For centuries, the global understanding of Church has been shaped by Western theological imperatives. Yet today, the decline of institutional religion in the West, and the extraordinary growth of the Church of the global South mean that a radical movement beyond such theologies is required.
In this book, Paul Matheny argues that the Church would benefit by becoming more contextualised and less Western. Contextual Theology: The Drama of Our Times is an attempt to address that issue and to examine how a reassessment of the relationship of the Gospel to cultural context can advance this critical and necessary development. Through an accessible and critical approach, Matheny considers the historical background to contextual theology. In the same way, he aims to show how to use contextual methods to think theologically and act missiologically in different cultural contexts.
1. The Church Looks to the Future: The Encouragement of Contextual Methods in Theology?
2. Contextual Methods within the Theological Processes of Christian Churches
3. The Helpfulness of Theology in the Life of the Church
4. Contextual Theology Becomes an Issue
5. Sources and Processes: Contextual Theology and the Emergence of a Christian Community
6. Theology, Both Local and Ecumenical: Tradition and Authority within the Christian Community
Endorsements and Reviews
This is a superbly written book that clearly outlines the vital importance of engaging in contextual theology for our time. Matheny reviews the historical background to contextual theology as well as various approaches. He explains how it works in practice, why contextual theology is good theology and why a healthy contextual theology will shape the future of theology by reviving biblical images and perspectives found in world Christianity. It is an accessible read and will be a very helpful resource for students, practitioners, and parishioners.
Cathy Ross, Lecturer in Pastoral Studies (Mission), Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford
There is here a useful, updated reminder of what contextual theology is at its best …
Paul Ballard, in Theological Book Review, Vol 24, No 2
This book is a good resource for theologians, students of theology, church leaders and members who desire to render the theological enterprise a contextual one.
Robert Afayori, in The Expository Times, Vol 125, No 2