This article examines the way that public theology addresses the contemporary challenges represented by pluralism, secularization, and globalization. In analyzing how these challenges represent the context in which a 21st century public theory must be done, it attempts to demonstrate how public theology must craft a response that emerges out of a self-consciously theological and moral engagement with them. The question of “whose public” is being addressed necessarily raises the complementary question of with “which theology” we should engage it. Several options, confessional, apologetic, and synthetic, are considered. In the final analysis, each of these options offers promising possibilities, but also carries attendant risks, of which the two most pressing are ossification and dissolution.
This article examines the way in which the theology of Jonathan Edwards can contribute to the construction of a Christian approach to ecological ethics that maintains crucial elements of the Christian theological tradition. By way of comparison, the article begins with an examination of the work of Rosemary Radford Ruether, whose approach to dealing with the ecological implications of the Christian tradition diverges sharply from the perspective offered by Edwards, and provides a useful contrast to his approach. The article then turns to an extensive discussion of Edwards’ view of nature and the theology of creation, particularly the relationship between creation and the triune nature of God. The final sections examine an application of Edwards’ theology of creation to the development of a Christian environmental ethic.