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BOOK REVIEWS 493 There are, however, a couple of areas in the work where I find it difficult to understand the author's point. For example, I think it would have been helpful for Burrell to explain more precisely within his text what he means by Christian philosophy. The more I study this notion the more I become convinced this is simply an analogous concept for a particular way of doing theology -namely, of using the habit of philosophical argumentation within the context of theological investigation. Burrell, however, seems to think that Christian philosophy is something other than the theological use of the habit of philosophical argumentation (for instance, that it is a "logical system"see 55); but when he gives instances of Aquinas's application of Christian philosophy (for example, 21) what is formal in Aquinas's activity seems to be the habit of theological reasoning illuminating that of philosophical reasoning . Certainly, however, against the background of Burrell's overall purpose, these issues are of minor import and do not detract from the metaphysical beauty of Burrell's scholarship-which, as I have already noted, is difficult to match. PETER A. REDPATH St. John's University Staten Island, New York Theology and Narrative: Selected Essays. By HANS W FREI. Edited by George Hunsinger and William C. Placher. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. Pp. 274. $35.00 (cloth). To review a collection of ten essays, with introduction and afterword by the editors, poses several challenges. One temptation is to attempt the impossible : to give an adequate reading of each of the essays as well as an assessment of the work of the editors as to their choice of materials and their comments upon them. One risks writing a dozen reviews rather than one. Another temptation is to offer either a synthetic view of the collection, thereby imposing a unity which may not be entirely warranted by the essays themselves, or a highly selective view according to a single theme which the reviewer takes as most important or interesting. Theology and Narrative demands a following of ancient advice: peccafortiter. The reader can be exceedingly grateful for the fine "Introduction" by William Placher, and the brief but clear introductions to each essay. In his usual lucid and flowing style, he offers us much more than a mere chronological precis of the essays. His remarks offer an albeit brief but thorough synthetic and critical view of the work of Hans Frei. In fact, I would suggest, his introduction is itself an excellent "book review." By contrast, the "Afterword" by George Hunsinger is principally focussed outside this col- 494 BOOK REVIEWS lection. He takes the first essay of the collection, "Remarks in Connection with a Theological Proposal," as the light by which to interpret "the principal work by which he [Frei] is known to us not as an intellectual historian or as a commentator on the theology of others but as a theologian himself' (235). That work, The Identity ofJesus Chri-st, is the subject of a careful analysis for its "polemic," "method," and "content." Hunsinger applies the same grid to The Eclipse of Biblical Narrative (chiefly in the footnotes), and in sketchy form to the other posthumous collection of writings by Frei, Types ofChmtian Theology. Hunsinger is at his best in laying out the argument of Identity. There is little doubt that to understand Frei one must grasp and evaluate the theological positions from which he takes his distance, the methods by which he makes their problems his own, and the deep principles which guide his solutions, at least as evidenced in the Christology he proposes, and by implication in the rest of the doctrinal areas of Christian thought. The excursus in footnote thirteen on the relation of meaning and truth in the gospel narratives, and the relation of faith and history that it presupposes, deserves a careful reading. To clarify the argument of Identity is no small job, and Hunsinger offers many felicitous insights. However, whether one can do so without integrating the historical work of Eclipse, the initial stance found in Frei's doctoral dissertation , and the admittedly fragmentary but nonetheless definite position taken in Types I doubt. That is...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2473-3725
Print ISSN
0040-6325
Pages
pp. 493-498
Launched on MUSE
2017-04-05
Open Access
No
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