Reading for Aspiring Theologians
Recently a colleague asked me to imagine I were an Oxford tutor. Which ten texts would I choose for a bright undergraduate to study and discuss (in the English tradition)? Here is my evolving draft of such a list. Its various degrees of difficulty, which skiers will recognize ( ), aim to offer flexibility for students with differing degrees of prior exposure to theology.
N.B. As I am not a tutor at Oxford (or I would have used a European rather than American color code system), you should take these recommendations accordingly.
1. One of the following basic overviews:
2. One of the following guides:
- David F. Wright, ed., New Dictionary of Theology.
- Alan Richardson, ed., Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology.
- Colin Gunton, ed., Cambridge Companion to Christian Doctrine.
- E.A. Livingstone and F.L. Cross, eds., Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church.
Adrian Hastings, ed., The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought.
3. One of the following ancient theologies or summaries:
4. One of the following histories:
5-6. Two of the following systematics:
- John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion.
- Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline and Selections from the Church Dogmatics.
- Francis Schussler-Fiorenza and John P. Galvin, Systematic Theology, 2 vols.
- Robert Jenson, Systematic Theology, (Triune God, Works of God), 2 vols.
- James Wm. McClendon, Jr., Systematic Theology (Ethics, Doctrine, Witness), 3 vols.
- Wolfhart Pannenberg, Systematic Theology, 3 vols.
7. One of the following Christologies/eschatologies:
8. One of the following on method:
- Fergus Kerr, Theology After Wittgenstein, 2d ed.
- Brad Kallenberg, Ethics as Grammar: Changing the Postmodern Subject.
- R.R. Reno, In the Ruins of the Church: Sustaining Faith in an Age of Diminished Christianity.
Telford Work, Living and Active: Scripture in the Economy of Salvation. (Hey, I'm not above assigning my own stuff.)