Religion and Human Nature
Indian ideas of rebirth, karma, and liberation from samsara are critically analysed and compared with semitic belief in the intermediate state of Sheol, Purgatory or Paradise, the Final Judgement and the resurrection of the body. The impact of scientific theories of cosmic and biological evolution on religious beliefs is assessed, and a form of 'soft emergent materialism' is defended, with regard to the soul.In this context, a Christian doctrine of original sin and atonement is presented, stressing the idea of soterial, as opposed to forensic, justice.Finally, a Christian view of personal immortality and the 'end of all things' is developed in conversation with Jewish and Muslim beliefs about judgement and resurrection.
a project in several volumes that is systematic in its coverage of belief ... remarkable project ... Ward engages critically with a range of sources ... Ward presents a persuasive picture of the physical universe as 'an expression of the mind and heart of God' ... he has illuminated a range of difficult issues where Christians, including theologians, feel particularly unsure ... The three volumes so far published are a remarkable achievement and seal Keith Ward's reputation as the most productive and constructive theologian writing in English today. (Paul Avis, Anglican Theological Review, LXXXII:1)truly a work of comparative theology, weaving in and out of the different traditions ... a penetrating analysis of many of those facile doctrines which now dominate our ontological discourse ... This is a well-written, fascinating and provocative study. It covers a wide spectrum of Christian theology and deals thoughtfully in its engagement with the increasingly fraught public conversation about what it is to be human ... his book merits serious study, not only by Christians but by anyone interested in what monotheism has to say about human nature at the beginning of the 21st century. (James C Conroy, Global Dialogue, Winter 2000)
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The Shift to Modernity: Christ and the Doctrine of Creation in the Theologies of Schleiermacher and Barth