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Stephen T. Davis, Daniel Kendall, and Gerald O’Collins, eds., The Incarnation The Incarnation by Stephen T.

Davis, ; Daniel Kendall, ; Gerald O’Collins,  Review by: Kathryn Tanner The Journal of Religion, Vol. 85, No. 1 (January 2005), pp. 142-143 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/428534 . Accessed: 21/02/2014 10:15
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2002. on the Resurrection and the Trinity) assembles papers given by established scholars at an interdisciplinary and ecumenical symposium devoted to the topic. and O’COLLINS. LOU ANN TROST. They have helped point the way for further work that needs to be done in relating science and theology in terms of metaphor. it is metaphoric process that allows for a change in what it is acceptable to believe.8. ecumenical symposium obviously holds great promise for genuine intellectual engagement and argumentative advance. Metaphoric process brings about change in what is believable” (p. Gerhart and Russell’s work stands as a unique and challenging contribution whose full influence is yet to be felt. The topics of these essays are wide-ranging. They critique Anne Foerst’s discussion of embodied intelligence in the robot Cog and the image of God. Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions. text. or from a more direct airing of the 142 This content downloaded from 137. in “Myth and Public Science.. also from Oxford University Press. And there is very little effort to bring the essays into direct dialogue with one another. the authors offer a welcome caution against too easy an equation of concepts such as uncertainty in quantum physics with concepts in philosophical theology. philosophical. however. from knowing the degree to which the similar-seeming philosophical apparatuses of Leftow and Stump are compatible with one another. DANIEL. The Incarnation. When current understandings in either science or religion are challenged. for example. historical. and narrative—exchanging new maps for old. In “Mathematics.” they apply the genre of myth. Many of the essays are of high quality (for example. amply evident. $55. for example. T. literary. This volume on the incarnation (like its predecessors. and the reader must work to understand the relationship between the various chapters. KENDALL.73 on Fri. and so forth—the volume as a whole does a very nice job of conveying the richness of its subject matter. Others do readers the service of indicating something of the perspective of their authors to be found in more sustained treatments of the topic elsewhere (in the case of the essays. by N. Relating seemingly disparate concepts and fields in the way the authors do requires a high degree of creativity. GERALD. Oxford: Oxford University Press. even within the same disciplinary frameworks. artistic.122. systematic. xxvϩ404 pp. An interdisciplinary. STEPHEN T. to certain characteristics of public science.” Gerhart and Russell examine the relationship “math is to science as science is to theology. The potential downsides of such a project are. Empirical Science. and Theology. 21 Feb 2014 10:15:00 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Individual essays acknowledge the input of other participants at the “incarnation summit” but rarely across disciplinary lines. Because the incarnation is treated from a variety of viewpoints—biblical. eds.00 (cloth). In the remaining chapters. but none of that happens here. Lastly. those by Eleonore Stump and Brian Leftow). 165). The reader might have benefited. homiletic.The Journal of Religion Those who start from an orientation other than that of the authors might want to read the third part of the book first. DAVIS. Established scholars with preestablished views on sometimes erudite particulars merely offer up what they already think. usually associated with religious beliefs. Amid the literature in science and religion.” Here we get to one of the main points of the book about “changes in world meanings made possible by metaphoric process in both science and religion. Wright and Steven Evans).

and many of the contributors bother to mention which of these issues they take up for discussion. and little work is done to address the way the contemporary situation (e.73 on Fri. and. in an introductory essay that sets up the project as a whole. then. One is left. finally. Catholicism. seems to circle around what is taken to be a doctrinally orthodox view of the incarnation. with the sense of a wasted opportunity: if only these very smart people from very different disciplines had been asked at the beginning to hammer out together the assumptions and questions about the incarnation that would form the basis of both their essays and a more sustained conversation with one another. Stephen Davis’s essay develops into an apologetic argument that Jesus would have had to be either insane or malevolent to think he was God when he wasn’t. “the truth of revelation is fundamentally distorted when formed upon the university’s [scientific rationalist] model of truth” (p. the truth of Revelation. religion’s willingness to subject faith claims to the criteria of scientific reason. rightly understood. a situation of religious pluralism) might be playing up these—or perhaps other— issues. University of Chicago. outlines twelve different issues surrounding the incarnation.00 (cloth). But the interconnections among the issues themselves are nowhere developed. Many of the essays are quite fascinating. why are biblical. the truth of Revelation is essentially not available to reason. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. must be 143 This content downloaded from 137. the discipline appropriate to the exploration of this truth.122. George Dennis O’Brien contends. O’BRIEN. is not a truth continuous with reason and beyond its grasp: rather. But there is very little that holds this collection of quite disparate essays together or counters the occasional impression of simple idiosyncrasy in either their individual focus or overall principles of organization. GEORGE DENNIS. 2002. O’Brien insists. “a truth about ‘the real’ that escapes the categorization of science and the shaping power of art” (p.” For Christians. with her plea for incarnational language that gives fleshand-bones reality to ideas. Revelation.Book Reviews apparent disagreement between Wright and Alan Segal on Judaism’s capacity to envision incarnation as it is exhibited in the biblical texts. for all its variety. KATHRYN TANNER. The collection. does not compete with science. Jesus Christ is that truth. rather. the signatured truth of art. The “fundamental clash” between Catholic faith and the modern university. Unfortunately. 58). 21 Feb 2014 10:15:00 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . but even here. The Idea of a Catholic University. 24).” the author writes. or from hearing what Kathleen Norris.. $28. which preserves the particularized. 336 pp. On the latter score. historical insight of the creative individual. once one makes the leap of accepting their starting points—for example. this reader at least was not convinced that the contributors really agreed about what that meant. “More important. Theology. might make of the mostly technical analytical tools of philosophy on display here. it engages “the truth about the real.g. that is. which the university has elevated to dogmatic status.8. and medieval materials initially given such a heavy emphasis in the volume and followed by a jump made to the contemporary positions of the authors from an exclusively analytic perspective? Gerald O’Collins. patristic. for example. a sign of the Enlightenment’s enduring legacy in higher education. has fostered a confusion of categories. is rooted in the failure to differentiate between three types of truth: the propositional truth of science.