In the ancient conversation between Western philosophy and Christian theology, powerful contemporary voices are arguing for monologue rather than dialogue. Instead of these two disciplines learning from and mutually informing each other, both philosophers and theologians are increasingly disconnected from, and thus unable to hear, what the other is saying, especially in Anglo-American scholarship. Some Christian philosophers are now found claiming methodological authority over doctrine, while some Christian theologians even deny that philosophy has its own integrity as a separate discipline. Against these trends, David Brown has argued over the past thirty years that philosophy and theology are both necessary in order to grapple with the reality of divine mystery and Christian faith. Neither discipline can be reduced to the other, and each has its own contribution to make for a full understanding of what Brown describes as 'a single vision' of God. In this volume, Brown addresses some key topics in philosophical theology, including the created order, experience and revelation, incarnation and redemption, and heaven and our communal destiny. Combining analytic clarity, doctrinal substance, and historical depth, this volume exemplifies Brown's project of truly integrating philosophy and theology. It thus provides an ideal introduction to this vital conversation for undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as a connected argument of interest to specialists in both disciplines.
Table of Contents
Editor’s Introduction Robert MacSwain Part I: The Created Order 1. Why a world at all? 2. Creation and its Alternatives 3. The Problem of Pain: Why Philosophers and Theologians Need Each Other Part II: Experience and Revelation 4. Realism and Religious Experience 5. Present Revelation and Past ‘Problematic’ Texts 6. From Past Meaning to Present Revelation: Evaluating Three Approaches Part III: Incarnation and Redemption 7. Incarnational Models Revisited 8. Trinitarian Personhood and Individuality 9. Anselm on Atonement 10. Images of Atonement: Metaphor and the Dangers of Doctrine Part IV: Heaven and our Communal Destiny 11. Why ‘Saints’ Matter 12. No Heaven Without Purgatory 13. Heaven and the Communion of Living and Departed
David Brown is Emeritus Professor in the School of Divinity at the University of St Andrews.Ever since the publication of The Divine Trinity in 1985, he has been recognized as one of the leading philosophical theologians of Great Britain and an important international voice in the conversation between philosophy and theology. He is a priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, a Fellow of both the British Academy and the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a previous President of the Society for the Study of Theology.
Christopher R. Brewer (PhD, St And) is a Program Officer of the Templeton Religion Trust in Nassau, The Bahamas. He has edited or co-edited six volumes including Christian Theology and the Transformation of Natural Religion: From Incarnation to Sacramentality––Essays in Honour of David Brown.
Robert MacSwain is Associate Professor of Theology at the School of Theology of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, USA. The author of Solved by Sacrifice: Austin Farrer, Fideism, and the Evidence of Faith, he has edited or co-edited five other volumes, including Theology, Aesthetics, and Culture: Responses to the Work of David Brown.
‘God in a Single Vision provides a breathtaking overview of the work of one of the most adventurous and versatile thinkers of an era. David Brown’s intellectual creativity combines with his ability to deploy insights from multiple disciplines to make even the most familiar topics seem fresh and full of interest. This convenient volume displays the range of Brown’s interests and makes his work accessible to a new generation of scholars.’ – Victoria S. Harrison, University of Glasgow, UK
‘It is impossible to do justice to this collection of essays in a brief review, but there is something here to stimulate and challenge every reflective reader… a more or less complete theological vision, as indicated by the title, is presented’ – Adrian Roberts in The Reader
‘The book as a whole is characterized by the eirenic, non-combative stance we have come to expect from Brown (though he says clearly what he disagrees with) and can be recommended as a thoughtful and often original contribution which challenges many current theological clichés.’ – Timothy Gorringe in Theology
‘God in a Single Vision serves as a helpful introduction to Brown’s paradigm, as well as a solid contribution for those interested in the various intersections between philosophy (particularly of an analytic persuasion) and Christian theology.’ – Joel Mayward in Transpositions
‘A Renaissance man in a time of ever-growing specialisation, Brown’s work impresses in scope, research, energy and erudition... His knowledge is breath-taking.’ – Gesa E. Thiessen in New Blackfriars
'Editors Christopher R. Brewer and Robert MacSwain have performed a worthy task in gathering some of philosopher and theologian David Brown’s most important essays into a single volume.' – Benjamin Schewel in Reading Religion