God’s Action of Furthering Nature in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Henry L. Novello, pp.217-238
This article critically discusses what is meant by the laws of nature and seeks to underscore the import of chaos theory and quantum theory for a philosophical interpretation of nature as ontologically indeterminate. The latter notion serves as a presupposition for the development of a non-interventionist approach to special divine action, where God is thought of as acting through and within the laws of nature, without becoming a secondary cause amongst everyday causes. The resurrection of Christ, though, poses problems for a non-interventionist perspective. While the existing laws of nature should be seen as preconditions for God’s eschatological act, at the same time, as a “singularity” event, the resurrection involves new laws of nature that govern the new complex ontological whole that is the risen life. The resurrection above all else reveals that created reality is ontologically open and that God is working to turn death, decay, and the “run-down” of the universe in the opposite direction of the plenitude of life.
Dialogue: Drawn into the Life of the Trinity
James Gerard McEvoy, pp.239-257
This article seeks to outline a theology of dialogue by asking what the key Christian doctrine of the revelation of God in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit can teach us about the nature of dialogue. As background to the explicitly theological exploration, questions from the field of the philosophy of language are addressed to indicate that human agency is inherently dialogical: that we necessarily find ourselves in dialogue with language, culture, society, and with what is ultimately valuable. The argument then turns to Jesus’ ministry and the whole Christ event, assessing the dimensions of the dialogue into which Christians find themselves drawn. A final section shows that the task of discerning the contemporary significance of the Christ event is itself empowered by the Holy Spirit. In authentic dialogue, then, Christians find themselves caught up in the life of the Trinity.
Identity, Relevance and the Crucified God
Duncan Reid, pp.258-272
The article begins by looking briefly at the identity-relevance dialectic in Moltmann’s The Crucified God and the theological context that produced it. It then considers our current situation, very different from forty years ago, of a multi-religious Australia within a desecularised world. The article poses the question: how are Christians to maintain both identity and relevance, in this new context? The author considers the contribution of a recent article by Ulrike Link-Wieczorek, and draws the conclusion that Moltmann’s identification of trinitarian thinking with the theology of the cross continues to be valid, and further, that this trinitarian theology of the cross constitutes the “true Christian universalism”. Both identity and relevance are best maintained by placing cross at the heart of our understanding of the Trinity, and the Trinity at the heart of what we say in conversations with adherents of other religious communities. The acknowledgement of the crucified God is an indispensible element in such conversations.
The 1662 Book of Common Prayer: Assessing its Eucharistic Theology 350 Years On
Brian Douglas, pp.273-287
This article examines the Eucharistic theology of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer within the wider philosophical and theological assumptions of multiformity in the Anglican Communion. The assumption of multiformity generally, and multiformity specifically in relation to aspects of the Eucharist in the 1662 BCP, is examined. The article concludes with some general reflections on the sometimes expressed normative nature of the 1662 BCP and its Eucharistic liturgy in the wider Anglican Communion and with specific comments on the constitutional situation of the Anglican Church of Australia as these relate to the 1662 BCP.
The Theological Convictions of the Basis of Union of the Uniting Church
Norman Young, pp.288-295
This article offers a retrospective survey of the key theological convictions that shaped the Basis of Union of the Uniting Church in Australia. It argues that the theological foundations for Union consisted of the beliefs that unity was already the gift of God to the Church, that the Church’s faith has priority over its ordering, and that authority is located supremely in Jesus Christ as the Church’s Lord. The article explores the implications of these convictions for understandings of ministry and governance and suggests that they continue to be relevant as churches face today’s ecumenical challenge.
Pacifica: Genesis and Progress of a Journal
John Honner, pp.296-310
This article provides recollections of the origins and development of the journal Pacifica from the perspective of one of the founding editors, with particular reference to the journal’s first ten years. It reflects on the circumstances and cooperation that brought Pacificainto being, on the early contributions of Pacifica to theology in the Australasian and Western Pacific regions, and on the contributions of Pacifica to ecumenism and dialogue with wider society.
Mark A. O'Brien pp.311-313
The Problems of Suffering and Evil
Christiaan Mostert pp.313-315
HENRY L. NOVELLO taught systematic theology for several years at The University of Notre Dame (Fremantle) and is currently an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Theology, The Flinders University of South Australia. He is the author of Death as Transformation: A Contemporary Theology of Death (Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2011). His current research focuses on issues relating to eschatology, the theology-science interaction, the nature-grace relationship, and a theology of lament. His essays have appeared in Gregorianum, Pacifica, Irish Theological Quarterly, Australasian Catholic Record, Colloqium, and Compass.
JAMES GERARD MCEVOY is a Senior Lecturer at Flinders University and Catholic Theological College, Adelaide, where he teaches theological anthropology, fundamental theology, and Christology. His primary research interests are the church’s understanding of both contemporary Western culture and the task of proclamation in that context. He has published on these and related topics in Pacifica, The Heythrop Journal, Theological Studies, and The Australasian Catholic Record.
DUNCAN REID completed a doctorate at Tübingen, Germany, in 1992, with a thesis subsequently published as Energies of the Spirit: Trinitarian Models in Eastern Orthodox and Western Theology (Atlanta GA: Scholars Press, 1997). He was involved in theological education for 15 years, being Head of the School of Theology at Flinders University, Adelaide (1999-2001) and Dean of the United Faculty of Theology Melbourne (2002-2005). An Honorary Research Associate of the Melbourne College of Divinity and a member of the International Anglican-Orthodox Commission for Theological Dialogue, he is currently priest-in-charge at St George’s Anglican Church, Flemington, Melbourne.
BRIAN DOUGLAS is an Anglican priest who is currently Rector of St Paul’s Manuka in Canberra. He is also Senior Lecturer in theology at Charles Sturt University’s School of Theology at St Mark’s National Theological Centre in Canberra, where he lectures in sacramental theology, Anglican foundations and interfaith dialogue. His particular research interest is in Anglican eucharistic theology.
NORMAN YOUNG is Professor Emeritus at the Uniting Church Theological College in Melbourne and Lector Emeritus at Yarra Theological Union.
JOHN HONNER was one of the founding editors of Pacifica. He is a member of the faculty of the Broken Bay Institute/University of Newcastle and an associate teacher at the United Faculty of Theology/MCD University of Divinity. His most recent books are Love and Politics (2007) and Holy Humanity (2010).