Pannenberg A Guide for the Perplexed Synopsis
Wolfhart Pannenberg is one of the most challenging contemporary theologians for students to study. This Guide for the Perplexed , explains his school of thought and overall ideas in a comprehensive and accessible form. Wolfhart Pannenberg (b 1928) is one of the most influential theologians and philosophers of our time. He studied under Karl Barth and became Professor of Systematic Theology at Mainz and Munich, where he still lives. In this Guide for the Perplexed , Tim Bradshaw explains Pannenberg's thought, in which theology is not separable from a 'secular' philosophy, along the grain of his development. Key texts are used for this, and difficult perplexing ideas, such as his notion of 'retroactivity' from the future back through the past and present, are addressed in the context of Pannenberg's overarching view of things. His doctrine of the Trinity, his view of simultaneity and human development, as well as his engagement with the natural sciences are major areas of perplexity given attention. How the ideal is instantiated in the real, or how the real is the rational, is argued as a clue to his system. Continuum's Guides for the Perplexed are clear, concise and accessible introductions to thinkers, writers and subjects that students and readers can find especially challenging - or indeed downright bewildering. Concentrating specifically on what it is that makes the subject difficult to grasp, these books explain and explore key themes and ideas, guiding the reader towards a thorough understanding of demanding material.
Pannenberg A Guide for the Perplexed Press Reviews
It requires the pen of Pannenberg himself to show...the meaningfulness of history. But Bradshaw guides us securely. Church Times, February 2010. 'Dr Bradshaw offers us a thorough, lucid and reliable guide to the theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg, in a way that should surely bring illumination to the perplexed reader. He patiently builds up the whole picture of Pannenberg's thought by way of a close reading of texts, beginning from Pannenberg's early work on revelation as history, through his magisterial work on Christology, to his mature account of Trinity, concluding with a final vision of human destiny in resurrection from the dead. Bradshaw's method in the 'story' of the book echoes Pannenberg's own theory of knowledge, that new horizons of understanding open up as history proceeds and new insights arrive from the future, that past events take on new meaning as more of history unfolds, and that only from the end or the 'whole' can the path of history be properly understood. It is the remarkable achievement of this guide to have a similar forward momentum that carries the reader on to the end. Bradshaw is taking the reader on a journey of understanding through careful exposition which is widely accessible and only occasionally technical. This developmental approach seems to reflect the spirit of Hegel, whom Bradshaw argues is in fact the constant companion of Pannenberg. An original feature of this guide is the way Bradshaw exposes a much greater debt to Hegel in Pannenberg than is usually recognized, while judiciously pointing out his differences from the earlier thinker. With regard to Trinity, for example, Bradshaw shows how Pannenberg adopts Hegel's vision of reciprocal self-distinction of the persons, while avoiding his absolute subjectivity. He also shows how Pannenberg is strongly influenced by a Hegelian account of divine self-revelation through the processes of history, while at the same time insisting on the freedom of God as the God of the future. As Bradshaw neatly puts it, Pannenberg wants to 'out-Hegel Hegel'. In showing how Pannenberg thus evades any neat labelling, Bradshaw also situates him 'Tim Bradhsaw offers us here the best introduction to Pannenberg available in English. More than this, his book is also a trenchant defence of Pannenberg's Hegelian reconstruction of Christianity. Whether or not the reader is convinced, there is no doubt about the strength and clarity of the argument.' - Lewis Ayres, Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University, UK. --Sanford Lakoff 'Bradshaw's book will benefit students of Pannenberg and provide a valuable starting point for engagement with this prominent figure of modern theology.'--Sanford Lakoff This fine introduction to Pannenberg's theology navigates Pannenberg's views of God, history, Christology, and ontology in accessible language for those uninitiated into his thinking... Pannenberg is not a thinker quickly mastered. Bradshaw indeed helps the perplexed by walking the neophyte through complex philosophical vocabulary and concepts. His text is to be recommended for students of Pannenberg's thought or contemporary theology in general.--Sanford Lakoff 'Timothy Bradshaw offers a lucid and reliable exposition of the range of Pannenberg's theology; his book will serve as an excellent guide to the work of one of the most eminent modern Christian minds.' - John Webster, King's College, Aberdeen, Scotland--Sanford Lakoff