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Document Details :
Title: Engagement met de wereld als zaak van God
Subtitle: Christologie & postmoderniteit
Author(s): HAIGHT, Roger
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Theologie
Volume: 50 Issue: 1 Date: 2010
In this essay Roger Haight argues that Schillebeeckx’s Christology responds to some of the questions posed by postmodernity. He begins by characterizing postmodernity as a culture revolving around the experiences of a new scientific picture of the universe, the autonomy of a critical empirical reason, a radical historical consciousness, and a new sense of being responsible for history. To understand Schillebeeckx’s christological response one should be aware that behind his thinking lies a theology of creation that throws light on many of his positions. His dialogue with postmodern culture also relies on three axiomatic presuppositions that function as premises of his thinking: that we encounter transcendence within the finite order and not above it, that frequently the experience of transcendence emerges out of negativity in a dialectic tension with especially human suffering, and that most fundamentally Christianity responds to postmodernity with a praxis and not a set of ideas. On these premises the essay turns to where Schillebeeckx begins his constructive Christology, a retrieval of Jesus of Nazareth. But his historical approach to Jesus ends with Jesus’ death and at that point shifts to the disciples’ Easter experience of Jesus’ resurrection. On faith’s conviction that Jesus has really been raised by God, the disciples interpret Jesus as the bringer of God’s salvation. The expressions of that experience are many and diverse but they all find God’s salvation in Jesus. In response to the question of whether this salvation from God is mediated exclusively by Jesus, Schillebeeckx describes a position that respects the uniqueness of Jesus according to Christian tradition but also recognizes the real salvific agency of other religions. His formula for expressing his resolution of the formal christological question of the humanity and divinity of Jesus lies in the phrase ‘concentrated creation’. This phrase means that Jesus, by the power of God’s presence in him, exemplifies the creation God intended. In this Christology Schillebeeckx recognizes the new picture of the universe by shifting the context of Christology from double to single gratuity, the sphere of ongoing creation. He opens the Christian imagination to the secular, scientific, and evolutionary by finding God within the world. He opens Christian faith to a recognition of God at work in other religions while remaining faithful to the tradition of Christian faith; and he integrates ethics and responsibility for the world into the Christian spirituality of salvation and following Christ.