Stephen B Bevans's Models of Contextual Theology has become a staple in courses on theological method and as a handbook used by missioners and other Christians concerned with the Christian tradition's understanding of itself in relation to culture. First published in 1992 and now in its seventh printing in English, with translations underway into Spanish, Korean, and Indonesian, Bevans's book is a judicious examination of what the terms "contextual theology" and "to contextualize" mean. In the revised and expanded edition, Bevans adds a "counter-cultural" model to the five presented in the first edition -- the translation, the anthropological, the praxis, the synthetic, and the transcendental model. This means that readers will be introduced to the way in which figures such as Stanley Hauerwas, John Milbank, Lesslie Newbigin, "and (occasionally) Pope John Paul II" need to be taken into account. The author's revisions also incorporate suggestions made by reviewers to enhance the clarity of the original three chapters on the nature of contextual theology and the five models.
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Stephen B. Bevans, a member of the Divine Word Missionaries, is Louis J. Luzbetak, SVD, Professor of Gospel and Culture at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, and editor of Mission Studies.
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