An Introduction to the Theology of Religions: Biblical, Historical & Contemporary Perspectives

InterVarsity Press
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Early in the nineteenth century Ernst Troeltsch, the great German liberal thinker, published the influential essay "The Place of Christianity Among the World Religions." The question of the relation of Christianity to other religions is every bit as relevant as and perhaps even more urgent today than it was then. Beginning with a consideration of the biblical perspective, Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen surveys the variety of diverse answers proposed by teachers of the church down through the ages. His reviews include the writings of Justin Martyr, Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria, as well as those of Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and a broad selection of later Protestant and Catholic thinkers. He completes the historical section with an astute look at the radical challenges of Enlightenment and classical liberalism and the emergence of the fulfillment theory of religions. The bulk of Kärkkäinen's work provides a detailed and comprehensive survey of major confessional movements and theologians' opinions on the contemporary scene. Kärkkäinen provides succinct and trenchant descriptions of a wide diversity of theologians, including Karl Barth, Hendrik Kraemer, Paul Althaus, Karl Rahner, Hans Küng, Jacques Dupuis, Gavin D'Costa, Paul Tillich, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Lesslie Newbigin and M. M. Thomas, as well as Sir Norman Anderson, Clark Pinnock, Amos Yong, John Hick, Stanley Samartha, Raimundo Panikkar, Paul Knitter, Millard Erickson, Harold Netland and Vinoth Ramachandra. An Introduction to the Theology of Religions is an indispensable guide for anyone seeking to grasp and work their way through the full range of alternatives offered in answer to the question, What is the relation of Christianity to other religions?
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About the author

Veli-Matti Käkkäinen is professor of systematic theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He has published numerous articles in international journals of theology. His books include Pneumatology (Baker), Christology (Baker), Toward a Pneumatological Theology (UPA), An Introduction to Ecclesiology (InterVarsity Press), Trinity and Religious Pluralism (Ashgate), The Doctrine of God (Baker) and One with God (Liturgical Press).

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Additional Information

Publisher
InterVarsity Press
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Published on
Aug 20, 2009
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Pages
372
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ISBN
9780830874408
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / Comparative Religion
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Inculturationis not just a means of evangelization but belongs to the heart of the church's evangelizing mission. it is not just a way of witnessing to Christ but of accomplishing and fulfilling his work of redemption. It is the continuation in time and space of the dialogue of salvation realized by God in Christ through the Holy Spirit. The incarnational economy of salvation means that the self-communication of God, definitively given to us in the incarnatio of his Son, is the paradigm of the saving presence and action of God in history. The inculturation of the Christian faith and life in the local Church is the historical actualization of Christ's salvation in the midst of every people. Evangelization will lose much of its power and efficacy, if it does not make use of people's language, their signs and symbols; i.e. if it does not reach and influence their way of life. After a brief introduction on the idea of culture, enculturation and acculturation in social anthropology, a theology of culture, symbol and language is treated in order to lead to the central subject-matter of the Christian theology of inculturation, which is articulated in themes such as revelation and culture, redemptive incarnation as an exemplary model of inculturation, Lay people and inculturation, missionary spirituality and inculturation. The final chapters deal with inculturation in the Indian Church, the meeting of the Gospel with Asian religions, cultures and aspirations for full humanity, and AsianChristian theology
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