This book identifies the distinguishing features of fundamental theology, as distinct from philosophical theology, natural theology, apologetics, and other similar disciplines. Addressing the potential for confusion about basic Christian claims and beliefs, Gerald O'Collins sets out to relaunch fundamental theology as a discipline by presenting a coherent vision of basic theological questions and positions that lay the ground for work in specific areas of systematic theology.
Rethinking Fundamental Theology examines central theological questions: about God, human experience and, specifically, religious experience; the divine revelation coming through the history of Israel and through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus; human faith that responds to revelation; the nature of tradition that transmits the record and reality of revelation; the structure of biblical inspiration and truth, as well as basic issues concerned with the formation of the canon; the founding of the Church with some leadership structures; the relationship between Christ's revelation and the faith of those who follow other religions. O'Collins concludes with some reflections on theological method.
Written with the scholarship and accessibility for which O'Collins is known and valued, this book will relaunch fundamental theology as a distinct and necessary discipline in faculties and departments of theology and religious studies around the world.
Born in Melbourne (Australia), Gerald O'Collins was ordained a priest in 1963, took his PhD at the University of Cambridge in 1968 and taught for 33 years at the Gregorian University (Rome), where he was also dean of theology (1985-91). Now living back in Australia, he is an adjunct professor of the Australian Catholic University. Author or co-author of 56 published books and of hundreds of articles in professional and popular journals, he is widely known for his appearances on BBC and as a lecturer in many universities and colleges around the world and has chaired conferences for the Templeton Foundation. He has received numerous honorary doctorates and other awards, including the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), the highest honour awarded through the Australian government.