Constructing a Public Theology: The Church in a Pluralistic Age

Thiemann, Ronald F. Constructing a Public Theology: The Church in a Pluralistic Age. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1991.

Beginning with the assumption that Christian faith has political implications, Thiemann articulates a public theology -- which he defines as faith seeking to understand the relation between Christian convictions and the broader social context. This public theology is grounded in the specific beliefs, rituals and practices of the Christian community (including a resonant biblical witness) and, for Thiemann, that community is liberal Protestantism with its commitment to the values of pluralism and democracy. He rejects the label "postliberal" and instead offers a theological vision of the Christian community as a source of hope in an increasingly cynical and divided culture. He concludes with remarks on liturgy as education, and a new understanding of the relationship between theological and religious studies made possible through a cultural-linguistic approach to religion within the university. (KA)