Σύμπαν και άνθρωπος

Όλα στο σύμπαν αφορούν τη μεταμόρφωση.Η ζωή μας μοιάζει με τις σκέψεις που τη διαμορφώνουν.

Μάρκος Αυρήλιος

Σάββατο, 1 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

Modern Theology and Religious Pluralism Crisis of Theology & the Problem of Legitimacy

Traditional theology took place in cultural contexts that reinforced the assumed truth of the basic religious dogmas which served as the theologian’s subjects of study. The modern world of increased religious pluralism and interfaith dialogue, however, has generally eliminated such assumptions and also undermined the effectiveness of traditional apologetics. Because the world has moved on, theology has had to evolve in order to cope.
This is sometimes referred to as a “crisis of theology” because theologians are forced to come up with new ways to legitimize the entire religious program from the ground up. Developments within religion (pluralism) and in the surrounding society (secularization) have challenged earlier foundations to the point where they no longer serve to support religious beliefs.
One tactic adopted by modern theologians is to develop critical justifications of dogmas usually taken on faith. Although theologians continue to assume their truth, a renewed effort is made to offer rational grounds for believing them. This differs from traditional apologetics because, rather than trying to construct rational proofs for the truth of dogmas, theology now attempts to explain how these dogmas might still have meaning for people even if they have reasons to doubt their truth.
This is not to say that traditional apologetics have been eliminated; far from it, in fact, especially in conservative, evangelical Christian churches. It does mean, however, that even when traditional apologetics is attempted it is no longer possible to proceed without a bit more critical reflection on one’s own dogmas and premises.
Another tactic is to more deeply insert theology into practical work being done today: politics, sociology, and psychology for example. A “political theology,” for example, would take some of the basic dogmas of religion and formulate them in a manner that is critical of society, seeking practical political solutions via the insights afforded by religious tradition. A good example of this would liberation theology, a combination of traditional Catholic doctrine and Marxist political philosophy that has been popular throughout Latin America for many years.
Thus, theological ideas develop in a matrix of political or social struggle rather than the white towers of academia or the cloistered halls of churches. In this manner theologians hope to make theology more relevant to modern, secularized cultures that have lost their traditional respect for the authority of priests, theologians, and church fathers. Other examples of politicized theologies include African theology, feminist theology, and black theology.
A third tactic that has become common among theologians is to push for greater ecumenism among various religious traditions. It’s to be expected that modern theology can’t proceed very far without taking at least some ecumenical considerations into account — the progress of religious pluralism has gone too far.
So-called “ecumenical theology,“ though, does more than simply acknowledge the existence of other theological systems: it also takes the contributions of those theologies into account, incorporating them into one’s own theological system. This tactic has achieved some measure of success within Christianity, though it still has a ways to go between religious traditions. Its purpose and methods are supposed to bring about greater unity among churches and, hopefully, religions.
One of the results of this is that the theologies of individual Christian traditions have lost much of their distinctiveness. They become “meta-confessional,” representing a consensus of theologians from many different and, traditionally, hostile churches. Ecumenical theologians proclaim their rejection of dogmatism and their reliance on tolerance. This sort of theology is likely one of the causes of the decreasing differences between the mainline Protestant churches in America. Ecumenical theology is generally rejected by most fundamentalist and conservative evangelical churches and denominations.
A final tactic, most often found in those traditions labeled “fundamentalist,” is to refuse any sort of accommodation at all and reinforce whatever social and religious institutions they have which they think will help maintain their traditions. Sometimes they will act as though nothing much has changed at all, and other times they will acknowledge the wider social changes by lashing out, or by trying to encourage the rest of society to regress to an earlier time when religious pluralism didn’t exist.
 http://www.about.com/

1 σχόλιο:

  1. If you are interested in some new ideas on religious pluralism and the Trinity, please check out my website at www.religiouspluralism.ca. It previews my book, which has not been published yet and is still a “work-in-progress.” Your constructive criticism would be very much appreciated.

    My thesis is that an abstract version of the Trinity could be Christianity’s answer to the world need for a framework of pluralistic theology.

    In a constructive worldview: east, west, and far-east religions present a threefold understanding of One God manifest primarily in Muslim and Hebrew intuition of the Deity Absolute, Christian and Krishnan Hindu conception of the Universe Absolute Supreme Being; and Shaivite Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist apprehension of the Destroyer (meaning also Consummator), Unconditioned Absolute, or Spirit of All That Is and is not. Together with their variations and combinations in other major religions, these religious ideas reflect and express our collective understanding of God, in an expanded concept of the Holy Trinity.

    The Trinity Absolute is portrayed in the logic of world religions, as follows:

    1. Muslims and Jews may be said to worship only the first person of the Trinity, i.e. the existential Deity Absolute Creator, known as Allah or Yhwh, Abba or Father (as Jesus called him), Brahma, and other names; represented by Gabriel (Executive Archangel), Muhammad and Moses (mighty messenger prophets), and others.

    2. Christians and Krishnan Hindus may be said to worship the first person through a second person, i.e. the experiential Universe or "Universal” Absolute Supreme Being (Allsoul or Supersoul), called Son/Christ or Vishnu/Krishna; represented by Michael (Supreme Archangel), Jesus (teacher and savior of souls), and others. The Allsoul is that gestalt of personal human consciousness, which we expect will be the "body of Christ" (Mahdi, Messiah, Kalki or Maitreya) in the second coming – personified in history by Muhammad, Jesus Christ, Buddha (9th incarnation of Vishnu), and others.

    3. Shaivite Hindus, Buddhists, and Confucian-Taoists seem to venerate the synthesis of the first and second persons in a third person or appearance, ie. the Destiny Consummator of ultimate reality – unqualified Nirvana consciousness – associative Tao of All That Is – the absonite* Unconditioned Absolute Spirit “Synthesis of Source and Synthesis,”** who/which is logically expected to be Allah/Abba/Brahma glorified in and by union with the Supreme Being – represented in religions by Gabriel, Michael, and other Archangels, Mahadevas, Spiritpersons, etc., who may be included within the mysterious Holy Ghost.

    Other strains of religion seem to be psychological variations on the third person, or possibly combinations and permutations of the members of the Trinity – all just different personality perspectives on the Same God. Taken together, the world’s major religions give us at least two insights into the first person of this thrice-personal One God, two perceptions of the second person, and at least three glimpses of the third.

    * The ever-mysterious Holy Ghost or Unconditioned Spirit is neither absolutely infinite, nor absolutely finite, but absonite; meaning neither existential nor experiential, but their ultimate consummation; neither fully ideal nor totally real, but a middle path and grand synthesis of the superconscious and the conscious, in consciousness of the unconscious.

    ** This conception is so strong because somewhat as the Absonite Spirit is a synthesis of the spirit of the Absolute and the spirit of the Supreme, so it would seem that the evolving Supreme Being may himself also be a synthesis or “gestalt” of humanity with itself, in an Almighty Universe Allperson or Supersoul. Thus ultimately, the Absonite is their Unconditioned Absolute Coordinate Identity – the Spirit Synthesis of Source and Synthesis – the metaphysical Destiny Consummator of All That Is.

    For more details, please see: www.religiouspluralism.ca

    Samuel Stuart Maynes

    ΑπάντησηΔιαγραφή