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Transparencies of Eternity.

Transparencies of Eternity. By Rubem Alves. 'translated by Jovelino and Joan Ramos. Miami, Fla.: Convivium Press, 2010. ISBN: 978-1-9349-9619-5. 132 pages. Paper. $10.95.

Rubem Alves counts as one of the generative originators of Latin American liberation theology from the Protestant side. His foundational book, A Theology of Human Hope, furthered the exchange between Molttrxann's Theology of Hope and the Latin American context of poverty and oppression. The theme of hope continues to weave its way over the decades in his writings. But the Alves we encounter today is manifest more as poet and visionary than conventional--or even liberation--theologian. Indeed, Alves has been transformed into a kind of anti-theologian, critical of the enterprise of converting mystery into rational thought.

For centuries theologians, cerebral beings, had devoted themselves to transforming beauty into rational speech. Beauty was not enough for them. They wanted certainty, they wanted truth. However, artists, beings of the heart, know that the highest form of truth is beauty. Now, without any shame, I say: "I am a Christian, because I love the beauty that lives in this tradition. What about the ideas? They are the screech of static, in the background (119)."

This book consists of seventeen reflections on various topics, including "Does God exist?" "Corpus Christi," and "Outside beauty there is no salvation."Each chapter is self-contained and could be used for meditative or devotional reading.

Alves introduces the reader to literature, songs, and poetry, stirring the imagination. His writing clearly invites the in-breaking of the transcendent into the space-time coordinates of this world, yet without any desire to categorize or capture. His project is more aesthetic than discursive. I find his writing and message both engaging and provocative. It prompts a reframing of the predictable in refreshing ways. I could imagine the book to .be of value in emerging church circles or congregations where there is attention to the interface of church and the arts. A lovely work!

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Author:Nessan, Craig L.
Publication:Currents in Theology and Mission
Article Type:Book review
Date:Feb 1, 2013
Words:322
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