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Christ in Islam and Christianity: Representation of Jesus in the Qur'an and the Classical Muslim Commentaries
Christ in Islam and Christianity: Representation of Jesus in the Qur'an and the Classical Muslim Commentaries
by Neal Robinson
Edition: Paperback
12 used & new from $59.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Christ in the Qur'an and Gnostic Christian Imagination, May 18, 2016
"Neal Robinson's book appears at a timely moment in history when old empires have vanished (or about to: USSR) and when people everywhere should learn to live in peace notwithstanding the real differences in their beliefs!"--B. Madany

Neal Robinson, author of "Islam: A Concise Introduction," and, "Discovering the Qur'an: A Contemporary Approach to a Veiled Text," is a senior Lecturer in Religious Studies, University of Leeds, UK. He has authored a critical study on the topic of Christ in Islam and (Gnostic) Christianity, a quarter of a century ago. This is just as relevant, a subject, today as it was fourteen centuries ago. Dr Robinson does not intend to offer definitive answers, he simply attempts to share with scholars and inform the lay on the conclusions of his research that extended over a decade of the eighties. He examined original Arabic sources as well as previous works in other languages.

What is refreshing about "Christ in Islam and Christianity" is the Robinson engaging book chapters, and his thorough going scholarship which is vivid throughout. The author does not pretend to find substance in the Qur'an or the vast Islamic exegetical works which might support any claim that these Islamic sources teach anything akin to what the Bible says about the Christ. Some Christian apologists both in the past and at present, have sought to enlist suras of the the Qur'an in order to prove, or support a certain Christian point of view.

The result, what we intend to discuss together here, is a thorough study of 'Isa (: Qur'anic name of Jesus) as depicted in Islam's sacred book and its exegesis or (tafsir), Islamic classical commentaries, of both Sunnis and Shi'ites. Furthermore, the author explores, for the avid reader, a summary of traditional Christian interpretations of the reason for this insurmountable ridge separating the Biblical Jesus from the Qur'anic 'Isa. Every one of the seventeen book chapters ends with a discussion, intended to exhibit a provisionary conclusion of the intricate subject explored in the chapter.

Professor Robinson's research is centred around the basic teachings relating to the person and work of the Messiah as depicted in the Qur'an and in the classical Islamic commentaries on the Qur'an: Jesus' Return: the Crucifixion, the Miracles and the Virginal Conception, and the Christ ultimate return. The teachings of Islam, In all of these areas, does not compare closely with the narratives of the Bible which clearly accentuate the redemptive character of the mission of the Messiah, his unique deeds or his resurrection.

Although the commentators are in agreement on the literal truth of the virginal conception and of Jesus miracles, as the Qur'an describes, while interpreting them as a proof of Jesus prophethood, rather than of his divinity. They are also unanimous in maintaining that the Qur'an denies that Jesus was ever crucified. They generally assume that Jesus' semblance was projected onto someone else (Shubiha lahum) while he himself was raised bodily into the third heaven , where Muhammad encountered him on his miraculous Jerusalem journey.

Robinson's creative milestone book chapter, rest on allusions to Gnostic writings, or Church Father sayings. He wrote (pp 111), "According to Irenaeus, Basilides the second century Gnostic taught that Jesus himself did not suffer death, but Simon the Cyrene who bore the cross in his stead. This Coptic Apocalypse of Peter, takes Gnostic interpretations of the crucifixion, picturing Jesus as laughing and saying;
"But this one into whose hands and feet they drive the nails is his fleshly part, which is the substitute being put to shame, the one who came into being in his likeness. But look at him and me."

In Ch. 14, Robinson discusses what the Qur'an implies that Jesus was allowed to exercise divine prerogatives, creating birds from clay, the very substance from which, according to the Qur'an, God created man, which is mentioned in the Gnostic Gospels of the Infancy of Jesus, which the Church fathers refuted.
He explained also (Ch 15) about the Virgin Conception of Jesus, and how Archangel Gabriel is mixed up with the Holy Spirit. Robinson is careful not to state, “such fables circulated in Syriac, and predominantly in Arabia during the time of composition of the Qur'an


John, Jesus, and History, Volume 1: Critical Appraisals of Critical Views (Society of Biblical Literature Symposium Series)
John, Jesus, and History, Volume 1: Critical Appraisals of Critical Views (Society of Biblical Literature Symposium Series)
by Paul N. Anderson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $30.36
25 used & new from $25.22

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine collection of papers on the Fourth Gospel of John showi signs of renewed willingness to take patristic evidence seriously, May 6, 2016
"At the end of the book, one can only admire the level of scholarship displayed, and the care with which arguments and erudition are marshaled, and, particularly, the signs of renewed willingness to take patristic evidence seriously."--Nicholas King

Author Paul N. Anderson, whom I follow on Academia.edu, is an expert on the fourth Gospel. He is professor of Biblical Studies, and author of The Christology of the Fourth Gospel, and The Fourth Gospel and the Quest for Jesus.
Joined by Felix Just, S. J., creator of the Johannine Literature web site and Tom Thatcher, professor of New Testament at Cincinnati Christian University, makes
this book yet another monitor of the tide in exegesis of the New Testament.

For a long time N. T. scholars have took the Alexandrine Sarx-Logos Christology of John's Gospel with some suspicion, even if St. Cyril, its greatest advocate is a Doctor of the Church. Such attitude grew with the rise of the Quest for Historical Jesus move. This volume, a collection of papers of the ‘John, Jesus and History group’ of Society of Biblical Literature, veering from that concept, deconstructing the historical quest of John’ and the Johannine Christology of Jesus’.

Signs of a return of Historical Jesus studies to pay attention to the fourth Gospel, that seems to have more specific historical facts than the Synoptics. There is a compelling essay by A. Lincoln, offering less comfort to those who wish to ascribe historicity to John's Gospel. C. Conway offers a careful reading, with an illuminating analogy between different recent evidence and testimony about Jesus. Meanwhile, there is an essay by P. Frederikson, that may cause discomfort.

It is certainly an odd thing that John's Gospel, which has more archaeological and topographical evidence than all the synoptic gospels put together, has come to be viewed as ‘pseudo-historical’. Not that this work is either a mere defense of the gospel's historicity, or an attempt to return to the pre-critical days.The aim of the authors, is to bring John's Gospel back into the scholarly conversation about the historical Jesus; and, as Tom Thatcher introductory remarks clearly indicate.

This is a thoroughly critical study, posing the question of whether current critical attitudes to the fourth gospel are themselves critically oriented. P. Anderson offers a balanced essay on the pros and cons of most deliberations that have led to the common view of John's as ‘unhistorical’, on the grounds that it presents too ‘ideological’ a picture of Jesus. Kyser's essay is a model survey of the English-language treatment of the issue, Verheyden contributes a thorough account of the 19th C. German Scholarship.

M. Powell, continues the survey on into the 20th century, especially in English; suggesting that we may be on the brink of a new era in the study of the Fourth Gospel. Carson's compelling essay on he literature speaks, aptly enough, of the ‘Balkanization’ of Johannine studies, and of ‘clumps of opinions and approaches that regularly talk past one another’ ; and he concludes with an interesting suggestion about how to push the debate forward, one which I fear will not be taken up.


The Shape of the Liturgy, New Edition
The Shape of the Liturgy, New Edition
by Dom Gregory Dix
Edition: Paperback
Price: $39.95
35 used & new from $20.80

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simon Jones reinvigorates Dom Dix's Shape of the Liturgy, April 25, 2016
Epilogue, introduction
"Liturgy, for Dom Gregory Dix, is no branch of archaeological study; it is in all its stages and forms the living Body of Christ upon earth. His account of it is alive and absorbing." --Church Times

"The shape of the Liturgy," pioneered the critical studies on Christian worship in specialized periodicals, and was influential as a results of its message, by offering a clear model for the development of Eucharistic Rite. Gregory Dix influential work has been quoted, for seventy years, due to its historical value as well as its devotional language.

If there was anything in what is hazily called 'the early church' which might serve as a model account of the development of the Eucharistic rite continues to favor Dix's as the authoritative work on the subject. Dom Gregory Dix's classic in search of the paleo-Christian coherent guideline which he revealed our own roots into liturgical worship.

"Dix's claims for the "shape" of the liturgy, which laid emphasis on the significance of the offertory, have been argued to rest on weak evidence historically, and have been criticised on the theological ground that the offertory was in danger of Pelagianism: that is, it suggests a natural goodness in humankind who could give God anything." --Wikipedia

This new edition of Dix compelling work has a fresh introduction by The Revd Canon Dr. Simon Jones of Merton College, Oxford. The liturgy expert authored, "The Sacramental Life: Gregory Dix and his Writings," providing a new assessment of Dix's liturgical scholarship and its impact on the shape of worship at Vatican II.
____________________________________________________________________________________
Book review

"It is true that by careful analysis there is to be found underlying most of these varying rites and all of the older ones, a single normal standard structure of the rite as a whole. It is this standard structure which I call the 'Shape' of the Liturgy." --Dom Gregory Dix

The great Anglican liturgical historian, Gregory Dix, penned this study of the history of the Christian liturgy in 1945. Dix expounds the initial frame of the ante-Nicene Church liturgy, stream lining its development. His narrative is readable, simple, and easy to follow. His historical work is based on extensive research, and vast knowledge.

He presents his seminal scholarship in vivid friendly discourse for those lay readers who ought to make sense of their participation in higher church worship, by understanding its framework and how did it evolve. Dom G. Dix manifests the innovative force of Christianity over the generations through liturgy and the churches it has shaped.

He takes care to deal with different views in a fair, unbiased and scholarly way that demonstrates his expertise in liturgical history.
Anglicans will be particularly interested in the last two chapters which deal with the reformation and development of the Anglican liturgy from the 16th century until the early 19th.

Dix scholarship brings the best of late liturgical historians, that he was influential in the liturgical restoration movement, of the 20th century. The importance of insightful knowledge of the liturgical function of the early Church, Dix stresses repeatedly and his language was recognized by the Liturgical expert fathers of the Second Vatican council.

". . . one thing of particular interest was Dix offers a real picture into the mind of the pre-Vatican II theologians and some of the perceived issues which Vatican II sought to address. Even though Dix was not a Catholic, he was a renowned scholar respected by experts in this field from various communions," wrote Tim Troutman, on a recent Post.

Dom Gregory Dix
Gregory Dix, an Anglican Benedictine monk, scholar, writer and broadcaster, was one of the most engaging public figures of his day. His classic work, The Shape of the Liturgy, has remained in print for 70 years and is an unsurpassed account of the origins of the Eucharist which continues to influence the Eucharistic rites of many Christian Churches today.

Apart from this magnum opus, Gregory Dix left many pamphlets, papers, sermons, radio talks and other unpublished texts. From this remarkable archive, Simon Jones has created a text that will be valued in teaching, study, and as devotional reading for a new generation. It focuses on topics as central as the subject of his classic work on the Eucharist baptism, ministry, holy order, the Christian life, unity.

This review is in memory of Dr. Rodolph Yanney, Coptic Liturgist, and editor-in-chief of Coptic Church Review, whose deep appreciation of Dix was impressing.
[...]
[[http://www.amazon.com/The-Shape-Liturgy-New-Edition/dp/0567661571]]


Origen of Alexandria: Against Celsus (Contra Celsum)
Origen of Alexandria: Against Celsus (Contra Celsum)
by Origen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $22.77
5 used & new from $22.77

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Origen, Contra Celsum, who "with all his boasts of universal knowledge, has here fallen into the most vulgar of errors!", April 11, 2016
Preface to Contra Celsum
"The True Word," was Celsus philosophical work, an anti-Christian attack entitled (Alethes logos). This work was lost, but we have Origen's account of it in his writings. It was during the reign of Philip the Arab that Origen received this work for rebuttal. Origen has been the most influential Greek speaking theologian of the 3rd century. Origen’s greatest vindication of Christianity against pagan attack, Contra Celsum, written (probably in 248) at Ambrose’s request, survives in its entirety in one Vatican manuscript, with fragments in the Philocalia and on papyri. Paragraph by paragraph it answers the Alethes logos, “The True Doctrine” of the 2nd century. His polemic against the Stoics is found in the treatise Contra Celsum, by in which he argued at some length against Stoic doctrines linking God to matter.

The majority of Origen's explicit references to Plato are to be found in his work Against Celsus, a reply to a dead polemicist who is nowadays characterized as a middle Platonist, though Origen hints that he may have been an Epicurean (Against Celsus 1.8; see further Bergjan 2001). Origen undertakes to show that the simplest disciple of God's word knows him better than the philosophers who seek him by their own methods (Against Celsus 7.42), that Plato misrepresents the fall and diminishes the Creator, that if his myths are deep, the biblical allegories are deeper and less perverse, and that Numenius, the foremost Platonist of recent times, has spoken of both Moses and Jesus with esteem (Against Celsus 4.15 etc.).

Contra Celsus was composed in Origen's old age and may be considered as the final statement of his views. It is also that, in Contra Celsus, we find Origen abandoned his futurism, to be a Preterist. Written against a Greek Philosopher, Book IV opens with Origen stating that Celsus had arrayed himself against both Jews and Christians, dismissing the idea that God would come to earth, “Above all is it necessary to show, as against the assertions of Celsus which follow those he has already made, that the prophecies regarding Christ are true predictions. For, arraying himself at the same time against both parties – against the Jews on the one hand, who deny that the advent of Christ has taken place, but who expect it as future, and against Christians on the other, who acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ spoken of in prophecy."
_________________________________________________________________________________________

Celsus, with all his boasts of universal knowledge, has here fallen into the most vulgar of errors!
By Didaskalex, Vine Voice

"Celsus, . . . , in supposing that in the law and the prophets there is not a meaning deeper than that afforded by a literal rendering of the words, "Thou shalt have dominion over many nations, and no one shall rule over thee,"-- Origen, Contra Celsum 7.18

Alexandrines in Gnostic Debates
The Gnostic devaluation of the created order was a depreciation of the Old Testament, greatly accentuated by a thorough exploitation of the Pauline antithesis of Law and Gospel. The Gnostics used to contrast the Hebrew Bible with the Gospel proclaimed by Jesus Christ. Implications of the designation 'Old Testament' frequently, by early Christians, was common enough to be suggestive. Titus Flavius Clemens, known better today as Clement of Alexandria. Although born to pagan parents, Clement realized that there must be a deeper meaning to life than the mundane pursuit. "To Know God Is To Love Others," was the Alexandrine motto of salvation which he developed with his disciple Origen, both defending against the dangerous Gnostic structure of beliefs that became a very fierce movement at Alexandria.

Biblical Catechist:
Origeneus Adamantius (AD 185-254), was a student of Amon Saccha and cofounder of neo-Platonic philosophy. A staunch Christian believer, the greatest by far among ante-Nicene writers, Origen was a prolific Biblical scholar, and the first great theologian. According to the Coptic Church Synexarium, Origen was born of Christian parents in Alexandria, studied and started his life there, at an early age, as a Grammarian and Catechist. Appointed by bishop Demetrius, to succeed Clement as head of the catechetical school in Alexandria, Origen fervently carried on his mission for a dozen of years, and with surging numbers of students, was helped by Dionysius and Heraclas, future bishops of Alexandria. Origen was invited to Antioch, Athens, Arabia, Ephesus, and Rome, to arbitrate and settle early Church doctrinal differences. In 215, as a result of Emperor Caracalla's furious attack upon the Alexandrians, Origen's work at the school was interrupted and he left to Caesaria, Palestine.

Celsus Origenal Treatise
Celsus' words--which seventy years earlier, added up to a full treatise are conveyed to us only through, 'Contra Celsum,' written by the genius Alexandrine thinker Origen. Hoffmann, cannot be sure whether the Christian teacher played 'fast and free' with the pagan thinker, so in reconstructing Celsus' diatribe we are dependent on seeing Origen as a man of virtue, temperance, and irrefragable rightness. Origen quotes Celsus freely, lengthily, and smugly. 'Freely,' in this case, means unsystematically--which accounts for the need, at times, to 'conjoin' snippets of Celsus that Origen has separated and to separate bits that Origen has joined. ... And like all priggish Oxford Movement-philes, Mr. Pearse quotes me quoting Origen quoting Celsus with equal zeal, if less impressive purpose, taking special exception to the following: "Christians, it is needless to say, utterly detest each other. They slander each other constantly with the vilest forms of abuse and cannot come to any sort of agreement in their teachings... Like so many sirens they chatter away endlessly and beat their breasts. The world (they say to their shame) is crucified to me and I to the world." (Hoffmann pp. 91 re: Origen, Contra Celsum, 5.64)

Against Celcus, this edition
This new edition includes a biography of Origen, his work, and his great influence. Starting with 'Contra Celsum', which is Origen's great apology, and with 'Di Principiis' his greatest works. the editor of this edition prefaced his translation with two brief chapters on Origenism, and the later controversies about Origen's thought and allegorism, to benefit new readers of his Classic apologetic refutation of Gnosticism. I am here, reviewing against Celcus, with the background of Chadwick's pioneering edition.

Chadwick's Classic
Professor Henry Chadwick whose work is not only trusted, but greatly admired by scholars, was recently criticized by one of Celsus defenders, quoting a French saying that, ''translations, like women, are either beautiful or faithful but never both." Chadwick's literal translation, he protests, largely fails to convey the point that, "Celsus knew that Christian Orthodoxy was a result of episcopal intolerance, not an act of providence reported by the bishops. Here what is wanting in fidelity accurately displays the fact that Celsus knew that Christianity in the year 180 was not a garden but a barnyard full of squawking hens. And Origen (as Porphyry knew) was one of them."


On the Astrolabe
On the Astrolabe
by John Philoponus of Alexandria
Edition: Paperback
Price: $5.65

5.0 out of 5 stars John Philoponus of Alexandria, On the Astrolabe, December 28, 2015
This review is from: On the Astrolabe (Paperback)
"But an exhibit a book does not make, for an exhibit is one thing and a book is something slightly different, though both products can in principle convey very significant educational messages in their own different ways." George Saliba

Late antiquity science
Alexandria had become the established center of Ancient world's science and philosophy, by the first century B.C., the towering Pharos of enlightenment with its libraries, and institutions. This meeting place of Hellenist and Oriental philosophies with advanced ancient Egyptian Astronomy, Medicine, Chemical technology, mathematics, and Hermeticism, out of which evolved Neoplatonism, became a crucible of sciences and civilized thought. The Alexandrine heritage systematized and put into dialectical form by the peculiar discursive power of the Greeks, described by the uninformed as Greek science.

Passing from Alexandria to Antioch, and from there to Edessa, by the Monophysite Christian and Syriac Nestorians, particularly instrumental in the evolution of learning in Syriac, as far east as Persia. In the third century A.D., King Shapur I of Persia, founded a school, set up on the model of those at Alexandria and Antioch, in a metropolis that became a center of ancient sciences, instructing in Greek and Syriac; astronomy, medicine, mathematics, and logic were taught, mostly from Greek texts translated into Syriac. This school, lasted long after the rise of the Abbasid caliphate, and became an important source of ancient learning in the Islamic world.

John Philoponus, a Christian philosopher, scientist, and first Christian dean of the Alexandrian Academy, who lived approximately from 490 to 570, in Alexandria is also known, in Arabic, as Yehya Al Nahawi (The Grammarian) His oeuvre comprises at least 40 items on diverse subjects such as ..., logic, mathematics, physics, psychology, cosmology, astronomy,... even medical treatises have been attributed to him. A substantial part of his work has come down to us, but some treatises are known only indirectly through quotations or translations into Syriac and Arabic, as quoted from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, wrote on The Astrolabe; Treatise Concerning the use and arrangement of the Astrolabe and the Engravings upon it; "The subject has already been treated sufficiently by my teacher the philosopher Ammonius, but still requires to be further elucidated so that it may be easily apprehended by those also who are not instructed in such matters."

Technical Comments
“The two straight lines on the plane surface, on which the rule lies, cutting one another in the middle, correspond to the meridian line and the horizon: of these, the one descending from above from the ring whereby we suspend the instrument corresponds to the meridian line in each zone, the other cutting it in two at right angles corresponds to the horizon. On this latter, the one corresponding to the horizon, stands a semi-circle having this line itself as its diameter.

This semi-circle corresponds to the hemisphere of the heaven above the earth. This semi-circle is cut in two by the other line, that descending from the ring, which we said corresponded to the meridian line, the cutting taking place by the upper end of the line near the ring. Each of the quadrants on either side has been divided into 90 degrees, on which the index of the rule falls, and thereby we determine the meridian height above the horizon of the sun, or any other star, how many degrees each hour it has been raised above the rising or the setting horizon.

The ninetieth degree indicates the Sign at the summit in the case of each House, and the first [degree] what is next to the horizon itself, whether the rising or the setting one, as the using of the instrument will teach us as we proceed. It is not the case, however, that in all astrolabes both quadrants have been divided into the ninety degrees, but only one of them, for one, whichever it happens to be, is enough for our observing. For it is possible to know by either [quadrant] how far the sun, or any other star, has been raised from the setting or from the rising horizon. But that we may find it easy to observe when the instrument is suspended with either hand, in some cases both the quadrants have been engraved.”


Christ in Christian Tradition: From the Council of Chalcedon (451) to Gregory the Great (590-604) v.2: From the Council of Chalcedon (451) to Gregory the Great (590-604) Vol 2
Christ in Christian Tradition: From the Council of Chalcedon (451) to Gregory the Great (590-604) v.2: From the Council of Chalcedon (451) to Gregory the Great (590-604) Vol 2
by T. Hainthaler
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Offering the reader a vivid picture of the state of Christian faith from Alexandria, Upper Egypt, Nubia And Ethiopia, August 7, 2015
"Probably in no other early church mission field, outside the 'fertile crescent', do we find such peculiar geographical and cultural conditions for proclaiming of the gospel of Jesus Christ as in the long stretch of the Nile valley from the Delta to the Ethiopian highland."-- Alois Grillmeier

This volume of "Christ in Christian Tradition" extends the comprehensive work of Alois Cardinal Grillmeier, and his associates, on the early Alexandrine history of Christology, before the advent of Islam. A consideration underlying the entire volumes is whether the lay reader seeking to understand the non Chalcedonian position in his own terms, of Roman Catholic faith. In part one, his discussion of Severus of Antioch, as a brilliant disciple of Cyril of Alexandria, in stalwart opposition of Chalcedon, enacting Egyptian and Syrian churches refusal to join diophysitism !

Grillmeier expounds what had developed in Egypt after the Council of Chalcedon, AD 451, to the advance of Islam. The text covers a variety of theological work by Coptic exegetes, philosophers poets, and others, contributing to the reader inlightenment with a vivid description of the development of Christian faith in Alexandria, and covers the southern kingdoms to the conquest of Islam. The narrative begins in the megalopolis of Alexandria, and travels south the Nile valley kingdoms leading to Ethiopia, where an extraordinary synthesis exists of Judaism and Christianity.

Four chapters offer substantial Christological studies, published for the first time in an integral treatment of the Alexandrine Church. Chapters on John Philoponus, Cosmas Indicopleustes, Shenute of Atripe, and Besa offer the reader a unique picture of the state of Christian faith in Alexandria and upper Egypt's Pachomian monasteries, before the Islamic conquest. Chapter 2, in both section I & II, have been collected, and edited extensively, by Theresia Hainthaler, Grillmeier's associate and book's co-editor, whose research was very effective, and helpful for Coptic scholars.

The authors were tactful, reviewing Cyril's mia-physis formul, hypostatic union and Christology, versus Eutyches mono-physitism, but translated 'one united nature' of Christ as 'one composite nature'. "The brilliant investigations of Halleux has put judgments about the council of Chalcedon on a new footing ...On the basis of detailed analysis of the texts and sources (accepted by Grillmeier, Ritter and Abramowski), Halleux has shown that the council's definition contains no more than two word-for-word quotations from Leo's tome, a Leonine 'thorn in the flesh."--Cardinal Kasper, Theology & The Church

One way to explore the wide coverage of this fine work is to just list the variety of subjects, that the avid reader will enjoy the book's in depth treatment of the soteriological aspects of Cyril's Alexandrine theological genius.
Part I, Alexandrian Greek Christology
Christology of the patriarchs: rejection of Chalcedon, Theodosius of Alexandria, Melkites.
Christology of the scholars: exegetes & Poets, John Philoponus, Cosmas indicopleustes
Part II, The province of Coptic Christology
Founder Shenute, exhortations as faith, Origenistic infiltration, Shenute and Nestorius
In the light and shadow of the master: Archimandrite Besa
Christology in Coptic church liturgical prayer
Part III, The cross of christ over Nubia
part IV, Christ in a new messianic kingdom of Ethiopia
Axum, non-Chaledonian kingdom, Ethiopian Christian faith, Jewish motifs, Jesus in worship
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 22, 2015 3:48 AM PDT


Christ in Christian Tradition, Vol. 2: From the Council of Chalcedon (451) to Gregory the Great (590-604) [Part 4: The Church of Alexandria With Nubia and Ethiopia]
Christ in Christian Tradition, Vol. 2: From the Council of Chalcedon (451) to Gregory the Great (590-604) [Part 4: The Church of Alexandria With Nubia and Ethiopia]
by Aloys Grillmeier
Edition: Paperback
Price: $45.45
39 used & new from $37.50

5.0 out of 5 stars Offering the reader a vivid picture of the state of Christian faith from Alexandria, Upper Egypt, Nubia And Ethiopia, August 7, 2015
"Probably in no other early church mission field, outside the 'fertile crescent', do we find such peculiar geographical and cultural conditions for proclaiming of the gospel of Jesus Christ as in the long stretch of the Nile valley from the Delta to the Ethiopian highland."-- Alois Grillmeier

This volume of "Christ in Christian Tradition" extends the comprehensive work of Alois Cardinal Grillmeier, and his associates, on the early Alexandrine history of Christology, before the advent of Islam. A consideration underlying the entire volumes is whether the lay reader seeking to understand the non Chalcedonian position in his own terms, of Roman Catholic faith. In part one, his discussion of Severus of Antioch, as a brilliant disciple of Cyril of Alexandria, in stalwart opposition of Chalcedon, enacting Egyptian and Syrian churches refusal to join diophysitism !

Grillmeier expounds what had developed in Egypt after the Council of Chalcedon, AD 451, to the advance of Islam. The text covers a variety of theological work by Coptic exegetes, philosophers poets, and others, contributing to the reader inlightenment with a vivid description of the development of Christian faith in Alexandria, and covers the southern kingdoms to the conquest of Islam. The narrative begins in the megalopolis of Alexandria, and travels south the Nile valley kingdoms leading to Ethiopia, where an extraordinary synthesis exists of Judaism and Christianity.

Four chapters offer substantial Christological studies, published for the first time in an integral treatment of the Alexandrine Church. Chapters on John Philoponus, Cosmas Indicopleustes, Shenute of Atripe, and Besa offer the reader a unique picture of the state of Christian faith in Alexandria and upper Egypt's Pachomian monasteries, before the Islamic conquest. Chapter 2, in both section I & II, have been collected, and edited extensively, by Theresia Hainthaler, Grillmeier's associate and book's co-editor, whose research was very effective, and helpful for Coptic scholars.

The authors were tactful, reviewing Cyril's mia-physis formul, hypostatic union and Christology, versus Eutyches mono-physitism, but translated 'one united nature' of Christ as 'one composite nature'. "The brilliant investigations of Halleux has put judgments about the council of Chalcedon on a new footing ...On the basis of detailed analysis of the texts and sources (accepted by Grillmeier, Ritter and Abramowski), Halleux has shown that the council's definition contains no more than two word-for-word quotations from Leo's tome, a Leonine 'thorn in the flesh."--Cardinal Kasper, Theology & The Church

One way to explore the wide coverage of this fine work is to just list the variety of subjects, that the avid reader will enjoy the book's in depth treatment of the soteriological aspects of Cyril's Alexandrine theological genius.
Part I, Alexandrian Greek Christology
Christology of the patriarchs: rejection of Chalcedon, Theodosius of Alexandria, Melkites.
Christology of the scholars: exegetes & Poets, John Philoponus, Cosmas indicopleustes
Part II, The province of Coptic Christology
Founder Shenute, exhortations as faith, Origenistic infiltration, Shenute and Nestorius
In the light and shadow of the master: Archimandrite Besa
Christology in Coptic church liturgical prayer
Part III, The cross of christ over Nubia
part IV, Christ in a new messianic kingdom of Ethiopia
Axum, non-Chaledonian kingdom, Ethiopian Christian faith, Jewish motifs, Jesus in worship


Tales of Ancient Egypt (Puffin Classics)
Tales of Ancient Egypt (Puffin Classics)
by Roger Lancelyn Green
Edition: Paperback
Price: $4.09
150 used & new from $0.50

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I know of no better book that so thoroughly covers the legends and myths of Ancient Egypt, July 1, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This fine, orderly and balanced book is a guide to the perplexed, and a light to the intellect. Beginning with an informative prologue on 'the land of Egypt' sets the stage for the tales of the gods, to follow. The tales are narrated in such a Troubadour style that the young curious reader gets a perception for the magical images and sacred themes which keep flowing in a captivating harmony.

Again and again the magical myths of Ancient Egypt proceed in an insightful methodology to include the great myths of those mysterious gods. Amen-Ra, the creator of the whole universe; of Isis, searching the waters for her slaughtered beloved husband Osiris; 'The great Queen Hatshepsut' and the 'Prince and the Sphinx'. Tales of magic start with 'The golden Lotus', but they don't end!

My grandchildren Noah, 10, and Oliver, 8, were entertained and educated on a great civilization, with an appreciation of miniature but impressive illustrations. noah enjoyed examining the map and identify locations, and the time chart. but the adventure isn't over when they reached the final page, as they got introduced to Amasis, Anubis, Hathor, and Nut.


Egypt: Egyptian Mythology and The Secrets Of The Gods
Egypt: Egyptian Mythology and The Secrets Of The Gods
by Roy Jackson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.97
23 used & new from $6.75

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Definitely an informing read, but needs a visual uplift, with pictures of those glorious Egyptian gods, July 1, 2015
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With all the pros this book has, and the 5 star reviews it got, it is my first negative encounter with a mythology book that does not utilize the most effective and impacting pictures, like that beautiful cover picture with Anubis consecrating the Pharaoh. But who is the other god? Is it the great Re?
Definitely an informing read, but cannot be fascinating.without a visual introduction to the variety of Ancient Egyptian gods. Chapter 3 needs a visual uplift, with a picture for every one of those glorious gods, in full color.
The best part of the book is chapter 4: popular Egyptian Stories and Myths, which can be positively comparable with similar tales of Ancient Egypt.


Dare We Hope That All Men Be Saved?: With a Short Discourse on Hell
Dare We Hope That All Men Be Saved?: With a Short Discourse on Hell
by Hans Urs von Balthasar
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.81
38 used & new from $10.68

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I would like to request that one be permitted to hope that God's redemptive work for his creation might succeed, June 28, 2015
"We are allowed to hope that no human is eternally damned. This is a founded theological hope, it is not a certitude. Indeed each person must existentially live with the real possibility that he or she might be doomed. The thesis itself is prompted, we believe, by mercy." Balthasar

The Church's teaching on Hell has been generally avoided by Christian theologians, who believe that the Lord's own desire that everyone be saved 1Tim 2:4. Hans Urs Cardinal von Balthasar is a notable exception of this attitude, who amended Dare We Hope "That All Men Be Saved"? With a Short Discourse on Hell (1988).

Since the soul is essentially rational, argued Origen, it will eventually be restored to the divine truth, salvation will follow. The word Origen used to describe this process of universal salvation "restoration of all things," was apokatastasis. Prompted by his idea of the pre-existence of souls, Origen may have come to view the mission of the temporal Church as "a gathering up of all lost, fallen souls into a unity resembling that which subsisted primordially." Apokatastasis, may be viewed as restoration, the culmination of gathering souls in a unity of faith. "Origen held a firm conviction that not a single rational being will be lost to the darkness of ignorance and sin. Even the most recalcitrant sinner, he argued, will eventually attain salvation." Edward Moore.

A Historical Debate
Since Origen proposed his breaking through hope, some of the Church Fathers, including Gregory of Nyssa, and Didymus the Blind held for the universal restoration and salvation of all (apokatastasis). Ultimately Emperor Justinian who provoked the condemnations of Origen was compelled to respond to this teaching through a Church council. This condemnation, directed at those labeled 'Origenists', was adopted by a provincial Synod in Constantinople in 543, approved by Pope Vigilius during his detention in Constantinople (547-55).

von Balthasar's Hell
In all cases these men speak of hell as being a "real possibility" but few ask the specific question about whether any humans are actually damned. von Balthasar charges that when writing and speaking of hell "the man, to whom posterity owes so much, did not do that within the limits laid down by the Gospel."
"I claim nothing more than this: that give us a right to have hope for all men, which simultaneously implies that I see no need to take the step from the threats to the positing of a hell occupied by our brothers and sisters, through which our hopes would come to naught. I do not wish to contradict anyone who, as a Christian, cannot be happy without denying the universality of hope to us so that he can be certain of his full hell: that is, after all, the view of a large number of important theologians, especially among the followers of Augustine. But, in return, I would like to request that one be permitted to hope that God's redemptive work for his creation might succeed. Certainty cannot be attained, but hope can be justified.

Contra Infernalists
The manner in which Balthasar describes convictions opposed to his, unveil the pain he took writing these views reflects in the unusual amount of reactionary polemic the author targets those criticising his views or are in contradiction of his own, characterizing them as 'infernalists.' He recognizes that some of the Church's historical teacher and theologians; from Augustine, Gregory the Great, Anselm, to Bonaventure, Aquinas, and recently John Newman, belong to this group. von Balthasar finds Augustine's opinion "has cast an enormous shadow over the history of Western Theology," worthy of sharp criticism as being the pioneering 'Father of the Western World,'


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