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Public Theology in Cultural Engagement: God's Key to the Redemption of the World [Paperback]

By Stephen R. Holmes (Editor)
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Item description for Public Theology in Cultural Engagement: God's Key to the Redemption of the World by Stephen R. Holmes...

Overview
Public Theology in Cultural Engagement offers foundational and programmatic essays exploring helpful ways to theologise about culture with missional intent. The book opens with three chapters taking steps towards developing a general theology of culture. PartTwo explores the contribution of key biblical themes to a theology of culture creation, law, election, Christology, and redemption. The final section considers theological proposals for engagement with culture past and present with contemporary reflections on nationalism and on drug culture. Contributors include Colin Gunton, Robert Jenson, Stephen Holmes, Colin Greene, Luke Bretherton, and Brian Horne.

Publishers Description
Offers many helpful ways to theologize about culture with missional intent. Public Theology in Cultural Engagement offers foundational and programmatic essays exploring helpful ways to theologize about culture with missional intent.The book opens with three chapters taking steps towards developing a general theology of culture. Part two explores the contribution of key biblical themes to a theology of culture - creation, law, election, Christology, and redemption. The final section considers theological proposals for engagement with culture past and present with contemporary reflections on nationalism and on drug culture.Contributors include Colin Gunton, Robert Jenson, Stephen Holmes, Christoph Schwobel, Colin Greene, Luke Bretherton, and Brian Horne.

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Item Specifications...


Studio: Paternoster
Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.3" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.6"
Weight:   0.66 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2008
Publisher   AUTHENTIC UK
ISBN  1842275429  
ISBN13  9781842275429  


Availability  0 units.


More About Stephen R. Holmes


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Stephen Holmes is Lecturer in Theology at The University of St Andrews, UK. He has published extensively in the field of Christian theology and has previously collaborated with Colin Gunton in The Practice of Theology, SCM Press, 2001.

Stephen R. Holmes has an academic affiliation as follows - University of St Andrews, UK.

Stephen R. Holmes has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Counterpoints: Bible & Theology


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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General


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Books > General Interest > Literature & The Arts > Essays & Memoirs



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Reviews - What do customers think about Public Theology in Cultural Engagement: God's Key to the Redemption of the World?

Restoring Bible as publci text and grounds for radical cultural engagement  Mar 29, 2010
Stephen R. Holmes, ed.
Public Theology in Cultural Engagement
(Milton Keynes: Paternoster, 2008)

Reviewed by Darren Cronshaw

Stephen Holmes edited this volume of papers arising from symposia hosted by the Bible Society. The Bible Society assumes that the Bible is a public text and are campaigning to restore its place in public discourse. They recognise that Christianity has a valid voice in conversation with philosophy and science, anthropology and sociology, politics and cultural studies, and that theology must have confidence in its own voice and contribution: `theological analysis of cultural realities is possible, worthwhile and interesting' (p.x). It is imperative to engage other disciplines, but also to boldly and unembarrassingly contribute a distinctively theological contribution to pressing public issues.

The first set of five papers are theological explorations towards a general theology of culture.

In the first paper, Stephen Holmes explores how theology engages with culture. He suggests that the church's engagement with cultural analysis in the 21st century is as important as the early church's engagement with philosophy, or as critical as the post-enlightenment church's largely unmet need to engage the sciences. Holmes paints a vision of co-creating with God, thinking God's thoughts with him, assuming that God's creative work is neither finished nor limited to the church.

The next three papers are rather dense theological topics - good for biblical scholars, or public theologians wanting to deepen their biblical bases. Colin Greene explores recent study of the life and identity of Jesus and Trinitarian theology and implications for redemption and culture. Robert Jenson discusses election and the culture (and cultural diversity) of church. Stephen Holmes describes the place of the Law and Pentecost's place in infiltrating every culture with the gospel.

The fifth, and in my opinion best, article of the first section is Colin Gunton's discussion of Reformation accounts of the Church's response to culture. Gunton defines culture in a way which is implicit in imago Dei: `culture ... is that set of activities in which those made in the image of God share in the divine perfecting of that which was made in the beginning' (p80). He reminds Christians of their identity as sub-agents and sub-creators with God. He urges us to seek to perfect the world, but not independently of God. Contrary to Christendom dualistic assumptions, he celebrates how the material world will be perfected as material. Culture is not always good, but is not necessarily bad.

After working towards a theology of culture in the first section, the second and more practical section explores particular cultural realities. Luke Bretherton, in particular, models a thoughtful and wide-ranging approach to public theology. In Bretherton's first contribution, he theologically analyses patterns of drug use. He asserts that drug-taking, whether ampliative or therapeutic, is a sympton of our technological society and is used as a means to manipulate our bodies. Even prescription drugs have become, in some instances, a major threat to health, as when people pop a pill for a headache to mask symptoms which suggest the person really needs a rest. Drugs are the ultimate consumer product that instantly produce an experience without training, time or travel. It is helpful to understand what health, spiritual or life-escaping motives people have for drug-taking.

Bretherton also contributes a chapter on nationalism and cosmopolitanism in theological perspective, a key issue for the world today which theology must address. He develops an understanding of nation as a Scriptural category and God-ordained system (rather than an aberration of the fall). Abraham was called to reform Creation by forming Israel as a paradigm of a nation under God, setting an example and modelling nationhood. The sinful tendency of people and nations is to develop an empire approach to nationhood: "a totalising regime opposed to God and characterised by injustice" (183). The trillion dollar alternative question is how to value nation as a system that can order our love for our neighbours, near and far.

Colin Greene investigates the end of religion in Western society. He acknowledges how religion is relegated to the private sphere and that religious pluralism is not just something we experience but an ideology our society cherishes. Greene suggests this shift towards marginalisation of religion derives not from post-Enlightenment science or epistemology, nor secularisation, but from the ideological critique of religion, stemming from Marx, Freud and Nietzsche, that has questioned its validity in the modern world.

Finally, Brian Horne explores the legacy of Romanticism and how art and religion are different spheres but address the same issues in their reaching for transcendence.

In public theology it is imperative to have a biblical-theological basis as well as willingness to grapple with topical societal issues. It is also imperative to move beyond analysis of the issues to engagement and transformation. As Holmes says, this is an appropriate missiological outcome. Public Theology in Cultural Engagement demonstrates the courage to make judgments and to call for public life to be different.

Darren Cronshaw trains leaders and missionaries with the Baptist Union of Victoria and Forge Mission Training Network. Originally rewvied in Australian Journal of Mission Studies, Vol.3, No.1 (June), pp.58-59.
 

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