Students of modern theology are familiar with the challenges to Scriptural imagination presented by traditional or contemporary abuses of Scripture: the use of Scripture to legitimate racism and sexism and other offences; the haughty claims of some historical criticism and philosophical hermeneutics to understand Scripture better than it understands itself; and theological conspiracy with these imaginative powers of this world. The best response to such challenges comes as Christians gather around the Word to absorb its consolations and criticisms in their personal and corporate lives as the communion of saints.But students of Scripture in colleges and universities, seminaries and divinity schools must also be servants of the Word in their theology if Scriptural imagination is to thrive. To this end, the editors of this volume have brought together biblical exegetes, historians of the interpretation of Scripture, as well as contemporary philosophers and theologians who embody their own technical expertise and the sorts of imaginations it will take to celebrate the Word in season and out.As in previous volumes in this series, the essays here articulate overlapping as well as competing directions in modern theology.
The editors hope that readers will seek out the common ground as well as the conflicts, to learn to taste the Word when it is bitter as well as sweet.
James J. Buckley is Professor of Theology at Loyola College in Maryland. He is the author of Seeking the Humanity of God. Professors Jones and Buckley are the editors of Modern Theology and the General Editors of the series Blackwell Readings in Modern Theology. L. Gregory Jones is Professor at Duke University Divinity School. He is the author of three books, including most recently Embodying Forgiveness.