Significances of Traditions in Doing Local Theology
As Christian theology in modern age has come to existence in vast different perspectives in different situations, nowadays, local theology emerged from the past four decades as recently challenging theology. Dealing with any kind of particular theology inevitably involves Christian tradition, scripture, traditional culture and human experience or context. However, local theology or contextual theology emerged now as very situational demanding theology—making much more emphasized the importance of local tradition and context.
This paper is intended to look for relevant perspectives and means for the construction of local theologies. This paper tries to present relevant sources, approaches, and perspectives in line with local theologies. We can observe these intended elements from the following presented topics on: What is Christian Theology?, What is Christian Tradition?, What is Local Theology?, Problems encountered within Local Theology and Christian Tradition, and Constructing Local Theologies.
Steven B. Bevan wrote there are three sources of Theology: Scripture, tradition, and present human experience—or context. These three are inextricably related elements in the process of constructing local theologies. To do a genuine local theology, there is a need of sincere recognition that cultural tradition firmly adopted and rooted in the local context play important role. This fact, together with other related theological and cultural basic relevant perspectives can be observed in this paper.
What is Christian Theology?
Christian theology is critical reflection about God, about human existence, about the nature of the universe and about faith itself in the light of the revelation of God recorded in Scripture and particularly embodied in Jesus Christ, who is for the Christian community the final revelation, that is, the definitive revelation which is the criteria of all other revelations."
Millard J. Erickson wrote “the study of or science of God” as a basic definition of theology. Theology seeks to understand God’s creation, particularly man and his condition, and God’s redemptive working in relation to mankind. A more complete definition of theology includes: Theology is biblical, Theology is systematic, Theology also relates to the issues of general cultures and learning, Theology must also be contemporary, and theology is to be practical.
Classical theology conceived theology as a kind of objective science of faith. It was understood as a reflection in faith on the two theological sources of Scripture and tradition. The content of these sources is not and never will be changed, and are above culture and historically conditioned expression. We can only speak about a theology that makes sense at a certain place and in a certain time. Henri Bouillard once said that a theology that is not up-to-date is a false theology. Stephen Bevans suggests this fact to mean that “a theology that is not somehow reflective of our times, our culture, and our current concerns is also a false theology.”
Theology is the science of God and of the relations between God and the universe. The aim of theology is the ascertainment of the facts respecting God and the relations between God and the universe, and the exhibition of these facts in their rational unity, as connected parts of a formulated and organic system of truth. Theology is therefore a summary and explanation of the content of God’s self-revelations. These are the revelation of God in nature and the revelation of God in the Scriptures.
Three Types of Theology: Stephen B. Bevans and Roger P. Schroeder have done a good categorization of theology in three types. Each type is described in what they called “Six Constants in Christianity”—the fundamental elements of Christian theology. We may assume all these six constants now in line with our concern—Christian traditions. These are (1) Christology—who is Jesus Christ and what is his meaning? (2) Ecclesiology—what is the nature of the Christian church? (3) Eschatology—how does the church regard its eschatological future? (4) Salvation—what is the nature of the salvation it preaches? (5) Anthropology—how does the church value the human? and (6) Culture—what is the value of human culture as the context in which the gospel is preached?
I will put all these six constants in brief below (See Stephen B. Bevans and Roger P. Schroeder, Constants in Context, 35-72) with the intention to see how Christian traditions are observed and maintained in these different types of Christian theology in order to discern relevant elements to construct local theologies. One could surely choose and even propose which type of theology and its maintained tradition would best fit to construct local theologies.
On Christology: Type A theology focuses less on the meaning of the historical Jesus and the significance of his life and message and more on the orthodoxy of doctrinal descriptions of his reality as eternal Son become truly incarnate. Type A Christology hold the exclusive position.
Type B theology took on the forms of a “low” Christology, which focused on the Jesus of history, on his perfection as the ideal human being and on his teachings as important moral principles for authentic human life.
Type C theology do not see Jesus’ redeeming work as the payment of a debt or the offering of a higher illumination. Rather, Jesus is the one whose life, death and resurrection have set us free from our slavery to Satan. Type C liberation theologies would take a moderately pluralist position.
On Ecclesiology: In Type A theology the church is the sole agent and protector of faith in Christ. “Outside the church there is no salvation” is understood quite literally.
Type B ecclesiology would most likely see itself in terms of the model of mystical communion or sacrament. It is a community that is intimately linked to Christ, and through Christ its members are intimately linked to one another.
Type C theology sees the church as the “sacrament of liberation.” The church is a community that by its life and by its action in the world witnesses to God’s liberating work in history. It has recognized the central importance of the local community, the base ecclesial community—led by local leaders.
On Eschatology: Type A theology would tend to think of the eschaton as the time when God’s judgment of the good and the wicked and the world will finally take place.
Type B eschatology would more be in favor of liberalism. The eschatology of most Type B theologians today, however, is much more of the “inaugurated” version. The end of history is understood as already inaugurated by the death and resurrection of Jesus but not yet fully present as we “wait with joyful hope the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Type C’s eschatology is one that takes history with utmost seriousness and understands eschatological fullness not as the end of historical process and the inauguration of a timeless, spiritual state, but as history’s transformation and fulfillment. Type C eschatology today might best be described as “inaugurated eschatology.” Jesus’ life, death and resurrection inaugurated the reign of God, but the final consummation of that reign is still in the future.
On Salvation: Type A Theology views human beings as enmeshed in sin, and so, if left on their own, doomed to eternal punishment and damnation. In Type A theology, salvation is personal, in two senses of the word. (1) It is only to an individual and only with full individual consent; it happens when one accepts Jesus as personal savior. (2) Salvation is restricted to interior, spiritual renewal and transformation.
Salvation in Type B theology is more contextual and challenging. It is which brought humans together, improved their lot and set them on the road to cultural and material progress. With the dawn of modernity, traditional spiritual understandings of salvation were profoundly challenged. As David Bosch describes it, “salvation now meant liberation from religious superstition, attention to human welfare, and the moral improvement of humanity.” This was “an understanding of salvation in which humans were active and responsible agents who utilized science and technology in order to effect material improvements and induce socio-political change in the present,”
For Type C theology, salvation meant the ability to grow into greater and greater communion with God. Salvation is understood to be material as well, as the whole of creation lives and grows to its full capacity. Type C understandings of salvation today also speak of God’s and the church’s saving activity as human and cosmic healing and wholeness. Such wholeness involves both material and spiritual dimensions. David Bosch speaks of “comprehensive,” “integral,” “total,” or “universal” salvation as an understanding that avoids the two extremes beliefs that abandon inclusive view of salvation.
On Anthropology: Type A theology views human beings as a fallen creatures. Humanity was created in the image and likeness of God, but it lost that image and likeness, along with certain powers that came to be called preternatural gifts, when Adam and Eve sinned.
Type B anthropology sees confidence and trust in human reason—or to put it in more modern terms, human experience—to find Truth. Ultimately, for Type B theology, what is truly human is good, and the truly human is the door to the holy.
Type C theology provides the basis for a positive appreciation of human beings while at the same time not being naïve about human failure and human sinfulness. It represents a balance of the perspectives of Type A and Type B. Nowadays, humanity is being understood not as the center of creation but as an integral part of it—humanity is being understood more and more in the context of cosmic wholeness.
On Culture: Human beings are meaning-making animals and work out and express that meaning through human culture. Type A theology sees no such value of culture in Christian tradition. Instead, local culture was to be swept aside, so that people would be able to practice Christianity in a “pure” manner.
In Type B theology, culture is regarded as something good and trustworthy, and a context in which one might encounter the divine. Type B theology also aims to show the compatibility of human culture with Christianity. Indeed, culture might even serve as a hermeneutical tool to understand Christianity even more profoundly, as Christianity moves into new cultural contexts.
Human culture, in the perspective of Type C theology, is regarded as basically good. Because of human sin culture needs to be purified, perfected and healed. It is for this reason that Christian faith might best interact with culture, in terms of the “praxis model” of contextual theology. In this model, culture is conceived much more from the perspective of the dynamics of social change. Action, therefore, done out of commitment to gospel values is the beginning and end of such cultural engagement. Type C’s theology focus would be on discerning and working for the fullness of salvation within a particular cultural context, and calling that context to greater growth and greater sensitivity to God’s saving action in history.
The role of theology is to interpret and clarify God’s Word for the sake of obedience to Christ in the concrete historical situation. Theology is an instrument for the contextualization of the Gospel. For it to fulfill its purpose, it must be based on biblical revelation, in the context of real life and for obedience to Christ today.
What is Christian Tradition?
In this topic, we see two correlated sub-topics—Christian tradition and Cultural tradition. Christian tradition has to do with Christian faith, belief, practices, etc. basically based on Holy Scriptures. Tradition, i.e. what I would like to term “Cultural tradition,” deals with unique beliefs and practices adopted from outside of scripture.
Christian traditions are traditions of practice or belief associated with Christianity.
The term has several connected meanings. In terms of belief, traditions are generally stories or history that are or were widely accepted without being part of Christian doctrine. Examples of such might be the crucifixion of Saint Peter, which is widely believed to have happened but is not recorded in scripture.
A tradition is a story or a custom that is memorized and passed down from generation to generation, originally without the need for a writing system. Tools to aid this process include poetic devices such as rhyme and alliteration. The stories thus preserved are also referred to as tradition, or as part of an oral tradition. Tradition is the repository of the lore about group boundary and about world-view, usually transmitted to the young of a society in preparation for full participation in the culture as adults. This transmission takes place through rites of initiation at puberty, through educational systems, and through the give and take of day-to-day living.
Tradition, as a body of lore, includes stories, activities, memories, and the rules governing group boundary and world-view formation. It provides a semiotic system, a set of codes within that system, whereby the basic messages of identity can circulate through a culture. Tradition, because of its complex interrelating of stories, activities, memories, and rules, gives a sense of cohesion and continuity to a culture and the individuals who live within it. The “cohesion” means that it all fits together, it makes sense.
In the Roman Catholic Church, tradition is the doctrine that Sacred Tradition holds equal authority to Holy Scripture. In the Orthodox Church, scripture is considered to be the core constituent of a larger tradition. These views are often condemned as heretical by Protestant churches, who hold the Bible to be the only valid tradition. Inspired by the Protestant rejection of tradition, the Age of Enlightenment began to consider even the Bible itself as a questionable tradition. In archaeology a tradition is a series of cultures or industries which appear to develop on from one another over a period of time.
Christian tradition is believed to have come principally solely from the revelation of God, which is known through Holy Scriptures. Some writers point to three sources of revelation: Scripture, tradition, and reason. One might attribute primacy to any one of the three. Evangelicals have characteristically affirmed the primacy of Scripture. While tradition and reason may be true—as the worlds of men, only Scripture can be concluded as true—it alone being the World of God.
One of the greatest representative of Christian tradition, especially the magisterial tradition of Roman Catholic theology, is Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas divided his theology into two unequal parts: Natural Theology that seeks to discover the truth about God based upon reason, and Revealed Theology in which faith accepts the truths revealed by God through Scripture and the Christian tradition.
What is Local Theology?
While the movement of indigenous theology began in India and China as early as the 1930s, the movement of contextual theologies sprouted from the 1950s to 1970s as the conscious effort of some third world theologians to fight against European imperialism that had existed sine the 16th century.
Local Theology is a complex process, which aware of contexts, of histories, or the role of experience, of the need to encounter the traditions of faith in other believing communities. In this regard, it is also obvious that contexts are complex, histories can be variously read, experience can be ambiguous, experience can be ambiguous, and the encounter in faith is often dimly understood. These factors can be seen as roots feeding for the development and growth of a local theology. The three principal roots beneath the growth of local theology are gospel, church, and culture.
Doing theology contextually means doing theology in a way that takes into account two things. First, it takes into account the faith experience of the past that is recorded in scriptures and kept alive, preserved, defended—and perhaps even neglected or suppressed—in tradition.
Local Theology, as it is based on local contextual settings, is also called Contextual theology. Contextual theology realizes culture, history, contemporary thought forms, and so forth are to be considered, along with scripture and tradition, as valid sources for theological expression. Today we speak of theology as having three sources: scripture, tradition, and present human experience—or context.
Authentic contextualization is always prophetic, arising always out of a genuine encounter between God’s Word and His world, and moves toward the purpose of challenging and changing the situation through rootedness in and commitment to a given historical moment. George W. Peters says, “Contextualization properly applied means to discover the legitimate implications of the gospel in a given situation...” Harvie Conn writes that contextualization is “the process of conscientization of the whole people of God to the hermeneutical claims of the gospel.”
Problems encountered within Local Theology and Christian Tradition
Encounter with the tradition can raise many problems for the churches as they develop their local theologies. Of many different kinds of problems regarding the tradition with which the local church finds itself faced, seven deserve special attention here. These will help to form the context for a discussion of an understanding of tradition adequate to the problems being faced in local churches today. See Robert J. Schreiter, Constructing Local Theologies, 95-103 for the following point out problems.
1. The problem of church tradition of original sin. Many African cultures face the church tradition of original sin. When this tradition of universal sinfulness and the need for redemption is brought into non-Western cultures, it encounter problem. Especially many African cultures do not have a story of the Fall (i.e. the garden story in Genesis 2-3) in their own original stories. Western exegetes and theologians have struggled with this kind of problems in light of the local people world-view.
2. The problem of church tradition of monogamy. Polygamous marriage in rural Africa cultural tradition faces Christian tradition of monogamy marriage. Polygamous marriage is widely accepted (even in religion doctrine as in Islam and Hindu) in some areas of community like the said rural Africa. How local theologies would deal with it?
3. The problem of Christian tradition of celibacy. The question of celibacy in Christian tradition is being asked increasingly. Because of the practice of concubinage in modern cultural practices some local church encounter problem of validity being an unmarried priest even in the central Catholic doctrine.
4. The problem of genuine Christian identity. This problem is about the questions on the limit of contextualization, how far is one to go, in danger of syncretism. Even though both exorcism and healing have long traditions in Christianity—how such quite extreme and unique local rites of exorcism and healing be allowed into Christian rite to show genuine Christian identity?
5. The problem of paternalism. Many churches of more recent origin have felt being uncomfortable with church tradition of paternalism. Indeed, it is important fact in local churches that many are keenly sensitive to paternalism in church relationships. Can this church tradition of paternalism be healthily applied in local theologies?
6. The need of dialogue for acquiring genuine Christian tradition. Amidst such a diverse cultural tradition of local communities, Christian tradition, especially the incarnation of Christ in local culture needs to be done with a genuine dialogue. There is increasing danger that many churches would not want to have dialogue with the tradition at all.
7. The problem of normative tradition. While different parts of the church construe that normativeness differently, there is a agreed normative tradition of some sort. This normativeness seems to come with their culturally conditioned character. How is one to ascertain the normative within the Scriptures? How is one to remain faithful to that which is indeed normative?
Furthermore, there are four problems that Christian tradition encounters local theology. Just to pinpoint them are (1) The Problem of Christian tradition of unity—“One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all” (Eph 4:5) in cultural diversity, (2) The problem of syncretizing Christian tradition with local tradition—e.g. local people interpret the Christian message as they understand it within their culture, (3) The problem of misapplying of church tradition—e.g. in liberation theology context the figure of Moses and the story of the exodus become more important to the community than the story of Jesus, (4) The problem of Christian tradition not to lapse in cultural romanticism.
These eleven problems are crucial to the success of a local theology in incarnating the gospel. They highlight both local theology and Christian tradition facing problems in their mutual encounter and growth. The Christian tradition is too precious a heritage to be squandered carelessly or treated lightly. But without its continued incarnation in local communities it becomes like that treasure buried in the ground, producing no profit (Mt 25:18).
Constructing Local Theologies
In constructing local theologies nowadays, we come to know how cultural tradition plays inevitable role. Earlier, we came across that how local theologies encounter church traditions (i.e., seven problems) and also how Christian tradition encounters local theologies, (i.e., four problems). All these problems faced in local churches and local theologies cannot be done being free from culture.
Religious tradition is an integral part of our cultural memory. In the face of modernity, said, J. Moltmann, “We need to summon our cultural memory back to life, and to search for the wisdom and hope of our ancestors, because it is not just our world that is at risk, but also theirs. We need to relate our cultural and religious traditions to our scientific and technological progress, so that our progress is made toward the horizon of the future that the best of our traditions open up to us.
Perhaps Theology and Its Context: Church Tradition as Local Theologies, proposed by Robert J. Schreiter,would probably the most relevant sources of tradition and best fit the concern of this topic. We will like to summarize it in a nutshell, to see a clue how local theologies have emerged and developing. Theology has often been defined as faith seeking understanding. Local theologies make us keenly aware that “understanding” itself is deeply colored by cultural context. How human knowledge is experienced, although communicable across cultural boundaries, is nonetheless largely shaped by local circumstances.
The experience of the cultural rootedness of theology rebounds again on a local community when it engages the church tradition, entering into that dialogue to test, affirm, and challenge its own understanding of the gospel. In the encountering of culture and church tradition, to form local theologies three ways are commonly considered and followed.
(1) Reconstructing the witnesses of the New Testament to form an ideal type, the New Testament church. E.g. The New Testament churches themselves represent different cultural and social circumstances.
(2) Dealing with the great recurring themes in theology from a local perspective. E.g. The Western doctrine of original sin does not take on the same form or the same significance in Orthodox theology.
(3) Realizing that the great theologies of East and West have drawn upon philosophical systems elaborated in their respective cultures to frame their questions and answers. E.g. It assumes one set of cultural relations for the expression of knowledge to be valid for all cultures at all times.
To summarize: the approach to the church tradition in the development of local theologies means understanding not only how the questions and the content that are in the tradition receive their shape, but also the cultural conditioning of the very paradigms of thought themselves. Perhaps theology in African villages could best be expressed in proverbs rather than in Banhu philosophy. Perhaps theology could be done in poetry in Japan; or in the form of sutra and commentary in South Asia. Melanesian theology might be done in songs and oratory, and United States black theology in the dialogue of gospel preaching. We need to locate those paradigms of thought in a culture which shape meaning and affirm it in the culture.
In Sociology of theology, theology is viewed in different expressions. It tries to see how particular forms of thought might be related to particular cultural conditions. Four forms of theological expression are: (1) Theology as variations on a sacred text, (2) Theology as Wisdom, (3) Theology as sure knowledge, and (4) Theology as praxis.
Number 2-4 are more relevant expressions to mention with regard to our concern. One of the predominant forms of theology in Christianity, as well as in other great literate traditions, has been Theology as Wisdom. In Christianity it is identified especially with the patristic period, with the theological tradition in the East down to the present, with the Augustinian heritage in the West, and with the theology growing out of the spiritual and mystical traditions.
What implications do these cultural conditions suggest for the development of local theologies?
1) A wisdom theology will be a likely development in those cultures that have maintained their important rites of passage. It provides a way to bring together the wisdom of the ancestors with the wisdom of Christ, the first ancestor in faith.
2) Where people prize wisdom above learning and wealth, wisdom theology becomes the natural vehicle for their expression in faith.
3) Cultures placing great prize on a unified view of the world, often sacrificing many other things to maintain it, seek the way of wisdom. In quests for new spiritualities in the West, this kind of theology is reasserting itself: the quest for unity in self and society as the way to God, the source of all unity.
4) Wisdom theology models have maintained the most fruitful for catechesis.
5) Wisdom theology functions best where a unity in world-view is possible.
Theology as sure knowledge is probably the most common form of theology in Roman Catholicism and mainline Protestantism in the West today. It tries to give a critical, relational account of faith, using the tools of a discipline that can offer the most exact human reason, but also now includes disciplines in the social sciences and to some extent in the natural sciences. Throughout the centuries it has dominated the scene—from the 12th into the 20th century.
What are some implications of Theology as sure knowledge in developing local theologies?
1) It functions best in two environments: the highly specialized and differentiated situations in urban economies, and wherever there is a plurality of competing world-views. When either of these situations prevails, it is the best tool for theological reflection and articulation of Christian experience.
2) Because of its emphasis on precision and clarity, it has special capacities for cross-cultural communication.
3) Analysis and explanation are the great strengths of it from a methodological point of view.
Theology as Praxis has come to the fore more recently as a major form of theological reflection. As understood today, praxis is the ensemble of social relationships that include and determine the structures of social consciousness. Thus thought and theory are considered sets of relations within the larger network of social relationships.
What are the tasks of a Theology as praxis? Three can be mentioned specifically:
1) It is to help disentangle true consciousness from false consciousness.
2) It has to be concerned with the ongoing reflection upon action.
3) It is concerned with the motivation to sustain the transformative praxis.
What implications and possibilities does this form of theological reflection have for developing local theologies? Its emphasis on social analysis and its emphasis on social transformation have already made this kind of theology widely used in communities struggling in the midst of oppression. It is particularly helpful as a way of recovering a world-view or way of life that has been blocked by false consciousness on a large scale.
Furthermore, it is worthy to mention more on the inevitability of culture in constructing local theologies in religious existence. On the question “What is a cultural critique of theology and religious studies?”, Paul Tillich, will say that it is about questioning and answering, the correlation of the critical questions arising from the contemporary cultural situation of the truth as revealed through the traditions and interpretations of Christianity. According to Catholic theologian Gustavo Guterriez, theology would remain a colonial tool unless it shaked its imperialistic dress and addressed the liberation of the poor and the oppressed.
Robert Schreiter proposes a definition of culture that includes three aspects or dimensions. First, culture is “ideational”, providing a grid by which the world can be interpreted and according to which life can be lived. Such a grid includes beliefs, values and codes of conduct; it provides the culture’s basic world view. Second, culture is “performance”; every culture has ritual ways by which its basic world view can be expressed and through which members of the culture are bound together. Such performances might be cultural celebrations like Thanksgiving Day in the United States or Independence Day (June 12) in the Philippines, or “embodied behaviors” like forms of greeting (shaking hands, bowing, and so on) or determined distances for communication (close enough to feel the other’s breath, an arm’s length away, and so forth). Third, culture has a “material” dimension; every people have distinctive language, food, clothing, music, and so on. All these cultural aspects, in other words cultural values shape local people meaningful in their religious faith.
Stephen B. Bevan has proposed six models that emerge—according to particular contexts and/or persons’ theological orientations—in the encounter of Christian faith with human culture. The Translation Model regards culture somewhat positively but focuses more on the faithful transmission of the gospel message. It therefore regards culture as a means, as a vehicle of transmission, rather than something good and revelatory in itself.
The Anthropological Model starts with a basic trust of culture’s goodness and revelatory possibilities, and proposes that the wealth often hidden in a culture might offer new riches to the Christian self-understanding. The Praxis Model, employed particularly by communities struggling for liberation, focuses on the dimensions of culture involved in social change and develops a reinterpretation of Christianity in the midst of reflective action in favor of change that embodies Christian principles. The Synthetic Model focuses on the ambiguity of any culture and looks outward to other cultures and successful Christian expressions of faith for the most adequate expression of Christian faith in cultural context. The Transcendental Model focuses on the authentic individual and his or her ability to spark authentic Christian and cultural thinking in dialogue and conversation. The Counter-Cultural Model, while recognizing the importance of culture, regards it with utmost suspicion as something that needs to be confronted with the culturally specific yet universally valid gospel message.
It is now clear, from the above approaches that culture has always been an integral part of theology, especially in constructing local theology. However, from theologies of Augustine to Aquinas, Luther and Wesley—in all of these culture was largely seen as pagan and only an area to be subdued in order for the Christian faith to be uplifted and shine through the world. However, as indicated earlier, there could be a danger of being cultural romanticism in attempting doing local theologies.
Being a faithful Christian, who engages in doing such local theologies should always hold prevailing Christian tradition other than cultural tradition. To put it other way, a Christian local theologian should not more on cultural oriented, but faith oriented. Christian faith must appeal to a traditional doctrine of the Church or religious community in order to found its belief, not to human experience. Behind this appeal is always the argument that revealed doctrine gives credence to social and political authority.
We would admit and content on what Hiebert has said about theology that—“All theologies developed by human beings are shaped by their particular historical and cultural contexts—by the languages they use and the questions they ask. All human theologies are only partial understandings of Theology as God sees it.”
Our concern on this topic is really a big work to put succinctly the entire important elements into a limited space. However, I believe that some core elements are presented and pinpointed in line with relevant approaches toward constructing local theologies.
As I have mentioned earlier, out of three types of theology, Type B and C would fit most relevant in the field of local theologies. The theological perspective of Type B is articulated by contemporary contextual theologians like Jose’ M. De Mesa in the Philippines and John Mbiti in Kenya, both of whom attempt to do theology “in solidarity with the culture.” What all these theologians have in common is that they attempt to present Christianity in terms that are compatible with their contemporary mentality.
Jose M. De Mesa and Lode L. Wostyn, on their work on “Doing Christology, wrote that Christology is, first of all, the story of Jesus. This story is reported using the models of interpretation of their religious culture within a continuously changing socio-cultural context. Therefore, our study of Christology deals with the necessity to correlate the tradition of experiences-interpretations with our present-day experience. Only such a correlation, leading to new expressions of Christology, can give sense to our Tradition. This theological implication is to take as one among other Christian traditions. Similar theological implication can be made also, e.g. on the six constants of Christianity mentioned earlier.
We have come across and now seeing that at least how Christian traditions are adopted and preserved in Christian theology. We also read that Types B and C theology are making use of culture in a profound sense to function their work of theological implications. The significances of each particular Christian tradition within different types of theology; the problem encountered by local theologies; and correlated elements of tradition and culture in constructing local theologies, all are now can be observed in clearer scene.
Bevans, Stenphen B., Models of Contextual Theology, Revised &Expanded ed. Manila, Philippines: Logos Publications, Inc., 2003.
Erickson, Millard J., Christian Theology: Unabridged, one-volume edition, reprinted. Manila, Philippines: Christian Growth Ministry, 1997.
Bevans, Stephen B. and Schroeder, Roger P., Constants in Context: A Theology of Mission for Today.Quezon City, Philippines: Claretian Publications, 2004.
Bevans and Schroeder, Constants in Context, 40. Manila Manifesto, affirmation 7, in Scherer and Bevans, 293.
Schreiter, Robert J., Constructing Local Theologies. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1985.
Teague, Dennis, Culture: The Missing Link in Mission. Manila, Philippines: OMF Literature Inc., 1996.
Hesselgrave, David J., Communicating Christ Cross-Culturally: An Introduction to Missionary Communication, 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1991.
Wong, Angela Wai Ching, “Between Religious Studies and Cultural Studies: An Intellectual Reflection” in Quest: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Asian Christian Scholars, Vol. 5, No. 1, June 2006, 27-36.
Moltmann, Jurgen, “The Idea of a Christian University” in Quest: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Asian Christian Scholars, Vol. 5, No. 1, June 2006, 63-72.
Mesa, Jose M. De and Wostyn, Lode L., Doing Christology: The Re-Appropriation of a Tradition. Quezon City, Philippines: Claretian Publications, .
Matheny, Paul, On the Genealogies and Geograhpies of Philosophical and Theological Thinking: An Introductory Text. Quezon City, Philippines: New Day Publishers, 2006.
THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARY, THEOLOGY: SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY, VOLUME 1 by A. Strong, (AGES Software Albany, OR USA, Version 1.0 © 2000), 27, 28, 68.
http://www.answers.com/topic/tradition in ANSWER.COM
 Stephen B. Bevans, Models of Contextual Theology, Revised &Expanded ed. (Manila, Philippines: Logos Publications, Inc., 2003), 4.
 Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology: Unabridged, one-volume edition, reprinted (Manila, Philippines: Christian Growth Ministry, 1997), 21-22.
 Bevans, Models of Contextual Theology, 3-5.
 THE AGES DIGITAL LIBRARY, THEOLOGY: SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY, VOLUME 1 by A. Strong, (AGES Software Albany, OR USA, Version 1.0 © 2000), 27, 28, 68.
 Stephen B. Bevans and Roger P. Schroeder, Constants in Context: A Theology of Mission for Today (Quezon City, Philippines: Claretian Publications, 2004), 34.
 Bevans and Schroeder, Constants in Context, 59.
 Ibid., 58. Quoted from David J. Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission (Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1991), 395.
 Bevans and Schroeder, Constants in Context, 70-71.
 Dennis Teague, Culture: The Missing Link in Mission (Manila, Philippines: OMF Literature Inc., 1996), 475.
 Robert J. Schreiter, Constructing Local Theologies (Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1985), 105,106.
 http://www.answers.com/topic/tradition in ANSWER.COM
 Dennis Teague, Culture, 476.
 Paul Matheny, On the Genealogies and Geograhpies of Philosophical and Theological Thinking: An Introductory Text (Quezon City, Philippines: New Day Publishers, 2006), 34.
 Angela Wai Ching Wong,“Between Religious Studies and Cultural Studies: An Intellectual Reflection” in Quest: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Asian Christian Scholars, Vol. 5, No. 1, June 2006,27.
 Schreiter, Constructing Local Theologies, 20.
 Bevans, Models of Contextual Theology, 5.
 Ibid., 4.
 David J. Hesselgrave, Communicating Christ Cross-Culturally: An Introduction to Missionary Communication, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1991), 135.
 Ibid., 136-137.
 Schreiter, Constructing Local Theologies, 95.
 Jurgen Moltmann, “The Idea of a Christian University” in Quest: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Asian Christian Scholars, Vol. 5, No. 1, June 2006, p. 68-69.
 Schreiter, Constructing Local Theologies, 75.
 Ibid., 76-77.
 Ibid., 77-78.
 Ibid., 85.
 Ibid., 86-87.
 Ibid., 87.
 Ibid., 90.
 Ibid., 91-93.
 A. Wai Ching Wong, 27.
 Bevans and Schroeder, Constants in Context, 47. Quoted from Robert J. Schreiter, The New Catholicity: Theology between the Global and the Local (Maryknoll, N. Y.: Orbis Books, 1997), 29.
 Bevans and Schroeder, Constants in Context, 48.
 A. Wai Ching Wong,27.
 Paul Matheny, 25.
 Dennis Teague, Culture, 497.
 Bevans and Schroeder, Constants in Context, 51.
 Jose M. De Mesa and Lode L. Wostyn, Doing Christology: The Re-Appropriation of a Tradition (Quezon City, Philippines: Claretian Publications, ), 55.