Readings in Christian Theology

Readings in Christian Theology

Readings in Christian Theology

Readings in Christian Theology

Synopsis

From Augustine to Gutierrez, from Creation to Eschatology, this volume:provides a rich selection of the most important readings from classical, modern, and contemporary theologianscovers all the major doctrines of Christian beliefis carefully edited to provide key passages and concentrated readingscan be used in conjunction with such introductions as Christian Theology and Reconstructing Christian Theology.

Excerpt

This volume of readings is intended to supplement Christian Theology: An Inroduction to Its Traditions and Tasks, which is appearing concurrently in a newly updated edition. It brings, together a rich selection of works ranging from classical to contemporary and representing a diversity of theological views. The selections are organized both topically and historically, and they are chosen for the most part to illustrate specific themes in Christian Theology. So while they may be read independently of that book, their primary purpose is to complement the analysis and interpretation provided by it.

Most of the seminal thinkers of the Christian tradition are included in this collection of readings, some more prominently than others. Augustine, for instance, is represented in five out of fourteen chapters. This might seem excessive, yet he undoubtedly had more to do with setting the terms of theological debate in the premodern period than any other thinker; so he was in several instances the obvious choice to represent the classic view. Origen, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin appear in more than one chapter as befits their formative influence on Christian theology, but they could as well have been included in many more. In making the selections, we have tried to identify those thinkers whose contributions to the formulation of a particular doctrine were particularly decisive, recognizing that many important contributors to the development of Christian theology would of necessity have to be omitted.

With regard to the contemporary period, we have given a prominent place to a few highly influential thinkers, notably Schleiermacher, Barth, Rahner, and Tillich, while recognizing that others, such as Hegel, Kierkegaard, Bultmann, the Niebuhrs, and the representatives of liberation theology are of almost equal importance. It has not been our purpose, however, to provide representative selections from the works of major theologians—present or past. Rather we have striven for a diversity and plurality of points of view, and at the same time have tried . . .

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