Sunday 6 December 2009

Gregory C. Higgins on Contemporary Theologies

Gregory C. Higgins, Wrestling with the Questions: An Introduction to Contemporary Theologies (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2009), xiv + 230pp., ISBN 9780800663797.

Here’s a book with an interesting modus operandi. Higgins not only provides a concise overview of ten major 20th- and 21st-century theologians, but manages to link the work of each one to a particular part of the biblical story line, as follows:

Chapter 1
Creation: Rosemary Radford Ruether and Feminist Theology
What does it mean to be human in God’s image?

Chapter 2
Exodus: Gustavo Gutiérrez and Liberation Theology
How does Christian faith relate to socioeconomic conditions?

Chapter 3
Conquest: Reinhold Niebuhr and Christian Realism
How should Christians employ power in a fallen world?

Chapter 4
Exile: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Secular Theology
Is God present in the world?

Chapter 5
Restoration: Sallie McFague and Liberal Theology
What can Christians learn from the wider culture?

Chapter 6
Incarnation: Karl Rahner and Neo-Thomism
What is the meaning of Christ for twenty-first-century Christians?

Chapter 7
Crucifixion: Jürgen Moltmann and Political Theology
What is the meaning of Christ’s death?

Chapter 8
Resurrection: Stanley Hauerwas and Postliberal Theology
What does the resurrection mean for Christian life?

Chapter 9
Pentecost: John Cobb Jr. and Pluralism
How does Christianity relate to other religions?

Chapter 10
The End of Time: Wolfhart Pannenberg and Hermeneutical Theology
Is there a final goal for human history?

Each chapter follows a similar format, including an opening key question, a ‘looking ahead’ summary, a biographical section, discussion questions, and suggested reading.

The Introduction and first chapter are available to download as samples.

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