by Hugh Rock
from Modern Believing Vol 58:1 - January 2017

Abstract:

This article analyses the three liberal principles in the religion of George Fox; the priority of deed over doctrine, the priority of the light in relation to scripture, and an incipient Humanism. It is proposed that his Christianity is an underused resource for theological liberalism.

Keywords:

GEORGE FOX, QUAKERISM, LIBERAL THEOLOGY, CALVIN


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by Simon Taylor
from Modern Believing Vol 58:1 - January 2017

Abstract:

This positive biblical argument for same-sex marriage begins by noticing that it is unlikely Christianity should be interested in marriage at all. That interest comes from the eschatological account in Isaiah and Revelation of the relationship of God and creation as one of marriage. This eschatological approach enables a deeper reading of the household code in Ephesians and its account of marriage. The paper then turns to an account of Gentile inclusion as a model of how the Church might accept gay and lesbian people. It challenges Andrew Goddard’s use of Acts 15 to reinforce the prohibition of same sex relationships, by drawing attention to the way in which the Council of Jerusalem uses scripture. The paper challenges the way in which the enforced celibacy imposed on gay clergy undermines the liberating origins of Christian celibacy. It argues that Genesis 2 is badly misused to support compulsory heterosexuality. The paper then identifies a number of gifts that same-sex marriage brings to straight marriage, not least an undermining of patriarchal structures. Finally, the paper turns to the First Letter of John and warns that in failing to recognise love in same-sex relationships, the Church is in danger of failing to recognise God.

Keywords:

BIBLE, CELIBACY, CHURCH OF ENGLAND, CREATION, ESCHATOLOGY, GENTILE INCLUSION, MARRIAGE, THEOLOGY


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by Keith Ward
from Modern Believing Vol 58:1 - January 2017

Abstract:

Professor Schmidt-Leukel has claimed that there are only four possible views about truth in religion. Either no religions are true, or only one religion is true (exclusivism), or many are true, and either one is superior (inclusivism) or all are about equally true (pluralism). I argue that the ideas of equal or superior truth are unclear, and that there are many other possible views. I propose a twofold contrast – between closed (rigid, crucially important and totally authoritative) and open (flexible, varying in importance and restrictedly authoritative); and between exclusive (only one path leads to salvation) and inclusive (many paths lead towards salvation).

Keywords:

AUTHORITY, CLOSED VIEWS, EXCLUSIVISM, INCLUSIVISM, OPEN VIEWS, PLURALISM, RELIGION, SALVATION, TRUTH


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Guest editorial by Katharine Sarah Moody
from Modern Believing Vol 57:4 - October 2016

Pyrotheology: Living the Afterlife of the Death of Theology

Peter Rollins is a Belfast-born writer and speaker, now living in the United States, whose work is important for understanding how radical theology and radical community could shape future transformations of western Christianity. He is academically trained in continental philosophy and political theory but writes for non-academic audiences and often uses parables as a form of indirect communication (see Rollins 2009). He fuses an educational background in philosophy and political thought with interests in Christian mysticism, negative theology, existentialism, story-telling and psychoanalysis. Using G.W.F. Hegel, Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Marx, Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, Jean-Luc Marion, Paul Tillich, John D. Caputo, Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan and Slavoj Žižek as principal interlocutors, Rollins offers readers a sketch of what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called a ‘religionless Christianity’ (1971, p. 282).

by John D. Caputo
from Modern Believing Vol 57:4 - October 2016

Abstract:

Taking my point of departure from Virginia Woolf’s exclamation, ‘let it blaze, let it blaze’, in reference to the destruction of the prevailing system of the education of women, which effectively excluded them from power, I advance the claim that the fire of Pyrotheology is not light but heat, not the light of Enlightenment but the heat of passion, the heart aflame, a fiery passion for the impossible, a passion of non-knowing, a passion for the unknown. Playing with fire is also dangerous; fire is also what theology prepares for the heretics. Fire is a figure of the event. The event both burns off the old and enkindles the new. The pyrotheological burns off certainty, safety, self-satisfaction in order to enkindle a more dangerous faith which keeps the future open after the death of God. I conclude with several questions for Peter Rollins about the desire of Pyrotheology.

Keywords:

DEATH OF GOD, DECONSTRUCTION, EVENT, NONES, PYROTHEOLOGY, PETER ROLLINS, RADICAL THEOLOGY, RELIGION WITHOUT RELIGION, VIRGINIA WOOLF


You can read the full article on the Liverpool University Press website (subscription required) or join Modern Church and receive your own copy of our journal quarterly.