In Christ and Reconciliation, Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen develops a constructive Christology and theology of salvation in dialogue with the best of Christian tradition, with contemporary theology in its global and contextual diversity, and with other major living faiths. Kärkkäinen’s Constructive Christian Theology for the Pluralistic World is a five-volume project that aims to develop a new approach to and method of doing Christian theology in our pluralistic world. Topics such as diversity, inclusivity, violence, power, cultural hybridity, and justice are part of the constructive theological discussion, along with classical topics such as the messianic consciousness, incarnation, atonement, and the person of Christ. With the metaphor of hospitality serving as the framework for his discussion, Kärkkäinen engages Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism in sympathetic and critical mutual dialogue.
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“Hence, in recent years a complementary and more focused w” (Page 25)
“A contemporary Christology that holds tightly to the best of tradition and continues vibrant discussion of key theological themes can be dynamic and lively. The ‘metaphysical’ questions belong to the core of Christian theology—liberationist, ‘global,’ and postmodern Christologies, not only to ‘traditional’ theologies—lest Jesus be made merely a human figure and ‘salvation’ made a human enterprise to merely improve the conditions of this world. That kind of reductionistic account of Jesus Christ would bear little similarity to biblical and creedal traditions of the undivided Christian church, and hardly could serve as a resource for robust contemporary work for holistic salvation at all levels of human existence.” (Pages 48–49)
“Theology, robustly inclusivistic in its orientation, welcoming testimonies, insights, and interpretations from different traditions and contexts, can also be a truly dialogical enterprise. It honors the otherness of the other. It also makes space for an honest, genuine, authentic sharing of one’s convictions. In pursuing the question of truth as revealed by the triune God, constructive theology also seeks to persuade and convince with the power of dialogical, humble, and respectful argumentation.” (Page 29)
“Moltmann puts it well, in keeping with his overall focus on the cross: ‘We shall attempt to achieve an understanding of the crucified Christ, first of all in the light of his life and ministry, which led to his crucifixion, and then in the light of the eschatological faith which proclaims his resurrection from the dead, and in so doing proclaims him as the Christ.’” (Page 40)
Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen develops a vigorous understanding of Christ as reconciler that is solidly rooted in the Bible and the Christian tradition and at the same time sympathetic to contemporary insights. With awe and admiration readers of this comprehensive and lucid book will no doubt link its author’s name with Thomas, Calvin, Barth, Moltmann, and other theological luminaries. After the completion of Kärkkäinen’s five-volume project, theology will not be the same.
—Peter Phan, Ellacuria Chair of Catholic Social Thought, Georgetown University
Kärkkäinen brings an extraordinary breadth of theological learning and sympathy to this unique project. Though his canvas is vast, his patience and care in representing the views of all he engages are exemplary. . . I am grateful both for what this volume delivers to its readers and for all that it promises to come.
—S. Mark Heim, Samuel Abbot Professor of Christian Theology, Andover Newton Theological School
In continuous dialogue with global theology and world religions, Pentecostal theologian Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen sheds new light on trinitarian Christian faith in all its aspects. . . . Openness to all forms of contextual theology is for him not a matter of political correctness to be expressed in a footnote, but lies at the heart of his methodology. . . . Christ and Reconciliation is a must-read for all theology students.
—Peter De Mey, professor of Roman-Catholic ecclesiology and ecumenism, University of Leuven
Christ and Reconciliation demonstrates a groundbreaking project of reframing constructive and systematic theology in search of a coherent vision in post-Western Christianity: inclusive, dialogical, and hospitable.
—Paul S. Chung, associate professor of mission and world Christianity, Luther Seminary