Theology Shaped by Society argues that the sociology of knowledge can make an important contribution to theology. Part I argues that theology can be seen as a 'socially constructed reality' that is sometimes dangerously related to power but, at other times, that is a positively engaged discipline taking the risk of being shaped by particular societies and cultures. From this second perspective theology is seen properly as a thoroughly relational discipline, as itself a social system. Part II examines mission shaped by society and maps this in practical terms by examining recent, and surprising, religious trends in York. Part III shows how music can imaginatively shape theology and reveal unexpected resonances. Over the last 30 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; and Society Shaped by Theology.
Robin Gill is currently 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 Theology Socially Structured: Theology and the sociology of knowledge; The social determinants of theology; Determinants in the Churches' responses to abortion; Power, conflict and inconsistency; Theology: a social system. Part II Mission and Social Change: Mission shaped by society: York revisited. Part III Music Shaping Theology: Music shaping Christian identity; Theology exemplified by music; Works cited; Index.