Essays In Theology

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Essays in Contextual Theology is a collection of essays that reflect on the doing of contextual theology from several perspectives.

After a general introductory essay, subsequent essays reflect on topics such as contextual theology and prophetic dialogue, criteria for orthodoxy, the nature of tradition, the role of culture, the dynamics of conversion, and the way theology is being done in World Christianity.

All the same, certain themes and resources recur across this volume, and it is evident — as Hart notes in the preface — that he worked on some of them concurrently, or in close proximity.

Common themes include sacrifice (and its transformation in Christianity), the relation of creatures to Creator (conceived in terms of analogy and participation), eschatology and the resurrection, the doctrine of the Trinity, divine impassibility, the nature of infinitude, universalism, and freedom and predestination.

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The post holder will be working closely with the Dean and Chapter, other clergy and staff of Westminster Abbey and St.From Hart himself, however, and his writing, we receive nothing of the bland or cautious middle.He dwells naturally at the extremes: in style and in rhetoric, in wholehearted celebration and sharp denunciation, and in joyous advocacy of patristic tradition.That “beyond and before” is important: Hart is at once forthright in defending the excellence of the Christian tradition, and entirely unafraid to acknowledge the truth of God refracted also elsewhere.An exciting opportunity to become the 80th Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons has just become available at the heart of Westminster.Looking back at his occasional output, Hart lays claim to the heritage of Christian Platonism: indeed, more so in retrospect than in these essays themselves.“I really cannot imagine”, he writes, “an alternative metaphysics for theology that does not ultimately collapse under the weight of its own contradictions.”Today, there are few more learned and eloquent advocates than Hart for this golden thread running through Christian intellectual history, and beyond and before.His resources, besides the Bible, are patristic, most of all St Gregory of Nyssa and St Augustine.Gregory is received with unalloyed enthusiasm; Augustine is both hailed and excoriated.This essay is one of the most accessible of those gathered here.It would make excellent material for a study group, not least in Lent.


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