In Face of Mystery A Constructive Theology

ISBN-10: 0674445767
ISBN-13: 9780674445765
Edition: 1993
List price: $38.00 Buy it from $14.75
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Description: In the symbolic world of Christianity, which millions have inhabited for centuries, is there room for modern and postmodern life--for today's real world of cultural relativism and religious pluralism, of scientific knowledge and historical  More...

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Book details

List price: $38.00
Copyright year: 1993
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 3/15/1995
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 526
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.914
Language: English

In the symbolic world of Christianity, which millions have inhabited for centuries, is there room for modern and postmodern life--for today's real world of cultural relativism and religious pluralism, of scientific knowledge and historical understanding? In Face of Mystery draws these two worlds together in a full-scale reconception of Christian theology. Theology, Gordon Kaufman suggests, is an imaginative construction, the creation of a symbolic world for ordering life. As it has been constructed, so it can be reconstructed, and Kaufman does so in a way that clarifies both the historic roots and the present-day applications of Christian symbolism. He works with a "biohistorical" interpretation of human life, one that portrays humanity as a product of biological evolution and historical development. While taking account of cultural and religious pluralism, and while providing criteria for making comparative assessments and judgements, this interpretation of human historical exitence also situates human begins--with their capacities for freedom and creativity--within the ecological wed that sustains all life. Human beings, Kaufman argues, have created religious symbolism as a necessary part of their attempt to orient themselves in the world. He shows how Christianity, as a system of symbols, has figured in this effort, and he carefully examines the separate elements of the Christian perspective-- foremost among them, God. How does the concept of God, as an ultimate point of reference, enhance our understanding of today's world; and how does the symbol "Christ" qualify this concept? The answer Kaufman proposes clarify the changing relevance of the symbolic world of Christianity. Firmly embeddd in physical and social science and in the tradition of American pragmatism, this thorough reconception of a Christian worldview offers insight into the most basic questions confronting humanity today--questions of value, meaning, and self-identity.

Preface
Introduction: Theology as Construction
The Question of God
Theology: One-Dimensional, Two-Dimensional, or Holistic?
Theology as a Human Imaginative Task
Theological Construction and Faith
Mystery, Theology, and Conversation
The Christian World-Picture (I): The Monotheistic Categorial Scheme
The Christian World-Picture (II): The Category of Christ
Constructing a Concept of the Human
Historicity and Biology
Humanity in the World
Toward a Normative Concept of the Human
Agency and Self-Reflexiveness as Sociohistorically Constituted
Subjectivity, Experience, and Freedom
The Interpenetration of Action with Reflection
An Ecological Ethic
The Corruption of Historicity: Freedom and Evil
Historicity and Religion
Constructing a Concept of the Context of Human Existence: The World
Small Steps of Faith
Cosmic Visions and Human Meaning
Serendipitous Creativity
Directional Movements in a Serendipitous Universe
Constructing a Concept of an Ultimate Point of Reference: God
Functions of the Symbol "God"
Reconstructing the Concept of God
Faith in God (I)
Sin and Evil
A Wider Christology
Christ as Paradigm for God and for Humanity
A Trinitarian God
Faith and Life in Today's World
Theocentric Faith and the Churches
Faith in God (II): Christian Theocentrism
Notes
Name index
Subject index
Index of Scriptural References
Interrelation of action and reflection
Christian theological construction: "small steps" of faith leading to a modern understanding of God

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