HT 140W Bibliography





Confessing the One Faith: An Ecumenical Explication of the Apostolic Faith as it is Confessed in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed (381). Faith and Order Paper No. 153. Geneva: WCC Publications, 1991; Second printing, 1992. (Available from Wartburg Seminary Distributed Learning Office)


This World Council of Churches study document presents an ecumenical interpretation of the Nicene Creed. This interpretation was developed in consultations, review and evaluations over a ten year period. It represents an attempt to state the common faith that unites ecumenical Christianity across all the diverse forms it takes. It includes a short bibliography of ecumenical resources. Students will be expected to be fully familiar with this material and to give it priority in their reading.


Peters, Ted. God-the World's Future: Systematic Theology for a Postmodern Era. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1992.


Peters provides a creation oriented systematic theology strongly influenced by Pannenberg, but shorter and easier to read. It is excellent on issues in the contemporary American context as well as the relation of theology to science, although it can be a little more uneven on other topics.


Persaud, Winston D. and Duane A. Priebe. Theme and Variations: Systematic Theology in a Pluralistic Global Horizon. Online.


This is the textbook that is being written for the course. You find the parts that are available under "Lecture Notes." It ultimately will develop the thesis that basic simple structures of human thought have formative power to shape how people perceive their world, think about it and live in it. It explores the central structures of Christian thought and the ways those structures have generated a wide array of different interpretations of the Christian message in new contexts.


HT 140W Systematic Theology Reader


This reader contains a collection of articles or short pieces written from various contexts, related to the topics of the course. Not all of them are written by Christians. Keshub Chunder Sen was a 19th century Hindu who became fascinated with Jesus Christ and proclaimed him, but never became a Christian. Gopal Singh is a prominent Sikh scholar. The articles in this reader meet the cross-cultural reading requirement. As an alternative a student can choose one book from each of two lists under "Distribution Requirement" listed below. (Available from Wartburg Seminary Distributed Learning Office)


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Basic Resources


The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Edited by Robert Kolb and Timothy J. Wengert. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000.


These are the confessional documents of the Lutheran church. Those who intend to become Lutheran pastors will promise to preach and teach in conformity with these confessions in their ordination vows. There is also an older version translated and edited by Theodore G. Tappert.


Schmid, Heinrich. The Doctrinal Theology of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Translated by Charles A. Hay and Henry E. Jacobs. First edition, 1875; third edition, revised, 1899.


Schmid offers a compendium of quotations from the classical Lutheran theologians of the seventeenth century. It is an excellent resource for orienting your study of various topics if you use it for creative suggestions rather than as a straight jacket of what you are to think. It represents the structures on which all subsequent Lutheran theology has been built in one way or another.


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Highly Recommended Short Theologies


Cobb, John B., Jr. Grace and Responsibility: A Wesleyan Theology for Today. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995.


John Cobb is a prominent United Methodist, process theologian, whose work is deeply informed by the Wesleyan theological tradition as well as by Alfred North Whitehead's philosophy and contemporary issues circling around ecology, justice and religious pluralism.


Migliore, Daniel L. Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Theology. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1991.


This is a well-written, readable introduction to the basic structures of Christian theology. It provides a good introduction to the various topics of theology and to the structure of the whole in a contemporary form from a Reformed point of view. It provides the most comprehensive textbook


Pannenberg, Wolfhart. The Apostles' Creed: In Light of Today's Questions. Reprinted by Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers; Philadelphia: Westminster, 1972.


Wolfhart Pannenberg, one of the most prominent contemporary Lutheran theologians, offers an excellent, readable presentation of the Christian faith through an explanation of the Apostles' Creed. It makes a convenient introduction to his theology.


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Distribution Requirement


The Course Reader plus one of these books, or one book each from two of the following Groups


Group 1 - Asian Contexts


Abhishiktananda, Swami. Saccidananda: A Christian Approach to Advaitic Experience. Delhi: ISPCK, 1974; revised edition, 1984.


Abhishiktananda presents a thought provoking, creative interpretation of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity in conversation with the Advaitic experience of the unity of the self with the Absolute and with the Hindu concept of Saccidananda, i.e., of Brahman as Sat, Cit, and Ananda. He believes that only the experience of the trinitarian God of Christian faith is able to set the Advaitic experience of non-duality into a broader and deeper experience of God, without devaluing it. Building on the Catholic concept that grace completes nature, he suggests that the Christian experience of God also includes the experience of the inner life of God as a communion of persons revealed in Jesus Christ. It also includes our experience of the reality of creation in a unity that includes distinctions.


Boyd, Robin H.S. An Introduction to Indian Christian Theology. Delhi: Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge; Trivandrum: Indian Theological Library, 1969; Revised edition, 1975.


Boyd discusses a variety of ways in which Indian Christians and Hindus have creatively interpreted the Christian message in the Indian cultural and religious context. It is historically organized around various theologians and the issues they addressed. A bibliography is included.


Koyama, Kosuke. Water Buffalo Theology. Revised and Expanded, 1999. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1974.


A Japanese Christian who taught in Thailand, Koyama presents a highly readable, profound, creative, enjoyable interpretation of the Christian message in conversation with that context and its Buddhist culture.


Sugirtharajah, R.S., and Cecil Hargreaves, editors. Readings in Indian Christian Theology. Volume 1. ISPCK Study Guide 29. Delhi: ISPCK; London: SPCK, 1993.


This volume presents essays by a number of prominent Indian theologians addressing topics of theological method, understandings of Jesus, people's stories, and biblical interpretation. It provides an interesting cross section of Indian Christian theology in a readable form.


Song, Choan-Seng. Third-Eye Theology: Theology in Formation in Asian Settings. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1979; Revised edition, 1991.


Song offers a creative interpretation of Christian theology in the context of Asian cultures and religions, which opens exciting insights into the meaning of the gospel. It covers only some topics.


Thomas, M.M., and P.T. Thomas. Towards an Indian Christian Theology: Life and Thought of Some Pioneers. Tiruvalla: The New Day Publications of India, 1992.


Written by two prominent Indian theologians, this book briefly presents the life and thought of 40 theologians who have made significant contributions to the formation of an Indian Christian theology.


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Group 2 - North American Contexts


Cone, James H. A Black Theology of Liberation. Philadelphia & New York: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1970.


This is the classic study of black liberation theology in an American context. Cone takes a radical approach that reflects Black anger at the experience of racism within the Christian community. Remaining Christian, he wants to explore the meaning of the Christian message and its power to create a new reality in the context of racial issues.


Evans, James H. We Have Been Believers: An African-American Systematic Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992.


While Cone is the classic study of American Black theology, Evans represents a more systematic, constructive approach. He offers an outline of a systematic theology in the African-American context. He discusses the ungiven God, the figure of Christ in African American experience, and issues of liberation with creative insight.


Ivory, Luther D. Toward a Theology of Radical Involvement: The Theological Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1997.


Ivory argues that King is best understood as a theologian whose activist rhetoric is determined and shaped by a profound understanding of God and God's involvement in human history for human liberation and salvation.


Johnson, Elizabeth A. She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse. NY: Crossroad, 1993.


This is an insightful, balanced interpretation of Christian theology in the context of the issues raised by feminist theologians and the insights they offer. She writes with respect for the contributions of classical theology as well as with an awareness of its limitations.


Kidwell, Clara Sue, Homer Noley, and George E. "Tink" Tinker. A Native American Theology. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2001.


Organized around traditional Christian theological categories, with some drawn from the Native American context, the authors engage Native American experience, concepts, values and worldviews in their interpretation of the message of the gospel.


Meyendorff, John. Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends & Doctrinal Themes. New York: Fordham University Press, 1974; Second edition, 1979.


The first half of Meyendorff's book traces the historical development of Orthodox theology. The second half, which is more helpful for this course, deals with doctrinal themes. A bibliography is included.


Soelle, Dorothee. Thinking about God: An Introduction to Theology. Translated by John Bowden. Philadelphia: Trinity Press International, 1990.


Soelle surveys theology in terms of three basic approaches and the contributions of various forms of liberation theology for understanding particular doctrines. It includes suggestions for further reading and an index of biblical references.


Suchocki, Marjorie Hewitt. God-Christ-Church: A Practical Guide to Process Theology. New York: Crossroad, 1982.


Suchocki offers a generally readable interpretation of Christian faith in terms of process theology. A glossary of process terms helps with some of the technical language.


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Group 3 - Latin American and African Contexts


González, Justo L. Mañana: Christian Theology from a Hispanic Perspective. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1990.


González gives an introductory survey of the basic doctrines of the Christian faith and shows how the historical and cultural reality of Hispanic persons relates to and broadens the meaning of traditional concepts.


Gutiérrez, Gustavo. A Theology of Liberation: History, Politics and Salvation. Translated and edited by Sister Caridad Inda and John Eagleson. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1973; revised edition, 1988.


This is the classic discussion of liberation theology from a Latin American viewpoint. It includes an index of biblical passages.


Oduyoye, Mercy Amba. Hearing and Knowing: Theological Reflections on Christianity in Africa. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1986.


Out of the conviction that theology is for living, Oduyoye explores elements of a contextual interpretation of Christian faith for Africa. The first part of this interesting and readable book traces the history of Christian mission and theology in Africa, while the second part develops particular themes. The book includes a bibliography.


Sobrino, Jon, and Ignacio Ellacuría, editors. Systematic Theology: Perspectives from Liberation Theology. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1993


This is a collection of articles addressing the various theological topics from the standpoint of Latin American liberation theology. It represents a variety of points of view within the framework of liberation theology, but lacks the systematic coherence of books with a single author.


Major Theologies


Barth, Karl. Church Dogmatics. 4 volumes in 12 parts (13 bound volumes). Edited by G.W. Bromiley and T.F. Torrance. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1936-1969.


Barth has been the most influential theologian of the 20th century. His Epistle to the Romans published in 1918 and in a greatly changed second edition in 1921 probably had a greater impact on the theological landscape than any other book in the last century. He appropriated Reformation traditions to accent the transcendent otherness of God and the radicality of sin and judgment, on the one hand, and of God's gracious saving love toward sinners in Jesus Christ, on the other.


Hall, Douglas John. Thinking the Faith: Christian Theology in a North American Context. Minneapolis: AugsburgFortress, 1989.

--------. Professing the Faith: Christian Theology in a North American Context. Minneapolis: AugsburgFortress, 1993.

--------. Confessing the Faith: Christian Theology in a North American Context. Minneapolis: AugsburgFortress, 1996.


John Douglas Hall is interesting because he takes on the task of formulating a theology for the North American context and he does so in a way that is readily accessible. The first volume addresses issues of context and theology. The second deals with the question of God, creaturely being and Jesus Christ. The third explores the church, ways we confess our faith in word and life and the issue of future hope. While the volumes are clearly structured, the most helpful discussion of a particular topic may not occur where you expect, so the indexes are quite helpful. For example, the fullest and most helpful discussion in the virgin birth is in the first volume.


Moltmann, Jürgen. The Trinity and the Kingdom: The Doctrine of God. Translated by Margaret Kohl. SCM Press, 1981; San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1991.

--------. God in Creation: A New Theology of Creation and the Spirit of God. Translated by Margaret Kohl. SCM Press, 1985; San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1991.

--------. The Way of Jesus Christ: Christology in Messianic Dimensions. Translated by Margaret Kohl. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1990.

--------. The Spirit of Life: A Universal Affirmation. Translated by Margaret Kohl. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992.


Moltmann focuses on the theology of hope in the context of the cross of Jesus Christ. He is both provocative and relatively easy to read. These volumes form a systematic theology.


Pannenberg, Wolfhart. Systematic Theology. 3 volumes. Translated by Geoffrey W. Bromiley. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1991-97.


Pannenberg's theology is one of the primary conversation partners for our theological program. Pannenberg takes an apologetic approach to theology in the framework of a theology of religions and in conversation with the physical and social sciences. Students find it very difficult, since Pannenberg develops his ideas in conversation with the history of Christian thought and with other alternatives. It helps not to worry about the people cited, but to treat the names simply as markers for ideas. The translation is unfortunately marred by the tendency of the translator to change the text to fit his conservative presuppositions. This is a more serious problem in the first volume. A good, short, easy to read introduction to Pannenberg's approach to systematic theology is Pannenberg, The Apostles' Creed. Pannenberg's An Introduction to Systematic Theology is a relatively easy to read introduction to systematic theology.


Tillich, Paul. Systematic Theology. 3 volumes. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1951-1963.


Paul Tillich continues to be one of the most influential Lutheran theologians of the 20th century. In contrast to Barth, Tillich has a positive, though not uncritical, view of human culture as embodying and giving expression to the fundamental questions of human existence, which are addressed by God's revelation. The task of theology is to explore the correlation between the questions embodied in culture, including religion, and God's saving action that encounters us in our contexts. Tillich's strength lies in his interpretation of the Christian message and the development of its fundamental structures. He offers less information about the history of Christian thought or alternative views than do the other theologies in this list.



Copyright © 2014 Duane A. Priebe