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Author: Andrew Shepherd

Abstract

Within the emerging field of evolutionary psychology a consensus is developing that the triggering of emotions is integral to the human response to threats. This understanding of human psychology underlies a vigorous debate within the contemporary activity of climate change communication regarding the efficacy of the emotions of fear vis-à-vis hope for mobilising human behavioural change. Noting the contours of this debate and the paucity of radical future vision casting within contemporary western political discourse, the article examines how images of terror function within the ‘Little Apocalypse’ passage in Matthew 24 and potential insights this offers to our contemporary situation. Building upon this biblical reflection, the article contends that the Christian practices of preaching and singing have significant power to shape communal imaginative visions of alternative futures. As such, these practices are critical gifts that the church can offer the environmental movement and broader society in this moment of time.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
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In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Stephen Pickard

Abstract

This article examines the theological concepts of divine simplicity and the attributes of God. The purpose of this inquiry is to explore the significance of these themes for Christian/Muslim dialogue. In this sense the article is an overture to a public theology undertaken through aspects of the doctrine of God foundational for Christians and Muslims. An introduction identifies the somewhat marginal significance of theological dialogue in Christian-Muslim encounter. In doing so it considers what contribution Karl Barth might have to make to Christian-Muslim reflections on the doctrine of God. The main focus of the article examines Barth’s treatment of divine simplicity and the attributes of God. In this respect the article highlights the importance of Barth’s ethical transposition of the doctrine of divine simplicity and its implications for inter-religious engagements in the world. The article argues for a public theology which takes more seriously the relationship between theory and practice in inter-religious dialogue.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Ben Siu-pun Ho

Abstract

The neologism ‘post-truth’ was declared to be ‘the word of the year’ in 2016 by the Oxford Dictionary. It came to prominence in the presidential election of that year in the United States and during the Brexit referendum. It represents the eclipse of a sense of shared objective truths and has become associated with terms like ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ – and, with reference to Covid-19, conspiracy theories. The purpose of this article is to provide a theological engagement with this phenomenon; it does so by making a distinction between two types of response in the extant literature. Moreover, it offers a critique on the basis of theories of ideology and politics and draws upon the theology of Paul Tillich to offer a constructive proposal.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Ben Myers

Abstract

This article argues that theology belongs in the university not because of its relationship to the other disciplines but because of its relationship to the church. It discusses Schleiermacher’s understanding of theology as a practical science oriented towards Christian leadership in society. It argues that Schleiermacher’s account provides an illuminating perspective on the history of academic theology in Australia. Theology belongs in the university not for any internal methodological reasons but because of specific contextual conditions in societies like Australia where Christianity has exerted a large historical influence. The article concludes by arguing that the ecclesial orientation of university theology is compatible with the aims of public theology, given that service to the Christian community is a means by which the common flourishing of society can be promoted.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
In: International Journal of Public Theology
In: International Journal of Public Theology
Author: Richard Wilson

Abstract

Hybrid churches adopt some local business practices and identities in order to create a place and role in secular public space for a public engagement. They use hospitality and embassy to challenge the basis of public engagement, discourse, objectives and goals. Hybrid organization alongside hospitality and embassy enables the creation of alternative public spaces in which engagement and discourse may take place according to an alternative communicative base to conventional public discourse, intentionally to critique secular conventions of public presence and discourse.

In: International Journal of Public Theology
In: International Journal of Public Theology