ACADEMIA

Reviews on Resources for Biblical and Theological Studies

Walsh. Biblical Theology. Past, Present and Future 2016

Written By: Paulson Pulikottil - Dec• 27•16

Walsh, Carey, and Mark W. Elliott, eds. Biblical Theology: Past, Present, and Future. Cascade Books, 2016. Pages: 233. ISBN: 978-1-4982-3443-6

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9781498234436This book is a collection of sixteen papers presented at the SBL sessions held between 2012-2014 in the Biblical Theology sessions. All papers are reworked after the presentation taking into account the comments at the sessions.
The papers are divided into three sections. The first section titled ‘The Past: Historical Developments’ offers a critical overview of the development of Biblical Theology. There are five papers that look at this from different angles. The second section takes stock of the present state of Biblical theology, particularly the methodological issues. Six essays are including in this. The fix articles in the third and last part are about the future of Biblical Theology.
The contributors are significant scholars in the field. For example, John Goldingay, N.T. Wright, et. al. I also feel that all the pertinent issues are also dealt with. It is thus a comprehensive reader for any foundational course on Biblical Theology class.

Yong. Dialogical Spirit, 2014

Written By: Paulson Pulikottil - Jun• 17•15
Yong, Amos. The Dialogical Spirit: Christian Reason and Theological Method in the Third Millennium. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books, 2014. ISBN: 9781625645647; pages: 336.

978157625645647

In response to the post-foundationalist turn, the author is suggesting ‘shifting foundations,’ that, while acknowledging the plurality of ‘starting points’ within the dialogical spectrum, he claims that, it will further justify the ‘particularity’ of faith articulations to ascertain ‘universal applicability.’ He turns to Donald L. Gelpi’s use Charles Sanders Pierce’s triadic pragmatism and Richard Rorty’s interpretations – sans his agnostic outlook–to overcome the binary limitation of foundationalism and relativism that makes it possible for him to articulate a Pentecostal-Charismatic faith and practice, within the shifting foundations. He goes on to engage McClendon and Veli-Matti Karkkainen and Radical Orthodoxy to show the fecund possibility of intra-Christian and interfaith dialogues from a robust ‘international’ Pentecostal theological framework, in the post-Christendom context. Within the post-secular milieu, the author engages the Tibetan Buddhist interlocutors and John Polkinghorne to suggest a viable, dialogically driven, Trinitarian theological methodology with a pneumatological thrust.

The final chapter grapples with the postmodern challenges and the burden on Christian theologians to approach pervading religious pluralism and obligatory interfaith encounters. He evaluates the dual-religious affiliation of Francis Clooney and further clarifies it through Andre Drooger’s ‘methodoloical ludism’ which enables human beings to assume an alternative identity while suspending another aspect of identity and also at times to engage both simultaneously. He claims that such ‘ludic stance’ would make possible for a a pneumatological theological method, facilitating dialogue partners across all religious, socio-cultural and political boundaries.

Overall the book is a highly stimulating reading as it attacks the factors that attempts to shrink ‘faith spaces’ and suggests relevant alternatives, all the while staying true to the ‘orthodoxy and orthopraxy’ of one’s faith articulations. The pertinent questions that the author has grappled with will stay on, and hence an engagement with these are a prerequisite for any serious theologian. This book will definitely help in that venture.

— David Muthukumar, Union Biblical Seminary, Pune, India.