Yale professor praised for theological works

Serene Jones (left) and Miroslav Volf (center) listen to David Kelsey at a recent conference/Tracy Simmons - creedibleMONTREAL – For more than two decades David H Kelsey, Luther A. Weigle professor of theology at Yale Divinity School, has been trying to answer one question – what does it mean to be a human being?

In October, he released a 2-volume text called, “Eccentric Existence: A Theological Anthropology,” where he investigates the exhaustive issue.

At the recent American Academy of Religion annual conference in Canada, a panel of theologians discussed the book and applauded Kelsey for his work.

Joy A. McDougall, of Emory University, and a previous Yale student, praised her former professor for his theological thoughts.

“In Volume 1, he begins to sing as a theologian,” she said, noting that Kelsey explains in his book that humans are living on borrowed breath. “Our life is not a possession, rather it’s a finite existence that’s on loan to us.”

She said “Eccentric Existence” illustrates the hospitable generosity of God and said reading it reminded her of Kelsey’s, “enormous theological wisdom.”

The text, which is divided into three parts hypothesizes that humanity’s relationship to God is a basic claim of Christianity and that God actively relates to human beings in three major ways: he creates them; he is there at the end of all things eschatologically; and he reconciles humans when they are alienated from him.

Miroslav Volf, director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, admitted that he hasn’t had the chance to read all 1,496 pages of the book, but said it’s a, “reliable, insightful guide.”

“He is a constructive theologian of the first kind,” he said about his colleague.

Volf explained that Kelsey addresses three crucial questions all humans ponder: What are we? Who are we? And, how ought we be?

“David has given us a map filled with rightly asked questions,” Volf said. “It’s a book that’s meant to be read, and re-read.”

Kelsey has also penned “Imagining Redemption,” and “To Understand God Truly: What’s Theological about a Theological School?”




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