Theology for Changing Times
John Atherton and the Future of Public Theology
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From wealth creation to wealth distribution and social ethics, from urban mission to religious studies and psychology the work of John Atherton was breathtaking in scope and variety. Unifying all of his work, however, was a concern with engaging the work of theology with wider society.
With contributions from some of the leading lights in public theology today, this book offers not only an appreciation of John Atherton's work within a prodigiously large array of disciplines, but also an attempt to ask `what next', taking his work forward and considering where the future of public theology might lie. John Atherton's last published article is also reproduced.
List of Contributors
Preface by Lesley Atherton
1. Introduction: Genealogies, Typologies and Reformulations - Christopher Baker and Elaine Graham
2. By Their Fruits You Shall Know Them: The Economics of Material Wellbeing and a Christianity Fit for Purpose - John Atherton
3. Grounded and Inclusive: Public Theology from the Grass Roots - Hilary Russell
4. ‘The Manchester School’: University, Cathedral, William Temple Foundation - Peter Sedgwick
5. Christian Social Ethics and Political Economy - Carl-Henric Grenholm
6. John Atherton: Industry, the City and the Age of Incarnation - Malcolm Brown
7. Economic Activity, Economic Theory and Morality - Ian Steedman
8. Faith, Finance and the Digital - John Reader
9. Bending it Like Atherton: Doing Public Theology in an Age of Public Anger - William Storrar
10. Flourishing and Ambiguity in UK Urban Mission - Anna Ruddick
11. Alternative Possible Futures: Unearthing a Catholic Public Theology for Northern Ireland - Maria Power
12. Afterword: Genealogy and Generativity - Christopher Baker and Elaine Graham
'John Atherton’s work has served as beacon to many in the church, academy and wider world. Christopher Baker and Elaine Graham have assembled a rich, wise and searching body of contributors, whose essays continue to grapple with Atherton’s agenda. Namely, making sense of theology as a public discourse for the re-shaping of society – and not merely some internal language to be spoken by Christians alone. This book has urgency and poise, coupled to wisdom and application. It is one the very best contributions to public theology to have emerged in recent years.' -- Martyn Percy, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford
'This all-star collection of essays strikes sparks off the valuable legacy of the late John Atherton's social theology. It will hugely enrich our understanding of the impressive trajectory of Anglican social thought that runs from William Temple to the present. It will spur us to a more incarnational engagement with the empirical, material world and stimulate a deeper wrestling with the the unresolved theological problem of the meaning of 'the secular' in our contemporary pluralistic society.' - Paul Avis, honorary professor in the Department of Theology and Religion in the University of Durham.
'...a fitting tribute to one of the most eminent Anglican public theologians of our time. Through a series of fascinating personal portraits and creative theological engagements, it portrays John Atherton as an astute, knowledgeable, rooted yet broad-minded reader of the signs of the times and a passionate, provocative and imaginative communicator of Christian public wisdom for those times.' -- Jonathan Chaplin, Director, Kirby Laing Institute for Christian Ethics