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HDS Theses and Dissertations

Mostrando recursos 1 - 18 de 18

  1. "Earn the Grace of Prophecy": Early Christian Prophecy as Practice

    Choi, Jung Hyun
    This dissertation explores discussions of prophecy in early Christianity focusing on Origen of Alexandria’s works. It argues that Origen engages the contested terms of prophetic activity to persuade his audience(s) toward the cultivation of a particular moral self. The dissertation situates early Christian discourse on prophecy within a larger philosophical conversation in the Greco-Roman world from the first to fourth centuries C.E., in which cultivating a properly religious self involves discipline or askēsis. Some early Christian debates about prophecy are predicated on the idea that certain practices are necessary to be considered worthy of the indwelling of the divine/the Holy...

  2. Language and Religion in Modern India: The Vernacular Literature of Hindi Christians

    Peter Dass, Rakesh
    A persistent interest in a particular type of Christian witness is found in a substantial amount of Hindi-language Protestant (hereafter, ‘Hindi Christian’) literature in modern India. Across a range of texts like Hindi translations of the Bible, theo-ethical works, hymns, biblical commentaries, and poems, this literature calls attention to a form of Christian witness or discipleship that both is credible and recognizable and is public. This witness aims to be credibly Christian: as I will show, Hindi Christian texts have regularly rejected a Hindu concept like avătār in favor of a neologism like dehădhāran to communicate a Christian notion of incarnation...

  3. Sobre La Marcha: The Fiesta of Santiago Apostol in Loiza, Puerto Rico

    Vlassidis Burgoa, Maria Cristina
    The annual Fiesta of Santiago Apóstol is the most significant religious festival in Loíza, Puerto Rico. This dissertation examines this religious ritual applying an indigenous methodological approach I call sobre la marcha, meaning “on the move.” Sobre la marcha places at the center the voices and the stories of the people of Loíza. Focusing on people’s every day lives, or lo cotidiano, I bring to the forefront people’s lived experiences, their individual perspectives, and their indigenous ways of being. This ethnographic approach is known as ethnographies of the particular, privileging the people’s own stories, their feelings, sufferings, contradictions, aspirations, hopes,...

  4. The Origins of the Apocalypse of Abraham

    Paulsen-Reed, Amy Elizabeth
    The Apocalypse of Abraham, a pseudepigraphon only extant in a fourteenth century Old Church Slavonic manuscript, has not received much attention from scholars of Ancient Judaism, due in part to a lack of readily available information regarding the history and transmission of the Slavonic Pseudepigrapha. This dissertation examines the historical context of these works with the aim of assessing the probability that they contain ancient Jewish material. The rest of the dissertation is focused on the Apocalypse of Abraham specifically, discussing its date and provenance, original language, probability that it comes from Essene circles, textual unity, and Christian interpolations. This...

  5. Transforming Suffering: Insights From the Work of Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa

    Barros, Pearl Maria
    Gloria Anzaldúa’s understanding of suffering is inextricably connected to subjectivity and spirituality. Tracing her rethinking of stories/histories involving the violent dismemberment of female religious figures, specifically Teresa of Ávila and Coyolxauhqui, I show how Anzaldúa's critical engagement and creative reimagining of these stories/histories lead her to develop a conception of fragmentation and wholeness that resists dualistic epistemologies. For Anzaldúa, suffering emerges from dualism and the violence inherent in processes of categorization, especially as they function in identity formations. “Self,” Anzaldúa argues, cannot be neatly organized or fully understood; it is always in process. Writing, as an act of “spiritual activism,”...

  6. Adiaphora and the Apocalypse: Protestant Moral Rhetoric of Ritual at the End of History (1544 –1560)

    Yoder, Klaus C.
    This dissertation argues that the Protestant Reformation did not degrade the importance of ritual, but instead reinvested it with a new form of power. By interpreting a theological controversy over the benefits and dangers of “human ceremonies,” this project demonstrates how liturgical practices and implements made competing theologies materially present in moments of apocalyptic expectation. Following their defeat by emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire in 1547, German Protestants were supposed to assist in repairing the breakdown of the western Latin Church by accepting compromises in church ceremonies as “external things” that were immaterial to their core theological...

  7. Veiled and Unveiled Others: Revisiting Karl Barth's Gender Trouble

    Bodley-Dangelo, Faye
    Karl Barth is frequently named as the poster-child for modern patriarchal and heteronormative theologies. In Church Dogmatics he secures a binary, hierarchically-ordered, marital relationship between a man and woman as the norm for conceptualizing not only sexual difference but all inter-subjective relationships among human beings. Human beings find in the opposite sex their paradigmatic human “other,” and marriage to someone of the opposite sex provides the occasion in which one is able to most fully realize the sort of being-in-encounter that conforms to the self-giving, self-revealing, aid-lending relationship that Christ has established with the Christian community. The asymmetry of the...

  8. “Be You as Living Stones Built Up, a Spiritual House, a Holy Priesthood”: Cistercian Exegesis, Reform, and the Construction of Holy Architectures

    Baker, Timothy Michael
    The development of the Cistercian Order in the twelfth century came as a product of a number of eleventh-century reforms. These reforms affected all strata of society, and they impacted the way in which medieval European Christians viewed themselves, their social, political, and theological structures, the world around them, and their relationship to the Christian narrative of salvation history and eschatology. The early Cistercians built their “new monastery” (novum monasterium) upon an apostolic foundation of austerity and poverty, informed by a “return” to the Rule of Benedict as the program for their daily ritual and liturgical lives. These Cistercians centered...

  9. Violence and the Survival of Israel in the Book of Esther

    Wetzel, Thomas A.
    The book of Esther stands in a complex relationship to the Christian tradition. Accepted as canonical by ancient Israel, Judaism, and Christianity, the book nonetheless is known in the Church not for its powerful narrative of Jewish deliverance, but rather for the ways in which Christian interpreters have rejected the narrative as too violent and too “Jewish” to be normative in any way for Christians. Reading the Hebrew version of the Esther story preserved in the Masoretic Text, one at first notices the story’s complete lack of overt references to Israel, Torah, or even the God of Israel, suggesting to...

  10. ‘A Firestone of Divine Love’ Erotic Desire and the Ephemeral Flame of Hispanic Jesuit Mysticism

    Marin, Juan Miguel
    A Firestone of Divine Love serves as capstone of two years Jesuit ministry and fifteen of academic study. It extends nine articles into a book project to be published by Gorgias Press. Its original thesis appeared as: In the last decades of the sixteenth century the Society of Jesus prohibited its members the reading of several mystical texts. A theme that cuts across these texts is the use of erotic language to describe the relationship between the soul and God. I argue that behind the prohibition lies the fear that erotic desire would be a threat to a Jesuit masculine...

  11. Devotions of Desire: Changing Gods, Changing People at a Transylvanian Pilgrimage Site

    Loustau, Marc Roscoe
    This dissertation describes how desiring subjects make devotional worlds in times of radical change. I argue that what is centrally at stake for people who pass through the Şumuleu Ciuc (Hungarian: Csíksomlyó) pilgrimage site in Transylvania, Romania is the question of what makes a good Catholic in relation to the Virgin Mary. Disputes about this question revolve around notions of the desiring subject: What role should forms of sexual, material, and affective self-interest – or lack thereof – play in the life of Mary’s devotees and the life of the Mother of God herself? This formulation of desire and change...

  12. Empire and Ekklēsia: Mapping the Function of Ekklēsia Rhetoric in the Book of Revelation

    Mata, Roberto
    This dissertation explores the function of ekklēsia rhetoric in the Book of Revelation, and demonstrates its role in addressing various issues within the seven ekklēsiai and their inscribed rhetorical situation, including: the participation of eidōlothyta, the blasphemy of the so-called synagogue of Satan, and the pursuit of wealth. Contemporary reconstructions of the rhetorical situation of Revelation cast the assemblies as consolidated Christian churches and view the aforementioned issues as indicative of tensions between heretics and orthodox Christians, between church and synagogue, and/or between church and Greco-Roman society. Yet, such interpretations often reinscribe normative frameworks, the so-called parting of the ways,...

  13. Apophatic Measures: Toward a Theology of Irreducible Particularity

    Bannon, R. Brad
    Apophatic Measures: Toward a Theology of Irreducible Particularity is a work of constructive comparative theology examining select writings of Śaṅkara (Eighth Century, India) and Nicholas of Cusa (Fifteenth Century, Germany). It argues that, for Śaṅkara and Cusa, apophasis does not culminate in what Michael Sells calls a “semantic event,” but instead in a sensual event. For each, negation removes intellectual distractions, awakening one to a heightened state of sensual attentiveness. For Śaṅkara, this is observed in the embodied encounter wherein a teacher incarnates Vedānta scripture to reveal “This Self is Brahman” (Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣad 2). For Cusa, the intimate encounter between...

  14. The Rhetoric of PIETAS: The Pastoral Epistles and Claims to Piety in the Roman Empire

    Hoklotubbe, Thomas Christopher
    This dissertation reads the Pastoral Epistles alongside imperial propaganda, monumental inscriptions, and philosophical writings of the Roman period to determine how claims to piety (Greek: εὐσέβεια, Latin: pietas) advanced socio-political aims and reinforced cultural values and ideological assumptions among its audiences. Coins celebrating the pietas of the imperial households of Trajan and Hadrian, the honorary inscription of Salutaris in Ephesus, and the writings of Philo and Plutarch evidence that appeals to piety functioned rhetorically to naturalize hierarchies of power and social orders, recognize the honorable status of citizens, signal expertise in knowledge about the divine, and delineate insiders from outsiders....

  15. Sanctifying a Darke Conceit: Seeing the Bible in the Faerie Queene

    Wayland, Luke
    Approaching the poem from the perspective of reception history, the present dissertation seeks to show that the Bible’s role in The Faerie Queene is far more pervasive than has usually been recognized. Rather than see the biblical material as the domain of only certain sections—notably, Book I and perhaps Books II and V—I propose that it is to be seen as a meaningful presence throughout the poem. Indeed, I will argue that it provides a previously unnoticed, unifying structure to the whole. I begin by giving a brief sketch of the Bible in Spenser’s early life. From here, I draw...

  16. The Aftermath: Memorialization, Storytelling, and Walking at the 9/11 Tribute Center

    Deconinck, Kate Yanina
    Located in the heart of Lower Manhattan, the 9/11 Tribute Center is a small memorial museum that commemorates the attacks of September 11, 2001, and their aftermath. Tribute’s five small galleries house numerous exhibits and artifacts; however, this museum is most widely recognized for its daily walking tours, which are led by individuals who hold direct connections to the attacks. These docents—who include survivors, first responders, rescue and recovery workers, local residents, and family members of the deceased—share historical information, statistics, and their own stories as they lead visitors around the new World Trade Center site. Drawing from four years...

  17. “I am going to do it": The Complex Question of Action in Theology and Science in the Life of America's First Woman Minister, Rev. Antoinette Brown Blackwell (1825-1921)

    Hutton, Nancy Sue
    Antoinette Brown Blackwell (1825-1921) became one of the most outspoken and remarkable women of her era: an ordained minister, a published author, a prominent public speaker, and a philosophical thinker whose writings described and explicated her syntheses of theology and science. Her life was punctuated by “firsts” that have significance within women’s history as evidence of female success in what were then male-dominated arenas. In this dissertation I propose that the arguments that Brown Blackwell presented on behalf of women’s rights can be understood as a synthesis of Rev. Charles Grandison Finney’s religious teachings around doing with science-based theories that...

  18. Implicate and Transgress: Marcella Althaus-Reid, Writing, and a Transformation of Theological Knowledge

    Hofheinz, Hannah L.
    Marcella Althaus-Reid sought wherever language or meaning might shift or exceed their possibilities. To do so, she pushed theology from the light into the dark. In the spaces of political, economic, and sexual struggle, she proposed that we encounter the transformative embraces of God’s indecent love. The intimacies of bodies matter in the illicit encounters of dark alleys. Caresses of flesh undress illusions; desires imagine alternatives; and bodies hunger for the unthinkable. Put differently: love and desire disregard boundaries, including the boundaries of knowledge, law, economy, and self. To write of God’s love and our love—to write of God, humanity,...

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