Shaping a Global Theological Mind by Darren C. Marks

By Darren C. Marks

Theological thinkers are put into contexts which tell their theological projects yet that context is mostly restricted to a ecu or North American centre, often ignoring minorities and lesser mainstream theologies even in that context. This paintings specializes in the shift of Christian theological pondering from the North Atlantic to the worldwide South, even in the North Atlantic Church and Academy. It supplies an international point of view on theological paintings, procedure and context. Theologians from North the USA, nice Britain and Europe, Africa, Asia, principal and South the United States touch upon how their particular context and method manifests, organizes and is prioritized of their inspiration in an effort to make Christian theology suitable to their group. by way of putting the worldwide South along the newly rising presence of non-traditional Western kinds reminiscent of Pentecostal, Aboriginal, and Hispanic theologies and theologians a clearer photograph of ways Christian theology is either enculturated and nonetheless familial is obtainable.

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This is, however, not the same as saying that the eleventh-century schism between East and West was altogether unavoidable; remember, for an entire millennium, both traditions had lived side by side within the bosom of the one Church. A particular place belongs to the different national traditions of Patristic writing be they Syriac, Ethiopian, Coptic, Arabic, Armenian or Georgian. Comparing the theological thinking and language of Ephrem the Syrian and Gregory of Nyssa, two representatives of the same faith, sharing the same spirituality, and near contemporaries yet living in totally different cultural and linguistic contexts, we cannot but notice the enormous difference between them.

We are calling for an end to a monochromatic teaching of Christianity with reference only to itself. Karl Barth’s method of writing church dogmatics that starts and ends with its own interior symbol system does not work in the missionary situation. As a theological method it works well in a situation of apostasy and amnesia, characteristic of much of Western Christianity. That is its great attraction. But once the brackets of Christendom are removed and Christianity finds itself anew in a globalized missionary situation, the factor of competition with other religious claims returns to the fore.

It had become commonplace in the academic community to criticize the missionary enterprise as an accompaniment of Western colonial exploitation, cultural supremacy, and imperial expansionism. The missionary movement was held up to ridicule, expressed in an often-quoted pithy statement by an African leader: ‘When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. ” We closed our eyes. ’ Popular movies like Hawaii portrayed missionaries in a very negative light. Two other developments contributed to such hyper-critical views of missions.

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