Black Practical Theology, edited by Dale P. Andrews and Robert London Smith Jr. This excellent handbook on practical theology is structured by “trialogues” between black church leaders, practical theologians, and prominent scholars in Bible, theology, and ethics.
Ask the Beasts: Darwin and the God of Love, by Elizabeth A. Johnson. Coming out of a study of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species that Johnson engaged in with her Fordham colleagues, this book wrestles with the implications of evolution for Christian understandings of God as Creator and calls us to embrace our creaturehood.
In this long, freewheeling conversation with the Heidelberg Catechism, Eberhard Busch sometimes uses the document for leverage against distortions in the contemporary church, and sometimes challenges its assumptions.
Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation, by Cynthia D. Moe-Lobeda. Moe-Lobeda’s Lutheran acknowledgment of the moral ambiguity of all human action does not deter her from calling for an ethic of love that aims at forging just and sustainable relations between humans and the earth.
Retrieving Nicaea: The Development and Meaning of Trinitarian Doctrine, by Khaled Anatolios. This book makes for challenging reading, but its ambition of retrieving the systematic scope of Nicene trinitarianism for contemporary theology rewards the effort.
An Eerdmans Reader in Contemporary Political Theology, edited by William T. Cavenaugh, Jeffrey W. Bailey and Craig Hovey (Eerdmans, 836 pp., $50.00 paperback). This large anthology of 20th- and 21st-century readings in political theology is a gold mine of well-known and newer resources.
Playing, by James H. Evans Jr. This small but substantial book appears in the series Christian Explorations of Daily Living, which includes volumes on shopping, working, parenting and other activities of daily life. Evans is attentive to African-American experience and literature in his trinitarian explorations of the importance of play in the Christian life.
The 500th anniversary of Calvin’s birth last year prompted the publication of a spate of works celebrating his life and theology. Gordon’s vibrant new biography invites readers to see Calvin’s theological commitments in historical context.
Reynolds combines a profound and wide-ranging rethinking of Christian theology from the perspective of disability with piercingly honest reflections on his experience as the father of a son with disabilities.
Cunningham invites readers to take their own Holy Week pilgrimage through suffering and death to resurrection and the promise of new life. Companions on the way include Shakespeare, T. S. Eliot, Janet Morley and Edward Albee.
These searching biblical reflections on the HIV/AIDS crisis pay special attention to the perspectives and suffering of women. The essays are authored principally by African women scholars. The volume includes a postscript by Letty Russell.
Picking up where he left off in Faith Beyond Resentment, Alison, a Catholic priest, continues to expose the subversive potential of the gospel message, especially regarding the situation of gay Christians. In three sets of essays he rejects a patronizing Christian love that does not include liking the persons concerned.
Robert Brown's splendid book may disillusion theological admirers of Jonathan Edwards. Those who prize Edwards's exultant expressions of the beauty of God's holiness may well find Brown's portrait of him as a polemicist preoccupied with the factual reliability of the scriptures unpalatable.
Don Saliers holds the William R. Cannon Distinguished Chair in Theology and Worship at Emory University and directs the Masters of Sacred Music Program. He is the founder and director of the Emory Chamber Players, and since 1975 has served as the organist and choirmaster for the Sunday service in Emory’s Cannon Chapel.
Toward the end of the 19th century, Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote an obituary for Jonathan Edwards's theology: "The truth is that [his] whole system of beliefs . . . is gently fading out of enlightened human intelligence, and we are hardly in a condition to realize what a tyranny it once exerted over many of the strongest minds." Holmes's pronouncement was premature.
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