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May 27 , 2008

Theology and Society in Three Cities

Berlin, Oxford and Chicago, 1800-1914


Oxford, Berlin and Chicago were extraordinarily dynamic centres of theology during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. However, significant differences in the political climate and culture of each location bred strikingly divergent theological approaches in the universities of each city. Mark Chapman offers a highly original exploration of the subjection of their theologies to the changes and developments of educational policy and national and international politics, shedding light upon the constraints that such external factors have imposed upon the evolution of the discipline.
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Chapman highlights the efforts of theologians and churchmen to relate the true core of Christianity, a lived religion free of shibboleths, to their rapidly changing world. The opinions of conservative and liberal theologians are skilfully balanced to reveal the problems of critical history, of political authority, of increasing global awareness and of the need for social amelioration, which profoundly shaped the ways in which theology was conceived during the period.

New ground has been broken in this inter-disciplinary study of the social, political and ecclesiastical contexts of Western theology. This book will be invaluable to any reader interested in the use of theology as part of the wider quest for social integration and meaning in an increasingly fragmented society.
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