Final Examination of Tuan Le Quang
For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at 10:00a.m., Caldwell Room 125
William Loewe, Ph.D.
The Encounter with Jesus Crucified and Risen in the Soteriology of Sebastian Moore
Sebastian Moore, an English Benedictine monk of Downside Abbey, has written a series of books on soteriology: The Crucified Jesus Is No Stranger (1977), The Fire and The Rose Are One (1980), The Inner Loneliness (1982), Let This Mind Be in You (1985), and Jesus the Liberator of Desire (1989). In this series, Moore seeks to determine the dynamics of the transformative, salvific transformation that occurs in the encounter with Jesus crucified and risen.
In successive chapters this dissertation offers a textual analysis of each of Moore’s books. Each chapter unearths the philosophically and psychologically based theological anthropology and the Christology operative in the soteriology of each book and notes shifts that occur from book to book.
Moore’s approach to soteriology negotiates the turn to the subject of modern thought. His soteriology draws on Bernard Lonergan’s explication of the realm of human interiority and integrates this with the work of a series of psychological theorists (C. Jung, E. Becker, A. Miller) and with insights drawn from the Christian contemplative traditions, thus forging a kind of interdisciplinary theology founded in spirituality. Moore seeks to understand the relationship between Jesus and the sinful human being and to identify and articulate the dynamics of healing and transformation in the one who encounters and accepts the Crucified into one’s life.
Moore probes how, in the encounter with Jesus crucified and risen, the individual is transformed into a new life. Plunged into death with Jesus, one is raised to a new life in the Body of Christ. One is brought by Jesus to the fullness of life in a new community, a new humanity with new identity, freedom and communion. Moore’s soteriology urges a need to discover oneself in oneself and challenges the believer to experience the liberating and transforming power of the crucified and risen Jesus.