Rubén Rosario Rodríguez addresses the long-standing division between Christian theologies that take revelation as their starting point and focus and those that take human culture as theirs. After introducing these two theological streams that originate with Karl Barth and Paul Tillich, respectively, Rosario asserts that they both seek to respond to the Enlightenment's critique and rejection of Christianity. In so doing, they have bought into Enlightenment understandings of human reality and the transcendent.
Rosario argues that in order to get beyond the impasse between theologies of the Word and culture, we need a different starting point. He discovers that starting point in two sources: (1) through the work of liberation and contextual theologians on the role of the Holy Spirit, and (2) through a comparative analysis of the teachings on the hiddenness of God from the three “Abrahamic” religions —Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Rosario offers a strong argument for why this third theological starting point represents not just a marginal or niche position but a genuine alternative to the two traditional theological streams. His work will shift readers’ understanding of the options in theological discourse beyond the false alternatives of theologies of the Word and culture.
“Rodríguez addresses head-on the question of how we may have meaningful faith while at the same time honoring and engaging the plurality of religious convictions that surrounds us. After surveying an impressive range of thinkers, schools of thought, and resources, he suggests that attending to the work of the Spirit gives us ways of making personal connections to what we believe while avoiding what he identifies as “theological totalitarianism.” Rodríguez’s book will be of great benefit to anyone who wants better to understand the state of the question: How might we speak about God from out of our own particular traditions and experiences while at the same time recognizing that God lives and acts beyond what we know, including in the histories and experiences of others?”
–Cynthia L. Rigby, W. C. Brown Professor of Theology, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
“In this book, Rubén Rosario Rodríguez develops an elegant and compelling account of the challenges facing contemporary theology and outlines a constructive way in which these challenges can be met. In doing so, he threads the needle between a postliberal concern for the self-revelation of God given in Scripture and mediated through the Christian tradition, and a postcolonial concern for the contextual and power-laden nature of all speech about God as well as the need for theology to attend to nonwestern, nonChristian, and marginalized voices.”
–Luke Bretherton, Professor of Theological Ethics and Senior Fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University.
“In the cacophony of a theological Babel, Rosario Rodríguez provides us with an inclusive pneumatological path forward - one which embraces our theological diversity. Skillfully moving beyond normative Eurocentric revelational and anthropological theological approaches, he leads toward a liberative spirituality capable of preserving human dignity and emancipating the oppressed. A must read for those seeking harmony.”
–Miguel A. De La Torre, Iliff School of Theology, Professor of Social Ethics & Latinx Studies
“Attentive to tradition and sensitive to recent developments, Dogmatics after Babel is a provocative and wide-ranging contribution to conversations about how to speak about God with truth and humility in a cultural situation that seems to make such speech impossible.”
–Matthew Lundberg, Professor of Religion, Calvin College.
“This is a challenging and daring book. It dares ask two axial questions that organize and guide the author’s reflections: What happens to doctrinal language when we accept theological diversity as normative? And what happens when we stop viewing theological pluralism as a problem to be solved (Babel) and embrace it as a gift of the Spirit (Pentecost)? Rubén Rosario's tour de force is insightful and brilliantly argued. I recommend this volume without hesitation.”
-Orlando O. Espin, University Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Diego.
“There is much to commend in Rosario Rodríguez’s latest work. This book is highly recommended for those interested in theological methods in light of our changing, pluralistic context and should be required reading for students in theology. It is a gift to them as well as to more advanced scholars.” – Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology