Bad conscience is rampant in the church, asserts Julian Hartt. There is the feeling that the church has mislead the contemporary world by its own commitment to archaic symbols and outworn attitudes. It has continued to endorse and defend a system of values that has eroded almost past recognition. Dr. Hartt shows how this acute anxiety over bad conscience prompts the radical reorientation of Christian thinking identified as theology of culture. The heralds of the New Morality have not been reluctant to point this out, and to demand from the church a fairly severe penance: a readiness to give up the ghost if it cannot secularize its Gospel without reservation or residue. "But," the author says, "the church cannot do this faithfully if it simply looks piously to the past, hopeful to heaven, and with good old American optimism to the future." In this timely and fresh theology of culture for the American situation, the author shows that a deep concern for contemporary culture is an elementary and indispensable part of authentic Christian theological reflection. The revelation of God in Jesus Christ, he contends, gives us both a foundation and a critical posture for the assessment of the world in which we live. Dr. Hartt points out that the initial foothold for Christian theological work is a certain criticism of contemporary life. This will demonstrate what the Christian believes God is and what God demands of him and of all men, whether or not they are Christian or are even "religious" in any ordinary sense. He then goes on to delineate sketches of what he feels are the chief claims of the Christian faith, and what are key realms of culture.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"This book has an amplitude, a richness, a penetration that . . . are seldom to be encountered in Protestant theology or in Christian theology of culture in general."
- James Luther Adams, 'Harvard Divinity School'
Julian Hartt David H. Kelsey
Julian Norris Hartt is a graduate of Dakota Wesleyan University, Garrett Theological Seminary, Northwestern University (M.A.), and Yale University (Ph.D.). From 1932-34, Dr. Hartt served as a minister of United Methodist churches in South Dakota. He has taught theology and philosophy at Berea College (1940-43) and Yale University (1943-53) and was Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology at Yale (1953-72). Hartt is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. He is the author of numerous articles, essays, and books including 'Humanism Versus Theism', 'Toward a Theology of Evangelism', 'Being Known and Being Revealed', 'A Christian Critique of American Culture', and 'Theology and the Church in the University'.