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Consenting to God and Nature: Toward a Theocentric, Naturalistic, Theological Ethics (Princeton Theological Monograph) [Paperback]

By Byron C. Bangert (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   255
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6.1" Height: 0.59"
Weight:   0.83 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2006
Publisher   Pickwick Publications: An Imprint of WIPF & Stock Publishers
ISBN  1597525243  
EAN  9781597525244  

Availability  0 units.

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Item Description...
Bangert shows how the work of three major contemporary Protestant thinkers, James M. Gustafson, Sallie McFague, and David Ray Griffin, may be fruitfully appropriated for the articulation of an ethics that is responsive to the Christian tradition while sharing the modern commitment's appeal to human experience and reason. Each of these three thinkers eschews a priori appeal to the authority of religious tradition, as each takes seriously scientific knowledge of our world. Each accents ways in which current scientific understandings inform, and in some cases are informed by, contemporary appropriations of the language and thought of Christian tradition. Each is also concerned to relate his or her approach to human valuing, life, and action. A critical appraisal of their work shows that none provides a sufficient basis for an intellectually and religiously adequate theological ethics, but that each contributes elements necessary to the articulation of such an ethics within the Protestant Christian tradition as it confronts the religious and intellectual challenges of today's world.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Scholarly, Engaging, and Thought-Provoking  Nov 8, 2008
Bangert seeks to develop a theocentric (as opposed to an athropocentric), naturalistic (as opposed a to supernaturalistic), theologically-based ethics. In order to accomplish this, he critiques the works and/or thought of three theologians:

1) James M. Gustafson's "theocentric ethics"

2) Sallie McFague's "metaphorical theology"

3) David Ray Griffin's "process theology"

In particular, Banguert is interested in giving an intelligible account of the "God-world" relationship. That is, how does God act in an otherwise naturalistic world? To answer this question, he draws on process thought's doctrine of "prehension."

Overall, I found his critiques to be on mark and insightful. I particularly enjoyed the author's discussion of McFague's metaphorical theology - especially how models of God are actually tested in the religious community.

There is one caveat, however. Banguert seems to eschew the idea of "subjective immortality" (as opposed to "objective immortality," which only God enjoys) and does not believe that it is essential for an adequate theological ethics. That being said, this is a very worthwhile read. I highly recommend it.
An excellent book  Nov 20, 2007
The "brief description" and "from the author" earlier on this page are accurate descriptions of the book, especially the author's "two central questions" about how God acts in human affairs and in the world. Bangert's book is primarily an exploration of these questions. I would add these comments:

-- the book is a clear and objective summary of the positions held by Gustafson, McFague, and Griffin, and would be valuable for this reason alone.
-- I am an active Christian layperson, but not a theologian. Nonetheless, I found the book easily readable. There is, at times, theological jargon, but Bangert always explains it clearly (often in footnotes), and the theological terms prove to be useful "shorthand" for naming ideas.
-- Once I got a chapter or so into the book, I found it almost impossible to lay aside. The progress of Bangert's argument, carefully and logically presented point by point, made me want to see it through. And even when I did lay the book aside to do things such as sleep, work, and eat, the arguments continued to resonate in my mind. I consider this a sign of an excellent and thought-provoking book.
-- This is not a simplistic presentation, one that "dumbs down" the issues involved. These issues deserve serious and thorough consideration, and Bangert gives them that, in a way that is accessible to the general educated reader.

I do not agree with all of Bangert's conclusions, and strongly disagree with each of the three theologians at various points. But Bangert's book helped clarify the questions, and made me think intently about them. Months after finishing the book, I continue to think on these issues, and I thank Dr. Bangert for raising them and struggling with them in print.

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