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

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

object, self/other kind of thinking is irrelevant and false. We are all part of a whole from which we have evolved and to which we human beings have special responsibilities. What Tracy speaks of in terms of plurality and ambiguity and Bernstein as beyond objectivism and relativism is echoed as well in the emerging vision of reality coming from contemporary science and embodied in the perspective of feminism: we are all interrelated and interdependent and, therefore, notions of control, of closure, of absolutes, of dualistic hierarchies, and so on, are not in keeping with reality as understood today. Wallace Stevens expresses poetically what the sciences and feminism affirm as well: 'Nothing is itself taken alone. Things are because of interrelations or interconnections' ( Stevens 1957: 25). Or, as Rosemary Radford Ruether says, we must 'convert our minds to the earth', which means following 'the more diffuse and relational logic of natural harmony . . . in a way that maximizes the welfare of the whole' ( Ruether 1983: 91).

The conversation which needs to take place must do so within this context and according to the rules coming to us from the new physics and from contemporary feminism. This means that the conversation will indeed not be mere conversation, but will be informed and regulated by an insistence that a holistic vision is the only permissible one and any conversation that refuses to admit some voices (including non-human ones) or that narrows its dialogue to special, privileged interests is false -- that is, untrue to reality as we know it. We circle back, then, to our central theme: the task of theology in our time is to think morally and theologically about 'everything that is', to think about peace, justice, and the integrity of creation.


NOTES
1.
The quotation is from Tracy's reply to a review symposium on his book in Theology Today, 44 ( 1988), 515.
2.
It is important to underscore that 'plurality of voices' does not necessarily bring with it respect for otherness and difference. Any serious conversation today must underscore that the differences are complex. As Sheila Briggs puts it, 'The various forms of human particularity cannot be contained within a single concept or paradigm of human difference. The analyses of class, race, and gender are not symmetrical . . . The identities of race, gender and class are not

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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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