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Title: The idea of freedom and the political theologies of Wolfhart Pannenberg and Gustavo Gutiérrez
Author: Vandici, Gratian Daniel
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 1834
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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The question guiding the argument of my thesis is whether it is possible to articulate a political theology in terms of the idea of freedom. This possibility is explored through an analysis and evaluation of the political dimension of the theologies of Wolfhart Pannenberg and Gustavo Gutiérrez. For both these theologians, the idea of freedom emerges from reflection on the process of historical experience, which itself delimits the horizon of political activity. The relevance of theology for politics consists in its competence in interpreting the individual desire for liberty within the context of our created finitude, whose deepest meaning is revealed only in God’s work of salvation. In discerning the concrete possibilities of freedom, theology has therefore to consider the role of the church as the community for learning freedom, a role already identified as part of its mission in Paul’s epistle to the Galatians. In a further step, it has to consider more directly the nature of political authority and its conditioning of the actualization of human freedom through concrete practices in the life of societies and states. In this respect it is the task of theology to establish the creaturely and eschatological contexts of political life in such a way as to ground a morality of political justice. This triple structure, because it finds material justification with both theologians, creates the possibility of a fair and balanced comparison between two visions which share theoretical concerns to a surprising extent, enriching the scope of the dialogue, yet differ radically in practical orientation and commitments. This marked divergence will allow some reflection on the role of intra-theological debate in the self-definition of theological tradition against the political with regard to the competence of interpreting human freedom.
Supervisor: Zachhuber, Johannes Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Modern theology ; Christianity and Christian spirituality