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The Secular CitySecularization and Urbanization in Theological Perspective$
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Harvey Cox

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691158853

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691158853.001.0001

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Toward a Theology of Social Change

Toward a Theology of Social Change

Chapter:
(p.125) Chapter 5 Toward a Theology of Social Change
Source:
The Secular City
Author(s):

Harvey Cox

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691158853.003.0006

This chapter argues that the starting point for any theology of church today must be a theology of social change. The church is first of all a responding community, a people whose task it is to discern the action of God in the world and to join in His work. The action of God occurs through what theologians have sometimes called “historical events” but what might better be termed “social change.” This means that the church must respond constantly to social change, but this is just the trouble. The doctrines of the church have come from the frayed-out period of classical Christendom and are infected with the ideology of preservation and permanence. The chapter contends that a church whose life is defined and shaped by what God is now doing in the world must allow itself to be broken and reshaped continuously by God's continuous action; hence the need for a theology of social change.

Keywords:   theology, church, social change, classical Christendom, preservation, permanence

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