Interreligious dialogue that strives for both hospitality and honest discussion of difference! Is it possible to have both? Is it possible for religious traditions to engage one another in a spirit of humility, while also working together toward mutual descriptions of God and the world? This is the goal of this book, to find points at which each of the religious traditions are vulnerable and open enough to listen to each other and to help each other toward a shared description of reality. If you share these concerns—concerns for interfaith dialogue as well as for deeply held notions of conviction and truth—then the invitation is open for mutual constructive engagement.
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Right from the beginning of humankind, God has never deprived a people of his grace and revelation. In fact, God uses people's environment and culture to communicate his will. There is no single religion that can claim to have the exclusive possession of God's revelation, for God is too immense to be confined within one faith. Hence, it was erroneous, blasphemous, and misleading for some of the early Christian missionaries to Africa to claim that they had brought God to Africa, a mentality that implied the non-existence of God in Africa before their arrival. Of course, God was already in Africa, but the missionaries either failed to discern his presence or just disregarded the traces of his existence. This book explores the religious beliefs, practices, and values of the indigenous people of Africa at the time of the early missionaries' arrival, with particular reference to the Shona people of Zimbabwe. It also evaluates the extent of the missionarie's successes and challenges in converting Africans to Christianity. It finally surveys how African Christians have remained attached to the indigenous religious beliefs that used to provide answers to their existential questions.
Ever since Jesus walked the hills of Galilee and Paul travelled the roads of Asia Minor and Greece, Christianity has shown a remarkable ability to adapt itself to various social and cultural environments. Recent research has demonstrated that these environments can only be very insufficiently termed as "rural" or "urban". Neither was Jesus' Galilee only rural, nor Paul's Asia only "urban". On the background of ongoing research on the diversity of social environments in the Early Empire, this volume will focus on various early Christian "worlds" as witnessed in canonical and non-canonical texts. How did Early Christians experience and react to "rural" and "urban" life? What were the mechanisms behind this adaptability? Papers will analyze the relation between urban Christian beginnings and the role of the rural Jesus-tradition. In what sense did the image of Jesus, the "Galilean village Jew", change when his message was carried into the cities of the Mediterranean world from Jerusalem to Athens or Rome? Papers will not only deal with various personalities or literary works whose various attitudes towards urban life became formative for future Christianity. They will also explore the different local milieus that demonstrate the wide range of Christian cultural perspectives.
A distinctive aspect of Hindu devotion is the veneration of a human guru, who is not only an exemplar and a teacher but is also understood to be an embodiment of the divine. Historically, the role of guru in the public domain has been exclusive to men. The new visibility of female gurus in India and the U.S. today, and indeed across the globe, has inspired this first-ever scholarly study of the origins, variety, and worldwide popularity of Hindu female gurus. In the Introduction, Karen Pechilis examines the historical emergence of Hindu female gurus with reference to the Hindu philosophy of the self, women spiritual exemplars as wives and saints, Tantric worship of the Goddess, and the internationalization of gurus in the U.S. in the twentieth century. Nine essays profile specific female gurus, presenting biographies of these remarkable women while highlighting overarching issues and themes concerning women's status as religious leaders; these themes are nuanced in the afterword to the volume. The essays explore how Hindu female gurus embody grace in both senses--as a feminine ideal and an attribute of the divine-and argue that their status as leaders is grounded in their negotiation of these two types of grace. This book provides biographical profiles of the following female gurus plus sensitive scholarly analysis of their spiritual paths: Ammachi, Anandamayi Ma, Gauri Ma, Gurumayi, Jayashri Ma, Karunamayi Ma, Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati, Mother Meera, Shree Maa and Sita Devi.
The complaints that patients bring to their doctors often have roots in social issues that involve work, family life, gender roles and sexuality, aging, substance use; or other problems of nonmedical origin. In this book, physician/sociologist Howard Waitzkin examines interactions between patients and doctors to show how physicians' focus on physical complaints often fails to address patients' underlying concerns and also reinforces the societal problems that cause or aggravate these maladies. A progressive doctor-patient relationship, Waitzkin argues, fosters social change. Waitzkin provides a pathbreaking analysis of medical encounters, applying perspectives from structuralism, post-structuralism, and critical literary theory to transcripts of recorded conversations between doctors and patients. He demonstrates how doctors unintentionally maintain dominance in their dealings with patients, encourage conforming social behavior and attitudes, and marginalize patients' concerns with social problems. Waitzkin urges physicians to attend to the social as well as the medical problems that emerge from patients' narratives and suggests ways to restructure the manner in which patients and doctors communicate with each other. Physicians and patients, for example, should work together to demystify medical discourse, should refrain from medicalizing social problems through medications or reassurances that dull socially caused pain, and should be prepared to call on advocacy organizations seeking to change the social conditions that create personal distress. This book will influence and challenge physicians scholars, and students in the social sciences and humanities, as well as anyone concerned about the present problems and future direction of medicine.
"Developed/underdeveloped, " "first world/third world, " "modern/traditional" - although there is nothing inevitable, natural, or arguably even useful about such divisions, they are widely accepted as legitimate ways to categorize regions and peoples of the world. In Imperial Encounters, Roxanne Lynn Doty looks at the way these kinds of labels influence North-South relations, reflecting a history of colonialism and shaping the way national identity is constructed today. Employing a critical, poststructuralist perspective, Doty examines two "imperial encounters" over time: between the United States and the Philippines and between Great Britain and Kenya. The history of these two relationships demonstrates that not only is the more powerful member allowed to construct "reality, " but this construction of reality bears an important relationship to actual practice. Doty considers the persistence of representational practices, particularly with regard to Northern views of human rights in the South and contemporary social science discourses on North-South relations. Important and timely, Imperial Encounters brings a fresh perspective to the debate over the past - and the future - of global politics.