Christian History

Trickster Travels: A Sixteenth-Century Muslim Between Worlds

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$18.00

An engrossing study of Leo Africanus and his famous book, which introduced Africa to European readers

Al-Hasan al-Wazzan--born in Granada to a Muslim family that in 1492 went to Morocco, where he traveled extensively on behalf of the sultan of Fez--is known to historians as Leo Africanus, author of the first geography of Africa to be published in Europe (in 1550). He had been captured by Christian pirates in the Mediterranean and imprisoned by the pope, then released, baptized, and allowed a European life of scholarship as the Christian writer Giovanni Leone. In this fascinating new book, the distinguished historian Natalie Zemon Davis offers a virtuoso study of the fragmentary, partial, and often contradictory traces that al-Hasan al-Wazzan left behind him, and a superb interpretation of his extraordinary life and work.

In Trickster Travels, Davis describes all the sectors of her hero's life in rich detail, scrutinizing the evidence of al-Hasan's movement between cultural worlds; the Islamic and Arab traditions, genres, and ideas available to him; and his adventures with Christians and Jews in a European community of learned men and powerful church leaders. In depicting the life of this adventurous border-crosser, Davis suggests the many ways cultural barriers are negotiated and diverging traditions are fused.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780809094356
Publication Date: 
2007-03-06
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Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity

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$30.00
Christianity arrived early in Egypt, brought--according to tradition--by Saint Mark the Evangelist, who became the first patriarch of Alexandria. The Coptic Orthodox Church has flourished ever since, with millions of adherents both in Egypt and in Coptic communities around the world. Since its split from the Byzantine Church in 451, the Coptic Church has proudly maintained its early traditions, and influence from outside has been minimal: the liturgy is still sung to unique rhythms in Coptic, a late stage of the same ancient Egyptian language that is inscribed in hieroglyphs on temple walls and papyri. Dr. Otto Meinardus, a leading authority on the history of the Coptic Church, here revises, updates, and combines his renowned studies Christian Egypt, Ancient and Modern (AUC Press, 1965, 1977) and Christian Egypt, Faith and Life (AUC Press, 1970) into a new, definitive, one-volume history, surveying the twenty centuries of existence of one of the oldest churches in the world.
ISBN/SKU: 
9789774167454
Publication Date: 
2016-03-01
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Uncertainty in Post-Reformation Catholicism: A History of Probabilism

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$99.00
Uncertainty in Post-Reformation Catholicism provides a historical account of early modern probabilism and its theological, intellectual, and cultural implications. First developed in the second half of the sixteenth century, probabilism represented a significant and controversial novelty in Catholic moral theology. By the second half of the seventeenth century, probabilism became and has since been associated with moral, intellectual, and cultural decadence. Stefania Tutino challenges this understanding and claims that probabilism played a central role in addressing the challenges that geographical and cultural expansions posed to traditional Catholic theology.

Tutino argues that early modern theologians used probabilism to integrate major changes within the post-Reformation Catholic theological and intellectual system. Probabilist theologians realized that their time was characterized by many changes that traditional theology was not equipped to deal with, which consequently provoked an exponential growth of uncertainties, doubts, and dilemmas of conscience. Probabilism represented the result of their efforts to appreciate, come to terms with, and manage that uncertainty. Uncertainty in Post-Reformation Catholicism reinterprets probabilism as a way of dealing with moral and epistemological doubts in quickly changing times, a way that still may be useful today.

Uncertainty in Post-Reformation Catholicism argues that probabilism played a central role in addressing the challenges that a geographically and intellectually expanding world posed to traditional Catholic theology. Early modern probabilist theologians realized that their time was characterized by many changes and novelties that traditional theology was not equipped to deal with, and that consequently provoked an exponential growth of uncertainties, doubts, and dilemmas of conscience. These theologians used probabilism as a means to integrate changes and novelties within the post-Reformation Catholic theological and intellectual system. Seen in this light, probabilism represented the result of their attempts to appreciate, come to terms with, and manage uncertainty. The problem of uncertainty was not only crucial then, but remains central even today. Despite the unprecedented amount of information available to us, we are becoming less able to formulate arguments based on facts, and more dependent on a cacophony of opinions that often simply reproduce our own implicit or explicit biases, prejudices, and preconceived preferences.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780190694098
Publication Date: 
2017-12-01
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Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the Holocaust in Italy

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$29.95
What did Pius XII do to aid Jews during World War II? This meticulously researched and balanced book examines efforts on behalf of Jews in Italy, the country where the pope was in a position to be most helpful. It finds that despite a persistent myth to the contrary, Pius XII and his assistants at the Vatican did very little.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780300084870
Publication Date: 
2000-12-11
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Vincent of L?rins and the Development of Christian Doctrine: Foundations of Theological Exegesis and Christian Spirituality

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$27.00
The theology of Vincent of LErins is often reduced to a memorable slogan: "We hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, and by everyone." Thomas Guarino argues that this "Vincentian canon" has frequently been taken out of context. This book introduces Vincent's thought and its reception in Christian history, exploring Vincent's creative and innovative understanding of the development of doctrine and showing how it informed the thought of John Henry Newman. Guarino contends that Vincent's theology contributes significantly to theology and ecumenism in the twenty-first century. The volume is the second in a series on the church fathers edited by Hans Boersma and Matthew Levering.
About the Series
The Foundations of Theological Exegesis and Christian Spirituality series critically recovers patristic exegesis and interpretation for contemporary theology and spirituality. Each volume covers a specific church father and illuminates the exegesis that undergirds the Nicene tradition.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780801049095
Publication Date: 
2013-05-01
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Voice of the Eagle: The Heart of Celtic Christianity: Homily on the Prologue to the Gospel of St. John

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$28.00
Includes John Scotus Eriugena's "Homily on the Prologue to the Gospel of St. John"

John Scotus Eriugena was born and raised in Ireland during the early ninth century. Neither monk nor priest but a "holy sage," he carried to France the flower of Celtic Christianity. His homily, The Voice of the Eagle, is a jewel of lyrical mysticism, theology, and cosmology, containing the essence of Celtic Christian wisdom. He meditates on the meaning and purpose of creation as revealed by the Word made flesh, distilling into twenty-three short chapters a uniquely Celtic, non-dualistic fusion of Christianity, Platonism, and ancient Irish wisdom.

The translator's "Reflections" make up the second half of this book and attempt to unfold some of the life-giving meaning implicit in Eriugena's luminous sentences. Inspired both by a personal search for a living Christianity and by a sense of the continuity of Western culture, these "Reflections" offer a contemporary, meditative encounter with the Word, or Logos, as mediated by both St. John's Prologue and Eriugena's Celtic homily. This favorite of Celtic Christianity, unavailable for several years, has been revised and includes a new foreword by Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul and The Soul of Sex.

"Christopher Bamford has written a wonderful book. It combines a rigor of scholarship with a lyrical unveiling of how this wonderful text of Eriugena's can resonate with the hungers and discoveries of our times. It deserves a wide readership. Its lucid depths enrich the mind and awaken the heart to the grandeur of light where the eternal shines." -- John O'Donohue is the author of Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

"The book has been made with broad scholarship, with deep understanding and with love, and will be not quickly used up; one returns to it again and again. It will be cherished by anyone who is thirsty for the water of wisdom that has flowed so abundantly from the spring of Christ." -- Bruno Barnhart is the author of Second Simplicity: The Inner Shape of Christianity

"Eriugena is increasingly recognized as one of the most penetrating spiritual masters of the Christian tradition. The Homily he wrote on the Prologue to the Gospel of St John is the clearest summary of his thought about the role of the Divine Logos in cosmology and anthropology and provides the best introduction to his thought. In The Voice of the Eagle, Christopher Bamford presents an accurate and readable translation of this classic of Christian thought and suggests valuable comments about its meaning. --Bernard McGinn, Naomi Shenstone Donnelly Professor, University of Chicago Author of The Presence of God: A History of Western Mysticism

"The Prologue of St John's Gospel is so important that it was once read at the conclusion of every Catholic Mass. Eriugena's Homily on it, here translated, is a masterpiece. More accessible than his larger works, it helps to plunge us into the depths of the Word revealed in the Gospel. Christopher Bamford's extended and erudite commentary draws on the great contemplative writers of the Christian tradition of East and West to produce a text whose impact and importance grows the more it is read. The recovery of the Christian tradition, as he writes, "is a task of intuition, interpretation, and meditation."For many readers, that recovery will be nourished and assisted by this fascinating book." --Stratford Caldecott, Center for Faith and Culture, Westminster College, Oxford

"... a precious gift for all of us who need to be touched anew by the truth of the Christian teaching" --Jacob Needleman, author of A Little Book on Love and Money and the Meaning of Life

"... a profound and transformative experience." - John Carey, former editor of Gnosis Magazine

"Eriugena's Christian Neoplationism, untrammeled by the problems of later medieval thought, breathes with a freshness and shines with a light that could enrich authentic Christian thought today....a lovely and illuminating book." -- Geddes MacGregor, author of Angels: Ministers of Grace

ISBN/SKU: 
9780970109705
Publication Date: 
2001-02-01
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What is History Now?

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$25.00
E.H. Carr's What is History?, first published in 1961, was the most influential book to examine writing and thinking about history this century. To commemorate the book's forthieth anniversary, David Cannadine has gathered an all-star cast of contributors to ask and seek answers to E.H. Carr's classic question for a new generation of historians: what does it mean to study history at the start of the twenty-first century? The contributors pose this question anew for the most important and lively subfields of history writing today. For example, Alice Kessler-Harris ponders "what is gender history now?" while Paul Cartledge asks "what is social history now?" This volume stands alongside E.H. Carr's classic, paying tribute to his seminal inquiry while moving the debate into new territory, ensuring its freshness and relevance for a new century of historical study.
ISBN/SKU: 
9781403933362
Publication Date: 
2002-07-05
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Why Study the Past?: The Quest for the Historical Church

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$16.00
The well-worn saying about being condemned to repeat the history we do not know applies to church history as much as to any other kind. But how are Christians supposed to discern what lessons from history need to be learned?
In this small but thoughtful volume, respected theologian and churchman Rowan Williams opens up a theological approach to history, an approach that is both nonpartisan and relevant to the church's present needs. As he reflects on how we consider the past in general, Williams suggests that how we consider church history in particular remains important not so much for winning arguments as for clarifying who we are as time-bound human beings. Good history is a moral affair, he advises, because it opens up a point of reference that is distinct from us yet not wholly alien. The past can then enable us to think with more varied and resourceful analogies about our identity in the often confusing present.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780802829900
Publication Date: 
2005-07-01
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Witchcraft and Magic in 16th and 17th-Century Europe

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$9.95
In his study of witchcraft and magic in 16th and 17th century Europe, Geoffrey Scarre provides an examination of the theoretical and intellectual rationales which made prosecution for the crime acceptable to the continent's judiciaries.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780333399330
Publication Date: 
1996-08-01
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Witchcraft and Magic in Europe: The Period of the Witch Trials

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$22.50

Each volume in the series Witchcraft and Magic in Europe combines the traditional approaches of political, legal, and social historians with a critical synthesis of cultural anthropology, historical psychology, and gender studies. The series, complete in six volumes, provides a modern, scholarly survey of the supernatural beliefs of Europeans from ancient times to the present day.

Most European prosecutions for the crime of witchcraft occurred between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, with the peak coming in the hundred years after 1560. This volume brings together the large amount of recent scholarship on witchcraft of this period and provides a novel analysis of the trials by considering the legal systems involved. Witch hunts, methods of torture, and the scientific interest in magic spells and demonology as an intellectual pursuit are also covered in detail.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780812217872
Publication Date: 
2002-12-23
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Woman's Place: House Churches in Earliest Christianity

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$21.00
This focused look at women in the household context discusses the importance of issues of space and visibility in shaping the lives of early Christian women. Several aspects of women's everyday existence are investigated, including the lives of wives, widows, women with children, female slaves, women as patrons, household leaders, and teachers. In addition, several key themes emerge: hospitality, dining practices, and the extent of female segregation.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780800637774
Publication Date: 
2005-10-01
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Women on the Margins: Three Seventeenth-Century Lives

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$32.00

As she did with Martin Guerre, Natalie Zemon Davis here retrieves individual lives from historical obscurity to give us a window onto the early modern world. As women living in the seventeenth century, Glikl bas Judah Leib, Marie de l'Incarnation, and Maria Sibylla Merian, equally remarkable though very different, were not queens or noblewomen, their every move publicly noted. Rather, they were living "on the margins" in seventeenth-century Europe, North America, and South America. Yet these women--one Jewish, one Catholic, one Protestant--left behind memoirs and writings that make for a spellbinding tale and that, in Davis' deft narrative, tell us more about the life of early modern Europe than many an official history.

All these women were originally city folk. Glikl bas Judah Leib was a merchant of Hamburg and Metz whose Yiddish autobiography blends folktales with anecdotes about her two marriages, her twelve children, and her business. Marie de l'Incarnation, widowed young, became a mystic visionary among the Ursuline sisters and cofounder of the first Christian school for Amerindian women in North America. Her letters are a rich source of information about the Huron, Algonquin, Montagnais, and Iroquois peoples of Quebec. Maria Sibylla Merian, a German painter and naturalist, produced an innovative work on tropical insects based on lore she gathered from the Carib, Arawak, and African women of Suriname. Along the way she abandoned her husband to join a radical Protestant sect in the Netherlands.Drawing on Glikl's memoirs, Marie's autobiography and correspondence, and Maria's writings on entomology and botany, Davis brings these women to vibrant life. She reconstructs the divergent paths their stories took, and at the same time shows us each amid the common challenges and influences of the time--childrearing, religion, an outpouring of vernacular literature--and in relation to men.

The resulting triptych suggests the range of experience, self-consciousness, and expression possible in seventeenth-century Europe and its outposts. It also shows how persons removed from the centers of power and learning ventured in novel directions, modifying in their own way Europe's troubled and ambivalent relations with other "marginal" peoples.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780674955219
Publication Date: 
1997-04-25
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World Turned Upside Down

$18.00
"Immensely rich and exciting . . . Christopher Hill has that supreme gift of being able to show us the seventeenth-century world from the inside."--Arthur Marwick in New Society

Within the English revolution of the mid-seventeenth century which resulted in the triumph of the protestant ethic--the ideology of the propertied class--there threatened another, quite different, revolution. Its success "might have established communal property, a far wider democracy in political and legal institutions, might have disestablished the state church and rejected the protestant ethic."
In The World Turned Upside Down Christopher Hill studies the beliefs of such radical groups as the Diggers, the Ranters, the Levellers, and others, and the social and emotional impulses that gave rise to them.

The relations between rich and poor classes, the part played by wandering "master-less" men, the outbursts of sexual freedom and deliberate blasphemy, the great imaginative creations of Milton and Bunyan--these and many other elements build up into a marvelously detailed and coherent portrait of this strange, sudden effusion of revolutionary beliefs. It is a portrait not of the bourgeois revolution that actually took place but of the impulse towards a far more fundamental overturning of society.

"Brilliant . . . he depicts with marvelous erudition and sympathy the profound rationality of the Cromwellian 'underground.'"--David Caute in New Statesman

"Incorporates some of Dr. Hill's most profound statements yet about the seventeenth-century revolution as a whole."--Economist

ISBN/SKU: 
9780140137323
Publication Date: 
1984-12-04
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203.432.6101