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God Mystery Diversity [Paperback]

By Gordon Kaufman (Author)
Our Price $ 17.00  
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Item Number 145717  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   248
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.99" Width: 5.99" Height: 0.73"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 1996
Publisher   Augsburg Fortress Publishers
ISBN  0800629590  
EAN  9780800629595  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Kaufman presents the concept that religious "symbols" such as "Christ", "God", etc... are very powerful concepts for humans today. If, says Kaufman, we can reconstruct these ancient ideas to fit into the modern world, Christianity would be alot more effective in this age. Gordon Kaufman is the Edward Makkinckrodt, Jr., Professor of Divinity Emeritus at Harvard Divinity School.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Humanistic criterion  Jan 11, 2000
In chapter 1 he raises what I think is the crucial question which is: "Is there not some way to acknowledge the cultural relativity of each religious tradition but still maintain that in and through the great religions ultimate truth of some sort is to be found?"

What I understand from Kaufman is that to take Acts 4:12; Mt 11:27 and Jn 14:16 and others literally is to raise barriers to religious dialogue since that would mean Christians have all the Truth. In that case Christians would have to consider all other religions as not only inferior but untruthful. Kaufman rightfully, in my opinion, states that the texts above, as well as many others, are human historical statements that are made in finite situations by finite persons. I must observe that if one accepts the idea that they are historical then Kaufman's book is very illuminating and helpful. However if one maintains that such texts are given directly by God as is maintained by Islam regarding the Qu'ran or by The Church of Jesus Christ concerning the book of Moroni then no discussion is possible because, in such an opinion, God dictated it and that concludes the matter.

Kaufman is opposed to absolutism and is saying that a humanistic criterion is needed as the vehicle to approach the diversity of beliefs on this shrinking planet. Of course it is not shrinking but communications via TV, the Internet and radio as well as transportation, Jet travel, etc. makes it appear to us to be shrinking.

Kaufman is a pluralist. For me his writing, while excellent, is repetitive. I thoroughly agree with him. There is one comment by Kaufman in III of the chapter on "The Meaning of Christ in Our Pluralistic Age" which holds that Jesus was an imminent eschatologist. The Jesus Seminar scholars would correct that by saying that Jesus, at first, bought into John the Baptist's imminent eschatology but did not stay with it. That is a minor critique. Genuine dialogue is his formula for achieving the goal of pluralism.


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