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In Face of Mystery


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Table of Contents

Preface Part I: Introduction: Theology as Construction 1. The Question of God 2. Theology: One-Dimensional, Two-Dimensional, or Holistic? 3. Theology as a Human Imaginative Task 4. Theological Construction and Faith 5. Mystery, Theology, and Conversation 6. The Christian World-Picture (I): The Monotheistic Categorial Scheme 7. The Christian World-Picture (II): The Category of Christ Part II: Constructing a Concept of the Human 8. Historicity and Biology 9. Humanity in the World 10. Toward a Normative Concept of the Human 11. Agency and Self-Reflexiveness as Sociohistorically Constituted 12. Subjectivity, Experience, and Freedom 13. The Interpenetration of Action with Reflection 14. An Ecological Ethic 15. The Corruption of Historicity: Freedom and Evil 16. Historicity and Religion Part III: Constructing a Concept of the Context of Human Existence: The World 17. Small Steps of Faith 18. Cosmic Visions and Human Meaning 19. Serendipitous Creativity 20. Directional Movements in a Serendipitous Universe Part IV: Constructing a Concept of an Ultimate Point of Reference: God 21. Functions of the Symbol "God" 22. Reconstructing the Concept of God 23. Faith in God (I) 24. Sin and Evil 25. A Wider Christology 26. Christ as Paradigm for God and for Humanity 27. A Trinitarian God Part V: Faith and Life in Today's World 28. Theocentric Faith and the Churches 29. Faith in God (II): Christian Theocentrism Notes Name Index Subject Index Index of Scriptural References Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Interrelation of action and reflection Figure 4 Christian theological construction: "small steps" of faith leading to a modern understanding of God

About the Author

Gordon D. Kaufman was Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr., Professor of Divinity at Harvard University.


In Face of Mystery confronts the impact of the loss of durability in traditional systematic thinking with refreshing candor...The invitation to view theology as a constructive conversation-maker between many voices and perspectives creates a flexibility which rescues the theological task from the defensive postures it has adopted ever since the rise of the critical method. -- Alan Race Times Literary Supplement Kaufman draws together a lifetime of theological writing and thinking, developing and in places changing his earlier thought into a comprehensive unified exploration of his project of "theological construction." Hence it is his most mature statement of methodology and theological vision. Pro Ecclesia A truly systematic liberal theology...It is a grand book. -- Robert Cummings Neville Theological Studies Kaufman has written his best book, tying together a lifetime of theological reflection...An admirable model of how to be a theologian. -- William C. Placher Christian Century With the publication of In Face of Mystery, Gordon Kaufman has set forth the culminating work of his career and has moved theology once more in the direction of substantive proposals and bold visions. Both for his own vision and the impetus it will give to other such efforts, we should all be grateful. -- Sheila Greeve Davaney Religious Studies Review This book is testament to everything Kaufman has learned and taught about the business of doing theology in the modern world...He writes attractively and with great integrity, and he will carry many readers along with him by dint of his sheer verve and enthusiasm. -- Gareth Jones Religion and Theology

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