Power (New Century Theology Series)
Stephen Sykes is one of the most original and creative theologians writing today. Here Sykes tackles head on one of the most fundamental but contentious issues in the Church today and examines its theological roots. In most of the great...
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Stephen Sykes is one of the most original and creative theologians writing today. Here Sykes tackles head on one of the most fundamental but contentious issues in the Church today and examines its theological roots. In most of the great ecclesiastic disputes today, be it the ordination of women or of practising homosexuals or the teaching authority of the Churches, the issue of power is fundamental. What do we mean by the power of God, the power of the Gospel and by our easy reference to `the powers that be'. The author's contention is that some deep and fundamental issues need to be explored and worked through before many of the most pressing contemporary issues can be resolved.
InPower and Christian Theology, Stephen Sykes examines the ambiguous role played by the concept of power in Christian theology. Centuries of experience of the abuse of power have taught us to be instinctively suspicious of it. But can a faith which celebrates a 'God of power and might' dispense with it entirely?
In the history of theology, and based in the Scriptures, are to be found diverging tendencies; one which sees no difficulty in the affirmation of divine power and its human embodiment, the other in which power is radically re-thought. In early modern Europe power was given new, realistic expression, and the discipline of sociology was born. Theology has had consequently to face new problems.
Stephen Sykes argues that it is not credible to attempt to dissociate Christian faith from the phenomena of power in their entirety. He holds that human beings are enmeshed in a deeply ambiguous context, a world of overlapping and intersecting powers. The dangers which inevitably accompany the use of power are better avoided by their explicit recognition, than by heroic exercises of self-deception.
Bishop Stephen Sykes was formerly Dean of St. John's College, Cambridge and Bishop of Elm. He is now Principal of St. John's College in the University of Durham, England.
- 1. Power: An Essay In Definition; 2. Power And Theology: A Map; 3. The Affirmation Of Power; 4. The Rejection Of Power; 5. Sociology And Theology; 6. Power And Sacrifice; 7. How To Run A Church.