Shifting Boundaries: Contextual Approaches to the Structure of Theological Education

Wheeler, Barbara G., and Edward Farley, eds. Shifting Boundaries: Contextual Approaches to the Structure of Theological Education. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1991.

Wheeler and Farley have collected ten essays examining structural problems in theological education from a variety of vantage points and utilizing several methods. Some authors also propose structural changes. Craig Dykstra critiques understandings of practice within the theological academy which are overly individualistic, technological, ahistorical and abstract, and offers a view of practices as cooperative human activities which are socially established. Rebecca Chopp outlines some of the contributions of feminisms to theological education and evaluates Edward Farley's proposals for the restructuring of theological studies. Walter E. Wyman argues that historical studies must become more central to theological education. Three authors propose a closer relationship between theological studies in seminaries and religious (and related) studies in universities: Francis Fiorenza examines the "hermeneutical link" between theological and religious studies, Paul Knitter criticizes theological education for its "mono-religiosity," and Peter Paris describes the history of African Americans in theological education and insists on bringing together the requirements for liberation and survival with study of the arts and human sciences to create a justice-oriented curriculum. Thomas W. Ogletree examines Christian social ethics to demonstrate how utilizing hermeneutical modes can help that discipline function theologically, while John B. Cobb, Jr. opposes seeing theology as a fixed discipline. Mark Kline Taylor criticizes theological methods which rely on contrasts between past and present, and calls for strategies which move between multiple boundaries of the present. Don S. Browning proposes a complete pattern of curricular studies for fundamental practical theology. (RG)