Item description for Readings in Christian Thought (Second Edition) by H. Kerr & Hugh T. Kerr...
Overview Revised and expanded edition of this familiar guide to the writings of 55 great theologians. Includes substantial excerpts, along with valuable introductions, from Justin Martyr through Thomas Merton. "A splendid collection,"---Review and Expositor. Wonderful training for fledgling theologians.
Publishers Description Illuminates the history and development of Christian thought by offering selections from the writings of 55 great Christian theologians. The volume includes substantial excerpts from notable women theologians and from black and liberation perspectives, plus a new section from deceased theologians such as Thomas Merton, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Karl Rahner. Each passage is prefaced by detailed introductory comments on the life and thought of each theologian and the significance of his/her work.
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Studio: Abingdon Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.9" Width: 6.9" Height: 0.9" Weight: 1.55 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 1990
Publisher Abingdon Church Supplies
ISBN 0687355478 ISBN13 9780687355471
Reviews - What do customers think about Readings in Christian Thought (Second Edition)?
Fascinating shift in focus... May 13, 2008
Something I've been thinking about regarding this reader (and probably not something Kerr intended) - there is a radical shift in the last two hundred pages towards an almost entirely man-centered theology.
If you start at the very beginning and read your whole way through you'll see a pattern that develops - the simplicity of the earliest writers grows in complexity but generally tends to retain its Christ-focused and high theology. During the Reformation, this seems to reach a high point in both theology and worship. This pattern stays fairly steady up until the end of the 18th century.
As Romanticism dawned, the selections slump downhill until the modern period. The last sections of the book are almost impossible, especially in contrast with the beauty and humility of the first sections. Kerr seems to be emphasizing how wonderful this ecumenical movement by showcasing all the various elements involved, but it really shows how man-focused the whole endeavor has become.
I give it four stars because he tips his hand throughout in the biographical sections that he does not like any form of scholasticism. There seems to be a general trend in modern scholarship that says any form of clarity in doctrine must mean a loss in other areas. My suspicion is that this philosophy is driven by a desire to de-emphasize doctrine so everybody can hold hands and sing songs. My criticism is that it is not scholaticism that's the problem, but man-centered thinking, whether it results in careful or sloppy thinking.
Other than this, it is a good introduction. I would like to see some people who believe the Bible to be true in the last two sections, but that's not the author's intent. I mean, come on! Who actually believes that stuff now a days?
Good BUT Sep 19, 2007
We've just started reading excerpts of this book for school BUT in my copy there is a printing flaw. There are pages out of order. The first part we're reading is at pg. 202 but have noticed that from pg 193 on the pages are jumbled and some not numbered. If you order this book check this right away. It is worth having a correct copy though.
Excellent overview of our theological roots. Jan 5, 2007
Thoroughly enjoyable and extremely informative. An excellent way to get exposed to the teachings of Christian thinkers (both good and bad) throughout the centuries. We in the 21st century did not suddenly invent Christian theology -- there is nothing new that has not already been thought about or discussed in some way by the church fathers and other writers over the past 2000 years. What we believe today is built on the battles they fought and molded by the theology they taught (again, both good and bad).
EXCELLENT abridgement Aug 10, 2003
As stated above, I feel that Kerr's book is an excellent abridgement of some of the more prominant writings of early church, middle church, and contemporary christian theologians. The idea behind this book is fascinating - a book which carries highlights of the original writings (translated to English) of the most influential theologians of the Christian movement. This gives the beginner and excellent look into the insights and thought processes of many Christian theologians, and gives the more seasoned scholar a quick reference guide to the specifics contributed by the writers contained herein. Another great feature of this book are the brief introductions to each writer. I was assigned this text in one of my seminary courses and found that the brief biographies which precede each author's writings inestimable in studying for my exams and in getting an overall feel about the background of each author.
The only complaint I have of the book is its lack of an index. With an index, this book would be a very powerful tool.
Great for beginning or experienced scholars Sep 12, 2002
A great intro to the important figures in Christian thought but also a great review course for those who think they've read it all before. Well-written with substantial pieces from women theologians as well as black and liberation perspectives, plus noted theologians such as Thomas Merton, Karl Rahner, etc. Each selection has a very detailed introduction and commments on the life of each theologian and the historical and spiritual significance of his work. Sure to be used for years to come!