The Travail of Nature: The Ambiguous Ecological Promise of Christian Theology

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Fortress Press, Jan 1, 1985 - Religion - 274 pages
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The Travail of Nature shows that the theological tradition in the West is neither ecologically bankrupt, as some of its popular and scholarly critics have maintained, nor replete with immediately accessible, albeit long-forgotten, ecological riches hidden everywhere in its deeper vaults, as some contemporary Christians, who are profoundly troubled by the environmental crisis and other related concerns, might wistfully hope to find. This is why it is appropriate to speak of the ambiguous ecological promises of Christian theology.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION The Travail of Nature
1
THE UNCERTAIN VOICE OF CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY
3
THE NEED FOR HISTORICAL STUDY
7
THE AMBIGUOUS ECOLOGICAL PROMISE OF CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY
8
THE APPROACH Discerning the Roots of Classical Christian Thought About Nature
13
METAPHORS AND MOTIFS
14
THE METAPHORS OF ASCENT AND FECUNDITY
17
THE METAPHOR OF MIGRATION TO A GOOD LAND
23
THE ASCENDANCY OF THE AMBIGUITY AND AN EMBODIMENT OF THE PROMISE Bonaventure Dante and Francis of Assisi
97
NATURE AS A LADDER TO HEAVEN
98
THE EMBRACE OF NATURE
106
THE LIABILITIES OF THE AMBIGUITY Reformation Theology and the Modern Secularization of Nature
121
THE ANTHROPOCENTRIC DYNAMICS OF GRACE AND THE WONDERS OF NATURE
122
THE REFORMATION TRADITION AND THE MODERN SECULARIZATION OF NATURE
133
THE TRIUMPH OF PERSONALISM Karl Barth and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
145
THE HUMANITY OF GOD
146

THE THREE METAPHORS AND THE FORMATION OF THE SPIRITUAL AND ECOLOGICAL MOTIFS
25
THE HISTORICAL BEGINNINGS Irenaeus and Origen
31
THE MESSAGE OF AN ALIEN GOD AND AN EVIL EARTH
32
THE DYNAMICS OF CREATION HISTORY AND THE AFFIRMATION OF NATURE
35
ALIENATION FROM NATURE IN AN AGE OF ANXIETY
44
THE DYNAMICS OF THE HIERARCHY OF BEING AND THE DEGRADATION OF NATURE
49
THE FLOWERING OF THE PROMISE Augustine
55
BEYOND THE LEGACY OF THE MANICHEES
56
CREATION HISTORY AND THE OVERFLOWING GOODNESS OF GOD
60
THE HEIGHTENING OF THE AMBIGUITY The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century and the Theology of Thomas Aquinas
75
ALIENATION FROM NATURE IN THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES
77
THE REBIRTH OF NATURE IN THE TWELFTH CENTURY
80
THE SUBORDINATION OF NATURE
84
A PERSONALISTIC UNIVERSE
155
THE UNSPOKEN ECOLOGICAL PROMISE
171
RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT From Classical Christian Thought to the Bible
175
THE HISTORY OF THE SPIRITUAL AND ECOLOGICAL MOTIFS
176
BEYOND THE CLAIMS OF THE SPIRITUAL MOTIF
183
A NEW OPTION IN BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION An Ecological Reading of Biblical Theology
189
THE ECOLOGICAL MOTIF
190
THE ECOLOGICAL MOTIF
200
THE INFLUENCE OF THE SPIRITUAL MOTIF
210
THE TRAVAIL OF NATURE AT THE END OF ALL THINGS
216
NOTES
219
INDEX
269
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