Books of the Center

A new book in our Pro Ecclesia series

Heaven, Hell ... and Purgatory?
HEAVEN, HELL, … AND PURGATORY?

James J. Buckley & Michael Root, eds.

What is our destiny? The final end of humanity and the universe is a subject of perennial interest, especially for Christians. What are we promised? Will anyone finally be left out of God’s intentions to bless humanity? What sort of transformation will be needed to enter the presence of God? These questions have been at the heart of Christian teachings about last things.

The 2013 Pro Ecclesia Conference of the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology focused such issues on the theme “Heaven, Hell … and Purgatory?” The six essays in this volume cover a range of topics of interest to Catholic, Evangelical and Orthodox theology.

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Earlier books in the series

What Do this

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO “DO THIS”? SUPPER, MASS, EUCHARIST

James J. Buckley & Michael Root, eds.

Jesus’ best-known mandate–after perhaps the mandate to love God and neighbor–was given at the Last Supper just before his death: “Do this in memory of me.” Indeed, a case can be made that to “do this” is the source and summit of the way Christians carry out Jesus’ love-mandate. Of course, Christians have debated what it means to “do this,” and these debates have all too often led to divisions within and between them–debates over leavened and unleavened bread, reception of the cup, real presence and sacrifice, “open” or “closed” communion, this Supper and the hunger of the world. These divisions seem to fly in the face of Jesus’ mandate, causing some to wonder whether this is “really” the Lord’s Supper we celebrate (compare 1 Corinthians 11). Everything turns on just what it means to “do this.” The purpose of the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology’s 2012 conference was to address at least some of the many aspects of this question–to address them together, as Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox pastors and theologians, and all participants in the Supper.

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Who Say

WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM? PROCLAIMING AND FOLLOWING JESUS TODAY

James J. Buckley & Michael Root, eds.

No question is more central to Christian living, preaching, and theology than Jesus’ question to his disciples: Who do you say that I am? Some would have it that pastors and theologians, biblical exegetes and historians, dogmatic and moral theologians, Catholic and Evangelical have more differences than similarities in the way Christians with such diverse vocations respond to Jesus’ question. And there is little doubt that there sometimes seem to be unbridgeable gulfs between the way historians and believers, Internet gossipers and preachers, classical christological debates and present-day praying and pastoral care implicitly or explicitly address the Lord’s question. But the authors here address these and other issues in ways that are remarkably convergent, as if a “Catholic and Evangelical theology” for proclaiming and following Jesus today has emerged, or is indeed emerging.

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CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY & ISLAM

James J. Buckley & Michael Root, eds.
How can Christians committed to the classical Christian tradition (Evangelicals and Catholics) address the issues raised by contemporary Islam? Along with and even prior to much needed dialogue between Christians and Muslims, Christians need to ask themselves how their Scriptures and traditions might bear on such dialogue. Do the divisions among Christians (Catholic and Evangelical) fracture the classical Christian tradition in ways that undercut “Christian”-Muslim dialogue before it starts? Or does that classical tradition provide resources for thinking out and working out their own divisions in ways that will ready them for authentic conversation with Muslim brothers and sisters in Christ? And what does this tradition have to teach us about what Christians can and must learn from Muslims about their own traditions? The essays in this volume begin to address these questions.

Contributors: Sidney Griffith, Sandra Keating, Mark Swanson, David Burrell, Rick Love, Nelly van Doorn-Harder
120 pages
978-1-61097-814-9

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THE MORALLY DIVIDED BODY: Ethical Disagreement and the Disunity of the Church
James J. Buckley and Michael Root, eds.
 

At the same time as Catholic and Protestant Christians have increasingly come to agree on issues that divided them during the sixteenth-century reformations, they seem increasingly to disagree on issues of contemporary “morality” and “ethics.” Do such arguments doom the prospects for realistic full communion among the churches? Or are such disagreements a new opportunity to convert together to the triune God’s word and work on the communion of saints for the world? Or should our hope be different than simple pessimism or optimism? In this volume, eight authors address different aspects of these questions, hoping to move Christians a small step further toward the visible unity of the church.

Contributors: Frederick Bauerschmidt, Robert Jenson, Beth Barton Schweiger, Joseph Small, Susan Wood, David Yeago, James Buckley, Michael Root
156 pages
978-1-61097-764-7

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Books from our former series with WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing (customerservice@eerdmans.com):

SHARPER THAN A TWO-EDGED SWORD
Preaching Teaching, and Living the Bible
James J. Buckley and Michael Root, eds.

Keen insight for preaching and teaching Scripture are to be found in these pages. Several respected scholars here discuss how to read and live the Bible theologically in our contemporary context. How to read the Bible theologically for the sake both of faithful mission and the Christian life stands at the center of the authors’ concerns.

Contributors: Thomas E. Breidenthal, James J. Buckley, Ellen F. Davis, Richard B. Hays, Robert W. Jenson, Amy Plantinga Pauw, R. R. Reno, Michael Root
111 pages / 6″ x 9″
978-0-8028-6271-6

 

mary_mother_of_god_braaten_jensonMARY, MOTHER OF GOD
Preaching Teaching, and Living the Bible
Carl E. Braaten & Robert W. Jenson, eds.

Since the Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431), orthodox Christianity has confessed Mary as “Theotokos, “Mother of God.” Yet neither this title nor Mary’s significance has fared well in Protestant Christianity. In the wake of new interest in Mary following Vatican II and recent ecumenical dialogues, this volume seeks to makes clear that Mariology is properly related to Christ and his church in ways that can and should be meaningful for all Christians.
Written with insight and sensitivity by Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant scholars, these seven studies inquire into Mary’s place in the story of salvation, in personal devotion, and in public worship.

Contributors: Carl E. Braaten, Lawrence S. Cunningham, Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald, Beverly Roberts Gaventa, Timothy George, Robert W. Jenson, Jaroslav Pelikan, David S. Yeago
131 pages / 6″ x 9″
978-08028-2266-6

 

THE ECUMENICAL FUTURE
Carl E. Braaten & Robert W. Jenson, eds.

Early in 2003 a group of sixteen theologians from various church traditions published “The Princeton Proposal,” a current and critical statement on the present state and future possibilities of modern ecumenism. The Ecumenical Future, then, illuminates the scholarly studies behind the development of “The Princeton Proposal” in the form of fourteen essays that provide a focused examination of the issues that still divide the church and of the common ground that is still mutually to be discovered.

Contributors: William J. Abraham, P. Mark Achtemeier, Brian E. Daley, S.J., John H. Erickson, Vigen Guroian, Lois Malcolm, R. R. Reno, Michael Root, William G. Rusch, Geoffrey Wainwright, Susan K. Wood, Telford Work, David S. Yeago
237 pages / 6″ x 9″
0-8028-2671-7

 

IN ONE BODY THROUGH THE CROSS
The Princeton Proposal for Christian Unity
Carl E. Braaten & Robert W. Jenson, eds.

The Princeton Proposal is a landmark statement on the present situation and future possibilities of modern ecumenism. Drafted by sixteen theologians and ecumenists from various church traditions, who met over a period of three years in Princeton, New Jersey, this document seeks to steer contemporary efforts at church unity away from social and political agendas, which are themselves divisive, and back to the chief goal of the modern ecumenical movement — the visible unity of Christian worldwide, of all those who are reconciled “in one body through the cross.”

Since the study group that produced this statement was instituted and its participants were chosen by an independent ecumenical foundation, the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology, their “unofficial” work presents especially profound and creative reflection on the ecumenical task. With this report the study group members do not claim to speak for their churches, but hope to speak to all the churches out of shared concern for the founding ecumenical imperative “that they all may be one … so that the world may believe.”

Signatories of the Princeton Proposal:

  • William Abraham
  • Mark Achtemeier
  • Brian Daley
  • John H. Erickson
  • Vigen Guroian
  • George Lindbeck
  • Lois Malcolm
  • Bruce McCormack
  • R. R. Reno
  • Michael Root
  • William G. Rusch
  • Geoffrey Waniwright
  • Susan K. Wood
  • Telford Work
  • J. Robert Wright
  • David Yeago

176 pages / 6″ x 9″
0-8028-2298-3

JEWS AND CHRISTIANS
People of God
Carl E. Braaten & Robert W. Jenson, eds.

While Christians and Jews have always been aware of their religious connections — historical continuity, overlapping theology, shared Scriptures — that awareness has traditionally been infected by centuries of mutual suspicion and hostility. As this important volume shows, however, theologians and scholars of Judaism and Christianity alike are now radically rethinking the relation between their two covenant communities.

Contributors: Carl E. Braaten, David B. Burrell, Barry Cytron, Reidar Dittmann, David Bentley Hart, Robert W. Jenson, Jon D. Levenson, George Lindbeck, Richard John Neuhaus, David Novak, Peter Ochs, Wolfhart Pannenberg, R. Kendall Soulen, Marvin R. Wilson
198 pages / 6″ x 9″
0-8028-0507-8

 

THE LAST THINGS
Biblical and Theological Perspectives on Eschatology
Carl E. Braaten & Robert W. Jenson, eds.

In modern theology the “last things” of traditional Christian doctrine have largely been ignored or replaced with various metaphysical, psychological, or ethical reinterpretations of Christianity. This volume takes the biblical vision of the future seriously once again, explaining the significance of Christian eschatology for the faith and theology of the contemporary church.

Contributors: Carl E. Braaten, Paul D. Hanson, Arland J. Hultgren, Robert W. Jenson, Philip D. W. Krey, John A. McGuckin, George L. Murphy, David Novak, Wolfhart Pannenberg
169 pages / 6″ x 9″
0-8028-4878-8
$16.00

 

THE STRANGE NEW WORD OF THE GOSPEL
Re-Evangelizing in the Postmodern World
Carl E. Braaten & Robert W. Jenson, eds.

This volume provides serious theological reflection on Christian missions within postmodern, post-Christian culture. In today’s postmodern culture many people are turning to religion, but they are not necessarily finding their way back to the church. Most unbelievers in America and other Western countries are “post-Christians.” Though baptized and brought up in the church, they no longer believe and practice the Christian faith. In such a time, the great challenge facing the church is re-evangelization.

Contributors: Carl E. Braaten, Robert W. Jenson, Todd E. Johnson, John Milbank, R. R. Reno, David L. Schindler, Frank Senn, Philip Turner, Anthony Ugolnik
176 pages / 6″ x 9″
0-8028-3947-9
$23.00

 

CHURCH UNITY AND THE PAPAL OFFICE
An Ecumenical Dialogue on John Paul II’s Ut Unum Sint
Carl E. Braaten & Robert W. Jenson, eds.

This book provides the first theological and ecumenical response to Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Ut Unum Sint (“That All May Be One”). Scholars representing Anglican, Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist and Evangelical churches offer fresh perspectives on this pivotal document calling for a “patient and fraternal dialogue” concerning the ministry of the papal office in the service of church unity.

Contributors: Carl E. Braaten, Edward Idris Cardinal Cassidy, Brian E. Daley, Joseph-Augustine DiNoia, Robert W. Jenson, Richard J. Mouw, Stephen W. Sykes, Geoffrey Wainwright, George Weigel, David S. Yeago
173 pages / 6″ x 9″
0-8028-4802-8
$20.00

 

SIN, DEATH, AND THE DEVIL
Carl E. Braaten & Robert W. Jenson, eds.

Sin, death, and the devil, called “the unholy trinity” by Martin Luther, are the classic biblical tyrants. This volume, which takes its cue from John Paul II’s description of Western society as a “culture of death,” unveils the faces of sin, death and the devil in modern culture. Far from being pessimistic, however, these engaging chapters by eight recognized theologians take care to affirm God’s victory over the diabolical forces that oppress humanity — a victory continually realized through the proclamation of the gospel and the sacraments of the church.

Contributors: Gary A. Anderson, Carl E. Braaten, Vigen Guroian, Stanley Hauerwas, Robert W. Jenson, Gilbert Meilaender, Richard John Neuhaus, A. N. Williams
137 pages / 6″ x 9″
0-8028-4695-5
$15.00

 

UNION WITH CHRIST
The New Finnish Interpretation of Luther
Carl E. Braaten & Robert W. Jenson, eds.

This book introduces the English-speaking world to the new Finnish interpretation of the theology of Martin Luther, initiated by the writings of Tuomo Mannermaa of Helsinki University. At the heart of this Finnish breakthrough in Luther research lies the theme of salvation. Four noted scholars of Mannermaa’s circle contribute supporting chapters in related areas and four American theologians provide critically appreciative responses to the Finnish theologians’ work.

Contributors: Tuomo Mannermaa, Simo Peura, Antti Raunio, Sammeli Juntunen, Risto Saarinen, Robert W. Jenson, Carl E. Braaten, William H. Lazareth, Dennis Bielfeldt
Read Michael Plekon’s review of Union with Christ 192 pages / 6″ x 9″
0-8028-4442-1
$21.00

 

MARKS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST
Carl E. Braaten & Robert W. Jenson, eds.
Martin Luther once listed seven “marks” of the church, defining ecclesial features whose presence show where the true church is to be found, and without which a community’s claim to be the church must be called into question. Luther’s list reflects Reformation concerns, but it is also ecumenically acceptable and a matter of importance to Christendom at large. This volume brings together essays by Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, and Orthodox theologians, each analyzing one of the seven traditional marks of the church.
Contributors: Martin Luther, Gerhard O. Forde, Richard Lischer, Susan K. Wood, John H. Erikson, K. Paul Wesche, Richard A. Norris, Jr., David S. Yeago, Robert W. Jenson, Carl E. Braaten, William J. Abraham
176 pages / 6″ x 9″
0-8028-4617-3
$17.00

 

THE TWO CITIES OF GOD
The Church’s Responsibility for the Earthly City
Carl E. Braaten & Robert W. Jenson, eds.
The chapters of this book offer informed perspectives on a “theology of the world,” exploring the question: How does/should the church relate to the secular world? The standard dogma of the 1960s was Let the world set the agenda! Such a perspective has often caused the American church merely to reflect, rather than to inform and lead, the society in which it lives. Surely, say the authors of this volume, it must be the other way around.
Contributors: Robert Benne, Robert W. Jenson, Carl E. Braaten, Gilbert Meilaender, Christopher R. Seitz, Anthony Ugolnik, George Weigel, Robert L. Wilken
141 pages / 6″ x 9″
0-8028-4304-2
$18.00

 

THE CATHOLICITY OF THE REFORMATION
Carl E. Braaten & Robert W. Jenson, eds.
As the title of this engaging book suggests, “catholicity” was the true intent of the Reformation. The Reformers did not set out to create what later came to be known as Protestant Christianity. Theirs was a quest for reformation and renewal in continuity with the “one holy catholic and apostolic church” of ancient times. The authors of the essays collected here demonstrate this catholicity of the Reformers and stress the importance of recovering the church’s catholic tradition today.
Contributors: Robert W. Jenson, David S. Yeago, Frank C. Senn, Carl E. Braaten, James R. Crumley, Robert L. Wilken, Günther Gassmann
117 pages / 6″ x 9″
0-8028-4220-8
$12.00

 

EITHER / OR
The Gospel or Neopaganism
Carl E. Braaten & Robert W. Jenson, eds.

The contributors to this volume argue forthrightly that neopaganism is not merely an objective threat from outside the walls of the church; in fact, gnostic forms of thought and spirituality permeate the church’s inner life under such guises as “pluralism,” “multiculturalism,” “feminism,” and “hospitality.” Their essays are a direct attack on once-Bible-centered doctrine that is now being mingled with “alternatives” that are inherently hostile to the Christian faith.

Contributors: Robert W. Jenson, Carl E. Braaten, Joseph-Augustine DiNoia, James R. Crumley, Robert L. Wilken, K. Paul Wesche, L. Gregory Jones
131 pages / 6″ x 9″
0-8028-0840-9
$10.00

 

RECLAIMING THE BIBLE FOR THE CHURCH
Carl E. Braaten & Robert W. Jenson, eds.

These essays address the crisis of biblical authority and interpretation in the church, focusing in particular on the inadequacy of the historical-critical method of hermeneutics, addressing from various perspectives the notorious gap between the historical-critical approach to the study of the Bible and the church’s liturgical and dogmatic transmission of biblical faith. The authors, following Childs’ “canonical method” of biblical interpretation, argue that the historical-critical method should not of itself set the agenda for biblical reading.

Contributors: Robert W. Jenson, Carl E. Braaten, Elizabeth Achtemeier, Brevard S. Childs, Karl P. Donfried, Roy A. Harrisville, Thomas Hopko, Aidan J. Kavanaugh, Alister E. McGrath
149 pages / 6″ x 9″
0-8028-0898-0
$13.00