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Rethinking Christian Identity : Doctrine and Discipleship - Medi Ann Volpe

Rethinking Christian Identity

Doctrine and Discipleship

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Published: 5th November 2012
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In recent decades there have been major shifts in the understanding of Christian identity. What does characterize a Christian these days? What unites and sets them apart from the dominant patterns of social and political understanding? How is this identity forged and can it be 'passed on' to others? This book engages with these changing ideas through the work of the three major schools of theological thought, taking the work of a leading figure to represent each school. So in the first section, the work of Rowan Williams, John Milbank and Kathryn Tanner is examined and assessed. In the second part, this is used as a springboard from which to develop a new, relevant, and fuller understanding of Christian identity.As Christianity declines in parts of the western world, and expands in non-western areas, the nature of Christian identity is more crucial and vexed than ever before. This book is aimed at academics in theologians and those working in religious studies, graduate students studying contemporary Christianity, and advanced undergraduates studying Christianity in the modern world.

?This is an insightful work of theology, one that clearly demonstrates the ways in which classical Christian teachings can renew Christian practice.?  (Religious Studies Review, 1 December 2013)

?This is a substantial work that explores a considerable gap in the literature of discipleship, conversing as it does with three of the most significant contemporary theologians (unlike much literature on discipleship which ignores theology altogether. . . Academic libraries will want this book, and those interested in a way of integrating systematics and practical theology, but whether they can afford to do so is another matter (25 pence per page seems rather expensive to me, even if this hardback binding is as robust as any.) It has caused me to return to Milbank and Williams, and to explore Tanner afresh, but more significantly, to read Gregory. For that alone I am grateful to Volpe.?  (Regent's Reviews, 1 October 2013)

?Kierkegaard reminded us that one can only claim to be a Christian in the ?banal sense of registry; at best, we are ever becoming one? on a journey of formation central to that becoming, as every parent knows. Acutely aware that ?identity? will never capture the result, this parent mines Christian reflection contemporary and ancient (Gregory of Nyssa) to delineate the steps in that process, helping us identify our mis-steps as well.??David Burrell, Notre Dame

?This is a brilliant, compelling, agenda-setting book. As a growing consensus of theologians recognize the post-liberal, postmodern reality that discipleship is a training in a tradition, Volpe has written this thoughtful, passionate, informed critique that invites us all to think through precisely what is involved in being formed in the Christian tradition.  This is the hard work of Christian identity.  This book sets a stage for theologians, Christian educators, and practical theologians, which will transform their disciplines and create significant work for at least the next generation.??Ian Markham, Virginia Theological Seminary

?A model for those of us who seek to combine the vocations of academic theology and pastoral ministry, Rethinking Christian Identity offers a compelling vision of Christian formation.  The author focuses our attention on the center of Christian identity: being and making disciples.  Volpe deftly shapes her vision in conversation with contemporary theologians (Williams, Tanner, and Milbank) and voices from the history of the Church (particularly Gregory of Nyssa).  Volpe helpfully dismantles the unfortunate barrier between the tasks of academic theology and soul-care, combining erudition with a passion for Christian discipleship.  A fresh voice for those who seek to serve God with both mind and heart, this book reminds us of the goal of our life before God: the continuous process of being formed in the image of Christ.??Kathryn Greene-McCreight, St John?s Episcopal Church


Giving Thanks viii

List of Abbreviations xi

Introduction: Rethinking Christian Identity 1

1 Between the Postliberal and the Postmodern: "True Discipleship" as Cultural Style 12

2 Stories of Identity: Rowan Williams on Being a Christian 52

3 "It is no longer I who live": Receiving the Identity of Christ 105

4 The Body's Reason: Gregory and Macrina on the Soul 145

5 The Nature of Doctrine Revisited: Gregory of Nyssa on the Formation of Christian Imagination 183

6 Doctrine, Discipleship, and Christian Identity 222

Bibliography 242

Index 254

ISBN: 9781405195119
ISBN-10: 1405195118
Series: Challenges in Contemporary Theology
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 276
Published: 26th April 2011
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.8 x 16.0  x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.51
Edition Number: 1