Elizabeth A. Johnson is Distinguished Professor of Theology at Fordham University and the author of many books. She is convinced that the quest for the Living God is undergoing a sea change within Christianity. People of faith are seeking the Divine not in abstract doctrines or ideas but in the precincts of their everyday experiences of struggle and hope. This is not a time for the faint-hearted or the fearful:
"When medieval map makers came to the limit of their knowledge of the known world, they oftentimes wrote in the empty space, 'Here be dragons.' There is something frightening about moving into the unknown, which might harm or devour us. Readers are invited to test where the limits of their own ideas about God might be and, guided by the different theologies presented here, to risk a journey through dragon territory to new places already discovered to be life-giving and true by others in the church. The result can be a richness of fait that cleaves to the living God even in the darkness and shows itself in passionate, responsible care for this good but terribly fractured world."
In a series of concise and bold chapters, Johnson spells out fresh ways of envisioning the presence of God:
• Gracious Mystery, Ever Greater, Ever Nearer
• The Crucified God of Compassion
• Liberating God of Life
• God Acting Womanish
• God Who Breaks Chains
• Accompanying God of Fiesta
• Generous God of the Religions
• Creator Spirit in the Evolving World
• Trinity: The Living God of Love
These new ideas of God have arisen from attempts to deal with the darkness of the Holocaust, the struggles of the poor for social justice, and the efforts of women to achieve equal human dignity. They have also derived from Christianity's openness to other religions and from the challenges faced by the faithful to protect and restore the good Earth. Johnson looks at the strategies of various theologians to revitalize Trinitarian theology. She concludes that the unfathomable mystery of God calls us into the future, and we can take many different paths:
"Rather than discussing simply one aspect of the divine, each particular approach intends and amplifies the meaning of the whole, like different gateways opening into one garden. Together these gateways offer us glimpses of the living God at once ineffable, vulnerable, liberating, relational, justice-loving, beautiful, generous, cherishing, dynamic, and adventurous; at once creative, redemptive, and embracing; in a word, Love."