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Jesus Symbol of God Paperback – January 28, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 505 pages
  • Publisher: Orbis Books (January 28, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570753113
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570753114
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,026,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 114 people found the following review helpful By Hugo Schwyzer on August 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
Let me qualify my title for this review by saying that I am not a trained theologian! This book was recommended to me by my (Episcopal) priest, as I had asked him for something scholarly yet still reasonably accessible which could help me further "understand my own understanding" of Jesus Christ. Though I am not a Catholic, I think Haight's work has appeal for all Christians, from Catholics to mainlines to Evangelicals. I confess that I have only read about 2/3rds of the text (it is weighty), but I have been challenged and inspired by each chapter. Haight does a superb job of discussing the ways in which Jesus has been understood in other, non-western cultures. For an evangelical Anglican, it is not always easy to understand what Christ means in an Asian, or African, or South American context. We proclaim Christ to be universal -- but how Jesus, as symbol of God is understood in other cultures is not necessarily how He is understood by prosperous, over-educated Britons and Americans!
This is the sort of text I intend to have on my bedside table for a long time -- read in small snippets (I digest slowly), I know it will continue to provoke and inspire, and, it is to be hoped help me to clarify my own ongoing relationship with Christ.
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62 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Timothy A. Griffy on July 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
Who and what is Christ in a world that finds past formulations of belief unintelligible or irrelevant? What does salvation mean today? Where does Jesus fit in our pluralistic society? How should Christianity deal with other religions? Roger Haight suggests some answers in this insightful work.
In order for Christianity to remain meaningful, it has to adapt to differing times and circumstances, Haight argues. This book is therefore a modern apologetic; that is, it explains the faith in terms of the dominant culture. It focuses on christology, the study of Christ's relationship to God and man. For Haight, a christology must follow certain criteria, including fidelity to Christian tradition, ability to speak to the modern world, and how it empowers the Christian life.
Haight uses most of the book to construct the foundations for the "constructive christology" of the final part. The first part contains introductory chapters on what christology is and how to go about the task. The next two parts are concerned with analyzing the New Testament and historical approaches to Christology. In his analysis of these sources, Haight makes some things clear about the way christology should be done.
The most important is the sources need to be analyzed critically. Merely citing a biblical text, creed, or a theologian simply will not do. A text is never self-evident; using it always implies a method of interpretation. Citing a text without divulging the hermeneutical method will render a theology unintelligible to anyone outside a small circle. Such usage also implies a uniformity throughout history that is not there. Traditional sources are a result of historical processes, and originally spoke to a given time and audience.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By earing on July 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
Haight writes that "theology is a constant entertainment of perennial questions...a reflection on the nature of reality from the perspective of the SYMBOLS of the Christian faith." What does that say but that interpretation of religion is an ongoing process, one that is never completed? The source of all Christian theology is scripture; we begin with words written about Christ and construct systems of belief, first worked out in church councils, always in response to other systems which were considered indequate, if not misleading, about the nature of Christ and what it means to believers. The meaning of words, of language is not static, but always changing and ongoing.

At the heart of any discussion of Christ is his relationship to God, the ultimate reality. This relationship matters because it discusses the ultimate end and purpose of human existence. If one is concerned about this, then Christianity offers some answers, at the heart of which is the notion of "salvation", of achieving the "kingdom of God." For example, the whole idea of the resurrection is an attempt, I think Haight is suggesting, to dramatize the nation of self-transcendence.

All of this, to me, sounds like the ways of interpreting poetry. There are many constructs of how Christ operates and we can learn from all of them; we do not have to make decisive judgments of the type that people do who interpret the words of the Bible literally. In the same way, there is no final and decisive answer to what a good poem means - there are always further interpretations that are valuable and freeing. A very impressive book which places Christianity in an intellectually defensible

framework.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Lynn A. Huber on July 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
This primer was written by a Jesuit scholar who was sanctioned for his work because he plumbed the depths of the topic and didn't stay close to the traditional lines of thought. Written systematically with clear bullet points, this is a thorough discussion of post modern Christology.
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75 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Dr. John Switzer on May 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Once in a while a masterful book comes along in the field of Christology ... this is one of those books! In Jesus Symbol of God, Roger Haight offers his written insights in the same manner he uses in the classroom: with clarity, precision and a grasp of catholic tradition which is mind-blowing in its universality. This book is so well-informed as to be a struggle at times, but it is worth the intellectual investment for anyone who wants to know the state of Christology for today or its implications and possibilities for tomorrow.
Haight's grasp of the field is incomparable. This work is truly on the cutting edge as it brings catholic tradition into dialogue with postmodern realities. Haight seems destined to ask the difficult questions and one worries that this penchant may well find him in "hot water" with those short-sighted minds who claim the prerogative of preserving Roman Catholic doctrine in the curial halls of Vatican City.
The theological world is indebted to Roger Haight and I am proud to have learned from him personally.
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