Divine Teaching: An Introduction to Christian Theology / Edition 1

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This innovative work is an introduction to Christian theology with a difference. Not only does it interpret, with clarity and energy, fundamental Christian beliefs but it also shows how and why these beliefs arose, promoting an understanding of theological reflection that encourages readers to think theologically themselves.

From Irenaeus and Aquinas to Girard, from Augustine to Zizioulas and contemporary feminist thought, Divine Teaching explores the ways in which major thinkers in the Christian tradition have shaped theology through the wide variety of their encounters with God. It makes theological study adventurous and interactive, not necessarily requiring a faith commitment from all, but allowing readers a thoughtful involvement in the subject that takes seriously the Christian vision of God as the ultimate teacher of theology. Divine Teaching: An Introduction to Christian Theology is an imaginative and lively analysis of the Christian way of thinking, offering vivid and informing insight into the history and practice of Christian theology.

About the Author:
Mark A. McIntosh is Professor of Systematic Theology and Spirituality at Loyola University, Chicago

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"There are so many strengths to the book, many of which I've tried to point out. Chief among them is that this book is all about how we might actually learn about God from God, in our inmost being, not as bits of true information, but as an abiding light that will illuminate all other seeing and knowing." (Theophiliacs, 8 July 2011)

"Textbooks should only be written by genuine teachers who truly love their students. Mark McIntosh is clearly such a teacher." (Modern Theology, April 2010)“Astonishing in its combination of scope, acuity, and accessibility. In short, truly magisterial: this book is in all ways the product of a master theologian working at the top of his game.”
Charles T. Mathewes, University of Virginia

“Mark McIntosh has earned a justifiable reputation for his deeply passionate and highly literate books on Christian theology. This work adds further proof that his excellent reputation is warranted. I can think of no better guide for anyone interested in how theologians go about their task as well as why that task is both a rigorous intellectual discipline and a liberating adventure of the heart.”
Lawrence S. Cunningham, University of Notre Dame

“With its refreshingly original approach, this book offers an attractive and reliable introduction to newcomers to the subject as well as plenty to provoke old hands.”
Fergus Kerr, University of Edinburgh

“To be commended for its refreshing approach and inclusive perspective, and should be a welcome read for theological novices as well as veterans.”
Anglican Theological Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405102704
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/27/2007
  • Series: Blackwell Guides to Theology Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.02 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark A. McIntosh is Professor of Systematic Theology and Spirituality at Loyola University, Chicago, where he has taught undergraduates and doctoral students for fifteen years. His publications include Christology from Within: Spirituality and the Incarnation in Hans Urs von Balthasar (1996), Mystical Theology: The Integrity of Spirituality and Theology (Blackwell, 1998), Mysteries of Faith (2000), and Discernment and Truth (2004). A priest in the Episcopal Church, he has served as canon theologian to the Presiding Bishop and Primate.

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Table of Contents

Preface     ix
Becoming a Theologian     1
How God Makes Theologians     3
Astonishment and Theological Virtue     3
Resurrection to Pentecost: Where Christian Theology Begins     7
But Can You Study Theology without Having to Believe?     13
Strange Calling: Theologians as Adventurers, Pirates, Mystics, and Sages     16
Adventure: Continuing Conversion of the Theologian     16
Piracy: Thinking Analogically     18
Mystical Life: Interpreting Reality in Terms of God     22
Wisdom: Thinking by Means of God's Thoughts     27
Divine Teaching and Christian Beliefs     31
Theology's Weakness and Wisdom's Parting Gift     32
Sacred Teaching: The Nature and Function of Christian Beliefs     35
Visions of the Whole: Origen, Aquinas, and Barth     40
How Not to Believe: The Dangers of Fantasy and Fanaticism     46
Theology's Search for Understanding     55
Salvation: The Foundation of Christian Theology     57
Orientation     57
Why Start with Salvation?     57
Salvation as the Basis for Christian Theology     59
Identifying Different Approaches to the Mystery of Salvation     65
Salvation:Meeting Heaven Face to Face     79
Landmarks     79
Irenaeus: Salvation and New Creation     80
Brief Interlude: A Crucial Difficulty in Soteriology     86
Augustine and God's Justice     87
Anselm and the Divine Order     91
Pathfinding     94
On the Death of Christ: Orthodox, Feminist, and Girardian Concerns     94
Salvation and the Paschal Mystery     99
Divine Life: Trinity, Incarnation, and the Breathing of the Spirit     111
Orientation     111
Sheer Bliss: Why God Reveals Divine Life to be the Trinity     111
Forgiveness and Abundance: Origins of Trinitarian Awareness     114
The Life of the Incarnate Word and the Power of the Spirit     117
The Developing Principles of Trinitarian Theology     119
Landmarks     138
Augustine on the Mysterious Attraction of the Trinity     139
Karl Barth on the God Who Loves in Freedom     159
Pathfinding     167
Questions in Trinitarian Theology Today     167
The Trinity and Mystical Participation in God     175
Creaturely Life: A Journey towards Beatitude     179
Orientation     179
Death No Longer Has Dominion: Creation's Path in the Light of Easter     180
Creation - Revelation - Sacrament     188
Human Life - Ecclesial Life - Beatitude     199
Landmarks     204
Thomas Aquinas on Creation: "A Representation of the Divine Wisdom"     204
Blaise Pascal an Human Existence     210
Pathfinding     217
Two Disputed Questions     217
The Human Calling in Creation     222
Notes     229
Bibliography     241
Index     249
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