Thinking God in contemporary theology: The Trinity and Christian life through the lens of a theology of interruption

Thesis


Brown, Teresa Grace 2020. Thinking God in contemporary theology: The Trinity and Christian life through the lens of a theology of interruption. Thesis https://doi.org/10.26199/3r4h-yw02
AuthorsBrown, Teresa Grace
Qualification nameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Abstract

In this dissertation, I consider the question: How does a theology of interruption help us to understand the relationship between Christian life and faith in the Trinity today? Flemish theologian Lieven Boeve has developed a contextual-theological-hermeneutical approach to theology—a “theology of interruption”—that brings a postmodern critical consciousness into dialogue with the Christian narrative tradition. He argues that such an approach can be supported not only on contextual grounds, but also on theological grounds. For Boeve, the recognition of the cultural interruption of the Christian tradition by means of an increasing diversity in the religious and cultural landscape leads to a rediscovery of the interruptive nature of the Christian narrative, and it is this insight that I take up in this work. By considering a theology of interruption as a lens through which to think about the relationship between Christian life and faith in the Trinity, I explore the implications of Boeve’s approach for contemporary theology. The dissertation begins with an exegesis of Boeve’s work. I examine his philosophical and theological influences, and I discuss critically his contention that a theology of interruption is narratively signified in the Christian tradition. As Boeve is not explicit about the ways in which he engages a theology of interruption as a hermeneutical approach to theology, I examine case studies within his corpus to distil its philosophical-conceptual elements. Turning to the question of the relationship between trinitarian faith and Christian life, I examine modern and postmodern trinitarian approaches and engage these critically through the lens of postmodern philosophical and contextual concerns. I then consider this theme through the lens of a theology of interruption and offer a critical evaluation of Boeve’s approach. This work contributes to theological discourse in a number of ways. It supports the use of a theology of interruption as a means by which theology might proceed today. It presents a way of thinking about the relationship between trinitarian faith and Christian life that takes seriously the particularity of the Christian tradition and other faith traditions and worldviews in the contemporary context. It recognises the importance of engaging reflexively with diverse particular discourses within the context and affirms the fruits of such an engagement for Christian self-understanding. Finally, it provides theological support for a recontextualisation of sacramentality in relation to Christian life.

Year2020
PublisherACU Research Bank
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26199/3r4h-yw02
Research GroupSchool of Theology
Publisher's version
Publication dates28 Jan 2020
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