Monthly Archives: September 2019

Theology Without Walls: A Milestone in Transreligious Theology

For those of you are tracking the transreligious theology movement, a new milestone has been reached with the publication of Theology Without Walls: The Transreligious Imperative (New York: Routledge, 2019). Jerry Martin, the hero of this fledgling movement, edited the volume, incorporating inspirational essays from many of the movement’s leading lights.

Cover for Theology Without Walls

Here’s what the Routledge site has to say about the book:

“Thinking about ultimate reality is becoming increasingly transreligious. This transreligious turn follows inevitably from the discovery of divine truths in multiple traditions. Global communications bring the full range of religious ideas and practices to anyone with access to the internet. Moreover, the growth of the “nones” and those who describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious” creates a pressing need for theological thinking not bound by prescribed doctrines and fixed rituals. This book responds to this vital need.

“The chapters in this volume each examine the claim that if the aim of theology is to know and articulate all we can about the divine reality, and if revelations, enlightenments, and insights into that reality are not limited to a single tradition, then what is called for is a theology without confessional restrictions. In other words, a Theology Without Walls. To ground the project in examples, the volume provides emerging models of transreligious inquiry. It also includes sympathetic critics who raise valid concerns that such a theology must face.

“This is a book that will be of urgent interest to theologians, religious studies scholars, and philosophers of religion. It will be especially suitable for those interested in comparative theology, inter-religious and interfaith understanding, new trends in constructive theology, normative religious studies, and global philosophy of religion.”

The table of contents is in the book’s promotional flyer.

TWW flyer

Human Simulation released by Springer

Some of you are aware that my research efforts in recent years have included trying to make computational modeling and simulation useful for the humanities disciplines, the arts, the interpretative social sciences – in other words, the less tangible parts of the university, which are my usual habitation. A few of us got together to build computer simulations with such intellectuals, which was a blast. We present both these people’s simulations and their experiences of building them in a book. The latter is especially fascinating because building a computer simulation related to their field of expertise was a novel experiences for these scholars. That book has just appeared, and it marks a key point in the emerging specialization of human simulation.

Human Simulation cover

The website for the book describes the volume nicely:

This uniquely inspirational and practical book explores human simulation, which is the application of computational modeling and simulation to research subjects in the humanities disciplines. It delves into the fascinating process of collaboration among experts who usually don’t have much to do with one another – computer engineers and humanities scholars – from the perspective of the humanities scholars. It also explains the process of developing models and simulations in these interdisciplinary teams.

Each chapter takes the reader on a journey, presenting a specific theory about the human condition, a model of that theory, discussion of its implementation, analysis of its results, and an account of the collaborative experience. Contributing authors with different fields of expertise share how each model was validated, discuss relevant datasets, explain development strategies, and frankly discuss the ups and downs of the process of collaborative development. Readers are given access to the models and will also gain new perspectives from the authors’ findings, experiences, and recommendations. 

Today we are in the early phases of an information revolution, combining access to vast computing resources, large amounts of human data through social media, and an unprecedented richness of methods and tools to capture, analyze, explore, and test hypotheses and theories of all kinds. Thus, this book’s insights will be valuable not only to students and scholars of humanities subjects, but also to the general reader and researchers from other disciplines who are intrigued by the expansion of the information revolution all the way into the humanities departments of modern universities.