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Contemporary Theology – What is it?

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Contemporary Theology is the study of God focused on the ideas within the most recent time period. In academic research, Contemporary Theology is generally defined by its focus on trends and changes within theological research since World War I. Major areas of emphasis during this time have included fundamentalism, the Charismatic movement, neo-orthodoxy, neo-liberalism, Post-Vatican II Roman Catholicism, renewed interest in Eastern Orthodoxy, postmodernism, and modern evangelicalism.

In addition to these global trends, Contemporary Theology has often included areas of focus in certain gender and ethnic areas. Some of these include liberation theology, feminist theology, and various ethnic theologies (African American, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American, Native American).

A further area of focus in Contemporary Theology is the issue of Interfaith or Interreligious Dialogue. In this type of study, attention is given to similarities and differences that compare historic Christianity with other faiths. In particular, much attention in recent years has been on interreligious study between the Abrahamic Faiths (Judaism, Christianity, Islam).

Philosophical trends are also often a point of research in Contemporary Theology. Over the past generation, for example, much attention has centered on postmodernism and its relationship to theology. More recently, issues related to bioethics, human rights, faith in the public square, and the environment have received much attention.

Of important note is that Contemporary Theology is primarily a pursuit among those working in academic research. Often confronting intellectual issues related to theology, the field attracts both Christians and non-Christians in pursuit of information related to topics. As such, the goals of some will be much different than those seeking biblical information in order to live a more godly life as a Christian.

Those who wish to live according to God's Word would rightly focus most of their attention on understanding Scripture itself. The Word of God is living and active (Hebrews 4:12) and does not change (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Christians are called to show themselves diligent learners (2 Timothy 2:15), seeking to know God's Word, live it out, and to help share it with others. Ezra 7:10 notes, "For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel." His life shares an example applicable to every believer that can help in growing to live a life worthy of our calling today (Colossians 1:10).

Related Truth:

What is the definition of theology?

What is the academic field of Biblical Theology?

What is the academic field of Christian Theology?

How does systematic theology work?

Why is sound doctrine so crucial?

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