the Heythrop Journal

We are very privileged to have had a large number of our titles reviewed in the latest volumes of the esteemed Heythrop Journal, from titles on Karl Barth to Paul’s Gospel. Keep reading the Heythrop Journal for more reviews of James Clarke & Co’s theological books.

Richard Hooker and the Vision of God
Exploring the Origins of ‘Anglicanism’
By Charles Miller
ISBN: 9780227174005

9780227174067_coverRichard.indd“Miller has written a clear and accessible account of Hooker’s theology, illuminating very helpfully the context in which he wrote, while also apprecitating the complexity of Hooker’s contested legacy during subsequent periods in Anglican history including the present. … Miller has made a valuable contribution not only to the study of Richard Hooker as an historical figure of importance to Anglicanism, but opened his writings as a gift to the Church today.”

N.H. Taylor, Heythrop Journal, Vol. 57 Iss. 2, March 2016

Karl Barth and the Resurrection of the Flesh
The Loss of the Body in Participatory Eschatology
By Nathan Hitchcock
ISBN: 9780227174104

Karl Barth Resurrection 9780227174104“Hitchcock demonstrates in a well-researched and astutely written volume the difficulties that Barth encountered while pressing the mystery of resurrection too much, and how the failings get submerged even lost in his massive theological enterprise.”

Paul Brazier, Heythrop Journal, Vol. 56 Iss. 6, November 2015

Paul’s Message and Ministry in Covenant Perspective
Selected Essays
By Scott J. Hafemann
ISBN: 9780227175385

Paul's Message_9780227175385“…masterful and insightful… This volume is highly recommended for scholars and graduate students working on Paul or the New Testament… Certain essays will also prove beneficial for certain other audiences as well, particualrly pastoral leaders and undergraduates.”

Jacob J. Prahlow, Heythrop Journal, Vol. 57 Iss. 4, July 2016

The God Who Is Beauty
Beauty as a Divine Name in Thomas Aquinas and Dionysius the Areopagite
By Brendon Thomas Sammon
ISBN: 9780227174296

God Who Is Beauty_9780227174296“This is a brilliant book on both Dionysus’s On the Divine Names and Thomas Aquinas’ commentary; it hammers in a final nail that forces modernity to re-configure its understanding of the relation between Greek and Medieval philosophy.”

Patrick Madigan, Heythrop Journal, Vol. 57 Iss. 2, March 2016

Eternal Blessedness for All?
A Historical-Systematic Examination of Schleiermacher’s Understanding of Predestination
By Anette I. Hagan
ISBN: 9780227174302

9780227174302_cover Eternal.indd“…this is a salutory and well researched study…”

Paul Brazier, Heythrop Journal, Vol. 56 Iss. 6, November 2015

The Acts of Paul
A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary
By Richard I. Pervo
ISBN: 9780227174616

Acts of Paul “…the present-day reader is in Richard Pervo’s debt for his scholarly work on the text, its translation and his detailed commentary.”

Geoffrey Turner, Heythrop Journal, Vol. 57 Iss. 4, July 2016

Paul’s Non-Violent Gospel
The Theological Politics of Peace in Paul’s Life and Letters
By Jeremy Gabrielson
ISBN: 9780227174654

Pauls Non Violent“This is an excellent study that brings out a strand of Paul’s theology that should not be ignored and it also contributes to the on-going debate about the connections between Jesus and Paul, showing that on this theme Paul had received something from Jesus at his conversion experience and from the sayings-tradition of Jesus that Paul received from the earliest followers of Jesus.”

Geoffrey Turner, Heythrop Journal, Vol. 57 Iss. 4, July 2016

Theologizing Friendship
How Amicitia in the Thought of Aelred and Aquinas Inscribes the Scholastic Turn
By Nathan Lefler
ISBN: 9780227174814

Theologizing Friendship_9780227174814“…he [Nathan Lefler] is even-handed, perspicacious, and penetrating…”

Patrick Madigan, Heythrop Journal, Vol. 57 Iss. 2, March 2016

Paul’s Pisidian Antioch Speech
(Acts 13)
By John Eifion Morgan-Wynne
ISBN: 9780227174975

Paul's Pisidian Antioch Speech 9780227174975“John Morgan-Wynne has produced a lucid, schorlarly and systematic analysis of the speech that Luke presents of Paul in Pisidian Antioch on his first journey in Asia Minor (Acts 13). It is the first such study in English for some years and so brings us up to date with all the relevant literature.”

Geoffrey Turner, Heythrop Journal, Vol. 57 Iss. 4, July 2016

Nature and Grace
A New Approach to Thomistic Ressourcement
By Andrew Dean Swafford
ISBN: 9780227175026

Nature and Grace_9780227175026“This is a fascinating study of the cultural fashions that have influenced approaches to the nature/grace relationship.”

Patrick Madigan, Heythrop Journal, Vol. 56 Iss. 6, November 2015

Election, Atonement and the Holy Spirit
Through and Beyond Barth’s Theological Interpretation of Scripture
By Matthias Grebe
ISBN: 9780227175170

Election Atonement and_9780227175170“…this study is a seriously considered, erudite, and a relatively conclusive work, exhibiting sound biblical exegesis, offering fresh insights to an understanding of atonement generally, and is an excellent contribution to Barthian studies.”

Paul Brazier, Heythrop Journal, Vol. 56 Iss. 6, November 2015