Malnourished

Roger Haight’s aim in The Future of Christology is to restate and expand, in a somewhat more accessible way, arguments he first made in Jesus Symbol of God (Orbis, 1999). Haight believes that his approach to Christology is the best way to present Christ and the meaning of Christianity to an educated audience that is used to postmodern understanding and religious pluralism. “My attention,” he writes, “focuses upon development in the ideas and attitudes of educated middle-class Christians in the mainline churches who are being drawn along with the times and culture in which we live.” In our “new stage of the history of the human race...we cannot in principle provide a metaphysical grounding for competition and imperialism by defining Christianity as the only true religion, thereby relegating other religions as inferior to Christianity.”

Haight believes that the best way to understand Jesus and his place in our lives is through the historical Jesus, the one whose presence-in Haight’s way of understanding the question-lies behind the New Testament accounts; and the best way for us to regard other religious traditions is to see that while Jesus is the symbol of God for Christians, God may be incarnated in different ways in other religions.

Haight’s emphasis is on a Christology “from below”-that is, one that relies not on dogma but on an encounter with the Jesus who healed, preached the kingdom, and was...

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About the Author

John Garvey is an Orthodox priest and columnist for Commonweal. His most recent book is Seeds of the Word: Orthodox Thinking on Other Religions.