Constructing a North American Theology Through the Work of Joseph Sittler

Author: Siemsen, Elaine G.
Year:2003
Pages:182
ISBN:0-7734-6724-6
978-0-7734-6724-8
Price:179.95
The work of Joseph Sittler brings to light a paradigm for constructing a North American theology that is built upon an understanding of the grace of God as embodied in creation, and leads to a cosmic Christology that provides a critical foundation for a proclamation of hope and justice.

Reviews

“Elaine Siemsen’s work represents a real advance in the understanding of Sittler’s theological legacy and the application of his insights to contemporary issues and concerns. Siemsen enlarges the horizon within which Sittler’s theology has been typically viewed in recent years. Whereas others have studied and celebrated Sittler’s theology of grace in creation with an eye to its application to environmental ethics, Siemsen does so with an eye to its application to the task of preaching within a North American social and cultural context. She demonstrates the continuing significance of Sittler’s writings – mostly dating from the 1950s to the 1970s – by linking them to contemporary interest in contextual theology, pragmatic philosophy, rhetoric, hermeneutics, and feminism….A particularly intriguing and illuminating aspect of this work is Siemsen’s placement of Sittler’s writings in the context of American literature and philosophy….this book not only marks out new paths for the study of Sittler and his significance in the history of modern theology, but helps us to see Sittler as a distinctly North American theologian…. She brings Sittler’s writings – not themselves by any means free from the taint of sexism – into constructive engagement with contemporary feminist concerns such as embodiment, the marginalization of women in the church, and the ongoing recovery of women’s role in proclaiming the Word…. In short, this project is a convincing testimony to the continuing vitality and relevance of Sittler’s theological legacy. Preachers, systematic and constructive theologians, students of Twentieth-Century American theology, and theologically astute laypersons will all find in this book a stimulating and helpful guide to a remarkable theologian.” – Dr. Peter W. Bakken, Research Fellow, Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, co-editor, Evocations of Grace: The Writings of Joseph Sittler on Ecology, Theology and Ethics (Eerdmans)

“…provides a useful research tool primarily for those theologians, historians, and church workers within the Lutheran traditions, but also for those in the broader world of liberal and post-liberal theological developments….Siemsen correctly and prudently gives an adequate overview of the life of Sittler, thereby acknowledging the significance of life experiences as partial shapers of the presuppositional grid within which the theological statements are made….Siemsen’s study also excels at showing the thought patterns of Sittler, such as his penetrating critique of North American culture….an admirable work that will help those who share common interests with this important Lutheran theologian from the twentieth century.” – Mike Stallard, Professor of Systematic Theology, Baptist Bible Seminary

Table of Contents

Table of contents (main headings):
Foreword; Preface; Introduction
1. Words of Grace
2. The Divided Word: Theological Traditions of the West and East (Sittler and the WCC; Western style of Christology; Influence of Eastern Church; Faithfulness to Martin Luther)
3. The Words of Others (American Pragmatism and Literature; Jamesian Pragmatism)
4. The Word Embodied in Creation (Systematic Theology of Joseph Sittler)
5. Voicing and Embodied Word (Preaching and Theology)
6. The Concluding Words
Bibliography; Index