Friday, July 2, 2010

Christian Mission IN A PLURALISTIC context By Rev Chandra Sekhar Swain

Christian Mission IN A PLURALISTIC context By Rev Chandra Sekhar Swain

Ultimately every form of mission is in context of a relationship with people of other socio-religious-cultural background

Dr Ashish Chrishpal, principal, South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies (SAIACS) says, “Contextualization itself is a missiological task. It cultivates a mission conscious church. Contextualization itself must be incarnational and must open the way for incarnational witness. It further promotes a multi-dimensional Gospel for multi-dimensional needs. It guards against the imperialism of theology.” [ii]

Christian Mission IN A PLURALISTIC context By Rev Chandra Sekhar Swain

Christian Mission IN A PLURALISTIC context By Rev Chandra Sekhar Swain

Ultimately every form of mission is in context of a relationship with people of other socio-religious-cultural background

Monday, September 29, 2008

On Christian Theology. By Rowan Williams Reviewed by Ann Coble

On Christian Theology

Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society,  Sep 2000  by Coble, Ann

On Christian Theology. By Rowan Williams. Oxford: Blackwell, 2000, xvii + 289 pp., $26.95 paper.
This volume is a collection of essays representing twenty years of work by noted Anglican theologian and recently appointed Archbishop of Wales Rowan Williams. Published in the "Challenges in Contemporary Theology" series (Gareth Jones and Lewis Ayres, editors), this book brings together eighteen previously published essays that provide the reader with an overview of Williams's theology in a variety of areas.
Williams's blend of modern and postmodern ideas is evident in the titles of the book's sections. The five general categories are: defining the enterprise, the act of God, the grammar of God, making signs, and living the mystery. In his prologue, Williams admits that British scholars are not known for setting out a clear methodology. Therefore, he sets out his "typology of theological activity (p. xiii) which is not exactly a statement of his methodology but functions to unite his perspectives. This typology falls into three categories that he titles the celebratory, the communicative, and the critical styles; these function cyclically throughout his writings.
Williams's strength is in his ability to retain the complexity of the theological enterprise. He points out the difficulty of doing theology because "the theologian is always beginning in the middle of things" (p. xii, his italics). In particular, Williams is dealing with the idea that theological works are being framed within multifaceted and problematical historical situations. His mastery of Church history makes his arguments all the more powerful. He rightly observes that we do not know everything now nor will we ever do so (at least on this side of eternity).
However, this strength is also Williams's weakness. His desire to allow for complexity at every theological turn leads him to articulate a theology that is ever shifting. He is very uncomfortable with the idea that religious language can claim a "total perspective" (p. 13), by which he appears to be setting himself against theologies that seek to establish a unified Christian worldview. At the same time, Williams has his own total perspective, one that uses much of the language of postmodernism. Yet his perspective is actually the modern project of creating one global community founded not on or by God but on human experience of God.

Early Christian theology of arithmetic

Reading the early Christian theology of arithmetic: methods of research and the search for a method

Joel Kalvesmaki

Part of the Theology of Arithmetic website.
This lecture was presented 19 November 2002 at Catholic University of America. Works cited can be found under the last name of the author in my bibliography.
Just over two years ago, I first encountered the writings of Iamblichus, a fourth century philosopher who transformed the philosophical heritage of Plotinus, giving it a markedly theurgic character. My reading of his Pythagorean Way of Life challenged a notion I once held dearly. Until that point I had assumed that the philosophy of late antiquity was markedly Platonic, and that Plato was held by all neoplatonists to be the greatest of philosophers. Hence, I was shocked to find Iamblichus, one of these so-called neoplatonists, giving ultimate homage not to Plato, but to Pythagoras, whom I vaguely recognized at the time as one of the anonymous crowd of pre-Socratic philosophers. In his biography of Pythagoras, Iamblichus presented a view of philosophy that encompassed much more than the neoplatonism I knew. It included a reverence for the mathematical sciences, and saw within arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy disciplines that were capable of leading a person to the metaphysical heights, even union with the One.
Around the same time I was reading Iamblichus, I was cutting my teeth on the writings of the fourth century monastic theologian, Evagrius of Pontus, who spent the last two decades of his life in Palestine and Egypt. In his famous treatise On Prayer, Evagrius explains why he composed 153 sententiae on prayer. He cites John 21.11 and explains the significance of the number 153 as a composition of 100, 25, and 28, each of which had its own special meaning: 100 is a square number; 25, a circular; and 28, a triangular.

Historical-Critical Method

 Return to Home Page
Historical-Critical Method
in its Application to Statements Concerning Events in the Holy Scriptures
Christian Hartlich

JHC 2/2 (Fall 1995), 122-139. "Historisch-kritische Methode in ihrer Anwendung auf Geschehnisaussagen der Hl. Schrift," ZThK 75 (1978), 467-484. Published with permission from J. C. B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck) Tübingen. Translated by Darrell J. Doughty. This exposition — which developed in common reflection with W. Sachs — was presented for discussion to the "Theological Workgroup" of the two Tübingen theological faculties in December 1976.
In present day theology — in the exegetical disciplines as well as dogmatics — one encounters a profound uncertainty about the validity of the historical-critical method that is connected with its application to statements concerning events in the Holy Scriptures. Alongside the methodologically uncertain and unfinished treatment of all other miracle stories, the interest of research focusses on the question whether and to what extent the historical-critical method is competent to make a judgment with regard to the central miracle of Christianity, the affirmation of the resurrection of Jesus as an event that really took place. Positions have recently been taken on this subject in numerous theological publications — with the prevailing tendency, in spite of the diversity of arguments, to protect the ontic primacy of Jesus affirmed by his resurrection, which elevates him above all other creatures, against historical criticism. The resurrection of Jesus is supposedly a singular fact; and regarding its determination the historical-critical method founders, and, according to its own presuppositions, must founder.
The fundamental theological axiom at work here can be summarized in one sentence: Without an objective, ontic grounding for christology in the resurrection event Christian faith has no basis. At the same time, however, there is also the desire — so far as possible — to proceed in a historical-critical way, in order to make the event of the resurrection of Jesus historically plausible. What results from this combination of a dogmatically established fact, on the one hand, and the undergirding of this factuality by historical substantiation, on the other, is the creation of a historical method for the private use of Christians: namely, a method whose consistent and unlimited application to similar statements about events in other religions is not questioned by Christian theology, but whose extension is nevertheless broken off by the same theology at that point where it enters into conflict with the theological axiom just stated. ...more 

Post liberal Theology - Theology as grammar

Narrative theology

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Narrative theology began as a late 20th-century theological development. It supported the idea that the Church's use of the Bibleshould focus on a narrative presentation of the faith as regulative for the development of a systematic theology. Also frequently referred to as postliberal theology, narrative theology was inspired by a group of theologians at Yale Divinity School, many influenced theologically by Karl BarthThomas Aquinas and to some extent, the nouvelle théologie of French Catholics such as Henri de Lubac. The clear philosophical influence, however, was Ludwig Wittgenstein's philosophy of language, the moral philosophy ofAlasdair MacIntyre, and the sociological insights of Clifford Geertz and Peter Berger on the nature of communities.
Partly a reaction to the modern, individualist, rationalist and romantic trends of theological liberalism, important postliberal thinkers included George LindbeckHans Wilhelm Frei, and Stanley Hauerwas; theologians in this camp dominate the faculties of seminaries such as Yale and Duke Divinity School (where Hauerwas teaches). This movement has provided much of the foundation for other movements, such as Radical orthodoxyScriptural Reasoningpaleo-orthodoxy, the emerging church movement, and postliberal versions of evangelicalism and Roman Catholicism. In contrast to liberal individualism, postliberalism tends toward more tradition-constituted and communitarian accounts of human rationality and personhood. Theological rationality is not to be rooted in the authority of the individual (cogito ergo sum, "I think, therefore I am") but in the language and culture of a living tradition of communal life. The postliberals argue that the Christian faith be equated with neither the religious feelings of Romanticism nor the propositions of a Rationalist or fundamentalist approach to religion. Rather, the Christian faith is understood as a culture and a language, in which doctrines are likened to a second-order "grammar" upon the first-order social practices, narratives, skills, and habits of the worshipping community. Thus, in addition to a critique of theological liberalism, and an emphasis upon the narratives of scripture, there is also a stress upon tradition, and upon the language, culture and intelligibility intrinsic to the Christian community. As a result, postliberal theologies are often oriented around the scriptural narrative, liturgical action and descriptions of Christian practice as resources for critical inquiry (e.g. culture critique).
Critiques of postliberalism often have been concerned with its "post-foundational" aspects; debates have been centered on issues ofincommensurabilitysectarianismfideismrelativism, truth and ontological reference. A number of works have sought to resolve these questions to various degrees of satisfaction, and the debates continue across the theological disciplines. ..... read