Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Gott als Geheimnis der Welt, Marginalia, and Deus Caritas Est

Some of us read, admittedly, pretty dense theological prose. But even within the world of academic theology, Jüngel is considered a special case. I think Gott als Geheimnis ranks up there with Paul Ricoeur and a few others as a volume, and a writer, worth reading who, simply put, intimidates through their erudition.

So, I confess, I've been slow to post anything related to my reading of this book as a result of sheer terror.

I understand that one way to overcome writers block is to write about anything at related to the topic, simply to clear the air. In that spirit, I'll note to all interested readers that:

a) I purchased my copy of God as Mystery from an on-line seller through Amazon for $45. This was the cheapest copy I could find. The actual seller, Fullerstone Books, was selling it in store for $67. I'd be interested how much readers of this blog would be willing to pay for a copy.

b) My book has had two previous owners, Raymond Cannata, and W. Jim Neidhart, both of Randolph, NJ. So apparently two people in Randolph have either read or owned Jüngel.

c) My translation was done by Darrel Guder. I believe this is the only English translation. I wonder how Guder, then Director of of the Institute of Youth Ministries at Fuller, convinced folks that translating Jüngel counted as a "youth" ministry?

d) My used volume has that tacky paper around the outside to protect, and came with one used band-aid stuck inside.

e) I intend to read the book in tandem with a study of the Pope's Encyclical Deus Caritas Est with the longer view of writing a paper connecting the two as they relate to a practical issue in public theology. Ostensibly, Jüngel's book is an exposition of the statement from 1st John: "God is Love." We shall see.

Thanks for the invitation to participate in this dialogue, and I hope my contributions are, on the whole, salutary.


D.W. Congdon said...

Thanks for the start. Placing God as the Mystery of the World and Deus Caritas Est in dialogue together is a great idea, and full of fruitful possibilities. After going through God's Being Is in Becoming, I hope to start a series going through God as the Mystery of the World.

If people are looking for a rather cheap copy, Loome Books is selling a copy of GMW for $35. Amazingly, I found a copy online for $15, so keep your eyes open.

WTM said...

I'm fairly certain that Raymond Cannata used to work in SpecColl.

D.W. Congdon said...

For those who do not know, "SpecColl" refers to the Special Collections & Archives at Princeton Theological Seminary, where both I and WTM attend.

Ben Myers said...

Some years ago, I was lucky enough to find a new copy of God as the Mystery for AUS$18 (about US$13) -- it was in a little Sydney bookshop, tucked away neatly in the New Age/Spiritual section, like a lily among thorns. I couldn't believe my luck!

Darrell Guder is an excellent translator -- around the same time that he did this Jüngel translation, he was also translating Otto Weber's big and complex Foundations of Dogmatics.

In contrast to this brilliant translation, the English translation of Jüngel's little book on Death can make you grimace in pain....

Anonymous said...

I bought a copy of God as the Mystery... from Elizabeth's Bookshop on Oxford Street (Sydney) for $12.00. It is in mint condition. Bargain!

RCannata said...

Yes, I did work in Special Collections at Princeton Seminary (1992-7). Surprised to find this blog. I never lived in Randolph, though. Randolph was where I acquired the book -- a gift from Dr. Neidhart's widow. Neidhart taught at NJIT and collaborated with Princeton prof James Loder on a book and other projects. Neidhart was a scientist and an evangelical who passed away in the early 1990s. I think I gave the Jungel book away a few years ago when I was pastoring in NJ.