Faith, Hope and Love: Interfaith Engagement as Practical Theology
Faith, Hope and Love: Interfaith Engagement as Practical Theology  -     By: Ray Gaston
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SCM Press / 2017 / Paperback
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Faith, Hope and Love: Interfaith Engagement as Practical Theology

SCM Press / 2017 / Paperback

In Stock
Stock No: WW054597


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Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 160
Vendor: SCM Press
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.38 (inches)
ISBN: 0334054591
ISBN-13: 9780334054597

Publisher's Description

Often Christian interfaith engagement has been viewed through the lense of theology of religions where the primary questions are often about the salvific destiny of people of other faiths. 'Faith, Hope and Love' offers an alternative approach asking how do Christian interfaith practitioners live out their discipleship in a multi-faith world? And what, theologically, is being expressed in their activity?

Demonstrating a new and innovative approach to interfaith engagement, this book argues for theological reflection on the multi faith reality of our society to focus on the practice of Christian interfaith engagement, drawing on the methodology of practical theology to explore the impact of encounter on Christian self-understanding. It suggests that other faith traditions are no longer a theological problem to be solved or people to be 'saved' but a potential 'means of grace' in which the Christian disciple learns more about God and grows in their relationship with Christ.

Part 1 Towards a Practical Theology of Interfaith Engagement

1. Faith, Hope and Love - Pedagogy for Interfaith Engagement
2. Beyond New Contestations - A Practical Theological Challenge to Particularists and Pluralists
3. Interfaith Engagement, Non-Violence and the Way of Salvation

Part 2 Challenging Islamophobia, Affirming Multiculturalism

4. Challenging Islamophobia - A Practical Theological Reflection
5. Rejoicing in the Truth - A Practical Theological Affirmation of Multiculturalism

Author Bio

Ray Gaston is Team Vicar of St Chad & St Marks in the Parish of Central Wolverhampton and Inter Faith Enabler for the Wolverhampton Episcopal Area and Advisor on Inter Faith relations to the Bishops of Wolverhampton and Lichfield. He is an Associate Tutor in Inter Faith Engagement at the Queens Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education in Birmingham and has served in parish ministry in multi faith areas in Leeds, Birmingham and Wolverhampton. He is author of 'A Heart Broken Open - Radical Faith in an Age of Fear' (2010) and a member of CTBI's Inter Faith Theological Advisory Group.

Editorial Reviews

"In his creative use of narrative, plus critical reflections on Inter-faith theory and practice, Gaston offers us an immensely intelligent and insightful text for the complex realities of our post Brexit age."
"In this book Ray Gaston gives us his own personal and inspiring vision for thinking about a Christian relationship to people of other religions in a diverse world. His reflections on a practical theology of religions address new directions and reframe many of the academic debates, yet also show how the classical typology (exclusivisms-inclusivisms-pluralisms) can be used as a tool for guidance in understanding day to day encounters and worldviews. The book is also shaped by Gaston's direct experience of working and living alongside Muslim colleagues as a parish priest, student, and theological educator. This feeds richly into the second part of the book where he addresses Islamophobia and multiculturalism, giving many practical and real life examples and case studies to show the application, relevance, and basis for his arguments. In particular he gives a Christian reading of why we should embrace multiculturalism and diversity as a positive, drawing from biblical exegesis and theological reflection. This book brings new concepts and further depth to existing ideas to the table. It will be of interest both to academic scholars of the theology of religions and related areas, but also to Christian priests, laypeople, educators, and anyone engaged in the religious diversity of our world and the way that it may be approached positively from a religious point of view. Highly recommended."
"The book is well named. Ray Gaston's faith shines through its pages (this is not a dry 'academic' abstract but penned from the perspective of someone who on a daily basis lives and ministers what he writes about); it gives me hope that in this time of hardening attitudes there is a vital role for interreligious engagement to play; and 'the greatest of these' is indeed love - I have realised more clearly than before that such engagement is not an optional extra for we who call ourselves Christians, but an expression of the vulnerable and kenotic love which lies at the very centre of our faith."
"Ray Gaston provides a timely and well-crafted encouragement to Christians who want to be involved in inter faith work, or who are already involved but are unsure of the theological grounds for their involvement. His stress on the practical discipline of engagement is well grounded in the examples he provides from his own experiences and from those of the many students he has mentored in this area. His reorientation of different theological approaches to the foundational theological virtues of faith, hope and love provides a welcome way for Christians to learn from, and be enriched by, methodological variety, rather than making it a theme of violent contestation. His constant return to the question, how engagement challenges, transforms or deepens the Christian faith of those engaged, can offer a way for all of us to grown into a greater appreciation of one another, and a more holistic account of the mission in which we share. Gaston understandably and unapologetically focuses on the Christian engagement with Islam, but much of what he says would also bear fruit in engagement with other religions. How good it would be to have at some future time his further reflections on the particularity of the Christian-Jewish engagement."

'More than just a title Faith, Hope and Love represents a thoughtful, imaginative and prophetic manifesto for theology and practice in an interwoven but fractured world. In this challenging but accessible book Ray Gaston offers us a model of liberative practical theology that is capable of energising activists and earthing academics. Holding personal commitment and radical openness in balance Faith, Hope and Love provides important resources for all who seek to move from Babel to Pentecost and the fear of difference to its affirmation as a gift from God."

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