By Hug Rayment-Pickard
In fifty marvelous brief essays one of many UK's liveliest younger writers on faith introduces the foremost issues, activities and thinkers in theology. George Pattison, Professor of Divinity on the college of Oxford says: 'Hugh Rayment-Pickard is without doubt one of the clearest thinkers at the British theological scene, and 50 Key thoughts in Theology opens the door to theology for college kids and common readers alike. He has provided a legitimate consultant for the at a loss for words and a stimulus to argument among the interested.'
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Extra info for 50 Key Concepts in Theology
Thomas Aquinas (1225–74) said that Christians ‘recognize in the cross of Christ the death of God, by which he has conquered the devil and the world’. Matthew Arnold (1822–88) spoke in his poem ‘Dover Beach’ (1867) of the ‘melancholy, long, withdrawing roar’ as the ‘Sea of Faith’ recedes. ’ Don Cupitt (1935– ) argued in a ground-breaking book, Taking Leave of God (1980), that we only need God as a guiding ‘ideal’ or ‘the sum of our values’, but that the idea of a ‘real’ God is redundant. Ludwig Feuerbach (1804–72) argued that God is simply a projection of human concerns.
Ludwig Feuerbach offered a psychological argument for atheism, saying that God is only a projection of our inner human need for meaning. Nietzsche argued that belief in God is an illusion that inhibits ‘the will to life’. Karl Marx offered a political critique of theism, saying that belief in God is a drug (‘the opium of the people’) that deadens our desire to fight for justice. Sigmund Freud argued that belief in God is a cultural projection of our need for a ‘father figure’ to protect us from the hostile forces of nature.
Yet churches have inevitably been obliged to develop doctrines to define their identities. Even apparently non-doctrinal denominations (such as the Quakers) have practices and structures that reflect implicit doctrines. Indeed, the idea of a church without any doctrines whatsoever is unimaginable. But the process of turning the mostly narrative texts of the Bible into doctrines has been a fraught business. St Paul complained of schisms in the church in Corinth, and disputes over what the Church should be teaching have continued ever since.
50 Key Concepts in Theology by Hug Rayment-Pickard