Waiting and Being
Creation, Freedom, and Grace in Western Theology
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers
Series: Emerging Scholars
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
This work would not have been possible without the encouragement and
support of far too many people to name. Many, however, are owed special
I owe a special debt of gratitude to Paul DeHart, who oversaw this work in its earliest incarnation as a dissertation. I am also indebted to Patout Burns, my first reader. Both have been exceptional models of scholarship and teaching, and...
This study attempts to address a doctrinal problem is theology. It is no longer common for theologians to attempt to resolve specific predicaments of doctrine. Theology has recently tended instead to focus on the academic studies of figures or the relationship of theological questions to more general intellectual concerns. The working assumption of contemporary theology, at least as a...
1. The Intransigent Division: The Illusory Union of Creation and Grace in Contemporary Theology
My goal in this study is to bring into relief the conceptual and historical obstacles to the articulation of the coherence of the theologies of creation and grace. I believe this task is necessary because the dominant treatments of the unity of these doctrines are unwitting participants in the perpetuation of their separation. Because this continued separation is not recognized in...
2. Nature and the Supernatural: Catholic Theologies of Creation and Grace
In 1946, Henri de Lubac published a collection of several historical essays entitled Surnaturel. Most of the essays in the collection had been previously published elsewhere and had been available for more than twelve years by that time, the earliest published in 1930 and the last in 1934.1 The essays investigated different aspects of the idea of the “supernatural” in patristic and...
3. Sin and Election: Protestant Theologies of Creation and Grace
Ernst Troeltsch reminded his readers in Protestantism and Progress that what we call Protestantism is an abstraction that developed as a shorthand description for disparate cultural, political, and theological concerns that appeared during the sixteenth-century fragmentation of European society.1 Thinking of “Protestantism” as a distinct theological or ecclesial identity is a mistake, but...
4. Metaphysics and Social Relations: Creation and Grace in Augustine, Aquinas, and Luther
In the first chapter of this study, I argued that the separation of the subject from nature in modern philosophy raised a particularly acute problem for theology. That division seemed to eliminate any possibility for certain knowledge of God. The unity of the doctrines of creation and grace became the theological focus for addressing the difficulties raised by this separation. The previous two...
5. A Reconstruction: The Union of Creation and Grace as a Social Relation
In the first chapter, I argued that the modern split between the subject and nature, founded on bourgeois selfhood, posed a number of problems for modern theology to which the articulation of the unity of grace and creation has been seen as the remedy. I argued that, because the experience of the division is determined by bourgeois social relations, any proposed solution will...
“Davis’s book reveals a deep thinker in close conversation with the richest sources of our contemporary theological tradition, one who creatively challenges longstanding dividing lines between nature and grace, Protestant and Catholic. This dense and demanding essay will not just invite re-reading; it...