Published online by Cambridge University Press: 02 November 2009
This book has been some time in gestation. As will be obvious to the reader it has been much influenced by the attempts of the Centre for Theology and Public Issues (CTPI) in the University of Edinburgh to relate theology and some specific questions on the public agenda. I am immensely indebted to a wide range of people from diverse specialities and life experiences who have contributed to the work of the Centre, and have challenged and stimulated my own thinking. It would not have seen the light of day had I not twice had the privilege of escaping for a time from my regular duties to the congenial and stimulating context of the Center of Theological Inquiry at Princeton. I am grateful to friends and colleagues at the Center and in the Divinity Faculty of Edinburgh University, who patiently read and commented on my drafts, particularly James Buckley, David Dawson, Nick Adams, George Newlands, Ian McDonald, Michael Northcott, Ruth Jonathan and Marcella Althaus-Reid. A very special debt of gratitude is due to my friend and former doctoral student, Dr Graham Blount, who gave me invaluable research assistance and from whose scholarship I have benefited a great deal. And the encouragement and stimulus of students and friends has meant a great deal to me. In this project, as in everything I do, I constantly learn afresh from my wife, Margaret, and from our children, Donald and Catriona, that the love which moves the sun and the other stars is the clue to the heart of what justice is.
Versions of parts of this book were given as the F. D. Maurice Lectures in King's College, London, in 1995 and as the Bishop Butler Lecture in the University of Bristol in 1996.