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Prologue: Theology In Context

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Chapter Summary

The emergence of contextual theologies marks an empirical and hermeneutical turn in the history of twentieth century theology. On the upswing of secular emancipation and democratization movements, which triggered hermeneutic reconstructions of history and cultural renaissances, the Christian Churches of the Third World also started to free themselves from Western guardianship. Methodologically the basic structure of contextual theologies is the hermeneutical circle between text and context that has to be followed time and again facing the relevance-identity dilemma. At least three models of the reception of contextual theology can be differentiated: (1) the conservative opposition of the Evangelicals, (2) the Eurocentric position, and (3) the project of an intercultural theology. Intercultural theology explores the interconfessional, intercultural and interreligious dimensions of Christian faith. With Black theology and Minjung theology however, there were also two liberation theologies formulated by Protestant theologians from the start of the early 1970s.

Keywords: contextual theologies; hermeneutical circle; intercultural theology; Minjung theology; Third World



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