In the early stages of the course we spoke of contextual theology as being an attempt to address two large problems of Christian theology in the West -- its narrowness as a white, male, European/Euro-American enterprise and its complicity in oppression. However, new problems arise through contextual theology; namely, (1) theology continues to be understood as disembodied knowledge that may be dropped into various cultures, and (2) theology has no ability to transform identity. In effect, Christian theology becomes simply the religious expression of various cultures. We’ve gone out of the way to say in this course that the problems of contextual theologies, the benefits of such theologies notwithstanding, must be located within the broader ways in which Christian theology in the West has operated. In other words, rather than seeing contextual theologies and the broader problems of Western theology as two discreet sets of problems, what must be understood is that contextual theologies are children of Christian theology as it has come to be practiced in the West. They are, in the main, in architectural and infrastructural continuity -- not discontinuity -- with Christian theology as it has come to be practiced as an essentially white, male, European/Euro-American enterprise. With this as your backdrop, how might considering the starting point of theology in our identity as Gentiles who overheard the gospel of Jesus Christ to Israel offer a corrective to both the two large problems of Christian theology and the newer problems of contextual theology?
In other blog news, I looked back and realized that my previous post was the 100th post at With the Grain. Hope you're enjoying it.