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Angel Vol 118

Angel Vol 118 -

Angel Vol 118

...used to explain why God intervenes in human history, but it also functioned as an important explanatory resource for ordinary people and ecclesiastical scholars, many of whom sought to make sense of historical events and processes, including climactic disasters, through causal connections with divine will. In Early Medieval Culture and the Development of Angelology (pp. 26-96), Joel Alison probes this same issue, tracing the acceptance of the doctrine of replacement in medieval preachers and hymnwriters. Alison also carefully traces the history of this doctrine in both apocryphal and early biblical literature, and argues that its roots lie in the cosmological understanding of God and creation. Virgin birth, Alison contends, was ``one of the few Biblical scenes that evokes an understanding of birth in a physical sense as the work of God in a cosmos in order to create the material world.... In this way, the doctrine of replacement is grafted onto creation, and the virgin birth functions as the first representation of this doctrine in the Bible. It was the starting point for a long, development which saw biblical preachers invoke the doctrine to explain a diverse range of historical events...[T]he doctrine of replacement was rescued from its intended obscurity by a later age when it was offered a new meaning and new possibilities as an explanatory principle for the catastrophes of the day. only one of a series of reappraisals of doctrine throughout the Christian West in this period which was designed to answer the political needs of its rulers that were concerned with interpreting the meaning of history in the light of God's providence. These reappraisals not only cut across traditional church boundaries and historical areas, they often repudiate the clear indications of original intent as well as the basis of their authority. The doctrine of replacement became, in other words, the ruling principle of a new vision of the world and of how history happens. It became an explanatory principle that answered the meaning of history in every context. It brought, of course, an obligation to be precise in application and to call out to true believers in confession and repentance...[O]ne of the most striking characteristics of the doctrine of replacement is that it is an unprincipled claim to explain the whole of history. It grows out of the new vision of creation as a religious system, and is defended by many of the most eminent theologians," (pp. 46-47). d2c66b5586


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