Original Research

Towards a global theology: Theological method and contextualisation

Brian A. de Vries
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 37, No 1 | a1536 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v37i1.1536 | © 2016 Brian A. de Vries | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 September 2015 | Published: 27 July 2016


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Abstract

How should the cultural context influence theological formulation? This article examines contextualisation as it relates to theological method. After considering definitions and methods for formulating contextual theology, it applies the method in two areas: the missional activity of communicating the gospel in a particular cultural context, and the ecclesial activity of improving upon the theological confession of the local church. The author concludes by briefly considering the method with a global perspective.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: Some traditions have failed to contextualise the biblical message, whereas other ministry practice has radically altered its message in an attempt to be contextually sensitive. Recent research has resulted in a confusing array of conflicting methods with drastically different practical applications. This article explores how theological method largely determines contextualisation, and it offers a method that is both faithful to the biblical text and sensitive to the contextual situation


Keywords

theological method, contextualization, mission, culture, hermeneutics, contextual theology

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