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Rethinking Fundamental Theology 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199605569
ISBN-10: 0199605564
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"Educated readers of all kinds will find much to inspire them and to challenge their preconceptions about the role and task of theology."--Commonweal


"A very fine text that should be welcomed by teachers, scholars, and students of all kinds...This is an outstanding and impressive survey, written by one of the leading experts in the field. One has to marvel at the author's ability to summarize complex positions and problems in admirably clear, succinct prose. O'Collins's deep learning is obvious throughout, and anyone interested in fundamental theology can learn much from this work."--Theological Studies


About the Author


Born in Melbourne (Australia), Gerald O'Collins was ordained a priest in 1963, took his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 1968 and taught for 33 years at the Gregorian University (Rome), where he was also dean of theology (1985-91). Now living back in Australia, he is an adjunct professor of the Australian Catholic University. Author or co-author of 56 published books and of hundreds of articles in professional and popular journals, he is widely known for his appearances on BBC and as a lecturer in many universities and colleges around the world and has chaired conferences for the Templeton Foundation.. He has received numerous honorary doctorates and other awards, including the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), the highest honour awarded through the Australian government.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (July 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199605564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199605569
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 1 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the latest is a series of six books by Fr. O'Collins, an Aussie Jesuit, explicitly dealing with the sub-discipline of fundamental theology . It is an excellent summary of the main themes of all his earlier work on Fundamental Theology while also adding some newer themes, such as the engagement with neo-atheism.

FYI Fundamental theology is a field that deals with the sources of theology: the scriptures, tradition, and magisterium and their credibility as a foundation for theology. It is found mainly in Catholic theological circles, but has become important in non-Catholic circles as well more recently. Fundamental theology's apologetic function has morphed into a concern as well for the human subject as receiver of revelation, the role and significant of history, and ultimately the nature and factors that lead to faith.

O'Collins has been reflecting on these issues for over 30 years, returning to some central ideas that concern him: the centrality of Christ, the nature of history in faith, and the experiencing subject who comes to faith. Each of his various writings on this field return to these ideas but tend to deepen each time around. His thought is heavily influence by Karl Rahner's transcendental Thomism, as well as the ecumenism of Jacques Dupris S.J. among others.

O'Collins purpose in writing this book is to keep fundamental theology alive while "developing further" his insights into his earlier themes while also adding some new reflection. This book, like all the others he wrote on this topic, does not try to create a comprehensive system, though the ideas interconnect at times.

O'Collins is well versed in the field (a recognized expert) and well versed as well in a wide variety of topics and authors in various western languages.
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Format: Hardcover
In this wide ranging volume O'Collins seeks to lay out a program for relaunching fundamental theology. He certainly is qualified for the task given that this is his fourth book on the topic. Over thirteen chapters O'Collins covers a wide range of issues including introducing fundamental theology (chapter 1), God (chapter 2), anthropology (chapter 3), revelation (chapter 4), Jesus (chapters 5 and 6), faith (chapter 7), tradition (chapter 8), the Bible (chapters 9 and 10), the church (chapter 11), Christ and other religions (chapter 12) and theological style and method (chapter 13).

Given the wide ranging nature of the book it is inevitable that O'Collins will be somewhat selective in his treatment of topics. Even so, an author of a book like this is bound to be charged with oversights. On that score I'll lodge my complaint that O'Collins only dedicated a page to discuss metaphor and the nature of religious language (335-6). Given the enormous attention this topic has received in contemporary theology, this seems a significant gap.

Wide-ranging books of this sort also provide fertile soil for reviewer quibbles. On that score I shall avail myself of the privilege of lodging a few of my own. To begin with, I note my dissatisfaction with O'Collins' endorsement of reduplicative predication in Christology without even acknowledging the serious concerns that such formulations are quasi-Nestorian.

Other quibbles are directed at suggestive points that remain underdeveloped. To note one example, while O'Collins unapologetically affirms biblical authority and inspiration, he senses no need to exonerate the problematic moral perspectives present in scripture, be they in the imprecatory psalms (220) or Israel's holy wars (242).
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By Dr. Jan on September 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased the book for a class my husband and I were taking and needed it quickly. I got it very soon after purchasing and the condition was even better than I'd hoped for. This book is very easy to follow and quite interesting.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
shipped fast and as described.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Book was purchased as a class requirement. It is a very good foundation book. Reading is medium to light. The class is Fundemental Theology.
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