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Book reviews for "McFague,_Sallie" sorted by average review score:

Metaphorical Theology: Models of God
Published in Paperback by Fortress Press (1997)
Author: Sallie McFague
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Being Surprised by the Joy of Sallie's Metaphors of Theology
When I received this profound statement of Sallie's Metaphors, I first concluded, "It's too deep for me!" Since I had finished my schedule of preaching to Prison Inmates, I'd lost my motive of reading heavy things on the Art of Preaching much less of reading heavy Theology. Now after 3 years I am involved with the heavy Theology of Columbia Professors Brueggemann and O'Connor!

When I looked back at some markings I had made in Dr. Sallie's heavy stuff I saw, "all or almost all, of the language used by the Bible to refer to God is metaphor..." She credited George Caird, one of my favorite biblical scholars. Her next paragraph stated, "A Hebrew sucked the juice out of each metaphor as he used it, and threw the skin away at once... Within the plethora of Hebrew images there is one category that stands--out-personal relational images." I had been looking for such simple profound statements for months of hearing Professor Bruegge! Even Doubley when she quoted Paul Ricoeur, C.H. Dodd, John Dominic Crossan, John Donahue, C.S. Lewis, Leander Keck, relating to Parables.

She uses the phrase, "artistically creative imagination," in her chapter in on Models of Science. There she quotes Ian Barbour, C.S. Lewis and Niels Bohr which takes me back to Barbara Brown Taylor's "Luminous Web!" I love Sallie's conclusion on the last page from the medieval Mystic: "Thou art an immense ocean of all sweetness...(Let me)lose myself in the flood of Thy living love as a drop of sea water..." Finally adding comments from Gerard Manley Hopkins and Paul Tillich.

What a feast for Mystic Theologs! Retired Chaplain Fred W Hood

Metaphorical Theology : Models of God
This book is an eye-opener. The issues surrounding the uses of masculine and feminine metaphors for God can be complicated and emotional, but Sallie McFague tries to keep to the issues of metaphor and theology as suggested in the title. This book was written before her later book "Models of God" which refers back to this one several times. She does a fine job of showing us the power of metaphors to shape our thoughts and practices in religious matters. As a feminist she advocates reform rather than revolution, believing that there is room in the Christian tradition for equality of males and females. She says the governing metaphor of Christianity is liberation. Those who have not yet realized the governing role of metaphors in expressing and shaping our religious thought may find this book unsettling at first, but those who stick with the argument will be enriched. This is a smaller book than "Models of God" and worthy of careful attention.

Quilting and Braiding: The Feminist Christologies of Sallie McFague and Elizabeth A. Johnson in Conversation
Published in Paperback by Liturgical Press (1998)
Authors: Shannon Schrein and Monika K. Hellwig
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Excellent analysis
"Quilting and Braiding" is an excellent scholarly analysis of the Christologies of two leading feminist theologians. Schrein compares and contrasts these two theologians and offers a fair critique of both women's positions. In her first two chapters, Schrein examines the foundational thought of both McFague and Johnson, and explains the theological influences on both women. She proceeds to give a detailed explaination of both women's positions in Christology. McFague, coming from a Protestant background, is a constructionist at heart and seeks to find new ways of understanding Jesus as Christ, which eventually leads to her focus on the "cosmic Christ" rather than the person of Jesus and his particular message. Johnson, on the other hand (a Catholic), is a reformist and deconstructionist in her thought and seeks to extract from Christian tradition that which is valuable for the purpose of liberation; her Christology follows along the same lines and she is deeply concerned with getting as close as possible to the historical Jesus in order to further ascertain the true meaning of his ministry and, thus, a more meaningful understanding of the Christ for our time. This perspective leads to her focus on Jesus' teachings on the reign of God. In the end, Schrein gives both theologians high regard, but comes to the conclusion that Johnson has a more balanced position; an opinion that I am inclined to agree with. This work is not only valuable for understanding these two leaders in feminist theology, but it points to a broader understanding of Christology in the Christian tradition, and represents the value of feminist theology in this topic. A fine piece of work.

I'm sure this book will be everything you're looking for...

In the Company of Others: A Dialogical Christology
Published in Paperback by Pilgrim Pr (2001)
Authors: David Hadley Jensen and Sallie McFague
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Is it just me...
...or does the cover of this book suggest a connection to The Mothman Prophecies ?

Models of God: Theology for an Ecological, Nuclear Age
Published in Paperback by Fortress Press (1989)
Author: Sallie McFague
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Breakthrough Contemporary Theology!
Sallie McFague's book excellently redefines how God should
be envisioned in the current, postmodern society.
McFague does an excellent job constructing a positive image of
God that should be considered by any modern reader,
especially one interested in the ecological crisis
or the nuclear threat. Drawing upon the progress of
earlier theologians in these areas, McFague has written
an intense and incredibly important book for the modern
era, and one that should be seriously considered
by every person who is concerned about the state of the
planet and of all humanity.

In addition to the above positive points, McFague's book is an enticing
read; it is also very thorough and scholarly in its development. Simply stated,
it's a "must read."

Super, Natural Christians: How We Should Love Nature
Published in Paperback by Fortress Press (1997)
Author: Sallie McFague
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a different look and touch of nature
With this book, the fourth, Sallie McFague brings her organic or ecological model to a practical conclusion. Our care for nature should start with our look (loving) and continue with our touch. She convincingly argues for a change from a subject/object to a subject/subjects mindset. This is not an apocalyptic doomsayer oracle but a hands-on advice on how we should love nature. There is hope for the future but it will take work. This is an excellent book, worthy of your time but be warned - you will want to go out and dirty your hands with the earth's soil.

Life Abundant: Rethinking Theology and Economy for a Planet in Peril
Published in Paperback by Fortress Press (2000)
Author: Sallie McFague
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Embrace and love the world you live in... thus, embrace God.
Avant-garde theologian, reformative and unorthodox Christian, Sallie McFague, in 'Life Abundant', sets forth a radical, earthbound, theology that is as provocative as it is over sanguine.

Her 'hope against hope' prophetic cry to all North Americans is to 'love and protect the world' and thus love God. Forsake your 'hell bent' consuming way and share the world's resources equally. Be liberated from your role as oppressors. While this message is needed and laudable, it will, sadly, go unheard and thus unheeded. For, as Seneca, the Roman philosopher said at the time of Christ, "It is the superfluous things for which men concern themselves".

Dr. McFague is an accomplished professor of Theology (Vanderbilt Divinity School) and, as such, she challenges you to reconsider your life philosophy, your spiritual theology and your consumer mentality. Dr. McFague wants you not to read her book as much as to engage, challenge and argue with her via the book. In the end, she hopes you will rethink and develop a 'working theology' that embraces and loves the world we live in.

While the title of the book is affable, and even quaint, this book is not. This is a dense and demanding read; however, a postulation worthy of every thinking person's effort. I am going to attempt the absurd. I am going to attempt to distill the erudite writings of Dr. McFague in three phrases. In "Life Abundant" Sallie McFague has an admonitory outcry for "middle class North American Christians". She calls them to 1) Change their manic consumer lives, and choose to live in harmony with, and care for, all creation. 2) Realize that Christians (as all people) live to give God glory by loving the world and everything in it. 3) Deconstruct their traditional theologies and then reconstruct them in concert with her "Panentheistic" theology.

Be forewarned, any attempt to fully grasp Sally McFague's in a coherent way will be akin to attempting to wrap your arms around a full grown Redwood tree. Her theology is "relatively absolute". She believes that all theologians speak of God metaphorically, and there is no such thing as a complete theology, rather there are only piecemeal theologies, and no creditable theologian makes empirical statements about who God is. Thus, the reading of her explanation of her belief system is akin to listening to Dennis Hopper disjointedly saying in 'Apocalypse Now' that he found "the one" (referring to Marlin Brando). Heavy man, heavy.

Her theology is Christian Panentheism - Pan'en'theism. God is immanent, incarnated in the world through nature. Thus she sees the world as 'in' ('en') God and that God is 'with' the world. God is with us here and now in all living beings. "The world", for Sallie "is where God dwells, it is God's 'house'". And, for her, the "divine incarnation" is not limited to Jesus, but God is incarnate in the world and each creature is "a microcosm of divine incarnation".

For McFague God is Reality. She states; "when we say that God is reality we mean that reality is both with us and beyond us, both eminent and transcendent, both physical and spiritual". God is "the source, the sustainer, and the goal of everything that is."

Her theology is a 'working theology' and she believe that we must act - now and decisively. She condemns the consumptive, consumer life style of North Americans. Her evolved theology is no longer the self-centered tribal, traditional anthropocentric Christian theology of the masses (salvation for the individual), but is a cosmological theology that affirms that being with nature is being with God and salvation is when you are in God's presence (God is found in relationship with others and nature). For Sallie the deterioration of nature and the injustice to the poor people is caused by the religion of our time - consumerism.

I found that some of her provocative statements raise significant questions. For example, if God so loves the world and is continually engaged, or "radical present", with the world, then where is the evidence of His/Her/Its involvement? Nowhere does Dr. McFague explain where or how God is "radically present". Please, give me examples, Dr. McFague, of where and how God is involved with this world He/She/It loves.

She does not embrace the Christian belief in the popular image of God as a supernatural being and redeemer of human individuals. But rather for Dr. McFague God is - radically transcendent and radically immanent. Her Christology is unconventional and unorthodox. She discards the personally redemptive, sacrificial death of Christ - "Personally, I have never been able to believe it", and replaces it with an 'ecological economic Christology.'

Her chapters on economic models are great reads, but her statement that we, in North America, have "allowed our economic theories (i.e. market capitalism) to tell us who we are"- is disputable. Market capitalism did not make us consuming, self-gratifying individuals, but rather we adopted market capitalism because it is what best benefits who we are.

Also, she beats the drum of 'frugality', asking her readers to restrict significantly their materialistic intake (she admittedly acknowledges that this is not a beat that North Americans are likely to dance to). Thus, her Jeremiah prophetic call to a radical life change, thought desperately needed, will accomplish what it did with Israel - Nada.
Her end notes (30 pages) are a gold mine for all those interested in cross-references, excellent bibliographies, insights and side-bar comments.

In short, though complex, this is a stimulating and thought provoking read. Anyone who believes, as McFague does, that God loves and wants to save the earth, should read this book, agree with her theology, "we are to give God glory by loving the earth" and chorus "Amen, and Amen". Recommended

Another mindblower
Just when I thought Christian theology has nothing more to say, Sallie McFague comes along and not only says something new but encourages her readers to participate in creating and living theology. Her theological credo is to give glory to God by loving the world and all in it. She acknowledges that this is a relative absolute for her as a North American feminist living in the 21st century, something all theologies should be. The book is divided into three parts: I The Practice of Planetary Theology, II The Context of Planetary Theology and III The Content of Planetary Theology. Her ecological liberation theology is opposed to the materialistic consumerism of the North American middle class. If these priviledged few (20% of the world's population) do not lower their impact on the environment and the poorer nations (80%)they won't have a future either. The way to change people's behavior is to alter the mindset (theology and economy). "Life Abundant" even makes sense to me as a white Afrikaans male living in South Africa. We have the unique combination of a First and Third World, rich and poor, in one country. We can see and feel the devastation the rich have on the environment and the poor. This latest work by Sallie McFague helped me make sense of my world and enticed me to develop my own religious autobiography. If you care for theology, God, nature, human beings or Christ, get this book ASAP. It will change your life and hopefully save the world.

The Body of God: An Ecological Theology
Published in Paperback by Fortress Press (1993)
Author: Sallie McFague
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I am so ready for an apocolypse
Just when you thought every rediculous theory had been put into print, here comes Sally McFague and her organic model of political correctness. Can we please have more new definitions for everyday reality? Before I read this book, I had no idea that I was a morphic descendent of the protozoan patrea conspiracy. If you don't already hate old white men in America, and you're looking for a reason to, buy this book, and get your carpet cleaned by Sally McFague.

McFague looks at some of the current images of God and how those images play out in our everyday lives. She makes it clear in the introduction who the book is written to, what the purpose of the book is (and what it is not), and the weaknesses of the book. It is not about "shaping theology to science" (ix), instead it is about a way of thinking. She states on page viii in the introduction that the point of the book is "to help those of us from this background... ['First-world, privileged, mainstream Christians'] to begin to think and act differently, to think and act as if bodies matter." She conveys this by using the model she provides (the universe as the body of God) and filtering through this model some common thoughts about creation, theology, Christology, ecology, and more.

This book is beautifully written and interesting to read. I highly recommend it.

get ready for a paradigm shift
This ecological theology makes the best sense of all the eco-theologies I've read. Her inclusive organic model can be used by men, women, lesbian, bisexual and gay people. This opened a new way of thinking for me that can make a difference not only in my life but hopefully also in the lives of the South Africans I will come into contact. But most important it changed my understanding of my place in the universe and in our beautiful country. Do yourself a favour, buy this book and study it. But be warned, your patriarchal mindset will be shattered. I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to study her other books that's on their way. Thank you Sallie.

Literature and the Christian Life.
Published in Textbook Binding by Yale Univ Pr (1966)
Author: Sallie McFague. Teselle
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Speaking in Parables
Published in Paperback by Scm Pr (2002)
Author: Sallie McFague
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Speaking in Parables: A Study in Metaphor and Theology
Published in Paperback by Fortress Press (1975)
Author: Sallie McFague
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