The Vision of God
Concentrating on the development of the ascetic tradition in Christianity, this book aims to provide a reasoned justification for the centrality of worship in Christian life, within the context of moral theology and ecclesiastical history. - Publisher.
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Concentrating on the development of the ascetic tradition in Christianity, this book aims to provide a reasoned justification for the centrality of worship in Christian life, within the context of moral theology and ecclesiastical history.
These, Bishop Kirk's Bampton Lectures of 1928, have been recognised as amongst the most important and readable works of moral theology published in the twentieth century. They provide a reasoned justification for the centrality of worship in Christian life, within the context of moral theology and ecclesiastical history. Concentrating on the development of ascetical theology in the early church, Kirk asks, 'Are rigorism, self-abnegation and world-flight no more than obsolete ideals of other days, or have they too an underlying principle of which the Church and the Christian are still in need?' Despite the massive learning on which it is based, Kirk's study of the Christian doctrine of the summum bonum never loses its way in a labyrinth of detail.
Kenneth E. Kirk was educated at the Royal Grammar School, Sheffield, and St. Johns College, Oxford. After serving as a chaplain in France and Flanders during World War One, he returned to Oxford to become Tutor at Keble College, Fellow at Magdalen College, Fellow and Chaplain of Trinity, and in 1933 Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology. He was Bishop of Oxford from 1937 until his death in 1954.
- Foreword Preface I. The Vision Of God In Pre-christian Thought I. The Vision Of God Ii. Formalism & Rigorism Iii. Jewish Anticipations (a) The Old Testament (b) The Apocalyptists (c) Rabbinic Theology Iv. Pagan Anticipations (a) Plato (b) The Mysteries V. Philo Of Alexandria Ii. The New Testament I. Rigorism & Eschatology In The Teaching Of Jesus Ii. New Testament Variations (a) The Synoptists (b) S. Paul Iii. The Origin Of New Testament Rigorism Iv. The Vision Of God In The New Testament (a) The Teaching Of Jesus (b) S. Paul (c) The Fourth Gospel Iii. Formalism I. The Beginnings Of Codification Ii. Codification In The New Testament Iii. The Dangers Of Formalism Iv. The Motive Of Reward In The Gospels Iv. Rigorism I. The Beginnings Of Monasticism Ii. Monasticism & The Vision Of God Iii. The Gnostics V. The Reply To Rigorism (i. - Discipline) I. Rigorists & Humanists Ii. The Two Lives Iii. The Reform Of Monasticism (a) S. Pachomius (b) S. Basil (c) S. Benedict Vi. The Reply To Rigorism (ii. - Doctrine) I. Naturalism & Christianity Ii. S. Clement Of Alexandria Iii. S. Augustine (a) The Two Cities (b) Grace & Freedom Iv. S. Bernard Of Clairvaux Vii. Confusion And Order I. The Twelfth Century Ii. The School Of S. Victor Iii. S. Thomas Aquinas Iv. S. Ignatius Of Loyala V. S. Francis De Sales Viii. Law And Promise I. The Reversal Of Tradition (a) Protestantism (b) Catholicism (c) 'practical' Prayer Ii. Worship & Service (a) Is The Quest For The Vision A Selfish Ideal? (b) Is 'worship' A Higher Ideal Than 'service'? Ii. Disinterestedness & Pure Love (a) Bossuet And Fenelon (b) The Spirit Of Worship Iv. Conclusion Index