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  • DMin as Practical Theology

    Stuart Blythe (MDPI AG, 2021-01-01)
    The Doctor of Ministry is a professional degree accredited by the Association of Theological Schools. As delineated by ATS, the theological program requires to meet specific learning outcomes in a minimum of 30 credit hours with a culminating project that contributes to the understanding of ministry practice. Practical theology is a discipline that seeks to take “both practice and theology seriously”. As a consequence, the DMin can be generally conceptualized as practical theology. However, this paper demonstrates a number of the specific ways in which this general claim can be substantiated. It does this with reference to a number of theoretical discussions within practical theology as to the discipline’s nature. It then examines the implication of this for the status of the DMin, student learning, program design, and the nature of the DMin project.
  • Religiosity and Depression at Midlife: A Prospective Study

    Micheline R. Anderson; Priya Wickramaratne; Connie Svob; Lisa Miller (MDPI AG, 2021-12-01)
    <b>Objectives:</b> Previously, authors found high personal importance of religion/spirituality (R/S) in early adulthood to predict a 75% decreased risk of recurrence of major depression in middle adulthood. Here, the authors follow up the original study sample to examine the association between R/S and major depression from middle adulthood into midlife. <b>Method:</b> Participants were 79 of 114 original adult offspring of depressed and non-depressed parents. Using logistic regression analysis, three measures of R/S from middle adulthood (personal importance, frequency of religious service attendance, and denomination) were used to predict Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) in midlife. <b>Results:</b> High R/S importance in middle adulthood was prospectively associated with risk for an initial onset of depression during the period of midlife. Frequency of attendance in middle adulthood was associated with recurrence of depression at midlife in the high-risk group for depression, as compared to the low-risk group. <b>Conclusion:</b> Findings suggest that the relation between R/S and depression may vary across adult development, with risk for depression associated with R/S at midlife potentially revealing a developmental process.
  • The Missing Orientation

    Paul Levinson (MDPI AG, 2021-12-01)
    Humans last walked on the Moon in 1972. We not only have gone no further with in-person expeditions to places off Planet Earth, we have not even been back to the Moon. The main motive for getting to the Moon back then, Cold War competition, may have subsided, but competition for economic and scientific advantage among nations has continued, and has failed to ignite further human exploration of worlds beyond our planet. Nor has the pursuit of science, and the pursuit of commerce and tourism, in their own rights. This essay explores those failures, and argues for the integration of a missing ingredient in our springboard to space: the desire of every human being to understand more of what we are doing in this universe, why we are here, our place and part in the cosmos. Although science may answer a part of this, the deepest parts are the basis of every religion. Although the answers provided by different religions may differ profoundly, the orientation of every religion is to shed some light on what part we play in this universe. This orientation, which also can be called a sense of wonder, may be precisely what has been missing, and just what is needed, to at last extend our humanity beyond this planet on a permanent basis.
  • Post-Islamism and Intellectual Production: A Bibliometric Analysis of the Evolution of Contemporary Islamic Thought

    Mohamed Amine Brahimi; Houssem Ben Lazreg (MDPI AG, 2021-01-01)
    The advent of the 1990s marked, among other things, the restructuring of the Muslim world in its relation to Islam. This new context has proved to be extremely favorable to the emergence of scholars who define themselves as reformists or modernists. They have dedicated themselves to reform in Islam based on the values of peace, human rights, and secular governance. One can find an example of this approach in the works of renowned intellectuals such as Farid Esack, Mohamed Talbi, or Mohamed Arkoun, to name a few. However, the question of Islamic reform has been debated during the 19th and 20th centuries. This article aims to comprehend the historical evolution of contemporary reformist thinkers in the scientific field. The literature surrounding these intellectuals is based primarily on content analysis. These approaches share a type of reading that focuses on the interaction and codetermination of religious interpretations rather than on the relationships and social dynamics that constitute them. Despite these contributions, it seems vital to question this contemporary thinking differently: what influence does the context of post-Islamism have on the emergence of this intellectual trend? What connections does it have with the social sciences and humanities? How did it evolve historically? In this context, the researchers will analyze co-citations in representative samples to illustrate the theoretical framework in which these intellectuals are located, and its evolution. Using selected cases, this process will help us to both underline the empowerment of contemporary Islamic thought and the formation of a real corpus of works seeking to reform Islam.
  • Between Dualism and Immanentism Sacramental Ontology and History

    Enrico Beltramini (MDPI AG, 2021-01-01)
    How to deal with religious ideas in religious history (and in history in general) has recently become a matter of discussion. In particular, a number of authors have framed their work around the concept of ‘sacramental ontology,’ that is, a unified vision of reality in which the secular and the religious come together, although maintaining their distinction. The authors’ choices have been criticized by their fellow colleagues as a form of apologetics and a return to integralism. The aim of this article is to provide a proper context in which to locate the phenomenon of sacramental ontology. I suggest considering (1) the generation of the concept of sacramental ontology as part of the internal dialectic of the Christian intellectual world, not as a reaction to the secular; and (2) the adoption of the concept as a protection against ontological nihilism, not as an attack on scientific knowledge.

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