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Theology in the Public Square: Church, Academy, and Nation

ISBN: 978-0-470-77546-2
264 pages
April 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Theology in the Public Square: Church, Academy, and Nation (0470775467) cover image
This imaginative study rethinks the nature of theology and its role in universities.
  • The author sketches out a fascinating project using examples from US and UK institutions, whereby theology becomes a transformative force within universities.
  • Imagines what a Christian university, in which all disciplines have been theologized, would look like.
  • Feeds into discussions about the religious identity of denominationally-linked colleges and universities.
  • Forms part of a wider attempt to imagine a vital public role for theology that enables it to serve both the Church and the wider community.
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Preface.

1 Theology’s Babylonian Captivity in the Modern University.

2 Babylon in the Church: United States and England.

3 Cyrus Returns: Rebuilding the Temple in Babylon.

4 Why Theologians Must Pray for Release from Exile.

5 The Engagement of Virtue: a Theological Religious Studies.

6 The Marriage of the Disciplines: Explorations on the Frontier.

Epilogue: Theology: the Church at the Heart of the University Proclaiming the Word.

Bibliography.

Index.

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Gavin D'Costa is Reader in Christian Theology and Head of Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Bristol. He also acts as an advisor to the Church of England, the Catholic Bishop's Conference and the Vatican on issues regarding other religions. His previous publications include Theology and Religious Pluralism (Blackwell, 1986), John Hick's Theology of Religions (1987), The Trinity and the Meeting of Religions (2000), and Sexing the Trinity (2000).
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  • This thought-provoking study rethinks the nature of theology and its role in universities.

  • The author sketches out a fascinating project using examples from US and UK institutions, whereby theology becomes a transformative force within universities.

  • Imagines what a Christian university, in which all disciplines have been theologized, would look like.

  • Feeds into discussions about the religious identity of denominationally-linked colleges and universities.

  • Forms part of a wider attempt to imagine a vital public role for theology that enables it to serve both the Church and the wider community.
See More
"D'Costa sets out his argument with clarity and skill … An important book, relevant not only for discussions about the future of theology in the academy but of religion in public life." (Theology)

"This is an important book and I hope augurs more interaction between out different Christian educational traditions." (The Gospel and Our Culture)

"A well argued book … D'Costa has an invaluable argument on the key place of theology within the life of a faith. (Anvil)

"A stimulating read … Contains absorbing views on a wide range of current issues such as identity, secularization, ethics and politics … A timely and relevant challenge for those involved with Church or university theology in today's religiously volatile world." (International Journal of Public Theology)

"A powerful and serious theological argument - essential reading for anyone who wants to think seriously about the future of universities in the west, and most especially, in these troubled times, about the relevance of the practice and study of religion to what the west may become."
Paul J. Griffiths, University of Illinois

"In this timely work, Gavin D'Costa has caught the post-liberal/post-conservative wave sweeping over English-language theology. Picking up on Alisdair MacIntyre's suggestion that a pluralism of rival universities would foster real difference better than pluralistic universities, he argues for a strong-case Catholic university. Such a university would require both ecclesial theology and theological religious studies. In this book, D'Costa performs both. His treatment of theology, its relation to prayer and exegesis, and its place in the university will energize readers who are tired of the same old theological thing."
William L. Portier, University of Dayton

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