Colin Gunton and the Failure of Augustine: The Theology of Colin Gunton in Light of Augustine (Distinguished Dissertations in Christian Theology #4) (Paperback)
Synopsis: Colin Gunton argued that Augustine bequeathed to the West a theological tradition with serious deficiencies. According to Gunton, Augustine's particular construal of the doctrine of God led to fundamental errors and problems in grasping the relationship between creation and redemption, and in rightfully construing a truly Christian ontology. Bradley G. Green's close reading of Augustine challenges Gunton's understanding. Gunton argued that Augustine's supposed emphasis of the one over the many severed any meaningful link between creation and redemption (contra the theological insights of Irenaeus); and that because of Augustine's supposed emphasis on the timeless essence of God at the expense of the three real persons, Augustine failed to forge a truly Christian ontology (effectively losing the insights of the Cappadocian Fathers). For all of Gunton's insights (and there are many), Green argues that Augustine did not sever the link between creation and redemption, but rather affirmed that the created order is a means of genuine knowledge of God, the created order is indeed the only means by which redemption is accomplished, the cross of Christ is the only means by which we can see God, and the created order is fundamentally oriented toward a telos-- redemption. Concerning ontology, Augustine's teaching on the imago Dei, and the prominent role that relationship plays in Augustine's doctrines of man and God, provides the kind of relational Christian ontology that Gunton sought. In short, Green argues, Augustine could have provided Gunton key theological resources in countering the modernity he so rightfully challenged. Endorsements: "The late Colin Gunton was an ardent and influential critic of Augustine's Trinitarian theology. His work was influential on many in the English speaking theological community. Brad Green's book offers the most sustained critique currently available of Gunton's work and should be read by anyone who has been swayed by Gunton's presentation. But more than this, Green's work also makes available a very different Augustine. Building on the work of a growing body of scholarship, Green reveals to the theological community a vision of Augustine that will help us to think again about this most important of the Church Fathers in the west." --Lewis Ayers Candler School of Theology "Brad Green offers a persuasive reading of Augustine that corrects misapprehensions found, not just in the work of Colin Gunton, but much more widely across contemporary theology. He also shows us how Augustine, rightly understood, can be recovered as a positive resource for contemporary theology. The book is not merely corrective, however: the reader will discover a perceptive and sympathetic reading of Gunton's own thought that gives us insight into a significant contemporary figure. This book will open up ancient and modern theology, and how they should be related. These are important matters, and I hope it will be widely read." --Stephen Holmes University of St. Andrews Author Biography: Bradley G. Green is Associate Professor of Christian Thought and Tradition at Union University (Jackson, Tennessee). He is the author (editor and contributor) of Shapers of Christian Orthodoxy: Engaging with Early and Medieval Theologians (2010) and the author of The Gospel and the Mind: Recovering and Shaping the Intellectual Life (2010).
Bradley G. Green is Associate Professor of Christian Thought and Tradition at Union University (Jackson, Tennessee). He is the author (editor and contributor) of Shapers of Christian Orthodoxy: Engaging with Early and Medieval Theologians (2010) and the author of The Gospel and the Mind: Recovering and Shaping the Intellectual Life (2010).