Mapping Modern Theology: A Thematic and Historical Introduction
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Baker Academic / 2012 / Paperback

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Mapping Modern Theology: A Thematic and Historical Introduction

Baker Academic / 2012 / Paperback

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Stock No: WW035357

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Product Description

Mapping Modern Theology: A Thematic and Historical Introduction has something to offer everyone's theological interests and provides a fresh approach to modern theology by approaching the field thematically. Covering the most hotly debated topics in Christian theology that over the last two hundred years. The editors, both leading authorities on the history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century theology, have assembled a respected team of international scholars to offer substantive treatment on a wide variety of topics critical for modern theology. The volume enables undergraduate and graduate students in modern theology, twentieth-century theology, and contemporary theology courses to trace how key doctrinal questions have been discussed, where the emphases and questions lie, and how ideas were developed.

Contributors & Essays

  • On "Modernity" as a Theological Concept Bruce L. McCormack
  • The Trinity Fred Sanders
  • Divine Attributes Stephen R. Holmes
  • Scripture and Hermeneutics Daniel J. Treier
  • Creation Katherine Sonderegger
  • Anthropology Kelly M. Kapic
  • The Person of Christ Bruce L. McCormack
  • Atonement Kevin J. Vanhoozer
  • Providence John Webster
  • Pneumatology Telford Work
  • Soteriology Richard Lints
  • Christian Ethics Brian Brock
  • Practical Theology Richard R. Osmer
  • Ecclesiology Veli-Matti Kdrkkdinen
  • Eschatology Michael Horton

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 448
Vendor: Baker Academic
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 080103535X
ISBN-13: 9780801035357

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Publisher's Description

This textbook offers a fresh approach to modern theology by approaching the field thematically, covering classic topics in Christian theology over the last two hundred years. The editors, leading authorities on the history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century theology, have assembled a respected team of international scholars to offer substantive treatment of important doctrines and key debates in modern theology. Contributors include Kevin Vanhoozer, John Webster, Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, and Michael Horton. The volume enables readers to trace how key doctrinal questions were discussed, where the main debates lie, and how ideas developed. Topics covered include the Trinity, divine attributes, creation, the atonement, ethics, practical theology, and ecclesiology.

Author Bio

Kelly M. Kapic (PhD, King's College, University of London) is professor of theological studies at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, where he has taught for over a decade. He is the author, editor, or coeditor of several books, including The Devoted Life: An Invitation to the Puritan Classics. Bruce L. McCormack (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary; DrTheol hc, Friedrich Schiller University) is Charles Hodge Professor of Systematic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. A world-renowned Barth scholar, he is a frequent writer and lecturer on topics of Reformed theology.


This intriguing volume fills a gap in teaching materials for theological students that has long been noteworthy: it tackles the traditional loci of systematic theology through the lens of modernity's particular challenges. Not a history of doctrine nor yet a systematic theology in itself, it introduces the reader to the chief problems that Christian systematic theology has had to face in the modern and contemporary periods when seeking to defend, or at times adjust, its classic heritage. Intended primarily for students in the Reformed tradition, this book will prove to be an excellent textbook and focus for debate; the editors are to be congratulated on the quality and insightfulness of the contributions.
-Sarah Coakley,
Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge

This collection of fifteen essays on key topics will repay careful study. Through examining the different ways in which the central doctrines of the Christian faith have been handled under the pressures of modernity, it provides valuable orientation for students of modern theology. Clear, informed, and insightful, it deserves inclusion on all relevant reading lists.
-David Fergusson,
professor of divinity and principal of New College, University of Edinburgh

A volume such as this is a welcome guide indeed to the contours of modern theology. Especially valuable is the organization of this book according to the classical doctrinal loci and central concerns of the Christian theological tradition. An impressive lineup of scholars provides a sure guide to the ways each of these concerns has been treated within the context of modernity and demonstrates thereby the necessity of our striving, even if sometimes failing, to tell of the gospel in ways both responsible to the tradition and alert to the realities of contemporary culture.
-Murray Rae,
professor of theology, University of Otago

This is an unusually helpful book. Clearly written, reliable, and illuminating, it traces the development of key Christian doctrines throughout the modern period, and in so doing offers a lucid introduction to modern theology. The best book of its kind. Highly recommended.
-Adam A. Neder,
associate professor of theology, Whitworth University

This outstanding collection of essays with contributions from leaders in the field will appeal to scholars and students alike. The format is classical: a topical overview of particular doctrines. By combining careful attention to the development of the different loci in the modern period alongside sensitivity to the theological nuances involved in each doctrine, the editors have managed to provide the reader with a genuine alternative to other textbooks. The essays are all excellent, setting a high watermark for other such symposia. It should quickly establish itself as a resource of choice for those wanting a comprehensive account of modern Christian theology that is alert to historical as well as systematic considerations. I highly recommend it.
-Oliver Crisp,
professor of systematic theology,
Fuller Theological Seminary

"What makes this volume, edited by Kapic and McCormack, unique in this genre of books is its attempt to tell the story of modern theology in a thematic format...The fifteen chapters cover the typical topics of theology (e.g. creation, anthropology, atonement, pneumatology, etc.), each written by...a leading voice from within a broadly Reformed perspective...Mapping Modern Theology is a welcome addition, and one which I as a teacher plan on adopting the next time around. Rarely does there come along a volume which is not only historically rich, but systematically nuanced and readable as well. Kapic and McCormack (and all the contributors) are to be commended for a fine book which will serve students well.
-Myles Werntz,
Englewood Review of Books

This is a great textbook for understanding what's happened in systematic theology over the last couple of centuries...There's a sweet spot here in the shared space between evangelical and mainline scholarship...Between them, Kapic and McCormack have really assembled a great team of writers, and this looks like a book that's going to help a lot of students and stay in use for quite a while. There are a few other overviews of modern theology available, but Mapping is likely to establish itself as the go-to text for college and seminary, for one main reason: its thematic organization...The book is carefully designed with students in mind, to solve problems that Kapic and McCormack have seen their students encounter over their years of teaching modern theology.
-Fred Sanders,
The Scriptorium blog

The unique achievement of Mapping Modern Theology is showing the development of particular doctrines within modern theology [and] highlighting the theologians who carried these conversations forward...This book provides a valuable map for every student of theology. It will be beneficial for those seeking an overview of modern theology as well as a crucial resource for systematic theology courses. For anyone interested in theology, this is an essential book for your shelf, but like the best maps, it is not meant to collect dust and should be underlined, notated, and dog-eared through continual use and enjoyment.
-Wes Vander Lugt,
Jesus Creed blog

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    I love what Kapic did with John Owen so I decided to give Mapping Modern Theology a go. I don't read modern theology at all (at least not the writers emphasized here). I'm familiar with the major players from seminary but that's been a while. Reading this was a enjoyable crash course for me. It took me about two chapters to really get into the flow of the book but once I did I found the rest approachable and profitable.

    I love the structure. Rather than organizing around the personalities and developing the theology chronologically, the book moves through doctrines (like a systematic would) emphasizing the developments and major contributors. Some of the most prominent names you will find are Schleiermacher, Barth, Bultmann, Darwin, Dorner, Hegel, Charles Hodges, Hume, Kant, Moltmann, Pannenburg and there are many references to Luther, Calvin, & Aquinas who are not modern but very influential amongst these modern theologians and philosophers. Generally, the theology discussed happens over the last 200 years but not necessarily. The writers are more worried about the themes than a strict chronology.

    As someone who doesn't frequently read in this field it was interesting placing practice and theology I've encountered in evangelical and reformed communities within an historical context. Some of the good and much of the bad can be traced back to the major movers who developed modern theology. For instance, in the section on salvation Richard Lints says,

    Ritschl was quite critical of the individualistic orientation of soteriology in Protestant Orthodoxy. He decried the individualistic notions of salvation embedded in much Protestant theology because they inevitably drew attention away from the corporate dimensions of love as the summum bonum of the Christian faith. "The Christian community is God's supreme end in the world." Love was always directed at another, which entailed that love demanded a community in order to be lived. (p. 267)

    Lints then examines the development of the this individualistic focus and also the revivalist's practice of by "whatever means" when "converting" a sinner (268).

    Also, I found the essay on "Creation" by Katherine Sonderegger compelling. She argues that modern apologists for God have retreated even in their positive arguing. For instance,

    [T]here is no mistaking that the air of retreat that hovers over these innovations. It is one thing, after all, to assert, as did Thomas Aquinas in his famous Five Ways, that the existence of God can be demonstrated by deep reflections on the structure of the cosmos. It is another thing altogether to say that the logical and empirical demonstrations of natural theology can no longer be advanced, and in its place must stand a suggestion, an analogy, and invitation, or a probability. To medieval apologists such a much move would appear to be a concession, and it is the sting of such a charge that fuels the animosity and high rhetoric of current debates over cosmology, scientific, and Intelligent Design. (109)

    I have been advocating for a renewal in the study of church history and its theology; if this admonition hits you, Mapping Modern Theology: A Thematic and Historical Introduction is your huckleberry. So much of our modern foibles could be avoided if there was a clear understanding of where we have been and where we are going. It would be helpful if you had some previous reading in this genre or at least a background in theology, but the writing is well structured and approachable enough that the determined layperson could read it without much ado.
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