Liberal Christianity

Liberal Christianity

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Liberal Christianity, sometimes called liberal theology, is an umbrella term covering diverse, philosophically and biblically informed religious movements and ideas within Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 from the late 18th century
Christianity in the 18th century
-Revivalism:Revivalism refers to the Calvinist and Wesleyan revival, called the Great Awakening, in North America which saw the development of evangelical Congregationalist, Presbyterian, Baptist, and new Methodist churches....

 and onward. Liberal does not refer to Progressive Christianity
Progressive Christianity
Progressive Christianity is the name given to a movement within contemporary Christianity characterized by willingness to question tradition, acceptance of human diversity with a strong emphasis on social justice or care for the poor and the oppressed and environmental stewardship of the Earth...

 or to the American political philosophy, but to the philosophical and religious thought that developed as a consequence of the Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

.

Liberal Christianity, broadly speaking, is a method of biblical hermeneutics, an undogmatic method of understanding God through the use of scripture by applying the same modern hermeneutics used to understand any ancient writings. Liberal Christianity does not claim to be a belief structure, and as such is not dependent upon any Church dogma
Dogma
Dogma is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, or a particular group or organization. It is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from, by the practitioners or believers...

 or creedal statements
Creed
A creed is a statement of belief—usually a statement of faith that describes the beliefs shared by a religious community—and is often recited as part of a religious service. When the statement of faith is longer and polemical, as well as didactic, it is not called a creed but a Confession of faith...

. Unlike conservative varieties of Christianity, it has no unified set of propositional beliefs. The word liberal in liberal Christianity denotes a characteristic willingness to interpret scripture without any preconceived notion of inerrancy of scripture or the correctness of Church dogma. A liberal Christian, however, may hold certain beliefs in common with traditional, orthodox, or even conservative Christianity
Conservative Christianity
Conservative Christianity is a term applied to a number of groups or movements seen as giving priority to traditional Christian beliefs and practices...

.

Liberal Christianity and Biblical hermeneutics


The theology of liberal Christianity was prominent in the Biblical criticism
Biblical criticism
Biblical criticism is the scholarly "study and investigation of Biblical writings that seeks to make discerning judgments about these writings." It asks when and where a particular text originated; how, why, by whom, for whom, and in what circumstances it was produced; what influences were at work...

 of the 19th and 20th centuries. The style of Scriptural
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 hermeneutics (interpretation of the Bible) within liberal theology is often characterized as non-propositional. This means that the Bible is not considered a collection of factual statements, but instead an anthology that documents the human authors' beliefs and feelings about God at the time of its writing—within a historical or cultural context. Thus, liberal Christian theologians do not claim to discover truth proposition
Proposition
In logic and philosophy, the term proposition refers to either the "content" or "meaning" of a meaningful declarative sentence or the pattern of symbols, marks, or sounds that make up a meaningful declarative sentence...

s but rather create religious models and concepts that reflect the class, gender, social, and political contexts from which they emerge. Liberal Christianity looks upon the Bible as a collection of narratives that explain, epitomize, or symbolize the essence and significance of Christian understanding. Thus, most liberal Christians do not regard the Bible as divinely inspired (God's Word), but subject Scripture to human reason. However some modern liberal Christians believe in a divinely inspired bible, albeit a predominantly spiritual interpretation of the text and very few, if any, literal interpretations (especially concerning the Old Testament).

In the 1800s, liberal Christianity was still hard to separate from political liberalism. In a decision during the 1870s, an Irish bishop was sent to Quebec by papal authority to sort the two out. Several curès had threatened to withhold the sacrements from parishoners who cast votes for Liberal
Liberal Party of Canada
The Liberal Party of Canada , colloquially known as the Grits, is the oldest federally registered party in Canada. In the conventional political spectrum, the party sits between the centre and the centre-left. Historically the Liberal Party has positioned itself to the left of the Conservative...

s and others had preached that to vote for Liberal candidates was a mortal sin.

In the 19th century, self-identified liberal Christians sought to elevate Jesus' humane teachings
Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

 as a standard for a world civilization
Civilization
Civilization is a sometimes controversial term that has been used in several related ways. Primarily, the term has been used to refer to the material and instrumental side of human cultures that are complex in terms of technology, science, and division of labor. Such civilizations are generally...

 freed from cultic traditions
Cult (religious practice)
In traditional usage, the cult of a religion, quite apart from its sacred writings , its theology or myths, or the personal faith of its believers, is the totality of external religious practice and observance, the neglect of which is the definition of impiety. Cult in this primary sense is...

 and traces of "pagan" belief in the supernatural
Supernatural
The supernatural or is that which is not subject to the laws of nature, or more figuratively, that which is said to exist above and beyond nature...

. As a result, liberal Christians placed less emphasis on miraculous events associated with the life of Jesus than on his teachings. The effort to remove "superstitious" elements from Christian faith dates to intellectual reformist
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 Christians such as Erasmus and the Deists in the 15th–17th centuries. The debate over whether a belief in miracles was mere superstition or essential to accepting the divinity of Christ
Christology
Christology is the field of study within Christian theology which is primarily concerned with the nature and person of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament. Primary considerations include the relationship of Jesus' nature and person with the nature...

 constituted a crisis within the 19th-century church, for which theological compromises were sought.

Attempts to account for miracles through scientific or rational explanation were mocked even at the turn of the 19th–20th century. A belief in the authenticity of miracles was one of five tests established in 1910 by the Presbyterian Church to distinguish true believers
Belief
Belief is the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true.-Belief, knowledge and epistemology:The terms belief and knowledge are used differently in philosophy....

 from false professors of faith
Creed
A creed is a statement of belief—usually a statement of faith that describes the beliefs shared by a religious community—and is often recited as part of a religious service. When the statement of faith is longer and polemical, as well as didactic, it is not called a creed but a Confession of faith...

 such as "educated, 'liberal' Christians."

Contemporary liberal Christians may prefer to read Jesus' miracles as metaphor
Metaphor
A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea; e.g., "Her eyes were glistening jewels." Metaphor may also be used for any rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via...

ical narratives for understanding the power of God. Not all theologians with liberal inclinations reject the possibility of miracles, but may reject the polemic
Polemic
A polemic is a variety of arguments or controversies made against one opinion, doctrine, or person. Other variations of argument are debate and discussion...

ism that denial or affirmation entails.

Liberal theology does not only appear in a context where the divine inspiration of the Bible is questioned. In conservative Christian movements, the Bible is seen as divinely inspired but is sometimes combined with ideologies originating from outside the Bible or Christian teaching. Typical examples of influence from liberal theology in conservative Christianity would be extreme focus on eschatology (the end of times) by giving a divine interpretation to secular events. Also, the "Christian Zionism" movement combines conservative Christianity with a secular ideology given a divine status.

Influence of liberal Christianity


Liberal Christianity was most influential with mainline Protestant churches in the early 20th century, when proponents believed the changes it would bring would be the future of the Christian church. Other subsequent theological movements within the Protestant mainline (in the US) included political liberation theology
Liberation theology
Liberation theology is a Christian movement in political theology which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions...

, philosophical forms of postmodern Christianity
Postmodern Christianity
Postmodern Christianity is an outlook of Christianity that is closely associated with the body of writings known as postmodern philosophy. Although it is a relatively recent development in the Christian religion, some Christian postmodernists assert that their style of thought has an affinity with...

 such as Christian existentialism
Christian existentialism
Christian existentialism describes a group of writings that take a philosophically existentialist approach to Christian theology. The school of thought is often traced back to the work of the Danish philosopher and theologian considered the father of existentialism, Søren Kierkegaard...

, and conservative movements such as neo-evangelicalism and paleo-orthodoxy
Paleo-Orthodoxy
Paleo-orthodoxy is a broad Christian theological movement of the late 20th and early 21st centuries which focuses on the consensual understanding of the faith among the Ecumenical Councils and Church Fathers...

.

However, the 1990s and 2000s saw a resurgence of non-doctrinal, scholarly work on biblical exegesis
Exegesis
Exegesis is a critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially a religious text. Traditionally the term was used primarily for exegesis of the Bible; however, in contemporary usage it has broadened to mean a critical explanation of any text, and the term "Biblical exegesis" is used...

 and theology, exemplified by figures such as Marcus Borg
Marcus Borg
Marcus J. Borg is an American Biblical scholar and author. He is a fellow of the Jesus Seminar, holds a DPhil degree from Oxford University and is Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture, an endowed chair, at Oregon State University, from which he retired in 2007...

, John Dominic Crossan
John Dominic Crossan
John Dominic Crossan is an Irish-American religious scholar and former Catholic priest known for co-founding the Jesus Seminar. Crossan is a major figure in the fields of biblical archaeology, anthropology and New Testament textual and higher criticism. He is also a lecturer who has appeared in...

, John Shelby Spong
John Shelby Spong
John Shelby "Jack" Spong is a retired American bishop of the Episcopal Church. He was formerly the Bishop of Newark . He is a liberal Christian theologian, religion commentator and author...

, and Scotty McLennan
Scotty McLennan
The Reverend William L. McLennan, Jr. — better known as "Scotty McLennan" — was born on November 21, 1948, son of William L. McLennan and Alice Polk Warner. He is an ordained minister, lawyer, professor, published author, public speaker and senior administrator at Stanford University...

. Their appeal, like that of the earlier modernism, also is primarily found in the mainline denominations.

Anglican and Protestant

  • Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher
    Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher
    Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher was a German theologian and philosopher known for his attempt to reconcile the criticisms of the Enlightenment with traditional Protestant orthodoxy. He also became influential in the evolution of Higher Criticism, and his work forms part of the foundation of...

     (1768–1834), often called the "father of liberal theology," he claimed that religious experience was introspective
    Introspection
    Introspection is the self-observation and reporting of conscious inner thoughts, desires and sensations. It is a conscious and purposive process relying on thinking, reasoning, and examining one's own thoughts, feelings, and, in more spiritual cases, one's soul...

    , and that the truest understanding of God consisted of "a sense of absolute dependence".
  • William Ellery Channing
    William Ellery Channing
    Dr. William Ellery Channing was the foremost Unitarian preacher in the United States in the early nineteenth century and, along with Andrews Norton, one of Unitarianism's leading theologians. He was known for his articulate and impassioned sermons and public speeches, and as a prominent thinker...

     (1780–1842), pioneering liberal theologian in the USA, who criticized the doctrine of the Trinity
    Trinity
    The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

     and the strength of scriptural authority, in favor of more rationalistic
    Rationalism
    In epistemology and in its modern sense, rationalism is "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification" . In more technical terms, it is a method or a theory "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive"...

     and historical-critical beliefs. Unitarian
    Unitarianism
    Unitarianism is a Christian theological movement, named for its understanding of God as one person, in direct contrast to Trinitarianism which defines God as three persons coexisting consubstantially as one in being....

    .
  • Charles Augustus Briggs
    Charles Augustus Briggs
    Charles Augustus Briggs , American Presbyterian scholar and theologian, was born in New York City, the son of Alanson Briggs and Sarah Mead Berrian...

     (1841–1913) early advocate of modern Biblical criticism
  • Henry Ward Beecher
    Henry Ward Beecher
    Henry Ward Beecher was a prominent Congregationalist clergyman, social reformer, abolitionist, and speaker in the mid to late 19th century...

     (1813–1887), US preacher who left behind the Calvinist orthodoxy of his famous father, the Reverend Lyman Beecher
    Lyman Beecher
    Lyman Beecher was a Presbyterian minister, American Temperance Society co-founder and leader, and the father of 13 children, many of whom were noted leaders, including Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Ward Beecher, Charles Beecher, Edward Beecher, Isabella Beecher Hooker, Catharine Beecher, and Thomas...

    , to popularize liberal Christianity.
  • Adolf von Harnack
    Adolf von Harnack
    Adolf von Harnack , was a German theologian and prominent church historian.He produced many religious publications from 1873-1912....

    , (1851–1930), German theologian and church historian, promoted the Social Gospel
    Social Gospel
    The Social Gospel movement is a Protestant Christian intellectual movement that was most prominent in the early 20th century United States and Canada...

    .
  • Charles Fillmore
    Charles Fillmore (Unity Church)
    Charles Sherlock Fillmore , born in St. Cloud, Minnesota, founded Unity, a church within the New Thought movement, with his wife, Myrtle Page Fillmore, in 1889...

     (1854–1948). Emerson
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century...

    -influenced Christian mystic and co-founder (with his wife, Myrtle Fillmore
    Myrtle Fillmore
    Mary Caroline "Myrtle" Page Fillmore was co-founder of Unity, a church within the New Thought movement, along with her husband Charles Fillmore. Prior to that time, she worked as a schoolteacher....

    ) of the Unity Church
    Unity Church
    Unity, known informally as Unity Church, is a religious movement within the wider New Thought movement and is best known to many through its Daily Word devotional publication...

    .
  • Harry Emerson Fosdick
    Harry Emerson Fosdick
    Harry Emerson Fosdick was an American clergyman. He was born in Buffalo, New York. He graduated from Colgate University in 1900, and Union Theological Seminary in 1904. While attending Colgate University he joined the Delta Upsilon Fraternity. He was ordained a Baptist minister in 1903 at the...

     (1878–1969), Baptist founding pastor of New York's Riverside Church in 1922.
  • Rudolf Bultmann
    Rudolf Bultmann
    Rudolf Karl Bultmann was a German theologian of Lutheran background, who was for three decades professor of New Testament studies at the University of Marburg...

     (1884–1976), German biblical scholar, liberal Christian theologian until 1924.
  • Paul Tillich
    Paul Tillich
    Paul Johannes Tillich was a German-American theologian and Christian existentialist philosopher. Tillich was one of the most influential Protestant theologians of the 20th century...

     (1886–1965), synthesized Protestant Christian theology with existential
    Existentialism
    Existentialism is a term applied to a school of 19th- and 20th-century philosophers who, despite profound doctrinal differences, shared the belief that philosophical thinking begins with the human subject—not merely the thinking subject, but the acting, feeling, living human individual...

     philosophy
  • Leslie Weatherhead
    Leslie Weatherhead
    Leslie Dixon Weatherhead was an English Christian theologian in the liberal Protestant tradition. One of Britain's finest preachers in his day, Weatherhead was noted for his preaching ministry at City Temple in London and for his books, including The Will of God, The Christian Agnostic, and...

     (1893–1976), English preacher, and author of The Will of God and The Christian Agnostic
  • Lloyd Geering
    Lloyd Geering
    Sir Lloyd George Geering, ONZ, GNZM, CBE, born 26 February 1918, is a New Zealand theologian, who faced charges of heresy in 1967 for his controversial views. He considers Christian and Muslim fundamentalism to be "social evils"...

     (1918–), New Zealand theologian.
  • Paul Moore, Jr. (1919 - 2003), 13th Episcopal
    Episcopal Church (United States)
    The Episcopal Church is a mainline Anglican Christian church found mainly in the United States , but also in Honduras, Taiwan, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands and parts of Europe...

     Bishop
    Bishop
    A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

    , New York
    New York City
    New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

     Diocese
    Diocese
    A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

  • John A.T. Robinson
    John A.T. Robinson
    John Arthur Thomas Robinson was a New Testament scholar, author and a former Anglican Bishop of Woolwich, England....

     (1919–1983), Bishop of Woolwich, author of Honest to God
    Honest to God
    Honest to God is a book written by the Anglican Bishop of Woolwich John A.T. Robinson, criticising traditional Christian theology. It aroused a storm of controversy on its original publication by SCM Press in 1963...

    .
  • John Hick
    John Hick
    Professor John Harwood Hick is a philosopher of religion and theologian. In philosophical theology, he has made contributions in the areas of theodicy, eschatology, and Christology, and in the philosophy of religion he has contributed to the areas of epistemology of religion and religious...

     (b. 1922) British philosopher of religion and theologian.
  • William Sloane Coffin
    William Sloane Coffin
    William Sloane Coffin, Jr. was an American liberal Christian clergyman and long-time peace activist. He was ordained in the Presbyterian church and later received ministerial standing in the United Church of Christ....

     (1924–2006), Senior Minister at the Riverside Church in New York City, and President of SANE/Freeze (now Peace Action
    Peace Action
    Peace Action is a peace organization formed through the merger of The Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy and the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign...

    ).
  • John Shelby Spong
    John Shelby Spong
    John Shelby "Jack" Spong is a retired American bishop of the Episcopal Church. He was formerly the Bishop of Newark . He is a liberal Christian theologian, religion commentator and author...

     (1931–), Episcopal bishop and author.
  • Richard Holloway
    Richard Holloway
    Richard F. Holloway is a Scottish writer and broadcaster and was formerly Bishop of Edinburgh in the Scottish Episcopal Church....

     (1933-), Bishop of Edinburgh 1986-2000.
  • Rubem Alves
    Rubem Alves
    Rubem Azevedo Alves, is a Brazilian theologian, philosopher, educator, writer, and psychoanalyst.Alves was born in Boa Esperança, Minas Gerais...

    , (b. 1938) Brazil
    Brazil
    Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

    ian, ex-Presbyterian minister, retired professor from UNICAMP, cofounder of Liberation theology
    Liberation theology
    Liberation theology is a Christian movement in political theology which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions...

    .
  • Matthew Fox (priest)
    Matthew Fox (priest)
    Matthew Fox is an American priest and theologian. Formerly a member of the Dominican order within the Roman Catholic Church, Fox is now a member of the Episcopal Church....

     (b. 1940) American Episcopalian priest and theologian.
  • Marcus Borg
    Marcus Borg
    Marcus J. Borg is an American Biblical scholar and author. He is a fellow of the Jesus Seminar, holds a DPhil degree from Oxford University and is Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture, an endowed chair, at Oregon State University, from which he retired in 2007...

     (b. 1942) American biblical scholar and author.
  • Scotty McLennan
    Scotty McLennan
    The Reverend William L. McLennan, Jr. — better known as "Scotty McLennan" — was born on November 21, 1948, son of William L. McLennan and Alice Polk Warner. He is an ordained minister, lawyer, professor, published author, public speaker and senior administrator at Stanford University...

     (b. 1948) Unitarian Universalist Christian Minister, Stanford University
    Stanford University
    The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is a private research university on an campus located near Palo Alto, California. It is situated in the northwestern Santa Clara Valley on the San Francisco Peninsula, approximately northwest of San...

     professor and author.
  • Michael Dowd
    Michael Dowd
    Michael Dowd is an American evolutionary theologian, bestselling author, and evangelist for Big History and Religious Naturalism....

     (b. 1958) Religious Naturalist theologian and Epic of Evolution
    Epic of Evolution
    The phrase Epic of Evolution represents an attempt to create a mythic narrative aimed at reconciling religious and scientific views of cosmic evolution, biological evolution, and sociocultural evolution. According to Taylor's Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, it is…-History:The term "Epic of...

     evangelist.
  • Douglas Ottati, Presbyterian theologian and author, former professor at Union-PSCE, current professor at Davidson College
    Davidson College
    Davidson College is a private liberal arts college in Davidson, North Carolina. The college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently ranked in the top ten liberal arts colleges in the country by U.S. News and World Report magazine, although it has recently dropped to 11th in U.S. News...

    .

Roman Catholic

  • Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
    Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
    Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ was a French philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist and took part in the discovery of both Piltdown Man and Peking Man. Teilhard conceived the idea of the Omega Point and developed Vladimir Vernadsky's concept of Noosphere...

     (1881–1955), a French Jesuit, also trained as a paleontologist; works condemned by the Holy Office in 1962. The condemnation was formally reaffirmed in 1981 but many theologians still refer to his writings, including Pope Benedict XVI.
  • Yves Congar
    Yves Congar
    Yves Marie Joseph Congar was a French Dominican cardinal and theologian.-Early life:Born in Sedan, in northeast France, in 1904, Congar's home was occupied by the Germans for much of World War I...

     (1904–1995), French Dominican
    Dominican Order
    The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

     ecumenical
    Ecumenism
    Ecumenism or oecumenism mainly refers to initiatives aimed at greater Christian unity or cooperation. It is used predominantly by and with reference to Christian denominations and Christian Churches separated by doctrine, history, and practice...

     theologian.
  • Raymond Edward Brown (May 22, 1928 - August 8, 1998), He was a professor emeritus at Union Theological Seminary in New York, which known as one of the leading centers of liberal Christianity in the United States.
  • Edward Schillebeeckx, (1914–2009) Belgian Dominican theologian.
  • Hans Küng
    Hans Küng
    Hans Küng is a Swiss Catholic priest, theologian, and prolific author. Since 1995 he has been President of the Foundation for a Global Ethic . Küng is "a Catholic priest in good standing", but the Vatican has rescinded his authority to teach Catholic theology...

    , (b. 1928) Swiss theologian. Had his licence to teach Catholic theology revoked in 1979 because of his rejection of the doctrine of the infallibility of the Church
    Infallibility of the Church
    The Infallibility of the Church is the belief that the Holy Spirit will not allow the Church to err in its belief or teaching under certain circumstances...

    , but retained his faculties to say the Mass
    Mass (liturgy)
    "Mass" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is called in the Roman Catholic Church: others are "Eucharist", the "Lord's Supper", the "Breaking of Bread", the "Eucharistic assembly ", the "memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection", the "Holy Sacrifice", the "Holy and...

    .
  • John Dominic Crossan
    John Dominic Crossan
    John Dominic Crossan is an Irish-American religious scholar and former Catholic priest known for co-founding the Jesus Seminar. Crossan is a major figure in the fields of biblical archaeology, anthropology and New Testament textual and higher criticism. He is also a lecturer who has appeared in...

    , (b. 1934) ex-priest, New Testament scholar, co-founder of the Jesus Seminar
    Jesus Seminar
    The Jesus Seminar is a group of about 150 critical scholars and laymen founded in 1985 by Robert Funk under the auspices of the Westar Institute....

    .
  • Joan Chittister
    Joan Chittister
    Sister Joan D. Chittister, O.S.B., is a Benedictine nun, author and speaker.She is a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Pennsylvania, where she served as prioress for 12 years. Sister Chittister writes a web column for the National Catholic Reporter, "From Where I Stand"...

    , (b. 1936) OSB
    Order of Saint Benedict
    The Order of Saint Benedict is a Roman Catholic religious order of independent monastic communities that observe the Rule of St. Benedict. Within the order, each individual community maintains its own autonomy, while the organization as a whole exists to represent their mutual interests...

    , a lecturer and social psychologist.
  • Leonardo Boff
    Leonardo Boff
    Leonardo Boff was born 14 December 1938 in Concórdia, Santa Catarina state, Brazil. He is a theologian, philosopher and writer, known for his active support for the rights of the poor and excluded....

    , (b. 1938) Brazil
    Brazil
    Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

    ian, ex-Franciscan, ex-priest, cofounder of Liberation theology
    Liberation theology
    Liberation theology is a Christian movement in political theology which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions...

    .

See also

  • Biblical hermeneutics
    Biblical hermeneutics
    Biblical hermeneutics is the study of the principles of interpretation concerning the books of the Bible. It is part of the broader field of hermeneutics which involves the study of principles for the text and includes all forms of communication: verbal and nonverbal.While Jewish and Christian...

  • Christian democracy
    Christian Democracy
    Christian democracy is a political ideology that seeks to apply Christian principles to public policy. It emerged in nineteenth-century Europe under the influence of conservatism and Catholic social teaching...

  • Christian existentialism
    Christian existentialism
    Christian existentialism describes a group of writings that take a philosophically existentialist approach to Christian theology. The school of thought is often traced back to the work of the Danish philosopher and theologian considered the father of existentialism, Søren Kierkegaard...

  • Christian feminism
    Christian feminism
    Christian feminism is an aspect of feminist theology which seeks to advance and understand the equality of men and women morally, socially, spiritually, and in leadership from a Christian perspective. Christian feminists argue that contributions by women in that direction are necessary for a...

  • Christian left
    Christian left
    The Christian left is a term originating in the United States, used to describe a spectrum of left-wing Christian political and social movements which largely embraces social justice....

  • Christian socialism
    Christian socialism
    Christian socialism generally refers to those on the Christian left whose politics are both Christian and socialist and who see these two philosophies as being interrelated. This category can include Liberation theology and the doctrine of the social gospel...

  • Christian universalism
    Christian Universalism
    Christian Universalism is a school of Christian theology which includes the belief in the doctrine of universal reconciliation, the view that all human beings or all fallen creatures will ultimately be restored to right relationship with God....

  • Evangelical left
    Evangelical left
    Evangelical left is a term used to describe those who are part of the Christian evangelical movement in the United States but who generally function on the left wing of that movement, either politically or theologically, or both...

  • Fountain Street Church
    Fountain Street Church
    Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was for a time unique in the United States as being large, religiously liberal and non-denominational in a notably conservative city...

  • European Liberal Protestant Network
    European Liberal Protestant Network
    The European Liberal Protestant Network is an association of free Christians and Liberal Protestants of Europe.It had its inaugural meeting at Bad Boll, Germany, July 1998 among Protestant members of the International Association for Religious Freedom....

  • Free Christian
    Free Christian
    The term Free Christian refers specifically to individual members and whole congregations within the General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches....

    ity
  • Jesus Seminar
    Jesus Seminar
    The Jesus Seminar is a group of about 150 critical scholars and laymen founded in 1985 by Robert Funk under the auspices of the Westar Institute....

  • Liberal Anglo-Catholicism
    Liberal Anglo-Catholicism
    The terms liberal Anglo-Catholicism and liberal Anglo-Catholic refer to people, beliefs and practices within Anglicanism that affirm liberal Christian perspectives while maintaining the traditions culturally associated with Anglo-Catholicism...

  • Postliberal theology
  • Postmodern Christianity
    Postmodern Christianity
    Postmodern Christianity is an outlook of Christianity that is closely associated with the body of writings known as postmodern philosophy. Although it is a relatively recent development in the Christian religion, some Christian postmodernists assert that their style of thought has an affinity with...

  • Process theology
    Process theology
    Process theology is a school of thought influenced by the metaphysical process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead and further developed by Charles Hartshorne . While there are process theologies that are similar, but unrelated to the work of Whitehead the term is generally applied to the...

  • Progressive Christianity
    Progressive Christianity
    Progressive Christianity is the name given to a movement within contemporary Christianity characterized by willingness to question tradition, acceptance of human diversity with a strong emphasis on social justice or care for the poor and the oppressed and environmental stewardship of the Earth...

  • Queer theology
  • Secular theology
    Secular theology
    The field of secular theology, a subfield of liberal theology advocated by Anglican bishop John A. T. Robinson somewhat paradoxically combines secularism and theology. Recognized in the 1960s, it was influenced both by neo-orthodoxy, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Harvey Cox, and the existentialism of Søren...

  • Social Gospel
    Social Gospel
    The Social Gospel movement is a Protestant Christian intellectual movement that was most prominent in the early 20th century United States and Canada...


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