Thinking Christ: Christology and Contemporary Critics

Thinking Christ: Christology and Contemporary Critics

by Jane Moulaison


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Jane Barter Moulaison's remarkable book engages contemporary critical understandings of Jesus Christ-including postcolonial, feminist, pluralist, ecological, and socialist-to argue that the core convictions of traditional Christology remain a viable, valuable, and even indispensable witness to the gospel in an imperiled world.

Contemporary theology often makes a virtue of deconstructing traditional claims about the person and work of Christ. Claims about the central significance of Jesus Christ appear to be oppressive, intolerant, and even violent. Jane Barter Moulaison engages several contemporary christological critiques of classical Christology and argues that such critical theologies are not undermined by the claim of Christ's central significance but are rather radicalized by it. She ably re-reads the tradition that seeks to interpret Christ's saving activity in light of several contemporary theological and political concerns. In so doing, she suggests that there are extraordinary resources available to those who long for political and material transformation precisely through the abandonment of spiritualized answers to Jesus' question: "Who do you say that I am?"

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800698737
Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
Publication date: 05/01/2012
Pages: 188
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Jane Barter Moulaison is Associate Professor of Theology and Church History, University of Winnipeg, and is author of Lord, Giver of Life (2007) and editor of The Future of Theological Education in Canada (2009). She is also a priest in the Anglican Church of Canada.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction "Pay the Debt" 1

Transcending the Limits of Privilege 2

The Importance of Incarnation 3

The Gifts of Nicene Theology 5

Christ as Exemplum and Sacramentum 8

The Virtue of Humility 10

Reading the Text of Scripture and the Text of the World 11

What Is Theological Critique? 14

The Design of This Book 17

1 "We Believe in One Lord, Jesus Christ": Proclaiming Christ's Lordship in the Midst of Empire 21

Postcolonialism and Empire Analysis 22

Contemporary Responses to Empire 23

Augustine's Ambiguous Relationship with Imperial Power 27

Augustine's Political Theology 28

Conclusion: Confessing Christ as Lord in the Midst of Empire 39

2 "Begotten of the Father before All Worlds": Jesus Christ and Creation 41

Ecotheology and Sacramental Christology 42

Basil on the Diversity and Design of Nature 45

The Imago Dei and Likeness to God 48

Creation as Sign and Sacrament 49

Conclusion: Asceticism, Incarnation, and the Flourishing of Creation 56

3 "By Whom All Things Were Made": Use and Enjoyment of Theological Language 63

Religious Longing and Linguistic Representation 66

Using the Things of the World 72

Critiquing and Ordering Desire 75

Scripture and Signs 78

Conclusion: Gender as Provisional Sign 80

4 "Very God of Very God": Proclaiming Christ's Divinity in a Pluralist Age 83

Unity and Particularity in the Meaning of Religion 84

Tolerance as a Secular Value 87

Athanasius and What It Means to Be Human 92

Divine Immanence and Transcendence 93

Conclusion: Confessing the Crucified One in Humility 102

5 "He Was Crucified for Us under Pontius Pilate": Proclaiming the Cross in a Violent World 105

Models of Atonement 106

Demystifying the Cross 108

Atonement as Recapitulation 110

Conclusion: God's Power in Suffering 119

6 "To Judge the Quick and the Dead": Christ and the Redemption of Memory 121

Augustine and the Gift of Memory 125

The Problematic Nature of Forgiveness 130

The Economy of Forgiveness 132

Memory and Charity 135

Memory and Eucharist 136

The Eternal and the Mundane 138

Conclusion: Memory and the Future 140

Conclusion. "Inventory the Heritage"-Christology and Critique 141

Notes 145

Bibliography 169

Index 179

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