Wilderness and Paradise in Christian Thought

Wilderness and Paradise in Christian Thought

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English
264 Pages

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Paradise or wasteland--the wilderness has always been a challenge to Westerners. Wilderness and Paradise in Christian Thought traces the exciting theme of the quest for the wilderness--both physical and metaphysical--to create a new and important perspective for understanding Christian civilization.
With a wealth of knowledge, a renowned historian presents the biblical understanding of the religious and ethical significance of the desert and how this understanding has influenced later Christian history and culture.
Dr. Williams specifically applies the paradise theme to the university today and shows the continuing vitality of this ancient concept.

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Published 01 November 2016
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EAN13 9781725235571
Language English
Document size 8 MB

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From let o righ: Jim Smih, George Williams, Timohy George
Wipf and Stock Publishers 199 W 8th Ave, Suite 3 Eugene, OR 97401 Wilderness and Paradise in Chistian Thought By Williams, George H. and Smith, James D., III Copyright©1962 by Williams, George H. ISBN 13: 978-1-4982-456-7 Publication date 11/1/2016 Previously published by Harper, 1962
Foreword to te 0 Reprint EditionForeword (to te original edition)Introduction to te 0 Reprint Edition
îx xîî xv
Foreword to the  Reprint Edition
by Timoty George
A scolar o înernaîonal renown, George unson Wîllîams (1914-2000) was one o e grea curc îsorîans o e wenîe cenury. A naîve o Oîo, e joîned e aculy o arvard Dîvînîy Scool în 1947 and served successîvely as Wînn Proessor o Ecclesîasîcal îsory (1956-63) and, în e oldes academîc caîr în e Unîed Saes, as ollîs Proes-sor o Dîvînîy (1963-80). A person o vas erudîîon and wîde-rangîng înellecual îneress, Wîllîams deermîned o be ageneralistîn e ield o curc îsory. Calvîn Paer, one o Wîllîams’s sudens, once exclaîmed, “Only Wîllîams could decîde o specîalîze în everyîng; us claspîng o îs breasbotandand, wîeiterandorogeer, a sae o afaîrs a would ave scandalîzed a Kîerkegaard.” îs docoral sudîes, compleed under Jon T. McNeîll, ocused on medîeval polîîcal eology, bu e also wroe and aug wî grea însîg and wîsdom on e wole range o e Crîsîan sory rom îs bîblîcal and parîsîc groundîng o îs conempo-rary expressîons and callenges. Wîllîams’s long and îneresîng lîe cu a wîde swa across e landscape o e wenîe cenury. Among ose e encounered along e way were Eugene V. Debbs and W. E. B. Duboîs, bo vîsîors în Wîl-lîams’s boyood ome; Adol îler, wom Wîllîams once encounered în Munîc’s Carlon Caé durîng îs suden days în Germany; Reînold Nîebur, wo recommended Wîllîams o arvard and Paul Tîllîc, wo was îs colleague ere; Marîn Luer Kîng Jr., wo once audîed îs courses în curc îsory and wî wom e marced în Alabama în sup-por o racîal equalîy and cîvîl rîgs; and S. Pope Jon Paul II, wom e me a e Second Vaîcan Councîl and abou wom e wroe a major în-ellecual bîograpy,he Mind of Jon Paul II(1981). Wîllîams el deeply îs callîng as bo scolar and mînîser. e labored under e burden o a oly and rîsky callîng o keep alîve e ru, e ru a ses men and women ree. e lîked o quoe e words o Adol von arnack: “We sudy îsory în order o înervene în e course o îsory and we ave a rîg and duy o do so; or wîou îsorîcal însîg we eîer permî ourselves o be mere objecs o e îsorîcal process or end o mîslead people în an îrresponsîble way.”
ix
F o r e w o r d
x
Wîllîams îs bes remembered or îs magîserîal sudy,he Radical Reformation, irs publîsed în 1962, a book a appeared în ree edî-îons and was subsequenly ranslaed îno several languages. Nîneeen sîxy-wo also saw e publîcaîon oWilderness and Paradise in Cristian hougt. Hîs volume îllusraes as well as anyîng Wîllîams ever wroe wa I ave elsewere called îs prîncîple o “lumînous parîcularîy.” Wîllîams races e wîlderness eme roug myrîads o urns and per-muaîons în e îsory o îdeas, never orgeîng e suble and complex înerconnecedness o e evens and conceps e porrayed. e under-sood suc consruals no as îsolaed, opaque momens în e îsory o relîgîon bu raer as ranslucen wîndows ono a wole paern o Crîs-îan experîence. As one revîewer saîd oWilderness and Paradisesoon ater îs pub-lîcaîon, îs “sudy grapples wî e ull scope o bîblîcal oug and îs varîous applîcaîons o concree uman sîuaîons, sarîng rom e Garden o Eden o e Kîndergarens o our modern secular educaîonal sysem.” Hrougou îs long îsory, Wîllîams knew a “wîlderness” could be bo savage and benîgn, a scene o îsolaîon and demonîc înes-aîon on e one and, and a reservoîr o renewal and rerea—a sacred encampmen—on e oer. He same awareness îs also evîden în e second par o e volume were Wîllîams races e developmen o ive înerrelaed emes presen în “e eologîcal îdea o e unîversîy.” For a muc uller accoun o ow Wîllîams saw îs moî unolded în e îsory o arvard îsel, we ave now îs posumously publîsed sudy, complee în ree volumes,Divinings: Religion at Harvard from its Ori-gins in New England Ecclesiastical History to te 175t Anniversary of te Harvard Divinity Scool, 1636-1992(Göîngen, Germany: Vandenoeck & Ruprec, 2014). Wilderness and Paradise was publîsed în e same year as Racel Carson’s bes-sellîngSilent Spring. I was a îme wen many were begîn-nîng o recognîze e acue ecologîcal crîsîs conronîng e world and îs înabîans. In racîng e many myîc and eologîcal meanîngs o wîlderness and paradîse rougou e Crîsîan sory, Wîllîams dared o see e împlîcaîons o îs sudy or e ragîle world God creaed and gave o men and women wî a carge o sewardsîp o keep. îs words were propeîc and are sîll relevan oday.