Fortress Introduction to Contemporary Theologies

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9780800629816: Fortress Introduction to Contemporary Theologies

A reader-friendly, basic introduction that maps the central ideas of the major theologians of the twentieth century, easily accessible to both the theological student and the inquiring lay reader.

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About the Author:

Ed. L. Miller is Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies and a member of the Theology Forum of the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Stanley J. Grenz is Pioneer McDonald Professor at Carey Theological College, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

In the arts and literature, the technical meaning of "contemporary" is something that fits between the current and recent, on the one hand, and the modern, on the other. But contemporary also has a more general or popular meaning according to which it designates what has occurred in the last hundred years or so. Adopting this latter meaning gives us a definite place to start. Anyone who knows anything about contemporary theology knows that a decisive break with the old and an inauguration of a whole new scene began to take place about 1920. And this break---with its onoging proliferations, reactions, detours, and dead ends---is what we mean by "contemporary theology."

But with respect to those many proliferations, detours, and so on---only someone very foolish would think to have captured all that in the space of a short book. The task of boiling down and straining out the most crucial people and ideas is bound to be a frustration for the authors. It gives us a new appreciation of the words of 2 Macc. 2:26: "For us who have undertaken the toil of abbreviating, it is no light matter but calls for sweat and loss of sleep" (NRSV). It will also be frustrating for some readers whose favorite theologian does not receive the expected attention or whose pet idea is not represented at all. But the allotted space is all that we have. We made the best choices we could.

Most of the major theological movements of the last hundred years of so have each been primarily associated with one thinker. This is reflected in our chapter subtitles, which draw our attention to the thinker or thinkers who might be regarded as the primary figures of the movement or idea or as the one who, for whatever reason, has come to be most obviously associated with it. On the other hand, most of the perspectives certainly involve other contributors, either as further exponents or antagonists. Therefore most of the chapters allow the discussion to extend beyond the contribution of the theologian named in the chapter title.

For the title of the book we have settled on Fortress Introduction to Contemporary Theologies, rather than the somewhat more usual "contemporary theology." If the plural suggests that the contemporary theological scene has moved in many and quite varied directions, that would be fine with us. . . . ---from the Preface

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