The Dynamics of Grace
The doctrine of grace, concerning the healing, freeing, and empowering presence of the Spirit in human life, is central in Christianity. This readable, yet in-depth, historical and interpretive study retraces the long trajectory of the theology of grace as thinkers grappled with the mystery that envelops the interplay between God's life with us and our common life together. Retrieving the rich symbols of the Christian past and reinterpreting them within their own cultural context, theologians in different eras shaped the development of a Christian anthropology that plays upon all the registers of the greatness and misery of the human condition. The presuppositions, questions, and benchmark anthropologies of early Christianity, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Trent, and Rahner are critically analyzed in light of recent historical studies and in light of a new climate of ecumenical convergence. The exploration ends by probing the anthropology of contemporary liberation theologies that mark another turning point in the tradition by breaking grace out of the realm of privacy and into the sociopolitical arena.
Stephen J. Duffy