A Liberal Theology For the Twenty First Century
This text is an attempt to explore the methods of the liberal Christian tradition, along with what this tradition has to say about certain fundamental questions, particularly those pertaining to the nature and reality of God and the implications for...
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This text is an attempt to explore the methods of the liberal Christian tradition, along with what this tradition has to say about certain fundamental questions, particularly those pertaining to the nature and reality of God and the implications for human life of any answers that might be given. To explore the fundamental questions about the nature and reality of God this book follows seven steps. The first two seteps look at where to begin when answering the fundamental questions, while the following steps are an attempt to answer them. Steps three and four explore negative and positive answers to the question Is God a reality. Step five examines the case for theism, the belief in the God, creator of the universe; while step six looks at the different forms that theism may take. The final step, step seven, concludes the quest for rational answers to fundamental questions.
Liberal theology, in its typical form, represents the attempt to approach religion from a rational perspective without denying or belittling the importance of religious experience and religious commitment. Versions of liberal theology can be found in all the great religions.This book is primarily concerned with a Christian tradition that goes back to the second century and reached a high point in the seventeenth. This tradition includes a method of inquiry which, when re-evaluated in the light of recent discussions on the nature of rationality and applied to contemporary issues, reveals that there are versions of materialism, monism and theism that can accord with rationality. While liberal theology cannot demonstrate the truth of theism, it can present it not only as one of the rational options, but as an option that has uniquely attractive characteristics, and when the liberal tradition is taken at its best, it can support a version of Christianity which continues to refer to God as a transcendent 'reality', and which can continue to support recognizable doctrines of incarnation, redemption and Trinity.The liberal theology introduced and advanced in this book can be contrasted with many recent 'radical theologies', and could be called 'liberal orthodoxy'. Students of philosophy, theology and religious studies, as well as clergy and interested lay readers, will find this an accessible insight into liberal theology and to current debates on materialism, atheism and inter-faith dialogue.
Michael J. Langford is the author of numerous how-to books and articles on photography. He writes for a variety of audiences; books like Learn Photography in a Weekend are geared to the casual picture-taker, while works such as The Single Lens Reflex Handbook or The Darkroom Handbook: Photography Consultant are developed with the professional photographer in mind. The main benefit of photography, Langford believes, is that it enhances the way people see the world. One of Langford's best-known works is Basic Photography, an international best-seller that has been translated into four languages and gone through six editions. A comprehensive introduction to the subject, Basic Photography and its companion volume, Advanced Photography, are frequently used as textbooks in photography courses. Other books by Langford include Photography: Materials and Methods, The Step-by-Step Guide to Photography, Better Photography, and Visual Aids and Photographs in Education. Langford's expertise in how-to books erives in part from his many years of teaching. He is the Photography Course Director at the Royal College of Art in London, and has also taught at the London College of Printing and the Birmingham College of Art and Design, where he was the Head of the School of Photography. He has also worked as a photographer for several advertising agencies and magazines in England and in Europe.
- Introduction: A Castler Story; The Need For A Rational And Liberal Theory; The Meaning Of "reason"; The Scope Or "range" Of Reason; The Meaning Of "liberal"; The Order Of Inquiry. Where To Begin?: The Search For An Absolute Starting Point; Step One - The Response To Positivism - Are The Fundamental Questions "meaningful"?; Step Two - The Response To Postmodernism - Universal Aspects Of "reason" And "objectivity; Reason And Paradox; Reason And Analogy; The Cultural Context Of Rationality; Some Religious Options. Materialism: The Meaning Of Materialism; The Physical Universe As A "whole"; The Explanation Of Consciousness; Levels Of Explanation. Religious Experience And Monism: Monism; The Content And Interpretation Of Religious Experience; Some Sceptical Responses To Religious Experience; The Claims Of "pernnial" Philosophy; Problems With Monism. The Meaning Of Theism: Essential Characteristics Of Theism; God And Providence; God As Omnipotent And Omniscient; Creator "out Of Nothing"; The Goodness Of God; God As The Source Of Grace; God As Ultimatel Reality Or Infinite "substance"; God As "necessary Being"; God And Mystery; Theism And Revelation; God And Personal Faith. The Traditional Arguments For The Existence Of God: The Cosmological Argument Revisited; The Cosmological Argument And Probibility; The Moral Arguments; Four Other Arguments For The Reality Of God; The Problem Of Suffering. The Trinitarian Option: Forms Of Theism; The Accuracy Of Scripture; The Experience And Interpretation Of Redemption; Redemption And Incarnation; Problems With The Divinity Of Christ; The Problem Of Exclusivity; The Holy Spirit; Theism And Immortality. Some Personal Options: Recapitu;ation; Exclusivness And Caricature; The Role Of A Religious Community; Is There "one, True Church"?; Verbal Inspiration And Infallibility; An Anglican Option; Conclusion. Appendices: Miracles Revisited; Three Suggested Creeds; A Meditation.