Fortress Press

Waiting and Being: Creation, Freedom, and Grace in Western Theology

Waiting and Being

Creation, Freedom, and Grace in Western Theology

Joshua B. Davis (Author)


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The problem of creation and grace has a long history of contention within Protestant and Catholic theology, involving not only internecine conflict within the traditions but fueling, as well, ecumenical debates that have continued a dogmatic divide. This volume traces out that conflict in modern Catholic and Protestant dogmatics and provides a historical genealogy that situates the origin of the problem within different emphases in the thought of St. Augustine. The author puts forward an argument and reconstruction of the problem that overcomes the longstanding abstractions, elisions, and divisions that have characterized the theological discussion. What is called for is a reclamation of the reading of Augustine in Aquinas and Luther, a recovery of an ethical metaphysics, and a Christological reconstruction of being and otherness as the path toward a concrete union of creation and grace.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800699901
  • eBook ISBN 9781451465228
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 208
  • Emerging Scholars category Theology
  • Publication Date October 1, 2013


"Waiting and Being provides an exemplary critical history of Catholic theology in the post-Vatican I era, as well as a close reading of Protestant Liberalism and its chief detractor, Karl Barth. But Davis cuts against the grain of much historical theology, which perpetuate 'abstract and negative' doctrines of grace, by offering a rich and extensive constructive theology of grace. A beautifully researched and stimulating book!"
—Katherine Sonderegger
Virginia Theological Seminary

"Davis's book reveals a deep thinker in close conversation with the richest sources of our contemporary theological tradition, one who creatively challenges longstanding dividing lines between nature and grace, Protestant and Catholic. This dense and demanding essay will not just invite re-reading; it will also repay the effort."
—Paul J. DeHart
Vanderbilt University

“A learned, far-reaching, and valuable book. Joshua Davis's complex and provocative argument—which engages authors ranging from Augustine to Gillian Rose, and culminates in a striking constructive statement—opens up important new lines of thought and deserves close attention.”
Paul Dafydd Jones
University of Virginia
“In this hugely ambitious first book, Joshua Davis tracks his own distinctive path through the contentious thickets of modern debate on nature and grace.  Evidencing meticulous care and clarity in his own readings of Augustine, Aquinas and Luther, amongst many others, Davis shows how the French ressourcement theologians overreacted to the neo-Thomisms that preceded them, and that Protestant theology also faltered in its account of the crippling effects of sin. Hence, work still remains to be done in reconceiving the vital role of grace in transforming human (and especially social) relations. This book is itself a dazzling manifestation of ressourcement at its best:  it goes back (with deep care and respect) in order to go forward (with verve and hope).”
Sarah Coakley
University of Cambridge