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BOOK REVIEWS 151 Barr is an Old Testament scholar, and it is not his business to know every aspect of theology-unless of course he chooses to make the sweeping claims he so often makes in this book. It is, in fact, the book's tone that is most offputting -from the self-promoting footnotes to the high-handed pronouncements on the illegitimacy of any approach to biblical interpretation besides Barr's own. Example: "the countless pages of wearisome, inept, and futile exegesis in the Church Dogmatics, especially in the later volumes, were only a testimony to the fact that the Bible cannot be used theologically when the work of biblical scholarship is brushed aside" (203). Such assertions of theology 's dependence on historical-critical biblical scholarship are wholly unwarranted, especially given the consistently waning influence of historical criticism in contemporary biblical hermeneutics. Indeed, we are increasingly aware that some of our most profound insights into the biblical text come from writers like Augustine, Thomas, and Luther-despite the fact that they· received no imprimatur from the guild of historical-critics. The University ofSt. Thomas St. Paul, Minnesota DAVID S. CUNNINGHAM Seeking the Humanity ofGod: Practices, Doctrines, and Catholic Theology. By ]AMES J. BUCKLEY. Collegeville, Minn.: The Liturgical Press, 1992. Pp. xvii+ 222. $14.95 (paper). The enterprise proposed in this work consists in "seeking the humanity of God," as its title indicates. The author is eager to present his thesis explicitly : doing theology is relating the practices and teachings of the Catholic community to the practices and teachings of our common and not so common humanity in ways that engage what God is doing for all humanity in Word and Spirit. (19) Or, stated as a practical recommendation: Seek the humanity of God in each and every particular joy and grief of our lives---{)ur Scriptures and worship, our holy but sinful Church, the reasons we give to a world of diverse gods and unbeliefs, and all our quests for the new heaven and earth God is creating in Word and Spirit. (19-20; see 182) How are we to seek theologically the humanity of God? Still further, the thesis is about seeking the humanity of God as we seek and inquire into specific practices and doctrines and patterns of relationships-as we use our Bible, celebrate liturgies, enact the common goods of the Church, give reasons for the hope that is in us, and identify with and identify the joys and griefs of all humanity. (22; original emphasis) After a first chapter, which acquaints us with Buckley's project, the fol- 152 BOOK REVIEWS lowing ones put forward five sub-theses-each of them italicized at the beginning of every chapter. Thus, chapter two begins with the context set up by the Christian initiation; chapter three deals with Jesus Christ and Scriptures; chapter four discusses views of salvation; chapter five tackles the doctrine of God; and chapter six takes up the issue of the meaning of world history. A look at the table of contents makes it clear that every chapter is subdivided in the same fashion: A, B, and C. The author explicates this threefold architecture: "each chapter describes a pai1icular 'practice,' articulates a specific 'doctrine,' and proposes a theological way of relating those practices and teachings to other practices and teachings" (x). As far as A is concerned, he remarks that the practices with which he commences each chapter are "not catholic 'practices in general' but Catholic practices" (20). (In Buckley's usage, "Catholic"= "Roman Catholic"; see xi.) The role of such practices is highlighted "by describing 'samples' of 'competent speakers'-or 'paradigmatic ideals' of Christian praxis" (20; original emphasis). As far as B is concerned, "each chapter will then provide an instance, a sample, or example of inquiry into teachings or doctrines ... suggesting ways to articulate teachings about specific topics or subject matters in particular context" (20). Finally, as far as C is concerned, "each chapter will provide an example of proposing patterns of relationships between Catholic practices and teachings and other practices and teachings" (21). If readers pay close attention to what is actually going on in his sections A and B, however, they...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2473-3725
Print ISSN
0040-6325
Pages
pp. 151-154
Launched on MUSE
2017-04-05
Open Access
No
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