God for a Secular Society: The Public Relevance of Theology

God for a Secular Society: The Public Relevance of Theology

God for a Secular Society: The Public Relevance of Theology

God for a Secular Society: The Public Relevance of Theology

Synopsis

"In this analysis of the religious and political dilemmas at the end of the modern age, Jurgen Moltmann assays the vaulting dreams and colossal failures of our time. He asks how we came to this point, and he argues strenuously for Christian discipleship and public theology that take sides. In both critical and creative ways he advances the specific relevance of Christian messianic hope to today's thorniest political, economic, and ecological questions and the deeper values contested therein." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

My previous volume of essays, History and the Triune God (1991), contained ‘contributions to trinitarian theology’. My concern there was the Christian identity of theology. Here I am offering ‘contributions on the public relevance of theology’. There is no Christian identity without public relevance, and no public relevance without theology’s Christian identity, since for Christ’s sake theology is kingdom-of-God theology, while on the other hand kingdom-of-God theology gets lost in the clouds of Utopia unless it is based on the person and history of Christ, and unfolded out of the experiences of his Spirit. the title, God for a Secular Society, indicates my belief that there is an implicit theology of modern times – a theology always already existent, but not critically thought through – and that this demands an explicit public theology. Its subject alone necessarily makes Christian theology a theologia publica, public theology. It gets involved in the public affairs of society. It thinks about what is of general concern in the light of hope in Christ for the kingdom of God. It becomes political in the name of the poor and the marginalized in a given society. Remembrance of the crucified Christ makes it critical towards political religions and idolatries. It thinks critically about the religious and moral values of the societies in which it exists, and presents its reflections as a reasoned position. But it refuses to fall into the modern trap of pluralism, where it is supposed to be reduced to its particular sphere and limited to its own religious society. Because today these restrictions to one’s own particular reserve in Western multi-religious society can be felt everywhere, and are actually welcomed by certain church leaders and theologians, I hope that these contributions may demonstrate and reinforce the public relevance of theology.

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