Read Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God by Elizabeth A. Johnson Free Online
Book Title: Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God|
The author of the book: Elizabeth A. Johnson
ISBN 13: 9780826417701
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 484 KB
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Edition: Bloomsbury Academic
Date of issue: October 14th 2007
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'Since the middle of the twentieth century,' writes Elizabeth Johnson, 'there has been a renaissance of new insights into God in the Christian tradition. On different continents, under pressure from historical events and social conditions, people of faith have glimpsed the living God in fresh ways. It is not that a wholly different God is discovered from the One believed in by previous generations. Christian faith does not believe in a new God but, finding itself in new situations, seeks the presence of God there. Aspects long-forgotten are brought into new relationships with current events, and the depths of divine compassion are appreciated in ways not previously imagined.' This book sets out the fruit of these discoveries. The first chapter describes Johnson's point of departure and the rules of engagement, with each succeeding chapter distilling a discrete idea of God. Featured are transcendental, political, liberation, feminist, black, Hispanic, interreligious, and ecological theologies, ending with the particular Christian idea of the one God as Trinity.
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Read information about the authorJohnson grew up in Brooklyn, New York, the oldest of seven children in an "Irish Catholic family." As a young adult she joined the religious order of the Sisters of Saint Joseph whose motherhouse is in Brentwood, Long island, NY. She received a B.S. from Brentwood College in 1964, an M.A. from Manhattan College in 1964.
1981, she became the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in theology at the Catholic University of America (CUA). CUA is a pontifical university of the Catholic Church and is the only university in the U.S. founded and sponsored by America's bishops. Johnson recalls that her experience there was "rich, respectful, and collegial," but was also "lacking in female presence." During her studies there in the 1970s Johnson observes, "I never had a woman professor, I never read one woman author. There were none to be had. It was a totally male education." CUA attempted to remedy this when Johnson herself was hired into a tenure-track position in Christology. She became one of the first female theologians allowed to receive a doctorate by the church authorities, as a result of the "liberalization decrees that capped the Second Vatican Council." Feminism had begun impacting the thinking and dialog of female Catholic theologians, and pioneering feminist theologians Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza and Sandra M. Schneiders influenced Johnson on feminist topics, including using feminine metaphors and language for God. Inspired by their example, Johnson and other women graduate students formed a group, "Women in Theology."
She has served as head of the Catholic Theological Society of America and the American Theological Society.
While at CUA in 1980 she felt profoundly affected by events of the Salvadoran Civil War when four American women, including three nuns, working as missionaries and helping oppressed people to escape violence, were abducted and killed by a death squad. Johnson mourned the women, but she "redirected her anguish by carrying out their mission in her own field of theology."
Johnson notes that leaders of her religious community encouraged her to enter the field of theology and pushed her to continue in spite of obstacles. "When I applied for tenure at Catholic University, I received the full positive vote of the faculty. But the outcome was in doubt because some bishops were not happy with an article I had written," she says, referring to her article questioning the traditional view of Mary as "humble and obedient." Though she contemplated leaving rather than facing the "arduous process of interrogation," General Superior Sister John Raymond McGann advised her not to give up, and Johnson did receive tenure.
Johnson had taught science and religion at the elementary and high school level, then taught theology at St. Joseph's College (New York) and at CUA before moving to Fordham in 1991. At Fordham, she was named Distinguished Professor in 1997 and "Teacher of the Year" in 1998.