Educating People of Faith: Exploring the History of Jewish and Christian Communities

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John H. Van Engen
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2004 - Religion - 352 pages
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A much-needed addition to the emerging literature on the formative power of religious practices, "Educating People of Faith" creates a vivid portrait of the lived practices that shaped the faith of Jews and Christians in synagogues and churches from antiquity up to the seventeenth century.

This significant book is the work of Jewish, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant scholars who wished to discover and describe how Jews and Christians through history have been formed in religious ways of thinking and acting. Rather than focusing solely on either intellectual or social life, the authors all use the concept of practices as they attend to the embodied, contextual character of religious formation. Their studies of religious figures, community life, and traditional practices such as preaching, sacraments, and catechesis are colorful, detailed, and revealing. The authors are also careful to cover the nature of religious education across all social levels, from the textual formation of highly literate rabbis and monks engaged in Scripture study to the local formation of illiterate medieval Christians for whom the veneration of saints' shrines, street performances of religious dramas, and public preaching by wandering preachers were profoundly formative.

"Educating People of Faith" will benefit scholars and teachers desiring a fuller perspective on how lived practices have historically formed people in religious faith. It will also be useful to practical theologians and pastors who wish to make the resources of the past available to practitioners in the present.

Contributors: John C. Cavadini
Anne L. Clark
Lawrence S. Cunningham
Joseph Goering
Stanley Samuel Harakas
Robert M. Kingdon
Blake Leyerle
Michael A. Signer
Philip M. Soergel
David C. Steinmetz
John Van Engen
Lee Palmer Wandel
Robert Louis Wilken
Elliot R. Wolfson


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Religious Formation in Ancient Judaism
Christian Formation in the Early Church
Simplifying Augustine
Food in the Desert
Faith Formation in Byzantium
Community and Education in Premodern Judaism
Practice beyond the Confines of the Medieval Parish
Orality Textuality and Revelation as Modes of Education and Formation in Jewish Mystical Circles of the High Middle Ages
The Cult of the Virgin Mary and Technologies of Christian Formation in the Later Middle Ages
Luther and Formation in Faith
Zwingli and Reformed Practice
Catechesis in Calvins Geneva
Ritual and Faith Formation in Early Modern Catholic Europe
Spiritual Direction as Christian Pedagogy
List of Contributors

The ThirteenthCentury English Parish

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Page 61 - Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.
Page 6 - Only take heed, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children's children...

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About the author (2004)

Van Engen is Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame.

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