According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Book Review: "Incarnational Humanism" by Jens Zimmermann



Incarnational Humanism
A Philosophy of Culture for the Church in the World


INTRODUCTION

Having left its Christian roots behind, the West faces a moral, spiritual and intellectual crisis. It has little left to maintain its legacy of reason, freedom, human dignity and democracy. Far from capitulating, Jens Zimmermann believes the church has an opportunity to speak a surprising word into this postmodern situation grounded in the Incarnation itself that is proclaimed in Christian preaching and eucharistic celebration.
To do so requires that we retrieve an ancient Christian humanism for our time. Only this will acknowledge and answer the general demand for a common humanity beyond religious, denominational and secular divides. Incarnational Humanism thus points the way forward by pointing backward. Rather than resorting to theological novelty, Zimmermann draws on the rich resources found in Scripture and in its theological interpreters ranging from Irenaeus and Augustine to de Lubac and Bonhoeffer.
Zimmermann masterfully draws his comprehensive study together by proposing a distinctly evangelical philosophy of culture. That philosophy grasps the link between the new humanity inaugurated by Christ and all of humanity. In this way he holds up a picture of the public ministry of the church as a witness to the world's reconciliation to God.


  • Proposes a distinctly evangelical Christian philosophy of culture
  • Builds on centuries of Christian reflection on the nature of humanity and human culture
  • Engages Irenaeus, Augustine, Henri de Lubac and Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Responds to current postmodern concerns and the challenge of pluralism
  • Provides a vision of common humanity from an orthodox Christian perspective
  • Contributes to contemporary discussions on the purpose of education and educational institutions


  • CONTENTS

    Preface

    1. Without Roots: The Current Malaise of Western Culture
    The West's Cultural Heritage: Christianity or Enlightenment?
    The Exhaustion of Secularism
    The Return of Religion

    2. The Beginnings of Incarnational Humanism
    Greco-Roman Antecedents
    Patristic Humanism
    Christology and the Incarnation
    The Imago Dei
    The Heart of Patristic Humanism: Deification
    The Correlation of Reason and Faith
    The Fruits of Reason: Education as Transformative Participation in the Divine Word
    The Foundation of a Common Humanity
    Eucharistic Humanism and Human Solidarity
    Conclusion

    3. The Further Development of Christian Humanism
    Medieval Humanism
    Conclusion
    Renaissance Humanism
    Introduction
    The Retrieval of Patristic Theology
    The Incarnation and the Imago Dei
    Humanistic Education
    The Importance of the Incarnation
    Christian Humanism after the Renaissance
    Conclusion

    4. The Rise of Anti-Humanism
    The Beginning of the End: The Unity of Mind and Being in Kant and Hegel
    Nietzsche's Anti-Platonism and the Birth of Anti-Humanism
    Nietzsche's Anti-Humanism Heirs: Michel Foucault and Martin Heidegger
    Martin Heidegger: From Anti-Humanism to Hyper-Humanism
    Conclusion

    5. Still No Incarnation: From Anti-Humanism to the Postmodern God
    Levinas's Humanism of the Other
    The Disincarnate God of Continental Philosophy
    Gianni Vattimo: Incarnation Without Transcendence
    Weak Thought or Weak Theology? Vattimo's Heideggerian Christianity
    Problems With Vattimo's Incarnational Ontology
    Conclusion

    6. Incarnational Humanism as Cultural Philosophy
    God's Presence in the World: Sacred and Secular
    God's Presence in the Church
    The Heart of the Church: The Eucharist
    The Sacrament of the Word
    Eucharistic Humanism: The Link Between Church and World

    Conclusion

    Bibliography

    Name Index

    Subject Index

    Scripture Index



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