This major book is a unique stocktaking of the issues facing public theology at the beginning of the 21st century, combining retrospect and prospect. The contributors are leading Christian theologians and social theorists from Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Asia. Part one surveys the legacy of the 20th century and asks what should be carried over into the third millennium. There are authoritative essays on political and public theology in Germany, Argentina, South Africa and Britain. In part two, the contested legacy of modernity itself is considered, revisiting such ideas as freedom, toleration, human rights, pluralism, environmental stewardship and God in history. Part three addresses globalization, offering a range of critical interpretations of this key concept for public theology in the 21st century. The final part offers theological and ethical insight into some of the most pressing public issues of the new century such as medical ethics, punishment and forgiveness, inequality, social exclusion, and political participation.
The book is a unique stocktaking, by a leading international group of theologians, social scientists and other scholars, on issues facing public theology at the beginning of the 21st century. It combines retrospect and prospect, in that it reflects on the issues and approaches that have characterized public theology in the 20th century, especially its latter half, and attempts to anticipate those which will or should come to the fore in the 21st century, seeking to discern continuities and changes. Three opening chapters deal with the overall theme of public or political theology, with Jurgen Moltmann giving a critical historical account from the Second World War onwards, Raymond Plant relating such theology to cultural pluralism, and Andrew Morton illustrating it from the work of Duncan Forrester. These are followed by pairs of contributions relating public theology to more specific topicsr: History; Technology and Creation; Globalization; Spirituality; Punishment and Forgiveness; Medical Ethics; Tolerance and Human Rights; Social Exclusion and Equality.
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