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Waiting and Being

Creation, Freedom, and Grace in Western Theology

By Joshua B. Davis

Publication Year: 2013

The problem of creation and grace has a long history of contention within Protestant and Catholic theology, involving not only internecine conflict within the traditions but fueling, as well, ecumenical debates that have continued a dogmatic divide. This volume traces out that conflict in modern Catholic and Protestant dogmatics and provides a historical genealogy that situates the origin of the problem within different emphases in the thought of St. Augustine. The author puts forward an argument and reconstruction of the problem that overcomes the longstanding abstractions, elisions, and divisions that have characterized the theological discussion. What is called for is a reclamation of the reading of Augustine in Aquinas and Luther, a recovery of an ethical metaphysics, and a Christological reconstruction of being and otherness as the path toward a concrete union of creation and grace

Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers

Series: Emerging Scholars

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

This work would not have been possible without the encouragement and support of far too many people to name. Many, however, are owed special thanks.
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...

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pp. 1-8

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...

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1. The Intransigent Division: The Illusory Union of Creation and Grace in Contemporary Theology

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pp. 9-30

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...

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2. Nature and the Supernatural: Catholic Theologies of Creation and Grace

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pp. 31-62

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...

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3. Sin and Election: Protestant Theologies of Creation and Grace

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pp. 63-90

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...

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4. Metaphysics and Social Relations: Creation and Grace in Augustine, Aquinas, and Luther

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pp. 91-122

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...

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5. A Reconstruction: The Union of Creation and Grace as a Social Relation

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pp. 123-138

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...


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pp. 139-142

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Additional Praise

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p. 143-143

“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...

Back Cover

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p. 155-155

E-ISBN-13: 9781451465228
E-ISBN-10: 145146522X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780800699901
Print-ISBN-10: 0800699904

Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: Emerging Scholars