Classical approaches to the idea of the imago Dei in the theology of creation have tended to postulate a distinctive element of the human being not found in other creatures, with the possible exception of angels. This is often combined with attempts to use the imago concept as an organizing principle within Christian theology. Such approaches are now problematic not merely on account of their exegetical findings, but for methodological reasons. In light of recent exegesis, the imago Dei in Genesis (...) 1:26–27 should be seen as a signifier of human life under God, rather than a single determining characteristic or essential attribute. Following the wisdom literature, the imago Dei can be understood, in a more diffused manner, as represented by human persons over long periods of evolutionary history in their characteristic quotidian forms of life, thus signifying the providential ordering of human life everywhere. The recent work of David Kelsey on theological anthropology is engaged in this context. (shrink)
Hume's thoroughgoing religious scepticism is set within the context of the Scottish Enlightenment. Against some interpreters, it is argued that, although elusive, his ‘attenuated deism’ (Gaskin) is not wholly dismissive of all forms of religious thought and practice. His position is further compared with contemporary expressions of ‘new atheism’. Despite some obvious similarities, Hume's position is judged more nuanced both in terms of content and rhetorical strategy.
One of the most significant contributions to the field in recent times, David Clough's work On Animals: Volume 1, Systematic Theology, should ensure that theologies of creation, redemption, and eschatological fulfillment give proper attention to animals. In a landmark study, he draws upon resources in Scripture and tradition to present a systematic theology that is alert to the place of animals in the divine economy. Amidst his relentless criticism of all forms of anthropocentrism, however, it is asked whether some unresolved (...) tensions emerge in relation to the traditional doctrine of God, the use of the category of the “personal” in theology, and the incarnation of the Word of God as a human creature. (shrink)
This book explores some issues on the borderland between moral philosophy and Christian theology. Particular attention is paid to the issues at stake between liberals and communitarians and the dispute between realists, non-realists and quasi-realists. In the course of the discussion the writings of Alasdair MacIntyre, George Lindbeck and Stanley Hauerwas are examined. While sympathetic to many of the typical features of post-liberalism, the argument is critical at selected points in seeking to defend realism and accommodate some aspects of liberalism. (...) The position that emerges is more neo-Barthian than post-liberal. In maintaining the distinctiveness of Christian ethics and community, the book also seeks to acknowledge common moral ground held by those within and without the church. (shrink)
Throughout his writings, Karl Rahner remained open to the prospect that the process of cosmic evolution had yielded sentient life form in other galaxies. He argued against any theological veto on this notion, while also distinguishing the existential significance of such life forms from that of angles. Furthermore, the possibility of multiple incarnations is raised though not affirmed. With its Christological intensity, his theology seems to militate against any repetition of the incarnation. This essay examines some of the arguments for (...) and against the possibility of multiple incarnations, before assessing the current state of the extraterrestrial intelligence debate. In the light of inconclusive scientific findings, the cautionary position of Rahner is reaffirmed. (edited). (shrink)
At a time when secular liberalism is in crisis and when the civic contribution of religion is being re-assessed, the rich tradition of Christian political theology demands renewed attention. This book, based on the 2001 Bampton Lectures, explores the relationship of the church both to the state and civil institutions. Arguing that theological approaches to the state were often situated within the context of Christendom and are therefore outmoded, the author claims that a more differentiated approach can be developed by (...) attention to the concept of civil society. The book offers a critical assessment of the effect of the First Amendment in the USA and, in a concluding chapter, it defends the case for continuing disestablishment in England and Scotland. (shrink)
This volume comprises a multidisciplinary study of the work of the important Scottish philosopher, John Macmurray. Macmurray held university posts in London and Edinburgh and exercised a wide influence through his many writings and BBC radio broadcasts. More recently, his work has come to prominence through his acknowledged influence on British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The essays in this collection are from a range of international scholars in the humanities and social sciences. In addition to a biographical introduction, they cover (...) themes in philosophy, religion, political theory, psychology, and ethics. A comprehensive bibliography of Macmurray's publications is also included. (shrink)
Schools of Faith represents a diversity of essays from scholars in several continents. The contributors, all leading theologians and ethicists, offer reflections on historical and contemporary themes which are significant for wider debates in theological education and church life in today's world. The range of contributor and content provides a fitting tribute to the work of Iain R. Torrance over many years. Amid the numerous subjects discussed, the authors focus on liturgy, textual criticism, public theology, the ethics of war, Christian (...) doctrine, divine action, ecumenism, inter-faith dialogue, spiritual formation, the office of the minister, and the interface between religion and literature. The multi-faceted nature of this collection signifies its importance for historical, systematic and practical theology. (shrink)
This volume concentrates on the period from the beginning of the 18th century to the latter part of the 20th. It is impossible to depict a single school of philosophical theology in Scotland across three centuries, yet several strains have been identified that suggest some recurrent themes or intellectual habits. These include the following: the mutually beneficial cross-fertilisation of the disciplines of philosophy and theology; the tendency to eschew powerful philosophical systems that might threaten to imprison theological ideas; a stress (...) on both the providential limitations and reliability of human reason; a suspicion of reductive theories of a materialist inclination; and a determination to inspect critically the proposals of theology and to place these in positive relation to other disciplines. (shrink)
This three-volume series provides a critical examination of the history of theology in Scotland from the early middle ages to the close of the twentieth century. Volume I covers the period from the appearance of Christianity around the time of Columba to the era of Reformed Orthodoxy in the seventeenth century.
This three-volume series provides a critical examination of the history of theology in Scotland from the early middle ages to the close of the twentieth century. Volume II begins with the early Enlightenment and concludes in late Victorian Scotland.
This three-volume series provides a critical examination of the history of theology in Scotland from the early middle ages to the close of the twentieth century. In Volume Three, the 'long twentieth century' is examined with reference to changes in Scottish church life and society.
The concept of providence is embedded in the life and theology of the church. Its uses are frequent and varied in understandings of politics, nature, and individual life-stories. Parallels can be discerned in other faiths. In this volume, David Fergusson traces the development of providential ideas at successive periods in church history. These include the early appropriation of Stoic and Platonic ideas, the codification of providence in the Middle Ages, its foregrounding in Reformed theology, and its secular applications in the (...) modern era. Responses to the Lisbon earthquake provide an instructive case study. Although confidence in divine providence was shaken after 1914, several models were advanced during the twentieth century. Drawing upon this diversity of approaches, Fergusson offers a chastened but constructive account for the contemporary church. Arguing for a polyphonic approach, he aims to distribute providence across all three articles of the faith. (shrink)
Any contemporary doctrine of sanctification faces certain problems, including the charges of individualism, Pelagianism, and detachment from the concerns of the world. Nevertheless, a strong doctrine of sanctification is the necessary counterpoint to a doctrine of justification. In an increasingly fragmented culture, sanctification needs to be set within an account of the church as a community of moral and spiritual formation.
The latest volume in the OUP History of Philosophy series comprises twelve essays, which provide in-depth study of a selection of philosophers who worked in the four ancient Scottish universities after 1800. Particular attention is dedicated to Thomas Brown, William Hamilton, James Frederick Ferrier, Alexander Bain, George Davie, and John Macmurray. Further chapters are devoted to the Scottish interpretation of Kant, idealism, and the international exporting of Scottish philosophy, especially its reception in American pragmatism. Introductory and concluding essays by the (...) editor consider the distinctiveness of Scottish philosophy and the contested ways in which it can be judged a coherent intellectual... (shrink)
The philosopher Michael Dummett has argued that a commitment to realism in a given domain must display the following marks: a conception of reality as determinate and mind-independent, the correspondence theory of truth, and a truth conditions theory of meaning. In his own and others' philosophy we see a series of arguments at work in the theory of meaning, in epistemology and in the philosophy of science which converge upon a common rejection of such realism. It is not surprising that (...) in such an intellectual climate we see a rise in non-realist theories of religion. Religious realities are here recognised as projected; theological truth is fixed by pragmatic criteria; and meaning is handled in terms of assertibility conditions. This rise of regulative religion has met with a variety of reactions ranging from a horror of being imprisoned by an alien philosophy to a delight that the true nature of religion has at last been brought into sharper focus. (shrink)