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Christian theology has traditionally held desire at arm's length, regarding it warily, as something dark, dangerous, and intimately related to sin — something to be resisted and repressed, closeted and controlled. But in this volume LeRon Shults and Jan-Olav Henriksen entreat Christians to acknowledge not only that desire is an important element of human physical and spiritual life (and therefore a subject that theology should never shy away from engaging) but also that desire can be a powerful force for great good. Shults, Henriksen, and six other boundary-crossing theologians celebrate together the positivity, the sociality, and the physicality of saving desire — humankind's innate yearning for the goodness and beauty of God.
"Something has gone wrong in the traditional Christian theological treatment of human desire. For the most part desire has been construed negatively, as a threatening force connected to the degrading and darkening experience of sin. We believe that desire can and ought to be understood also as a redemptive force connected to the enlivening and enlightening experience of grace. Our common passion, therefore, is saving desire — both rescuing the concept from its imprisonment within repressive, individualistic, and rationalistic categories as well as emphasizing the power of the phenomenon of desire for engendering human flourishing in relation to God."
— F. LeRon Shults (from introduction)
Henriksen, Jan-Olav (ed.)
Normative Dimensions in Research on Religion and Theology
Year of Publication: 2011. Peter Lang.
Research is directed by normative standards which need to be transparent in order to secure the quality of the scholarly discussion. The aim of this book is to contribute to such transparency in relation to research on religion and theology representing a combination of empirical and normative claims themselves. What does this combination of empirical and normative claims imply for the normative standards of research? The contributions in this volume discuss different normative dimensions in contemporary research on religion and theology. Presenting articles from systematic theology, practical theology, sociology of religion, ethics, religious studies and missiology it covers a wide range of issues that are relevant for PhD students of theology and religious studies as well as for others who are involved in research on these topics.