Reclaiming Narrative for Public Theology

Front Cover
SUNY Press, Oct 14, 2004 - Religion - 245 pages
This book furthers the development of American public theology by arguing for the importance of narrative to a theological interpretation of the nation s social and political life. In contrast to both sectarian theologies that oppose a diverse public life and liberal theologies that have lost their distinctiveness, narrative public theology seeks an engaged yet critical role consistent with the separation of church and state and respectful of the multireligious character of the United States. Mary Doak argues for a public theology that focuses on the narrative imagination through which we envision our current circumstances and our hopes for the future. This theology sees both our national stories and our religious ones as resources that can contribute to a public and pluralistic conversation about the direction of society. Doak highlights arguments from Paul Ricoeur, Johann Baptist Metz, William Dean, Stanley Hauerwas, Franklin Gamwell, and Ronald Thiemann that can both contribute to and challenge a narrative public theology. She also proposes a model of public theology using narratives from Abraham Lincoln, Virgil Elizondo, and Delores Williams.
 

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Contents

PUBLIC THEOLOGY IN A PLURALISTIC SOCIETY
27
E PLURIBUS UNUM? NATIONAL NARRATIVES
71
TOWARD A NARRATIVE PUBLIC THEOLOGY
107
LINCOLN ELIZONDO AND WILLIAMS AS NARRATIVE
173
Notes
207
Index
239
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About the author (2004)

Mary Doak is Assistant Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame.