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Jesus Christ, Religious Pluralism and the Oneness of God: Christology and Changing Social Imaginaries

Chapter in book
Authors Arne Rasmusson
Published in Matters of Faith and Love: Nordic Perspectives on Transforming Social and Theological Challenges / edited by Ville Päivänsalo & Pamela Slotte
Pages 81-104
ISBN 978-952-7259-09-2
ISSN 1236-9675
Publisher Schriften der Luther-Agricola-Gesellschaft (Luther-Agricola Society)
Place of publication Helsinki
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion
Pages 81-104
Language en
Keywords Christology, Trinity, Religious Pluralism, Oneness of God, simplicity, classical theism.
Subject categories Dogmatics with symbolics, Faith and reason, Systematic theology


A strongly Christological Trinitarianism dominated much of twentieth-century theology. In current academic theology, however, there is more talk about God and religion than about Jesus Christ as such. Compared to, say, the 1970s and 1980s, relatively few books in Christology have been published during the last 20 years. This paper discusses two very different versions of this development. First, the issue of the many religions has become a central issue for systematic theology. This has placed generic God-language and religious experience at the center of much Christian theology rather than the supposedly more particularistic Christology. The second noteworthy trend is a recovery of classical theism, connected with a more general renaissance for Platonic and Aristotelian metaphysics, in contrast to the Christological concentration of twentieth century theology. Possible reasons for this latter development may include the relocation of the center of academic theology from the German- to the English-speaking world, and from Protestant to Catholic theology, including a renaissance for Thomistic thinking. It may also be connected to wider shifts or tendencies in academic culture away from radical historicist, pragmatist, social-constructionist, and ”postmodern” theories towards more realist and ”essentialist” approaches informed by the natural sciences.

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