HISTORY AS MYTH: The Import for Contemporary Theology by W. Taylor Stevenson

HISTORY AS MYTH: The Import for Contemporary Theology

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The meaning of history has become the fateful question for the Christian community. An understanding of the historical nature of reality distinguishes our time from other periods of human history, and Western civilization from other civilizations. This grasp of history as purposeful has furnished the dynamic drive and the sense of purpose in human life which has prevailed in our culture. But what consequences does such an historical consciousness impose on traditional Christian thought? Neither the Church nor our civilization, the author believes, have yet fully come to terms with this modern historical consciousness. Secularity, however, forces the issue of how we are to face and deal with the ""terror of history."" The solution to the problems raised by the author is proposed as found in the view of ""history as myth""--of history as not having an independent existence or meaning aside from the linguistic and symbolic forms in which men report and cherish it. History is basically a mythic way of perceiving the world, and Christian doctrines require reexamination in the light of this claim. The result of this argument is to provide an original and provocative, if not always convincing, point of view from which to rethink many of the issues now confronting Christian thought. Although most serviceable to theologians and students, the book can also speak to concerned laity.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1969
Publisher: Seabury