Theology Shaped by Society argues that the sociology of knowledge can make an important contribution to theology. Part I argues that theology can be seen as a 'socially constructed reality' that is sometimes dangerously related to power but, at other times, that is a positively engaged discipline taking the risk of being shaped by particular societies and cultures. From this second perspective theology is seen properly as a thoroughly relational discipline, as itself a social system. Part II examines mission shaped by society and maps this in practical terms by examining recent, and surprising, religious trends in York. Part III shows how music can imaginatively shape theology and reveal unexpected resonances. Over the last 30 years a number of theologians have been using aspects of sociology alongside the more traditional resources of philosophy. In turn, sociologists with an interest in theology have also contributed to an interaction between theology and sociology. The time is right to revisit the dialogue between theologians and sociologists. In his new trilogy on Sociological Theology, Robin Gill makes a renewed contribution to the mapping of three abiding ways of relating theology and sociology, with the three volumes covering: Theology in a Social Context; Theology Shaped by Society; and Society Shaped by Theology.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; Part I Theology Socially Structured: Theology and the sociology of knowledge; The social determinants of theology; Determinants in the Churches' responses to abortion; Power, conflict and inconsistency; Theology: a social system. Part II Mission and Social Change: Mission shaped by society: York revisited. Part III Music Shaping Theology: Music shaping Christian identity; Theology exemplified by music; Works cited; Index.
'Each [of Gill’s trilogy] can be read on its own. More importantly, each is a rich quarry of knowledge and insights, summaries of classic arguments, and deeply interacting and productive trails to follow. And this applies to whatever you are doing in theology and religious life because all involves sociological knowledge of some kind or other.' Crucible '... for those interested how Christianity has been studied in Britain over recent decades, Gill offers a good selection of approaches.' The Expository Times 'Robin Gill’s Theology Shaped by Society and Society Shaped by Theology complete his trilogy on sociological theology, which began with Theology in a Social Context... Gill’s examination of the issues involved in relating theology and sociology has lasting relevance. These three volumes bear witness to a pioneering intellectual endeavour.' Church Times 'Together [the three volumes] constitute Gill's systematic account of his "theological social system", his "sociological theology". They collate a lifetime's work of substantial breadth and depth, a testimony to the care and persistence of its academic and clerical author. Gill's three volumes hang together as a considerable academic contribution.' Themelios