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Divine Simplicity As A Necessary Condition For Affirming Creation Ex Nihilo, Chance Juliano Aug 2019

Divine Simplicity As A Necessary Condition For Affirming Creation Ex Nihilo, Chance Juliano

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Proponents of the Doctrine of Divine Simplicity (DDS) have frequently argued that God must lack any temporal, physical, or metaphysical composition on the grounds that God’s existence would be dependent upon God’s parts. This avenue of discourse has been tried and trod so often that most detractors of DDS find it insufficient to demonstrate DDS. Additionally, objectors to DDS have often rejected the doctrine on the count of the heap of metaphysical (often Aristotelian or Neoplatonist) assumptions that one must make before one can even arrive at DDS. Within this essay I will offer an argument for DDS ...


Wholeheartedness And Acquaintance With God, Sarah Naomi Dannemiller Aug 2019

Wholeheartedness And Acquaintance With God, Sarah Naomi Dannemiller

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

In this thesis, I demonstrate that wholeheartedness is a constitutive intellectual virtue. Wholeheartedness consists of a definite and unified volitional structure in which one’s desires are integrated around union with God and which contributes to one’s personal intellectual worth by positively orienting her toward acquaintance with God. Since wholeheartedness consists of a hierarchy of the will that prioritizes a desire for union with God, wholeheartedness aims towards the epistemic good of acquaintance. By desiring that one have a will that wills union with God, she cooperates with God toward wholeheartedness. As one becomes aware of her volitional structure ...


John The Solitary's Epistle To Marcianus: Edition, Translation, And Analysis, Ethan K. Laster Aug 2019

John The Solitary's Epistle To Marcianus: Edition, Translation, And Analysis, Ethan K. Laster

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This thesis presents an edition, translation, and analysis of the heretofore unpublished Epistle to Marcianus, an early fifth-century letter attributed to Mar John the Solitary of Apamea. Mar John has long remained a somewhat shadowy figure in Syriac studies, given the complexities of his writings, confusion about what texts should be attributed to him, and his condemnation as a heretic by later Syriac writers. However, scholars have recently begun suggesting that Mar John was in fact quite influential in the development of Syriac ascetic theology. The Epistle to Marcianus (EpMar) considers the passion of lust, which is personified as the ...


Theology Of Arcavatara And The Eucharist: A Comparative Study, James Adeoye May 2019

Theology Of Arcavatara And The Eucharist: A Comparative Study, James Adeoye

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The diversity in the world today is undeniable and quite imposing. The claim to uniqueness and universality of faith in each religious system cannot be sustained without factoring the implications and impacts of this claim on the well-being of humanity and reality hermeneutics. The postmodern world favors pluralism and encourages mutual respect for particular opinion, praxis, faith, theology and all forms of epistemology as they exist in the individual culture, religion and society. With this in mind, this work is a comparative analysis of the notion of avatars in Vaishnavism, a religious sect in Hinduism and the concept of the ...


Spiritual Struggle And Gregory Of Nyssa’S Theory Of Perpetual Ascent: An Orthodox Christian Virtue Ethic, Stephen M. Meawad May 2019

Spiritual Struggle And Gregory Of Nyssa’S Theory Of Perpetual Ascent: An Orthodox Christian Virtue Ethic, Stephen M. Meawad

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This project utilizes virtue ethics as an especially suitable lens by which to develop an Orthodox Christian ethical model generally. At the same time, virtue ethics carries with it some complexities that are in turn mitigated by the particulars of this Orthodox model—spiritual struggle and perpetual progress, or epektasis. Spiritual struggle in this project, which ultimately shifts the emphasis from virtue’s acquisition to its pursuit, is defined as the exertion of effort in all conceivable dimensions—physical, emotional, psychological, intellectual, and spiritual—with intent to attain a semblance of, knowledge of, and intimacy with Jesus Christ in community ...


An Exploration Of The Context And Ecclesiastical Investigations Of The Virgin's Reported Appearance In Knock, Ireland In 1879, Erin Meikle May 2019

An Exploration Of The Context And Ecclesiastical Investigations Of The Virgin's Reported Appearance In Knock, Ireland In 1879, Erin Meikle

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

On August 21, 1879, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, and the Lamb of God reportedly appeared in Knock, Ireland. Ecclesiastical authorities of the Roman Catholic Church investigated this reported apparition in 1879 and again in 1936. The first chapter of this paper explores the processes by which the Church investigates alleged apparitions and considers different models for conceptualizing the Church. The second chapter unpacks the context of two nineteenth century French apparitions. The third chapter explores the Knock apparition and the immediate historical context surrounding the apparition. The analyses in the first two chapters serve ...


A Praxis Of Oral Homiletics: Preaching From The Heart, Weiwen Tu May 2019

A Praxis Of Oral Homiletics: Preaching From The Heart, Weiwen Tu

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Christian preaching has been a central and significant custom to the practitioners of biblically confessional and creedal communities in worship, evangelization, and discipleship. Yet modern preachers confront two challenges presented by the New Homiletic and the media environment. Undue favor toward narrative-based form, audience-oriented eventfulness at the expense of biblical authority, and shifting media that alter the preacher’s identity and incapacitate the preacher’s orality have led to a dissonant handling of form and content and thus a profound decline in the quality of the Christian pulpit.

This project grows out of an attempt to integrate an Augustinian hermeneutic ...


American Converts To Islam, Post-Conversion Experiences Post 9/11, Muhammad Abdelhakam Kolila Jan 2019

American Converts To Islam, Post-Conversion Experiences Post 9/11, Muhammad Abdelhakam Kolila

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

American converts to Islam and their post-conversion experiences do not attract the attention of many researchers and policy makers in the United States. They have been understudied or overlooked as they are positioned at the margins of studies of Islam and in Muslim communities in the US. Interest in and attention to converts to Islam, however, is triggered once a few embrace an extreme worldview, especially if they join a terrorist group. Therefore, this research intends to add the complexity and diversity of post-conversion experiences of American converts to Islam to the literature of conversion to Islam studies in the ...


Reclaiming The Radical Economic Message Of Luke, David Dean Mimier King Jan 2019

Reclaiming The Radical Economic Message Of Luke, David Dean Mimier King

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Of the four canonical gospels of the New Testament, the one most concerned with poverty, wealth, and the ethics of possession is Luke. It contains more economic material and a sharper message than do Mark, Matthew, or John. A centuries-long debate rages over just how revolutionary Luke’s message is. This dissertation employs redactional, literary, statistical, historical, and theological methodologies to recover Luke’s radical economic message, to place it in its ancient context, and to tease out its prophetic implications for today. It argues that Luke has a radical message of good news for the poor and a call ...


Social Belonging And Built Space: Using Contact, Contention, And Common Conditions To Create Multicultural And Multifaith Shared-Space In A Repurposed Aurora, Colorado Church, Kassandra Irene Soppas Neiss Jan 2019

Social Belonging And Built Space: Using Contact, Contention, And Common Conditions To Create Multicultural And Multifaith Shared-Space In A Repurposed Aurora, Colorado Church, Kassandra Irene Soppas Neiss

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Global patterns of human displacement and migration are diversifying the user base of urban churches. This change produces new settings of cross-cultural encounter and adaptation of social space. This study examines the transition of a Lutheran church into a multifaith and multicultural community center. In Aurora, Colorado, a majority-minority city, the facility offers vital support for immigrants, refugees, and low-income community members while maintaining links with [previous] congregants. Using ethnographic methods, I explore the cultural dimensions of repurposed space for a diverse constituency. Discussed herein are the ways in which the physical space is interpreted, how contention and divergent experiences ...


"En El Poder Del Espíritu:" A Qualitative Research Study On Social Ethics/Theology Among U.S. Latina/O Pentecostals, Néstor A. Gómez Morales Jan 2019

"En El Poder Del Espíritu:" A Qualitative Research Study On Social Ethics/Theology Among U.S. Latina/O Pentecostals, Néstor A. Gómez Morales

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

ABSTRACT

Are most US Latina/o pentecostals concerned about sharing the gospel without having any interest in the reality of oppression, discrimination, and marginalization? Are they just dancing and singing in their temples, having ecstasies and emotional experiences while ignoring the poor and their social struggle? Many scholars see US Latina/o pentecostalism as a tradition with an anemic social ethic, one that lacks any significant interest in the needs of the poorest in society. However, new research on progressive pentecostals shows a different panorama. The theological perspectives and social ethics of a vast sector of US Latina/o churches ...


Hope As A Strategy: Messianism In The Philosophy Of Emmanuel Levinas, Gary Ray Sunshine Jan 2019

Hope As A Strategy: Messianism In The Philosophy Of Emmanuel Levinas, Gary Ray Sunshine

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This essay is an explication of the role of messianism, often expressed as hope, in the work of Emmanuel Levinas. Levinas's single philosophical project from 1933 until his passing in 1996 was to establish ethics as first philosophy. This effort was in opposition to the primacy of ontology in the work of Martin Heidegger. Levinas uses a phenomenological method similar to Heidegger's to establish messianic hope as a fundamental human motivation. Throughout Levinas's work, he borrows a religious vocabulary from his Jewish heritage that he resets into a philosophical domain. He takes a religious concept of messianism ...


Exploring The Lived Religious Experiences Of Gay And Lesbian Ordained Clergy In The United Methodist Church, Tracy Allen Temple Jan 2019

Exploring The Lived Religious Experiences Of Gay And Lesbian Ordained Clergy In The United Methodist Church, Tracy Allen Temple

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The United Methodist Church (UMC) as an institution has strict language against lesbian and gay people and against the ordination of the lesbian and gay people. Prior research has focused on how denominations and congregations discuss issues around sexuality, how attitudes have shifted around issues of sexuality, and how to provide spiritual care for the LGBTQ+ community. This qualitative study interviewed lesbian and gay ordained elders in the UMC to learn about their experiences of serving as clergy people in the UMC even though there are prohibitive statements in church documents. Firstly, the interviews revealed that the participants feel loved ...


A Disability Theology Of Limits For Responding To Moral Injury, Lisa Hickman Dec 2018

A Disability Theology Of Limits For Responding To Moral Injury, Lisa Hickman

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The lament of Jeremiah, “they dress the wound of my people as if it were not serious,” reverberates today as veterans return home from a decade of war, ridden by PTSD and moral injury, only to discover lethargy, lack of seriousness and complacency in societal response. The seriousness of our soldiers’ wounds, to body and spirit alike, demand ethical, societal and theological responsibility. Failure to address the seriousness of these wounds results in distress, depression and even suicide for the soldier. Statistics may describe a portion of the reality, but the degree to which soldiers suffer in silence and the ...


Worry In The Pews: Exploring Levels And Causes Of Worry Among Church-Goers, Jennifer Lee Dec 2018

Worry In The Pews: Exploring Levels And Causes Of Worry Among Church-Goers, Jennifer Lee

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

A large body of research indicates that worry, anxiety, and depression are present in the modern American psyche at increasingly high levels. Everyday worry can lead to further mental health issues, interpersonal problems, and reduced physical wellbeing and should be reduced when possible. Previous research has examined the benefits of church attendance with varied results; however, understanding the relationship between church attendance and everyday worry could be useful in reducing the effects of worry on this population.

The purpose of this quantitative study was to measure self-reported levels and causes of everyday worry among church-goers from three congregations and to ...


The Emperor's New Clothes: How The New Atheists Are Reminding The Humanities Of Their Place And Purpose In Society., David Ira Buckner Dec 2018

The Emperor's New Clothes: How The New Atheists Are Reminding The Humanities Of Their Place And Purpose In Society., David Ira Buckner

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation will examine the social and intellectual impact of the so-called “New Atheism” as evidenced by the writings and public careers of its four principal protagonists: evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, philosopher Daniel Dennett, journalist Christopher Hitchens, and neuroscientist Sam Harris. I will argue that the New Atheists together provide an account of reality philosophically superior to that of theism, including those superficially sophisticated variations espoused in the writings of scholars William Lane Craig, John Lennox, Allister McGrath, Alvin Plantinga, etc. Yet, even if this were not so, I would still contend that the accessible, informative, and provocative style of ...


The Psychology Of Self-Surrender: A Contemplative-Hermeneutic Study, Danny Sharara Aug 2018

The Psychology Of Self-Surrender: A Contemplative-Hermeneutic Study, Danny Sharara

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation examines the psycho-spiritual significance of self-surrender as a mode of being and experiencing. The author seeks to generate meaningful knowledge of self-surrender through a methodology that follows from the distinct nature of self-surrender as a psycho-spiritual/religious phenomenon that is grounded in direct experience. As such, this study draws on an integrative methodology that synthesizes elements of applied hermeneutics with autoethnography and contemplative practice. The author conducts an applied hermeneutic analysis of two psycho-spiritual texts; one that is rooted in the Zen Buddhist tradition and the other from the Sufi tradition. This is followed by a thematic analysis ...


Agreeing To Submit: Authority Constructions In Modern Sunni Islam, Trevor E. Wolff Aug 2018

Agreeing To Submit: Authority Constructions In Modern Sunni Islam, Trevor E. Wolff

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

In the modern age, Sunni communities are often claimed to be in a moment of crisis. However, despite outward arguments about this crisis, Sunni communities are more accurately described as within a state of transformation. By analyzing constructions of authority from Sayyid Qutb, the clerical establishment of Saudi Arabia, and the greater American Muslim communities, Sunni theology is best seen as seeking out methods to transform and re-center authority within Sunni communities.


Explaining The Obvious: Privileged Hermeneutics And The Irony Of Explicitly Literal Interpretation, Joshua Alkire May 2018

Explaining The Obvious: Privileged Hermeneutics And The Irony Of Explicitly Literal Interpretation, Joshua Alkire

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this thesis is to examine why so many uses of the word literal (whether taken from everyday contemporary speech or the works of well-respected ancient writers) seem at odds with the word’s theoretical definition and to explore the implications of this disparity for those who privilege a literal interpretation of Scripture. The examples will show that the meaning of literal was not altered at a particular point in time, nor is it altered on an ongoing basis by a small subset of particularly idiosyncratic individuals. Rather, the word is predisposed to behave strangely the moment it ...


21st Century Trends In Conversation Concerning Women’S Roles In The Stone-Campbell Movement: 2000–2017, Wesley Racca May 2018

21st Century Trends In Conversation Concerning Women’S Roles In The Stone-Campbell Movement: 2000–2017, Wesley Racca

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This study examined the trends in conversation concerning women’s roles within two streams of the Stone-Campbell Movement, the Churches of Christ and the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, within the twenty-first century. In addition, it explored possible answers to the emerging questions from the study through thoughtful analysis, comparison, and observation of the present trends in conversation. The data were accumulated, organized, charted, and analyzed by researching every article and issue of the primary publication of each stream, The Christian Chronicle and The Christian Standard, to gauge the intensity and attention given to the issue. While there were no ...


Communication Ethics: Ellul's Complexity Of Form, Marianne Pabis May 2018

Communication Ethics: Ellul's Complexity Of Form, Marianne Pabis

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This project aims to enlarge understanding of Ellul’s dilemma of the ethical Christian communicator through a hermeneutic exploration of his intentionally un-paradigmatic treatment of technology as the determining factor in the formation of contemporary structural realities, a claim central to Ellul’s theory of technological society. It attends to the question of why, over the course of more than 50 books and over 1,000 articles, Ellul has refused to expound upon this claim as an overarching theoretical construct. As a contribution to the field of communication ethics from Ellul’s Christocentric perspective, this work also explicates the importance ...


A Theological Analysis Of Confessional-Centric Curriculum Of Christian Religious Education: Towards An Inclusive Religious Pluralistic Centered Curriculum For Nigeria Colleges Of Education, Ilesanmi Ajibola May 2018

A Theological Analysis Of Confessional-Centric Curriculum Of Christian Religious Education: Towards An Inclusive Religious Pluralistic Centered Curriculum For Nigeria Colleges Of Education, Ilesanmi Ajibola

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Desire to live in peace and unity despite the multi ethnic and multi religious composition of Nigeria, remain ideals that are constant in the nation’s Constitution. However, accruable benefits of a culturally and religiously pluralistic society have continued to elude Nigeria due to incessant religious violence arising from the mutual suspicion of Christians and Muslims in the country. Nevertheless, the nation’s National Policy on Education proposes the education sector as one of the platforms to inculcate a sense of unity and religious tolerance in the country. The policy considers the nation’s learning centers and religious courses offered ...


Jon Sobrino’S Liberation Christology And Its Implication For The “Crucified People” Of The Niger Delta Region In Nigeria., Augustine Wayii May 2018

Jon Sobrino’S Liberation Christology And Its Implication For The “Crucified People” Of The Niger Delta Region In Nigeria., Augustine Wayii

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The thesis was carried out to investigate Sobrino’s liberation Christology and its implication for the “crucified people” of Niger Delta region in Nigeria. The thesis became very crucial because God’s gift of oil to the Niger Delta region has become a source of sorrow and death as a result of unjust structures by the Nigerian government and the multinational oil companies. Sobrino’s liberation Christology was very much appropriate for this research work because of the way he uses the present-day crucified people to understand better the crucified Christ. The “crucified people” in the Niger Delta region like ...


The Church As A Eucharistic And Prophetic Community In India: A Theological Exploration Into The Challenges And Implications Of A Eucharistic Ecclesiology Based On The Early Church And The Statements Of The Indian Theological Association (Ita), Shibi Devasia May 2018

The Church As A Eucharistic And Prophetic Community In India: A Theological Exploration Into The Challenges And Implications Of A Eucharistic Ecclesiology Based On The Early Church And The Statements Of The Indian Theological Association (Ita), Shibi Devasia

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Theological trends change from time to time to make the faith more meaningful and relevant to the contemporary context. To an extent, the Second Vatican Council, by its commitment to two concepts, “ressourcement” and “aggiornamento,” succeeded in this mission in the last century. The communion ecclesiology of the Council, which has its foundation in the sacrament of Eucharist, shows that the centrality of the Eucharist in the Church cannot be overlooked, because the ecclesial body of the Church is built up by the Eucharistic body of Christ. Any Eucharist-centered ecclesiology is prophetic and eschatological by nature. The “Eucharistic” and ...


Jean-Luc Marion And Gianni Vattimo’S Contributions For The Postmodern Faith, Michael Mcgravey May 2018

Jean-Luc Marion And Gianni Vattimo’S Contributions For The Postmodern Faith, Michael Mcgravey

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Catholic theology in the postmodern era has encountered various cultural or narrative shifts—both negative and positive—which have helped shape the Roman Catholic Church and Christianity at large. Negatively, the Church has been affected by external factors (e.g., globalization, immigration/emigration, increased access to technology, etc.) and internal struggles (e.g., reduced church attendance, an aging population, etc.). Positively, as others have suggested, postmodernity has ushered in a return to religion through new philosophical and theological ideas (e.g., phenomenology, existentialism, post-metaphysics, etc.). This dissertation aims to contribute to the ongoing postmodern concerns addressed in the cultural and ...


The Core Relation Between Hospitality (Philoxenia), Dignity And Vulnerability In Orthodox Christian Bioethics: A Contribution To Global Bioethics, Rabee Toumi May 2018

The Core Relation Between Hospitality (Philoxenia), Dignity And Vulnerability In Orthodox Christian Bioethics: A Contribution To Global Bioethics, Rabee Toumi

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

In a pluralistic world, reaching consensus in matters of bioethics has proved to be difficult, especially with the political polarization that nurtures inimical differences. This dissertation argues that a middle ground can be identified between the plurality of value systems in contemporary bioethics based on an anthropological approach. This middle ground that reflects commonalities of the human condition can be explored in relation to the foundational principles of Orthodox Christian anthropology. To identify this middle ground the analysis discusses the core relation between hospitality, dignity, and vulnerability as a contribution to global bioethics.

In general, based on Orthodox Christian theology ...


Life Satisfaction Typologies Among Roman Catholic Secular Clergy: A Q Methodological Investigation, Raju Antony May 2018

Life Satisfaction Typologies Among Roman Catholic Secular Clergy: A Q Methodological Investigation, Raju Antony

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Life satisfaction typologies among Roman Catholic secular clergy were studied using a Q methodological design. Using Q-Assessor, a web-based tool for Q methodological studies, 33 priests sorted and ranked 34 predetermined statements about their life satisfaction. By-person factor analysis and varimax rotation extracted three predominant category prototypes – pro-spirituals, professionals, and pro-relationals– representing three different views regarding the life satisfaction of clergy. The findings led to the creation of an explanatory model recognizing a multi-factorial pathway to understanding clergy life satisfaction.


Postwar Churches Of Christ Mission Work: The Philippines As A Case Study, Brady Kal Cox May 2018

Postwar Churches Of Christ Mission Work: The Philippines As A Case Study, Brady Kal Cox

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

There was a large increase in the number of Churches of Christ missionaries and missionary efforts following World War II (WWII). There were also significant changes and developments in American religious culture following WWII—Churches of Christ were not exempt from these changes. This study examines the question of how postwar developments in American religion influenced missionary efforts of American Churches of Christ by looking at examples of American missionaries in the Philippines.

The study relies heavily on primary sources, including letters and news reports from archival collections, Churches of Christ periodicals, and email correspondence with people familiar with the ...


A Critical Interpretation Of Olivier Roy: On Globalization, The Cosmopolitan And Emerging Post-Secular Religiosities, Joshua Rey Ramos Jan 2018

A Critical Interpretation Of Olivier Roy: On Globalization, The Cosmopolitan And Emerging Post-Secular Religiosities, Joshua Rey Ramos

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

My thesis is that secularization transforms religion into religiosity. In other words, the secular breaks apart religion, or rather, 'deculturates' religion from a cohesive, collective body embedded within a particular society and within a traditional culture towards an individuated, and existential experience of faith within the autonomous religious subject. There are various reasons for this shift, as there are various consequences. Globalization, which is modernization writ large, is the dominant paradigm through which I conceptualize these changes. The theorist whose work I use as a lens to interpret secularization, religion and societal transformation is Olivier Roy. Roy's theories are ...


Living Through Terror And Terror Through Living: The Biopolitical Dimensions Of Religion, Security And Terrorism, Donnie Featherston Jan 2018

Living Through Terror And Terror Through Living: The Biopolitical Dimensions Of Religion, Security And Terrorism, Donnie Featherston

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Recent emphasis and attention by thinkers, media pundits, and politicians on terrorism requires new, critical evaluation of the processes by which terrorism is understood. By investigating the concept of biopolitics, as developed specifically through Michel Foucault and Giorgio Agamben, new insights into the interactions between terrorism, politics, and religion can emerge. Most notably, the attempts to explain terror as simply an economic problem, an excessive form of violence, and/or as religious fervency gone awry rely on embedded biopolitical concepts. The continual attempts to solve terrorism through increased biopolitical strategies, thereby making terrorism a problem for biopolitics, only further substantiate ...