America’s Theologian

Article by Allen C. Guelzo

Book Review: Jonathan Edwards: A life. By George M. Marsden. Yale University Press. 505 pp.   Only one portrait of Jonathan Edwards was painted during his lifetime, a rather conventional “likeness” done by the Boston-based painter Joseph Badger. The face is severe, aloof, unsmiling and suspiciously similar to many of the other faces in Badger’s …

Chapter 1: A Note on Progress  in  The Future of Mankind

Book Chapter by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The world is the outcome of movement. Whether we consider the rocky layers enveloping the Earth, the arrangement of the forms of life that inhabit it, the variety of civilizations to which it has given birth, or the structure of languages spoken upon it, we are forced to the same conclusion: that everything is the sum of the past and that nothing is comprehensible except through its history. ‘Nature’ is the equivalent of ‘becoming’, i.e., self-creation.

Chapter 1: Methodology in the Metaphysics of Charles Hartshorne by Eugene H. Peters  in  Existence and Actuality: Conversations with Charles Hartshorne

Book Chapter by John B. Cobb, Jr. and Franklin I. Gamwell (eds.)

For Charles Hartshorne, a metaphysical statement is a unique form of statement. It is to be distinguished from empirical (that is, factual) assertions, which if true at all are true contingently. Metaphysical statements, if true, are true not contingently but necessarily.

Chapter 1: Religion and Reason  in  Intelligible Religion

Book Chapter by Philip H. Phenix

If religion is significant when it deals with the whole range of man’s experience (which it is the business of reason to coordinate) and when it is concerned with the widest meanings, connections, and implications (all of which are the province of reason), and if religion is good when it promotes community (which is the function of reason in the life of the mind), it follows that reason must be a powerful ally of significant and good religion.

Chapter 1: The Career of Charles Hartshorne  in  Charles Hartshorne

Book Chapter by Alan Gragg

Hartshorne’s dependence upon Whitehead finds clearest expression in his enthusiastic adoption of Whitehead’s view of the universe as essentially one of perpetual change and becoming, in opposition to the dominant views of traditional Western philosophy and theology that the basic realities of both God and the universe endure permanently without essential change.

Chapter 1: The Mass On The World  in  Hymn of the Universe

Book Chapter by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Using the Roman Catholic mass as a metaphor for his philosophical understanding of man in relation to the universe, the author explores in poetic prose the unity and sacredness of all creation using concepts like power, Word (logos), and fire to relate to ecclesiastical terms like communion and prayer, and emphasizing the simplicity, coherence and harmony of everything through the universal presence of the Word.

Chapter 1: The Narrow Ridge  in  Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue

Book Chapter by Maurice S. Friedman

Perhaps no other phrase so aptly characterizes the quality and significance of Martin Buber’s life and thought as the one of the ‘narrow ridge.’ It expresses not only the ‘holy insecurity’ of his existentialist philosophy but also the ‘I-Thou,’ or dialogical, philosophy which he has formulated as a genuine third alternative to the insistent either-or’s of our age.

Chapter 10: All Real Living Is Meeting  in  Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue

Book Chapter by Maurice S. Friedman

The difference between I-it and I-Thou is not carried over from the German to the English in translation, but the difference is important in indicating the two stages of Buber’s insight into man — first, that he is to be understood, in general, in terms of his relationships rather than taken in himself; second, that he is to be understood specifically in terms of that direct, mutual relation that makes him human.

Chapter 10: The Formation of the Noosphere: A Biological Interpretation of Human History  in  The Future of Mankind

Book Chapter by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The vast industrial and social system by which we are enveloped does not threaten to crush us, or to rob us of our soul. The energy emanating from it is free in the sense that it represents forces that can be used and also because, in the Whole no less than in the least of its elements, it arises out of a state that grows.

Chapter 10: The World Beyond  in  Intelligible Religion

Book Chapter by Philip H. Phenix

All experience necessarily takes place within the time sequence. It is not possible to speak meaningfully about anything which is outside time. Religion, if it is anything at all, to the average person is a set of beliefs about the "supernatural", "the eternal", "the future life", "heaven and hell", "immortality", "resurrection", or the "Day of Judgment". It is important to indicate an approach to the interpretation of these ideas in the light of an analysis of religious experience.

Chapter 10:<B> </B>The Question of Probability  in  God Our Contemporary

Book Chapter by J.B. Phillips

All turns upon whether the “resurrection” really and objectively occurred. The claims of Jesus to represent the character of God, his claim to be the master of men and of their ultimate destiny, and his claim to be sent by God to effect the reconciliation between man and God would remain as the lunatic arrogance of a disordered mind if everything ended in the judicial murder of a field-preacher on a Roman Cross.

Chapter 11: The Christian Message  in  Intelligible Religion

Book Chapter by Philip H. Phenix

The Christian message may be briefly summarized in the single assertion "Jesus is the Messiah." It would seem right to regard as truly "saved" anyone who has been given the grace of a high and noble purpose which draws him out of preoccupation with self into a full creative life which serves the development of community. Without underestimating the relevance of the positive Christian message, it is still important to recognize and gratefully to benefit from the other saving influences at work in human life.

Chapter 11: The World of <I>It</I>  in  Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue

Book Chapter by Maurice S. Friedman

Neither universal causality nor destiny prevent a man from being free if he is able to alternate between I-It and I-Thou. But without the ability to enter relation and cursed with the arbitrary self-will and belief in fate that particularly mark modern man, the individual and the community become sick, and the I of the true person is replaced by the empty I of individuality.

Chapter 12: Church, Bible, Prophecy, and Miracle  in  Intelligible Religion

Book Chapter by Philip H. Phenix

The church is an organism brought into being by the unique series of events associated with the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth. Divine inspiration can be intelligibly interpreted to mean that the Scriptures are very particularly transparent to and vehicles of the basic experiences called religious. The prophet is an interpreter because he is able to see the religious dimension in what appear to others as ordinary events. Miracle stories are faith-symbols, fundamentally ways of expressing the conviction that the nature of things is not just what it appears to be, but that there are resident in the world hidden depths and heights of possibility, for which from time to time there is at least some evidence.

Chapter 12: The Eternal Thou  in  Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue

Book Chapter by Maurice S. Friedman

Here are the hree most important aspects of Buber’s I-Thou philosophy. The first is the alternation between I-Thou and I-It. The second is the alternation between summons, the approach to the meeting with the eternal Thou, and sending, the going forth from that meeting to the world of men. The third is the alternation between revelation, in which the relational act takes place anew and flows into cultural and religious forms, and the turning, in which man turns from the rigidified forms of religion to the direct meeting with the Eternal Thou.

Chapter 13: Prayer and Sacrament  in  Intelligible Religion

Book Chapter by Philip H. Phenix

Prayer is a process in which the one who prays is constantly related in a profound way to his whole objective world (with both material and mental aspects) and is thereby creatively transformed into a mature person. In worship, the symbols too easily become ends in themselves. As such they are crystallized in the dogmatic finality of an Absolute Church. They are properly only means to an end — the recognition of the whole world as a "sacramental universe".

Chapter 13: What is Man?  in  Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue

Book Chapter by Maurice S. Friedman

Buber defines ‘philosophical anthropology’ as the study of ‘the wholeness of man,’ and he lists the following as among the problems implicitly set up by this question: Man’s special place in the cosmos, his connexion with destiny, his relation to the world of things, his understanding of his fellowmen, his existence as a being that knows it must die, his attitude in the ordinary and extraordinary encounters with the mystery with which his life is shot through.

Chapter 14: The Life of Dialogue  in  Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue

Book Chapter by Maurice S. Friedman

We must distinguish between two different types of human existence, one of which proceeds from the essence — from what one really is — the other of which proceeds from an image — from what one wishes to appear to be. Like the I-Thou and the I-It relations, these types are generally mixed with one another since no man lives from pure essence and none from pure appearance.

Chapter 17: The Redemption of Evil  in  Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue

Book Chapter by Maurice S. Friedman

The beginning of man’s redemption and that of the world is found in man’s turning from evil and taking the direction toward God. God ‘wishes to redeem us — but only by our own acceptance of His redemption with the turning of the whole being.’ Our turning is only the beginning, however, for man’s action must be answered by God’s grace for redemption to be complete.

Chapter 17:<B> </B>Problems of Suffering and Evil (2)  in  God Our Contemporary

Book Chapter by J.B. Phillips

To connect human disease with human sin is misleading. This question of the physical evil in the world leads us naturally on to the question of moral evil, which poses at least as difficult a question, even though it is sometimes argued that they are but different manifestations of the same thing. It seems to have been proved within out time that the problem of human evil is not much affected by better education, better housing, higher wages, and holidays with pay — desirable as all these things may be for other good reasons.

Chapter 17:<B> </B>Problems of Suffering and Evil (2)  in  God Our Contemporary

Book Chapter by J.B. Phillips

To connect human disease with human sin is misleading. This question of the physical evil in the world leads us naturally on to the question of moral evil, which poses at least as difficult a question, even though it is sometimes argued that they are but different manifestations of the same thing. It seems to have been proved within out time that the problem of human evil is not much affected by better education, better housing, higher wages, and holidays with pay — desirable as all these things may be for other good reasons.

Chapter 18:<B> </B>The Challenge to Living  in  God Our Contemporary

Book Chapter by J.B. Phillips

If we take Christ seriously we cannot avoid the conclusion that our status in the next stage of existence will be largely determined by our behavior in this one. Yet Christ nowhere suggests that we should be “good,” unselfish and loving merely because we shall thereby win a heavenly reward. Nor does he suggest that we should avoid evil merely because we shall otherwise suffer for it hereafter. No one who has seriously put his faith in Christ’s revelation ever wants to go back to a blind and purposeless existence.

Chapter 19: Buber’s Theory of Knowledge  in  Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue

Book Chapter by Maurice S. Friedman

The real conflict for Buber is not between philosophy and religion, but between that philosophy which sees the absolute in universals and hence removes reality into the systematic and the abstract and that which means the bond of the absolute with the particular and hence points man back to the reality of the lived concrete — to the immediacy of real meeting with the beings over against one.

Chapter 2: Faith and Unfaith  in  God Our Contemporary

Book Chapter by J.B. Phillips

The complexities of the modern human scene baffle and bewilder many men and women. They fail to see sense or purpose and are frightened at the new vistas of humna knowledge and power which are continually opening up in a multitude of fields. To them, the church seems almost totally irrelevant, an icon of a bygone age.

Chapter 2: The Problem of Evil  in  Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue

Book Chapter by Maurice S. Friedman

It is in a middle position between the unreality and the radical reality of evil that we shall always find Buber. His attitude has changed from a tendency to regard evil in largely negative terms to a tendency to ascribe to it greater and greater emotional and ontological reality. But he has never considered evil an absolute, nor has he lost faith in its possible redemption.

Chapter 2: What is Really Real?  in  Charles Hartshorne

Book Chapter by Alan Gragg

There is something logically arbitrary about every detail of the universe which the determinist cannot eradicate. Hartshorne goes as far as to say that “the world as a whole is a matter of chance.” In the final analysis, things happen just because they happen; there is no sufficient reason why things are as they are, and “preference is ultimate.” Thus human conscious experience is our only reliable key to unlock the mysteries of reality.

Chapter 20: Education  in  Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue

Book Chapter by Maurice S. Friedman

There are two basic ways by which one may influence the formation of the minds and lives of others. In the first, one imposes one’s opinion and attitude on the other in such a way that his psychic action is really one’s own. In the second, one discovers and nourishes in the soul of the other what one has recognized in oneself as the right. The significance for education of this distinction between propaganda and legitimate influence can hardly be overestimated.

Chapter 21: Psychotherapy  in  Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue

Book Chapter by Maurice S. Friedman

Buber’s dialogical philosopohy does not exclude the findings of the more scientifically or mechanistically oriented school of psychology. However, the philosophy of dialogue limits their competence to judge the essence of man as a whole in relation to other men. In this chapter, Buber’s ideas are compared with many in the field: Eric Fromm, Ferdinand Ebner, Victor von Weizäcker, Ludwig Binswanger, Arie Sborowitz, Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, Hans Trub and Carl R. Rogers.

Chapter 22: Ethics  in  Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue

Book Chapter by Maurice S. Friedman

That which matters is the critical flame shooting up ever again out of the depths, and the truest source for this critical flame is the individual’s awareness of what he really is, of what in his unique and nonrepeatable created existence he is intended to be. The ethical is the acceptance or denial of actions not according to their use or harmfulness but according to their intrinsic value and disvalue.

Chapter 25: The Faith of the Bible  in  Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue

Book Chapter by Maurice S. Friedman

The new total viewpoint of Buber’s science of Biblical study has without question created a new situation in Old Testament scholarship. For the first time there has arisen a real Jewish critical study of the Bible — Jewish and critical at once — which does not allow its way to be dictated to it by foreign tendencies. Buber’s analysis of the biblical concepts of creation, revelation, the kingship of God, and the God of the sufferers is presented.

Chapter 27: Buber and Christianity  in  Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue

Book Chapter by Maurice S. Friedman

A number of Christian scholars who were influenced by Buber’s thought are listed here. Buber was influenced by Christianity. He writes: "From my youth onwards I have found in Jesus my great brother. That Christianity has regarded and does regard him as God and Saviour has always appeared to me a fact of the highest importance which, for his sake and my own, I must endeavour to understand. . . . My own fraternally open relationship to him has grown ever stronger and clearer, and today I see him more strongly and clearly than ever before. I am more than ever certain that a great place belongs to him in Israel’s history of faith and that this place cannot be described by any of the usual categories."

Chapter 3: Change  in  Intelligible Religion

Book Chapter by Philip H. Phenix

A world where change occurs must be a surprising world and one where both history and possibility are regarded as real and important. This means that the world will be seen as possessing a depth and a richness beyond the mere appearance of successive states and configurations of things. The awareness of change provides the ground for one of the fundamental forms of religious experience. Some basic religious concepts grow out of an interpretation of this experience.

Chapter 3: Hasidism  in  Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue

Book Chapter by Maurice S. Friedman

The real essence of Hasidism is revealed not so much in its concepts as in the three central virtues which derive from these concepts: love, joy, and humility. For Hasidism the world was created out of love and is to be brought to perfection through love. Love is central in God’s relation to man and is more important than fear of God, justice, or righteousness.

Chapter 3: On the Language of Theology Hartshorne and Quine by R. M. Martin  in  Existence and Actuality: Conversations with Charles Hartshorne

Book Chapter by John B. Cobb, Jr. and Franklin I. Gamwell (eds.)

Martin criticizes Hartshorne’s methodology through a rigorous use of Symbolic Logic. He holds that Hartshorne does not develop an adequate concept of aesthetics in relation to metaphysics, and that his distinction between existence and actuality is hopelessly unclear. Hartshorne rebuts him point by point.

Chapter 3: What Is Man?  in  Charles Hartshorne

Book Chapter by Alan Gragg

Hartshorne reasons that man is more than his cellular processess and is as much a “single dynamic unit” as any of the electrons or cells that constitute his body. A particular man is the common denominator of a connected series of experiences. “Social” is the coordinate processes of weaving one’s own life from strands taken from the lives of others and giving one’s own life as a strand to be woven into their lives. Love is the supreme ethical standard. And the experiences of the dead are all everlastingly preserved in their total value, exactly as originally experienced, in the everlasting and omniscient memory of God.

Chapter 4: Mysticism  in  Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue

Book Chapter by Maurice S. Friedman

Buber’s thought gradually matured from the time of his earliest essays to a mature philosophy during the first two decades of the Twentieth Century. The early period of mysticism evolved into a period of existentialsm to a developing diaological philosophy. However, he does not discard the thoughts of the earlier period, but they are preserved in changed form.

Chapter 4: What Is Supreme Reality?  in  Charles Hartshorne

Book Chapter by Alan Gragg

Hartshorne examines the shortcomings of humanism, classical theism, and explains the differences between pantheism and panentheism (meaning “all-in-God”). Every possible argument for God must show that doubt of God is doubt of any and all truth, renunciation of the essential categories of thinking.

Chapter 5: Order  in  Intelligible Religion

Book Chapter by Philip H. Phenix

The world is ordered in many ways: by a temporal order, by causal connection, as located, in terms of quantity, with various qualities, the possibility of classification, by the relatedness of things. Order my also be described in terms of community, of law, and moral order. Still other aspects of order are in "The Word of God," including "The God of Love." Illumination, meaning, insight, and confidence are also instruments of order.

Chapter 5: Some Aspects of Hartshorne’s Treatment of Anselm by John E. Smith  in  Existence and Actuality: Conversations with Charles Hartshorne

Book Chapter by John B. Cobb, Jr. and Franklin I. Gamwell (eds.)

Does logic reflect the nature of reality, or is it a merely formal structure governing the use of language’? In short, are we to have no more than “logic without ontology’’? Smith believes that Hartshorne takes too lightly the view that logic marks out the domain of the “necessary,” while the “real” coincides with the domain of fact. The problem with this juxtaposition is that the “real’’ and the necessary are mutually exclusive.

Chapter 6: Nature, God, and Man by Paul Weiss  in  Existence and Actuality: Conversations with Charles Hartshorne

Book Chapter by John B. Cobb, Jr. and Franklin I. Gamwell (eds.)

The originality of Hartshorne’s discussions about the nature of God, and particularly his daring and novel defense of the ontological argument, have led some to overlook the fact that, as he himself says, his primary interest lies elsewhere. Weise indicates the way he believes Whitehead’s and Hartshorne’s views should be altered, and how they could be extended and filled out — while maintaining their characteristic thrust and flavor.

Chapter 6: Value  in  Intelligible Religion

Book Chapter by Philip H. Phenix

Value is the ground of loyalty. It also gives zest and interest to life. It destroys boredom. It leads to sensitivity rather than callousness, to responsibility rather than neglect, to decisiveness in place of faltering. It is the source of energy for creative living rather than static existence. Out of the experience of value spring not only the positive responses of faithfulness and love but also the sense of tragedy.

Chapter 7: A Great Event Foreshadowed: The Planetization of Mankind  in  The Future of Mankind

Book Chapter by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

The rising of the masses and the socialisation of Mankind is associated with the closed shape of the earth, the mechanics of generation and the psychic properties of human matter. In the cosmic sense, because it is the expression and prolongation of the primordial process whereby, at the uttermost extreme from the disintegrating atom, psychic force is born into the Universe and continuously grows, fostered by the ever more complicated grouping of matter.

Chapter 7:<B> </B>The Necessity for True Religion  in  God Our Contemporary

Book Chapter by J.B. Phillips

Too many have allowed themselves to be put off by the hypocrites, the obscurantists and the lovers of power, who exist in any religious system — as they do elsewhere. The man who possesses a strong religious faith knows very well that there are hundreds of questions which are likely to remain unanswered. But he is in possession of a strong clue to reality and a conviction that he is cooperating with a purpose transcending present observed material phenomena.

Chapter 8: God  in  Intelligible Religion

Book Chapter by Philip H. Phenix

The world as it meets one in religious experience is a person-producing and person-enhancing world. Any encounter of this kind is a personal encounter. Therefore God is personal. Impersonal encounters are experiences of the relatively static, the unrelated, the random, the irrelevant and the conservative. Other concepts are also discussed: The meaning of the Word "God, Monotheism, "God" defined, God’s existence, Polytheism, Arguments for existence of God, Omnipotence, Omniscience, Immanence and Transcendence, Creation, and God as personal.

Chapter 9: A New Look at Christianity  in  God Our Contemporary

Book Chapter by J.B. Phillips

It is extraordinary that men and women of unusual ability in their respective spheres have rarely taken the trouble to give their adult attention to such a unique way of life as that proposed by Jesus Christ. Each one of us must eventually face the real issue, which is quite simply: do I believe after adult examination of the evidence that Jesus Christ was what he claimed to be, or am I prepared to assert quite definitely that he was wrong in his major claims and that, though much of his teaching is beautiful, he himself was a self-deceived fanatic?

Chapter 9: The Place of the Brain in an Ocean of Feelings by George Wolf  in  Existence and Actuality: Conversations with Charles Hartshorne

Book Chapter by John B. Cobb, Jr. and Franklin I. Gamwell (eds.)

Wolf looks at Hartshorne’s philosophy from the perspective of a psychologist. He suggests tht we monitor spontaneous, complex events in individual atoms and transduce these events into a form that can readily be perceived. Suppose it turned out that people regularly sense something aesthetically or emotionally familiar in the atomic patterns but not in the control patterns. This would not by itself be convincing evidence that there is sentience present. But it would raise interesting questions for further inquiry.

Chapter 9: Threshold of Dialogue  in  Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue

Book Chapter by Maurice S. Friedman

Each thing and being has a twofold nature: the passive, appropriable, comparable, and dissectible and the active, unappropriable, incomparable, and irreducible. He who truly experiences a thing that leaps to meet him of itself has known therein the world. The contact between the inexpressible circle of things and the experiencing powers of our senses is more and other than a vibration of the ether and the nervous system — it is the incarnate spirit.

Charles Hartshorne

Book by Alan Gragg

(ENTIRE BOOK) A clear statement of Hartshorne’s “Process Theology” in lay terms. Hartshorne enthusiastically adopts Whitehead’s view of the universe as essentially one of perpetual change and becoming, and relates this concept to traditional Christian theology.

Communities of Faith and Radical discipleship – An Inerview with Jürgen Moltman

Article by Carlos A. Valle

In this interview, noted German theologian Jürgen Moltmann discusses the development of his theology, his interest in the international Pentecostal movement and his participation in the Christian-Marxist dialogue during the 1960s. Moltmann feels that the future of the Protestant church in Europe lies not with the large state church, but with small communities of faith, …

Conclusion  in  God Our Contemporary

Book Chapter by J.B. Phillips

The trend of modern thought, with its concentration upon making the most of this present life and the tacit assumption that death means extinction, makes it particularly easy for people to disbelieve in, or to ridicule, life after death. But historically, it is the conviction of unseen realities which has given men and women invincible strength.

Conclusion  in  The Future of Mankind

Book Chapter by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

As the end of time approaches a terrifying spiritual pressure will be brought to bear on the limits of the Real, born of the effort of souls desperately straining in their desire to escape from the Earth. The extraordinary adventure of the World will have ended in the bosom of a tranquil ocean, of which, however, each drop will still be conscious of being itself. The dream of every mystic will have found its full and proper fulfillment.

Edwards for Us

Article by Max L. Stackhouse

The Puritans were earnest folk They had little patience with those who had no depth, no deep conviction, no profound concern with what God was doing in their lives. They wanted everyone to become a believer of course — to assent to the reality of God and God’s providence, justice and compassion, and thus find …

Emil Brunner: A Centennial Perspective

Article by I. John Hesselink

During the ten years immediately following the war, which were an exciting period of biblical renewal and theological ferment, American theological students were reading the works of the existentialist Søren Kierkegaard, the Lundensian Lutheran theologians Anders Nygren and Gustaf Aulén, and the so-called dialectical or neo-orthodox Swiss theologians Karl Barth and Emil Brunner. Though the …

From Earth to Heaven: Teilhard’s Politics and Eschatology

Article by Richard Lischer

Twenty years ago, on April 10, 1955, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin died, bequeathing to his friends the critical task of sorting through hundreds of manuscripts on theology, mysticism, philosophy and evolution whose publication the Roman Catholic Church — and Teilhard’s vow of obedience to it — had forbidden. As his books and papers continued to …

God Our Contemporary

Book by J.B. Phillips

(ENTIRE BOOK) The relationship of man with the contemporary God. Man’s conditions of life, his perceptions and outlook, his attitude of mind, both toward himself and toward any possible Creator, have all changed so enormously in the last sixty or seventy years that we face an almost a new situation.

God’s Response-Empowering Grace and Creaturely Cooperation: God’s Action in the World of Science

Article by Thomas Jay Oord

Christians in general and Evangelicals in particular typically believe that God acts. These believers want to talk coherently and adequately about God’s action in the world: in their own lives, in the lives of others, and in all creation. The Bible, which is the Christian’s primary resource for theology, indicates that God is active throughout …

God’s Last Laugh

Article by Harvey Cox

In a passage in Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, one monk furiously upbraids another one for presuming to think that Christ ever laughed. We may dismiss his rigidness as excessive, but the question remains: Why does laughter hold such a meager place in our religion? In the church I attended as a boy, …

Godless Theology

Article by Jurgen Moltmann

All who believe and think about what they believe are theologians. The theology of all believers is the foundation for every academic theology. But does that mean that Christian theology can be nothing other than a self-related “doctrine of faith,” to echo the title Schleiermacher gave his modern theology? Does it mean that only people …

Heidegger Is No Hero

Article by Ivan Strenski

I find myself in a rather odd position writing on Martin Heidegger. I find it particularly odd writing on the relation between his political life, on the one hand, and his philosophical and methodological view, on the other. Odd because, despite my best efforts at finding the “bottom line” in his thinking, I have never …

Horizons of Hope

Article by Jurgen Moltmann

"In hope we were saved" (Spe salvi facti sumus). Pope Benedict’s encyclical Spe salvi, released in late 2007, begins with this quote from Paul’s letter to the Romans (8:24). Benedict goes on immediately to speak of redemption: "According to the Christian faith, "redemption "– salvation — is not simply a given. Redemption is offered to …

Intelligible Religion

Book by Philip H. Phenix

(ENTIRE BOOK) This book is addressed to both believers and unbelievers and examines a number of areas of religious thought and practice including an approach to intelligible religion, the fundamentals of religious experience, the existence and nature of God, the problem of good and evil, the meaning of the supernatural and of future life, the significance of Christ, the Church, the Bible, miracles and prayer.

Introduction: View Point and Method  in  Jesus and the Word

Book Chapter by Rudolf Bultmann

The subject of this book is not the life or the personality of Jesus, but only his teaching, his message. Little as we know of his life and personality, we know enough of his message to make for ourselves a consistent picture. What the sources offer us is first of all the message of the early Christian community, which for the most part the church freely attributed to Jesus. This naturally gives no proof that all the words which are put into his mouth were actually spoken by him. As can be easily proved, many sayings originated in the church itself; others were modified by the church.

Jesus and the Word

Book by Rudolf Bultmann

(ENTIRE BOOK) An historical presentation of the teachings of Jesus in the setting of the thought of his own time. There is here a summary of Bultmann’s controversial method of Biblical interpretation, which tries to recover the deeper meaning behind the mythological concepts of the New Testament.

Luther as Skeptic

Article by Mark U. Edwards, Jr.

Martin Luther: The Christian Between God and Death, by Richard Marius. Harvard University Press; 542 pp. $24.50. Most of Martin Luther’s biographers end their books in the 1520s, some 20 years before Luther’s death. This allows them to leave Luther as a revolutionary (and theological) hero, rather than as an established curmudgeon. And it enabled …

On Reading Augustine and on Augustine’s Reading

Article by Margaret R. Miles

Confessions, by St. Augustine. Translated by Maria Boulding. New City Press, 248 pp., $29.95; paperback, $19.95. Translation . . . is the creation of something new. —Michael P. Steinberg A new translation of a classic text provides an occasion for reading a well-thumbed favorite afresh. Maria Boulding’s translation of the Confessions is the first fruits …

Ordering the Soul: Augustine’s Manifold Legacy

Article by Langdon Gilkey

Augustine of Hippo was converted to Christianity just over 1,600 years ago. Except perhaps for Paul, he is of unsurpassed importance for the entire Western Christian church; and, surprisingly, he is almost equally significant for understanding the entirety of subsequent Western culture. The element of surprise derives from the fact that Augustine is, in many …

Personal Foreword  in  God Our Contemporary

Book Chapter by J.B. Phillips

Our society is marked by no accepted standard of values beyond the purely material, the false god of success, the lure of glamorized sex, the love of money and the "rat-race" of business or social competition. When the true God is unknown, that combination of awe, love, respect, admiration and wonder, which we call worship, becomes diverted toward human beings who exhibit unusual gifts in the public eye. Without the Spirit of the living God the public conscience is capricious and ill-informed.

Preface  in  Martin Buber: The Life of Dialogue

Book Chapter by Maurice S. Friedman

The most obvious form in which the unity of Buber’s thought expresses itself is his philosophy of dialogue, and much of this book is centered on the development and implications of that philosophy. Buber’s thoughts are drawn together in terms of his attitude toward the nature and redemption of evil. The author shows the significance of this attitude for such fields as ethics, social philosopohy, psychotherapy, and education.

Prefatory Letter, from H.M. Queen Marie-Jose (Belgium)  in  Hymn of the Universe

Book Chapter by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Pere Teilliard de Chardin, a figure-head in the unfolding of a new cycle in the life of mankind, moves us profoundly not only by the amazing lucidity of his scientific vision but also by his love, his immense love, of God, which enabled him to see, everywhere throughout the created world, what the majority of …

Reconsidering Albert Schweitzer

Article by David L. Dungan

The hundredth anniversary of Albert Schweitzer’s birth has been marked by observances commemorating his contributions to medicine, music, theology and world peace. Perhaps the most notable of these celebrations were the blue-ribbon conference hosted by UNESCO in Paris and the Atlanta Symposium of the Albert Schweitzer Centenary. The latter featured performances by the Atlanta Symphony, …

Second Chance for Thomas

Article by Timothy M. Renick

Book Review: The Theology of Thomas Aquinas. Edited by Rik Van Nieuwenhove and Joseph Wawrykow. University of Notre Dame Press, 472 pp.’ $37.50. Holy Teaching: Introducing the Summa Theologiae of St. Thomas Aquinas. By Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt. Brazos, 352 pp., $27.99 paperbavk. One of the fascinating aspects of the events surrounding the passing of Pope …

Selected Bibliography  in  Charles Hartshorne

Book Chapter by Alan Gragg

I. Works by Hartshorne An exhaustive bibliography of Hartshorne’s published writings from 1929 to 1967, compiled by Mrs. Charles Hartshorne, included in Ralph E. James, The Concrete God: A New Beginning for Theology-The Thought of Charles Harishorne (Indianapolis-Bobbs.Merrill Company, 1967), pp. 195-223. A less exhaustive but useful bibliography of Hartshorne’s writings, also compiled by Mrs. …

The Future of Mankind

Book by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

(ENTIRE BOOK) Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a Jesuit priest, paleontologist and Christian mystic. This collection of his essays reveals his concepts of “social heredity” and progress, “the planetization of mankind,” and the Noosphere — a biological interpretation of human history. Teilhard was prevented by the church from publishing his work while he remained alive.

The Living of These Days: A Tribute to Harry Emerson Fosdick

Article by Deane William Ferm

May 24, 1978 marks the 100th anniversary of the birthday of Harry Emerson Fosdick, America’s greatest liberal preacher of the 20th century. For more than 40 years Fosdick was at the forefront of theological and social thinking and controversy as he brought to his country a prophetic voice of reasoned faith and enlightened hope. I …

The Ultimate and the Ordinary: A Profile of Langdon Gilkey

Article by Joseph L. Price

When the winter quarter ended this year at the University of Chicago Divinity School, Langdon Gilkey, the Shailer Mathews professor of theology, retired after a quarter-century at the school, where he had been a colleague of such eminent theologians and scholars of religious studies as Paul Tillich, Mircea Eliade, Paul Ricoeur and David Tracy. Although …

Theology Now?

Article by Paul van Buren

Whether there can be theology here and now becomes a serious question only when the subject of theology is taken to be of the utmost seriousness. This condition has hardly characterized the religious scene in recent times. The question has therefore appeared to be not so much serious as interesting, or academic. Not knowing what …

Thomas Merton: The Global Future and Parish Priorities

Article by Donald Grayston

It is rare, I believe, for one theologian to be able to give us general priorities for congregational life. Most theological authors are specialists: one interprets the scriptural foundations for preaching and teaching, another explains how to “manage” ministry, and others confine themselves to some particular subsection of parish life — liturgy, youth work, pastoral …

Thorn in the Side

Article by Richard Wightmann Fox

Book Review: With the Grain of the Universe: The Church’s Witness and Natural Theology By Stanley Hauerwas. Brazos Press, 250 pp. Religious liberals need Stanley Hauerwas, a perpetual disturber of their peace. Religious conservatives can find him fruitfully unsettling too, since he is a pacifist and opposes capital punishment. But he offers basic reassurance to …

Translator’s Preface  in  Jesus and the Word

Book Chapter by Rudolf Bultmann

The eschatological interpretation of human life was not merely the teaching of a prophet nineteen centuries ago, but is essentially true today as then. Jesus’ message as he delivered it, not some modern variation or dilution of it, is his message today. The details of apocalyptic imagery are transitory (here is the germ of “demythologizing”), and wishful thinking about the world to come is valueless, even harmful; but the eschatological message, “The kingdom of God is at hand,” “among you” not “within you,” is relevant to any age, including our own.

Types of Wesleyan Philosophy: The General Landscape and My Own Research

Article by Thomas Jay Oord

“How well do philosophy and religion agree in a man [sic] of sound understanding!” – John Wesley (Journal, Tuesday, July 3, 1753) The bulk of this paper entails my descriptions of four elements in a typology. I describe types of Wesleyan philosophy in terms of interests that those in the Wesleyan Philosophical Society might pursue. …

Ulrich Zwingli: Prophet of the Modern World

Article by Charles E. Hambrick-Stowe

The occasion of Francis of Assisi’s 800th birthday anniversary in 1982 commanded the attention of the Christian world, Catholic and Protestant. Last year Protestants of every stripe (and many Catholics) put aside denominational differences to celebrate the 500th year since Martin Luther’s birth. In the words of Isaiah, we “look to the rock from which …

What Luther Got Wrong

Article by David C. Steinmetz

Thomas Aquinas has had a long but, on the whole, not very happy history among Protestants. While some early Protestant reformers were well versed in Thomistic theology, Martin Luther was not among them. Most of Luther’s important teachers were disciples of the Franciscan theologian William Ockham. The Occamists taught a theology of grace that tilted …