New Tales of Two Historiographies

Current history is itself affecting the contest between the witness theory of history and the participant theory of history. As has been implied, most twentieth-century theologians felt they had no choice but to look for God partly beyond history, on the grounds that nothing sacred could be fully manifest within their own violent century. But also, in this most secular century ever, other theologians, as well as most philosophers and scientists, argued that truths beyond history were...

Necessary Marriage

Although Peter Aureoli and Gregory of Rimini had their followers, many theologians saw the need for both approaches to theology. Peter of Candia, who lectured on the Sentences of Lombard at Paris in 13 78-80, criticized both authors to the degree that they stressed only one side of the theological challenge. For Peter of Candia both approaches were necessary and legitimate. We can consider the divine revelation as containing explicit truths or we can consider it as providing principles that can...

Conclusion

Such, in brief compass and shorn of its many historical modulations, is the Christian doctrine of the incarnation. The viability of a Christian doctrine of the incarnation rests in part upon its orderly integration with other tracts of Christian teaching. It needs to be set in relation to the wider scope of the church's Christological confession (especially the resurrection of Jesus) and its immediately neighboring doctrines, the doctrines of the Trinity and salvation. Perhaps one of the major...

Post Reformation Developments

After the initial period of Reformation activity in the first half of the sixteenth century, the Lutheran and Reformed set about consolidating the political and theological gains made by the earlier Reformers. What is interesting about this period is not simply the continued conflict between the three major confessional traditions in the West, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and Reformed, but also the fact that within each of these groups themselves similar controversial issues arose. This is perhaps...

Illustration

The story of ten lepers in Luke's Gospel suggests a number of issues for a comparative and critical approach to Systematic theology. To take just two, there is the issue of miracles and their significance and there is the role of faith in the story. Both of these issues tend to divide theologians in ways that are fascinating for students today. There has been much discussion within theology about the meaning and coherence of the concept of miracle (albeit the term itself is not used within this...

Theology and Philosophy

The way in which the respective disciplines of philosophy and theology relate to each other is clearly a function of one's conception of reason and of faith. This selection of examples ranging over the Christian tradition has shown us how culture-bound such conceptions can be, and so should help us to correct the preconceptions we might bring to such a discussion. Moreover, having the perspective we do on modernist conceptions of the endemic opposition between the two should open us to...

Advocacy readings

The belief that every reader of the Bible has a commitment, even when pretending or trying to be neutral, has led to an attempt to discover what the commitments of respected scholars of the past actually were. It has been easy to show that many were very much the product of their class, time, and political persuasion. Certain scholars have been particularly skillful in uncovering the hidden bias of much traditional objective scholarship - indeed, there is now a genre of writing known as...

Form criticism

The Bible is a written document, but much of it must rest on oral tradition. Jesus, like Socrates or the prophets of the Old Testament, probably did not write down any of his own teaching. We possess it only in Greek translation from the hands of later writers, who must ultimately have relied on traditions passed down by his disciples. Even the stories about him probably depend on originally oral transmission within the early churches, and were not written down till some time later than their...

Theology Viewed as an Organized Collection of Questions

Peter Abelard's teacher, Anselm of Laon (d. 1117), made one of the first medieval attempts at gathering questions that moved the study of the Scriptures from textual exegesis into a systematic whole. His organizational plan was based on the model of John Scottus Eriugena, a translator and commentator on Dionysius the Areopagyte's works Creation, the Fall of angels and men, the necessity of Redemption, Redemption, and the Sacraments. His collection of questions followed this order. Later...

Introduction

The most basic operation of biblical criticism as traditionally practiced by professional scholars is known, technically, as Introduction (Einleitung in German). This amounts to asking about the origins of the text one is studying When was Genesis written Who wrote the Gospels Where did the book of Job originate Even in dealing with works recent by comparison with the biblical books (such as the plays of Shakespeare) such questions can be very difficult to answer. When the material is as old as...

The Witness Theory of History and the Participant Theory of History

According to the witness theory of history, the person who is a religious historian and a believer is a witness, a person who receives historical evidence and religious truth. First, as historian, he or she examines rigorously and judiciously a body of historical evidence. Secondly, as a believer, he or she sees that evidence as a metaphor for spiritual realities that lie beyond history, including the God who lies beyond history. The obligation of the historian and the believer is to be a good...

Enlightenment the Religion of Reason

Proposals to ground religion, not on the specific claims of one historic tradition or another but rather on universal reason, found a ready audience among Europeans wearied by a century of confessional strife. The analogy with science was powerfully suggestive just as there is a natural science based on universal mathematical laws that are transparent to reason, might there not be a natural religion likewise knowable by all without regard to time, place, or historical tradition As the...

Garrett Green

Any attempt to understand the relationship between theology and modernity involves the interpreter in a fundamental ambiguity from the outset, for the two are by no means independently identifiable quantities but rather are interlinked in a complex history. Such, at any rate, is the case for the tradition of modern Christian theology, which will be our primary concern here. From one perspective modernity itself might plausibly be interpreted as the product of Western Christian culture,...

The Image and Likeness of

In the biblical account of creation it is a personal relation with God that distinguishes the human from all other creatures. As such, humans are endowed with a unique quality of personhood as the primary content of the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1 26-7, 5 1, 9 6).2 While the references to this divine image and likeness are rare in the Bible, the theme runs throughout Scripture (cf. Psalm 8 5 Hebrews 2 5-9). Humans are of more value than earth creatures (Matthew 6 26, 10 31, 12 9-12...

How do we acquire a soul

How does each newborn infant acquire a human soul as opposed to a merely creaturely soul Medieval theologians alternated between two views on this question. Tra-ducionists held that the soul originated in the act of conception. A soul seed (in contrast to a body seed) detached from the soul of the parents to become the independent soul of the child. Creationists, on the other hand, held that each person's soul was implanted at the moment of conception by a divine act, an immediate creation ex...

The Theology of Culture

Theologians have employed the concept of culture from its beginnings indeed its development was partially shaped by theological interests. Typically they understand culture to mean world, or possibly the meaning-structures of the world, and assume that it unproblematically illuminates the sphere of human existence, and they attempt to relate theological concerns - which prima facie are not simply human - to our existence in culture. But the concept's full complexity and ambiguity has, until...

The Revival of the Participant Theory of History

Meanwhile, as over the centuries the witness view of history reigned in academic historiography and theology, for ordinary religious people the skies hung very low indeed, low enough for the Gods to be affected by history, as well as to affect history. Whether negotiating with God through prayer, ritual exercises, or moral behaviors, participants in popular Christianity tended to believe that they had real influence on the ultimate meaning of historical events. History was an arena in which...

New historical criticism

While these theological programs have been making the running for some, historical work on the Old Testament has not stood still. Archeological excavation in the Middle East continues apace, and still contributes much to our knowledge of the biblical text. At the same time, however, there is an important revisionist movement at work in Old Testament studies at the moment, represented in Britain by Philip R. Davies and Keith W. Whitelam in Sheffield (see P. R. Davies 1992, Whitelam 1996), and on...

Esther D Reed

Redemption is God's work of love to restore and renew all things. It is God's work of love to restore humankind to its vocation of union and communion with God (II Corinthians 3 18 II Peter 1 4), and to heal and renew the cosmos (Romans 8 21 Revelations 21 5). Redemption is God's means of dealing with sin and its consequences, and of elevating creation to the blessing that was prepared before the fall into sin (Psalms 103 19 Isaiah 64 4 Romans 9 23). Redemption is not yet complete it is a...

Assurance Christology and Eucharist

Luther's search for the gracious God led him, as we noted above, to the cross at Calvary. It was there, in the broken body of the incarnate God hanging upon the cross, that Luther found the God of grace for whom he had been looking. Underlying this notion was an understanding of Christ's person which had radical implications for the whole of his theology, particularly, as history was to demonstrate, for his understanding of the eucharist. Parallel to the distinction between law and gospel was a...

Preface

Attempts to define Christian theology can be notoriously facile. One is often told that such theology is faith seeking understanding. Alternately, it is often remarked that theology is the interpretation of doctrine, so that one regards interpretation as the business of testing and applying doctrine to the experienced life of the Church. Richard Hooker defined theology as the science of things divine, and developing Hooker's statement is Locke's famous definition of...

Dissenting Voices in Modern Theology

Before leaving the nineteenth century behind it is important to remember that not all Christian thinkers followed the path of accommodation to modernity blazed by Kant, Schleiermacher, and Hegel. There were, first, those representatives of traditional orthodoxy who tried their best to remain staunchly unaffected by modern ideas. In addition to Catholic traditionalists, this group includes various restoration movements among European Protestants but of all the attempts to restore the Church to...

The Old Testament as Scripture

The Old Testament has never been unproblematic as the Scriptures of the Church, because it represents the literature of Israel before Christ, and remains the holy book of Judaism. There have been many movements in the Church frankly hostile to retaining the Old Testament. Marcion in the ancient Church represented this tendency in the nineteenth century it was espoused by Adolf von Harnack and in the twentieth, Rudolf Bultmann's position comes close to regarding the Old Testament as...

The newer literary criticism

At the same time as scholars have been advocating readings of the Bible with more commitment - either religious or social - there has also been another turn in biblical studies, which contributes to the sense of ferment in this now very variegated field. This other turn is in a literary direction. The Bible as Literature used to be regarded by serious biblical scholars as a dilettante interest, and some students of literature (C. S. Lewis would be an obvious example) agreed, seeing it as an...

History for the Hellenes and History for the Hebrews

For Herodotus (484-424 bce) and Thucydides (460-399 bce) history was, more than anything else, a body of evidence about the past, and the purpose of the historians was to help others to use that evidence. To witness to this evidence was not to be totally passive, but to be active enough to discover what is objectively the case. Herodotus wrote, he said, so that men's actions may not in time be forgotten nor things great and wonderful, accomplished whether by Greeks or barbarians, go without...

The current situation

As the first section argued, the concept of culture is an artifact - inescapable, pervasive, and, like all human artifacts, ambiguous it obscures certain insights at the same time that it highlights others. In particular, the entire intellectual bestiary within which culture has its place stands in a curious relationship to theological discourse, because it exists partially as a quasi-theological term, disputing earlier, more theologically accommodating vocabularies. Pre-modern theologies offer...

Is the soul immortal

The word soul (nephesh) is never used to refer to something external to a person. The soul refers to either the whole person, or some aspect of the person, such as what we would call thoughts, feelings, energy, spirituality, the subjective viewpoint, mind, personality, psychology, or breath. The soul could never exist outside of a person. Death affects the soul as well as the body, says Barth (1960 370). The ostensibly all-powerful soul becomes completely impotent in death because it becomes...

Biblical views of the self

The Bible rarely uses the word self in the sense of self-life. In the New Testament, the major instance is the phrase deny yourself (Matthew 16 24 Mark 8 34 Luke 9 23). These three passages refer to the same incident, in which Jesus reminds his disciples that, like him in his own devotion to the service of God, they too must be willing to turn away from the kind of self-preoccupation that leads to loss of life, but invest themselves in daily commitment to God's sovereign will and thus gain...

The history of interpretation

The idea that the Old Testament text should be read as a coherent whole is often linked with the argument that that is how it used to be read before the historical critics came along. Accordingly there has been a massive revival of interest in pre-critical reading of the Old Testament, in rabbinic, patristic, and Reformation writers. Childs himself gave considerable impetus to this movement by writing a long commentary on Exodus in which he presented not merely a critical reading dealing with...

The Blackwell Companion to Modern Theology

The Blackwell Companion to Modern Theology The Blackwell Companions to Religion series presents a collection of the most recent scholarship and knowledge about world religions. Each volume draws together newly commissioned essays by distinguished authors in the field, and is presented in a style which is accessible to undergraduate students, as well as scholars and the interested general reader. These volumes approach the subject in a creative and forward-thinking style, providing a forum in...

The Lutheran Doctrine of Justification

One of the key elements of Reformation theology which distinguished it from the theology of the medieval period was its emphasis on the priority of the assurance of salvation in the Christian life. This is not to argue, of course, that the medievals had no interest in being certain of God's favor. The immediate theological background of Martin Luther himself was the so-called via moderna, the modern way, associated with theologians such as Gabriel Biel (c.1415-95).3 Put simply, this tradition...

The Hermeneutics of Suspicion and the Problem of History

Some of Hegel's immediate followers, who became known as the Hegelian Right, believed that his Idealist system had indeed achieved the reconciliation of Christian truth and modernity but their influence was short-lived. Far more important in the long run were those on the other side of the split, the so-called Young Hegelians on the Left, of whom three are especially crucial for later religious thought. Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872) has been called Hegel's Fate, since he begins from the Hegelian...

The Practice of Faith

Within relatively homogeneous communities theology is typically understood as a scholarly activity undertaken by people of faith for others who share the same faith within a context of communal religious practice. Scholastic theology in medieval Europe would have been understood in this way. Anselm's celebrated depiction of theology as faith seeking understanding was written in the context of a society in which faith, religion, and Catholicism were all one and the same thing for his readers. In...

Kierkegaards Way of Contextualizing Reason

If our earlier guides can be classed as premodern, our final mentor managed to presage much that is postmodern, as well as to share with Newman an admiration which Wittgenstein reserved for few thinkers, and these two alone among theological minds. Seren Kierkegaard exploited pseudonyms in order to be able to dramatize the diverse postures which religious persons can (and often should) assume toward the faith which continues to beckon them. For while a faith tradition can lay claim to our...

John Webster

The doctrine of the incarnation is an attempt at conceptual expansion of the church's confession that Jesus Christ is Lord. It is humble, delighted, repentant, and joyful repetition at the level of theological concepts, of the primary affirmation of the church that the church's Lord, Jesus, is the incomparably comprehensive context of all creaturely being, knowing and acting, because in and as him God is with humankind in free, creative, and saving love. Theological talk of the incarnation of...

Differing Verdicts on the Aristotelianization of Theology

The two strongest critics of Aquinas's claims concerning the scientific nature of theology were Henry of Ghent (d. 1293) and Godfrey of Fontaines (d. c.1309). Henry criti cized Aquinas from an Augustinian perspective. This does not mean that Henry neglected Aristotle. Indeed, he knew him exceptionally well and this is most evident in his criticism of Aquinas's claim that theology is a subalternated science, a science sub-alternated to the knowledge that God and the blessed have of the divine,...

From Tillich to today

Paul Tillich realized this limitation of Dialectical theology, and from his disaffection he developed a position that attempted to incorporate these theologians' critiques of the cultural situation alongside (or within) an affirmation of cultural energies as attempting to express the depth dimension present in all human experience. The point of Tillich's project, the first to be generally known as theology of culture, was fundamentally diagnostic it sought to help culture understand and respond...

The Twentieth Century and Beyond

Most of the issues affecting theology and modernity that had been raised since the seventeenth century continued to challenge thinkers in the twentieth century. Since those developments are treated in detail elsewhere in this volume, all that remains for us is to indicate in a few broad strokes the range of alternatives and to diagnose our situation as a new century unfolds. The opening years of the twentieth century appear in retrospect as a kind of coda to the nineteenth, the calm before the...

Philosophy

These reflections intend to explore the range of relationships obtaining between theology and other disciplines, or less stringently put, between faith and culture. Yet astute readers will immediately perceive that the terms themselves are far richer and more fluid once we begin to detach them from their conventional role of naming established academic disciplines. Or put more constructively, the perennial vigor of those very disciplines attests to the fact that they are always reaching beyond...

Late datings

Hand in hand with this revisionism about the history of Israel goes a tendency to redate the Old Testament sources to a much later period than most scholars have previously thought plausible. Even the apparently annalistic material in Kings - which for most historians represents the bedrock in the history of Israel - does not really come from the time of the Hebrew monarchy in the ninth to seventh centuries BCE, but from a much later time. Some even place it in the Hellenistic period, in the...

The Concept of Self

The concept of the self in modern philosophy can be traced back as far as Descartes (1596-1650), who introduced the concept of the self as a spiritual substance. Locke (1632-1704) disputed this concept of Descartes's and suggested that the existence of the self depends on consciousness of oneself continuing in the present the same as in the past. This self is the seat of personal identity as distinct from the soul or spiritual substance. Hume (1711-76) found it impossible to intuit a permanent...

The Postmodern Question the End of Modernity

At the start of a new century and a new millennium, one of the questions that theologians, along with many other intellectuals, are asking is whether the increasing influence of postmodern thought represents the end of the modern era and the advent of a new age. Though it is surely too soon to know for certain, most commentators seem to agree that postmodernity is best understood as the latest chapter in the ongoing history of modernity, now spread from Europe to virtually the entire world....

Archaeology

Modernity is commonly reputed to have laid in ruins the account of Christological reason just outlined. It did not, in fact, do so it simply installed in the centers of greatest intellectual prestige (the research universities) one contingent version of instrumental reason to which most Protestant and, later, some Roman Catholic theologies found themselves hard put to respond by anything other than concessions. The failure to respond and the readiness to make concessions were rooted in internal...

The More Specific Contributions of Social Theory

Even though social theory relies on deep narratives and ontologies that bring it close to theology, theology's interest in social theory has more to do with its capacity to explain certain social processes. By this I mean social theory's ability to locate certain psychological, social-systemic, economic, and cultural conditions that shape, although seldom completely determine, individual and social action. Some social scientists present these conditions as irresistible. They develop what I...

Hermeneutic Views of Theology and Social Theory

If all social action basically has a hermeneutic character in which phronesis and verstehen come together, what distinguishes Christian theology from social theory Both would be seen as types of practical understanding. But their difference would be this theology is a view of social action that explicitly finds its classics (its norms and ideals) in what it considers to be the revelatory power of the story of creation, fall, and redemption recorded in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. Social...

Patristics the Forming of a Discipline

The Oxford Movement of the mid-nineteenth century was the starting point of modern patristics in England. John Henry Newman became excited as a young man by the history of Arianism. His The Arians of the Fourth Century, first published in 1833, grappled not only with the source-texts (abundantly available to him in Oxford in early printed books), but with the underlying questions of genre and authoritativeness. He does not yet see patristics as a discipline in its own right he describes...

Redemption as Transformation from Death to Life

Thus, deliverance from death and the power of sin was required as the negative facet in the divine plan (Isaiah 43 14-17 Hebrews 9 15 I John 5 4-5).11 Redemption as deliverance was not a wiping away of sin in the sense that it can be swept aside as insignificant. Nor was it the satisfaction of debt in an overly-literal sense. Jesus Christ's journey into the far country in search of those who had chosen death rather than life was not completed by the payment of debt incurred by sin against God....

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....

Catholic Theology and Modernity

So far the drama of theology and modernity appears as a largely Protestant story. One reason, of course, is the role played by the Protestant Reformation in the emergence of the modern world. Another reason is the historical fact that the earliest confrontations between emerging modernity and traditional theology occurred in Protestant countries, especially Germany and Great Britain. But the historical connection between Protestant Christianity and modernity by no means implies that the story...

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...