Freedom and Creation in Three Traditions
Paperback | 9780268009885 | February 1993
Hardcover | 9780268009878 | February 1993
With creation of the universe as its focus and a deeper understanding of human freedom as its goal, Freedom and Creation in Three Traditions is a work of philosophical theology that brings together Jewish, Christian, and Muslim perspectives on the complex questions surrounding divine and human freedom. Burrell shows how the three traditions (each avowing the free creation of the universe by God) have developed a view of free human actors in relation to their initial affirmations that the universe is freely created by God. The concept of a free creation of the universe forms a motif for all three traditions, and their respective encounters with divine relation—in the Torah, Jesus Christ, and the Qur’an—offer distinctive ways of articulating and assimilating the original faith in a free creator. Burrell emphasizes the common ground among the traditions, but does not limit his discourse to a search for a common denominator among them. Instead, he traces the interactions among the traditions, employing an explicitly interfaith perspective that offers new ways to probe the vexing question of the relations between a free creator and free creatures. The results of this comparative method of reflection produce fresh insights into perennial human questions about creation and freedom—questions that have constituted a major body of theological reflection over the centuries. Aimed at graduates and advanced undergraduates as well as laypersons interested in interfaith dialogue and reflection, Freedom and Creation in Three Traditions illustrates the value of tradition-directed inquiry and clearly demonstrates the fruitfulness of comparative inquiries in philosophical theology.
David B. Burrell, C.S.C., is currently Theodore Hesburgh Emeritus Professor in Philosophy and Theology at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of Knowing the Unknowable God: Ibn-Sina, Maimonides, Aquinas (Notre Dame Press, 1986) and Freedom and Creation in Three Traditions (Notre Dame Press, 1993). He has been asked to direct the University's Jerusalem program, housed at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute, each spring until 2004.
Philosophical theology is not an easy subject, but in this book Burrell manages to make it as accessible as it will ever be. He himself controls the literature and language of all three traditions--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--and he appends an index of key Arabic terms used. ~Journal of Ecumenical Studies