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Early Christian Texts for the Current Multi-faith Context

Early Christian Texts for the Current Multi-faith Context

Larry Hurtado has provided a summary of his and other’s contributions to a conference in Leipzig. In summarising his own contribution, I found the following interesting:

For some 15 centuries, Christian theology has basically been an “in-house” discussion, Christian theologians arguing with one another.  And the key starting points have been theological developments of the 4th century AD and later.  But in the modern context in which again Christianity is simply one religious option among others, it is perhaps again important for theologians to work at articulating Christian faith in ways that can be engaged by people of other faiths.  For that, I suggest that the texts of the first three centuries may now be more valuable than the later writings that have been more frequently the focus of theologians (e.g., Cappadocian Fathers, Augustine, etc.).

2 Responses to Early Christian Texts for the Current Multi-faith Context

  1. I think this is a valid point. For the last three weeks I taught an short course titled “John the Baptist: Then and Now” for a local ecumenical/inter-faith education center. For the first two weeks I looked at ancient sources about John, but the last week was dedicated to John’s presentation in other faith-traditions and art (music, film, painting, and sculpture). It was a lot of fun seeking ways to move from ancient sources to asking what sort of inter-faith dialogue touch point can be created through John’s reception.

    • That sounds really interesting, Brian. That sparks a memory of DC Talk’s “Jesus Freak” in which one of the rapped verses focuses on John the Baptist. Haven’t thought about that in a while!

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