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International Journal of Systematic Theology 8/1 (Jan. 05)

Main Articles

"Religious Diversity, Christian Doctrine and Karl Barth," Geoff Thompson. Thompson engages J.A. DiNoia's The Diversity of Religions: A Christian Perspective via Barth's CD IV/3 and the latter's account of "words" and "lights" extra muros ecclesiae. Thompson gives a reading of Barth's argument concerning "revelation as the abolition of religion" and (especially) his grounding of interreligious dialogue in christology, arguing that the covenant is Barth's way of understanding "light" and the "Light." Barth's grounding of extra-ecclesial truth provides a point of dialogue with DiNoia, and to critique the latter's bracketing of soteriological issues in dialogue.

"Karl Barth, Emil Brunner and the Subjectivity of the Object of Christian Hope," John C. McDowell McDowell revisits the debate between Barth and Brunner on natural theology in terms of hope. By actualizing revelation in his natural ontology of the human person, Brunner loses, according to Barth, the objectivity of the revelation. Not only the beginning but the end of Christian speech is determined by the nature of its object. Barth gives for McDowell an "ontology of hope" based in Christ.

"Fides Quaerens Intellectum: Reflections towards an Explorative Theology," Hans G. Ulrich, trans. Brian Brock Ulrich poses the question of a "theological understanding of theological research." He characterizes this as ars inveniendi , privileging discovery or searching over demonstration or proving. Theology thus becomes an "art of the discovery of novelty," namely the entrance of God's ratio into our reality - following Anselm, or rather, Barth's reading of Anselm. Theological research is thus devotion to exploring the reality which exists in the presence of God's name. Jesus' story becomes the trace by which the novel comes to be in the world.

"Federalism vs. Realism: Charles Hodge, Augustus Strong and William Shedd on the Imputation of Sin." Crisp examines the realist account of the transmission of original sin in Shedd and Strong, and the ("idiosyncratic") federalist account of Hodge, in seeking to develop a contemporary theological understanding of the imputation of Adam's sin. He argues that his interlocutors overlap considerably, despite the disparity of the realist-federalist divide, and that a chastened version of realism as found in Shedd and Strong may provide contemporary resources for theological anthropology.

"Trinitarian Missiology: Towards a Theology of God as Missionary," Stephen R. Holmes Holmes argues for an understanding of "mission" as an attribute of God, reading John 20.19-23. Holmes then precedes via a discussion of Augustine's treatment of the divine missions in De Trinitate. God has a mission, but is not in Godself a missionary, says Holmes, but his argument shows that the question is not idle; Holmes argues that Augustine's account is wrong, and that we should rather posit eternal relations of authority and obedience between Father and Son. This then opens the means to draw a parallel between the Father's sending of the Son and the Son's sending of the church in mission.

Selected Reviews

Mike Higton, Christ, Providence, and History: Hans W. Frei's Public Theology, reviewed by Joseph Mangina.

Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Daniel A. Keating, and John P. Yocum, eds., Aquinas on Doctrine: A Critical Introduction, reviewed by Nicholas M. Healey.

Demetrios Bathrellos, The Byzantine Christ: Person, Nature, and Will in the Christology of St. Maximus the Confessor, reviewed by Ivor J. Davidson.

Robert Dodaro, Christ and the Just Society in the Thought of Augustine, reviewed by Ivor J. Davidson.

Samuel M. Powell, Participating in God: Creation and Trinity, reviewed by Terry J. Wright.

Veli-Matti Karkkainen, Trinity and Religious Pluralism: The Doctrine of the Trinity in Christian Theology of Religions, reviewed by John Flett.

John C. McDowell and Mike Higton, Conversing with Barth, reviewed by John Flett.

James K.A. Smith, Introducing Radical Orthodoxy: Mapping a Post-Secular Theology, reviewed by Simon Oliver.

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International Journal of Systematic Theology