Most introductory textbooks in theology see their primary task as explaining Christian doctrines that no one quite understands anymore. While this is one of theology's jobs, it is by no means the only, nor even the most important, one. Theology has also been called to change the world, to help people connect deeply rooted beliefs about the world’s source and goal to questions of personal meaning and communal thriving. Theology is here to help us make sense of the complex, flawed world into which we’ve been thrust and to assist us in our attempt to love our neighbors and live toward the common good.
For more than thirty years, the Workgroup on Constructive Theology has brought the liberal and liberationist theological traditions into creative encounter with lived human experience. In this introduction to the methods and tasks of theology, they invite a new generation of readers, many who will have little or no exposure to Christian doctrine, to see theology as a partner in the struggle for a better world. They demonstrate how theological ideas have "legs," playing themselves out not only in religious communities but in the public square as well. Theology, the authors tell us, is constructive when it joins in God's work of building human lives and human societies. Readers will learn to think about all of life in light of their religious commitments and to see theology as an essential tool for a life well lived.