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The Journey of Modern Theology


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Table of Contents


An Important Note for All Readers but Especially for Professors and Scholars


1. Modernity Challenges Traditional Theology: The Context of Early Modern Theology
1.a. Science Revises the Heavens
1.b. . Philosophers Lay New Foundations for Knowledge
1.c. Deists Create a New Natural Religion
1.d. Critical Philosophers Limit Religion to Reason
1.e. Realists, Romanticists and Existentialists Respond

2. Liberal Theologies Reconstruct Christianity in Light of Modernity
2.a. Friedrich Schleiermacher Launches a Copernican Revolution in Theology
2.b. Albrecht Ritschl and His Disciples Accommodate to Modernity
2.c. Ernst Troeltsch Relativizes Christianity
2.d. Catholic Modernists Attempt to Bring Rome up to Date

3. Conservative Protestant Theology Defends Orthodoxy in a Modern Way

4. Mediating Theologies Build Bridges between Orthodoxy and Liberalism
4.a. Isaak August Dorner Bridges the Gap between Liberal and Orthodox Theologies
4.b. Horace Bushnell Searches for a Progressive Orthodoxy

5. Neo-Orthodox/Dialectical/Kerygmatic Theologies Revive the Reformation in the Modern Context
5.a. Karl Barth Drops a Bombshell on the Theologians' Playground
5.b. Rudolf Bultmann Existentializes and Demythologizes Christianity
5.c. Reinhold Niebuhr Rediscovers Original Sin and Develops Christian Realism

6. Chastened Liberal Theologies Renew and Revise the Dialogue with Modernity
6.a. Paul Tillich Describes God as the Ground of Being, a "God above God"
6.b. Process Theology Brings God Down to Earth

7. Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Radical Theologians Envision a Religionless Christianity

8. Theologians Look to the Future with Hope
8.a. Jurgen Moltmann Renews Confidence in the Final Triumph of God
8.b. Wolfhart Pannenberg Revitalizes Rational Faith in History?s God

9. Liberation Theologies Protest Injustice and Oppression

10. Catholic Theologians Engage with Modernity
10.a. Karl Rahner Finds God in Human Experience
10.b. Hans Kung Advocates a New Paradigm of Catholic Theology
10.c. Hans Urs von Balthasar Bases Christian Truth on Beauty

11. Evangelical Theology Comes of Age and Wrestles with Modernity

12. Postmodern Theologians Rebel against Modernity
12.a. Postliberal Theologians and Stanley Hauerwas Develop a Third Way in Theology
12.b. John Caputo Deconstructs Religion with the Kingdom of God


About the Author

Roger E. Olson (PhD, Rice University) is professor of theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He is the author of The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition Reform, The Mosaic of Christian Belief: Twenty Centuries of Unity Diversity and Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities (all InterVarsity Press).


"Olson's book is an advised reading for all the students who desire a complete introduction to modern theology. Professors of theology and history of Christianity, as well as pastors and lay church leaders will appreciate this book as a good resource to facilitate the understanding of the recent changes in Christianity and theology in relation to modern and postmodern cultural context."--Roy E. Graf Maiorov, Journal of Asia Adventist Seminary, 16.2 (2013)
"Olson's style is lucid, careful, and immensely readable. Whether as a story of theological history, a survey, or reference work, this book should serve far more than the intended audience as a heuristic tool for understanding and appropriating the challenges of modernity and our varying responses. For those not included in this work, Olson has set the standard by which to evaluate their theological appropriation of modernity. It is impossible not to learn from this book."--Wolfgang Vondey, Religious Studies Review, Vol. 41, No. 2, June 2015

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