The Word as True Myth

Gary Dorrien, Author
Gary Dorrien, Author Westminster John Knox Press $29.95 (296p) ISBN 978-0-664-25745-3
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Dorrien, who teaches religion at Kalamazoo College in Michigan, weaves a coherent, accessible and generally persuasive account of the development of modern theology, arguing that it has been ""in crisis for most of its history."" From the opening paragraph of the introduction, he insists that the crisis has been and continues to be a ""crisis of belief."" Modern theology emerged with the question of whether it is possible to sustain Christian faith in the face of the desacralization of the world by modern science. This desacralization and disintegration led, according to Dorrien, to a ""return of the repressed"" mythological aspects of Christianity on the part of modern theology. The bulk of the book, however, is devoted to a careful historical account of theological developments that began with Kant, Hegel and Schleiermacher, continued through Karl Barth, Rudolf Bultmann and Emil Brunner, and culminated in Schubert Ogden's appropriation of Bultmann and the ""postmodern"" turn of liberation and feminist theologies. Dorrien's book will appeal to those who share his commitment to a historical framework within which to understand theology. (Nov.)
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