• Barth and Hans W. Frei

      Fulford, Ben; University of Chester
      In this chapter, I will summarise the development of Hans Frei’s reading of Karl Barth in order to contextualise his own Christology as an attempt to learn from Barth yet think beyond him on the locus central to all his theology. While we can trace significant lines of continuity between Frei’s Identity of Jesus Christ and Karl Barth as Frei understood him, we can also see it as a bold, risky essay in pursuit of an even more focused attention to the concreteness of God’s presence in Jesus Christ given us in the text of Scripture.
    • Book Reviews: Advancing Trinitarian Theology; Two Views on the Doctrine of the Trinity

      Fulford, Ben; University of Chester (Sage, 2016-02-17)
      Book review of two recent collections of essays in trinitarian theology.
    • Dominic Keech, The Anti-Pelagian Christology of Augustine of Hippo, 396-430

      Fulford, Ben; University of Chester (Sage Publications, 2014-02-13)
      Book review.
    • Feeding and forming the People of God: the Lord, his Supper and the Church in Calvin and 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

      Fulford, Ben; University of Chester (Routledge, 2009-11-23)
      In this chapter I seek to identify the specific value of the Lord's Supper in distinction from hearing the Word, by reading Calvin’s commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:17-34, and by seeking to supplement his account through fresh theological engagement with the biblical text. Reading Scripture leads Calvin to identify the Supper, in answer to Cocksworth’s question, as an intensified moment of covenant with God in soul-nourishing union with Christ and one another, intensified because of the instrumental role of physical signs. Yet he pays relatively little attention to the importance of the life of the visible church community in the meaning of the Supper in Paul’s argument. By exploring this ecclesial dimension further, I argue, we see the practical, ethical and missional implications of the Supper’s meaning for the church.
    • Hans Frei: beyond liberal and conservative

      Fulford, Ben; University of Chester (Wipf and Stock, 2020-04-30)
      At first glance, Hans W. Frei does not fit the profile of an ecumenical theologian, nor does he seem to have been considered in these terms before in scholarship. Unlike his colleague, George Lindbeck, he does not appear to have taken a close interest in the ecumenical movement or particular ecumenical dialogues or reconciliation, as Lindbeck did in his The Nature of Doctrine. Nor is his work seek to mediate between Anglican and Quaker beliefs. Yet he did seek a way forward, theologically, for what he called a ‘generous orthodoxy’ in an approach that would transcend and re-frame the conservative-liberal polarity and offer an approach to orthodoxy that was at once flexible, accountable to Scripture, resilient and progressive.
    • Liberalism versus Postliberalism. The Great Divide in Twentieth Century Theology. By John Allan Knight

      Fulford, Ben; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2014-02-21)
      Book review.
    • Light and Darkness - IV. Christianity

      Fulford, Ben; University of Chester
      A survey of the treatment of themes of light and darkness in the use and interpretation of biblical texts in Christian liturgy and theology from the early church to the present.
    • Moderating Religious Identity and the Eclipse of Religious Wisdoms: Lessons from Hans Frei

      Fulford, Ben; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2017-06-16)
      The multivalent binary distinction between radical and moderate religion plays a key part in the rhetoric and strategy of European governments in their attempts to produce European Muslim citizens whose primary political loyalty lies with the society and state in which they live. It also plays a key part in public discourse about European Muslims and their citizenship. In what follows, I focus especially on one relatively constructive use of the distinction in the UK, offer an account of its logic through a reading of the political theology of John Locke and a critique of its effects upon a religious tradition that draws on the analysis of Hans W. Frei. Frei’s account suggests that to the extent that this logic has shaped Christian self-understanding, it tends to eclipse the wellsprings of the critically constructive engagement of Christians in the public sphere and public institutions constitutive of a pluralist, democratic society. This assessment in turn raises questions about the impact of the moderate/radical binary in respect of sources of constructive critical engagement by citizens with other religious identities.
    • Nicholas E. Lombardo, O.P. The Father’s Will. Christ’s Crucifixion and the Goodness of God

      Fulford, Ben; University of Chester (Sage Publications, 2015-02-23)
      Book review
    • 'One Commixture of Light’ (Or. 31.14): Rethinking some modern uses and critiques of Gregory of Nazianzus on the unity and equality of the divine persons

      Fulford, Ben; University of Chester (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009-02-17)
      Gregory of Nazianzus' doctrine of the Trinity is both a constructive source and an object of critique for Leonardo Boff's account of the Trinity. I argue that Gregory's account of the unity of the Trinity in the monarchy of the Father does not entail the ontological subordination of Son and Spirit nor otherwise obviate the equality of the divine persons. On Gregory's account, the unity and equality of the divine persons is bound up with that of their distinct identities in the very particular modes in which they relate to one another: a unity transcending all human commonality. By contrast, Boff's theology of the Trinity seems to elide the real distinction between God and creatures and erode the differences between the divine persons, so subverting the social programme he derives from his doctrine.
    • Postliberal positions in public theology

      Fulford, Ben; University of Chester (Bloomsbury, 2022-06-30)
      In this chapter, I seek to show that, contrary to widespread caricatures as fideists eschewing publicly intelligible critical scrutiny, or sectarians advocating Christian disengagement from the public realm, postliberal theologians have a deep commitment to publicness in both these senses, which arises from their commitment to the irreducible particularity of Christian beliefs, practices and the stories which norm them. It is, I argue first, because of this commitment to Christian particularity and the orientation to the public it entails, that they are critical of attempts to establish the public status of Christian belief and practice on a putatively universalist foundation or general theory of human existence or religion. They pursue this critique in order to preserve the public character of Christian faith. Second, to different degrees, they seek to mobilise what they take to be core resources of Christian tradition, not least its central scriptural narratives, in order to frame, orient and exemplify constructive Christian engagement with public issues and events. Third, they have sought to find ways to articulate the modes and terms of critical public accountability for Christian beliefs and practices without lapsing back into the very modes of theological and ethical argument against which they protest. These tend to liken the public intelligibility of Christian meanings to those of the culture of a community, to combine realist, coherentist and pragmatic understandings to describe what it means to call Christianity ‘true’, which admit of a range of public ways of assessing Christian discourse without subordinating it to a distorting set of criteria.
    • Review of Andrew Hofer Christ in the Life and Teaching of Gregory of Nazianzus

      Fulford, Ben; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2016-05-11)
      Review of Andrew Hofer's Christ in the Life and Teaching of Gregory of Nazianzus.
    • Review of Reading Faithfully. Writings from the Archives. 2 vols. By Hans W. Frei, edited by Mike Higton and Mark Alan Bowald

      Fulford, Ben; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2018-12-11)
      Book review.
    • Thinking about Marriage with Scripture

      Fulford, Ben; University of Chester (SCM Press, 2016-02-28)
      In this chapter, I articulate theological grounds, drawn from the way New Testaments texts relate scriptural texts to the identity and presence of Jesus Christ, for an approach to using biblical texts to think through a theological understanding of marriage and human sexuality oriented around the way human beings are identified relative to God and Jesus Christ in biblical narrative. In this approach paranetic texts are taken not as giving absolute rules but offering formation in reasoning about these matters of belief and practice in accordance with who God is, and who we are relative to God. The remainder of the chapter begins that process by looking at creation stories and the import of the way they identify humans relative to God for these issues.