Playing: Christian Explorations of Daily Living – By James H. Evans Jr

  • Published on

  • View

  • Download


REVIEWS rirt_1013 200. .261Secularism and Biblical Studies, Roland Boer (ed.), Equinox, 2010(ISBN 978-1-84553-375-5), vii + 219 pp., pb 15.99This is an odd collection of essays. I expected sophisticated discussionand analysis of secularism, with its history and ideologies, of thediverse nature of contemporary biblical studies, and of the complexinteractions between these two areas of concern. For the most part Ifound something else.There are sixteen essays in all, from an international range of scholars,many of them well known within biblical studies: Yairah Amit, HectorAvalos, Jacques Berlinerbau, Ward Blanton, Roland Boer, AthalyaBrenner, Mark Brett, Philip Chia, Edgar Conrad, Philip Davies, MichaelFox, Niels Lemche, Joseph Marchal, Heike Omerzu, Todd Penner, andHannah Stenstrm. The book is in four parts.The tone is set in Part A, Initial Engagement at the Forum, by MichaelFoxs controversial 2006 Society of Biblical Literature Forum essayScholarship and Faith in Bible Study in a revised and extended form.Here Fox sharply distinguishes between faith-based and secularapproaches to the Bible. Since faith, by definition, is belief where evi-dence is absent (p. 15), a faith-based approach must be axiomatic/dogmatic rather than empirical/scholarly and, as a consequence, itstifle[s] honest communication (p. 17), and thus has no place in thecontemporary state-sponsored university. Fox then expresses surprisethat Craig Bartholomew, cited as advocating a faith-based approach, infact uses philological and literary arguments accessible to all (p. 18). Itmay be that Bartholomew is inconsistent; but Fox evinces no awarenessthat his surprise might indicate a problem with his own categories forunderstanding what faith does, and does not, entail. Fox is typical ofmany of the essayists in that the nature of that which is other than thesecular receives only the most cursory of definitions and analyses. Thatmeticulous scholarly discipline which Fox shows in his work on wisdomliterature is not extended to analysis of scholars who think that thecombination of faith and scholarship is not an oxymoron what wouldhe say, for example, about the work of Bultmann or Childs or GreenbergReviews in Religion and Theology, 19:2 (2012) 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.or Levenson, or about the extensive recent literature on hermeneutics ingeneral and theological hermeneutics in particular? When Fox selectscreationism and inerrancy as examples of a faith-based approach (p.16), I become suspicious that it is really the American religious right thathe is targeting, yet via generalizing claims that do him no credit.The agenda for Part B, The Manifesto Debate, is set by Roland Boers AManifesto for Biblical Studies. Here, at least, Boers concern is clearfrom the outset, as his first sentence reads: For too long has the Biblebeen colonized, dominated and (ab)used by church and state, especiallythe religious and political right (p. 27; my italics). Subsequently, he isworried that Everywhere, reactionary and fundamentalist, or so-calledBible-based religion seems to triumph (p. 35), and throughout theessay he urges support for the beleaguered religious left. To be sure,misuses of the Bible are all too easy to find, and can sometimes be tragicin their consequences. Nonetheless, rather as in Foxs essay, any recog-nition that there might be religiously constructive uses of the Bible thatare unaffiliated to the programs of either right or left (occupyingperhaps independent or center ground), or that there might be sig-nificant biblical scholars who handle the Bible in religiously engagedways that are intellectually rigorous and morally and spiritually search-ing is entirely absent. Yet without such recognition Boers essay hardlyqualifies as more than a tirade against the religiously conservativeof whom Boer disapproves. Likewise Lemches essay in this sectionhardly commands confidence when Lemche pronounces: Religion isdefinitely anti-intellectual and will always be that in spite of the objec-tions of many religious people. Placing religion and reason together issimply a contradiction in adjectu. They will never meet (p. 51). So nowwe know. Lemche seems entirely unaware of the irony in an anti-religious approach whereby weighty matters are settled by dogmaticpronouncement, and possible counter-argument (e.g. Is Rowan Will-iams really anti-intellectual?) is pre-emptively ruled out of court. Itshould be said, however, that the two best essays in the book, those byMark Brett and Todd Penner, come in this section they show real andvaluable insight into the diversity and complexity of biblical studiesand of secularism respectively.The agenda for Part C, The End of Biblical Studies?, is set by HectorAvalos, whose essay The End of Biblical Studies as a Moral Obligationis a compressed version of his 2007 book The End of Biblical Studies. Herewe find such rigorous logic as There is no independent evidence for thelife and teachings of Jesus in the first century CE, and so most modernChristians are not even following Jesus teachings (p. 86). Alternatively,he critiques the Good News Bible for sugar-coating objectionable pas-sages such as Luke 14:26, where the translation Whoever comes to mecannot be my disciple unless he loves me more than he loves his father andhis mother . . . conceals the actual textual requirement to hate fatherReviews 201 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.and mother, which must be modified lest it make for a bad image ofJesus (p. 89). Yet he does not mention that commentaries routinely noteat this point that there is a good case for hate being, in certain circum-stances, a Semitic idiom for love less, as in Genesis 29:30,31, where Jacobloved Rachel more than Leah is followed by Yhwh saw that Leah washated. Recognition of this idiomatic usage does not resolve the trans-lation problem of Luke 14:26 tout court; but one expects scholars, as amatter of intellectual integrity, to mention obvious difficulties or pos-sible qualifications to their thesis. When Avalos confidently informs usthat bibliolatrous praise for the Bibles literary merit only diverts atten-tion from many other equally or more deserving texts of antiquity thatstill lie untranslated in the backrooms of the British Museum, amongmany other places (p. 94) I find myself wondering how he knows aboutthe equally or more deserving qualities of these texts. Has he studiedthem, but not yet been able to publish his results? Or is the superiorquality of unread texts (which may well often, on past precedent, turnout to be about administration or taxation) in relation to the Bible (fromwhich millions have derived strength and hope) a self-evident axiomfor Avalos? As with Lemche on the nature of religion, this mode ofargument hardly differs from that of the most unreconstructed funda-mentalist. Thankfully, the other essays in this section show better quali-ties, though still with a tendency (especially Marchal) simply to focuson problems, and ignore possible benefits, associated with the Bible.Omerzus thoughtful account of recent German New Testament schol-arship, and the potential in certain recent hermeneutical developments,seems rather out of place in this context.Part D, The Paradoxes of Secularism, opens with Ward Blantons sug-gestive critique of the categories of religious and secular. As with theessays by Brett and Penner, it is disappointing that there is no interac-tion between the essayists, inasmuch as the categories critiqued here areused rather too unreflectively by some others. Edgar Conrad offers afurther critique of the American religious right, but cannot resist ten-dentious exaggeration for example, that a relatively modest modifi-cation in the wording of the Ten Commandments for public contexts isfully comparable to Thomas Jeffersons rewriting of the gospels (p. 174);and when Conrad recognizes an alternative to the religious right in theperson of Tony Campolo, it hardly commands confidence that Campolois consistently misspelt as Compollo or Compolo (pp. 175, 176). Brenneroffers an interesting study of analogies between exploitation of foreignworkers in the book of Ruth and in contemporary Israel, part of whosepoint seems to be to displace traditional readings of the biblical text why read Ruths famous words to Naomi in 1:17 (where you go, I willgo . . . ) as displaying loyalty and love, when they can be read asshowing that Ruth might have had no choice, at least in her view(p. 188)? Brenners reading has apparently as much if not more validityReviews202 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.than alternatives (p. 188), such that to resist it is mere romanticizing(p. 189) and so with a little rhetoric (but no serious analysis of alter-natives) a possible reading becomes a superior reading, which onlythose lacking clear-eyed realism might resist. Amit notes a contempo-rary political Israeli use of biblical scholarship on the Samaritans,though with a sharp and unexamined antithesis between the politicaland the scholarly. Finally Philip Davies is confident that the wordsof the Johannine Jesus, my kingdom is not of this world (Jn. 18:36)show that the realms of religion and the state do not intersect (p. 206),rather than that the modern categories of religion and state are oflittle use for grasping the conceptualities of the New Testament text.That the latter might be a significant possibility for a scholar to considerreceives no recognition at all. One wonders if that is because it mightbe inconvenient for Davies thesis that secularism is biblical (p. 205),together with Boers remarkable generalizing editorial gloss on this,that far from a secular program of scholarship [being] foreign to theBible . . . one based on religious commitment is the intruder (p. 11).How and why does scholarship become unscholarly advocacy in away that mirrors the kind of mindset it purports to oppose? I amwriting this review at the time of the SBL meeting in San Francisco, anda good number of the papers in this book arose out of various SBLmeetings. I wonder if the famous extensiveness of the SBL programmay not illustrate part of the problem with this book. There are now somany subdisciplines and diverse concerns in biblical studies that it ispossible to go to an SBL meeting and spend most of your time talkingin groups which self-select according to common interests and priori-ties. Some of the contributors to this book give the impression that it isa long time since they were in a serious discussion with people who didnot already share their outlook (or subscribe to the religious right).Perhaps all of us who attend SBL should resolve to get out and about abit more.Walter MoberlyDurham UniversityBetween Philosophy and Theology: Contemporary Interpretations ofChristianity, Lieven Boeve and Christophe Brabant (eds.), Ashgate,2010 (ISBN 978-1-4094-0060-8), 237 pp., hb 50rirt_1014 203..264Theology is called to dialogue with philosophy, and even to look therefor inspiration and stimuli. This vocation can be seen as part of aReviews 203 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.broader program calling for a deep engagement between faith andreason, one providing credibility to the theological enterprise. Theendeavor is vast, since the scenarios of reason are variegated, and thereis more than one philosophy. Indeed everybody in the theological fieldcan choose his or her own interlocutors for that engaging dialogue. Itcan be expected that every theologian will look for those philosophersthat he or she consider more congenial, or who better represent theevolution of contemporary reason.Keeping in mind the described pluralism, the so-called Continentalphilosophy certainly represents a legitimate approach to philo-sophical reason; and inside this tradition, postmodernism should beassumed as a tendency that has gathered many outstanding philo-sophers, at least since the eighties, and has produced a specificand somewhat original approach to religion and Christian faith, notalways easy for theologians to digest. The aim of this edited collectionis to offer an overview of the main contributions of postmodernistthinkers to religion and Christian topics; to show its own approach tophilosophy of religion or philosophical theology; and to display someof the consequences for theology, especially for the subdisciplineknown as Fundamental theology.The book gathers a series of lectures that took place in the Universityof Leuven (Belgium) in the academic year 20072008, organized by theresearch group Theology in a Postmodern Context. The main voices of thisparticular line of philosophy of religion are often introduced by shortessays of scholars well informed on their production, which helps tobetter contextualize the sometimes obscure developments in this way ofthinking about God. Often the Editors and Contributors remind thereader about the significance of such approaches, as they take place invery secularized and pluralist societies, of which Belgium is not anexception.The volume is divided into three sections: Overcoming onto-theology, Reconstructive philosophy of religion, and Philosophicalinterpretations with political theological consequences. The firstsection offers four essays. Lieven Boeve, one of the Editors, introducesthe thought of Richard Kerney, an Irish scholar known for his book TheGod Who May Be (2001). His main point is a proposal of God beyondconcepts of power and self-sufficiency, to overcome a triumphant onto-theology and moving to a poetic understanding of the divine, more intune with possibility and an alterity concerned with the weakest in ourworld; its source can only be the particular texts of Judeo-Christiantraditions, arguing for more radical hermeneutics. John Caputodeserves an introductory essay and a text of his own, in which hepresents a Theology of the event. After a harsh criticism of contem-porary colleagues Marion and Milbank, he goes into his project of aweak theology, as allegoric expressions of the event, a previousReviews204 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.category of uncertain significance providing the basis for religion andcalling for performance and confession. As for Kerney, God becomesweakened in a move that resembles forms of negative theology, never-theless able to instantiate hope and to render this world restless. Thefourth essay introduces the thought of Jean-Luc Nancy, by JoeriSchrijvers, as a deconstruction of Christianity starting from insideitself. Further steps bring forth the idea of complete secularization, as adisplacement of every theological meaning into immanence, now seenas a realm of nihilism and capitalism. God becomes absent in a Chris-tianity devoid of any meaning and whose main legacy is the kenoticmove toward alterity.The second part, more reconstructive, offers five essays aroundthree authors: Graham Ward, William Desmond, and Kevin Hart.After a presentation of Wards work, his own essay offers a criticalappraisal of Michel de Certeau and his understanding of believing;indeed it is more an essay on the difficulties of believing in secularmodern societies. Ward shows the limits of De Certeau analysis afterdebunking his Weberian roots; religious faith appears as resistant tothe advance of instrumental reason, because of its alternative charac-ter, which justifies its expected return, perhaps on a different format.William Desmonds thought is introduced by Joris Geldhof focusingon his relevance for liturgy. The essay signed by Desmond carries thetitle On God and the Between; indeed this is the title of one of hisbooks that he tries to summarize. He points to a special status inbetween for metaphysics, ethics, and religion. His plea is for a formof porosity between philosophy and theology allowing for richerinteraction beyond artificially build boundaries, after breaking thephilosophical silence about God (p. 101). The last essay of thissection, by Kevin Hart, exposes a philosophical tour de force withmodern philosophers of religion, from Baumgarten and Kant, untilcontemporary authors such as Jean-Luc Marion and Jean-YvesLacoste, around the concept of religious experience; the clue liesagain in the experience of kenotic love.The third part of the book deals with political consequences of thisnew philosophical approach. It gathers four essays. In the first, WolfgangPalaver discerns the effects of Ren Girards work for political theology.After an introduction to her feminist theology, Ellen Armour deals withVisual theology, an essay moving from recent images of torture andapplying Derridean deconstructive methods to justify an alternativefeminist approach. The fourth essay, signed by Frederiek Depoortere,reports on the political relevance of Vattimo and Badiou.The Editors close this volume with an essay on the mutual lessonsbetween philosophy and theology. The pluralism of styles andgenres on both sides is highlighted, as are the doubts concerningtraditional distinctions between philosophy and theology. TheReviews 205 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.ongoing production in this book invites the reader to consider areconfiguration of the disciplinary borders, especially after what canbe called a turn to religion. However some considerations point tothe utility of such a distinction. The conclusion retakes many of themain points arising along the particular contributions and themain consequences for a fundamental theology: these philosophicalapproaches provide tools for a more radical theological hermeneutics,overcoming flaws and gaps in the dominant inherited models andpaying more attention to some particularities nevertheless highlysignificant.This book offers an excellent guide to the recent development inphilosophy of religion inside the postmodern and deconstructive frame-work. It is therefore somewhat of an exaggeration to present it as themost important contemporary philosophical approaches to Christianityas the Editors have done (p. 213). Everybody familiar with contemporaryphilosophy of religion will admit how regional or particular this collec-tion of essays are, as belonging to a very limited tradition. A good deal ofphenomenological and hermeneutic traditions, on the Continental side,are absent. Nothing is said about the great masters in analytic philoso-phy, now providing a large amount of excellent work.In any case, the book is useful for knowing some of the developmentsin this particular field, their way of reasoning and their possible theo-logical impact. It is astonishing how traditional Christian topics can bere-elaborated in a very creative form. However the deconstructiveleaning of many authors leads to interpretations far away from a stan-dard Christian mind.A different question is how convincing is this way of thinkingwhen confronted with the big challenges of secular culture. As statedat the beginning, each theologian chooses the interlocutors he or shedeemed most appropriate and fitting in his or her own frame. Nev-ertheless, we need to pose the further question of whether the post-modern approach is more helpful than other developments to dealwith that challenges. In my opinion some flaws can be perceived inthis style; I fear it is less well equipped to cope with the incomingthreats, and even somewhat outdated. Today theology indeed needsto take more into account the empirical reality to avoid idealisticshortcomings; the results of sciences, to avoid straining reason fromits main settings; and to develop good arguments, to resist the temp-tation of rhetorical escape.Lluis OviedoPontifical Antonianum University, RomeReviews206 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.Stories of the Middle Space: Reading the Ethics of PostmodernRealisms, Deborah C. Bowen, McGill-Queens University Press, 2010(ISBN 978-0-7735-3689-0), ix + 282 pp., hb $95In essence, Deborah Bowen is writing about the ethics of representa-tion, specifically representation as literature, specifically representationin the novel. In her Prologue, Between word and world: a Christianapologia, she makes clear that she is writing from a position of interest,specifically that of a believer in the traditional Christian faith (p. 6),specifically as one called to live within the Christian story a story thataffirms the material world as well as the transcendent (p. 7).As such, Bowen is fully aware of the tension that exists between theword, the text that represents, and the intransigent reality (p. 5) of theworld that exists outside the text. Indeed, she is quick to clarify thatDerrida himself did not intend his much mis-cited claim that There isnothing outside of the text to mean there is nothing outside of the text,but that reference is more complex than traditional theories allow. ForBowen, Derrida wants to complicate unproblematic, taken-for-grantedassumptions about the referential nature of language, and for her partshe wants to reintroduce that world, by complicating linguistic theorythrough attention to the initiatives of language-speakers, both humanand other-than-human [i.e. God] (p. 10). This is the ethical challengeindicated in the subtitle of her book, which is rooted in Judaeo-Christian epistemology that understands referents as exceeding andstanding outside human representations of them (p. 11).For Bowen, human meanings are shaped within in the spacebetween, on the one hand, the word that which represents, the refer-ence and the world that referent which intransigently resists repre-sentation. This is the eponymous Middle Space, where the non-humanworld speaks outside human language; where the biblical metanarra-tive is dynamic and processive, and congruent with one face of thepostmodern (p. 24). Put otherwise, it is the place of narrative, of story everyone needs a story to live by (p. 24) the place that is alwaysrelational and that always calls for response; the place that is thereforealways ethical and always relevant for anyone who wants to live atpeace with his or her neighbour, mediating across the middle spacebetween world and word in a responsible way (p. 25). Ultimately, themiddle space is the space Bowen designates as postmodern realism (p.52): the productive third way of reading that allows for the reintro-duction of the referent into theoretical discourse (p. 52). As such, post-modern realism is the space in which the world is narrated by thepostmodern word; a space of ethical reading into which she invitesLevinas, the par excellence postmodern ethicist, with his recognition ofresponsibility to the face even of the textual Other (p. 53) and Bakhtin,ethicist of narrative, who brings both a consciousness of the historicalReviews 207 2012 Blackwell Publishing of discourse and an awareness of the prior gift of grace that mightenable me to gaze upon the Other with attention and care, and to findthen, in dialogue with the Other, a reconfigured self (p. 53).Having established her methodology, Bowen states her project is toconsider postmodern literary realisms in their imbrication with anethics of responsibility (p. 57). To this end she reads across a range oftexts, devoting a chapter to each of five subgenres of postmodernrealisms (plural): historiographic (Chapter 1); magic realism (Chapter2); mythoparodic (Chapter 3); photographic (Chapter 4); and (Chapter5) a potpourri of genres that interpenetrate each other.The generic weakness in a book like Bowens is that much of thespace is necessarily given to (re)telling the stories it wants to discuss inorder to enable those unfamiliar with the narratives to understand thecommentary. Bowen weaves narrative and commentary together well,and avoids wearying her readers with predictable plod, saying inter-esting things about historiographic metafiction (p. 67), the return of thespiritual (p. 111), and talking pictures (p. 166ff). I was particularly inter-ested in her final chapter which treats A. S. Byatts long short story, TheDjinn and the Nightingales Eye, as an ensemble of other postmodernrealisms. Bowen describes Byatt as someone in the post-Christian Westwho believes Christianity to be metaphysically empty but imaginisti-cally still very powerful (p. 56); and Bowen sees The Djinn as para-digmatic of the way postmodern realisms can use their imaginisticpower to engage in ethical critique. Without (re)telling Byatts storyhere, Bowens argument is that, whereas traditional realism works withwhat is probable, magical realism plays with the conventions to exploreunconscious psychic truth, and Byatt wants to affirm the psychologicaltruth of story (p. 212).Bowen makes a great deal of reading the ethics of postmodernrealism, supported by Levinas and Bakhtin. However, she seems in theend more interested in the apologia she announces in her prologue.Much of what she writes, from her position of believing interest, isconcerned with rethinking the nature of the Christian story/narrative/myth to sustain its imaginistic power to ethically critique. Thus, in herEpilogue, Bowen concludes: the character of the Christian story as onethat invites participation and one that works with narrative compulsionfar more often than with static propositions. Moreover, there is powerin the old story yet, even in the largely post-Christian cultures of theWest (p. 233).Steve NolanPrincess Alice Hospice, Esher; St Michaels College, LlandaffReviews208 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.Redeeming the Gospel: The Christian Faith Reconsidered, David A.Brondos, Fortress Press, 2011 (ISBN 978-0-8006-9745-7), viii + 250 pp.,hb $32rirt_1016 209..270Brondos book is a provocative challenge to traditional Lutheranismand traditional Christianity. One challenge exists because the Lutheranunderstanding of the Gospel has been criticized and rejected by themajority of Christians in the world a result of traditional Lutheran-isms denial of the necessity of good works for justification andsalvation. But Lutherans are having serious disagreements about jus-tification. Hence one can now only speak of Lutheran understandings ofthe gospel rather than the Lutheran understanding (p. 1).Brondos sees two challenges which apply to Lutherans and all Chris-tians. The first is that the modern worldview has changed so dramati-cally from both biblical times and Reformation times that the gospelappears to have become irrelevant and even incomprehensible topeople inside and outside the church (p. 1). An afterlife, miracles, andreligion are thought by many in this postmodern age to be myth andfairytale. Salvation is now understood to be more concerned with thislife than an afterlife. Secondly, modern biblical exegesis has posited adifferent view of Paul, justification, the atonement, and law and gospelthan has traditionally been understood by Luther and other Reforma-tion theologians.Brondos desires to make Christianity relevant to todays postmodernworld. Since Jesus death saved no one this book wants to redeem thegospel from the misrepresentations to which it has been subjected(pp. 4, 5). This also necessitates redeeming from misrepresentation theconcepts of God, salvation, Gods law, sin, grace, faith and eschatology(p. 5).To redeem the gospel, Brondos compares the Lutheran teaching onthe above subjects with ancient Jewish beliefs, biblical thought, and theteachings of other Christian traditions especially Rome, and does sowith a deconstructive purpose (p. 6).Redeeming discusses the problems it sees in the Lutheran understand-ing of God and salvation. The book then moves to a deconstruction oftraditional Lutheran Christian teaching about the law of God that itpoints out sin and cannot save. This traditional Lutheran understandingof the law has been seriously called into question by scholars of theNew Perspective on Paul (p. 21). New Perspectives on Paul (NPP)scholar, E. P. Sanders, taught that obedience to the commandments ismade the condition for salvation (p. 24).Chapter 3 deconstructs the traditional view of justification andChrists work to bring forth a redeemed view of these teachings. Tra-ditional views of the atonement are deconstructed exegetically, leadingto the conclusion that the New Testament offers no explicit and clearReviews 209 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.evidence that Christs death paid for human sin and satisfied Godsjustice (p. 67). This redeemed view of the atonement is then related tothe doctrine of justification. Also deconstructed are the alien righteous-ness of Christ, the joyful exchange (Christ giving sinners his perfectrighteousness and taking their sinfulness to himself), Christus Victor,and the Finnish understanding of Luther (theosis).Chapter 4 deconstructs the traditional Lutheran understanding ofgrace, faith, and the gospel. The traditional forensic understanding ofjustification is criticized because it involves God in a legal fiction sinceChristians are still sinful in this life. Salvation does not objectivelydepend on God a subjective change in humans is needed to movethem from unbelief to faith in Christ. Thus a double justification isnecessary for salvation (p. 111). Double justification is an integral partof Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Lutheran theologies (p. 112). Faithsaves because it leads to a life of obedience to Gods will and the transfor-mation of believers (p. 150). The redeemed view of the sanctified Chris-tian life is discussed in Chapter 5.Chapter 6 is the concluding chapter. Salvation is redeemed to meanwholeness, well-being. shalom, and justice (p. 179). Ultimately it is ourfaith that constitutes the grounds for our certainty of salvation. Chris-tians are constantly directed to God rather than to ourselves, eventhough our salvation does indeed depend on what we do as well aswhat God does for us and in us (p. 182). Further: We are all responsiblefor the salvation of one another (p. 183). Gods law is redeemed to meanthat it reveals our illness and brokenness, as well as our need forhealing rather than as something which instills the fear of Gods wrathin sinners (p. 189). There is also a strong emphasis on community ratherthan individual salvation.Christs death and resurrection did not gain for sinners a righteous-ness they did not have, nor does Christ impute his righteousness andforgiveness to them. The true objective of Christs coming was totransform human beings into people who might live according toGods will. This was the only thing that could ever satisfy God (p. 194). Theconditional basis for forgiveness is repentance which includes thecommitment to live transformed lives in accordance with Gods will(p. 195). The Christians recognition of their brokenness and their turnto Christ in faith, make it possible for Christ to begin to help, heal, andtransform them. Thus justification is conditional (p. 196). Christiansare declared justified because sin will be fully overcome in the futureas they live transformed lives (p. 198). In this way sanctification mustbe said to be essential to salvation (p. 200).The sacraments are redeemed to be the celebration of a believingcommunity which is committed to manifesting Christs uncondi-tional love (p. 201). The Christians commitment to Gods will forjustice . . . constitutes the basis for ones justification (p. 204).Reviews210 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.Redeeming emphatically states that many of the doctrines found inthe Lutheran tradition can no longer be considered grounded inScripture nor theologically sound (p. 207). Lutherans cannot retainsola Scriptura (p. 208) if they continue to adhere to Christs vicarioussatisfaction, the imputation of Christs righteousness to sinners, thelaw as a tyrant rather than an expression of Gods grace, and thenecessity of Christs suffering and death to merit Gods grace forsinners (p. 207). Numerous other doctrines require significantmodification (p. 208). Among them are the traditional understandingof salvation, faith, justification, the gospel, sanctification, and the law.With these redeemed and changed doctrines Brondos believesthat he and other Lutherans will be able to more honestly subscribeto our Confessional writings without feeling that we are beingdishonest with ourselves because we are not fully in agreementwith everything they affirm literally (p. 211). Rejection of orchanges to the problematic, unsound, untenable, irrelevant, andunscriptural traditional Lutheran/Protestant understanding of theabove-mentioned doctrines can contribute to greater unity amongChristians (pp. 211, 212).Brondos believes that the changes he encourages will enable Chris-tianity to proclaim with boldness and enthusiasm a gospel that is trulyrelevant for our world today and that will transform lives (p. 212).Some Lutherans and other Christians will question whether theradical changes Brondos encourages will actually accomplish what hedesires and will disagree with the redeemed gospel expounded in thisbook (pp. 212, 213).This book, a continuation of Brondos previous work, is for scholarsof the NPP, justification, those studying changes in Lutheran doctrine,and those concerned about the content of the churchs message for theworld today.Armand J. BoehmeTrinity Lutheran Church, Faribault, MinnesotaSecularization in the Christian World: Essays in Honour of HughMcLeod, Callum G. Brown and Michael Snape (eds.), Ashgate, 2010(ISBN 978-0-7546-6131-3), 238 pp., hb 50rirt_1017 211..272The process of religious decline requires a deep historical treatment fora correct understanding. Sociological study has provided abundantclues and shed light on many factors involved in that process. HoweverReviews 211 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.without a temporal perspective we risk loosing most of the meaningand direction of that process, and many of the contingent variablesinvolved. The historical stance supplies a broader framework, helpingto better understand the plural and complex character of secularization,and therefore to reconstruct its main dynamics from more empiricaldata, avoiding speculative or built-in narratives.The book under review pays homage to one of the most committedhistorians of the study of secularization in the modern world: the Britishprofessor of Church History Hugh McLeod. Fourteen leading scholars,most in the field of social history and sociology of religion, have contrib-uted with high quality essays to this work. The first chapter, written bythe Editors, traces the stages and influence of McLeods work, pointingto how secularization becomes a historical concept. He has covereda long period, from the end of eighteenth century to the end of thetwentieth. The 1960s appear as a time of rupture leading to a differentway to understand and live religion: the end of a Christian epoch inEurope. Class appears as clearly determinant in that crisis, and Churchinternal radical forces take center stage on a changing model. The resultis the end of Christendom, or a Christian normative culture pervadingin most social settings.The concept of secularization has been much disputed, and contin-ues to nourish reflections about its meaning and content. Jeffrey Coxdevotes a chapter on pros and cons, tracing its semantic modern use,sometimes as a neutral characteristic of social evolution, other times asan instrument in ideological dispute. A repertoire of monographs hasshown a more complex panorama, full of details beyond the simplemodel described by the secularization theory; however, this conceptremains a term of choice when contemplating the most likely directionof modern history in the West: a general orientation, rather than ascientific thesis, in the words of Steve Bruce (p. 17). David Martin andMcLeod have contributed in the last decades to refine the conceptadding new nuances. In any case secularization appears as cata-strophic for many at the end of the twentieth century, beyond thequandaries regarding the word describing that process. Cox offers inaddition a useful index of issues for the study of religion in the present.His concerns are the seemingly unavoidable use of secularization as adescriptive concept of historical change; the binarism or doublehistory of religion after the tracks of Europe and America apparentlydiverge; the burden of institution maintenance for the establishedchurches, preventing expansive strategies; the critical mass factor indisbelief; and the role played by immigration in that dynamic.The well-known specialist in religion and spirituality Linda Wood-head offers an interesting conceptualization of religion in current soci-ology. Four models emerge: religion as belief, considered reductive, andrequiring completion in the emotional and social dimensions; religionReviews212 2012 Blackwell Publishing identity-shaping and boundary-forming, whose roots go back toDurkheim, now fading in a more individualistic culture; religion asvalue-commitment, linked to the work of Parsons and the Americanmodel, yet subjected to deep change; and religion as power, providingempowerment to communities and individuals alike. Woodhead adds afifth model: religion as supersocial relations with ancestors, spirits,and supernatural entities; such relationships allow one to get a deeperinsight into a contingent reality and to provide a more powerful order.Concluding this illuminating chapter, the author points to an integrationof these models, giving place even to a new definition of religion.David Hempton attempts to reconstruct the history of protestantmigrations as a clue to explain the dynamics of decline and revival inboth sides of the Atlantic. Three study cases are exposed to show theimportance of that factor in the changing fates of religion, especiallywhen migrations helped to expand more evangelical and popularreforms, like Methodism and Pentecostalism, and to ignite new cyclesof renewal, against linear views of religious decline.A curious chapter is devoted to the role played by British monarchyin the defense of Christian Britain between 1837 and 2005. Four epochsare distinguished to highline the development from more confessionaland engaging positions to more pluralist and all-embracing attitudes.However, the monarchy did not assume a secular end of Christianity,but it rather embraced a multi-religious society.From Chapter 6 on, the book provides a series of national cases,allowing one to reconstruct secularization processes inside specificregional, cultural, and historical frames. These cases are: Australia,Canada, Scandinavian countries, Britain, Holland, and one labeledEurope, but more focused on Germany. A chapter is devoted to therole of religion in the armies of the USA, Britain, and Canada during theSecond World War, pointing to the revivalist form that Christian faithassumed during these difficult times.Steve Bruce, a prominent defender of the traditional secularizationtheory, looks at the contrast between the UK and the USA regardingreligious change. His analysis aims at debunking the intended excep-tionality of the American case, and to show the dynamics in manychurches and revival process that mature into more relaxing and secu-larized forms. Once more the author takes the occasion to remind thereader that secularization paradigm is not what its critics say, but abunch of partial data and histories sharing a pattern of religious decline,without any determined direction or end, and accommodating never-theless exceptions and counter-tendencies.Last chapter pays homage to McLeods work, showing how his lastworks followed patterns of thinking broadly and thinking deeply.The author is Grace Davie, another well-known person in the contem-porary field of British sociology of religion.Reviews 213 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.This collective book offers an excellent panorama of the state ofresearch, both historical and sociological, regarding religious declinein Western countries. Integrating historical, anthropologic and socialresearch is one of its main merits. At the same time, the wise combina-tion of representative authors and national cases contributes to build abroader and more complex set of ideas about that process beyond easysimplification and reduction. Its reading is stimulating and often pro-vokes a change in ones own established ideas and prejudices. Theolo-gians and other students of religion can greatly profit from thisreflections in order to gain a better diagnosis of the current state of thereligious field and to avoid too easily made generalizations.Lluis OviedoPontifical Antonianum University, RomeComparative Secularisms in a Global Age, Linell E. Cady andElizabeth Shakman Hurd (eds.), Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010 (ISBN978-0-230-62124-4), 293 pp., hb $90rirt_1018 214..275Looking at newly published titles, attentive observers will concludethat the last number of years have been very fertile for the study ofsecularization and secularism. A milestone in the field was the publi-cation in 2007 of Charles Taylors A Secular Age, which in turn led tonew comments and discussions. When so many authors pay attentionto the evident changes that happen in the field of religion and society,there is perhaps some reason for concern: something really relevant andimportant is emerging here; nobody should miss it.Things are changing, to be sure, in the once very stable field ofreligion and its social settings. The abundant available literature wit-nesses to these changes, their directions, reach, and meaning for reli-gions and societies alike. There are some important threads to behighlighted in the last wave of studies: displacements of focus beyondWestern areas, looking for alternative dynamics; and new nuances to beadded to a too rigid pattern of secularism, which somewhat has domi-nated the panorama of the social studies of religion.The book under review provides a good insight into these new ana-lytical developments. It broadens the focus of the traditional subject,including, beyond the USA and France, Turkey and India as its maincases of study; and it reports in an extensive way the nuances that help toovercome a too simplified model dominating the field. Indeed the bookgathers as a kind of proceedings the contributions of a conference heldReviews214 2012 Blackwell Publishing Turkey in 2009 about secularism and its modalities, moving arounddifferent national and religious environments. As could be expected, theTurkish distinctive approach to secularity becomes a recurrent topicamong many of the fourteen contributions collected in this work.Secularism refers to a broad genre of strategies trying to distinguish orseparate religion from the political realm or public administrations; or, inother words, it expresses different attempts at keeping religious neutral-ity in the political sphere and avoiding religious interference beyond itsown proper setting. These descriptions appear as already quite problem-atic, since they reflect rather an ideal type in Weberian sense, than a realdescription of the working of religion in different societies. Further-more, they are clearly question-begging, since the proper realms ofpolitics and religion remain undefined and very fuzzy. In any case,secularism is traditionally distinguished from secularization describing a less ideologically loaded process yet both often overlap inthe social environment in which these dynamics are observed.Most of the studies in this volume offer a close examination of realcases, and always introduce nuances to the current model, to the pointof putting it into question, and suggesting alternative paradigms thatcould appear as better fitted to understand the concrete processes inaction. Most of analyses focus on the narrow field of politics and reli-gion, avoiding alternative issues usually involved under the banner ofsecularism, like ideological tensions, culture wars, and pressures tolimit religious influence in other social spheres, not just politics.The material is divided into three sections. The first comprises a broadintroduction and a couple of methodological notes: on hermeneutics asa clue to better approach secularism in its manifold forms; and on thepossible lines dividing the secular and religious realms. The second partis more historical and descriptive. It offers nine contributions analyzingthe developments and current tensions between religion and politics inthe four chosen countries. The last part, under the title Secularismsrefracted through religions displays three essays: one about Islam andsecularism; the second about the role of heterodoxy disrupting thatdistinction; and a third proposes a theological reading of secularismapplying the famous typology of Richard Niebuhr to better characterizean evident pluralism of models from a Christian perspective.There are several lines of analysis in the book worthy of mention. Themost recurrent issue regards the limits of the traditional separationmodel prevailing in political liberal theory, and being imported intomodernizing areas. Most of the contributions suggest lines of interac-tion, hybridizing, and interference going beyond the sheer separationistprogram. This can be seen in the USA, where secularism knows fromvery early times versions of civil religion and attempts at integratingreligious traditions; in France, with recent developments concerningMuslim signs of identity in public spaces, and more recent attempts atReviews 215 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.reviewing a too harsh and sterile lacit; in Turkey, where secularismimplies at the same time neutrality and care for Muslim religion by theState; and India, with its own versions negotiating steadily betweenHindu identity and a pluralistic and free political realm.Several voices claim for a new ideal type of weak secularism point-ing to a political orientation able to respect and care for a plurality ofreligious options, not just a separation between realms. This is quitesurprising when coming from Islamic voices (like Abdullahi AhmedAn-naim). The reader often finds versions of a proposal claiming theovercoming of a too exclusive understanding of religious and secular,as if one means the negation of the other. What happens in many of theexamined cases is that political and social systems can be conceived inwhich secular and religious spheres coexist, cooperate, and be inte-grated in a more peaceful and collaborative way, beyond the old-fashioned conflictive model prevailing for so long. To this end a newhermeneutical approach is required and a more open mind able tocapture these developments.The book can be seen as an interesting exercise in social hermeneu-tics, trying to make sense of what is going on, and breaking downformer categories and theoretical frames that have helped to situate andunderstand the observed relationships between religion and nationalstates. Many authors contributing to this volume invite us to lookthrough other people lenses, which could even offer a better vision thanours. In an explicit way Andrew Davison invites us to decenter Europeand to take Turkey as the guiding model for a sort of integrativesecularism (p. 25). A more expansive horizon (p. 262) than the onerepresented by traditional Western political thought is proposed as theclue for coping with new challenges in advanced and plural societies.The theme of this collection of essays helps to relativize the pretendednormative superiority of models matured in the context of liberal politi-cal systems concerning relationships with religion. However somecaveats come to mind when taking into account current processes. First,each cultural setting conditions in a hard way the solutions that timeafter time have been tried to find the better way to accommodate theoften contrasting demands of civil society and positive religions; this isclear after David Martins analysis, and it can be extended not only tothe issue of secularization, but to forms of secularism as well. Second,those who follow more closely tendencies in the religious realmobserve an effective decline in indicators of religiosity in most Euro-pean countries; this decline will have sooner or later consequences forthe way relationships between politics and religion are conceived andpracticed. And third, other experiences of negotiating such relationshipbetween actors looking for power and public salience, point tocomplexities in every national context beyond easy solutions, inspiredeither in Western liberal or in alternative models. In any case the issueReviews216 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.of secularism appears once again too closely linked to the one of secu-larization when trying to shed light into that complexities.Lluis OviedoPontifical Antonianum University, RomeAnalytic Theology: New Essays in the Philosophy of Theology,Oliver D. Crisp and Michael C. Rea (eds.), Oxford University Press,2009 (ISBN 978-0-19-9203567), x + 316 pp., hb 62rirt_1020 217..278At a time when philosophy, especially analytic philosophy, is consid-ered by many to be a fairly godless pursuit, one of the most startlingdevelopments has been the growing interest shown by some analyticphilosophers in specifically theological issues. This interest is notsimply in those questions of natural theology within the traditionalpurview of philosophical enquiry, such as the existence of God, but alsoin questions of revealed theology regarding, for example, the Incarna-tion, the canon of Scripture and divine inspiration. The increase in thenumber of scholars and publications devoted to these subjects hasarguably reached the point where this enterprise ought to be designatedas a distinct subdiscipline, analytic theology. For those wishing tounderstand what those working in analytic theology believe themselvesto be doing, Crisp and Reas book is the best available introduction.With an extensive introduction and fourteen chapters, by a rangeof leading scholars in the field together with some of their critics,this volume presents various schemes for demarcating the disciplinetogether with aspirations, criticisms and responses. Whether one sup-ports or opposes the idea of analytic philosophers encroaching on theterritories of the theological guild, I strongly recommend this book as areference.Somewhat paradoxically, one of the most valuable chapters, NicholasWolterstorff, How Philosophical Theology Became Possible withinthe Analytic Tradition of Philosophy (p. 155), is insightful preciselybecause it situates analytic theology in its historical context. Drawingfrom over half a century of professional experience, Wolterstorff locatesthe origin of analytic theology in the collapse of logical positivism andthe loss of virtually all interest in the theme of limits of the thinkableand the assertible (p. 157). He also argues that the emergence of meta-epistemology, inspired by earlier thinkers going back at least toThomas Reid, has been another contributing factor. By expanding con-sideration of the ways in which religious beliefs can be considered asReviews 217 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.rationally grounded, analytic philosophers suddenly felt liberated fromthe ever-decreasing circles of justified beliefs in classical foundational-ism. As a result of these developments, such philosophers felt them-selves free to turn to pretty much any topic they found interesting,including classical theological questions.So, what, then do analytic theologians do with this new foundfreedom? As Rea explains in a commendably clear introduction, muchof what an analytic style implies can be expressed in rather innocentand commonsense terms: Reason coherently; write clearly; say whatyou mean and mean what you say; try to express your ideas in termsyour audience will understand; try not to express your argumentsand conclusions in overly poetic language; understand the termsthat youre employing and rely on your understanding of thoseterms to draw out the implications of what you say and what youpresuppose; and so on (p. 6). Yet even these methodological ambi-tions, which, as Rea wryly remarks, even postmodern philosophersaim to inculcate in their undergraduates, quickly lead analytictheologians into conflict with some influential opponents. Eventhough some famously obscure theologians (Randal Rauser cites KarlRahner as an example, p. 74) seem to delight in what Gerald Cohencalled unclarifiable unclarity, the quest for clarity, parsimoniousexpression, and argumentative rigour (to cite Crisp, p. 38) is rarelystraightforward when facing the challenges of religious experienceand talk about God. Analytic theologians thereby come into conflictwith colleagues on questions of style, advocating propositional clarityrather than metaphorical imagery, on questions of substance, gener-ally being cataphatic rather than apophatic, and in their advocacy ofquestions of truth over questions over value. Various aspects of theseconflicts feature in several chapters of this volume, including Reasintroduction, Randals rather polemical, Theology as a Bull Session(p. 70), which directs criticism at McFague and Moltmann, andAndrew Doles more cautious, Schleiermachers Theological Anti-Realism (p. 136). In response to the criticism that analytic theology isunhistorical, John Lamont, A Conception of Faith in the GreekFathers, presents a counterexample, showing how a contemporarydebate on the nature of testimony takes up a tradition developedby the Greek fathers and extended by the scholastics. Besides mar-shalling arguments in favor of the analytic project, however, theeditors are to be commended for including some effective ripostes toits excesses, including chapters by Merold Westphal and SarahCoakley.As is often the case with book compilations, the overall effectivenessof the book is diminished by a somewhat haphazard choice of topics,albeit within the broadly defined categories of defense, historicalperspectives, the data for theology, and critiques. What is moreReviews218 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.unfortunate, however, from the point of view of those broadly support-ive of this enterprise, is that the principal subject of the book, analytictheology, is not what analytic theologians spend most of their timeanalyzing. There are few chapters that address actual theological prob-lems in the analytic style, and the examples that are chosen are notalways the best advertisements for the discipline. For example, achapter, On Believing that the Scriptures are Divinely Inspired (p.187), inadvertently serves as a warning that those who have spent atleast part of their education deeply immersed in modal logic can intro-duce an unclarity of their own into theological discourse. To findexamples of the best of analytic theology, I recommend looking else-where. Eleonore Stumps Wandering in Darkness, Oxford UniversityPress, 2010, for instance, is a remarkable theodicy that interprets scrip-tural narratives in the light of work on second-person relatedness,showing how contemporary analytic approaches can cast new light onsome of the most intractable ancient problems.What makes Stumps work different to some of the examples in Crispand Reas volume, however, is that she uses analytic methods incombination with other modes of investigation and presentation.Indeed, in her own contribution to Crisp and Reas book, she arguesthat approaching theology analytically while rejecting other ap-proaches risks what she calls cognitive hemianopia (p. 253). The risk shealludes to has been illustrated recently in a magisterial work by IainMcGilchrist, The Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and theMaking of the Western World, Yale University Press, 2009. McGilchristdescribes patients for whom operation of the right brain hemisphere isimpeded. When asked to draw persons or animals, these patients drawthe parts but have no grasp of the Gestalt, the whole. As a result,essential elements often lack even a rudimentary presentation of theircorrect relations. Applied to the case of theology, this is not a merelyabstract concern. Something like an epidemic of cognitive hemianopiamay have struck theology in the past, especially in the sixteenth centurywhen an attack on various potent modes of right brain cognition (e.g.the smashing of religious images) coincided with a failure, by some ofthe most brilliant minds in Europe, to hold the theological enterprisetogether.In conclusion, this volume communicates a sense of the liberty, fresh-ness, and excitement that is drawing many scholars, especially youngerscholars, into applying analytic methods to theological problems. Fur-thermore, there is some hope that this enthusiasm will help to breathenew life into certain fields. Nevertheless, the volume also reveals con-comitant risks. In particular, if analytic theologians neglect or evenexclude the role of metaphor, history, narrative, and other right brainprerogatives, there is a danger that finely honed articulations of truths,expressed as propositions but severed from embodied experience, willReviews 219 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.inadvertently contribute to a longer-term fragmentation of theology asa whole.Andrew PinsentUniversity of OxfordDarwins Pious Idea: Why the Ultra-Darwinists and CreationistsBoth Get It Wrong, Conor Cunningham, Eerdmans, 2010 (ISBN978-0-8028-4838-3), xx + 543 pp., hb $34.99rirt_1021 220..281The potential, if not inevitable, negative reaction to Conor Cunning-hams book will come from polar-opposite sides the creationists andthe ultra-Darwinists. That is the books risk and irony; that is also itsstrength and value.For the author takes on the arrogance and inflexibility of both sides ofthe debate on evolution. Attacking ultra-Darwinism as scientific funda-mentalism and charging creationism with a heretical position at oddswith orthodox Christianity, Cunningham begins by delineating themost basic tenets of the theory of evolution proposed by CharlesDarwin (Chapter 1). Helpful to both the beginner and the seasonedreader of science, this chapter describes how natural selection results infavorable variations being preserved over time and unfavorable onesbeing destroyed in the struggle for existence. This process involves bothcommon ancestry and novel speciation. Clearly, and to the consterna-tion of some, the idea of common ancestry emphasizes human conti-nuity with nature.In the next three chapters, Cunningham addresses the persistentdebates that rage within Darwinism itself, ranging from what it is thatnatural selection selects genes, individuals within species, or speciesthemselves (Chapter 2) to the issue of whether natural selection is thedetermining mechanism in evolution or one mechanism among many(Chapter 3) to the question of whether evolution displays randomnessor a sense of direction (Chapter 4).The first chapter in this constellation of three Chapter 2 on genes is easily the most difficult to comprehend by the non-scientist orgeneral reader. The journey is rough and windy, but the road is worththe trudging and the slipperiness: For, if one stays the course, thecomplexities of the relationship of natural selection to genetic inherit-ance are carefully and comprehensively traced and explained.Chapter 5 discusses the extension of Darwins theory from biology tothe mind. Here, Cunningham criticizes social Darwinism, sociobiology,Editorial220 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.and evolutionary psychology. His prophetic voice is not a solo, for achorus of protest has sounded in response to the issue of just how muchhumans are genetically programmed and to what degree they are free.His treatment of mirror neurons is quite instructive concerning ourhuman capacity for emotion/compassion and is suggestive of thewisdom that predicts that the acknowledgement of mirror neurons willdo for psychology what the discovery of DNA did for biology.In Chapter 6, he examines the contention that science and religionhave been historically and inevitably enemies at war. To this reader, thischapter is the most germane and helpful of all. Cunningham thor-oughly and successfully debunks the myth of conflict that has beencreated and perpetrated by apparent and insidious motives within thecombatants on both sides.In Chapter 7, the author argues that orthodox Christianity can supplya worldview that grants an ethical framework that counters nihilismand grounds contemporary life in necessary, meaningful values such asbeauty, truth, and goodness. In other words, Cunningham reflects theo-logically on the themes and issues that have been brought up earlier inthe book. One would perhaps wish that this chapter were longer andthat the reflections were thereby deeper and more extensive.Darwins Pious Idea would be a relevant, appropriate, and challengingbook for upper division college and university courses and seminarsin science, in religion, and in the interface between the two fields;for seminary courses analyzing the relationship between, and chal-lenges posed by, science and religion; for theologians and religiousscholars who want to grasp the essentials of Darwinian theory andits challenges and contributions to religious belief and religiousself-understanding.Clifford Chalmers CainWestminster College, Fulton, MissouriTheologys Strange Return, Don Cupitt, SCM Press, 2010 (ISBN978-0-334-04372-0), vii + 133 pp., pb 16.99rirt_1022 221..282Over the past forty years, Don Cupitt has systematically revised Chris-tian theology for a secular age. Although his moment in the publicspotlight passed in the 1980s, he continues to lead Sea of Faith Net-works for religiously inclined non-believers, and publishes new bookswith astonishing regularity. His writings in recent years have minedtheology as a vital resource for the secular imagination, with particularReviews 221 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.reference to western culture and ethics. In Theologys Strange Return, hetakes a further step to suggest that theology is already coming backfrom the dead, as it were, to provide meaning and guidance for ourpostmodern world. Shorn of its metaphysical conceits, theology canstill help us answer the question, how then shall we live?Cupitt defines his project at the outset as empty radical humanism(p. x). His humanism is radical because it denies any spiritual realitybeyond the material, and it is empty because it accepts the postmodernnegation of the self. In the process of throwing off its metaphysicaldeadweight, however, empty radical humanism discovers that reli-gious conceptions of divinity and the self have been indispensable forits own development. It turns out that humans are, after all, created inthe image of God, and have learned from God that life is found byemptying the self into the world. Nevertheless, neither of these affir-mations requires a metaphysical hypothesis: God is the central conceptthat has facilitated human evolution. Our early ancestors, fragile as theywere, projected control and self-sufficiency onto spiritual forces (pp.xiii, 50). Conceptualizing authority in this way allowed humans to learnslowly how to take control of themselves and their world, and eachhuman gain was met with a further refinement of theological ideals.According to Cupitt, the story of Jesus Christ is still the most radicalwitness to the conclusion of this narrative, as it depicts the death of Godas the birth of the human as autonomous moral creator (pp. 934). AsCupitt puts it, man made God made man (p. 84). Even as we give upon theological metaphysics, we rightly return to theology when tellingthe grand secular narrative.In the twenty short chapters of Theologys Strange Return, Cupittemploys this basic narrative to reconceptualize several central Christiandoctrines. On theology proper, he avers that Genesis is correct that Godcreated humans through language, although it was really human lan-guage about God, and the effects of such language, that had the creativepower (pp. 611). God, furthermore, is love, totally actualized being forothers, which is but the way of the universe the sun is Cupittsparadigm for secular divinity (pp. 3, 22, 69). These theological adjust-ments allow for a new conception of the human being, and Cupittinsists that we surrender all vestiges of anthropological metaphysics(pp. 97113). Neither God nor Nature has raised humans above thefray of historical being, and we should study ourselves only in thecontext of ordinary life. Yet the history of God remains instructive, andwe should adopt a solar ethics by pouring ourselves out into theworld unreservedly (pp. 69, 92, 116).Although these doctrinal revisions clearly depart from Christianorthodoxy, Cupitt has a high regard for scripture and Jesus Christ.Scripture is an important record of how we humans used theology tocreate ourselves (pp. 33, 51, 679). The apex of the narrative is JesusReviews222 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.Christ, the blasphemer, heretic and would-be destroyer of the law (p.93). Jesus radically anthropological love ethic remained our best guideto freedom from morality until Nietzsches writings (p. xvi). This state-ment implies a low regard for the intervening 1900 years between Jesusand Nietzsche, and Cupitt is indeed quite critical of the church. Themetaphysical compromises of the early Christians are excusable, giventheir historical context (pp. 945), but the feebleness of those compro-mises has been exposed since the Reformation (p. 20). As the churchtoday refuses a new Reformation in its conception of the faith (p. 117),Cupitt recommends a post-ecclesiastical theology that leaves existingchurches behind (p. 113).Finally, Cupitt proposes new theologies of redemption and the lastthings. Christianitys strange return is as a secular religion of redemp-tion that frees us from all the anxieties caused by law and morality(pp. 801). His Christology implies, furthermore, that humans aresaved by adopting Jesus anti-morality and embracing the pure loveof solar living (p. 69). Cupitt denies any otherworldly hopes for salva-tion, and calls for all teleological faiths to be abandoned (pp. 705). Thecommunications revolution has made us aware of the provinciality ofany particular faith outlook, and the probable ecological catastrophesignals that historical optimism as such is out of place. Our onlyhope is to make serious changes to our patterns of growth andtransportation, and to overthrow the male domination that hasput us in the current mess (pp. 734). Regardless, we can face deathwith equanimity, resting in the grace of the contingency of all things(pp. 458).Readers looking for systematic philosophical or theological supportfor any of these arguments will need to look at Cupitts other writings.Theologys Strange Return is a summative work, condensing his majorarguments into a small manual that would be useful for post-Christianreading groups. Its brevity also recommends it as an introduction toCupitts work for undergraduates.There is now much talk among atheists about what happens after theNew Atheism. Prominent figures are calling both for a more dialogical,conciliatory tone toward traditional religions, and for the positivearticulation of atheist virtue. Cupitts perspective, so eloquently sum-marized in Theologys Strange Return, would seem to provide just whatthese new secularists are searching for. Yet, for all his efforts to affirmthe atheist life by drawing on Christian sources, Cupitt cannot refrainfrom condescension toward his religious others. Traditional believers,he tells us, are nothing but fundamentalist children who refuse to growup and face reality (pp. 72, 879). Orthodox Christians can be ignoredbecause their cause is hopelessly diminished and transparently false (p.112). These comments suggest that it has been a long time since Cupitthas engaged seriously with religious intellectuals and, further, that he isReviews 223 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.ignorant of the global surge of religious faith, not all of which can beclassified as fundamentalist. But even if Cupitt is right and secularistshave the upper hand, dialogical atheists should be wary of his accountof human evolution as progressive growth from a theological to asecular mode of being. Such an account is not only difficult to squarewith his rejection of teleology, but it also consigns the metaphysicallyminded to the status of bizarre, vestigial holdouts. It seems unlikelythat religious persons will be prone to dialogue if they are consigned tothe museum, or assumed to be on the verge of extinction and unworthyof preservation. Then again, if the argument of Theologys Strange Returnis correct, then the present reviewer is but a child meddling in mattershe cannot understand.Jamie PittsUniversity of EdinburghThe Promise of Christian Humanism: Thomas Aquinas on Hope,Dominic Doyle, Crossroad, 2011 (ISBN 978-0-8245-24692), xii + 231 pp.,pb $34.95rirt_1023 224..285Dominic Doyles The Promise of Christian Humanism is a fresh attemptto bring together two things which too often are not simply distin-guished but fatefully separated: Christianity and humanism. Withouthumanism, Christianity either becomes a form of pessimism aboutanything that we can do or experience in this world, or else degen-erates into an ideology of intolerance and hatred for what is human.Without transcendence, humanism passively permits, if it does notactively foster, the ideological substitution of this or that worldlyidol for the sacred. How to avoid this disjunction? Doyle proposesthat we begin by looking to two recent exercises in Christian human-ism, those of Charles Taylor and Nicholas Boyle. Although theseprojects persuasively diagnose our contemporary predicament,Doyle argues, they cry out for theological elaboration. Which theol-ogy? Doyles answer: the theology of hope as articulated by ThomasAquinas in Questions 1722 of the secunda secundae of the Summatheologiae.Before he turns to Aquinas, Doyle orients the reader by providingincisive prcis and evaluations of Taylor and Boyle. Particularly strongis Chapter 1s explication of Boyles analysis in Who Are We Now?(Notre Dame, 1998) of the problematic nature of modern identity,trapped as it is in an interminable cycle of producing and consuming.Reviews224 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.Doyle aptly supplies Boyles reasons for drawing the conclusion thatthe more choice we give ourselves as consumers the heavier thechains we forge for ourselves as workers. He then adds an aperu ofhis own: We can all live like kings, as long as we work like dogs (p.20). Resources for overcoming this dehumanizing condition, Boylenotes, can be found in the tradition of Christian humanism. None-theless, Doyle argues, Boyles particular advocacy of Christianhumanism is not enough. It tends to collapse holiness into goodness,amounting to the claim that the distinctive contribution of Christianliterature is to reveal the sufficiency of a natural virtue for ones per-sonal identity (p. 26). Whether this is entirely fair to Boyle, the readermust judge for herself. Here it can be said that Doyle provocativelylays out Boyles analysis, inspiring us to think more about itsstrengths and potential limitations.Each of the theological virtues, Doyle acknowledges, is important fora genuinely Christian humanism. Why, then, accord a privileged placeto hope? Doyles answer to this question constitutes a second primarystrength of his book. Hope, he argues, is essentially concerned withboth the future and the present. It is oriented toward the future, since itsobject is the difficult but possible future good. Yet its orientation to thefuture does not render it irrelevant for the present. On the contrary,hope directly addresses our present need by placing the emphasis onGod as first efficient cause, insofar as hope depends upon divine helphere and now. This correlation between present and future, Doyleshows, is not as common as one might think. Some theologies focus onthe future, becoming practically indifferent to the present. Others focuson the present, while virtually ignoring the beatitude that is not hereand not yet. For Aquinas, hope is the indispensable link betweenpresent and future. It is the virtue for which, as Doyle comments, ourdesire for future happiness spills over into the present, such that hopecan depend upon Gods help now for anything in order to attainGod (p. 40).If hope is the virtue in which the temporal and the eternal mostvisibly intersect, then one should find expressions of this intersection inthe Questions on hope in the secunda secundae of the Summa theologiae.Doyle devotes a chapter to exegesis of these questions. He conciselybut accurately distinguishes the theological virtues from the acquiredvirtues, showing that the former do not admit of a mean, since theyexceed any measure set by reason; their good, Aquinas says, does notconsist of a mean, but grows as they approach the summit. Doyleusefully explicates the significance of this image: The subject no longerstands above and apart from the object that he measures by reason, asshe does with the natural virtues, but rather approaches an immeasur-able object that cannot be grasped by the human mind (p. 70). To relyupon something immeasurable for help in the present, Doyle shows,Reviews 225 2012 Blackwell Publishing not as easy as it may appear. Anyone can want something from Godin the future. But the peculiar virtuousness of hope lies in its radicalopenness to divine presence. It is only the act of relying on God in thepresent, not simply wanting something from God in the future, thatbrings the person into actual contact with God (p. 86). While he privi-leges hope, Doyle avoids the temptation to overstate his case by mini-mizing the other theological virtues. On the contrary, he attends insome detail to faith as a necessary precondition of hope, and to charityas its fulfillment. With some elegance, he shows that faith, hope andcharity are related as the potency, motion, and act of Christian human-ism (p. 112). He does not, however, allow such neat metaphysicalconstructs to occlude the genuine existential difficulties of living inhope. While faith opens up a transcendent horizon, hope realisticallyfocuses on the suffering through which finite, fallen being must pass onits way to union with God (p. 113). Against any facile description ofhope as merely the optimistic counterpart of pessimism, Doyle empha-sizes its cruciform character.I have emphasized the considerable strengths of Doyles book. Somequestions will occur to the reader. Doyle not only chooses CatholicHegelians (his description) as his points of departure, but also impliesthat Thomas himself possessed a theological system. But are there notgood reasons for denying that Thomas either possessed or took himselfto possess anything rightly described as a system? Another question:why does Nietzsche fail to appear as an interlocutor? That life involvessuffering, and that suffering should not be wished away, is an importantclaim common to Nietzsche and to the Christians whom he opposes.What makes the Christian treatment of suffering more compelling,more compatible with genuine greatness of soul, than the Nietzschean?One would like to hear Doyle on this question, as well as someacknowledgment that Nietzsche offers a rival version of futurism.Finally, although Doyle is entirely right to say that systematic theolo-gians have tended to ignore Christian humanism, he likewise pays littleattention to the primary figures of the tradition of Christian humanism.To learn how Aquinas remedies the defects of Taylor and Boyle isinteresting. No less valuable would be a persuasive account of whysomeone fond of Erasmus, More, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Pascal, Vico,Newman, and Eliot should read Aquinas and even count him as aChristian humanist in spite of the apparent antithesis between scho-lasticism and humanism.These questions point to what Doyle might consider in future effortsto address the prospects of Christian humanism. They are not meant todetract from the value of what he has done. Doyle sympatheticallyprobes Aquinas for resources in addressing contemporary questions,without supposing that we can return to the Middle Ages. Unlikemany works of Thomistic exegesis, Doyles never loses sight of whichReviews226 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.questions it is asking and why it is asking them. This alone is animpressive feat.Robert MinerBaylor UniversityPlaying: Christian Explorations of Daily Living, James H. Evans Jr,Fortress Press, 2010 (ISBN 978-0-8006-9726-6), xxi + 99 pp., pb $15rirt_1024 227..288The editors introduction notes that the book series will examine theChristian understandings of everyday experiences such as playing,shopping and parenting and re-present them in a way that canhelp to reshape or sharpen beliefs and themes of Christian faith(p. ix). The first chapter examines the nature of play and ludicaspects of humanity and society. The three remaining chaptersexamine the relationship of play to God, Jesus Christ and the HolySpirit/Church.In the first chapter, The Plays the Thing, Evans examines scholar-ship regarding play and notes that human play is experimental, imita-tive, voluntary, and establishes social order. As part of who we are morethan what we do, play is a constitutive and pervasive feature of humanexistence (p. 10). To define the term, play is a set of activities orpractices that occurs in the interstices between freedom and structure,between the subject(ive) and the object(ive), between creation andimitation (p. 11). He states that the goal of this text is to examinethe meaning and practice of play with particular attention to AfricanAmerican theological and cultural context.As the production and criticism of literature are ludic activities, Evansspends his second chapter, Playing in the Dark; God and the field ofplay, examining texts that have particular importance for an AfricanAmerican understanding of play in order to understand what it means toplay in the dark. Referencing Toni Morrison, Evans points out thatAmerican literature has been shaped by the Africanist presence and thatto create art and literature is to play in an atmosphere blackened byracism and blood, that is, playing in the dark. He then utilizes JosephConrad, Zora Neale Hurston, and various writings on slavery to discussthe ability of Africans and African Americans to play in the dark.Playing in the dark is not despair; it is connected to romance, story-telling and hope. Playful work on the part of slaves (e.g. the shuckin andjivin of the corn harvest) confused ethical boundaries. The slaves addedlaughter, competition and jokes, thereby ritualizing the experience. TheReviews 227 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.early church also played in the dark. They played on the field (creation),in the time of play (redemption), with the Parousia as the final buzzer.Life is ludic; God is the architect of our field and the temporalcontext of the world is playtime (p. 39).In the third chapter, Dont Hate the Player, Hate the Game; Jesus asa player, Evans writes: Play is an important, if not central, theme in theBible (p. 45). In the Gospels we find issues of life and death, yet they arecharacterized as play. Evans encourages us not to be player haters forJesus, as the player par excellence, was involved in several games at once.He was able to negotiate the games of society, politics, and religion.Jesus worked with the losers within the social system of honor andshame, including the shamed in the game and adding grace as a modi-fier. As a political player, Jesus was superior to his challengers, outma-neuvered his opponents, redefined the field of play, and claimedadvantage by declaring that his kingdom was not of this world. Jesusengaged the religious game primarily by placing human value over thelogic and rules of Judaism.However, the line between playmate and opponent can be blurry,and the games that Jesus played got rough. Evans objects to the use ofthe term work of atonement, for the salvific act of Christ is ludic. Asplay is paradoxical, it is and is not what it presents itself to be, atone-ment must fundamentally be playful in that the God-human, JesusChrist, is the greatest paradox. The playfulness of this paradox wasthreatened by christological heresies and defended by the councils.In Chapter 4, The Spirit at Play: Humanity, church, and the cosmos,Evans shares that the imitation and creativity of playing church as a boyfreed him to build upon tradition. While imitative, play focuses oncreativity and fulfillment as seen in praise. Although the church isreticent to understand itself in terms of play, anthropologists note theludic elements of singing, clapping, dancing, and the pastor as jokester,with everyone having a good time in the Lord (p. 74). Play transcendsempiricism, is constrained by sin, restored by redemption, and liberatesone from the constraints of life. The church is one, holy, catholic, andapostolic. Evans relates these to the qualities of myth which are aes-thetic, poetic, metamorphic, and therapeutic. Churches are often onlyexpressing two of these notes, and restoring all four would allow thechurch to express itself in fuller harmony.Play is also the primary principle of the cosmos, as reason and ran-domness balance form and freedom. Gods creative activity should beseen in terms of play and not work. Viewing the world from the end,with Moltmann, the eschaton is also characterized by play. Scorelessand timeless, [h]eaven is a place where the games have ended but theplay never does (p. 83).Evans three major chapters (24) are distinct and can be evaluatedindividually. The examination of play with regard to slavery in theReviews228 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.second chapter is the best section of the text. It addressed the issueswhich Evans set out at the beginning, to examine the aspects of playwith particular regard to African American culture and theology. Sur-prisingly little that follows this specifically addresses African Americancontext. Unfortunately, the next chapter is the weakest. Here we havestrained discussions of the nature of Jesus, simplified presentations ofJewish and Roman cultures and religions and honor/shame, and apresentation of atonement that I find hard to accept. The last chapter isa compelling analysis of the church, humanity, and the cosmos withregard to the balance of tradition and creativity.The most significant problem in this text is that Evans definition ofplay is so broad that it virtually encompasses all reality and I find itdifficult (as it seems Evans does) to describe anything as other thanplay. Literature is play, a primary theme of the Bible is play, God wasplaying when he made creation, creation is our field of play, time is thegame clock, sin prevents play, heresy is the elimination of play, worshipis play, church is play, heaven is uninterrupted play, the nature of Jesusis playful, honor/shame was a game, Jesus was a player, atonement isplay, and so it goes. How Evans has defined play has made it unrecog-nizable to what one normally thinks of with regard to playing.I expect that Evans thought-provoking insights found in Chapters 2and 3, as well as the problematic Chapter 3, could easily spark conver-sation and so this book seems very useful for an adult study group. I amless sure about its usefulness in the classroom.Isaac M. AldermanUniversity of St. ThomasSaving Wisdom: Theology in the Christian University, Brian W.Hughes, Pickwick Publications, 2011 (ISBN 1-60608-958-7), 370 pp.,pb $42rirt_1025 229..290This book arises from a doctoral dissertation written by Hughesunder the supervision of Michael J. Buckley SJ, an important andinfluential contributor to the discussion on the nature of theology andits place in the university. The state of the question, especially in theUnited States, is this. In a Christian University, what is the role oftheology? Should it operate confessionally, training ministers, build-ing up the church, in effect carrying out catechesis? Of course, even inChristian universities, not all the students are Christian, let aloneBaptist, Catholic, or Methodist. That causes one amongst manyReviews 229 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.problems for such a model. Does such a model presume that the stu-dents and all the teachers involved with this subject are utterlyhomogenous? Further, what of the research nature of a disciplinewithin a university? Does the above function sit easily with other uni-versity disciplines as research sciences? And what is the relation ofopen research to confessional theology? The current American Catho-lic situation has not quite resolved the problem of theologians inCatholic universities having to sign a mandatum which formalizestheir role, as loyal Catholics, in relation to the local bishop. What is therole of theology and what are it presuppositions when it operateswithin the university. Hughes rightly sees this question as affectingmost universities and all denominations. In the current climate wherethe social role of the university is central to politicians, Hughes booklooks promising.To address this question Hughes turns to four giants who all taughtor were important leaders or administrators in universities in differentcountries and at varying times, but whose work can certainly be a richmine to address the cluster of questions above. Hughes opens withFriedrich Schleiermacher, a key architect of the first modern secularresearch university in Europe, Berlin, which eschewed religiousaffiliation precisely in advancing the idea of a research university. Onthe German University, nothing of course beats the work of ThomasHowards 2006 book, which pays meticulous attention to historicalcontext. A little more of that type of attention would have made Hugheswork richer, for he tends to deal with theology texts mainly, but oneshould not ask for too much from a first book. Schleiermacher was toargue the case for theology being a positive science, with data andmaterials, akin to the historical sciences. This meant it was both aresearch subject and like any other academic subject. Schleiermacheralso argued that like medicine and law, theology has a training functionfor providing the state with high quality officials, the clergy. The tensionbetween these different functions was never quite resolved and even-tually, with the decline of clergy, the first function alone would have tojustify theology. Hughes well understands the theological material andhis treatment is sound.His next major subject, John Henry Newman, was eventually made acardinal. Newman of course has been the subject of much treatmentregarding this question and while Hughes reading covers the impor-tant primary materials, he does not always signal how he might beadvancing Newman scholarship in this area. As with the Schleierma-cher material, Hughes is a sound guide. He notes the way in whichNewman divides theology into a kind of natural theology/philosophywhich is open to all and for the education of every gentleman; anddogmatic theology, which he sees as operating differently, open toconfessional Christians. The complex currents with Newman areReviews230 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.bought into sight including his attempt to provide a canopy to theentire curriculum through philosophy and natural theology, while atthe same time leaving the moral education of the person up to theinstitutions and the society of men who composed it. Both these giantsare given two chapters each before Hughes turns to more contempo-rary theologians in Chapters 5 and 6.Hughes turns to the American Catholic liberal who eventually turnedconservative, Avery Dulles. Like Newman, Dulles also got a cardinalshat, although his theology was both different and similar. Hughesmastery of the materials here is not quite so sure footed, self-confessedly limiting himself to a small selection of Dulles writings.Hughes does clearly show how Dulles view of theology, its nature andinstitutional responsibilities, was shaped by Dulles own sense thatexperimentation, creativity, and controversy in academic theology hadgone too far. Young minds coming to theology to discover the truth ofthe Christian faith would inevitably find endless opinions and contro-versy. They were more likely to leave confused and disoriented ratherthan have a strong sense of the objectivity of their subject matter. Theywould become teachers who might not even know the proper method-ology of the discipline or its subject matter. Dulles outlines the Catholicnature of the discipline (in Catholic universities) and its subservient butadvisory role to the magisterium. That Dulles research is still read isindicative that working under such conditions does not stifle researchbut can in fact feed it although that has not always been the case. Thefinal theologian treated is the Presbyterian, Edward Farley, who pro-vides a nice contrast to Dulles. Farley is one of the best representativesof liberal Protestant theology and assimilates the subject to the univer-sity more fully and rigorously, as part of the Humanities. Farley, like theothers studied, also relates theology to other disciplines and sees itssocial and public function. Farley is also relentlessly ecumenical in hisconception of theology.These four studies serve to illuminate the complex patterns and pos-sibilities in answering the range of questions related to the nature oftheology in the university. Hughes provides a clear and well-organizedreading of differing perspectives to be found in these four writers. Forthat we are indebted.In the final chapter, Hughes asks two questions to his materials todevelop a possible construct by which to think further on the question.The questions came as a surprise as they had not been well signaled inthe preceding chapters. First, Hughes wants to ask what is the tacit orexplicit soteriology that determines the nature of theology? He suggeststhat the four theologians view of theology in the university corre-sponds to either an exclusive or inclusive soteriology (p. 289). Byinclusive, Rahner is the template: someone who sees grace as presenteverywhere in all walks of life, thus allowing according to Hughes aReviews 231 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.more integrated, less sectarian, open form of theology to flourish. Byexclusive, Lindbeck is the template: someone who sees particular forms(the Bible, sacraments, and so on) as best embodying truth and grace,and thus conceiving theology as confessional, denomination specific,and it would appear, necessary for salvation. Hughes second question iswhether theology is more of a wisdom than a science (p. 289) when itis more inclusive than exclusive? It would appear that by wisdomHughes gestures to a range of themes including contemplation, self-transformation, holiness, and interrelatedness. His conclusion is thatDulles works out of an exclusive soteriology, while Newman and Farleyare inclusive and their different proposals reflect this basic soterio-logical vision. All of them advance different views of wisdom, which isrelated to their view of theology. Hughes tests his thesis, such as it is, onfour very recent approaches in the literature: Stanley Hauerwas, GavinDCosta (the present reviewer), George Denis OBrien, and Michael J.Buckley. The former two are found to be exclusivists and pattern theirvision of institutional theology on not dissimilar lines to Dulles, whilethe latter two are inclusivists who follow the Newman and Farleymodels, obviously with significant overlap and differences. Thereseems to be a pattern, although it is not neat or tidy.I have tried to summarize the final chapter as clearly as possible, butI confess to finding it hasty and underdeveloped. The foreword byBrian E. Daley of Notre Dame University rightly says this is not a bookthat promotes a thesis of its own (p. xiii). This may reflect the fact thatHughes simply describes the patterns and argues for none, although hislanguage indicates that he is probably a supporter of Buckleys inclu-sivist approach. Or Daleys comments may rightly indicate that themost valuable part of this study is the presentation of the four theolo-gians as differing and deeply mature voices on the role of theology inthe university.Gavin DCostaUniversity of BristolCanon and Creed, Robert W. Jenson, Westminster John Knox Press,2010 (ISBN 978-0-664-23054-8), ix + 136 pp., hb $25rirt_1026 232..293Canon and Creed by Robert Jenson offers a concise introduction to theongoing conversation of the church about the interdependency ofcanon and creed through the centuries. This succinct text is both adoor and a map. It is a door in that it leads the reader into theReviews232 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.ancient and complicated relationship between canon and creed. It is amap in that it guides the reader into beginning to make sense of it all.Jenson effectively distills the long, rich, and complicated history of thesymbiosis of canon and creed without succumbing to oversimplifica-tion. He does so in three parts. First, he elucidates the central con-cerns of the interrelatedness of canon and creed including workingdefinitions, the role of Israels scripture in the church, and the relationof the developing creedal tradition to both the Old and New Testa-ment canon. In Part Two, Jenson covers the role of dogma (authorita-tive doctrine developed after creeds) in the church as well as theimportance of the episcopacy. Part Three is primarily applicationwhere Jenson demonstrates how the creed can serve as the criticaltheory or hermeneutical principle for interpreting various knottypassages of scripture including Gen. 1:115, Luke 1:2638, and Mark14:3536.This book is well suited for both the classroom and the pastors study.It would be most useful in the classroom if paired with other texts (e.g.Hans von Campenhausens The Formation of the Christian Bible andJ. N. D. Kellys Early Christian Creeds), as it is quite brief and intention-ally lacks extensive references. It is also a valuable resource for thepractitioners of the church. As the Interpretation series foreword states,it is for those who teach, preach, and study the Bible in the communityof the faith (p. ix). The text is ecumenical as canon and creed belong tothe whole church. Jensons treatment of the church, canon, and creedappeal to a broad range of Western traditions including Roman Catho-lic, Anglo-Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, and Pentecostal. Admittedly,however, the author excludes any discussion of the role and problemsof canon and creed in the Eastern tradition.Jensons central task is to convince the church that the canon andcreed are not in competition nor are they mutually exclusive but aretruly interdependent. The alienation of canon and creed within thechurch is not only ahistorical but it is also dangerous. This resoundingmessage is in opposition to current trends in the church where thebiblical studies and systematic studies establishments view oneanother and their respective primary media with suspicion. Jensonscentral thesis is clear and simple: the function of neither canon/Scripture nor creed can be grasped without reference to theother (p. 18). The picture Jenson suggests for the relationshipbetween canon and creed is that of a puzzle piece. The church, heargues, is the community of a message, that the God of Israel hasraised his servant Jesus from the dead (p. 3). This message has beensustained by the Holy Spirit (a major subtheme) and crystallized bythe reciprocity of the regula fidei manifesting itself in canon and creed.From this reasoning, Jenson asserts that canon and creed match likeconversely notched puzzle pieces and only canon and creed fittedReviews 233 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.together could make and can now make one whole and integralguardian of the churchs temporal self-identity (p. 41). With thistheme in mind, Jenson approaches each chapter as a means to supportthe marriage of canon and creed as well as critique their presentseparation.When reading this book, it is suggested that one begin at the end. Inthe Afterword Jenson puts the entire discussion of canon and creed inthe larger framework, namely the modern Western ecumenes afflictionof alienating canon and creed. Although Jenson shows tremendouscommand of historical, theological, and biblical learning, this book, atits heart, is a grave plea. Jenson argues that the current alienation ofcanon and creed in the church of the twenty-first century is a symptomof the rift between biblical and theological scholarship that haswidened in the past few centuries. Thus, this book is a plea for thechurch to recognize the mutuality and vital role of canon and creed inthe life of the church canon needs creed and creed needs canon(p. 118).There are two criticisms worth mentioning. The first deals with histreatment, or lack thereof, of the closing of the canon. In the firstchapter Jenson explicitly asserts that he will not in this essay pursue thequestion of when or how the canon was closed (p. 13). To his credit,Jenson does mention the Marcionite controversy and the churchsresponse to his polemic. However, it would be helpful to include moreabout the criteria for the churchs affirmation of certain texts and notothers in the canon. His treatment of this is sparse and it seems to be alarge omission to ignore such an important issue. Further, Jensonavoids the topic of the inclusion or exclusion of the apocryphal books,which the Protestant church generally considers to be edifying butuninspired.The second criticism pertains to his discussion of the episcopacy. Inthe foreword he argues that there are three Spirit-granted touchstonesof the true gospel: the canon, the creed, and the episcopate. Jensonquickly expresses guilty relief about having only the first two as hisassignment. Although the episcopate is not his assignment, this doesnot mean he ignores it. Rather, it seems to mean only that he does notdeal with it sufficiently as he still devotes an unsatisfying chapter toit. Jenson justifies such an inclusion by appealing to Irenaeus whoassumed one could not defend canon and creed against the hereticswithout also naming the line of bishops (p. 6). Although the bulk ofthe book is about canon and creed, he sometimes treats the episcopateas a lynch pin. He writes that canon and creed need one anotherbut perhaps even the two together will not finally serve withoutthe third leg, a sacramentally constituted continuity of church gover-nance (p. 32). His primary thesis is that canon and creed have asymbiotic relationship. However, at times Jenson stresses theReviews234 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.episcopate as essential and other times asserts that it may be expend-able. On the one hand he argues, in line with Irenaeus, that canon andcreed may be insufficient touchstones for the maintenance of thechurch without the episcopate. On the other, he suggests thatthere are a variety of ways the church may have a functioning mag-isterium apart from the episcopacy (he even thinks this is the case)but neglects to elaborate (p. 71). His treatment of the importance ofthe episcopate seems inconsistent and confusing. The reader is leftwondering, Is the episcopate essential or not? Despite these twoweaknesses, Jensons project is both well done and well timed forthe church today. Throughout Canon and Creed Jenson persuasivelydefends his plea that theology and biblical exegesis must be restoredto their ordained harmony (p. 121). What God joined together let notman separate.Kevin M. AntlitzGordon-Conwell Theological SeminaryAquinas Summa Theologiae, Stephen J. Loughlin, T&T Clark, 2010(ISBN 978-0-567-55094-1), x + 326 pp., pb 50rirt_1027 235..296This book endeavors to provide an undergraduate student with anintroduction to Thomas Aquinas Summa Theologiae, a work that has hada profound impact upon the whole of Catholic theology and holds animportant place within the discipline of philosophy (p. viii). In thesewords forming part of the Preface (pp. viiix) are expressed the mainpreoccupations of this work by Stephen J. Loughlin, Associate Professorof Philosophy at DeSales University and Co-ordinator of the AquinasTranslation Project. The Summa Theologiae is not a simple work to readand that is the reason which prevented many students, notwithstand-ing its crucial role within the history of thought, from studying it.Therefore, this book aims at making this masterpiece easier and inChapter 1, Context (pp. 128), the author highlights the most impor-tant points of Aquinas life and works in order to introduce the readerto the specific topics of the Thomistic philosophy. In that chapter a shortbiography lays stress on the salient moments of Aquinas life, amongwhich we can find the episode occurred on December 6, 1273, namelya kind of vision which led him to stop writing: everything I havewritten seems to me as straw in comparison with what I have seen (p.5). The brief description of Aquinas personal events succeeds in givinga proper idea of his character. Thomas was not simply a religious manReviews 235 2012 Blackwell Publishing he devoted his whole life and intellectual energies to God. The lastpart of the first chapter deals with some introductory considerationsabout the Summa, a work that endeavors to present Christian moralityas something grounded in the entirety of theology (p. 9). Although thedifficulty of his work seems to indicate that it is written for learnedtheologians, such as the students of the Parisian school, accordingto Aquinas mind it is directed to beginners, in order to improvetheir ability in the ordinary theological practice. Furthermore, theauthor emphasizes the macrostructure of the work, whose division isannounced by Thomas Aquinas himself in the second question: wenow intend to set forth this divine teaching by treating, first, of God,secondly, of the journey to God of reasoning creatures, thirdly, of Christ,who, as man, is our road to God (p. 10). As regard to the microstruc-ture, that is the method, of the Summa, it is founded upon the typicalMedieval way of learning; thus, it bears directly the marks of theordinary disputation (p. 24).In order to appreciate the Summa it is necessary to keep in mind thesources upon which Thomas founded it. First, one must considerthat the Holy Scriptures compenetrate the whole work. Moreover, theSumma is built upon the tradition of biblical commentaries, in parti-cular it could be considered as an uninterrupted dialogue with Augus-tine (p. 27). Thomas based his own reflection on the ancient Greekphilosophers and their commentators. It is well known, indeed, that agood learning about the Aristotelian philosophy is required to read notonly the Summa Theologiae, but all the most important Aquinas trea-tises. So, according to Thomas, philosophy was just an ancilla theologiaeas his use of philosophical materials and methods in the Summa shouldbe viewed in light of the aid they offer in the ascent of the mind andsoul to the things of theology and ultimately to mans beatitude, GodHimself (p. 28).Chapter 2, Reading the Summa Theologiae (pp. 2937), representsthe largest section of the whole book. The analysis of the contents ofthe Summa reflects the above mentioned division into three mainparts. The account of the arguments does not disregard any detail andit can be deemed to be a very good explanation of the most difficultquestions.In Chapter 3, Reception and Influence (pp. 30816), the authorhighlights the consequences of the Summa and, generally speaking,Aquinas philosophy after his death occurred in 1274. The first objec-tions, even when Thomas was still alive, were raised by Augustiniantheologians. The independence of natural reason and the importanceattached to Greek philosophers and their Arab commentators wererefused by a part of the theological context in the late Middle Age.Therefore, some of Aquinas statements were included in the list of219 propositions condemned by the bishop of Paris, Etienne Tempier,Reviews236 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.on March 7, 1277. Some days later, the Archibishop of Canterbury,Robert Kilwardby, published a list of thirty prohibited propositionsincluding statements supported by Thomas Aquinas. Those condem-nations led a Franciscan theologian, William De La Mere, to issue aCorrectorium in order to cull 118 propositions from Aquinas works.The Dominican theologians strongly defended the thought of theirmaster in the interval between his death and his canonization in 1323.The importance of the Summa, however, led subsequent authors toconsider it more carefully: it was in the fifteenth century that profes-sors began to comment upon the Summa both in lecture and inwritten form, and by the sixteenth century the practice was wellestablished (p. 311). Thus, in the sixteenth century Aquinas thoughtwas well esteemed by Jesuits who adopted the Summa to educatethe members of their order. The author reports the opinion ofOMeara who lays stress on the influence of Thomism upon mysticsof the modern age: the impact of the writings of these people andall of whom they influenced served to disseminate Thomistic ideasparticularly in the areas of spirituality and ministry (p. 312). In theperiod between 1860 and 1960 the greatness of Thomas theology hasbeen reconsidered in order to defend the Christian doctrine from theattacks made by modern cultural tendencies and philosophies. Thatneo-scholastic trend was confirmed by the work of Pope Leo XIIIwho, in his encyclical Aeterni Patris, clearly stated the restoration ofChristian philosophy according to Saint Thomas (p. 313). Notwith-standing the great amount of issues, journals and institutions arisenin the recent times, according to the author Thomas exerts a profoundinfluence on philosophy but not on theology. The author concludesthis section by affirming that Thomas influence is not limited withinthe Catholic environments. A clear instance of his importancethroughout the history of thought can be found in the inspirationtaken by many writers since the medieval age to the recent times.This book ends with a Bibliography (pp. 31719) including somevery relevant issues about the Summa Theologiae and Aquinasthought.Prof. Loughlins work has reached its aim, namely to be a suitableintroduction for students interested in starting the study of the Summa.I want to express all my congratulations on this successful attempt tooffer students and philosophers a very helpful tool for reading animportant work such as the Summa Theologiae.Alessandro GiostraStanley Jaki FoundationReviews 237 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.Re-Imaging Election: Divine Election as Representing God to Othersand Others to God, Suzanne McDonald, Eerdmans, 2011 (ISBN978-0-8028-6408-6), xx + 213 pp., pb $26rirt_1028 238..299Although the doctrine of election has provided the occasion for dam-aging theological errors and controversies, it nonetheless remains aquestion of inescapable importance. Operating within the Reformedtradition, Suzanne McDonald keenly feels this weightiness, but is notfully content with either its classic formulation by Reformed orthodoxyor its reformulation by Karl Barth. Drawing inspiration from a briefsketch on election and ecclesiology offered by Colin Gunton in 2000,she takes up the suggestion that the christological gains of Barthsaccount can be helpfully supplemented by the more robustly pneuma-tological account of John Owen.Part One begins with what is referred to as a pneumatologicalproblem through assessing the doctrine of election in the theology ofJohn Owen and Karl Barth. For McDonald, this problem primarilyraises two issues: the relationship between christology and pneumatol-ogy in election and the relationship between election and the imago Dei.First she examines Owens quite traditional account of individualdouble predestination based on his Pneumatologia as well as his Chris-tologia. She finds that in light of his belief that Gods economic actsreveal Gods being, Owen interprets the filioque aspect of the divineeconomy as meaning that the Holy Spirits role is to bring Gods acts tofulfillment. Not surprisingly, then, Owen emphasizes the role of theSpirit in his account of election. McDonald also observes that the Spiriteffected telos to which the elect are predestined is being in the imago Dei.Owen then defines the imago Dei in relational terms as a personsorientation toward God and he understands this to consist in the rep-resentation of God to the world.The examination of Barth begins with the often overlooked treatmenton election in The Gttingen Dogmatics. Like Owen and the ProtestantOrthodox theologians, here election is understood as individual doublepredestination. However, it differs both through its supralapsarianismand through its actualistic conception of the divine decision whichaffirms Gods prior determination of all individuals but denies that theelect and reprobate can be understood as fixed in number. Barthsdoctrine of election in both The Gttingen Dogmatics and Church Dog-matics volume one are driven by the dialectic of Gods unveiling andveiling and correspondingly affirm that the Spirit plays an essential rolein election by being that which distinguishes the elect. Howeverwith Church Dogmatics II/2, in agreement with the Bruce McCormack,McDonald perceives a shift from a pneumatological to a christologicalapproach. The previous association with Gods objectivity and subjec-tivity in revelation respectively with Christ and the Spirit is thenReviews238 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.reoriented so that both of these aspects are largely subsumed under theelection and rejection of Jesus Christ. In addition, McDonald argues thatBarths doctrine of election reflects and is interconnected with his doc-trine of the imago Dei. Like Owen, the imago Dei is defined in relationalterms, but unlike Owen it is viewed primarily from Gods end as Godsorientation toward humanity. Moreover, although Barths doctrine ofthe imago Dei maintains that creatures are distinguished as the electthrough the work of the Spirit, pneumatological insufficiencies are felthere as well. McDonald concludes that Barths mature doctrine of elec-tion suffers from a vacillation between two accounts of the role of theSpirit: one which is insufficient and one which is sufficient but incom-patible with his christology.McDonalds expositions lead her to the conclusion that for Owen andBarth, the balancing of the christology and pneumatology within aReformed account of election entails individual double predestination.She herself, however, is unconvinced that this is necessarily the case.Therefore, in Part Two, she begins to offer her own constructive pro-posal. First she turns to critical scriptural passages on these subjects.Through her analysis she arrives at three conclusions: (1) Gods electionof a people is the means through which he fulfills his promise to blesshumanity despite their sin; (2) representation is critical for understand-ing election; and (3) only the community of beliers can rightly be under-stood as being in Christ. This idea of representation is then explainedin dialog with Stanley Grenz and Miroslav Volf who see perichoreticpersonhood as means of filling out the doctrine of the imago Dei.McDonalds observes that Grenzs interpretation of the imago Dei asecclesial personhood has a striking affinity with her own analysis of thefunction of election. However, a critical problem is raised. How canelection and the imago Dei be understood to speak of both those in Christand of all humanity without compromising the elects distinction fromthe world and without denying all humanitys existence in the imagoDei? Moving beyond Grenz and Volf, McDonalds argues that this can beaccomplished through holding to a twofold representational ontologyin the doctrine of election in which the elect are elected to representGod to others and others to God (p. 141).In the third and final section of the book she places this proposalalongside some additional doctrinal questions as well as her originalsources, Owen and Barth. She begins by examining election to repre-sentation in connection with the relation between Christ and thechurch. Here she argues that the church is called to represent God to theworld as an extension of Christs priestly ministry. Next, she examineselection to representation in connection with the relation between thechurch and the world. For McDonald, this question finds a parable inthe issue of dementia and the imago Dei as relational personhood. Theonly way that the unique personhood of someone with severe dementiaReviews 239 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.can be upheld is through its being upheld and bestowed upon them byothers. Further, in contrast with the individual accounts of election intraditional Reformed theology, she emphasizes the universal scope ofelection. Although, in making this point, she emphasizes that themanner of the fulfillment of this eschatological reality is not known tous. The church the must wait, but it can wait in confident hope that a daywill come when its elected call to representation God to the world willno longer be necessary. Lastly, she returns to the opening descriptionsof Owen and Barth and analyzes them in order to demonstrate how thispresent account moves beyond the impasse represented by their views.The book then concludes with an epilogue that primarily focuses onprospects for how this study might be further developed.McDonalds study is theologically rich and deeply provocative. Thereis no doubt that she will evoke resistance, especially among moretraditionally minded Reformed and Barthian thinkers. Can the conceptof the imago Dei bear the weight it is given in this proposal? Does itinstead need to be set alongside other theological concepts? Does thefunction of the imago Dei in the argument here give adequate attentionto the notion of ruling? Does the perichoretic construal of personhoodadequately respect Gods uniqueness? Does the position on thechurchs continuation of Christs priestly ministry adequately respectthe uniqueness of Christs work? These questions merely scratch thesurface. Nonetheless, all things considered, McDonald proves herself acareful and creative interpreter of both scripture and tradition. Thisbook should be taken up by all who are interested in the contemporarydoctrine of election, and especially those engaged in Owen or Barthstudies.Brian D. AsbillUniversity of AberdeenNouvelle Thologie New Theology: Inheritor of Modernism,Precursor of Vatican II, Jrgen Mettepenningen, T&T Clark, 2010(ISBN 978-0-567-03409-0/978-0-567-03410-6), 240 pp., hb $130, pb$34.95rirt_1029 240..301Tension between theologians and the hierarchy is nothing new in theCatholic Church. Some of her most brilliant minds were suspect for atime. Although he was eventually declared a saint in 1323, ThomasAquinas held opinions condemned at Oxford in 1241 and at Paris in1270. Changes in the political and ecclesial landscape through theReviews240 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.centuries have changed the relationship between theologians and theMagisterium. According to John Paul II, the role of a theologian is topursue in a particular way an ever deeper understanding of the word ofGod found in the inspired Scriptures and handed on by the livingTradition of the Church (Veritatis Splendor, par. 109); to do so, they areto be given the freedom of inquiry that is the hallmark of a rationaldiscipline (Donum Veritatis, par. 12).The emergence of nouvelle thologie in the twentieth century testedhow fidelity and freedom would play out for theologians in the years tofollow. Jrgen Mettepenningen offers a meticulous study of the mainfigures of this period, chiefly from a historical point of view. He pre-sumes that the new theology, though composed of many differentstrands, is classifiable as a unified movement, and he wants to showhow the movement manifested itself. The earliest sign of its emergencewas the use of French instead of Latin as the language of instruction andscholarly publication. Greater weight was given to history in theology,such that those who refused to integrate history into the practice oftheology were ultimately adherents of a meta-historical system ratherthan an incarnated faith (p. 10). More attention was given to positivetheology over speculative theology in a renewed effort to tap into thesources of scripture, liturgy, and the church fathers. The adherents ofthe movement took a critical stance toward neo-scholasticism as a formof philosophical metaphysics in which the conceptual system tookpride of place to the relationship between theology, faith and life(p. 11).What was needed was a return to Aquinass works, not commentarieson them. The use of manuals in the wake of Pope Leo XIIIs encyclicalAeterni Patris in 1879 thwarted creativity and renewal within Catholictheology, to the point that little if any innovation and spirit can bedetected in Catholic theology, with the exception of the dynamismradiated by Modernism (20). Unfortunately, Mettepenningen does notdistinguish clearly between the dynamic aspects of Modernism andthe aspects which the Catholic Magisterium found problematic. Theso-called Modernists were in reality intellectuals who had tried tointegrate the historical-critical method into their scientific research(p. 21). In their mind, revelation continues up to the present day anddogmas are not immutable. There is less of a demarcation betweenthe natural and supernatural. Inductive reasoning should be usedalongside deductive reasoning in theology, and greater recourseshould be taken to the historical-critical method. Mettepenningen couldhave been more careful in probing the fine distinctions made betweenwhat the Magisterium found acceptable and unacceptable in thesepositions.He describes in detail the heavy scrutiny the nouvelle thologieunderwent on the part of Roman authorities. He begins with a surveyReviews 241 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.of the Tbingen School, John Henry Newman, the events leadingup to the First Vatican Council, and the crisis of Modernism as away of contextualizing the nouvelle thologie project. Johann SebastianDrey, by shifting from a juridical notion of the church toward a morepneumatological and mystical vision of her nature and mission, exem-plifies the Tbingen Schools emphasis on history. Mettepenningenrelates this approach to Newmans An Essay on the Development of Chris-tian Doctrine (1845). In the second part of the book, he reviews thephases of the new theologys development up until Vatican II, concen-trating on the Dominican fathers Yves Congar, Marie-DominiqueChenu, Henri-Marie Fret, Louis Charlier, and Ren Draguet, as well asJesuits Henri Bouillard, Jean Danilou, and Henri de Lubac. Heexamines the internationalization of nouvelle thologie by focusingon the Low Countries as a test case. Edward Schillebeeckx was anparticularly important figure in the fusing of nouvelle thologie andVerkndigungstheologie.Mettepenningen somewhat weakly concludes that a precise descrip-tion of nouvelle thologie escapes us. It is a cluster of concepts generated bya common desire to restore contact between theology and lived faith bereconnecting them to their original sources. However, he grossly exag-gerates in his assertion that nouvelle thologie was a movement deter-mined to depose (p. 142) neo-scholasticism. To the contrary, everyoneinvolved in the movement was rigorously trained in manualist theologyand aware of its merits. The most effective and respected members of themovement tried to correct it, purify it, and integrate it, but few were benton deposing it. If we fail to appreciate the old theology out of whichthe new evolved and with which it compared itself, the latter is destinedto have an even shorter shelf-life than the former.Daniel B. GallagherPontifical Gregorian University, RomeGeorgia Harkness: The Remaking of a Liberal Theologian, RebekahMiles (ed.), Westminster John Knox Press, 2010 (ISBN 978-0-664-22667-1), xiv + 186 pp., pb $30rirt_1030 242..303Liberal theology is attracting new interest lately, both as a historicalphenomenon and as a present possibility. Recent works by GaryDorrien, Christopher Evans, and others find in it not just a defensivereaction to modernity, or a compromise that threw out the baby withthe bathwater, but a robust and positive line of thought. Rebekah MilesReviews242 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.makes a significant contribution to the conversation with this GeorgiaHarkness reader.Miless collection focuses on the years from 1929 to 1942, a period ofintense remaking of Harkness thought. Harkness published her firstmajor work of philosophical theology, Conflicts in Religious Thought, in1929, influenced by Boston personalism, the social gospel, and thephilosophy of Hocking and Whitehead. Like many of her contempo-raries, however, she had substantially revised her thinking by the early1940s. Her work was of course affected by the crises in world eventsand by emergent neo-orthodox theologies. Less obviously, perhaps, shewas also influenced by her encounters with the global church at fourecumenical conferences. This collection illustrates how Harknessmoderated her views and moved decisively away from personalism,yet offered incisive critiques of Niebuhr and others. She affirmed herliberal stance to the end, but by 1940 was identifying herself as anevangelical liberal (p. 5). Miles argues that the theology that Harknesshad worked out during the 1920s and 1930s was the basis for herwritings in the years that followed (p. 17). She also contends, persua-sively, that theology is tied to biography, and that Harkness life andwork offer a window . . . overlooking theology, ethics, and the life ofchurch and society during the turbulent twentieth century (p. 8).The book begins with a useful introduction to liberal theology and toHarkness intellectual context. Section I is an equally useful biography.Sections II through VIII are composed of excerpts from Harkness writ-ings, with the editors introductions.Miles wisely opens the collection with Harkness 1938 essay from theChristian Centurys How My Mind Has Changed series. Conflicts inReligious Thought (1929) serves as a baseline in the essay. The subsequentreadings are ordered chronologically and to some extent thematically.First are three excerpts from Conflicts reflecting a commitmentto personalism and a sense of confident liberalism. Next, Miles offersselections from two benchmark books: The Resources of Religion (1936)and The Recovery of Ideals (1937). Resources was a companion and supple-ment (p. 46) to Conflicts that responded to new theological develop-ments and offered some practical applications. Recovery argues for thecontinued value of ideals (p. 77) and also lays out Harkness break frompersonalism. Miles then brings together several different texts from thecrucial period 19381941, reflecting on theology in the contemporarysituation. The final two sections collect from diverse sources some ofHarkness responses to world Christianity in the years from 1938 to 1940,and several of her essays on peace and pacifism from 1941 to 1942.The readings encompass a wide range of subjects, but speak to oneanother across themes and periods. Among the persistent questionsthey address are theological method, theological authority, the nature ofGod and Gods limitations, the problem of evil, human nature, sin,Reviews 243 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.ecumenism, ecclesiology, economics, politics, human rights, and peace.Harkness writing engages her mentors Brightman and Whitehead, theinsights and challenges of Barth, Tillich, and Niebuhr, the youngerchurches and the missionary movement, and pacifist spokespersonslike Harold Gray, Harry Emerson Fosdick, and Richard Gregg.Overall, this is a fine anthology. Harkness was an important figure inmodern theology, and her work warrants reassessment. The collectiontraces continuity and change in an individual mind, in a theologicalmovement, and in Protestant Christianity in general, in a historicalperiod of great importance. Miless introductions provide clear andconcise guidance and a well-rounded sense of context. Her focus on theglobal church is especially illuminating, and her attention to the theo-logical ground of pacifism is valuable. Scholars, seminary students, andupper-level undergraduates will find this book helpful.Although some selections seem dated, many are surprisingly timely.Especially striking are the nuanced essays in the final section, in whichHarkness addresses war and its limitations, common ground acrossmoral disagreements, and what God is and is not doing (pp. 15164).These texts would reward wider circulation today. Other essays, like herdiscussion of our enlightened paganism (pp. 608), would fit as easilyinto evangelical as into liberal conversations not surprisingly, givenHarkness self-identification.On a few contextual issues I would have liked to see more explana-tion. Harkness early work on pacifism does not sound particularlyoriginal; her voice and language echo popular ideas of the day. Moreattention to this context might have been useful, especially since thebook mentions a number of pacifist luminaries among Harknessacquaintances. Another peace essay lays out six requirements of a justand lasting peace (p. 165). Is there a connection with the six pillars ofpeace proposed by the Federal Council of Churches in the early 1940s given that Harkness served on the commission that drafted them?Finally, some of the material from Ideals seems to me to imply an earlyform of process theology. Of course this is not surprising, consideringWhiteheads influence, but I was left wondering about Harkness rela-tionship to this movement. I also hope that some future collection willconsider Harkness contribution to feminism and her spiritual writing.The collection does, however, invite further thought on Christianliberalism. The texts support Miless argument that Harkness oftentook a mediating position between liberalism and neo-orthodoxy (touse broad terms). Indeed, Gary Dorrien has argued that mediation ispart of the very definition of liberalism. In these readings we frequentlysee Harkness seeking a balance between divergent theological argu-ments, or between tradition and modernity. Almost by definition,though, this tendency sometimes works against her taking a firm standor offering unambiguous guidance.Reviews244 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.On the other hand, perhaps this is in fact what most of us do mediate,compromise, contextualize. Few Americans really used neo-orthodoxyas a complete basis for life and action. And even authoritarian traditionshave loopholes. Harkness work, and Miles, remind us that a liberalinterpretation is not the same thing as a left-wing ideology. For Hark-ness, it was a way of seeking truth in ever-changing historical situations of bringing diverse sources of knowledge to bear on the resources of abeloved and still vital religious tradition.Patricia AppelbaumAmherst, MassachusettsThe Trinity and an Entangled World: Relationality in PhysicalScience and Theology, John Polkinghorne (ed.), Eerdmans, 2010 (ISBN978-0-8028-6512-0), 227 pp., pb $30rirt_1031 245..306As a consequence of the innovations brought about by the ModernScientific Revolution, science adopted a mechanistic worldview toexplain physical phenomena. Mechanism and atomism can be deemedto be part of the same reductionistic approach in the investigation ofnature. Notwithstanding the great achievements of science, the mecha-nistic worldview is unable to account for the whole of natural reality.The history of twentieth-century physics can be read as the story of thediscovery of many levels of intrinsic relationality present in the struc-ture of the universe (p. vii). The awareness of such a situation led theeditor to issue this collection of essays which were presented duringtwo conferences at the John Templeton Foundation. The editor, Prof.John Polkinghorne, an Anglican priest and president emeritus ofQueens College (Cambridge), is one of the leading figures in the areaof the sciencefaith relationship.The editor is also the author or the first essay of this book, TheDemise of Democritus (pp. 114), which can be considered as a generalintroduction to the following contributions. The complex relationshipsin biological cells, multicellular organisms, human bodies, and com-munities reveal a high level of relationality. Although the argumentsinvestigated by physics are simpler than those studied by biologicaland sociological disciplines, some modern achievements clearly showthe need of a complementary approach founded upon the belief in anintrinsic relationality within phenomena. In other words, the world ofmodern physics has got a relational character going much beyond amere mechanical explanation; the dynamic and unfolding interactionReviews 245 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.(p. 4) within the spacetime dimension is a clear instance of the rela-tional features of nature. Even the casual interaction, namely the foun-dation of physics and evaluation of phenomena, cannot be exhaustivelydefined by physics. The nineteenth century deterministic philo-sophy, which deemed the universe to be a clockwork, cannot be moreaccepted, as a high level of unpredictability has been discovered inmicrophysics and, at a larger scale, at a macroscopic level through thechaos theory. Indeed, a choice concerning causality in atomic phenom-ena can be made only on metaphysical grounds. The whole of theseconsiderations leads the author to establish that: Democritean atomismis definitely dead (p. 11). Polkinghorne concludes his essay with thetheological reflections upon the epistemological viewpoints aboveexpressed: the universe is deeply relational in its character and unifiedin its structure, because it is the creation of the one true God, Father,Son, and Holy Spirit (p. 12). Therefore, the inherent reality of the worldis relational as it is created by the Eternal Being whose distinctivefeature consists of the exchange of love between the Divine Persons.An argumentation closely linked with Polkinghornes is outlined byAnton Zeilinger, professor of physics at the University of Vienna:Quantum Physics: Ontology or Epistemology? (pp. 3240). Zeilingerdeclares the existence of two different levels of interpretation inQuantum Mechanics. There is a lower level of interpretation dealingwith the correspondence between theory and experience. However,there is a secondary level, that is a metalevel dealing with what themeaning of the theory is: what it tells us about the inner structure of theworld, our position in the world, and whether we play any significantrole in it (p. 34). The arguments expressed in this chapter lead theauthor to affirm that, although it is not possible to achieve an ontologyof the individuals, it is possible to achieve an ontology of relations. Wetherefore conclude that one consequence of entanglement is thatrelations are more important than individuals (p. 36). Thus, withinQuantum Mechanics is not possible to establish a clear cut distinctionbetween the ontological and epistemological dimensions of knowl-edge. Basing his own opinion upon non-commutative geometry,Michael Heller (pp. 4154) states that only global properties emerge atthe deepest level of phenomena. According to Prof. Heller, even ahypothetical final physical theory could not eliminate metaphysics asthe most important philosophical questions always gravitate aroundscience. In the opinion of Panos Ligomenides (pp. 7492), the idea of anentangled world is more suitable with a pantheistic religion, suchas Spinozas, which considers the divine as the whole of universalharmony. In his mind there is a common religious viewpoint amongscientific researchers and Einstein was surely the most famous of them.Furthermore, a religious choice would introduce human beings into abetter way of investigating nature. In fact, the contemporary scientificReviews246 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.achievements are leading to the development of spirituality and recon-ciliation of science and religion. That situation may also offer us thebest perspective when searching for an intrinsic meaning in the evolu-tionary course of nature (p. 91). An original conclusion is also reachedby Argyris Nicolaidis (pp. 93106) who considers agape, that is Godslove, as the principle of relationality, a relational mode of existence,which has been associated with creative growth, novelty, and freedevelopment (p. 106). In other words, all the existing reality can beviewed as a manifestation of agape.Chapters 8, 9, and 10 are devoted to some essential aspects of Trini-tarian Theology. In his essay The Holy Trinity: Model for Personhood-in-Relation (pp. 10729), Timothy Ware highlights the main principlesof Trinitarian theology and their development during the patristic age.Man is subjected to God and he is made in image of the divine; that isthe reason why love between human beings connects them with theTrinity. The Trinitarian God makes man able to understand, although inan inadequate way, the reason of the existence of the physical worldand the meaning of human presence in the universe. That relationalapproach is considered by Prof. Zizioulas (pp. 14656) a kind of all-encompassing model for interpreting reality. Human beings are part ofa relational universe created by a relational Trinitarian God. Therefore,a relational ontology, if it is ontology in the true sense of the word,cannot but cover all aspects, all areas, and all levels of existence: thedivine, the cosmic, the social (p. 156).The final chapters of this book pay attention to other disciplines inwhich relationality plays a fundamental role. In the final essay After-word: Relational Ontology, Trinity and Science (pp. 18499), SarahCoakley distinguishes three moments in the contemporary discussionon Trinitarian Theology. The third stage of that debate is characterizedby a fruitful sciencetheology relationship. Prof. Coakley concludesher essay with the clarification of the concepts of relation and cau-sation, which prove to be the key ones for the intuition runningthrough this book that there is a fundamental holistic connectivity inthe universe (p. 195). As regards to causes, for instance, we aredealing with a variety of ways of attempting to capture what is atstake in particular debates about cause, with different definitionsproving themselves pragmatically fruitful in different empirical andscientific realms of discussion (p. 198). Moreover, there is a finalquestion to answer: why three in relation? (p. 199). Even if somevery interesting ideas have been proposed in this book, the authorrecognizes that much more research must be carried out in order toshow why an ontology founded upon the triadic relation is so impor-tant for Christian scientists.This collection of essays can be considered to be a very good readingfor students who have already got a basic knowledge of theology andReviews 247 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.the essential aspects of modern philosophy of science. The contentsexpressed in these papers reflect the new perspectives recently openedup in the investigation of the inner structures of nature and confirm thefailure of the materialistic naturalism.Alessandro GiostraStanley Jaki SocietyChristianity and Chinese Culture, Miikka Ruokanen and PaulosHuang (eds.), Eerdmans, 2010 (ISBN 978-0-8028-6556-4), xiv + 384 pp.,pb $40rirt_1032 248..309This book comprises papers and responses presented at a rare andimportant academic conference that took place in Lapland, Finland in2003. It also includes additional papers written more recently to fill incertain areas that were not addressed. This conference afforded anopportunity, in many cases for the first time, for the Chinese of theekklesia to meet with Chinese and others of the academia in a neutralenvironment to address together the issue of the life, meaning, andfuture of Christianity in China. Anyone who has lived and worked inChina or is interested in Chinese Christianity and Chinese interfaithdialogue will find this book a valued resource for beginning to under-stand some of the complex issues that face the church in China.The format of the book is a good one, as one gets a chance to read thepaper on a topic and then one or two of the responses that were givento that paper. Some of the responses are given by European scholars,but most are by Chinese. The writers are all involved in some signifi-cant way with Chinese Christianity. One of the editors, Miikka Ruo-kanen, for example, has studied Mandarin extensively and has livedand taught in China over many years, while also being a dean andprofessor in Helsinki. All of the writers care deeply about Chinastraditions and its future. Expertise and passion for the issues arereflected in each paper and response.The book is divided into three sections. The first is Christianity inRelation to the Chinese Religious Tradition. This includes Christianitysencounter with other Chinese religions, as well as discussions onChinese understandings of major Christian concepts such as the natureof evil, the goodness of human nature, and the doctrine of Original Sin.The second section addresses Christianity in the Context of Modern China.This includes such issues as the position of religion in todays Chinesesociety, and the attempts that have been made to combine ChristianityReviews248 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.with Chinese culture. The third section of the book relates to the Chal-lenges to the Contemporary Chinese Protestant Church. Here we learn moreabout the controversial and much debated Reconstruction of ChineseTheological Thinking.There are many Chinese academics who adhere to Christianitysusefulness in teaching ethics and morality while, at the same time,claiming themselves not to be Christian per se. Their attitudes at timesdiffer widely from the churchs leaders in matters that relate to doctrine,spirituality, believing in miracles, and such. Nevertheless, these aca-demics are greatly interested in, and involved in, the growth of Chris-tianity in China. Another issue of import in China is the fact that thechurch is separated between those Chinese Christians who belong tothe official government approved churches and those (just as large innumbers) who are part of what are known as the unofficial or housechurches. The place of the Chinese government in supporting thework of the official churches is also of interest. Are the CCC (ChinaChristian Council) and TSPM (Three Self Patriotic Movement) workingalongside the government with the purpose of adapting importantChristian values to fit in with the Chinese governments goals, or onlywith the goal of assuring Christianity a good and safe environment inwhich to thrive and grow, or both? This delicate dance continues today.Then, of course, there is the matter of how Christianity (still certainlyin the minority in China) will live alongside its neighbor religions inChina including Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and traditionalChinese folk religions. Dialogue has been difficult and even the task offinding neutral terms for dialogue has been filled with problems. Chris-tianity and these other groups were all strongly denounced during thetime of Chairman Mao, and have only been revived in recent decades.Thus, as might be expected, there are still many atheists in China andothers who simply know nothing about any of these religions.Needless to say, this book is not intended to provide solutions to thequestions of how Christianity will assimilate into Chinese culture orhow Chinese culture and Christianity can find themselves blended intoChinese life, because this is an ongoing process. Still, reading anddigesting this book will certainly bring the reader much closer to anunderstanding of the underlying deep issues and the ways the Chinesepeople themselves are working through them. It is a needed book, andwill be valued by all who choose to read it. If you care about China andChinese Christianity, you will want this book.Doreen M. McFarlaneUniversity of ShanghaiReviews 249 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.Galatians, Thomas R. Schreiner, Zondervan, 2010 (ISBN 978-0-310-24372-4), 432 pp., hb $34.99rirt_1033 250..311The Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament seriesreflects the best practices of evangelical scholarship. While written withpastors and Bible teachers in mind this series is well informed in thecurrent state of broader critical scholarship. The thorough grasp ofancient languages, sociohistorical background and secondary literatureare just some of hallmarks of the contributors to this and othervolumes.A sixty-page introduction thoroughly explores all of the standardissues one would expect to find in a scholarly commentary on the bookof Galatians, namely discussions of authorship, north versus southGalatia theories of destination, identity of opponents, structure, andoutline. On the issue of destination Schreiner maintains a south Galatiaposition. For the date of composition he favors, tentatively, a dateroughly in the early 1950s. When it comes to the identity of opponentshe argues for Jewish Torah-based agitators. They have faith in Christ,but unlike Paul, believe that circumcision and Old Testament Law arenecessary complements to the gospel. This introduction is completewith an eight page bibliography that presents a well-balanced startingpoint for further inquiry.Each section follows a unique format that is shared by all of thevolumes in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Tes-tament. For example, the Galatians 1.1-5 section begins with an analy-sis of literary context. Schreiner demonstrates that this Pauline greetingis a part of larger Introduction of 1.1-2.21 that links the desertion fromPauls Gospel with desertion from the Gospel. It is followed withanalysis of the main idea that Pauls desire is for his readers to enjoygrace and peace. Next comes a very helpful section that provides atranslation of the section at hand. The translation of Galatians 1.1-5is diagramed to show various elements of the sentence outline. TheStructure sheds light on the three main elements of this section, thatis, Paul as the author of this letter, the recipients, and Pauls prayer.Exegetical outline further crystalizes the flow of thought that portraysPauls apostolic authority. The bulk of the discussion of Galatians 1.1-5comes under Explanation of the Text. Schreiner gives a verse by verseanalysis that explores the meaning of this text. He brings, albeitbriefly language and secondary literature to bear on his analysis. Forexample, the question of Pauline apostleship draws a discussion ofthe Jewish institution of the shaliach and well as the possible signifi-cance of prepositions apo (from) and dia (through) in considering thesource of his apostleship. Schreiners discussion of Galatians 1.1-5concludes with Theology in Application. This seems to be one of thedistinguishing features of the series. Galatians 1.1-5 is placed inReviews250 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.dialogue with broader Biblical-Theological issues. Here Schreinerexplores the nature of Pauls apostleship, the gospels focus of thecrucified Christ, the already not yet eschatological tension of theChristian existence, and Gods glory.In evaluating the merits and the drawbacks of this volume it is sig-nificant to point out two aspects of Schreiners location from which hewrites. First of all he identifies himself as a Southern Baptist (p. 132).Furthermore, he clearly and unreservedly states his Reformation-shaped stance, I know it is out of fashion in some circles, but it seemsto me that Martin Luther and John Calvin were substantially right intheir interpretation of the letter and that their pastoral application of theletter still stands today (p. 13).The goal of highlighting Schreiner as a self-confessing SouthernBaptist is not a pejorative ploy on our part. Rather it is done to pointout what hermeneutical moves one might or might not expectfrom this commentary. One clear example of that is his approach tothe text as inspired Scripture both inerrant and authoritative. Whilediscussing the value of mirror reading in reconstructing the identityand Pauls opponents Schreiner disagrees with John Barclays uneaseabout an interpreters ability to reconstruct the original situationsimply based on the pauline presentation. Barclay insists that in Paulsemotional polemic we only have one side of the story. Paul arguablypaints his opponents in a questionable light. Given a chance theopponents might have raised questions about the accuracy of Paulspicture of their position. Schreiners response to Barclay is reflectiveof the prior confessional stance that he has taken, If we accept theScripture as the Word of God, Pauls words in the letter represent thedivine perspective of the opponents and cannot be restricted merelyto his human judgment. In other, words, Pauls view is privileged(p. 32).From his unabashedly Reformation-shaped position Schreinerseeks to dialogue with the proponents of the New Perspectives onPaul (NPP). It is in this engagement that one finds Schreinersmost significant contribution to the current state of scholarly studyon this book. The space only allows us to briefly highlight one ofthese issues that Schreiner addresses. What is the meaning of thePauline phrase the works of the Law found in Galatians 2.16?Following the work of E. P. Sanders the proponents of NPP haveunderstood them to mean the identity markers that demarcated thepeople of God in the Judaism of Pauls day. While admitting thatSanders work on covenant nomism has helped to destroy the carica-ture of 1st century Judaism as a legalistic religion, Schreiner remainsunconvinced that it was free of legalism. In the end he concludesthat the term works of the law most likely refers to all theworks prescribed by the Mosaic law (p. 161). What can one say ofReviews 251 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.Schreiners overall engagement with NPP proponents? Extensive foot-notes show that he has a through grasp on the pertinent literature. Hewrites with a gentle didactic tone and summarizes well NPP posi-tions. The most direct engagement with NPP comes in the shapeof side-bar blurbs. While informative these nuggets are at best intro-ductory in their scope and limited in their depth. One wishes formore sustained engagement with NPP in the reading of the Galatianstext itself. Yet it could be argued that the reason for that lies not withthe author but with the intent and parameters of this commentaryseries.The aim of this book is outlined in its Preface. Schreiner writesespecially for pastors and students who want some help with theGreek text (p. 13). Indeed, those with some knowledge of Greek andexposure to seminary training will probably benefit the most fromthis commentary. A general audience unfamiliar with verbal aspect oremphatic singular might be turned off initially, but then again placingthe hermeneutical cookies on the lowest shelf does not do anyonemuch good. This commentary challenges its evangelical audience torigorous engagement with the text. While needing other perspectivesto round out the dialogue, this is an important and erudite voiceinviting his readers afresh to reconsider the classic Reformed readingof the book of Galatians.Bacho V. BordjadzeDurham UniversityThe Disenchantment of Secular Discourse, Steven D. Smith, HarvardUniversity Press, 2010 (ISBN 978-0-674-05087-7), 285 pp., hb $26.95rirt_1034 252..313Since advanced societies cannot any longer count on religious supportto provide legitimacy and motivation to their basic institutions, rationalsubstitutes are required to do the job. How well these replacementswork and to what extent are they able to cope with the usual needs ofsocial systems, like justice and political organization, is the object ofdeep revision and discussion. At stake are the feat of the modern projectof social autonomy, and the issue of a complete secularization, or, inother words: whether contemporary societies can survive rightlywithout the functional provision of positive religions.The discussion is open, and several parties arise defending one or theother position. Big names in the field of ethics, political and legalphilosophy, have tried in the last decades to build moral systemsReviews252 2012 Blackwell Publishing to provide satisfactory answers to what could be called the secularvoid, or the lack of values left by the secularization of modern societiesand political systems. In the opposite extreme radical positions try todebunk all these attempts and point at the hollow nature of liberalphilosophical fundamentals. Not all of them are postmodern; neithercan they be seen as sheer confessional or apologetic.The book under review is clearly placed in the second discussiongroup. Its aim is to deconstruct most of the theoretical grounds thatjustify legal, political, and moral principles in liberal societies, fromtheir origins in modern Enlightenment, to the present more articulatedproposals. The term to describe this critical program is disenchant-ment; a suitable choice linked to its original use by Max Weber tohighlight a specific trait of modern societies, without spirit, and closedinto a suffocating iron cage. A tone of vindication may be perceived inthis title, stressing the incapability of contemporary attempts to recon-struct a public convincing discourse. The endeavors of many scholars atbuilding systems of values or to provide fundamentals to legal deci-sions and public morality, are considered ineffective and far from thepoint. Furthermore, Smith emphasizes flawed strategies that alwaysresort to some form of smuggling. By this term the author intendsideas and values that are presupposed rather than justified; intellectualbias more or less assumed; or even bad faith passing some hiddenagendas. After all, the spirit is still absent.The Introduction describes in a revisionist tone how the enlightenedproject went wrong, despite their great rational ambitions and theirgoal of overcoming religious and metaphysical dependency. Then, fivecase studies make up the body of this book. In all of them contempo-rary proposals and standard ideas are reviewed to expose their flawsand their ways to smuggle, under the appearance of rational proce-dures, positions that always lack the intended rational justification. Thefirst case concerns discussions on the ethics of life and its end. Not justeuthanasia, but the right course of action in critical terminal situations.The field appears as highly problematic when arguments are looked forand when decisions need to be taken in the contentious field of legalcorrectness. Resorting to nature appears as unconvincing once thisconcept has been completely secularized and destitute of its normativedimension. In the new context nobody can resort to that kind of argu-ments to settle a disputed legal issue, and moral norms suffer at the endfrom the same modern malaise (p. 67).The Utilitarian topic of doing the least possible harm is debunked inthe light of the great difficulties in giving more specific content to thisprinciple, and defining what can be assumed as harm and in whichcontext. In this case too, values need to be assumed, coming in throughthe rear door, to give a hand in irresolvable moral dilemmas, and tonarrow a too broad concept to become useful in moral discussion.Reviews 253 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.Forms of circularity soon appear as well as theoretical free riding, inthe sense of taking advantage of truisms.The question of religious freedom becomes another case in whichsecular legal philosophy shows its limits and inefficacy. The consensualpoint is the principle of separation and freedom of conscience inUSA. However, after leaving behind the ancient order of things, manyoverlapping forms appear between the supposed wall separating bothrealms. Inevitably, secular societies need to justify the constitutionalchoice, yet neither strategies looking for rationales, for revisions or justrenouncing to that justification, appear as convincing. In short, thecommitment to separation between Church and State appears asimplausibly founded in rational argument.The repeated attempts at building secular moral systems become aneasy target for criticism. One of the last essays at overcoming someidentified limits is provided by Martha Nussbaum, who refers to capa-bilities as the clue on which a moral and political system should pointto achieve greater justice and equality. This proposal and its pretendednuances, fails short to supply convincing arguments, despite lookingfor allies in the concepts of really human life and present or potentialconsensus. Its rhetorical tone and question-begging character areclearly exposed.The last case moves to a different field: science and its limits.Following Vining, questions arise when its claims to neutrality andimpersonal procedure are confronted with real too personal prac-tice. The destructive consequences of a kind of total theory loom assome forms remind one of bad science in the twentieth century. Thequestion, however, is once more, how an impersonal and totalisticscience can justify moral commitments that should guide the activitiesof scientists?The author renders clear the conclusion; in his own words: Publicdiscourse is impoverished because the constraints of secular rational-ism prevent us from openly presenting, examining, and debatingthe sources and substance of our most fundamental normativecommitments (p. 211). The final question that naturally derives fromthis pungent analysis is whether religion could be again allowed tocome to the fore of contemporary ethical and political discussion, afterverifying the inanity of secular discourse. Against the opinion of Rortyand others, it seems a suggestion worth trying, once some prejudice isovercome and a true conversation can be organized. Summarizing thepoint: public discourse loses more than it gains by excluding religiousopinions and interlocutors from taking part in the conversation. All thisamounts to an invitation to open the iron gage.This work adds a new chapter to a possible volume that couldbe entitled Limits of secularization or, in this case, of secularism.Smiths book does not exactly reflect an apologetic program, at least inReviews254 2012 Blackwell Publishing explicit way. Nevertheless it is very effective in its purpose to showhow naked the modern attempt to do without religion appears. Thereviewer would have preferred a more international and open perspec-tive, not just confined to North America. Outstanding social philoso-phers, such as Habermas (once quoted), could provide a better case forthis rich discussion.Lluis OviedoPontifical Antonianum University, RomeA Companion to the Philosophy of History and Historiography,Aviezer Tucker (ed.), Wiley-Blackwell, 2011 (ISBN 978-1-4443-3788-4),xii + 563 pp., pb $49.95rirt_1039 255..316Books in the Blackwell Companion to Philosophy series are now estab-lished reference works in the academic fields that are addressed bythem. Time and time again, I have referred to many of these volumes togain a clearer understanding of important topics in disciplines that havesome bearing on my chosen field of interest. Having a keen interest inthe historical argument for the resurrection of Jesus, for example, theCompanion to the Philosophy of History and Historiography is an indispens-able work of background importance for my interests as a religiousscholar. The other reason why I purchased the book was to familiarizemyself with the most common arguments that recognized experts inthe philosophy of historiography are currently presenting and defend-ing when retrieving the shape of the past. One can think of many waysin which this book will affect the discipline of theology. Because thecontributors do not have a theological axe to grind, Christians with aninterest in the origins of Christianity will not have to worry aboutanti-supernatural biases that are usually found in atheistic readings ofthe biblical text. Because each article can stand on its own, readers ofthis new Companion may peruse any article in any order they want.This veritable compendium will undoubtedly help scholars who areinterested in questions of history to know more about the plausibilityof past events. The first part is dedicated to the major fields ofhistoriography. The topics in this section include the philosophy ofhistoriography and the philosophy of history. The point to be under-scored is that historians are unable to observe the past, and that onlytraces of it remain. In a sense, history writing consists of an interplaybetween historians personal interests and the artifacts that are leftbehind. Not only is there a personal factor that encumbers historiansReviews 255 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.(e.g. she may not have the necessary skills, be ignorant of vital evidence,and allow bias to affect her), but there are radically divergent thoughtpatterns, concerns, and communication systems embedded in othercultures and times that impede the historians investigations as well.Although this may lead one to suppose that it is impossible to knowanything about the distant past, this is simply not true. This volumeunambiguously affirms that clearheaded historians continue to do theirwork; what they do works; and although they must deal with prob-abilities, this by no means entails that historical knowledge is impos-sible. In fact, the constant rewriting of history is based on theassumption that we can know something about it. Historians qua his-torians, can successfully transcend socio-cultural and other conceptualframes of reference by projecting their minds onto the landscape of thepast to retrieve something informative about it.The second section of the Companion includes articles that theolo-gians and other historically minded scholars will find the most useful.These essays address the basic problems in historiography: evidenceand confirmation, historiographical causation, counterfactuals, theinterplay of necessity and contingency, colligation, the laws of history,narrative history writing, historicism, historical fallacies, the challengeof anti-realism, and the disputed question of historiographical objec-tivity are just some of the many topics broadly discussed here. Thesearticles explain how historians can know anything about the past. If so,then it makes sense to ask about the degree of certainty that can beattained. Hence, this section tackles other questions such as Whichcriteria should be used to make a valid inference to causal events thatare responsible for the historical phenomena under scrutiny? Howmuch evidence is needed to make a valid causal explanation? Of thecompeting explanations, is it possible to prefer one hypothesis over andagainst the others? What about utterly unique events in the past thatseem to have no parallel with common occurrences in the present? Inthe fourth and fifth sections, the subfields of historiography and themajor schools of history writing are introduced. Major figures in thephilosophy of history are covered, and their most salient positions aredescribed and articulated anew.Like the encompassing nature of the other volumes in the BlackwellCompanion to Philosophy series, undergraduate students and scholarswith a serious interest in philosophical problems related to history andhistoriography should benefit from the newest Companion.Glenn B. SiniscalchiDuquesne UniversityReviews256 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.Harmony: A New Way of Looking at the World, HRH The Prince ofWales, HarperCollins, 2010 (ISBN 978-0-06-173131-0), 330 pp., hb $29.99In this book, Prince Charles provides a window into his soul, a vantagepoint from which to meet his passion and gauge his commitments.Combining autobiography, history, philosophy, and ecology, Harmonyreveals his thirty-year commitment to the environment and the under-lying philosophy that has informed his thoughts about our planet andits future.rirt_1035 257..318A substantial part of the book is an analysis of the way in which themodern world has forgotten or ignored or abandoned the ancient waysof learning natures patterns and then finding harmony with them. Wehave lost our way, we have lost our balance.As a result, humans need to see themselves as a part of the naturalworld, subject to its rhythms, cycles, and economic rules, rather thanapart from nature as a separate, severed category of our own making.Beyond this, we have to retrieve a sense of the spiritual dimension ofthe natural world, seeing it and receiving it as a sacred gift (AlbertEinstein).These points are not new. Echoing Daniel Quinns award-winningnovel, Ishmael, and Czech writer Erazim Kohaks The Green Halo, PrinceCharles observation is that our present way of envisioning nature is asa machine and our manner of behavior toward nature is ruthless andexploitative. His call for a new (or recovered) way of seeing and actingtoward nature is not a novel or solo voice. Environmental scientists,theologians, biblical scholars, and environmental ethicists have decriedas a chorus our misuse and abuse of nature and have raised a clarioncall for a necessary change in both attitude and behavior.What is new in Harmony is the Princes detailed analysis of the waysin which ancient and medieval sacred architecture parallels the struc-ture of nature. Accompanied by illustrative drawings and beautifulphotographs, he draws a clear connection between the way ancientcivilizations built their sacred structures and the way the natural worlditself is structured and behaves.He then makes the anticipated point that our survival today alsodepends on the same kind of knowledge and harmonious living. Tragi-cally, we do not seem to recognize that living out of balance with naturethreatens human well-being, so we live in a way that regards nature asour endless storehouse of raw materials and a dumping ground forpollution, and that treats nature as if it were our slave.We suspended a harmonious resonance with natures cycles andpatterns, we lost our connection to nature, through what Prince Charlesterms, The Age of Disconnection. In the seventeenth, eighteenth, andtwentieth centuries, a mechanistic, reductionistic model replaced theorganic, in-tune-with natures harmony and patterns approach. HereReviews 257 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.every historian of science would find traces of Carolyn Merchants TheDeath of Nature. The seventeenth century Scientific Revolution objecti-fied nature for the purpose of manipulating it. She became it. Theeighteenth century Industrial Revolution regarded nature as raw mate-rial, and held that natures capital is unlimited and its sole purpose isfor human exploitation and to satisfy human greed. Twentieth centuryModernism regarded humans as machines (manchines), all buildingsas machines for living in and working in, technology as the key to socialimprovement, and consumption and unlimited economic growth as themeans of producing a better world.To respond to this, and to correct it, Prince Charles believes that wemust reconnect with our past. We need to recalibrate the compass byrecovering a way of living and looking at the world based on hownature works and what might be called, the principles of harmony .Noting that mechanistic science is already giving way because science ischanging its view to a physics of relatedness, Prince Charles then tapshis personal and professional life to outline what he thinks needs tobe adopted concretely in business and commerce, and in governmentpolicy, to tap this tradition of harmony: He discusses different ways offarming that work with nature rather than against it. He gives examplesof sustainable building techniques and town planning that enhancewell-being and nurture community. He shares approaches to medicinethat include considering the benefits of non-traditional treatments. Andhe assesses innovations and designs emerging from the new kind ofengineering called biomimicry that is dedicated to following nature.In this way, he contends, the Age of Discontinuity can, and must, giveway to the Age of Harmony.Ultimately, then, what Harmony: A New Way of Looking at the Worldproposes is not a new way at all. It is an old way that must be rediscoveredand recovered. We must be re-minded, the Prince says, in order for usto see ourselves not as observers apart from natures beauty, balance, andpatterns, but instead as participants who are a part of the natural worldand who therefore must integrate the natural world into everything wedo. After all, a different way of thinking and acting new for us but notunprecedented in history is precisely what is required by our currentenvironmental crisis. Harmony would serve as a good first book on thereading list of a college environmental science course, of a seminaryenvironmental ethics course, as the focus of an adult study in Christianeducation, as well as introductory reading for the general public.Clifford Chalmers CainWestminster College, Fulton, MissouriReviews258 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.Christian Eschatology and the Physical Universe, David Wilkinson,T&T Clark, 2010 (ISBN 978-0-567-04546-1), 256 pp., pb 24.99rirt_1036 259..320In the contemporary age both science and theology are investigatingthe destiny of the world. Those two disciplines are trying to re-establisha unitary vision in the recent times, as the scientific approach whichdominated during the Positivistic age and the first decades of thetwentieth century excluded such an interdisciplinary outlook. Theauthors aim expressed in this book is therefore to explore the scienceand religion dialogue as it explores the future of the universe (p. ix).Prof. Wilkinson, Principal of St Johns College and Lecturer in theDepartment of Theology and Religion at Durham University, foundshis own arguments upon the idea that the Christian faith will be nottouched by the previsions and results of science. Moreover, in thesciencefaith relationship the biblical concept of new creation has got akey role in establishing some conclusions about the future of our world.The end of the universe forms part of some scientific theories andpopular culture too; in other words, science and pop culture deal witha common eschatological dimension. It is important to stress that themeaning of Christian eschatology goes much beyond the commonunderstanding of that word, as it implies the interaction between thefuture and the present. Just the Christian conception of eschatologyrenders the sciencefaith interaction more fascinating and leads theauthor to a necessary dialogue considering all the most relevant theo-logical investigations and scientific discoveries.Science indicates many possible ways for the end of life and thosepossibilities raise some relevant theological questions, such as the sig-nificance of human beings and their purpose. The challenge for theo-logians is clearer if one considers the end of the whole universe, as itleads us to re-examine aspects such as hope and the function of man inthe world. This kind of problems is strictly connected with other essen-tial principles of the Christian doctrine, namely providence, Resurrec-tion and new creation, which must be analyzed in detail. The discussionof those topics is made in Chapter 3 of this work (pp. 2352), in whichthe author states that very few theologians have taken seriously thescenarios for the end of the universe. It cannot be argued that this isbecause the scientific picture is very recent (p. 23). An opinion such asKeith Wards can be deemed to be a typical engagement by systematictheologians: the goal of the universe, the reason for which it exists, is tohave a community of conscious personal agents who live beyond decayand suffering in full awareness and love of God . . . from this point ofview, exactly what happens in the future of the physical universe isirrelevant (p. 23). Therefore, according to the author, most of the con-clusions reached by researchers prove insufficient. Their arguments,however, exhibit the need to go deeper into the essential questionsReviews 259 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.connected with the eschatological dimension, namely creation and Res-urrection. That is the reason why in Chapter 4 (pp. 5488) the authorverifies how researchers, who dealt with theological arguments on thatarea of inquiry, interpreted the biblical texts, and he also tries to estab-lish if the scientific achievements are able to improve our interpretationof the eschatological passages in the Bible. As regards to the importanceof Scriptures, the position held by the author is clear: in contrast tothose who place a strong emphasis on reason and tradition, I want toargue for the rediscovery of the importance of the biblical material indialogue with our experience of God at work in the world (p. 55). Theanalysis of the most important passages taken from both the Old andNew Testament shows the main results achieved in the recent yearsabout the relevance of new creation and its connection with all Godswork in the world, the differences and analogies between creation andnew creation, the final judgment. Those considerations on the biblicaltexts open the way to the understanding of the meaning of the scientificviews about the end of the world for the Christian doctrine.The central theme of Resurrection is discussed in Chapter 5 (pp.89114). The arguments highlighted in this chapter concern some basicpoints, such as continuity and/or discontinuity in the transformation ofmatter. This last aspect introduces the discussion of two main ques-tions. The first one concerns spacetime in creation and new creation(Chapter 6, pp. 11536). Notwithstanding the complexity of all thecontributions given by researchers to that debate, the author states thatwe can investigate the question of the continuity and/or discontinuitybetween creation and new creation basing upon the following points:time is real in both creation and new creation; there is a decoupling oftime and decay in new creation; time is not limiting in new creation, inthe same way that it is limiting in this creation (p. 134).The other question deals with the future of matter (Chapter 7, pp.13758) in creation and new creation. Among the different opinions, theauthor tries to establish some conclusions, namely the transformation ofmatter and its location in time in new creation, the refusal of a panen-theistic vision in new creation.In the last chapter of the book (Chapter 8, pp. 15984), the authorhighlights what his conclusions imply for the biological beings, thedoctrines of providence and hope, the sciencefaith interaction. He isconvinced that we can ascribe openness and predictability to the futureworld. In the Conclusions (pp. 1858), the author summarizes the maincontents expressed in this work.This book is very interesting. It can be considered to be a successfulattempt to resume such a complex debate into a single issue. Further-more, although it is suitable for students who have already got a basiclearning in those topics, the author surely succeeded in presentingthose difficult arguments in a pleasant reading which does not includeReviews260 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.many technicalities. As regards to its contents and the opinion of theauthor, it would be necessary to recall the following point. If, for all thequestions related to the future of the universe, is necessary to refer tothe Resurrection, then we must keep in mind the dimension of miracleand its irreducibility to the dimension of science. Even if the Christianfaith played a fundamental role for the birth of the modern scientificthought, it is very difficult to uphold an integration of their contents inorder to affirm something about the future of the universe. In otherwords, as Stanley Jaki (19242009), an important historian and philoso-pher of science, who is also mentioned in this book (pp. 12, 109),recently declared, between science and faith there is an impassabledivide which is closely linked with the distinctive features of boththose disciplines.Alessandro GiostraStanley Jaki FoundationReviews 261 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.