Liberation theology is widely referred to in discussions of politics and religion but not always adequately understood. This Companion offers an introduction to the history and characteristics of liberation theology in its various forms in different parts of the world. Authors from four continents examine the emergence and character of liberation theology in Latin America; black theology; Asian theology; and the new situation arising from the end of the apartheid regime in South Africa. The major Christian Church's attitude to liberation theology, and the extent of the movement's indebtedness to Marxism, are examined; and a political theologian writing from another perspective of Christian theology offers an evaluation. Through a sequence of eleven chapters readers are given a comprehensive description and evaluation of the different facets of this important theological and social movement. There is also an Introduction relating liberation theology to the history of theology, and a Select Bibliography.
This volume discusses normative theological categories from a black perspective and argues that there is no major Christian doctrine on which black theology has not commented. Part One explores introductory questions such as: what have been the historical and social factors fostering a black theology, and what are some of the internal factors key to its growth? Part Two examines major doctrines which have been important for black theology in terms of clarifying key intellectual foci common to the study of religion. The final part discusses black theology as a world-wide development constituted by interdisciplinary approaches. The volume has an important role in bringing Christian thought into confrontation with one of the central challenges of modernity, namely the problem of race and racism. This Companion puts theological themes in conversation with issues of ethnicity, gender, social analysis, politics and class and is ideal for undergraduate and graduate students.
Divided into 3 parts, this volume deals firstly with elements of Schleiermacher's philosophy - metaphysics, ethics and hermeneutics amongst them, secondly with theological topics such as sin and redemption and Christology, and finally with his understanding of culture.
Postmodernity allows for no absolutes and no essence. Yet theology is concerned with the absolute, the essential. How then does theology sit within postmodernity? Is postmodern theology possible, or is such a concept a contradiction in terms? Should theology bother about postmodernism or just get on with its own thing? Can it? Theologians have responded in many different ways to the challenges posed by theories of postmodernity. In this introductory 2003 guide to a complex area, editor Kevin J. Vanhoozer addresses the issue head on in a lively survey of what 'talk about God' might mean in a postmodern age, and vice versa. The book then offers examples of different types of contemporary theology in relation to postmodernity, while the second part examines the key Christian doctrines in postmodern perspective. Leading theologians contribute to this clear and informative Companion, which no student of theology should be without.
Feminist theology is a significant movement within contemporary theology. The aim of this Companion is to give an outline of feminist theology through an analysis of its overall shape and its major themes, so that both its place in and its contributions to the present changing theological landscape may be discerned. The two sections of the volume are designed to provide a comprehensive and critical introduction to feminist theology which is authoritative and up-to-date. Written by some of the main figures in feminist theology, as well as by younger scholars who are considering their inheritance, it offers fresh insights into the nature of feminist theological work. The book as a whole is intended to present a challenge for future scholarship, since it critically engages with the assumptions of feminist theology, and seeks to open ways for women after feminism to enter into the vocation of theology.
Karl Rahner (1904–84) was one of the most significant theological voices of the twentieth century. For many his theology has come to symbolise the Catholic Church's entry into modernity. Part of his enduring appeal lies in his ability to reflect on a whole variety of issues in theology and spirituality and concentrate this plurality into a few basic convictions. This Cambridge Companion provides an accessible introduction to the main themes of Rahner's work. Written by an international array of experts, it will be of interest to both students and scholars alike. Each chapter serves as a guide to its topic and recommends further reading for additional study. The contributors also assess Rahner's significance for contemporary theology by bringing his thought into dialogue with many current concerns including: religious pluralism, spirituality, postmodernism, ecumenism, ethics and developments in political and feminist theologies.
New religions emerge as distinct entities in the religious landscape when innovations are introduced by a charismatic leader or a schismatic group leaves its parent organization. New religious movements (NRMs) often present novel doctrines and advocate unfamiliar modes of behavior, and have therefore often been perceived as controversial. NRMs have, however, in recent years come to be treated in the same way as established religions, that is, as complex cultural phenomena involving myths, rituals and canonical texts. This Companion discusses key features of NRMs from a systematic, comparative perspective, summarizing results of forty years of research. The volume addresses NRMs that have caught media attention, including movements such as Scientology, New Age, the Neopagans, the Sai Baba movement and Jihadist movements active in a post-9/11 context. An essential resource for students of religious studies, the history of religion, sociology, anthropology and the psychology of religion.