Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Best Contemporary Theology Meme

This meme exists because of an effort to create a kind of canon of contemporary theology. See more about it here.

Update: The voting for the final list is now underway!

Name three (or more) theological works from the last 25 years (1981-2006) that you consider important and worthy to be included on a list of the most important works of theology of that last 25 years (in no particular order).

1. John D. Zizioulas: Being as Communion
2. George A. Lindbeck: The Nature of Doctrine
3. Jürgen Moltmann: Das Kommen Gottes: Christliche Eschatologie.

Just to get this started, I'm tagging everyone in my blogroll (please tag a few of your friends to spread the word):
Kevin, Chris Tilling, Rev. Sam, Chris, Ben, Rich, Joshua, Joey, Byron, Dan, Cynthia, Lawrence of Arabia, Chris Baker, D.W. Congdon, Krister, John, Thomas. Of course, anyone else who sees this can and should join in!

(No sweat I you find it hard to name three... I know some of you have other things to think about than this...)


Ben Myers said...

Certainly Lindbeck would be worthy of inclusion, except that The Nature of Doctrine was published in 1984.

Ben Myers said...

Oh sorry, as you can see I wasn't paying attention (for some reason I thought you'd said the "past 20 years")!

Sam Charles Norton said...

Done it.

Bit of a mean question....

Anonymous said...

I was interested to see you putting a book by John Zizioulas at the top of your list. I studied under him when I was at Glasgow University in the mid-1970s.
Here are three books of considerable importance. They throw much light on debates which are often characterized by heat than light!
(1) Carl Bangs, 'Arminius: A Study in the Dutch Reformation' (1985).
Bangs argues that Arminius was neither a hero nor a heretic. Describing Arminius as an enigma, Bangs points out that
Arminius is largely misunderstood because he is often assessed according to superficial hearsay.
Maintaining that Arminius doesn't fit easily the Calvinist - Arminian pattens of theological pigeon-holing, Bangs challenges us to think more deeply about the gospel which is greater than all our systems.
He invites us to have confidence in the gospel of Jesus Christ without becoming overconfident in any particular interpretaion, such as inflexible 'Calvinism' or superficial 'Arminianism'.
(2) J. Daniel Hays, 'From Every People and Nation: A Biblical Theology of Race' (2003). Grounded in careful study of Scripture, this is a profound, passionate and pertinent protest against racism.
(3) Stephen Sizer, 'Christian Zionism: Road Map to Armageddon?' (2004). This is a powerful and persuasive critique of the historical roots, theological emphases and political implications of Christian Zionism.

JP said...

Here's my vote. Great idea!

Halden said...

Here's mine (also posted at my blog).

T.F. Torrance, The Christian Doctrine of God
Robert Jenson, Systematic Theology, 2 Vols.
John Milbank, Theology and Social Theory
Colin Gunton, The One, The Three, and The Many
Stanley Hauerwas, With the Grain of the Universe

Sandalstraps said...

Here's mine!

Bishop Laura Marie Grimes said...

Hi Patrik,

Glad to find your blog! I saw the link when Chris Tessone tagged me with this meme. So I will post my answers there tomorrow, but in the meantime thought I'd leave them here as well. (Making my theological specializations and preoccupations immediately evident--but then that's probably the case for everyone).

1. Elizabeth Johnson, She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse (Crossroad, 1992). Crucial work irenically demonstrating that feminine language and imagery for the divine are not just permitted, but mandated, by solid classical Christian theology.

2. Carol Christ, She Who Changes: Re-Imagining the Divine in the World (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003). Fascinating Goddess thealogy in dialogue with process theology/philosophy, (she even uses the term Goddess/God in this context), from one of the most important academic Goddess feminists. I am hoping and arguing that Christian feminist theologians need to respond by reaching out in similar respect and dialogue to discuss the nature of God/dess. (I find Christ's insistence that our loving divine Mother lets us be obliterated after death horrifying--but then, I am equally put off by Rosemary Ruether's equivalent stance. So this question doesn't divide on the line between rejecting and accepting Christianity).

3. Barbara Newman, God and the Goddesses: Vision, Poetry and Belief in the Middle Ages (University of Pennsylvania, 2003). Newman is a vastly erudite English professor at Northwestern, which is why most non-medievalists don't know of her specialized but clearly and beautifully written work. But her defense of Christianity as "inclusive monotheism" is extremely cogent and, IMHO, crucial for those of us committed to radically reworking Christian theology and liturgy from a stance of gender-based critique completely defensible from within the tradition.

I hope the dumb HTML tags cooperate; they don't like to obey me.


P.S. Nope, on preview the tags remain as recalcitrant as my son on a really bad day. Am omitting them before hitting "publish."

Bishop Laura Marie Grimes said...

Lack of clarity in previous comment:

"I will post my answers there tomorrow"--i.e. my blog, not Chris's (though I may comment at his as well). Is this a shameless plug for "Junia's Daughter: Reflections of a Catholic Woman Priest?" Yup, everybody please visit and say hi to this newbie in the blogosphere.

byron smith said...

Since we're nominating and many I would have mentioned are already there, I'll include three more that I haven't seen so far, even if they wouldn't be my personal top three:

* Kevin Vanhoozer, The Drama of Doctrine
* Eberhard Jungel, God's Being is in Becoming
* Rowan Williams, On Christian Theology

Halden said...

Ditto on that Rowan Williams, Byron. That's definately a good addition.

Tripp said...

Here I Go:

John Cobb's "Christ in a Pluralistic Age"
Wolfhart Pannenberg's "Systematic Theology"
Mirslav Volf's "Exclusion and Embrace"
E. Frank Tupper's "A Scandalous Providence: The Jesus Story of God's Compassion"
Elizabeth Johnson's "She Who Is"

Chris Tilling said...

OK, I've added mine ... with a slight NT emphasis

Dave Belcher said...

Wow. This is somewhat crazy, but I have to throw out a few that NO ONE I've seen yet mention (good call, by the way Mother Laura on Elizabeth Johnson's She Who Is): Sallie McFague Models of God, Catherine Mowry Lacugna, God For Us, the Boff bro's, Introducing Liberation Theology, Jon Sobrino, The Principle of Mercy, Gustavo Guttierez, The Power of the Poor in History, Joerg Rieger--pick your very own favorite...lest we forget the today "marginalized" theologies! Also, what about Michel de Certeau's Mystic Fable in historiography, or Doug Meeks' God the Economist in economics?

Strider said...

Here's my list.

Guy Davies said...

See my blog for my list.

Agnikan said...

Griffiths, Bede. Return to the Center, 1982.

Fox, Matthew. A New Reformation: Creation Spirituality and the Transformation of Christianity, 2006.

Haught, John F. God After Darwin: A Theology of Evolution, 2001.

Yogananda, Paramahansa. The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You, 2004.

Anonymous.Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism, Afterword by Hans Urs von Balthasar, 2002.

Keith H. McIlwain said...

Resident Aliens by Stanley Hauerwas & William Willimon

Reaching Out without Dumbing Down by Marva Dawn

Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture series, edited by Thomas Oden

Steve Hayes said...

I'll try to spread it around, but it would make it a lot easier if you had the "Links to this post" feature enabled in Blogger. Since "Belog this" no longer works in Blogger Beta, the "Links to this post" is the nearest workaround. Without it I find I'm always overwriting text on my clipboard when I want to make a link, and having to start all over.

Steve Hayes said...

Oh, and another thign -- shouldn't it be "recent" theology, rather than "contemporary"? The Cappadocians were contemporaries, as were Luther and Calvin, sort of.

kthulu's brownie said...

Eeeek! only 3!!!! hmmmm. . . one of my German teachers always said the best way to ace an exam is to remember that your gut instinct will guarantee you an 80% - so here goes:

Hymn of Entry - by Vaileios (sp?)

Ethics After Christendom - by Vigen Guroian

Liturgy After the Liturgy - by Ion Bria

Oh, and Zizoulas is always good too (grin)

Anonymous said...

George Lindbeck, Nature of Doctrine
James Wm McClendon, Systematic Theology
Peter Rollins, How (Not) to Speak of God

Anonymous said...

Hieromonk Seraphim Rose: The Soul After Death

Archpriest Seraphim Slobodskoy: The Law of God

Holy Apostles Convent: The Life of the Virgin Mary, The Theotokos

miafrate said...

Three that I would add:

William T. Cavanaugh, Torture and Eucharist

Johann Baptist Metz, Faith in History and Society

Gil Bailie, Violence Unveiled: Humanity at the Crossroads

- Michael (

Jason said...

Wow! A great idea -- and a tough choice!

I have blogged about it at Gower Street, and actually came up with fifteen over three categories.

But because you asked for three, here are mine:

*Hans Urs von Balthasar The Glory of the Lord
* William Cavanaugh, Torture and Eucharist: Theology, Politics, and the Body of Christ.
* R.W.L. Moberly, Prophecy and Discernment.

Aric Clark said...

I have belatedly added my two cents at my blog.

Anonymous said...

My three:
1. Torture and Eucharist by William Cavanaugh
2. Self, Earth, Society: Aleienation & Trinitarian Transformation by Thomas N. Finger
3. Lost Icons: Reflections on Cultural Bereavement by Rowan Williams

thegreatswalmi said...

The Nature of Doctrine - lindbeck
Drama of Doctrine - vanhoozer
Torture and Eucharist - Cavanaugh

Lawrence of Arabia said...

i realize i am bloody late to the game -- sorry i was away for a while, but anyway....

1. john milbank, theology and social theory: beyond secular reason (1990)

2. jean-luc marion, god without being (barely skirting in under the wire in 1982)

3. hans urs von balthasar, theo-logic, vol.2:the truth of god (1985)

August said...

It won't work in reality, that's exactly what I consider.
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