An Introduction to the Theology of Religions: Biblical, Historical & Contemporary Perspectives

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InterVarsity Press, Aug 20, 2009 - Religion - 372 pages
Early in the nineteenth century Ernst Troeltsch, the great German liberal thinker, published the influential essay "The Place of Christianity Among the World Religions." The question of the relation of Christianity to other religions is every bit as relevant as and perhaps even more urgent today than it was then. Beginning with a consideration of the biblical perspective, Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen surveys the variety of diverse answers proposed by teachers of the church down through the ages. His reviews include the writings of Justin Martyr, Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria, as well as those of Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and a broad selection of later Protestant and Catholic thinkers. He completes the historical section with an astute look at the radical challenges of Enlightenment and classical liberalism and the emergence of the fulfillment theory of religions. The bulk of Kärkkäinen's work provides a detailed and comprehensive survey of major confessional movements and theologians' opinions on the contemporary scene. Kärkkäinen provides succinct and trenchant descriptions of a wide diversity of theologians, including Karl Barth, Hendrik Kraemer, Paul Althaus, Karl Rahner, Hans Küng, Jacques Dupuis, Gavin D'Costa, Paul Tillich, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Lesslie Newbigin and M. M. Thomas, as well as Sir Norman Anderson, Clark Pinnock, Amos Yong, John Hick, Stanley Samartha, Raimundo Panikkar, Paul Knitter, Millard Erickson, Harold Netland and Vinoth Ramachandra. An Introduction to the Theology of Religions is an indispensable guide for anyone seeking to grasp and work their way through the full range of alternatives offered in answer to the question, What is the relation of Christianity to other religions?
 

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Contents

Introduction
17
PART ONE
31
Overview of Biblical Testimony
33
The Old Testament
36
The New Testament
41
Religions in the Bible
47
PART TWO
53
Limited Openness to Other Religions Among Some Early Church Fathers
55
CHRISTOCENTRISM 1
190
Hans Küng
197
Jacques Dupuis
205
Gavin DCosta
216
CHRISTOCENTRISM 2
224
Wolfhart Pannenberg
235
Lesslie Newbigin
245
M M Thomas
256

Outside the Church No Salvation
63
The Meaning of Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus for the Contemporary Church
78
Positive Attitudes Toward Other Religions After the Early Fathers
82
The Radical Challenge of the Enlightenment and Classical Liberalism
90
The Fulfillment Theory of Religions
103
PART THREE
109
The Response of the Roman Catholic Church
111
The Response of Anglican and Episcopalian Churches
123
The Response of Mainline Protestant Churches
127
The Response of the Free Churches
135
The Response of the Evangelical Movement
144
The Response of the Ecumenical Movement
151
PART FOUR
163
Orientation to the Study of Theologians of Religions
165
Early Approaches
174
Hendrik Kraemer
181
Paul Althaus
187
CHRISTOCENTRISM 3
261
Clark Pinnock
269
Amos Yong
277
THEOCENTRISM
282
Stanley J Samartha
294
Raimundo Panikkar
302
Paul F Knitter
309
ECCLESIOCENTRISM
318
Harold Netland
324
Vinoth Ramachandra
333
The Current Scene
342
Epilogue
353
Bibliography
356
Author Index
367
Subject Index
369
Finding the Textbook You Need
373
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About the author (2009)

Veli-Matti Käkkäinen is professor of systematic theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He has published numerous articles in international journals of theology. His books include Pneumatology (Baker), Christology (Baker), Toward a Pneumatological Theology (UPA), An Introduction to Ecclesiology (InterVarsity Press), Trinity and Religious Pluralism (Ashgate), The Doctrine of God (Baker) and One with God (Liturgical Press).

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