David L. Johnston [+]
Saint Joseph’s University
Muslims, Jews and Christians construct their vision of reality—as it is and how it ought to be—based on their understanding, sifting out and prioritizing of the material in their sacred texts. Naturally, this theologi- cal effort is fed and often constrained by the weight of inherited tradition, yet it can sometimes break out of the received mold to exhibit the radical tones and buoyant colors of the kingdom of God in fresh and compelling ways. Nevertheless, as Omid Safi indicates, any new burst of “progressive” thinking must also represent “a serious engagement with tradition.” The book before you takes these strategies seriously with the convic- tion that the task of theology has to be undertaken anew in each age and in each locale. Core religious beliefs and values remain, but the vision that results from their application to speci¿c historical con¿gurations necessarily changes from period to period and from context to context.