Over the last thirty years a number of theologians have been using aspects of sociology alongside the more traditional resources of philosophy. In turn, sociologists with an interest in theology have also contributed to an interaction between theology and sociology. The time is right to revisit the dialogue between theologians and sociologists. In his new trilogy on Sociological Theology, Robin Gill makes a renewed contribution to the mapping of three abiding ways of relating theology and sociology, with the three volumes covering: Theology in a Social Context; Theology Shaped by Society; Society Shaped by Theology. Society Shaped by Theology explores the possibility that theological concepts may sometimes still be influential in the modern world. It follows in the tradition of Max Weber, arguing that theological virtues and debates can at times be transposed, wittingly or unwittingly, into society at large. Robin Gill examines the unusual instance of the public debate about Honest to God in the 1960s, but then turns to the current debate about faith and social capital, adding fresh and unexpected evidence.
Finally Gill argues that bioethics in the public domain, especially on global issues such as AIDS, can be enriched and deepened by a judicious use of theological virtues.
Robin Gill is Professor of Applied Theology, University of Kent at Canterbury. He has written extensively in the fields of Applied Theology, Christian Ethics, health care, and the church, producing a large number of leading books and papers. His previous appointments include: Michael Ramsey Professor of Modern Theology, University of Kent; William Leech Professorial Fellow in Applied Theology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne; Senior Lecturer and Associate Dean, Department of Christian Ethics and Practical Theology, University of Edinburgh; Lecturer, Anglican Theological College, Papua New Guinea. He is also a Council Member, Nuffield Council on Bioethics; Member of British Medical Association's Medical Ethics Committee; and has chaired many other committees and societies.
Contents: Introduction; Part I Social Significance: The social significance of theology; The social significance of the Honest to God debate; Prophecy and the transposition of virtues; Prophecy and exclusivism; Prophecy as praxis. Part II Social Capital: Theology and social capital; Altruism among churchgoers. Part III Theological Virtues Transposed: Virtues in the synoptic healing stories; Theological virtues in the public forum; Afterword; Works cited; Index.
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