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Finding All Things in God

Finding All Things in God

by Hans Gustafson


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Hans Gustafson proposes pansacramentalism as holding potential for finding the divine in all things and all things in the divine, which carries significant inherent interreligious implications—especially for doing theology. Presupposing the challenge of doing theology divorced from spirituality (lived religious experience), he presents pansacramentalism as a bridge between the two. In so doing, Gustafson offers a history of spirituality and sketches the foundations of a classical approach to sacramentality (through Aquinas) and a contemporary approach to the same (through Rahner and Chauvet).
By presenting three fascinating case studies, this book offers particular instances of sacramentality in lived religious experience (i.e., sacramental spirituality). These case studies draw on Thomas Merton and place, Nicholas Black Elk and multiple religious identity, and Fyodor Dostoevsky and Wendell Berry and literature.
The book culminates by a) constructing a philosophy of sacramental mediation and criteriology of sacrament, b) engaging panentheism and the suffering of God and world, and c) proposing "panentheistic pansacramentalism" as a new model for understanding the divine-world relationship set in the context of a pansacramental theology of religious pluralism.
Finally, a method for doing theology interreligiously is offered based on the overall content of the book and within the context of the interdisciplinary field of interreligious studies.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498217989
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 12/04/2015
Pages: 356
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Hans S. Gustafson is the associate director of the Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning at the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) and the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University (Minnesota) where he teaches in the theology departments.

Table of Contents

List of Figures vi

Preface and Acknowledgments vii

Introduction xi

Part 1 "Tell Me Your Story"

1 "There's a Lot of Medicine in that Water" 3

2 Theology and Spirituality 23

3 Foundations of Sacramentality 47

4 The "Protestant Principle" and Sacramental Caution 69

5 A Rahnerian Pansacramental Proposal 80

6 Louis-Marie Chauvet: Beyond Aristotle and Aquinas 112

Part 2 "Believing is Seeing"

7 Sacramental Spirituality 123

8 Thomas Merton: Sacramental Spirituality and Place 131

9 Nicholas Black Elk: Sacramental Spirituality and Descandalizing Multiple Religious Identity 153

10 Dostoevsky and Wendell Berry: Sacramental Spirituality and Literature 183

Part 3 "Finding All Things in the Divine"

11 A Philosophy of Sacramental Mediation 207

12 Panentheism 245

13 Suffering in God and World 270

14 Towards a Pansacramental Theology of Religious Pluralism and Doing Theology Interreligiously 288

Bibliography 313

Name Index 329

Subject Index 335

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"To the religious world that has long suffered the split of theology and spirituality, Gustafson offers a very original and very persuasive attempt to reunite the two in terms of a pansacramental approach, a liturgical mediation between the two, and presents, in the process, a wealth of insights from Aquinas, Rahner, Chauvet, Merton, Nicholas Black Elk, Dostoevsky, and Wendell Berry. It enables us to 'find God in all things' in a way open to panentheistic sensibility and religious pluralism. I heartily recommend the book."

—Anselm K. Min, Professor of Religion, Department of Religion, Claremont Graduate University

"Enough authors have bemoaned the death of theology; it's time now to midwife her rebirth. In this tour de force, Gustafson unleashes the deeper meanings of symbol and sacrament to reunite theological reflection and spiritual living. Deeply Christian and deeply interreligious, his pansacramentalism destabilizes traditional dichotomies and radically expands the realm of the sacred. A must-read for all who are interested in the future of constructive theology."

—Philip Clayton, author of Transforming Christian Theology

"The theological vistas opened by twentieth-century developments in the concept of sacramentality have still only begun to be explored. Given that, as Hans Gustafson aptly avers, sacramentality entails the meeting of human particularity (spirituality) and divine universality (theology), each new generation must start afresh, critically building on prior scholarship while bringing new human resources to bear. Gustafson displays intellect, passion, and reverence for traditions in this new comprehensive, interdisciplinary contribution."

—Bruce T. Morrill, SJ, Vanderbilt University

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