Download Canon and Criterion in Christian Theology: From the Fathers by William J. Abraham PDF

By William J. Abraham

The e-book presents an unique and significant narrative at the value of canon within the Christian culture. ordinary debts of canon lessen canon to scripture and deal with scripture as a criterion of fact. Scripture is then comparable in optimistic or detrimental how one can culture, cause, and event. Such tasks contain a misreading of the that means and content material of canon--they find the canonical historical past of the church inside of epistemology--and Abraham charts the deadly outcomes of this circulation, from the Fathers to fashionable feminist theology. within the strategy he exhibits that the important epistemological issues of the Enlightenment have Christian origins and echoes. He additionally indicates that the an important advancements of theology from the Reformation onwards contain striking efforts to mend the rules of religion. This trajectory is now exhausted theologically and spiritually. therefore, the door is opened for a restoration of the whole canonical history of the early church and for clean paintings at the epistemology of theology.

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It is as if writing confines or ossifies thought; at best what is written only serves as a reminder of what is already known. The profoundest truth cannot be encapsulated in writing; living thought needs the give and take of speech in dialogue. How widespread such an attitude was among the Greeks is disputed. However, though an emphasis in Plato, it was not a peculiarity of his. This attitude explains why in literary circles in Rome and Alexandria, and probably elsewhere in the Hellenistic age, “publication” did not signify the appearance of a book or volume but of its public recitation.

33 As time progressed, the written material related to the apostles became even more significant. While it is clear that the writings of the New Testament played some role in the thinking of the Apostolic Fathers, like Clement of Rome and Ignatius, and also in that of apologists like Polycarp and Papias, they do not initially have a status which could be accurately described as canonical. Their role is significantly altered by crucial developments in the middle of the second century, especially the impetus furnished by Marcion.

Yet, the claim that the canon of Scripture is not an epistemic criterion is a startling one, not least because there are powerful pressures at work to transform the canon of Scripture into a criterion of justification. If we are to withstand these pressures, it is obvious that we need an account of canonization which will, first, bring out the complex, multi-dimensional nature of the Church's canonical heritage; second, show negatively that canonization was not directly the adoption of an epistemology; and third, suggest positively that it is better to think of the process of canonization as the adoption of a complex means of grace.

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