The old secularisation theory might be true in some instances, but in general, Berger finds the theory that 'secularity will triumph The 'massively secular Euro-culture', Berger determines, exhibits what he would rather call the 'widespread alienation from the organized church' or 'a shift in the institutional location of religion' Berger Religion has shifted from the public sphere to the personal sphere.
Currently, the debate has shifted to reflect an understanding of a post-secular situation or even a time of resacralisation. In this new context, Science of Religion can contribute to Theology by indicating the status and function of religion in society and by explaining the role the church can play under changed conditions in society.
As religion is no longer located in the public sphere, individuals exercise their religion in a private 'invisible' form compare Luckmann Science of Religion provides theological insight into the role and function of religion in society and advises the church on how to organise itself and how to engage society with the gospel under changed conditions. The relationship between Christianity and other religions needs to be addressed by Theology.
In this regard, Science of Religion can provide insight. This plurality applies to all levels of existence such as religious affiliation, race and culture, social and economic status, and even differences in world view. This diversity of societies has brought about exposure to a variety of other and different traditions. Plurality implies connectedness to the other. Globalisation has made communities aware of their differences. Any claim to universal truth or universal religious applicability must be prepared to be tested in this world-wide forum.
Religions are in contact with one another, and one can add to this the presence of those not subscribing to any religion. The South African context reflects a multicultural and multireligious environment. Values and religious viewpoints previously accepted without question must now be prepared to be questioned. The church and its members are moving into unknown territory.
Theology is called upon to provide answers to questions now arising from interreligious encounters. These and many other points end up on the agenda of the discipline of Science of Religion in Theology. Science of Religion provides theological reflection on the technical debate about the phenomenon of religion, resulting in a theological theory of religion.
Dupuis indicates that the theology of religion asks, from a Christian perspective, what religion is and seeks to interpret the universal religious experience of humankind. It further investigates the relationship between revelation and faith, faith and religion, and faith and salvation. The understanding of the nature of the own religion evidently leads to an understanding of the relationship with other religions. Rudolf Otto provides a theological explanation of the origin of what he refers to as 'the Holy'. The Holy exists independently and autonomously from human existence.
Humans merely become aware of the existence of the indescribable Holy. This feeling is described as a feeling of dependence Otto In reaction to this becoming aware, humans construct an appropriate response which manifests in religion Otto This is a theological explanation as to the origin of religion. This position is also clear from the theology of religion present in the opening section of the monumental work of Calvin's Institutie.
In the opening section Calvin , para. By this, Calvin indicates that humans have a natural knowledge of the Divine. Such innate ability is traced back to God's creation of humankind. God reignites this awareness of the divine in humans by 'adding droplets' to human existence from time to time. Religion is thus part of human nature. Ontologically, humans have been predetermined for religion. The question about the origin, nature, and essence of religion remains one of the fundamental theological issues. Many modern theologians claim that religion as phenomenon provides theology with an important theoretical challenge.
A theological theory of religion is essential for the church's understanding of itself. The purpose is to reach a deeper level of understanding of the other. Theology of Religions also aims to formulate principles and guidelines with a view to the practical coexistence, witnessing toward and dialogue with members of other faiths. Ever since Christianity had to consider its relationship with other religions, a debate, which is not done, has been raging. The debate started out as an intrareligious debate between Christians as to how to understand the relationship between Christians who are differing on interpretations of matters of faith.
The apparent statement made by Origen that no salvation is possible outside the 'house' of the church was directed against sectarian groups within Christianity Dupuis The church father Cyprian had the same intention when he formulated the principle 'extra ecclesiam nulla salus est [outside the church there is no salvation] Dupuis This was done within the context of the struggle between the church and sectarian groups Berkouwer Only when Christianity became state religion Dupuis did this principle become the official position of the church and was it applied far beyond its original scope in terms of intent and time Berkouwer , namely to all who found themselves outside of the church - all non-Christians.
Even the most spiritual and pious gentile should convert to the Christian faith and church in order to be saved. Over time, as the debate between Christianity and nonChristian religions raged on, three positions became apparent, namely exclusivism referred to as the replacement model by Knitter , inclusivism referred to as the fulfilment model, Knitter and the pluralistic position referred to as the mutuality model, Knitter Knitter indicates the inadequacy of these three models to comply with the requirements of postmodern thought, and he suggested a fourth model, namely the acceptance model.
Based on the acceptance model, Knitter professes that religions will have to acknowledge that they differ too much from one another. Postmodern thought does not subscribe to only one truth - in fact, many truths exist. In light of this principle, Knitter suggests that religions make peace with the fact that they have nothing in common neither a common origin, nor a common goal. This results in an impasse where religions have to accept that they have nothing to say to one another. Interaction between religions ought to be restricted to being polite neighbours Knitter After the groundbreaking insights provided by Knitter, it seemed that the end of a long-standing debate was approaching.
However, new approaches surfaced in an attempt to bridge the impasse identified by Knitter. Kenneth Rose suggests that pluralism will, in future, be the only coherent explanation of religious diversity. With pluralism, Rose refers to a theory ascribed to John Hick, suggesting a solution to exclusivism and inclusivism. All reflection on the relationship between Christianity and other religions will eventually have to agree to the pluralistic view, according to Rose Acknowledging pluralism is inevitable Rose This is also the challenge in a multireligious South African context.
Pluralism recognises the validity and the equality of all religions. No religion can be considered inferior to any other religion in terms of revelation or salvation. All religions must be viewed as having knowledge of the transcendental. Paul Hedges suggests a scheme of polarisation between plurality and particularity when reflecting on the relationship between religions.
There is a plurality of religions, each claiming particularity. This polarisation drives the interreligious debate. Hedges acknowledges the impasse reached in the debate. He now considers how religions can co-exist while acknowledging the reality of the plurality of religions and simultaneously, laying claim to uniqueness and particularity Hedges , The most appropriate model addressing this problem is, according to Hedges Hedges , pluralism. Pluralism suggests radical openness to the religious other Hedges , This openness is already present in the Christian tradition Hedges Hedges argues from a post-liberal theology of religions.
From this position, the plurality of religions needs to be acknowledged. Christianity has, over time, evolved into a position of 'radical openness' towards other religions Hedges This does, however, not imply a subscription to the classical position of pluralism as presented by John Hick Hedges With the pluralist position, Hedges suggests a need to respect the plurality as well as the particularity of religions.
Hedges suggests that a radical openness towards other religions should acknowledge the existence of differences and not only ignore these differences. Such radical openness, Hedges suggests, is an effort to avoid the impasse of the pluralist-particularist deadlock. Christianity depicted as being 'closed', as opposed to a radical open Christianity, focuses on set doctrines, beliefs and creeds, excluding all that differ and enforcing dominance by claiming the sole right to truth Hedges This 'closed' position, Hedges suggests, grew not from a search and application of the truths found in the gospel but rather from socio-political concerns which formed the Christian identity as the dominant power in society.
Radical openness, for Hedges , entails the possibility of mutual fulfilment for all religions. He indicates that mutual fulfilment should imply the need for religions to overcome the building of barriers and embrace a radical openness to one another' Hedges In every context, 'the voices that come to us from the margins' ought to be accepted Hedges for acceptance of the 'Other' implies critically questioning the 'Own'. Hedges suggests that Christianity will need to consider whether the traditions, denominations and doctrines have not become the idols Christians worship?
Openness towards other expressions of religiosity cannot deny, ignore or oppress other religions.
Bible Studies - NCCA
David Cheetham's contribution to the interreligious debate is an attempt to create appropriate 'spaces', or rooms, where religions will feel comfortable to meet. He identifies four spaces of encounter, namely interspirituality, aesthetics, interreligious ethics and spiritual reasoning. With interspirituality, Cheetham refers to the interreligious sharing of spiritual activities such as prayer, meditation and spiritual experiences.
Cheetham suggests that the nature of interreligious encounters be changed from focusing on the religious to focusing on the aesthetic and ethical spaces. With 'aesthetic attitude', Cheetham suggests that other religions are viewed as one would view a work of art - emphasising ways of seeing Cheetham The intention is to experience empathy with other religious traditions on an aesthetic level.
This is reached by being an 'imaginatively participating perceiver' Cheetham and not a participant. Viewing other religious traditions is a subjective activity. Mutual appreciation is attained by seeing the other for what it is and appreciating the uniqueness and beauty within each tradition.
The third space of encounter is ethical spaces Cheetham Cheetham is sceptical of this space as neutral global ethics will not necessarily be sensitive towards the particularities within cultures and traditions. As a fourth space of meeting, Cheetham suggests the attitude exhibited by the Scriptural Reasoning movement. They see meeting not as a discussion forum of differences or similarities but emphasise 'understanding above agreement; collegiality above consensus' Cheetham This particular space of meeting is not theologically defined and opens up the possibility of meeting within in-between spaces.
Cheetham's contribution is an attempt at seeking new ways of meeting. His approach focuses on ways of seeing and meeting the 'Other' and the spaces where meeting might be possible. He does not focus on the content of the meeting itself. He is suggesting the scene for the encounter, preparing conditions conducive to meaningful interreligious encounters. A current contribution by Jenny Daggers attempts to establish a theology of religions, recognising the postcolonial context as paradigm within which interreligious deliberations take place.
According to Daggers , the traditional models of theology of religions consisted of 'Eurocentric imperialist attitudes'. Daggers suggests a postcolonial theology of religious differences to indicate the transition from a monologue in Eurocentric Christianity to acknowledging religious plurality. Daggers suggests that, within a postcolonial context, a revised particularist theology of religions is necessary. This will acknowledge the particularity of religious traditions while simultaneously respecting the integrity of all religions.
A Christian particularity grounded in Trinitarian theology is suggested by Daggers This encourages Christianity to act with hospitality towards postcolonial theologies, recognising interreligious concerns. The postcolonial environment is characterised by religious diversity. This is evident in a postcolonial SA. Daggers poses a revised pluralist model to turn theology of religions towards the dynamic process of constructing lived religion within each received tradition' Daggers Theology of religions became entangled Daggers in a colonial understanding of Christianity as being superior to other religions.
This caused Christianity to view other religions from a position of power and superiority. Daggers reminds us that the context within which other religions are currently viewed is no longer a Eurocentric, Christian-pivotal perspective. Theology of religions must therefore engage in a process of disentanglement in order to recognise and acknowledge religious diversity and equality. Disentanglement refers to the process of acknowledging the value of local religious expressions as seen from their own point of view.
The discipline 'Science of Religion' will continue to make contributions to these three areas of concern i.
The History of Christianity in the Transnational Fields
Science of Religion at the UP is currently collaborating in an international research project investigating Christian-Muslim relations. The results of this project are disseminated in a Brill publication, now at volume 11 already. This will provide an outline of Christian and Muslim interactions over the centuries. In this way, the department is addressing the challenge of interreligious encounters. A second project associated with Science of Religion is the Timbuktu project. Anderson a Lutheran perspective, with response from Bp. Brown, a Roman Catholic. This entire issue is dedicated to papers on ecumenism, including articles on an Indian perspective on future church, differing understandings of apostolic succession, and questions on ecumenism raised by modern philosophy.
Crossin, John W. A Meditation on Discernment. The executive director of the Washington Theological Consortium elucidates spiritual ecumenism through the elements of spiritual discernment: prayer, humility, reconciliation and healing, spiritual friendships, and obedience. Ferguson, Thomas. Lewis, Dick. The Anglican-Lutheran Society is an international ecumenical society dedicated to furthering relations worldwide between Anglicans and Lutherans.
This issue of the journal reports on the biennial conference, held in Dublin in September MacDonald, Timothy. Schattauer, Thomas H. That declaration rejected the anti-Judaic statements made by Luther late in his life. Currently, it participates in an ongoing dialogue with Reform Jews, is involved in a joint effort by major Jewish organizations and the National Council of Churches to foster peace in the Middle East, and is producing a book to update church leaders about Jewish-Christian dialogue.
Professor Jodock teaches in the area of Lutheran Studies. He has also received the Wallenberg Tribute Award for interfaith activity. At Gustavus since Olaf, , M. Luther Theological Seminary, , Ph. Yale University, The book seeks to correct the proclivity of some contemporary proponents of Modernist ideas to de-contextualize those ideas and recommend their endorsement without a critical reconsideration of historical changes.
It sketches the nineteenth-century background of the Modernist crisis, identifying the problems that the church was facing at the beginning of the twentieth century; and offers a fresh perspective on the Modernist crisis, a perspective arising from the pioneering work undertaken by the Roman Catholic Modernism Working Group of the American Academy of Religion. The first endowed chair in Lutheran Studies at Gustavus and the first at any college related to the Lutheran church was established in by Drell and Adeline Bernhardson.
Darrell Jodock, the initial Bernhardson Professor, is a highly regarded scholar in the field of Lutheran studies and has a special interest in Lutheran higher education. Jodock considers himself to be an historical theologian and is interested in shaping the thinking of the Church today. His primary areas of teaching and research focus on Lutheran studies, religion in American culture, the Holocaust, the history of Christian thought, and Jewish-Christian relations.
Jodock loves to teach. He seeks to awaken an informed appreciation for religion, for Christianity in its various forms, and for the Christian heritage. He challenges students to think more deeply about their own tradition while at the same time learning to appreciate other denominations and other religions.
- Volume 25 – Called to Unity For the Sake of Mission – Edinburgh .
- Related Studies.
- Apocrypha Arabica;
- The Translators Invisibility: A History of Translation.
Author of numerous books and publications, Jodock earned a B. Olaf, a B. He continues to serve the Center as a member of its Advisory Board. By endowing a chair in Lutheran Studies, Gustavus has affirmed the centrality of its relation to the Lutheran tradition and the Lutheran community of faith. Peter, Minnesota. Vocation crosses lines of faith.
Training in Lutheran vocation means that faculty readily add the idea to courses: in biology, addressing pollution; in a Holocaust course, preventing more genocide.
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- Edinburgh 1910 to Lausanne 2010: 100 Years of Theological Convergence.
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- 100 Years of Theological Convergence: Edinburgh 1910 to Lausanne 2010.
Vocation awareness has made a difference for alums. Another traveled to India as part of her studies and after graduation returned to India to work — only to realize that a Westerner in India might be more effective elsewhere. Indeed, discerning vocation casts matters into relief sharper than sunrise on a wilderness lake. Still another young woman from Gustavus realized that she had always measured her own self-worth against her school and sports achievements.
The insight came in South America, where she had traveled for what turned out to be humble work — tending kids in an after-school program. There, says Jodock, the young woman realized children and their families adored her — not for her brains or muscle, but just for being there. Johnson, Kathryn L. Visser, Douwe. Wright, N. The Ordinariate for Former Anglicans in U. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Jeffrey N. Clifford, Catherine E. Clough, Brian.
Edinburgh 1910 to Lausanne 2010: 100 Years of Theological Convergence
Brown, Susan Mader. Mangina, Joseph L. Drainville, Dennis. Bolen, Donald. Routhier, Gilles. Best, Thomas F. Baum, Gregory. Philip Riabykh , Hegumen. Hamilton, Karen A. Hooke, Ruthanna B.
Soards, Marion L. Oxley, Simon. Matthey, Jacques. Dumitrascu, Nicu. Gibaut, John St-Helier. Hwang, Jae-Buhm. Altmann, Walter. Hunt, Robert A. Padilla, C. Schreiter, Robert J. Neal D. John T. Matthew D. Mitzi J. Susan E. Anton C. Birmele, Andre. Jones, Sarah Rowland. Callam, Neville. Alemezian, Nareg. Mateus, Odair Pedroso. From two international conferences on the legacy of the great Orthodox liturgical theologian, four of the papers have a particularly ecumenical perspective: Taft, Robert F.
Fagerberg, David W. Aune, Michael B. Spinks, Bryan D. Fuchs, Lorelei F. Bouteneff, Peter C. Peterson, Cheryl. Relevant articles include: Ortega, Ofelia.
A Common Call. A Continuing Conversation.
It is a rich issue with four articles devoted to the question of the future of the ecumenical movement: Huliselan, Beril. A perspective from the Indonesian Christian Church. Waweru, Lucy Wambui. Rajkumar, Peniel Jesudason Rufus. The author writes from a Church of England perspective. Rimmer, Chad. An Evangelical Lutheran Church in America global mission staffer who lives and works in Copenhagen presents his perspective. This issue includes a series of papers on the Eucharistic theology of various denominations from an ecumenical perspective: Emery, Gerald.
Three articles in this issue address the accomplishments, challenges and potential of these ecumenical relations: Campbell, Ted A. Skylstad, William S. Anderson, H. Brown, Tod D. Jodock has served on the panel since and as a professor at Gustavus since Yale University, Dr. Olaf College I served as head of the department until and taught there until coming to Gustavus in I currently devote a lot of attention to exploring and articulating the basis in Lutheran theology for church-related colleges and for social service institutions.
I have given and continue to give a number of speeches on that subject. My second main endeavor is Lutheran-Jewish relations. My third area is 19th century theology. In addition to being active in the 19th Century Theology Group of the American Academy of Religion, I am working on an article and a book in that area. A fourth area of interest is connecting the work of theologians and other aspects of the ELCA.
Finally, I am interested in ecumenism. It is fun to teach college students because they move so quickly from just beginning to study a topic to significant involvement in that area of investigation. Secondly, teaching provides a direct benefit in that it provides a context where feedback is possible as I try to state something clearly.
If I am unable to explain the idea to college students, then I need to do some more work on it before trying again. Thirdly, students often ask wonderful questions. They push me to explore connections I may not have thought about before. I value the church-related, liberal arts setting, where the community as a whole is dedicated to exploring those ideas and actions that serve the larger community. This section includes subsections on global initiatives, church initiatives, new movements, and perspectives.
First of all, protestants in India, China, and Japan were already preparing to move closer to church unity. Ibid , 9 In fact, Edinburgh owed a great debt to various Indian and Chinese moves toward unity in the decade preceding. Charles H. Gibaut then discusses how these strands converged toward Edinburgh These convergences mainly came in the area of ecclesiology.
The challenge of apparently irreconcilable ecclesiologies… are held to be so great that is becomes impossible to speak of the unity of the Church, and increasingly difficult to speak of councils of churches such as the World Council of Churches, or national councils. Disagreement on ecclesiology is a significant obstacle to the unity and mission of the Church. Both express broad understandings of mission that are about witnessing to the values of the Kingdom of God: justice and peace, creation and environment. The volume goes on to include denominations perspectives, case studies and reflections on new models and experiences of unity and mission, and more.
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