Theology in the Public Sphere
Public Theology as a Catalyst for Open Debate
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Theology in the Public Sphere discusses the nature, methodology and issues in formulating public theology, the engagement of living religious traditions with their public environment - the economic, political and cultural spheres of common life.
Public theology has emerged as theologians wrestle with the problem of the privatisation of Christian faith and seek to engage in dialogue with those outside church circles on various issues, urging Christians to participate in the public domain. It provides an alternative mode of engagement to any form of monopoly in public life by promoting critical inquiry and open debate.
This landmark volume outlines a constructive model of doing theology in the public sphere. UIt draws on the author's extensive experience in a number of different international contexts and shows how public theological thinking is applied to a number of recent case studies such as the Danish cartoon affair, the debate about Sharia Law and the churches involvement in reconciliation.
Contents: Part I. Exploring public theology
1.Introduction:Theology and the public sphere
2. The Bible as a public book: Perspectives from global Christianity
3. Doing public theology: The example of eco-theology
Part II. Public theology in global contexts
4. The church as a public body: Exclusion and the quest for authentic community in India
5. Socio-political reconciliation: Struggles against injustice and division in Korea
6. Global economic justice: Latin American initiatives to overcome inequalities
7. Peace-building: The response of the Western churches to the Iraq War
Part III. Public theology in Europe
8. Interactive pluralism in multicultural society: Rowan Williams’ lecture on Sharia Law
9. Freedom of expression versus respect for faith: The Danish cartoons
10. Community identity and critical dialogue: The Racial and Religious Hatred Bill
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