God in AIDS?: A Theological Enquiry by Ronald Nicolson
Much has already been written on AIDS, moving accounts by those affected by it, case studies and books on pastoral care. Comparatively little, however, has been written about the implications of AIDS for theology, and these are important and far-reaching. How does AIDS affect our picture of God? How are the teachings of the Bible to be used authoritatively in the face of AIDS? Is the church hampered in its reactions to AIDS because down the ages it has failed to develop a viable sexual ethic? How do the theological marks of the church, its holiness and catholicity, relate to the attitudes of its members to those with AIDS? All these questions, and many others, are discussed with compassion and insight in this new study. The author writes from Africa, where AIDS is rampant, and he has been to see AIDS agencies in Uganda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe as well as South Africa, where he lives. He has also been to the United States and Great Britain, where he has gained similar experience. However, the striking feature of his book is the clarity of his approach to the difficult theological and religious questions. While exploring these issues and commenting on attitudes which differ from*his own, he makes sure that his arguments are grounded in the realities by interspersing the discussion with brief cameos introducing people living with AIDS and those who work with them. There are chapters on AIDS and our picture of God, AIDS and the Bible, AIDS and sexual ethics, AIDS and the church, AIDS and being human and AIDS and women, together with a comprehensive bibliography. Ronald Nicolson is Professor in Religious Studies in the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.