The controversial concept of 'idolatry' holds immense theological, historical and cultural importance. From the Second Commandment on, arguably one of the greatest contributions of the Judeo-Christian tradition to human flourishing has been the critique of idolatry and its moral corollary, greed. Significantly, in the modern period, this critique of false religion has led even to the critique of religion itself. It has therefore been a major force in the formation and shaping of intellectual and religious traditions worldwide, especially in the West. "Idolatry" is a collection of nineteen authoritative essays on major aspects of this fascinating subject, unduly neglected in recent years. The coverage is varied and comprehensive, ranging across theoretical perspectives, the Old Testament, Early Judaism, the New Testament, Church History, and Christian Theology to the present day. The contributors are all authorities in their respective fields of study. In biblical studies, there is John Barclay, Stephen C. Barton, Helen Bond, Mark Bonnington, Crispin Fletcher-Louis, Robert Hayward, David Horrell, Nathan MacDonald, Christopher Rowland, and Stuart Weeks.
In "Church History and Christian Theology", there is David Clough, Andrew Goddard, Carol Harrison, Trevor Hart, Timothy Jenkins, Gerard Loughlin, Paul Murray, Bernd Wannenwetsch, and Graham Ward.
Table of Contents
Part I: Theoretical Perspectives; 1. Idolatry as a Critical Problem: Mapping the Territory Stephen C. Barton, Reader in New Testament, Durham University; 2. Why Do Things Move People? The Sociological Account of Idolatry; Tim Jenkins, Dean of Jesus College, Cambridge University; Part II: Old Testament; 3. Idolatry in the Old Testament; Stuart Weeks, Lecturer in Old Testament, Durham University; 4. The Episode of the Golden Calf [title to be confirmed]. Nathan MacDonald, Lecturer in Old Testament, St Andrew's University; Part III: Early Judaism; 5. Observations on Idols in Septuagint Pentateuch; Robert Hayward, Professor of Hebrew Bible, Durham University; 6. Humanity and the Idols of the Gods in Pseudo-Philo's Biblical; Antiquities and the Qumran War Scroll; Crispin Fletcher-Louis, Lecturer in Theology, Nottingham University; 7. Snarling Sweetly: Josephus on Images and Idolatry; John Barclay, Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, Durham University; 8. Standards, Shields, and Coins: Jewish Reactions to Aspects of the Roman Cult in the Time of Pilate; Helen Bond, Lecturer in New Testament, Edinburgh University; Part IV: New Testament; 9. Fleeing Idolatry: Social Embodiment of Anti-Idolatry in the First Century; Mark Bonnington, Tutor in New Testament, Cranmer Hall, Durham University; 10. The Image of God, False and True; James Dunn, Emeritus Professor of Divinity, Durham University; 11. Idol-Food, Idolatry, and Ethics in Paul; David Horrell, Senior Lecturer in New Testament, Exeter University; 12. Idolatry as a Problem in the Book of Revelation; Loren Stuckenbruck, Westcott Professor of Biblical Studies, Durham University; 13. Living with Idols: An Exercise in Biblical Theology; Christopher Rowland, Dean Ireland's Professor of the Exegesis of Holy Scripture, Oxford University; Part V: Christian Theology; 14. Taking Creation for the Creator: Use and Enjoyment in Augustine's Theological Aesthetics; Carol Harrison, Lecturer in the Department of Theology, Durham University; 15. Idols and Icons in Byzantium; Andrew Louth, Professor of Patristic and Byzantine Studies, Durham University; 16. 'Goodly Sights and Unseemly Representations': Transcendence and the Problem of Visual; Piety in the Protestant Reformation; Trevor Hart, Professor of Theology, St Andrew's University; 17. Idolatry in Reformation Theology [title to be confirmed]; Arnold Hunt, Nottingham University; 18. Karl Barth on Idolatry; David Clough, Tutor in Ethics, Cranmer Hall, Durham University; 19. Jacques Ellul on Idolatry; Andrew Goddard, Tutor in Ethics, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford; 20. Nicholas Lash, Sacred Cows and Theology; Paul Murray, Lecturer in Theology, Durham University; 21. Frozen Idols and Moving Images: Rereading Romans 1; Gerard Loughlin, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Religious; Studies, Newcastle University; 22. The Desire of Desire: Idolatry in Late Capitalism; Bernd Wannenwetsch, Lecturer in Ethics and Fellow of Manchester-Harris College, Oxford University; 23. Religion: The Consummation of Idolatry; Graham Ward, Professor of Contextual Theology, Manchester University.
Dr Stephen C. Barton is Reader in New Testament, Durham University.