Braaten, Carl E. 1929-
BRAATEN, Carl E. 1929-
Born January 3, 1929, in St. Paul, MN; son of Torstein F. (a missionary) and Clara A. (a missionary) Braaten; married LaVonne Gardner, September 16, 1951; children: Craig, Martha, Maria, Kristofer. Ethnicity: "Norwegian descent." Education: St. Olaf College, B.A. (philosophy, English, French; magna cum laude), 1951; Luther Seminary, B.Th., 1955; Harvard University, Th.D., 1960; studied at University of Paris, 1951-52; University of Heidelberg, 1957-58; and Oxford University, 1967-68. Politics: Democrat. Religion: "Lutheran—Evangelical Lutheran Church in America." Hobbies and other interests: Tennis, golf.
Office—Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology, 16005 Huron Dr., Sun City West, AZ 85375. E-mail—[email protected]
Minister. Ordained 1958, Evangelical Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, MN; Lutheran Church of the Messiah, Minneapolis, pastor, 1958-61; Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN, instructor in theology and church history, 1958-61; Lutheran Theological Seminary, Maywood, IL, assistant professor of theology, 1961-67; Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago, IL, professor of systematic theology, 1968-95; Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology, Sun City West, AZ, executive director, 1991—. Dialog: A Journal of Theology, founding editor, 1962—; Pro Ecclesia: A Journal of Catholic and Evangelical Theory, founder and coeditor, 1992—.
American Theological Society, American Academy of Religion, North American Paul Tillich Society, Phi Beta Kappa.
Fulbright scholar, 1951-52; Sinclair Kennedy fellow, Harvard University, 1957-58; Guggenheim fellow, 1967-68; Franklin Clark Fry Award, 1974-75.
History and Hermeneutics, Westminster Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1966.
The Future of God: The Revolutionary Dynamics of Hope, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1969.
Christ and Counter-Christ: Apocalyptic Themes in Theology and Culture, Fortress Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1972.
The Whole Counsel of God, Fortress Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1974.
Eschatology and Ethics: Essays on the Theology and Ethics of the Kingdom of God, Augsburg Publishing House (Minneapolis, MN), 1974.
(With wife, LaVonne Braaten) The Living Temple: A Practical Theology of the Body and the Foods of the Earth, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1976.
The Flaming Center: A Theology of the Christian Mission, Fortress Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1977.
Principles of Lutheran Theology, Fortress Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1983.
Stewards of the Mysteries: Sermons for Festivals and Special Occasions, Augsburg Publishing House (Minneapolis, MN), 1983.
The Apostolic Imperative: Nature and Aim of the Church's Mission and Ministry, Augsburg Publishing House (Minneapolis, MN), 1985.
Justification: The Article by Which the Church Stands or Falls, Fortress Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1990.
No Other Gospel!: Christianity among the World's Religions, Fortress Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1992.
Mother Church: Ecclesiology and Ecumenism, Fortress Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1998.
(And translator, with Roy A. Harrisville) Kerygma and History: A Symposium on the Theology of Rudolf Bultmann, Abingdon Press (New York, NY), 1962.
(And translator, with Roy A. Harrisville) The Historical Jesus and the Kerygmatic Christ: Essays on the New Quest of the Historical Jesus, Abingdon Press (New York, NY), 1964.
(And translator) Martin Kähler, The So-Called Historical Jesus and the Historic Biblical Christ, Fortress Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1964, reprinted, 1988.
Paul Tillich, Perspectives on Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century Protestant Theology, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1967.
Paul Tillich, A History of Christian Thought, Harper & Row (New York, NY), 1968, published as A History of Christian Thought, from Its Judaic and Hellenistic Origins to Existentialism, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1972.
(With Avery Dulles) Wolfhart Pannenberg, Spirit, Faith, and Church, Westminster Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1970.
(With Robert W. Jenson) The Futurist Option, Newman Press (New York, NY), 1970.
The New Church Debate: Issues Facing American Lutheranism, Fortress Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1983.
(With Robert W. Jenson) Christian Dogmatics (two volumes), Fortress Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1984.
(With Philip Clayton) The Theology of Wolfhart Pannenberg: Twelve American Critiques, with an Autobiographical Essay and Response, Augsburg Publishing House (Minneapolis, MN), 1988.
Our Naming of God: Problems and Prospects of God-Talk Today, Fortress Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1989.
(With Robert W. Jenson) Reclaiming the Bible for the Church, W. B. Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1995.
(With Robert W. Jenson) A Map of Twentieth-Century Theology: Readings from Karl Barth to Radical Pluralism, Fortress Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1995.
(With Robert W. Jenson) Either/Or: The Gospel or Neopaganism, W. B. Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1995.
(With Robert W. Jenson) The Catholicity of the Reformation, W. B. Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1996.
(With Robert W. Jenson) The Two Cities of God: The Church's Responsibility for the Earthly City, W. B. Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1997.
(With Robert W. Jenson) Union with Christ: The New Finnish Interpretation of Luther, W. B. Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1998.
(With Robert W. Jenson) Marks of the Body of Christ, W. B. Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 1999.
(With Robert W. Jenson) Sin, Death, and the Devil, W. B. Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 2000.
(With Robert W. Jenson) Church Unity and the Papal Office: An Ecumenical Dialogue on John Paul II's Encyclical "Ut unum sint" ("That All May Be One"), W. B. Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 2001.
(With Robert W. Jenson) The Last Things: Biblical and Theological Perspectives on Eschatology, W.B. Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 2002.
(With Robert W. Jenson) The Strange New World of the Gospel: Re-evangelizing in the Postmodern World, W. B. Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 2002.
(With Robert W. Jenson) Jews and Christians: People of God, W. B. Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 2003.
(With Robert W. Jenson) Ecumenical Future: Background Papers for "In One Body through the Cross: The Princeton Proposal for Christian Unity," W. B. Eerdmans (Grand Rapids, MI), 2003.
Contributor to books and periodicals.
Carl E. Braaten was born to parents who served the Evangelical Lutheran Church as missionaries in Madagascar. Braaten himself served as a minister and an educator before becoming executive director of the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology.
Braaten has written or edited a long list of volumes on theology and religious thought, and several of these are collections of essays or papers that developed out of individual theological conferences. His No Other Gospel!: Christianity among the World's Religions is a collection of essays in which, according to Robert Cummings Neville in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research, "Braaten argues strongly for both missionary efforts and interfaith dialogue in which the Gospel of Jesus Christ can be proclaimed while sharing and building upon God's grace as manifested throughout many cultures and religions."
Christian Century's Donald G. Bloesch wrote that Braaten "warns of a new church conflict and the need for the church to redefine itself in the face of new heresies. A genuine reformation will not come until the church rediscovers its mission, which has now become politicized."
Braaten and Robert W. Jenson, with whom Braaten has coedited many volumes, produced The Catholicity of the Reformation, a collection of seven articles that came out of a lecture series and which reflects the interests of the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology. Christian Century contributor Kurt K. Hendel wrote that the volume "explores the scriptural, creedal, dogmatic, and liturgical tradition of the church and seeks to ground the community of faith in that tradition while challenging it to make a unified witness. Addressing particularly North American Lutheranism, but intentionally ecumenical, the center affirms the evangelical heritage of the Reformation while stressing the unity of the church and the catholicity of the Christian tradition."
In Mother Church: Ecclesiology and Ecumenism, Braaten, who views himself as an "evangelical catholic," calls for Christian unity. "This unity must be based on faith and doctrine," noted Fidon R. Mwombeki in Interpretation, "rather than on popular social activism which, Braaten believes, is characterized by a 'dogmatic deficit.'"
Christian Century's Michael Kinnamon noted that these essays, which Braaten wrote over a number of years, reflect "his concern that contemporary churches have allowed culture to set their agenda and thus are marked by a weakening of distinctive Christian beliefs; his call for biblical literacy and for a renewed confidence in the authority of scripture; his advocacy for a church that is evangelical and catholic; his emphasis on eschatology as the necessary framework for thinking about the church."
Braaten and Jenson coedited Union with Christ: The New Finnish Interpretation of Luther. First Things reviewer Ted Dorman wrote that "this brief but rich book introduces English-speaking scholars to ground-breaking research from Helsinki University that casts Martin Luther's soteriology in a new light. The 'new Finnish interpretation of Luther' finds the essence of his doctrine of salvation not in forensic justification—God declaring us just solely by virtue of Christ's sacrifice—but in something more akin to the Eastern Orthodox doctrine of theosis, or deification."
The head of the Finnish Luther project, Tuomo Mannermaa, and four colleagues, including Simo Puera, Sammeli Juntunen, Antti Raunio, and Risto Saarinen, offer seven essays. Braaten and Jenson provide the preface and responses, along with William Lazareth and Dennis Bielfeldt.
The essays in Church Unity and the Papal Office: An Ecumenical Dialogue on John Paul II's Encyclical "Ut unum sint" ("That All May Be One") are responses to John Paul II's invitation to a dialogue about how his office might better serve the visible unity of the Church. The essays are written by authors coming from diverse backgrounds, including Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican, Methodist, and Evangelical.
George Vandervelde, commenting in Theological Studies, felt that the Lutheran contribution by David Yeago contains the volume's "most far-reaching and profound explorations." Vandervelde said that Yeago writes that "if Lutheran communions are to consider papal primacy seriously, they would have to recover a biblical sense of witness." Vandervelde also said that "ironically, the more 'fraternal' the relationship, the more difficult 'patient' dialogue becomes," and concluded by saying that "while even the sample of intra-Catholic polemics is illuminating, the principal value of this volume lies in the ways in which the question of primacy engenders, among and within diverse traditions, penetrating discussions concerning the interrelated issues of authority, truth, unity, and mission."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Christian Century, October 6, 1993, Donald G. Bloesch, review of No Other Gospel!: Christianity among the World's Religions, p. 950; October 15, 1997, Kurt K. Hendel, review of The Catholicity of the Reformation, p. 918; February 3, 1999, Michael Kinnamon, review of Mother Church: Ecclesiology and Ecumenism, p. 147.
First Things, December, 1999, Ted Dorman, review of Union with Christ: The New Finnish Interpretation of Luther, p. 49.
International Bulletin of Missionary Research, July, 1993, Robert Cummings Neville, review of No Other Gospel!, p. 137.
Interpretation, July, 1994, Kenneth Hamilton, review of No Other Gospel!, p. 317; April, 1999, Fidon R. Mwombeki, review of Mother Church, p. 212.
Theological Studies, September, 2002, George Vandervelde, review of Church Unity and the Papal Office: An Ecumenical Dialogue on John Paul II's Encyclical "Ut unum sint" ("That All May Be One"), p. 624.
Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology,http://www.e-ccnet.org/ (November 10, 2003).
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