Contextual Theology for the Twenty-First Century
‘Is God Dead?’ the cover of TIME magazine asked its readers back in 1966. The provocative question was said to express the recognition of the growing atheism among the American population in the Sixties, in the aftermath of WWII and the beginning of what is today known as postmodern era. In theology, these developments eventually climaxed in the formation of the movement ‘Death of God’.
It was the beginning of Western culture as we know it today, coined by the triumph of technology. The television quickly rose to prominence and soon people were following church ceremonies in their living room and started worshiping (in front of) the TV-screen. “Gods place was taken by mass media”, the French philosopher J. Baudrillard appropriately summarized the developments of this era. It was the beginning of the time, when the worshiping of God slowly gave way to the unrestraint of everyday life as people, infected by the rationality of the technological progress, could not agree on the idea of a supernatural God, who is keeping an eye on us. It was the reason why theothanatologians like Gabriel Vahanian, Paul Van Buren, William Hamilton, John A.T. Robinson, Thomas J. J. Altizer, John D. Caputo demanded a new experience of the Deity, concluding the concept of transcendence had lost its place in modern thought. The provocative calling of God’s aliveness in question was just the ultimate consequence. It was an appeal (whether by theologians or the media) to integrate the idea of a God in a (post-)modern context and to re-think theology within this new environment.
Although approaching theology less radical, Stephen B. Bevan and Katalina Tahaafe-William should be categorised as standing in this tradition. Contextual Theology for the Twenty-First Century represents their considerations to deal with theology in a different, more modern way. The book, a compilation of eight essays, suggests new ideas and methods for the systematic study of the existence and nature of the divine and its relationship and influence upon us human beings. At a time where it seems there are more Beliebers than Believers, the volume points to agendas scholars have to deal with, now and in the forthcoming future, to cope with theology’s struggle to be in a dialogue with the life lived by twenty-first century Christians.
by Bevans, Stephan B. & Tahaafe-Williams, Katalina
Release Date: 26/07/2012