Glossary

apophatic theology: that which is beyond expression in language. It involves a denial that human language can ever be properly be affirmed of God. It contrasts with cataphatic theology/cataphaticism.

i caste, a hereditary group which maintained social distance from members of other

castes, catechesis/cateclietical: teaching or instruction, a way of describing the preparatory teaching given to a candidate for baptism in the Christian Church.

chiliasm: the expectation of a iooo-year reign of God on earth based on Revelation 20, but which has come to he linked with any this-worldly expectation of God's cschatological reign.

christology: teaching about the person of Jesus Christ.

Dalit: the name chosen for itself by the outcaste group in India; it means 'crushed' or 'oppressed1.

dialectical: concerning the understanding of or réconciliation of contradictions, e.g. in theology between God and humanity and different social and economic phenomena. It is a word used both in political philosophy influenced by Hegel and Marx, where it is used of the progressive resolution of contradictions in history, and also in the theology of Karl Barth, which contrasted human ways of knowing and the revelation of God.

encyclical: in modern Roman Catholicism refers to a circular document sent to the church by the Pope, cpistemology: concerned with the theory of knowledge and how humans know anything about themselves, the external world, and God, cschatology: the hope for the future, both for the individual and the world. There has been a divide in Christian theology between a this-worldly hope and an otherworldly hope.

exegesis: the practice of interpretation and exposition, specifically of the Bible.

fetishism: according to Marx, the bestowal in a capitalist society on material objects of certain characteristics, such that they appear to possess these naturally.

Feuerbachian: referring to Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-72.), who demanded that theology be understood as a projection on to the transcendent of ideas concerning humanity and society, fideism: a doctrine which places emphasis on the need for faith and rcjccts the ability of the human mind to understand God, with the consequent denial of the possibility of the need for rational justification.

hermeneutics: the task of reflecting on how wc go about doing our interpretation of texts, life and culture.

hcrrncncutics of suspicion: interpretation linked with what Paul Ricoeur has called the masters of suspicion, Marx, Freud and Nietzsche, Its major characteristic is suspicion of the validity of received narratives and explanations with a demand to probe to get at the underlying truth behind appearances.

immaucntisin; in contrast with transccndence in theology this doctrine stresses God's nearness and involvement in history, including ordinary events and situations, neo-Iiberah a way of characterising the free-market economic theory which has been influential in global economics in the last decades of the twentieth century.

orthopraxy: right way of behaving, contrasted with orthodoxy, right belief, which is held to be less interested in the practical demands of faith.

praxis or practice: action, a term often used in liberation theology to describe the actions and commitments which provide the context for theological reflection.

proletariat: the working class which in Marxist theory would be the agent of the defeat of capitalism.

Promethean; referring to Prometheus, the figure in Greek mythology who stole fire from the gods and taught humankind divine wisdom, for which he was imprisoned for having aspired to divinity, sotcriology: the doctrinc of God's saving work, especially through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

typology: the relation of different persons and narratives (usually in the Old and New Testaments), so that the character of one is informed by the character of the other {so the sacrifice of Isaac informs the understanding fcf the death of Jesus), h

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