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Author: Markus Mühling
Der dreibändige, konzeptionelle Gesamtentwurf zur Theologie liefert auf Basis des Wahrwertnehmens des christlichen Glaubens mittels einer narrativen Ontologie eine "theologische Philosophie".
Author: Markus Mühling
Der dreibändige, konzeptionelle Gesamtentwurf zur Theologie liefert auf Basis des Wahrwertnehmens des christlichen Glaubens mittels einer narrativen Ontologie eine "theologische Philosophie".
Author: Markus Mühling
The three-volume, conceptual overall draft on theology provides a "theological philosophy" on the basis of the truthfulness of the Christian faith by means of a narrative ontology.
Author: Markus Mühling
The three-volume, conceptual overall draft on theology provides a "theological philosophy" on the basis of the truthfulness of the Christian faith by means of a narrative ontology.
Origen, Wisdom, and the Logic of Interpretation
In Learning the Language of Scripture, Mark Randall James offers a new account of theological interpretation as a sapiential practice of learning the language of Scripture, drawing on recently discovered Homilies on the Psalms by the influential early theologian Origen of Alexandria (2nd-3rd c. C.E). Widely regarded as one of the most arbitrary interpreters, James shows that Origen’s appearance of arbitrariness is a result of the modern tendency to neglect the role of wisdom in scriptural interpretation. James demonstrates that Origen offers a compelling model of a Christian pragmatism in which learning and correcting linguistic practice is a site of the transformative pedagogy of the divine Logos.
In this biography of Reformed theologian Francis Turretin (1623–87), Nicholas A. Cumming provides critical context for the life and theology of this important seventeenth-century theologian and his impact on the Reformed tradition as a whole. Turretin has commonly been identified as a strict scholastic theologian; this work places Turretin in his broader context, analyzing his life and theology in terms of the political and religious aspects of post-Reformation Europe and his posthumous influence on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Reformed theology. This work begins with a biography of Turretin, including his education and ministry, then proceeds to the context of Turretin’s theology in the early modern and modern periods, particularly in relation to his major work The Institutes of Elenctic Theology.
Retrieving Robert Browne (c. 1550-1633) for Contemporary Ecclesiology
In Ordained Ministry in Free Church Perspective Jan Martijn Abrahamse presents a constructive theology of ordained ministry by returning to the life and thought of the English Separatist Robert Browne (c. 1550-1633).

This study makes a substantial contribution not only by solving one of the most thorny problems in congregational ecclesiology, but also by recovering the legacy of this ecclesial pioneer. Through an in-depth analysis of Browne’s literature, the author provides a covenantal theology of ordained ministry in conversation with present-day authors Stanley Hauerwas and Kevin Vanhoozer.

Inspired by the emerging trend of ‘theology of retrieval’ Abrahamse offers a methodologically innovative way of doing systematic theology in a manner in which voices from the past can be made fruitful for today.
Editor / Translator: Bruce R. Pass
On Theology: Herman Bavinck's Academic Orations presents four previously untranslated works by Herman Bavinck (1854-1921). These works offer important insights into Bavinck’s conceptualisation of the discipline of theology, its place in the modern university, and the relation in which theology stands to religion. In the introductory essay, Bruce R. Pass draws attention to the way these speeches shed light on the development of Bavinck’s thought across his tenure at the Kampen Theological School and the Free University of Amsterdam as well as the complex relationship in which Bavinck’s thought stands to that of Friedrich Schleiermacher.

Abstract

This contribution provides clues as to why (the quest for) reconciliation in South Africa fits the broad definition of a wicked problem. Popularized by Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber (), wicked problem refers to something that is either too difficult or nearly impossible to resolve. It is abundantly clear from the available literature that reconciliation is understood in very different ways. Not only is there a lack of conceptual clarity, but strategies aimed at working towards this ideal reveal or produce new problems as an unintended consequence. Some strategies approach the discourse for the purpose of political expediency, while others are more interested in its theological (or existential) properties. This tension is referenced as the dominant split between heaven and earth. Notwithstanding the complexity of the problem, this contribution alludes to the limitations of such approaches if those who propagate them insist that such views remain mutually exclusive. Building on the theology of Allan Aubrey Boesak and Curtiss Paul DeYoung (), this contribution is an attempt to avoid the polarization of such views and highlight the fundamental asymmetry between divine and human action. This is underscored by the work of Christ through which God reconciled the world to himself (2 Cor. 5:19) and the ministry of reconciliation in society. In taking this approach, one avoids the tendency to provide superficial answers to a complex (wicked) problem.

In: Philosophia Reformata

Abstract

The world currently faces the highest number in recorded history of people fleeing from war and violence. Refugee-hosting countries in the western part of the world experience the effects of global issues more than ever and face dealing with humanitarian logistics for refugees on an unprecedented scale. These countries continuously optimize their policies regarding refugees by navigating between obligations toward the Geneva Refugee Treaty, manageability of the situation, and worries of their citizens voiced through public opinion. The issue can be considered a wicked problem because of its unpredictability, complexity, and global scale. Presuppositions about human flourishing affect the interpretation of well-being in refugee policies. In this article, we reflect on refugees’ experiences with Dutch asylum policies, analyzing these experiences through the theoretical lenses of Abraham Maslow, Manfred Max-Neef, and Herman Dooyeweerd. We learn from Maslow the importance of providing information for the satisfaction of basic needs; from Max-Neef we learn that, with the sole exception of the need for subsistence (that is, to remain alive), all fundamental needs are equally important; and from Dooyeweerd we learn that trust, though often overlooked, is important for refugee well-being.

In: Philosophia Reformata
Author: Philip Woodward

Abstract

I discuss three tiers of technological innovation: mild innovation, or the acceleration by technology of a human activity aimed at a good; moderate innovation, or the obviation by technology of an activity aimed at a good; and radical innovation, or the altering by technology of the human condition so as to change what counts as a good. I argue that it is impossible to morally assess proposed innovations within any of these three tiers unless we rehabilitate a natural-law ethical framework. And I offer some moral starting points within such a framework, in connection with innovations of each of the three types.

In: Philosophia Reformata

Abstract

In light of scholarly debates on the wicked problems framework, this contribution offers an appraisal of the role of theology in an African context characterized by myriad wicked problems. I argue that within the (South) African context, the decolonization of theology is indispensable for doing theology that is self-consciously contextual and therefore responsive to societal issues. This is crucial not least because of the widely recognized public role of religion in Africa. Drawing on the analytical framework of decoloniality and the theoretical concept of wicked problems, I will argue that although the category of wicked problems emerged within the framework of the intellectual world of the Northern Hemisphere, its analytical capacity is no less significant for contemporary African theological discourse on decoloniality.

In: Philosophia Reformata

Abstract

This contribution explores the assertion that climate change may be described as a “wicked problem.” It notes that the term was introduced in the context of the management sciences where a managerial ethos prevailed and where moral connotations were excluded. Subsequent references to climate change as a wicked problem maintained both these features. Yet, if climate change not only poses technological, economic, and political problems but also has moral and, indeed, spiritual challenges—as is widely maintained—then such moral connotations cannot be avoided. The description of a problem as wicked then becomes part of the problem. It is argued that the term is best understood as one used in jest, so that if we seek to define a problem’s wickedness in a conceptually precise way, we are missing the joke. The major moral dimensions of the challenges posed by climate changes should be taken seriously, but perhaps there is no need to take the term wicked problems all that seriously. What should not be laughed off is the managerial ethos that presumes that the challenges posed by climate changes can be addressed “exactly” through climate engineering or even social engineering.

In: Philosophia Reformata

Abstract

The concept of wicked problems has inspired researchers in a variety of research fields, but it has also led to various discussions on, for instance, conceptual confusion and ways to tackle such complex problems. Many contemporary problems can be characterized as wicked problems: their nature is complex and there is no one best possible way to solve them. During the last decades, many insights have been developed to define characteristics of wicked problems and ways to tackle them. At present, however, we need to examine the actionable knowledge accumulated in the literature to address the challenges that wicked problems create. Given the above, this introductory paper summarizes how wicked problems have evolved, what we have already learnt about them, and what scientific insights are needed to move forward. This systematic review can provide new knowledge that can lead to the development and subsequent evaluation of the wicked problems research area.

In: Philosophia Reformata

Abstract

In this article, the morality in the “wickedness” of design problems as wicked problems is explored. I will use for that purpose the characteristics of wicked problems as identified by Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber. These characteristics suggest interdisciplinary thinking for solving such problems. An awareness of the wicked nature of design problems can stimulate proper use of the concept of utopias for solving these problems. I will use the philosophy of Herman Dooyeweerd to provide a framework for understanding the nature of design problems as wicked problems.

In: Philosophia Reformata
Author: Manitza Kotzé

Abstract

While a distinction should be made between wicked problems as first defined by and and problems that are merely challenging and difficult to solve, in this contribution, I argue that climate change and the resulting destruction of nature could be explained as a wicked problem. One of the proposed solutions to climate change, making use of synthetic biology for nature conservation, has the potential to be classified not only as a wicked solution but as a solution that spawns a number of other wicked problems. I will examine the ethical issues raised by synthetic biology as a wicked solution to this super wicked problem from the perspective of Christian ethics, drawing in particular on the resources available in Christian ecotheology and, specifically, notions of interdependence, relationality, responsible stewardship, and global justice.

In: Philosophia Reformata
In: Ecclesiology
In: Ecclesiology