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Theses/Dissertations

Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

2019

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Full-Text Articles in Religion

Ephesians And Ecumenism, Toby Eisenberg Dec 2019

Ephesians And Ecumenism, Toby Eisenberg

Religious Studies Theses and Dissertations

Christian ecumenism has made great strides during the twentieth century but is now widely seen as needing a new path. Avery Dulles has proposed an “exchange of gifts” notion of dialogue in which the participant churches share their understanding of the Christian life and all of the reasons they have for holding their particular doctrines and practices, drawing on whatever normative sources they believe are appropriate. The approach enables the participants to bear testimony in love in the hopes that they may better understand and appreciate each other more fully, thereby opening a path to increased doctrinal consensus and thus ...


The Unmarried (M)Other: A Study Of Christianity, Capitalism, And Counternarratives Concerning Motherhood And Marriage In The United States And South Africa, Haley Feuerbacher Dec 2019

The Unmarried (M)Other: A Study Of Christianity, Capitalism, And Counternarratives Concerning Motherhood And Marriage In The United States And South Africa, Haley Feuerbacher

Religious Studies Theses and Dissertations

A reified and patriarchal form of Christianity that emphasizes “family values” – that is, adherence to the formula of a male-headed, heterosexual, capitalist, nuclear family, characterized by distinct, complementary, and hierarchical gender roles as essential to the well-being of individuals, one’s nation, and the ecumenical Church - over “community values” has become a happy bedfellow of the market system and neocolonialism, extending its reach worldwide through globalization. The result is that single mothers constitute the most economically oppressed demographic internationally across all race and ethnic categories. Using Constructivist Grounded Theory and a postcolonial feminist theological lens to collect, retell, and evaluate ...


'Poverty Of Particularity:' Reconciling Divine Transcendence And Imminence Using Gregory Palamas' Essence-Energies Distinction, Luke Erdahl Dec 2019

'Poverty Of Particularity:' Reconciling Divine Transcendence And Imminence Using Gregory Palamas' Essence-Energies Distinction, Luke Erdahl

Undergraduate Honors Theses

In this essay, I defend Gregory Palamas’ distinction between the essence of God and the energies of God and describe how it can be used to reconcile commitments of divine transcendence and divine imminence without compromising commonly-held attributes of God. I argue that divine transcendence is total and this prevents us from making catophatic statements about the divine essence. On the other hand, I argue that God is imminent and must be able to interact with the world in some way, as well as be described and known by intelligent creation. I posit that this is fulfilled by the divine ...


A Power Man’S Theology: Marvel’S Luke Cage And Black Liberation Theology, Diarron B. Morrison Dec 2019

A Power Man’S Theology: Marvel’S Luke Cage And Black Liberation Theology, Diarron B. Morrison

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Netflix released Marvel’s Luke Cage in 2016 to critical acclaim. Born from a 1970s comic book, the series features Luke Cage, an African-American superhero. Cage is a big, bald, bulletproof black man. Instead of tights and a cape, Cage wears a hoodie calling the audience to remember Trayvon Martin and other victims of white racism. Theologian James Cone created Black Liberation Theology in the 1970s. As a result of Cone’s work, Black Liberation Theology addresses the issue of white racism from a theological standpoint. In this thesis I present a close reading of Marvel’s Luke Cage using ...


An Evaluative Framework For The Improvement Of Religious Practice In The Context Of Pluralism, Benjamin Ford Dardas Dec 2019

An Evaluative Framework For The Improvement Of Religious Practice In The Context Of Pluralism, Benjamin Ford Dardas

Theses and Dissertations

Pluralism presents a troubling epistemic problem in that the inability to determine whether or not significant portions of a given religion’s cosmological and metaphysical belief set actually correspond to reality. Within this standstill there seems to be no way to prove yet alone maximize the epistemic rationality of continued religious practice, as each religion will claim to have a unique source of knowledge the others do not. However, if we set aside these unverifiable disputes, there remains an often underemphasized common thread: religions each have a conception of how this world ought to be. These conceptions involve how members ...


Worship-Worthiness And Absolute Perfection: Towards An Account Of Supreme Worship-Worthiness, Austin Mccoy Dec 2019

Worship-Worthiness And Absolute Perfection: Towards An Account Of Supreme Worship-Worthiness, Austin Mccoy

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Theists and non-theists alike have generally taken absolute perfection to be a necessary condition for worship-worthiness. Unless the object is absolutely perfect, it is often put, the kinds of attitudes or actions constitutive of worship are unwarranted. In this thesis, I offer an account of worship-worthiness that does not take for granted that to be worship-worthy is to be absolutely perfect. More specifically, I advance the claim that to be absolutely perfect is to be supremely worship-worthy and that supreme worship-worthiness holds a unique position in this respect. For instance, I argue that to be absolutely perfect and thus supremely ...


Augustine's Concept Of Volition And Its Significance For The Doctrine Of Original Sin, Scot Bontrager Aug 2019

Augustine's Concept Of Volition And Its Significance For The Doctrine Of Original Sin, Scot Bontrager

Religious Studies Theses and Dissertations

Augustine has been credited as the inventor of the concept of volition (the will), and yet it is not clear from this claim exactly what his concept of volition is. His understanding of the human person, especially his theory of volition, has had profound implications for much of the theological work which followed. This thesis examines various concepts which influenced Augustine’s notion of volition, contemporary ways of understanding volition, and what Augustine himself believed about it. Since the will is central to Augustine’s description of the human person and the human condition a careful examination of the concept ...


Setting The Stage And Building Homes: Architecture Metaphors And Space In Donne's First Caroline Sermon, Alexander S. Laws Aug 2019

Setting The Stage And Building Homes: Architecture Metaphors And Space In Donne's First Caroline Sermon, Alexander S. Laws

University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations

Through his use of "foundation" and "house" metaphors in his "First Sermon Preached to King Charles at St. James, 3 April 1625," John Donne discreetly presents his ideologies and principles before the new king, while simultaneously criticizing his contemporaries' misguided bickering over religio-political factions. This essay seeks to unpack the history surrounding, as well as the casuistical logic found within Donne's first sermon preached during the Caroline period, which both explicitly and implicitly addresses the foremost anxieties of the people of the changing age.


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 ...


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 ...


Erotic Devotional Poetry: Resisting Neoplatonism In Protestant Christianity, Sarah M. Pruis Jun 2019

Erotic Devotional Poetry: Resisting Neoplatonism In Protestant Christianity, Sarah M. Pruis

Honors Projects

A genre best known for its appearance in Eastern religions, erotic devotional poetry uses sensual imagery to access an experience of the divine. Historically, many Christian traditions, excluding the mystical ones, have pushed back against such literature, seeing it as an impure model that degrades divinity by association with the physical, especially in the specific physical ritual of sex. This stance is a hallmark of Protestant Christianity. The idea of a dichotomy and hierarchy between soul and body, though, comes not from theology but from the introduction theologians made between Western philosophy, particularly Platonic Dualism, and Christianity, which was then ...


Navigating Chinese Culture And Politics: The Destinies Of Companies In China, Vicki Chen May 2019

Navigating Chinese Culture And Politics: The Destinies Of Companies In China, Vicki Chen

Master's Projects and Capstones

It is generally accepted that the colossal Chinese market offers great opportunities for dynamic entrepreneurial businesses, as well as individuals, but it also means that there are more potential obstacles to be aware of and to overcome than in smaller countries. This study will show how successful businesses in the Chinese market are directly influenced by China’s unique culture, religious beliefs, codes of behavior and political policies. It will also show ignorance or unawareness of these influences can lead to a loss of business or even total failure.

Indeed, a lack of understanding of these influences has been the ...


The Practice Of Children’S Ministry: Developing A Cohesive Vision Of Practice With Church Leaders, Shannon Clarkson Rains May 2019

The Practice Of Children’S Ministry: Developing A Cohesive Vision Of Practice With Church Leaders, Shannon Clarkson Rains

Doctor of Ministry Project/Theses

The purpose of this project was to create a congregational workshop for church leaders that leads to the development of a cohesive vision for the practice of children’s ministry. In order to do this, I began by presenting the evolution of children’s ministry in the Churches of Christ along with the current tensions that exist between ministers and church leadership created by a lack of cohesive vision for the practice of children’s ministry. This foundational understanding of the origins of this tension supports my discussion of a vision for children’s ministry that includes attention to the ...


The Sacralization Of Absolute Power: God's Power And Women's Subordination In The Southern Baptist Convention, Sydney Smith May 2019

The Sacralization Of Absolute Power: God's Power And Women's Subordination In The Southern Baptist Convention, Sydney Smith

Honors Projects

No abstract provided.


Potentials, Actuals, And The Logical Problem Of Evil, Stephen Thomas Irby May 2019

Potentials, Actuals, And The Logical Problem Of Evil, Stephen Thomas Irby

Theses and Dissertations

J.L. Schellenberg has recently formulated a new logical problem of evil that is claimed to avoid Alvin Plantinga’s Free Will Defence. I begin my argument against this new formulation by analyzing the grounding for some of God’s maximal perfections. God’s maximal moral perfection, for example, is grounded in virtuous potentialities that are disposed to the actualization of virtuous actions. From this account, I argue that Schellenberg’s logical problem of evil fails due to one of the following two reasons. First, some good actualizations of good potentialities require evil but compose the best worlds. Second, both ...


"We Are Strangers In This Life": Theology, Liminality, And The Exiled In Anglo-Saxon Literature, Nathan John Haydon May 2019

"We Are Strangers In This Life": Theology, Liminality, And The Exiled In Anglo-Saxon Literature, Nathan John Haydon

Theses and Dissertations

In “‘We Are Strangers in this Life’: Theology, Liminality, and the Exiled in Anglo-Saxon Literature,” I analyze the theme of exile in the theological literature of the Anglo-Saxon era as a way of conveying the spiritual condition of eschatological separation. The anthropological theory of liminality will be applied in this dissertation as a way of contextualizing the existence of the exiled, and the multiple ways in which exile is enacted. The intervention of the theory of liminality in this dissertation offers a methodology and vocabulary for assessing what exile means in terms of a spiritual identity, how it operates in ...


Atheist Controversy In The United Church Of Canada: A Review Of Gretta Vosper, Jacob A. Shaw Apr 2019

Atheist Controversy In The United Church Of Canada: A Review Of Gretta Vosper, Jacob A. Shaw

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Rev. Gretta Vosper (1958–), currently a serving United Church of Canada Minister in Scarborough, Ontario, has sparked debate in Canadian religious circles as a self-proclaimed atheist. In 2015, her unorthodox approach to public worship and her media statements about the high concentration of atheism among Ministers in the United Church brought matters to a head, and Vosper came under formal review by the Church’s Toronto Conference Ministry Personnel Committee. Meantime, the surrounding controversy left many people asking questions about what the United Church of Canada really believes. This thesis will examine the origins, progress and implications of the Vosper ...


Reasoning Of The Highest Leibniz And The Moral Quality Of Reason, Ryan Quandt Apr 2019

Reasoning Of The Highest Leibniz And The Moral Quality Of Reason, Ryan Quandt

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Loving God is our highest perfection for Leibniz. It secures our belief and trust in the Creator, which is integral to the sciences as well as faith. Those who love God have justification for reasoning, that is, they can rationally expect to arrive at truth. This is because love is a receptivity to the perfection all of things; loving God, then, is a disposition and tendency toward the most perfect being, the ens perfectissimum. Individuals who perceive the divine nature “do not merely fear the power of the supreme and all-seeing monarch,” Leibniz writes, “but are assured of his beneficence ...


Reconsidering The Roman Catholic Apocrypha, Alex Andersen Apr 2019

Reconsidering The Roman Catholic Apocrypha, Alex Andersen

Classical Conversations

For centuries, Protestants have debated with Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians over the canonicity of the Roman Catholic Apocrypha, a collection of seven books and two additions to books composed from the third century B.C. to the first century A.D. and considered to be canonical by all major non-Protestant Christian denominations. This thesis plunges into this discussion on the Roman Catholic Apocrypha’s canonicity, contending that the Roman Catholic Apocrypha is noncanonical. First, this thesis propounds two broad models for canonicity, the Community Canon Model and the Intrinsic Canon Model, and maintains that the Intrinsic Canon Model is ...


The Theological Anthropology Of St. Gregory Of Nyssa, Marcus Mccormick Apr 2019

The Theological Anthropology Of St. Gregory Of Nyssa, Marcus Mccormick

Dissertations and Theses

No abstract provided.


(Re-) Staging Translation: Meaningful Interaction With Hindu Devotional Objects In The Western Museum, Emma Efkeman Apr 2019

(Re-) Staging Translation: Meaningful Interaction With Hindu Devotional Objects In The Western Museum, Emma Efkeman

Undergraduate Honors Theses

In this thesis, the Hindu devotional object will be tracked through many contexts and its role will change based on its geographic and cultural location. First, the original ritual context will be established, paying specific attention to ceremonial processes and actions that activate the objects. Next, I will sketch the approaches to interpretation used in the two museum spaces. In this movement between spaces, the Hindu object is de- and then re-contextualized. Museums can discover from this narrative the many ways that meaning is constructed, within and outside of a Western framework. It is this pivotal period of re-contextualization that ...


The Theological Thesis: Theology's Role In Western Epistemology, Thomas Rubino Apr 2019

The Theological Thesis: Theology's Role In Western Epistemology, Thomas Rubino

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The Theological Thesis explores faith and theology within, and tangential to, knowledge throughout the course of Western epistemological history. Chapter I studies qualifications for truth and knowledge in the pre-Enlightenment epistemologies of Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Saint Thomas Aquinas (c. 1224-1274) and William of Ockham (c. 1285-1345) to uncover how the understanding of faith’s relationship with knowledge changed throughout the Middle Ages. Chapter II does the same for the epistemologies of Enlightenment contemporaries David Hume (1711-1776) and Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834), surveying epistemic modifications to the aforementioned relationship in the so-called Age of Reason. Chapter III looks at the ...


Creating An Indigenous Multicultural Faith: The Russian Orthodox Mission In Alaska And The Centrality Of Cosmology, Niklaus Von Houck Mar 2019

Creating An Indigenous Multicultural Faith: The Russian Orthodox Mission In Alaska And The Centrality Of Cosmology, Niklaus Von Houck

History Undergraduate Theses

This paper applies letters, journals, history interviews, government-company contracts, international treaties, theological works, and images to examine the convergence of Russian Orthodox Christianity and Alaskan Indigenous shamanism cultures to explicate the harmonizing of an Indigenous multicultural Christian faith in nineteenth-century Russian Alaska. Central to this examination is the evaluation of effects of Orthodox Christian missiology on native Alaskans and the Indigenous religio-cultural response to Russian missionaries. Not merely a historical overview of contact between natives and missionaries in Russian Alaska, this paper harmonizes the commonality of cosmology between native Alaskan shamanism and Orthodox Christianity. It analyzes the impacts of comparatively ...


A Non-Dualistic Reading Of Body And Soul In The Gospel Of Matthew: Focusing On Matthew 10:39 In The Context Of Discipleship, Alexander Blechle Feb 2019

A Non-Dualistic Reading Of Body And Soul In The Gospel Of Matthew: Focusing On Matthew 10:39 In The Context Of Discipleship, Alexander Blechle

School of Theology and Seminary Graduate Papers/Theses

The aim of this paper is to suggest a non-dualistic reading of σωμα and ψυχή in the Gospel of Matthew, which will reveal a better understanding of ψυχή in Matthew 10:39, especially in the context of discipleship. Three perspectives of body and soul will be considered: The Platonic, Middle-Platonic, and Matthean.


Andraé Edward Crouch's Musical And Theological Pursuits: An Analysis Of Three Pieces From The Just Andraé Album, Stephen Michael Newby Jan 2019

Andraé Edward Crouch's Musical And Theological Pursuits: An Analysis Of Three Pieces From The Just Andraé Album, Stephen Michael Newby

Seattle Pacific Seminary Theses

Each generation of musical artists challenges its audience according to the needs and the tenor of the times. Composer and musical prodigy Andraé Edward Crouch is known as the father of Modern/Contemporary African American Gospel music. Crouch infused traditional gospel, black hymnody, elements of art song, concert music, jazz and R & B forms into his canon. This thesis explores Crouch’s work through the intersection of ideas on theology, imagination, race, poverty systems, liberty and social justice, as well as his convictions for reaching “the lost”, and challenging the church to evolve spiritually towards a greater advancement of God ...


The Greater Torment: Religious And Secular Desire In The Poetry And Criticism Of T.S. Eliot, Katie Buonanno Jan 2019

The Greater Torment: Religious And Secular Desire In The Poetry And Criticism Of T.S. Eliot, Katie Buonanno

Senior Projects Spring 2019

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Languages and Literature of Bard College.


A Survey Of The Pneumatology Of Ellet Joseph Waggoner In His Published Books And Pamphlets From 1883 – 1916, Ingram R. London Jan 2019

A Survey Of The Pneumatology Of Ellet Joseph Waggoner In His Published Books And Pamphlets From 1883 – 1916, Ingram R. London

Papers

The ministry of Ellet J. Waggoner and Alonzo T. Jones made an indelible mark on the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its theology through their proclamation of what has been coined “The 1888 Message.” In consequence, Waggoner has been studied extensively in Adventist academia as well as by laypersons. However, much of this study has focused on biographical data, interpersonal conflict between Waggoner and Ellen White, and most of all, Waggoner’s soteriology and Christology.

Despite the intense interest in Waggoner, no study to date has been published with a systematic explanation of Waggoner’s pneumatology. The purpose of this study ...


The Homecoming Of The Negro Spirit: Black Spiritual Intelligence As A Structural Form Of Intelligence, Quincy Brown Jan 2019

The Homecoming Of The Negro Spirit: Black Spiritual Intelligence As A Structural Form Of Intelligence, Quincy Brown

CMC Senior Theses

In Is Spirituality an Intelligence? Motivation, Cognition, and the concern of Psychology of Ultimate Concern, Robert Emmons develops a case for spirituality as a form of intelligence. His thesis claims that spiritual intelligence is a “set of capacities and abilities that enable people to solve problems and attain goals in their everyday lives”: “the capacity for transcendence; the ability to enter into heightened spiritual states of consciousness; the ability to invest everyday activities, events, and relationships with a sense of the sacred; the ability to utilize spiritual resources to solve problems in living; and the capacity to engage in ...


Toward A Biblical Theology Of God's Presence In Christian Theology: A Study Of How Difference Interpretations Of The Divine Presence Affect Liturgy, Karl Tsatalbasidis Jan 2019

Toward A Biblical Theology Of God's Presence In Christian Theology: A Study Of How Difference Interpretations Of The Divine Presence Affect Liturgy, Karl Tsatalbasidis

Dissertations

Problem

In spite of the universal agreement on the importance of the divine presence as the central aspect of liturgy, there are three conflicting ways in which the presence of God relates to liturgy. They broadly correspond to the main liturgical traditions: Sacramental (Roman Catholic), Kerygmatic (Protestant) and Charismatic (Pentecostal and Interdenominational). In our current situation, how does this universal agreement about the presence of God as the central aspect of liturgy relate to the conflicting means by which congregations assess his presence?

Purpose

The purpose of this study was (1) to describe how the three diverging views relate the ...


"Let Us Make 'Adam": An Edenic Model Of Personal Ontology, Marla A. Samaan Nedelcu Jan 2019

"Let Us Make 'Adam": An Edenic Model Of Personal Ontology, Marla A. Samaan Nedelcu

Dissertations

Personal ontology studies human constitution and human nature, an increasingly debated topic in Christian theology. Historically, the most prominent models of personal ontology in Christian theology have been substance dualist models. More recently, physicalist models have offered prominent alternatives. This dissertation studies the conflict of interpretations between these two major model groupings. By applying a canonical theology, it then presents an Edenic model of personal ontology that can address the current conflict of interpretations. To achieve this end, the dissertation briefly analyzes substance dualism and physicalism according to the rubrics of constitution and nature, using a model methodology. It then ...