Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God

Elizabeth A. Johnson

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Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God

Quest for the Living God Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God From the author s introduction Since the middle of the twentieth century there has been a renaissance of new insights into God in the Christian tradition On different continents under pressure from h

  • Title: Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God
  • Author: Elizabeth A. Johnson
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 402
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • From the author s introduction Since the middle of the twentieth century there has been a renaissance of new insights into God in the Christian tradition On different continents, under pressure from historical events and social conditions, people of faith have glimpsed the living God in fresh ways It is not that a wholly different God is discovered from the One believedFrom the author s introduction Since the middle of the twentieth century there has been a renaissance of new insights into God in the Christian tradition On different continents, under pressure from historical events and social conditions, people of faith have glimpsed the living God in fresh ways It is not that a wholly different God is discovered from the One believed in by previous generations Christian faith does not believe in a new God but, finding itself in new situations, seeks the presence of God there Aspects long forgotten are brought into new relationships with current events, and the depths of divine compassion are appreciated in ways not previously imagined This book further explores these discoveries After the first chapter describes Elizabeth Johnson s point of departure and the rules of engagement, each succeeding chapter distills a discrete idea of God Featured are transcendental, political, liberation, feminist, black, hispanic, interreligious, and ecological theologies, ending with the particular Christian idea of the one God as Trinity The aim of the book is to increase the light of theological knowledge, ever ancient, ever new, among a wide circle of people, including students, pastoral ministers, and everyone who questions, wonders, or thinks about their faith.

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    One thought on “Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God

    1. Tom on said:

      This is a difficult book to review. Nevertheless, I found it to be very informative, very interesting, hopeful and inspiring. You may be aware that this book has created considerable controversy within the Catholic Church. However, National Catholic Reporter recognized the author with the 2011 Person of the Year award. The author, Sr. Elizabeth Johnson, is a Catholic nun and a theologian. As you may suspect, her ideas regarding authority in the Church, the role of women, the love of God for peop [...]

    2. Gene on said:

      This is a book for those seekers- especially from the Christian Catholic tradition- who are looking for clear and insightful descriptions of how various contemporary experiences of environmentalists, struggling poor, women, etc. are elaborating fresh articulations of the presence of the mystery of God in today's world. Rich annotated bibligraphies allow you to continue studies. Johnson is one of the hottest tickets on the theology stage today.

    3. M Christopher on said:

      An outstanding review of late 20th - early 21st century Christian theology, this very readable book drew rebukes from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops for Sr. Elizabeth Johnson. Alas, this is more a mark of their knee-jerk reactionary stances than of her scholarship, which is unimpeachable. She covers transcendental, political, liberation, feminist, Black, Latinx, interreligious, and ecological theologies with aplomb and sympathy. This is an excellent primer on current trends in theology fo [...]

    4. Eileen on said:

      Banned by the Catholic Church, this book outlines new territory being explored by recent Christian theologians. Mostly from the Roman Catholic point of view, but mentions some Protestants also. Interesting take on how to continue to value the past while embracing a bigger picture, learning from the worldwide Christian community as well as other faiths, and being creative in an expansive new way of apprehending God.

    5. Victoria Gaile on said:

      Solid, broad, well-explained explorations in theology. Very accessible, with repeated returns back to "why it matters" for an ordinary person trying to live a faithful life. The bibliographies at the end of each chapter for further reading are practically worth the price of admission themselves.

    6. Doreen Farrar on said:

      An overview of modern Christian theology, with an emphasis on the Roman Catholic viewpoint. I enjoyed Professor Johnson's writing style and her clear explanations. Written in the early 21st century, this book is highly recommended for anyone with an interest in how the Roman Catholic Church has moved from Vatican II to Pope Francis.

    7. Carol on said:

      One of the best theological works I've ever read. I particularly liked all the practical implications for the spiritual life.

    8. Sheldon on said:

      One of catholicism's leading women theolgians presents a very readable book on the nature of God. Written in terms that lay people can understand and appreciate.

    9. Edward on said:

      A quest for the "living" God? Makes you wonder if a "dead" God is more prevalent these days. If that's true, I suspect it's a "dead" God who is conceived in anthropomorphic terms as a creator "out there" who formed and keeps the universe existing.This is certainly not what Johnson has in mind. In her introduction she points out that in the latter half of the 20th century Christians have been "gaining glimpses of the living God in fresh and unexpected ways." What they all have in common is a real [...]

    10. Paul on said:

      QUEST FOR THE LIVING GODMapping Frontiers in the Theology of GodElizabeth A. Johnson, continuum, NY, London. 2007. Xiii, 234.In general, I found in the first 2 chapters insights with which I could believe. I read the book before I read the criticisms of the bishops. Thereafter, much of what I read or saw or felt was the same experience that I had in the period from 1967 through the 1970’s, words that were much the same as mine but meant something else. Those who spoke them (Tony Valla, etc.) l [...]

    11. Ephrem Arcement on said:

      This book is a wonderful example of prophetic theology at its best! Challenging, clear, continually insightful, thoughtful, always assertive without ever becoming demeaning, constructive, critical yet respectful. If you're wondering what's going on in the theological world of contemporary Christian thought, this book will place you squarely in the know. Even if you don't agree with all of Sr. Johnson's perspectives, I don't think you'll regret having been exposed to her articulate quest for the [...]

    12. Cappy on said:

      "As history shows, dead metaphors make good idols (pg. 20)""In jubilation and praise, lamentation and mourning, thanksgiving and petition, crying out and the final falling into silence, human beings name God with a symphony of notes (pg 21).""But as Rahner once famously noted, not all who live at the same time are contemporaries (pg. 29).""A question presumes that we do not know something. In an interesting way it also implies that we already do know a little something or it would be impossible [...]

    13. Jonna Higgins-Freese on said:

      I have been a fan of Elizabeth Johnson since I read _She Who Is_. There was nothing new to me in this book, but it was a nice summary of the ways in which various social and historical factors have influenced our thinking-about-God (theology). I found the chapter on the God of Compassion -- the ways in which Christian theology has had to change in grappling with the Holocaust -- to be particularly helpful. The chapter on white privilege and racism was also helpful, with its reminder about black [...]

    14. Nicole Mercer on said:

      I really enjoyed this book. Elizabeth Johnson is an excellent writer. I like the overarching idea of different people connecting with God in their own way and attaching onto different biblical ideas to fuel their own unique spiritual needs. I particularly connected with the chapters on women, religious pluralism, and science. In each case I observed a more scholarly perspective than I'd heard before. For example, I'd never heard the scholarly argument that Wisdom is the feminine perspective of t [...]

    15. Toni on said:

      I chose to read this book because of the controversy surrounding the author Sr. Elizabeth Johnson and the US College of Bishops.After reading the book ,I am not sure why the controversy and "gag order" exists,unless the Bishops are afraid of change, afraid of believers having minds of their own, afraid of faith in the living God.One could possibly add afraid of feminism. Makes you think. I was fascinated by her view of the Holy Spirit ,whom I always relegated to being a guest at the Pentecost ,t [...]

    16. Adam Ross on said:

      A helpful and fascinating summary of the major developments in 20th century theology on our understanding of God. Johnson covers all of the major developments, their Scriptural basis, and how they each work together to give us a better picture of the Divine that is ultimately beyond words and descriptions. Chapters on liberation theology, mystical theology, feminist theology, and more, as well as a great introduction to the thought of the gigantic Roman Catholic theologian Karl Rahner. Many good [...]

    17. Jim Mcnulty on said:

      I think this is a wonderful book. It was beautifully written and very well supported with an extensive bibliography. I was especially appreciative of the way the author gathered and presented culturally driven views of the nature of God. The process of reading this book was both educational and enlightening for me. The beautiful way in which the author presented her thoughts about the nature of God encouraged me to think in new ways and explore new facets of the unlimited possibilities that exis [...]

    18. Leigh Anne on said:

      Crazy dense with content and challenging on a number of levels. This will be one of those books I come back to more than once to re-examine the concepts of theology from a variety of perspectives, including mine that certainly do change as I grow older. I'd recommend it for anyone who wants to take a look at the Christian message and how it is interpreted and filtered by different cultures and experiences.

    19. Tom Gorski on said:

      Brilliant woman (Sisters of St. Joseph) who "quests" for a living God rather than a dead God (I think many people prefer a "dead" God - meaning one that makes no demands on a person). An eminant and award winning American Catholic thelogian, distinguished professor of Theology at Fordhamd in trouble with the American bishops for this book (which, in itself, stands as a great recommendation to read).

    20. Tom on said:

      The fact that the reactionary Committee on Doctrine of US Conference of Catholic Bishops has attacked Johnson's book makes me think it must be worth reading (and I say this as one who was raised a Catholic and still attends church regularly). See article below from National Catholic Reporter, an independent journal, for report that includes Johnson's response to CDronline/news/faith-paris

    21. Sarah on said:

      I love me some theology, and this did a nice job introducing a variety of different Christian/Catholic ways of thinking about God. I learned the word pneumatology. Some of the chapters seemed like overviews, and they were, so it's nice that she includes a "suggested reading" section at the end of each.

    22. Andy on said:

      Elizabeth Johnson provides new perspectives by presenting theologies from various cultures and contexts, how people come to know and relate to God in different ways. The book is respectable, balanced, and mind-opening. It has made me appreciate my Christian faith and God's work in our world much more.

    23. Kaya on said:

      This was recommended by two friends who are feminist theologians, and I found it both informative and engaging. At some points, the language gets a bit dry, but on the whole Johnson does a commendable job of helping us view Christian theology through the filters of other world religions, feminism, liberation theology, ecology, and the theologies of American minority groups.

    24. Francine on said:

      I borrowed this one as a supplement to a text book. What good fortune that I stumbled into it. I've read the author's book, Truly Our Sister. This was another great book from Elizabeth Johnson.There is something here for all seekers of deeper understanding and I've found her "Further Reading" after each chapter just wonderful!

    25. Annabelle on said:

      I liked this book and appreciated the different approach Johnson took to theology. I particularly enjoyed that she highlighted the mystery of God. I also liked her discussions of creation and religious pluralism.

    26. Albus on said:

      This might be because I was forced to read this book for theology class and had to take tests over it, but I hated it. There was some interesting content, like the chapters over other religions and how Catholics handle them and feminist theology.

    27. Saiisha on said:

      Well researched, well written. Not sure what the gag order was all about, but if it got this book more readers, that's awesome! It makes people think - that's what we've been given reasoning and intelligence for :)

    28. Amanda Wehrman on said:

      I liked that Johnson explored so many different traditions through which people experience God. This was good fodder for my discussion group, even if some of the chapters felt a little repetitive in terms of insight gained.

    29. Mary Gail O'Dea on said:

      This a gorgeous book by feminist theologian Elizabeth Johnson. It presents a deeply relational view of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as well as the most coherent and equally relational conceptualization of the Trinity. I loved every word!

    30. Deb Weina on said:

      Found this book to be quite insightful in some of the chapters. Definitely will enhance conversations in my class next weekend. Especially enjoyed several of the chapters on Liberation, Fiesta, Black and Creation Theology.

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