We'll use this news blog to keep you updated about what we are adding to the TT website. Paul Janz has contributed to the People section and we are developing more general introductory material on TT. Feel free to let us know what your interests are. Some people have asked for some discussion of how TT compares with Radical Orthodoxy: how similar or different are they? Oliver Davies hopes to publish a large book as a comprehensive introduction next year ('Transformation Theology: a New Beginning')  and there is some very interesting doctoral work being done at the moment. We are very pleased with the way that TT seems to appeal across the denominations as well as across different geographical areas.
 


Comments

02/23/2012 1:00pm

I'm glad to follow from a distance the development of TT first from Malaysia, and now from Norway. I think TT has great potential to reach across not just denominational boundaries, but also cultural ones too. I will be following TT's exciting journey, and cheer you on :-)

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03/30/2012 10:58am

I'm really interested but I'm not impressed by the 'state' of this website. Only a few unfinished articles?

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04/09/2012 11:48pm

Hi Rinie. I really share your frustration that we cannot put more substantial pieces up more quickly since there is so much to be done! Copyright issues kick in with the longer pieces. There is a lot in the pipeline though, and there should be a longer piece posted on TT and History (including Duns Scotus and Meister Eckhart) next month. A big book is on its way and I think other contributors have things we could adapt for the website. We have an interesting session with Chinese participant in June. Let's see what we can do over the next few weeks to increase volume. Meanwhile thanks for following us and being in touch. We are getting a lot of hits at the moment and want to build the momentum.

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Oliver Davies
04/14/2012 12:11am

We have put up a new full-length article on Transformation Theology in its Historical Context in order to set out some of the contexts of TT as something which is distinctive to today. We hope you find something of interest here.

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05/10/2012 10:57am

thanks for putting up the TT in its HIstorical context piece. I placed the link on the FB group I'm part of to see whether it might generate some further interest from Malaysia, and South East Asia :-)

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Oliver Davies
05/11/2012 10:40am

Thanks - that's excellent news. I hope we can find a response there. I wonder whether TT might be able to generate a more properly global theology than we have hitherto had, one which recognizes all kinds of differences but still maintains a fundamental continuity in its emphasis on the commissioning Christ of history. If we share space and time, why can't we share a Christ who as Lord of space and time is still in space and time? 'Local' theologies (East and West) can be quite different in kind but still share the same fundamental orientation to the one Christ we encounter in our different situational histories. This might also set up a different kind of relation between those different theologies which share such an orientation.Perhaps the same orientation to the commissioning Christ would bring those differences into a new kind of harmony, akin to the way in which we recognize authentic Christian discipleship in different parts of the globe, among diverse denominations and in diverse cultures. I think that means that there can be a 'Malaysian' or 'Chinese' Transformation Theology, doesn't it?

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05/13/2012 2:54pm

Just a note to say how helpful I have found this new approach to my personal spirituality as well as to apologetics.

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Oliver Davies
05/21/2012 11:40am

I very much agree with that. Sometimes it can seem strange to place such an emphasis upon a 'living Christ' theologically but Christian faith just seems to presuppose the Christ of Easter. We have got used to by-passing this in academic theology. But if there is no 'living Christ', then there is not much point in having the theology, I think, and if there is a 'living Christ', then we perhaps should try to pay more attention to him. There must be some sense in which the commissioning Christ of history can be the 'author' (or perhaps 'ground' would be a better word) of our theology. Something can come together which is normally held apart.

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05/18/2012 10:42am

Lovely to your response Oliver (or more formally Prof. Davies). In Norway, where I'm doing my PhD in Religion, Ethics and Society, we're all on first names basis, back home we're a little more formal :-) But I'm excited to your positive response.

I like your statement "'Local' theologies (East and West) can be quite different in kind but still share the same fundamental orientation to the one Christ we encounter in our different situational histories. This might also set up a different kind of relation between those different theologies which share such an orientation."

Because what this does for us (and I presume also for those in different localities) is a more dialogical relation and is symmetrical between theologies (e.g. from UK and Malaysia for starters), and as we do our 'different' kinds of theology, the orientation to the One Christ becomes the conscious orientation point. I can imagine this would already be the case to some extent at a grassroot level between Christians in UK, and Christians in Malaysia, to continue the example, now it;s how can we make it more explicit between theologians.

I would like to see the days of an asymmetrical relationship between traditionally more equipped theologies of the 'West' (to use a contested category), and the 'Rest' (even more problematic but only to get the conversation going *smile*) to be over, and we can embark on a parallel development locally, but also in our 'space and time' sensitized by a global sensibility, while keeping the 'Christ' Orientation as the constant point of reference.

So, I'm looking forward to your upcoming 'big book' to understand Transformation Theology better. I confess, I need to return to the earlier works to see how things can 'translate' over to Malaysia for example, or at least see where the 'bridging' possibilities can be :-)

Let's see how it can work. Of course, at the mean time, I need to finish my PhD! I should have a chance to pop over to the UK possibly in September 2012 perhaps we can have tea or coffee.

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Oliver Davies
05/21/2012 11:52am

I really have a strong sense that TT will turn out to be a 'global' theology for the reasons you outline there, Sivin. It is very difficult to objectify the social and geopolitical forces which are shaping us at any moment, but Christian theology somehow needs to go global in new ways. I think it is important that TT is a new orientation (actually Paul Janz's phrase) and not straightforwardly a new theology. I love teaching it, when you can suddenly see that someone has got it. What they get is not a particular theology however but a new way of doing theology, I think, which creates the freedom for different cultures to do their own thing, for instance, while maintaining a kind of theological communion across place and tradition. I think the 'where' question ('where is Christ for us today') is a key way in which theology can remain open to the living Christ. In the new book I look carefully at the difference between Bonhoeffer's 'who' and TT's 'where' (he does in fact acknowledge the where - of the exaltation - but brings it back into the 'who'). I think in a pluralised, globalized world like ours, the 'where' question which points to a shared space and time has become more important for us today than it was in Bonhoeffer's time. The 'who' for us on its own points back into our Christian community (one community amongst others), whereas the 'where' acknowledges a Lordship that is in real space and time (and so transcends our constructions or even narrations of it). I would be glad to know if any of that resonates with anyone or if there are other perspectives on why we now seem to need a living Christ in space and time theologically*.

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Oliver Davies
05/28/2012 7:54am

Since Transformation Theology is basically a form of fundamental Christology, it can be very difficult to know how to define it (e.g. it is both the overcoming of the divide between Systematic and Practical Theology or between the Church and the academy, and the institution of an inclusive hermeneutic of transformation against the individualism of 'transcendence' or the preference for an account of the self of faith which places us again within the materiality of the world. All of these are true! But which should define TT?). We have recently updated the 'What is TT?' page, starting from the point that TT seeks to build a new form of theological community, in a shared acknowledgment of the commissioning Christ as the ground of Systematic Theology. That seems right to me since the purpose of this website is surely the building of a theological community which can recognize but not be overcome by the ways in which theology ordinarily divides.

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06/15/2012 2:02am

looks like the blog is getting quiet again. I will post this also on the FB group.

In short, I found the article that shows the difference and similarities with Radical Orthodoxy helpful. In the light of Clemens Sedmak's earlier works which interacted with Latin American Liberation Theology, and what appears to be a similar intuition and orientation in his exposition via the discussion on world hunger in 'Transformation Theology' Introductory book. I'm curious how TT sees itself in relation to the themes, concerns, criteria and methodological insights of Latin American Liberation Theology in particular.

This seems to me to also lead to the broader reflection on the work of contextual theologies in other parts of the world.

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Tom Woodman
06/15/2012 1:17pm

I have just been reading Transformation Theology: Church in the World by Davies, Janz and Semak, and found it very illuminating and exciting. The links with the Holy Spirit and with ethics have become clearer to me. I have found Paul Janz's emphasis on divine causality through God's righteousness especially helpful, but had just begun to think that the simultaneous emphasis on God's love would make it seem less austere to beginners in the Christian life when I read the same point made very clearly in the Semak article. I was also wondering whether there ought not to be a short popular book on the same lines. All this work is brilliant, but still academic in style-- necessarily so, but this theology is so revolutionary in its implications that it has a lot to say to the thoughtful but not academically prepared lay person who will not read a chapter with the word 'aporia' in it.

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    Oliver Davies is Professor of Christian Doctrine at King's College London and a Transformation Theologian.

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