Ten Theology Books to Watch For – Oct. 2018

October 11, 2018 — Leave a comment

 

Here are a some excellent theology* books that will be released this month:

* broadly interpreted, including ethics, church history, biblical studies, and other areas that intersect with theology

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Óscar Romero’s Theological Vision: Liberation and the Transfiguration of the Poor 

Edgardo Colón-Emeric

U of Notre Dame Press

On March 24, 1980, Archbishop Óscar Romero was assassinated as he celebrated mass in El Salvador. As the Catholic Church prepares to declare Romero a saint, Colón-Emeric explores the life and thought of Romero and his theological vision, which finds its focus in the mystery of the transfiguration.

Romero is now understood to be one of the founders of liberation theology, which interprets Scripture through the plight of the poor. His theological vision is most succinctly expressed by his saying, “Gloria Dei, vivens pauper”: “The glory of God is the poor who lives.” God’s glory was first revealed through Christ to a landless tenant farmer, a market woman, and an unemployed laborer, and they received the power to shine from the church to the world.

Colón-Emeric’s study is an exercise in what Latino/a theologians call ressourcement from the margins, or a return to theological foundations. One of the first Latin American Church Fathers, Romero’s theological vision is a sign of the emergence of Christianity in the Global South from “reflection” Church to “source” Church. The hope for this study is that scholars in the fields of theology, religious studies, and Latin American studies will be captivated by the doctrine of this humble pastor and inspired to think more clearly and act more decisively in solidarity with the poor.


   

Bonhoeffer on Resistance: The Word Against the Wheel 

Michael DeJonge

Oxford UP

Bonhoeffer thought and wrote a great deal about political life, but he did so neither as a political theorist nor a political activist but rather as a Christian pastor and theologian. Most of what he said about political resistance was said as a theologian, as one speaking on behalf of the church. For this reason, his thinking about political resistance can only be understood in the broader context of his theology. Bonhoeffer on Resistance provides an account of Bonhoeffer’s resistance thinking as a whole. This involves placing his thinking about violent political resistance in the context of his thinking about resistance of all kinds; placing his thinking about political resistance of all kinds into the context of his thinking about political life in general; and, ultimately, placing his thinking about political life in the broader context of his theology, his thinking about the whole world and God’s relationship to it.

To establish the conceptual background necessary for understanding Bonhoeffer’s resistance thinking, Michael P. DeJonge begins with a brief account of the theological story in which Bonhoeffer imbeds his account of political life: the story of God’s creation of the world, the fall of that world into sin, and the redemption of that world in Christ. He introduces some specifically Lutheran accents to Bonhoeffer’s theology that are essential for understanding his political vision, such as the doctrine of justification and the distinction between law and gospel. DeJonge then transitions from Bonhoeffer’s theology into his political thinking by presenting the basic conceptual structures he employs when thinking through most political issues. Two important agents or institutions in political life are church and state, and DeJonge presents Bonhoeffer’s account of these in light of the material presented in the previous chapters. The volume then presents Bonhoeffer’s resistance thinking and activity, which can be considered from two overlapping perspectives, one chronological and the other systematic. This study shows that Bonhoeffer has a systematic, differentiated, and well-developed vision of political activity and resistance.

 

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