About Providence, Divine Action and the Church


In this blog, Terry J. Wright posts thoughts and shares research on the Christian doctrine of providence. This doctrine testifies to God’s provision for all things through creation’s high priest, the man Christ Jesus. However, the precise meaning and manner of this provision is a perpetually open question, and this blog is a forum for discussion of the many issues relating to providence and the place of the Church within God’s action.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Remythologizing Theology [1]

Many, many moons ago, probably in 1998 or 1999, I bought Colin Gunton’s The Triune Creator, part of the Edinburgh Studies in Constructive Theology series. One of the forthcoming titles listed in this series was Kevin Vanhoozer’s Divine Action and Providence. When I started my doctoral research in 2002, I contacted Professor Vanhoozer to see if the book was due out any time soon; it wasn’t. And despite the fact that Amazon still has this book listed in its catalogue, I can only assume that Divine Action and Providence evolved from its (presumed) late 1990s conception into 2010’s publication, Remythologizing Theology: Divine Action, Passion, and Authorship.

At my request, Cambridge University Press kindly sent me a review copy of Remythologizing Theology back in early 2010, and I made promises on this blog that I would soon be reviewing it. Now it’s October 2011, and I feel that I can make good on my promises.

The preface ably sets out the issues under discussion; here is one particularly clear summary of Vanhoozer’s aims:

The focal point in what follows is the nature of the relationship established by the dialogical interaction between God and humanity and its implications for the doctrine of God. The notion of communicative action throws new light on a host of theological issues, including the relation of divine sovereignty and human freedom, divine eternity and human time, divine immutability and human change.

Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Remythologizing Theology: Divine Action, Passion, and Authorship. Cambridge Studies in Christian Doctrine (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), p. xvii, emphasis original

Vanhoozer has argued previously for understanding providence in terms of divine communicative action (see his entry on providence in 2005’s Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible), so I’m interested in seeing how his thought has developed. I’m still not sure precisely how to review Remythologizing Theology – should I review each chapter, each section, or take some other approach? Regardless, I’m looking forward finally to sinking my teeth into this tasty-looking tome.

1 comment:

  1. I like Kev. He bought me a hot chocolate once.

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