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London: Routledge, McGrath, Alister, ed. Oxford: Blackwell, These articles offer some of the best short introductions to modem theological thought, with bibliographies to guide further reflection.


Muller, Richard. Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms. Grand Rapids: Baker If you wonder what that phrase in Latin means, this is a good place to start, though unfortunately it is primarily limited to terminology arising in Protestant Scholasticism. Musser, Donald W. A New Handbook of Christian Theology. Nashville: Abingdon, A conservative perspective that also has articles on theology and individuals in North American religious thought that are not always covered in other dictionaries. O'Carroll, Michael. Trinitas: a theological encyclopedia of the Holy Trinity.

Wilmington: Michael Glazier, Veni Creator Spiritus: a theological encyclopedia of the Holy Spirit. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, Verbum caro: an encyclopedia on Jesus, the Christ. Though the treatment in O'Carroll's three encyclopedias is at times uneven, it does offer insights into the tradition, key figures, and controversies surrounding these three key areas. Rahner, Karl, et al. Sacramentun Mundi: an encyclopedia of theology. New York: Herder and Herder, A standard work, often with extensive articles on a topic.

Theological Research Bolich, Gregory C. The Christian Scholar: an introduction to theological research. Lanham: University Press of America, Bolich offers workbook type exercises to familiarize you with the resources, a knowledge that can certainly save you time in the future.

Friedrich Schleiermacher: Pioneer of Modern Theology

Johnston, William M. Downers Grove: IVP. The highly annotated work that offers clear analysis of the numerous works available. It is useful as a quick introduction to the types of works that are available. Kennedy, James R. Library Research Guide to Religion and Theology: illustrated search strategy and sources. Michigan: Pierian Press, Kepple, Robert J. Though not as comprehensive as Johnston, it still offers good guidance in identifying reference works to consult on a topic. Theological Methodology Barth, Karl.

Anselm: fides quaerens intellectum: Anselm 's proof of the existence of God in the context of his theological scheme. Ian Robertson. London: SCM Press, While an analysis of Anselm, this also reveals a great deal about how Barth understood the theological task. Frei, Hans W. Types of Christian Theology. George Hunsinger and William C. New Haven: Yale University Press, Frei offers a succinct yet illuminating typology of modem theology that serves well to highlight various approaches to theology.

Take & read: New books in theology

Pannenberg, Wolfhart. Theology and the Philosophy of Science. Francis McDonagh. London: DLT, Pannenberg's major methodological work portrays a correlation between Christian truth claims with knowledge from other spheres. Placher, William C. Unapologetic Theology: a Christian voice in a pluralistic conversation. Placher offers both a well written and intelligible survey of recent positions on religion and truth as well as some constructive proposals.

Stone, Howard W. How to Think Theologically. Minneapolis: Fortress, A simple introduction to theological reflection that emphasizes its central though often inchoate status in the Christian life. History of Theology.

Friedrich Schleiermacher: Pioneer of Modern Theology | Fortress Press

A very useful introduction by some of the foremost scholars in each area, it should be consulted for any introduction to theology in the Early Church. Cunliffe-Jones, Hubert. A History of Christian Doctrine. Philadelphia: Fortress, Gonzalez, Justo L. A History of Christian Thought. Rev ed. Nashville: Abingdon, Written in a very readable style, Gonzales is probably the easiest survey to comprehend. Grillmeier, Aloys. Christ in Christian Tradition. A definitive work on the history of christology in the first six centuries. Reformed Reader: a sourcebook in Christian theology.

Ford, David F. The Modern Theologians. The best recent survey of twentieth-century theology, with essays on both individual theologians and major movements. Pelikan, Jaroslav. The Christian Tradition: a history of the development of doctrine. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. An ambitious work that covers the history of doctrine for the early church through the modem period. It offers a reliable guide to the development of doctrine, and is one of the few works that also considers Eastern Christian thought. New York: Crossroad Publishing.

By Martin E. By Martin Hengel. Translated by John Bowden. Fortress Press. By David Baily Harned.

Philadelphia: Fortress Press. THE Christian scene is now rife with tensions about the church's proper role in a time of vast social change. Yet theological labels have rarely been as uninformative as they are now; one suspects that aims other than disinterested instruction govern their use. Still, all share a commitment to tuning the Christian message to the secularizing culture. In ''Justice Church,'' Frederick Herzog, professor of theology at Duke Univerity, is a passionate advocate of ''liberation theology'' as it has been understood for quite a while in Latin America and now elsewhere too.

In social-political outlook, this means he is well to the left of center. He believes that the New Testament puts Jesus - and therefore all authentic disciples - squarely on the side of the victims of systematic economic and political oppression. Herzog's theological efforts to arouse the Christian conscience to the plight of the masses in many parts of the third world. Like other liberation theologians, Mr. Herzog finds Marxist social analysis - though not, of course, its metaphysics - indispensable for the right understanding of the actual social world.

According to Ronald Stone's ''Paul Tillich's Radical Social Thought,'' the late Christian thinker perceived the philosophical and theological inadequacies of the Marxist perspective and worked for a socialist scheme liberated from those serious shortcomings. In the context of German religious thought, this meant activity in a non-Communist socialist political party.

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Stone, professor of social ethics at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, is particularly helpful in discussing Tillich's relations with the Frankfurt school of social analysis including such thinkers as Theodor Adorno and Herbert Marcuse , but not so helpful in relating Tillich's views to American political realities. Socialism, even of the non-Marxist variety, is a small and relatively impotent voice in the current American scene, and Tillich's theological rationale for socialism is not likely to change this situation. Naturalistic thinkers with socialist leanings, such as Michael Harrington and the late Erich Fromm, seem to offer a simpler philosopical rationale.

Simpler, but if Mr. Stone is right, much more superficial. Hans Kung has earned the censure of the Vatican for his controversial writings, though hardly for his ''Art and the Question of Meaning. And Father Kung has some interesting, though by no means electrifying, things to say about contemporary - or at any rate 20th-century - painters, especially the avant garde. Modern Christian Theology is a groundbreaking survey in that it accepts the emerging scholarly consensus about the intellectual origins of the modern era, secularism, and the role theology and philosophy played in modern and eventually postmodern thought.

John Webster

Unfortunately, Modern Christian Theology is absolutely plagued by errata such as misspellings, punctuation errors, and missing words. More troubling, Simpson, who is writing from the perspective of the Stone-Campbell tradition, sometimes misrepresents evangelicalism and fundamentalism. First, Simpson argues that eighteenth-century evangelicalism, and especially the revivals, represented a rejection of the Enlightenment. However, most scholars agree that the Enlightenment profoundly shaped the earliest evangelicals.

Furthermore, the Enlightenment was not a uniformly skeptical movement; there was a non-rationalist, believing version of the Enlightenment that appealed to thinkers such as Edwards and Wesley. The latter also imbibed of Romanticism. Second, Simpson states that the Princeton theologians authored The Fundamentals and suggests that fundamentalists embraced Dispensational theology; the first claim is incorrect and the second is far too simplistic.

Every survey suffers from errors, underdevelopment, and misinterpretations. That is why books of this sort must be supplemented with primary source readings and the best secondary studies. Simpson gets far more right than he does wrong. Modern Christian Theology will become a standard textbook, and rightly so. Despite some shortcomings, I recommend it as the best single-volume introduction to modern theology.

Nathan A. Amazon Kindle. Reviewed by Nathan A. Finn Introduction For the most part, evangelicals see the value of systematic theology.