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Rethinking Christian Identity: Doctrine and Discipleship

Rethinking Christian Identity: Doctrine and Discipleship

Medi Ann Volpe

ISBN: 978-1-118-25562-9

Dec 2012, Wiley-Blackwell

276 pages


Recent decades have seen major shifts in our understanding of Christian identity. This timely book explores contemporary theological theory in asking what makes a Christian in the twenty-first century.

  • Engages with developments in contemporary theological thought, assessing the work of leading figures Rowan Williams, John Milbank, and Kathryn Tanner
  • Challenges accepted ideas of Christian identity by revealing largely unexplored perspectives on how sin affects its formation
  • Contributes to vexed debates about Christian identity at a time when Christianity is expanding in some regions, yet in decline in many parts of the Western world

Giving Thanks viii

List of Abbreviations xi

Introduction: Rethinking Christian Identity 1

1 Between the Postliberal and the Postmodern: "True Discipleship" as Cultural Style 12

2 Stories of Identity: Rowan Williams on Being a Christian 52

3 "It is no longer I who live": Receiving the Identity of Christ 105

4 The Body's Reason: Gregory and Macrina on the Soul 145

5 The Nature of Doctrine Revisited: Gregory of Nyssa on the Formation of Christian Imagination 183

6 Doctrine, Discipleship, and Christian Identity 222

Bibliography 242

Index 254

“This is an insightful work of theology, one that clearly demonstrates the ways in which classical Christian teachings can renew Christian practice.”  (Religious Studies Review, 1 December 2013)

“This is a substantial work that explores a considerable gap in the literature of discipleship, conversing as it does with three of the most significant contemporary theologians (unlike much literature on discipleship which ignores theology altogether. . . Academic libraries will want this book, and those interested in a way of integrating systematics and practical theology, but whether they can afford to do so is another matter (25 pence per page seems rather expensive to me, even if this hardback binding is as robust as any.) It has caused me to return to Milbank and Williams, and to explore Tanner afresh, but more significantly, to read Gregory. For that alone I am grateful to Volpe.”  (Regent's Reviews, 1 October 2013)