Academic Commons


Liberation: Challenges to Modern Orthodox Theology from the Contextual Theologies

Bouteneff, Peter C.

When it comes to the articulation of theology, context is at the same time an inevitability, a responsibility, and a liability. It is inevitable that every expression of theology is brought forth in a particular language, at a particular time and place. It is a responsibility in that the framing of theology must be responsive to evolving cultural, linguistic, and even socioeconomic realities: it must address its prophetic word to people where they are. But context can also be a liability when a theological expression remains bound to an ancient or otherwise distant formula without perceiving the need to “translate” it from its original setting. Context can also be a liability when it overtakes theology, where theology becomes so beholden to its linguistic, cultural, and sociological setting that it loses its prophetic character altogether. Such, then, is the challenge facing anyone who dares articulate theology: to express genuine, timeless, true theology in a way that is conditioned by context, receivable within context, but not diluted by context.


Also Published In

Union Seminary Quarterly Review
Union Theological Seminary

More About This Work

Academic Units
Union Theological Seminary
Union Theological Seminary
Published Here
September 23, 2015