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Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

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Tanden Art-Making As Contemplative Practice, Rumi Ito May 2021

Tanden Art-Making As Contemplative Practice, Rumi Ito

Expressive Therapies Dissertations

The art-based study, focused on painting with black ink on paper and video documentation, explores the relationship between artistic expression and contemplative breathing with a particular focus on tanden, a unique concept of such Asian cultures as Chinese, Korean and Japanese. There were three research questions: “How can tanden influence one’s physical movements in the art-making process?” and “Can contemplative breathing with a focus on tanden influence the quality of expression in one’s art-making? If so, what are the influences and implications for art therapy?”

The research suggested five bodily sensations common to all participants: inhaling and exhaling ...


The Source And Application Of Thomas Müntzer's Theology Of Divination In His Marginal Notes On Tertullian, Roger Drinnon May 2021

The Source And Application Of Thomas Müntzer's Theology Of Divination In His Marginal Notes On Tertullian, Roger Drinnon

Master of Sacred Theology Thesis

Drinnon, Roger A. “The Source and Application of Thomas Müntzer’s Theology of Divinization in His Marginal Notes on Tertullian.” Thesis, Concordia Seminary, 2021. 101 pp.

Traditional Lutheran and Marxist interpretations of Thomas Müntzer inadequately account for Müntzer’s theology and practice. The doctrine of the order of creation tied Müntzer’s theology and practice together. According to the order of creation, the goal of the material world was to return to God at the end of time. Müntzer’s writings on the order of creation stated the doctrine was the central tenet of Christianity. By returning to God, Müntzer ...


From Vice To Virtue: Contours Of Idolatry And New Obedience, Michael Fieberkorn May 2021

From Vice To Virtue: Contours Of Idolatry And New Obedience, Michael Fieberkorn

Doctor of Philosophy Dissertation

Fieberkorn, Michael T. “From Vice to Virtue: Contours of Idolatry and New Obedience.” Ph.D. diss., Concordia Seminary, 2021. 290 pp. What are the specific contours of life lived in accordance with God’s will? That is the primary question this dissertation seeks to answer. Discerning the particular shape of Christian sanctification is difficult. Radical Lutheranism attempts to define sanctification simply as “love,” which lacks the specificity necessary to adjudicate between competing and mutually exclusive claims concerning Christian morality. Theologians attempting to address this insufficiency by incorporating virtue ethics within a Lutheran theological construct must clearly articulate the particularly Christian ...


Christian Identity Meets Identity Politics: A Lutheran Approach To Political Engagement, Michael Hanson May 2021

Christian Identity Meets Identity Politics: A Lutheran Approach To Political Engagement, Michael Hanson

Doctor of Philosophy Dissertation

Identity politics has become a frequently referenced and much maligned term used to describe a trend in political engagement in the early 21st century. Identity politics is employed across the political spectrum and has critics on both the left and right in the United States. Christian Identity Meets Identity Politics examines the contours of identity politics to understand and consider the concerns which lead neighbors to engage in identity politics, accounts for the needs of those neighbors who are denied God’s gift of justice through the state, considers criticisms leveled against identity politics within the greater view of ...


Gender As Love: A Theological Account, Fellipe Do Vale May 2021

Gender As Love: A Theological Account, Fellipe Do Vale

Religious Studies Theses and Dissertations

Despite its ubiquity in nearly all academic disciplines, gender has remained a contested concept, so much so that there is considerable ambiguity regarding what makes one a woman or a man and what relation such traits have with the human body. Debates typically polarize around the positions of gender essentialism and social constructionism, though both have been shown to have serious limitations. Additionally, theologians have typically approached these debates either by understanding gender as a category for sustained investigation but finding that the tools and virtues of theology are ill-suited for doing so, or by retaining the tools and virtues ...


A Renewed Christian Sabbath, After Supersessionism And After Christendom, Abigail Woolley Cutter May 2021

A Renewed Christian Sabbath, After Supersessionism And After Christendom, Abigail Woolley Cutter

Religious Studies Theses and Dissertations

This project works toward a contemporary understanding of what the Sabbath commandment can mean for Christians, in light of both the post-supersessionist developments in Christian theology since the Holocaust and a declining (Protestant) Christian hegemony in the United States. It claims that a Christian theology of Sabbath must be developed through a serious engagement with the theology of Jewish-Christian relations. It proposes the Sabbath framework as a model for cultural engagement reminiscent of the “synthesis” type laid out in H. R. Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture, but less susceptible to the alleged pitfalls of that type.

The approach to a ...


Deliver Us: The New Eve, Coredemption, And The Motherhood Of God, William Glass May 2021

Deliver Us: The New Eve, Coredemption, And The Motherhood Of God, William Glass

Religious Studies Theses and Dissertations

In what follows, I try to develop a speculative and constructive account of what Christians should say regarding whether and how Mary is a coredemptress, that is, a partner in the redemptive work of her Son. My goal is to clarify what it might mean to say Mary is a coredeemer, why anyone should say that, and what the consequences would be for Christian theology if they did. I take this doctrine to have critical importance not only for the individual loci of Christian theology (many of which are treated within) but for a meta-theological understanding of the God-world relation.


Melchizedek: Exposing His Character And Its Biblical-Theological Implications, Wesley Nottingham May 2021

Melchizedek: Exposing His Character And Its Biblical-Theological Implications, Wesley Nottingham

Eleutheria

Commentators have long recognized the mystery of Melchizedek, noting “that Melchizedek appears in the narrative out of nowhere and just as quickly is gone.” In light of the nature of this Melchizedek figure, the task for a deep reader of Scripture becomes not only identifying who this figure is as he appears in Genesis, but also drawing out the biblical-theological implications of his presence. To determine how to best understand Melchizedek as well as his presence within the canon, the most effective approach is to examine the text in which he first appears—Genesis 14:18-20—and examine its interplay ...


Annotated Bibliography: Unity In Christ, Kelly E. Budd, Madison S. Schmidt May 2021

Annotated Bibliography: Unity In Christ, Kelly E. Budd, Madison S. Schmidt

Eleutheria

A review of the recent book publications related to the spring theme, "Unity in Christ." We include the following titles.

  • Alma, Hans et al. Moral and Spiritual Leadership in an Age of Plural Moralities.
  • Anatolios, Khaled. Deification through the Cross: An Eastern Christian Theology of Salvation.
  • Barrett, Matthew. Canon, Covenant and Christology: Rethinking Jesus and the Scriptures of Israel.
  • Beck, William David and Mike Licona. Raised on the Third Day: Defending the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus.
  • Chia, Edmund Kee-Fook. Confucianism and Christianity: Interreligious Dialogue on the Theology of Mission.
  • Emerson, Matthew Y. He Descended to the Dead: An ...


Arabic Christian Theology: A Contemporary Global Evangelical Perspective, Sherene N. Khouri May 2021

Arabic Christian Theology: A Contemporary Global Evangelical Perspective, Sherene N. Khouri

Eleutheria

Andrea Zaki Stephanous, Arabic Christian Theology: A Contemporary Global Evangelical Perspective, Zondervan, 2019 (ISBN 978-0-310-32026-5), 493 pp. $34.99.


A Cabin In The Woods: A Former Statistician Responds To A Critique Of The Bayesian Version Of The Fine-Tuning Argument For God’S Existence, Adam Lloyd Johnson May 2021

A Cabin In The Woods: A Former Statistician Responds To A Critique Of The Bayesian Version Of The Fine-Tuning Argument For God’S Existence, Adam Lloyd Johnson

Eleutheria

Many theists and atheists agree that the fine-tuning argument is the most compelling argument for the existence of God. However, there are many different versions of this argument and, as with most things in life, some versions are better than others. In this paper I will respond to Neil A. Manson’s recent critique of what I call the "Bayesian Version of the Fine-Tuning Argument" for God’s existence. I will argue that the Bayesian version is a relatively poor argument but that the "Abductive Version of the Fine-Tuning Argument" for God’s existence is quite compelling.


History And Eschatology By N. T. Wright: A Review, Benjamin C. F. Shaw May 2021

History And Eschatology By N. T. Wright: A Review, Benjamin C. F. Shaw

Eleutheria

Wright, N. T. History and Eschatology: Jesus and the Promise of Natural Theology. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2019. 365 pp. $34.99


Eschatological Space And Triune Kenosis: Jürgen Moltmann On The Nature Of Created And Eschatological Space, Peter Van Kleeck Jr May 2021

Eschatological Space And Triune Kenosis: Jürgen Moltmann On The Nature Of Created And Eschatological Space, Peter Van Kleeck Jr

Eleutheria

Where did God put creation? By means of experimental theology, this paper offers an answer by leveraging certain arguments from Jürgen Moltmann. These arguments for the divine kenosis of the triune persons and particularly the Father. In so doing, He provides the space in which to place all created matter. This paper first wrestles with certain Protestant positions on the nature of created space, noting that not much is said apart from dealing with the things in that space. Then the paper pivots to Moltmann's understanding of God's first act of creation - kenotic hiddenness. Finally, the paper concludes ...


The Glory Of The Lord Whose Likeness Is As The Appearance Of A Human Being/Adam: A Study Of Ezekiel’S Son Of Man/Adam Anthropology, Timothy R. Schmeling May 2021

The Glory Of The Lord Whose Likeness Is As The Appearance Of A Human Being/Adam: A Study Of Ezekiel’S Son Of Man/Adam Anthropology, Timothy R. Schmeling

Graduate Papers/Theses

Ezekiel has often been criticized as a dehumanizing book. Still it is alternative humanisms that have done so much to dehumanize mankind with the totalitarianism of self-deifying individualism or the totalitarianism of collectively-imposed manmade metanarratives. Far from being a dehumanizing book, the objective of the son of man/Adam is certainly to purge his hearers of all anthropologies of autonomy and license, but this Adamic priestly prophet does this to eschatologically resurrect in them an anthropology of dependence and true freedom. Reasserting the creation theology and anthropology of Genesis, Ezekiel insists that authentic humanism, Edenic humanism (i.e., the original ...


Mutual Aid As Spiritual Tacit Knowledge Within Doukhobor Epistemology, Rachel Neubuhr Torres May 2021

Mutual Aid As Spiritual Tacit Knowledge Within Doukhobor Epistemology, Rachel Neubuhr Torres

University Honors Theses

The relationship between Michael Polanyi’s concept of tacit knowledge and religion is a topic that is rarely explored. Applying tacit knowledge to the study of religion and spirituality allows us to think about how we connect with the world and how we address the concern of what one feels to be true of their existence, or existential intuition. In the latter half of the 1800s the Russian prince turned anarchist, Peter Kropotkin, wrote extensively on the theory of mutually beneficial cooperation, or mutual aid, as being one of the most important factors of evolution. As Kropotkin began writing his ...


The Immaculate Conception Of The Blessed Virgin Mary, John Klapheke May 2021

The Immaculate Conception Of The Blessed Virgin Mary, John Klapheke

Undergraduate Theses

This thesis seeks to highlight notable circumstances and schools of thought which led up to Blessed Pope Pius IX’s 1854 Proclamation of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Namely, this paper seeks to show how the Immaculate Conception transitioned from a tradition held by the faithful to official Catholic Church dogma functioning as a core teaching of Catholicism.


Women In Diaconate Formation In The Archdiocese Of Los Angeles, Federico Guillermo Rodriguez Hernandez May 2021

Women In Diaconate Formation In The Archdiocese Of Los Angeles, Federico Guillermo Rodriguez Hernandez

LMU/LLS Theses and Dissertations

In the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the wives of the married applicants, aspirants and candidates to the permanent diaconate are required to accompany their husbands during the process of formation. Currently, the formation program does not engage them fully. Since women cannot be ordained as deacons, they are not perceived as the intended recipients for the formation offered by the program.

This study proposes an alternative vision and theological framework. The study affirms the full dignity of women as human beings created in the image and likeness of God and therefore, perfectly well suited to be icons of God as ...


Vocation Of The Elca: Dismantling White Supremacy, Amanda Vetsch May 2021

Vocation Of The Elca: Dismantling White Supremacy, Amanda Vetsch

MA Capstone Papers

White Supremacy is an embodied belief and culture that must be eradicated in order for us to live into the diverse, mutually flourishing kin-doms that God has called us into. The history of white supremacy and racist theology includes ideas of mission, hierarchy, and compromise. White people and predominantly white institutions are vocationally called to do the specific work of dismantling white supremacy. The Lutheran theological tradition has commitments and practices that can ground and compel people into and through this work.

Two ways of understanding white supremacy culture are White Body Supremacy by Resmaa Menakem and Characteristics of White ...


Vaccine Hesitancy, The Covid 19 Pandemic, And Christian Fundamentalism, Nicole Drew May 2021

Vaccine Hesitancy, The Covid 19 Pandemic, And Christian Fundamentalism, Nicole Drew

Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Over the past few decades, religion has continued to move to the forefront of American politics, with many viewing fundamental Christianity as synonymous with the Republican Party. Donald Trump's presidency has increased this tenfold, with significant figures within American Christianity voicing their support for him and tying him into Biblical prophecies. In the media, this appears to have affected how this demographic views the COVID 19 pandemic. The literature in this area focuses heavily on American Christians' response to mask mandates, stay-at-home orders, and other attempts to mitigate the spread of the CoronaVirus; however, research on how this same ...


Beliefs And Their Byproducts: The Impact Of Religiosity And Political Ideology On Attitudes Toward Covid-19, Vaccines, And Climate Change, Philip Goodrich May 2021

Beliefs And Their Byproducts: The Impact Of Religiosity And Political Ideology On Attitudes Toward Covid-19, Vaccines, And Climate Change, Philip Goodrich

Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Several studies have indicated that an individual’s level of religiosity impacts their views toward science and scientific phenomena. Moreover, research shows that these views can also be impacted by an individual's political affiliation and ideology. In this research paper, I examine the relationship between one’s religiosity and political ideology and their attitude toward the novel corona virus (COVID-19), vaccines, and climate change. Using data from the 2021 Chapman University Survey of American Fears, I find that while religiosity plays a role in one’s attitudes toward these three scientific phenomena, the greatest correlation stems from one’s ...


Overcoming The Lack Of Expressive Worship In The Haitian Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Yoner Valmyr May 2021

Overcoming The Lack Of Expressive Worship In The Haitian Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Yoner Valmyr

Doctoral Dissertations and Projects

Many Haitian Seventh-day Adventist members are not pleased with the Haitian Seventh-day Adventist Church’s lack of expressive worship. According to research, Haitian church members are unable to freely express themselves in corporate worship due to rationalistic, as oppose to kinesthetic worship practices. During worship services, Haitian Seventh-day Adventist members, young and old, are afraid to have an authentic demonstrative worship experience because of “soma phobia,” the fear of letting themselves or their bodies get out of control. Because of a traditional European cultural ethos that still exists, there is a fear that others may look upon them as ungodly ...


Augustine Of Hippo: A Historical Theology Critique, Zachary Monte May 2021

Augustine Of Hippo: A Historical Theology Critique, Zachary Monte

Honors Program Projects

This study evaluates how current historical theology survey texts understand and present the theology of Augustine. The texts are examined to assess the following: accuracy of presentation on discussed topics, specific theological topics Augustine addressed excluded in the surveys, and theological bias on the part of the authors. The historical theology surveys include Gregg Allison’s Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine, Justo González’s A History of Christian Thought, and Alister McGrath’s Historical Theology: An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought. The three major topics treated include Augustine’s Trinitarian thought, the Donatist Controversy, and the ...


A Theology Built On Meritocracy: A Theological And Sociological Examination Of The Prosperity Gospel And The American Dream, T.E. Starman May 2021

A Theology Built On Meritocracy: A Theological And Sociological Examination Of The Prosperity Gospel And The American Dream, T.E. Starman

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

In American megachurch Christianity there lies a paradox in the concept of wealth and blessings; many megachurch leaders take deliberate steps to distance themselves from the defamed and heretical label of prosperity gospel, while simultaneously using many of its theological tenets as foundational to their own theology of wealth, money, and success. This thesis examines the nature of this paradox from both a theological and sociological lens. Through content analysis and case study examples, this thesis assesses the theological tenets of American megachurch prosperity theology as well as the sociological reality of stratification and the ideology that buttresses it. This ...


Grappling With The Aftereffects Of Modernism In American Literature And Culture: Spiritual, Political, And Ecological, Joseph Neary Apr 2021

Grappling With The Aftereffects Of Modernism In American Literature And Culture: Spiritual, Political, And Ecological, Joseph Neary

Master of Arts in English Plan II Graduate Projects

In this portfolio, Joe Neary examines various texts within contemporary American culture, including David Foster Wallace’s short story, “Good Old Neon,” Harmony Korine’s film, Spring Breakers, Richard Powers’ novel, The Overstory, and Bruce Holsinger’s book of criticism, Neomedievalism, Neoconservatism, and the War on Terror.


The Liturgical Action Of Christ's Body: A Theo-Philosophical Extension Of Bonhoeffer's Ecclesiology, Joseph Carson Apr 2021

The Liturgical Action Of Christ's Body: A Theo-Philosophical Extension Of Bonhoeffer's Ecclesiology, Joseph Carson

Senior Honors Theses

Bonhoeffer’s theological contributions may provide significant relevance and theoretical illumination on contemporary issues in ecclesiology. Not only did Bonhoeffer offer creative theological insights, but he also incorporated philosophy into his theological positions in a way that maintains the supremacy of theology. Specifically, Bonhoeffer develops an ecclesial theology, starting in Sanctorum Communio and extending throughout his writings, that relies on social theory and philosophy (especially Hegel) while simultaneously making theology the theoretical authority over these other disciplines. In his ecclesiology, Bonhoeffer argues for an ontological unity between the Church and Christ, which he calls the Christ-reality and Christ existing as ...


A Correlational Study Of Emotional Competence And Christian Practices Among Millennials, Nancy Watkins Flanagan Apr 2021

A Correlational Study Of Emotional Competence And Christian Practices Among Millennials, Nancy Watkins Flanagan

Doctoral Dissertations and Projects

While emotions management is critical to effective leadership, literature describes present and emerging leaders in the millennial generation as not being proficient at managing their emotions. If this is true, how could the Christian community promote leadership development for millennials? Toward determining if a connection exists between emotions management and faith, this non-experimental quantitative correlational study explored the relationship, if any, between millennials’ emotional competence and Christian practices. Survey instrumentation was employed. The survey included two validated instruments, one for emotional competence and the other for spiritual growth. Study invitations were emailed to 395 millennials at a church in VA ...


Tale Of Two Judiths: Queering Judith With The Works Of Judith Butler, Kat S. Lewis Apr 2021

Tale Of Two Judiths: Queering Judith With The Works Of Judith Butler, Kat S. Lewis

Religious Studies Honors Projects

Biblical texts play a significant role in shaping expectations for behavior based on gender in Western societies. In my queer reading of the Book of Judith, I argue that Judith’s performance of gender is fluid and gender expansive. I use reader-response criticism to interpret Judith in conversation with the works of Judith Butler and Saba Mahmood on gender performativity, drag, and agency. This queer reading of Judith provides representation of gender expansiveness in biblical texts and explores queer possibilities in Judith as a way to challenge and subvert a patriarchal, heterosexist gender binary.


In His Image And Into His Likeness: Human Nature's Theosis In C.S. Lewis's Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold, Jacob Ross Taylor Apr 2021

In His Image And Into His Likeness: Human Nature's Theosis In C.S. Lewis's Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold, Jacob Ross Taylor

Honors Theses

C.S. Lewis’s standalone title Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold transforms the Greek mythos “Cupid and Psyche” into a novel about human nature being deified. In TWHF, Lewis presents an arc from pagan dualism through rationalism and finally to our relational God who makes us holy like Him. Lewis studies have suffered from the lack scholarship applying St. Thomas Aquinas’s christened Aristotelianism which would illuminate the metaphysical foundations that Lewis founds his words and builds his worlds upon. In Aristotle metaphysical biology he proposed that the human soul is neither an altogether separable spirit divorced from ...


Skepticism Of God's Justice And Ways In The World In Job And Ecclesiastes, Andrew O'Neill Apr 2021

Skepticism Of God's Justice And Ways In The World In Job And Ecclesiastes, Andrew O'Neill

Undergraduate Theses

The biblical books of Job and Ecclesiastes have mystified and entranced readers of Hebrew and Christian scripture for thousands of years. This is done almost effortlessly due to their exploration of the themes of justice, fairness, and God’s relationship with human beings. These topics were relevant at the time they were written and are still relevant in the twenty first century. This thesis presentation will discuss how these two books represent a shift in biblical thinking towards God’s justice and ways in the world and will discern what implications the text’s conclusions pose for people reading these ...


The Soteriological Necessity Of A Full Incarnation And Its Implications For Believers, Addison Yates Apr 2021

The Soteriological Necessity Of A Full Incarnation And Its Implications For Believers, Addison Yates

Tenor of Our Times

At the center of Christian theology lies the study of Jesus the Christ, his being, and his work. Differing beliefs about Jesus’ divinity and humanity were a source of early Christian controversies, and the first ecumenical councils addressed these Christological controversies by affirming that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. Though this doctrine is widely accepted in modern Christian theology, many practicing Christians, particularly those who are unfamiliar with Christian history, may never have explored Jesus’ nature in his incarnation or considered its implications. The aim of this work is twofold: to establish that a full incarnation of ...