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)
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.
Ted. God-the World's Future: Systematic Theology for a Postmodern
Era. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1992.
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.
Winston D. and Duane A. Priebe. Theme and Variations: Systematic
Theology in a Pluralistic Global Horizon. Online.
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)
Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Edited by Robert Kolb and Timothy J. Wengert. Minneapolis: Fortress
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
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.
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.
Recommended Short Theologies
John B., Jr. Grace and Responsibility: A Wesleyan Theology for
Today. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995.
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.
Daniel L. Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Christian
Theology. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1991.
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
Wolfhart. The Apostles' Creed: In Light of Today's Questions.
Reprinted by Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers; Philadelphia:
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.
The Course Reader plus one of these boks, or one
book each from two of the following Groups
1 - Asian Contexts
Swami. Saccidananda: A Christian Approach to Advaitic Experience.
Delhi: ISPCK, 1974; revised edition, 1984.
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.
Robin H.S. An Introduction to Indian Christian Theology.
Delhi: Indian Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge; Trivandrum:
Indian Theological Library, 1969; Revised edition, 1975.
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
Kosuke. Water Buffalo Theology. Revised and Expanded, 1999.
Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1974.
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
R.S., and Cecil Hargreaves, editors. Readings in Indian Christian
Theology. Volume 1. ISPCK Study Guide 29. Delhi: ISPCK; London:
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
Choan-Seng. Third-Eye Theology: Theology in Formation in Asian
Settings. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1979; Revised edition, 1991.
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.
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.
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.
2 - North American Contexts
James H. A Black Theology of Liberation. Philadelphia &
New York: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1970.
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
James H. We Have Been Believers: An African-American Systematic
Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992.
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.
Luther D. Toward a Theology of Radical Involvement: The Theological
Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Nashville: Abingdon Press,
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
Elizabeth A. She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological
Discourse. NY: Crossroad, 1993.
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.
Clara Sue, Homer Noley, and George E. "Tink" Tinker. A Native
American Theology. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2001.
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.
John. Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends & Doctrinal Themes.
New York: Fordham University Press, 1974; Second edition, 1979.
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.
Dorothee. Thinking about God: An Introduction to Theology.
Translated by John Bowden. Philadelphia: Trinity Press International,
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.
Marjorie Hewitt. God-Christ-Church: A Practical Guide to Process
Theology. New York: Crossroad, 1982.
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.
3 - Latin American and African Contexts
Justo L. Mañana: Christian Theology from a Hispanic Perspective.
Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1990.
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.
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.
is the classic discussion of liberation theology from a Latin
American viewpoint. It includes an index of biblical passages.
Mercy Amba. Hearing and Knowing: Theological Reflections on Christianity
in Africa. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1986.
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
Jon, and Ignacio Ellacuría, editors. Systematic Theology: Perspectives
from Liberation Theology. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1993
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.
Karl. Church Dogmatics. 4 volumes in 12 parts (13 bound volumes).
Edited by G.W. Bromiley and T.F. Torrance. Edinburgh: T. & T.
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.
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.
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.
Jürgen. The Trinity and the Kingdom: The Doctrine of God.
Translated by Margaret Kohl. SCM Press, 1981; San Francisco: HarperCollins,
--------. 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.
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.
Wolfhart. Systematic Theology. 3 volumes. Translated by Geoffrey
W. Bromiley. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1991-97.
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.
Paul. Systematic Theology. 3 volumes. Chicago: The University
of Chicago Press, 1951-1963.
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