I've decided to steal an idea from the blog Evangelical Outpost. This site has started to highlight famous evangelical leaders and thinkers. Given how little exposure mainline theologians receive, I thought I'd copy the idea for this site.
Education: AB Bethel College, MA Northwestern University, BD Yale Divinity School, PhD Yale University, LHD Bethel College
Position: Mallinckrodt Professor of Divinity (Emeritus) at Harvard University where he has taught since 1963. Previously a professor at Pomona College and Vanderbilt. He is a past president of the American Academy of Religion and of the American Theological Society, as well as a member of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies.
Books: Kaufman is the author of over 10 books which have had a dramatic impact on how many in the mainline have considered the question of God language. Among these are An Essay on Theological Method, God The Problem, Theology for a Nuclear Age, and In the Face of Mystery.
That last work earned him the 1995 American Academy of Religion Award for excellence among constructive books in religion. It was this book which provided a way for me to see naturalism as a positive framework to think through religious questions. His newest book In the Beginning..Creativity I've just ordered and hope to post some thoughts on soon.
Project: To provide for an evolutionary and socio-historical account of human existence. From that place one can start to evaluate what factors and activities are at play which strengthen the possibilities of this world and human life. It is through such discernment that one can begin to orientate our activities in ways appropriate to such realities.
The problem has been the way traditional Christian language gives us a conceptual framework which does not make sense of this account of the world which has developed over the last few centuries. This is a problem because without the ability to discern correctly our relation to the world we're not likely to solve the deepest crises which plague human life.
Kaufman's task is to re-interpet and re-imagine Christian language, especially the central symbols of the faith such as God, Christ, and the Church in a manner which takes account of this newer picture of the world, thus providing a basis by which our religious faith can become a resource in tackling the problems which tear up our world.
One article which highlights his thought is his piece for Cross Currents titled Re-conceiving God and Humanity in Light of Today's Ecological Consciousness: A Brief Statement.