Beyond Enlightenment Kant

The thinker who offered the most famous definition of Enlightenment,5 Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), also marks its culmination and is thus the one most responsible for bringing it to an end and ushering in a new era in the relationship of theology and modernity. His critical philosophy is the watershed of modern thought, the prism through which the earlier lines of modernity are gathered up and refracted in new patterns that set the course of religious thought for the coming century - and beyond....

From Schleiermacher to Barth

The history of the engagement between theological inquiry and the concept of culture should begin with Schleiermacher's attempt, at the end of the eighteenth century, to engage those he called the cultured despisers of religion in an argument about the cultural necessity of religion. His understanding of culture was crucially Romantic cultures are homogeneous and hegemonic - or at least can be heuristically so understood. Fully cultured individuals participate in the paradigmatically religious...

History of the concept of culture

The concept of culture emerges from many sources, three of which are particularly important. First, eighteenth-century debates in France and England, concerning the character of human development and the purpose of education, resulted in the idea of the cultured person. These debates were sparked by anxieties about identity, particularly in the face of threats from populations mobilized by industrialization - both directly revolutionary threats posed by the new working class, and the indirect...

The effect of sin on the image

In the biblical account, the original humans are depicted as being in a state of innocence, under divine command and preservation, though subject to temptation. Sin emerged as an act of self-determination in disobedience to the divine command (Genesis 3). The holistic and relational nature of the soul body unity as depicted in Scripture is also reflected in the effects of sin. The effects of sin produced disunity and disorder at the physical, social, psychological, and spiritual core of human...

Elements of the concept of culture

Universality and locality The tension between culture as the universal value-creator for human beings, and also varying over time and space in significant ways, makes the concept crucial for discussions of relativism. This manifests itself in an oscillation between the universality and the locality of cultures. Culture is a human universal, but in a complex way. First of all, it is universal across all human beings, but it is so only by being manifest in manifold diverse forms. Secondly, it is...

The Origins of Modernity

Dating modernity from the seventeenth century implies that the Protestant Reformation - the most plausible alternative candidate for the origin of the modern world - is essentially premodern, still part of the Middle Ages. The clearest way to state the relationship is to say that the Reformation of the sixteenth century created the preconditions for a modernity that first emerged on the stage of history a century later. Or, expressed in different metaphor, modernity was conceived in the...

The Significance of Reformation Theology

Despite the many differences between Reformation theology and the medieval background with which it so consciously disagreed, it seems increasingly evident to scholars that it is not to be understood as the fundamental break with the past that an earlier generation of polemicists considered it to be. There may be great disagreements over issues of authority, exegesis, grace, justification, sacraments, and ecclesiology between the Reformers and their Catholic predecessors and contemporaries, but...

The Participant Theory of History and the Ancient Hebrews

For the early Hebrews, the truth about God was known in traditions, and traditions were shaped in history. The Hebrews saw tradition as an expression of God's will in the past, but it was not frozen, forever the same. Clearly, tradition was not truth in its own right, but an instrument for understanding how God's will addressed problems in Israel's history. But as Israel's problems changed, so did God's will. Thus, tradition expressed God's changing will for past and, finally, even for present...

Contributors

Ray Anderson is Senior Professor of Theology and Ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He is the author of many books and articles, the most recent including The Shape of Practical Theology Empowering Ministry with Theological Praxis (2003) and Spiritual Caregiving as Secular Sacrament A Practical Theology for Professional Caregivers (2003). His current research interests center on a post-theistic evangelical theology. Richard Arrandale taught religion and theology at...

The Nineteenth Century Romanticism Idealism and Their Critics

The most influential of those variations comes from the other figure most often credited with setting the course of liberal theology, Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834) who, unlike Kant, was a theologian and churchman. Typically called the father of modern Protestant theology, he was raised in a pietistic home and came of age as part of the early Romantic movement in Germany. His two major accomplishments, both concerned with the relation of theology to modernity, are associated with two...

Biblical Anthropology a Review and Discussion

The Hebrew word nephesh, translated as soul or life, is often coupled with other, more concrete words, especially with basar (flesh) and lev, levav (heart). The Hebrew has no distinct word for body as does the Greek (soma). Nephesh is often used in parallel with basar (flesh), never in contrast. The terms are not used as a natural contrast such as body and soul, but are often virtually synonymous, being two ways of referring to the self in both its physical and non-physical existence. (Ray S....

The Trinity Two Classic Modern Approaches

In 1831 Friedrich Schleiermacher published the second, extensively revised, edition of The Christian Faith, destined to be among the most influential works in modern Protestant theology. He concluded the new version as he had the first, with a brief but penetrating analysis and criticism of the doctrine of the Trinity. Schleiermacher argues that the traditional Christian doctrine of the Trinity - the teaching that the one God is eternally three distinct persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -...

Ethical Issues

Critical ethical issues relating to conception as well as to termination of life are first of all questions as to what constitutes human life. A theological anthropology is the underlying moral basis for ethical rules for living and dying. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22 39). The unborn, though not yet persons in the full sense, are neighbors in the human sense and thus can claim a moral demand upon the living for the preservation of their life within the limits of human...

Stephen F Brown

It is a Greek word, a pagan word, and because of the variety of pagan religious beliefs, it is also an equivocal word. As a pagan expression providing an equivocal view of the gods, the term theology did not enter the world of the Christian West easily. The pagan Roman philosopher Varro (d. 27 bce) inherited from the Greek tradition the complex or equivocal understanding of the Greek meanings of theology. He spoke of three types (1) the theology of the poets,...

Source criticism

The attempt to ask questions of introduction about many biblical books, however, uncovers confusing data. Many books of the Old Testament, in particular, contain passages that seem to be older than others in the same book, or that are duplicates of narratives found elsewhere. A notorious example is the wife-sister stories found in similar forms in Genesis 12, 20, and 26, where one of the patriarchs passes off his wife as his sister to avoid being killed by a foreign ruler who wants her for his...

Trinitarian Renewal

Here we can offer only a brief consideration of the merits of these characteristic theses of recent trinitarian theology, and of the suggestion that they constitute needed novelties, at least in the West. The first three theses will receive the most attention. The importance of identifying the Trinity Surely (1) lacks the novelty sometimes attributed to it (leaving aside its corollary for the moment). Nor need we go back so far as the Greek Fathers to retrieve the thesis. Thus Thomas Aquinas...

Redemption as Gods Deliverance from Sin and Death

Thus, redemption entails God's solidarity with humankind and this is manifest par excellence in the incarnation. But Christian witness is that Jesus Christ not only assumed humanity but also bore the sin of the world and provided deliverance from death. As George Florovsky notes, Jesus Christ bore the sin of the world as an act of will (Florovsky 19 76 98). He did not assume it by virtue of solidarity with humankind because the humanity he assumed was pure and innocent it behoved the Redeemer...

Redemption as Gods Solidarity with Humankind

In what sense, therefore, does God's solidarity with humankind in Jesus have redeeming power Why is God's solidarity with humanity an important aspect of redemption In addressing these questions, it is helpful to recall that in the Old Testament, the idea of redemption is expressed by two verbs, ga'al and padah (HTS), with their deriv atives. The former, ga'al, is used in the legal and economic sense of paying a price for one's kin, to redeem them from slavery (Leviticus 25 25), or to buy back...

Six Characteristic Theses of Recent Trinitarian Theology

On the Protestant side the proposed trinitarian renewal may be traced especially to Karl Barth.3 On the Catholic side Karl Rahner has been especially influential (Rahner 1997). Barth and Rahner can therefore serve as useful points of orientation for a characterization of recent trinitarian theology. To be sure, trinitarian theology has become an increasingly ecumenical enterprise, engaged with a largely common set of problems and assumptions, and very much including Eastern Orthodox theology....

The continuity of selfidentity through death and resurrection

If mortals die, will they live again is a question older than Job 14 14 , but asked by every new generation. Not content with vague, impersonal generalities, Job persisted After my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God . . . and my eyes shall behold, and not another 19 27 . The concept of resurrection may not have been clear in the mind of Job, but he clearly expresses the desire that his very own self soul would survive the destruction of his flesh so that he, in his...

Lutheran and Reformed Theology a Christological Comparison

Unlike Lutheranism, Reformed theology did not look to one single individual as its symbolic theological fountainhead. Instead, its origins and development lay with a number of highly significant theologians, of whom Huldrych Zwingli, Martin Bucer, and Johannes Oecolampadius are probably the most significant of the first generation. In subsequent years, John Calvin, Heinrich Bullinger, Peter Martyr Vermigli, Theodore Beza, Jerome Zanchius, Amandus Polanus, Franciscus Junius, and William Perkins...

Modern Patristics

In his History of Dogma, Adolf von Harnack 1851-1930 emphasized that the discipline of the history of dogma distinguished itself from that of church history by its narrower subject matter, and differed from systematic theology in refusing to see dogmas as timeless truths the business of the history of dogma is, in the first place, to ascertain the origin of Dogmas or Dogma , and then secondly, to describe their development their variations von Harnack 189 7 1 . He developed a notion of...

Ray Anderson

Who knows whether the human spirit goes upward and the spirit of animals goes downward to the earth Ecclesiastes 3 21 . Who knows indeed In former times, we might account for such ignorance by attributing it to lack of scientific knowledge and philosophical precision. But how should we now account for the fact that some form of the same question tantalizes our scientists and torments our philosophers Even the terms spirit and soul remain ambiguous as used in contemporary thought, with soul...

A return to historical inquiry

The new sociological interest in the New Testament background represents, in a way, a return to the centrality of historical concerns, though in a new mode, prompted by the different emphases of historians today as against those of their predecessors in the mid-twentieth century. Historical criticism, however changed, is certainly not dead in New Testament studies. This is evident from the renewed interest in the historical Jesus, as attested in the Jesus Seminar already mentioned above and the...

The Witness Theory of History and Classical Christian Theology

Basing their work only partly on the Old Testament, the third- and fourth-century founders of Christian historiography introduced the leading edge of just that pneumatic theology. While history was the study of evidence of historical events, this evidence was seen as a metaphor, not for the events of history but for realities located beyond history. As a historian, one witnessed to that evidence, and as a believer, one witnessed to its metaphorical meaning. Eusebius of Caesarea 265-339 or 340...

Theology and Phronesis

Over the last several decades, there has been a rebirth of what is commonly called practical philosophy. This turn in philosophy has had important implications for theology, social theory, and the more discrete social sciences such as sociology, psychology, political science, and economics. It is associated with the hermeneutic philosophy of Hans-Georg Gadamer and Paul Ricoeur, the ordinary language analysis of Wittgenstein and Peter Winch, the discourse ethics of J rgen Habermas, and American...

Phronesis in Gadamer Ricoeur and Bernstein

Ordering the relation between practical, theoretical, and technical reason is only a small part of social theory. It is, nonetheless, an important beginning point. And, as I said above, it has important implications for defining the nature of both theology and social theory. It means that both, when fully and properly viewed, should be seen as forms of practical reflection and action. When this is acknowledged, theology and social theory have certain overlaps or analogies that give them an...