History and Eschatology

Jesus and the Promise of Natural Theology

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
N. T. Wright
  • Waco, TX: 
    Baylor University Press
    , November
     2019.
     365 pages.
     $34.95.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9781481309622.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

How can we know about God? That question increasingly bothered scientists and philosophers in the modern period as they chipped away at previously imagined "certainties." They refused to take on trust the "special revelation" of the Christian Bible, trying instead to argue up to God from the "natural" world. That is the theme of the Gifford Lectures, inaugurated over 130 years ago. This natural theology has usually bracketed out the Bible and Jesus√¢and with them, usually, the scholars who study them. History and Eschatology: Jesus and the Promise of Natural Theology represents the first Gifford delivered by a New Testament scholar since Rudolf Bultmann in 1955. Against Bultmann's dehistoricized approach, N. T. Wright argues that, since the philosophical and cultural movements that generated the natural theology debates also treated Jesus as a genuine human being√¢part of the "natural world"√¢there is no reason the historical Jesus should be off-limits. What would happen if we brought him back into the discussion? What, in particular, might "history" and "eschatology" really mean? And what might that say about "knowledge" itself? This lively and wide-ranging discussion invites us to see Jesus himself in a different light by better acquainting ourselves with the first-century Jewish world. Genuine historical study challenges not only what we thought we knew but how we know it. The crucifixion of the subsequently resurrected Jesus, as solid an event as any in the "natural" world, turns out to meet, in unexpected and suggestive ways, the puzzles of the ultimate questions asked by every culture. At the same time, these events open up vistas of the eschatological promise held out to the entire natural order. The result is a larger vision, both of "natural theology" and of Jesus himself, than either the academy or the church has normally expected.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

N. T. Wright is the former Bishop of Durham and is Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St Andrews. 

Categories: 

Comments

Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.