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Christ, History, and Apocalyptic blurbs arrive

Blurbs from Graham Ward, Nicholas Healy, and Stanley Hauerwas have arrived for Nathan Kerr’s Christ, History and Apocalyptic: The Politics of Christian Mission:

“This is a timely book that traverses twentieth century theology to develop a distinctive understanding of church engagement with the world. Finely executed and acutely discerning it opens up an ecclesiology that is neither culturally accommodating nor counter-cultural. Conceiving the church as fundamentally dispossessive and missionary, Kerr announces a genuinely apocalyptic Christian politics. This is excellent theology for the up and coming generation.”

Graham Ward, Head of the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures University of Manchester

“This is a really exciting book: engaging, provocative, and – above all – constructive. Kerr seeks to reaffirm the Christian claim that Jesus Christ is the Lord of history in the face of modernity’s attempts to subsume Christ into our history. He sets up the issues by means of a lucid and penetrating analysis of Troeltsch’s universalist historicism, which attempts to place Christ and Christianity in the service of the political and social projects of modernity, a form of ‘Constantianism’. The subsequent struggle to reaffirm Christ’s Lordship without abstracting from Christ’s own singular historicity is recounted in chapters on Barth and Hauerwas. Both are treated masterfully, with trenchant yet fair critical analysis, and always with a constructive intent. The critique of Hauerwas will surprise some, since in spite of his intent Hauerwas ends up looking much more Troeltschian than one would expect. The book culminates in a Yoder-inspired case for ‘apocalyptic historicism’, an original and satisfying proposal that draws together elements of all the thinkers he discusses.

“In spite of the complexity of its material, this fascinating book is so remarkably clear throughout that I found it hard to put down. Kerr’s sophisticated description of ‘apocalyptic historicism’ addresses a multitude of significant issues in Christology, ecclesiology and missiology. It should not be ignored, for it provides an excellent point of departure for further inquiry into the relation between Christ and church, and church and world.”

Nicholas M. Healy, Professor, Theology and Religious Studies and Associate Dean, St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, St. John’s University, Queens, NY

“A rare gift-a critic from whom you learn. Though I do not agree with all of his criticisms of my work, Kerr–drawing imaginatively and creatively on the work of Troeltsch and Barth– has rightly framed the questions central to my and Yoder’s project. We are in his debt for having done so. In this book, Kerr not only establishes himself as one of the most able readers of my and Yoder’s work, but he is clearly a theologian in his own right. We will have much to learn from him in the future.”

Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics, Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC



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