The Making and Remaking of Christian Doctrine: Essays in Honour of Maurice Wiles

By Sarah Coakley; David A. Pailin | Go to book overview

to enable communities of genuine love and peace, truth and justice, to come into being. Since these indispensable interpersonal and social dimensions of the evolutionary-historical trajectory in which we humans 'live and move and have our being' ( Acts 17: 28) are most effectively symbolized and evoked by such metaphors as 'father' and 'mother', these continue to be appropriate when thinking and speaking of God -- if properly de-reified for a contemporary faith-stance. When such metaphors are used, however, it is important to make clear that it is only within our actual interpersonal relationships with women and men here on earth that God's 'fatherliness' and 'motherliness', God's 'sisterliness' and 'brotherliness' are experienceable 10 -- as we receive our humanity from others and are able to offer the gift of humanity to them in return (cf. Matt. 25: 31-46).


VI

Anthropomorphic metaphors continue to be useful, even indispensable, to a contemporary image/concept of God which can provide a focus for human devotion and energies, and for the orientation of life. For faith today the symbol 'God', if not narrowly or onesidedly construed, expresses -- in a more effective way than any other symbol available to those of us heir to Western religious traditions -- the profound meaning of the situatedness of human life in the world. Because of the unique power and significance which it has acquired in a long history of religious devotion and meditation, of religious experience and life, this symbol can focus in a powerful way our attention and devotion and lives on those dimensions of the ecological and historical order in which we live that facilitate our moving further towards responsive and responsible human-life-in-the-world -- towards attaining our full humanity.


NOTES
1
This way of reconceiving the symbol 'God' (in the light of contemporary scientific and historical knowledge) is thoroughly! worked out in my recent book, "In Face of Mystery: A Constructive Theology"

-113-

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The Making and Remaking of Christian Doctrine: Essays in Honour of Maurice Wiles
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vi
  • List of Contributors viii
  • 1 - Divine Action and Hebrew Wisdom 1
  • Notes 11
  • References 12
  • 2 - Making and Remaking in the Ministry of the Church 13
  • 3 - Why Three? Some Further Reflections on the Origins of the Doctrine of the Trinity 29
  • Notes 50
  • References 53
  • 4 - Interpretation and Reinterpretation in Religion 57
  • Notes 71
  • References 72
  • 5 - Chalcedon and the New Testament 73
  • Notes 91
  • References 92
  • 6 - Reconstructing the Concept of God: De-reifying the Anthropomorphisms 95
  • VI 113
  • References 115
  • 7 - St Gregory the Theologian and St Maximus the Confessor: The Shaping of Tradition 117
  • Notes 129
  • References 129
  • 8 - Lex orandi: Heresy, Orthodoxy, and Popular Religion 131
  • References 140
  • 9 - The Theologian as Advocate 143
  • Notes 156
  • References 158
  • 10 - Doctrinal Development: Searching for Criteria 161
  • References 176
  • 11 - Revelation Revisited 177
  • References 191
  • 12 - A Priori Christology and Experience 193
  • References 211
  • 13 - The Supposedly Historical Basis of Theological Understanding 213
  • References 235
  • 14 - Doctrinal Criticism: Some Questions 239
  • Notes 261
  • References 263
  • 15 - Paideia and the Myth of Static Dogma 265
  • Edition's 283
  • Bibliography of Writings by Maurice Wiles 285
  • Index of Names 291
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