In the present ecological crisis, it is imperative that human beings reconsider their place within nature and find new, more responsible and sustainable ways of living. Assumptions about the nature of God, the world, and the human being, shape our thinking and, consequently, our acting. Some have charged that the Christian tradition has been more a hindrance than a help because its theology of nature has unwittingly legitimated the exploitation of nature. This book takes the current criticism of Christian tradition to heart and invites a reconsideration of the problematic elements: its desacralization of nature; its preoccupation with the human being to the neglect of the rest of nature; its dualisms and elevation of the spiritual over material reality, and its habit of ignoring or resisting scientific understandings of the natural world. Anna Case-Winters argues that Christian tradition has a more viable theology of nature to offer. She takes a look at some particulars in Christian tradition as a way to illustrate the undeniable problems and to uncover the untapped possibilities. In the process, she engages conversation partners that have been sharply critical and particularly insightful (feminist theology, process thought, and the religion and science dialogue). The criticisms and insights of these partners help to shape a proposal for a reconstructed theology of nature that can more effectively fund our struggle for the fate of the earth.
The story of Christian thought is essential to understanding Christian faith today and the last two millennia of world history. This fresh and lively introduction explores the central ideas, persons, events, and movements that gave rise to Christian thought, from early beginnings to its present forms. By highlighting the important but often neglected role of women and the influence of non-Christian ideas and movements, this book provides a broader context for understanding the history of Christian ideas and their role in shaping our world. Christian Thought: * provides an overview of the context of Christianity's origin, including discussion of the influence of Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans * explores the major events and figures of the history of Christian thought, while drawing attention to significant voices which have often been suppressed * analyses the impact on Christian thought of widely discussed events such as The Great Schism, the Scientific Revolution, and modernism * surveys contemporary trends such as fundamentalism, feminism, and postmodernism. This fully revised and updated second edition features a new chapter on liberal theology and reflects recent scholarship in the field. Complete with figures, timelines and maps, this is an ideal resource for anyone wanting to learn more about the development of Christian thought and its influence over the centuries. Further teaching and learning resources are available on the companion website at www.routledge.com/cw/meister.
The book aims to answer key questions that students and the general reader may have about Christian ethics. The most common approach to the subject is usually to adopt a 'string of beads' approach, going through key subjects such as: scripture, natural law, virtue ethics; other ethical theories and so on. This is practical in terms of structuring ethical courses, but often leaves students struggling to see how the subject ties together, what is distinctive about Christian ethics and particularly why Christians disagree amongst themselves. This book adopts a narrative and 'concentric ring' approach, giving the overall picture right from the start, and expanding out from there, giving progressively more detail which can then be fitted into the overall picture, so that the initial picture can be seen more and more clearly.An overall picture of Christian ethics is given in Chapter 1, with key historical and theological issues also being introduced. Themes related to these issues are reinforced and developed in Chapters 2 and 3. The ground is then prepared for these to be integrated and contrasted with more contemporary ideas and developments in Chapter 4. Having focussed on differences (which also helps to further clarify the subject outline) in Chapters 3 and 4, Chapter 5 focuses on similarities, whilst still giving more insight into some differences. The topic of natural law is picked up again, and linked to issues of pluralism, whilst also serving as a basis for deeper discussion of both social justice, and global, medical and sexual issues.These are discussed in Chapters 6 to 8 where differences among Christians will be brought out in terms of the principles already explained, as also differences with non-Christian perspectives are referred to. The end of Chapter 8 links into Chapter 9 with an emphasis on the connection between the material and the spiritual. Chapter 9 explores this in terms of Christian spirituality seen in part as accessing the presence of the Spirit. Pastoral issues, including issues of suffering are commented on, before a sketch is given of the relationship between Christian ethics and Christian hope for the life to come. Finally, some signposts for further reflection and reading are given." Continuum's Guides for the Perplexed" are clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers and subjects that students and readers can find especially challenging - or indeed downright bewildering. Concentrating specifically on what it is that makes the subject difficult to grasp, these books explain and explore key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough understanding of demanding material.
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