God in Creation: A New Theology of Creation and the Spirit of God

By Jürgen Moltmann | Go to book overview

PREFACE

The doctrine of creation has not been made a separate theme in German Protestant theology since the dispute between the Confessing Church and the 'German Christians' during the years of dictatorship. The impression left by the alternative presented at that time has been too deep-seated: either 'natural theology', which thought that God's order could be discovered in the natural conditions of nation and race, and that his will could be seen in the event of Hitler's seizure of power; or 'revealed theology', which hears and holds fast to Jesus Christ as 'the one Word of God', as the Barmen Theological Declaration put it in 1934, in its first thesis. The problems that were hammered out then in continental European theology between Karl Barth, Emil Brunner, Friedrich Gogarten and Paul Althaus have by no means become out of date and superseded.

But today new questions have come to the fore which were still completely unknown at that time. Faced as we are with the progressive industrial exploitation of nature and its irreparable destruction, what does it mean to say that we believe in God the Creator, and in this world as his creation? What we call the environmental crisis is not merely a crisis in the natural environment of human beings. It is nothing less than a crisis in human beings themselves. It is a crisis of life on this planet, a crisis so comprehensive and so irreversible that it can not unjustly be described as apocalyptic. It is not a temporary crisis. As far as we can judge, it is the beginning of a life and death struggle for creation on this earth.

In the 1930s, the problem of the doctrine of creation was knowledge of God. Today the problem of the doctrine of God is knowledge of creation. The theological adversary then was the religious and political ideology of 'blood and soil', 'race and nation'. Today the theological adversary is the nihilism practised in our dealings with nature. Both perversions have been evoked by the unnatural will to power, and the inhumane struggle for domination on earth. The inhumanity of this power complex and its perversion manifests

-xiii-

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God in Creation: A New Theology of Creation and the Spirit of God
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface to the Paperback Edition xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Abbreviations xviii
  • I - God in Creation 1
  • II - In the Ecological Crisis 20
  • III - The Knowledge of Creation 53
  • IV - God the Creator 72
  • V - The Time of Creation 104
  • VI - The Space of Creation 140
  • VII - Heaven and Earth 158
  • VIII - The Evolution of Creation 185
  • IX - God's Image in Creation: Human Beings 215
  • X - 'Embodiment is the End of All God's Works' 244
  • XI - The Sabbath: the Feast of Creation 276
  • Appendix - Symbols of the World 297
  • Notes 321
  • Index of Names 361
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