For many believers today the doctrines of Atonement, Christology and the Trinity seem like puzzling constructions produced by academic theologians. They are cast in unintelligible forms of thought derived from Platonism or from feudal society, and for many their existential relevance for life today remains unclear. This book introduces these doctrines and proposes a reinterpretation in the light of the claim of many Christian mystics that ultimate happiness is to be found in enjoying the loving fellowship of God. This claim is a 'matrix of faith' in terms of which these doctrines are shown to be relevant for the life of faith of believers today. Furthermore, since this matrix can be defended within all three Abrahamic traditions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the proposed understanding of these doctrines can also contribute usefully to the necessary dialogue between these traditions in a globalised world.
Professor BrA1/4mmer was born in South Africa in 1932. He studied philosophy and theology at the universities of Stellenbosch, Harvard, Utrecht and Oxford and was professor in the Philosophy of Religion at the University of Utrecht from 1967 to 1997. His writings include Theology and Philosophical Inquiry (London 1981, Philadelphia, 1982; also in Dutch), What are we Doing when we Pray? (London, 1984; also in Dutch and in German), Speaking of a Personal God (Cambridge, 1992; also in Dutch), The Model of Love (Cambridge, 1993; also in Dutch and in Korean), Faith and the Modern World. Lectures and Conversations in Iran (Tehran, 2004), Meaning and the Christian Faith. Collected Writings of Vincent BrA1/4mmer (Ashgate, forthcoming).
Contents: Part 1 Prologue: The intelligibility of Christian doctrine. Part 2 Fellowship with God: The matrix of faith: Ultimate happiness and fellowship with God; Estrangement and reconciliation. Part 3 Christian Doctrine: Interpreting the matrix: The doctrine of atonement; The doctrine of Christology; The doctrine of the Trinity. Part 4 Epilogue: Dialogue and the matrix of faith. Index.