Monthly Archives: February 2012

If public theology began in Swift Hall in the mid 70s, then …

… what exactly are we being trained to become?

(1)

The “contemporary use” of the term “public theology” originated in Martin Marty’s 1974 article “Two Kinds of Two Kinds of Civil Religion [sic].”

–Mary Doak, Reclaiming Narrative for Public Theology (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2004), 5.

(2)

“There is general agreement that Martin Marty was the first person to intentionally use the term public theology and provide a description of it. […] Marty identified two main kinds of civil religion, both of which existed in two forms. One kind of religion takes a critical and prophetic theological stance toward the nation and its leaders [e.g. Reinhold Niebuhr and Jonathan Edwards]. [Another kind] represents public theology from the church’s side [e.g. Walter Rauchenbusch and Benjamin Franklin].”

— E. Harold Breitenberg, “What is Public Theology?”, in Public Theology for a Global Society:  Essays in Honor of Max L. Stackhouse (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2010), 7-8.

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