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The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought (Oxford Companions) Hardcover – December 21, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0198600244 ISBN-10: 0198600240 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Companions
  • Hardcover: 808 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (December 21, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198600240
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198600244
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.3 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #619,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

For The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought, the editors gathered together over 250 scholars, mostly British or American, including what one might call a "celebrity" contributor or two. There's an article each by the archbishop of Canterbury and his predecessor. As one would expect from an Oxford Companion, it is a collection of impressively thoughtful, scholarly, perhaps slightly stodgy, brief summaries of academia's collected erudition on a broad selection of big subjects. That said, it aims to be more at the level of the general reader than, say, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, with fewer and longer articles and briefer reading lists.

The book is unable to be as much of a compendium of consensus as such standard reference works usually are because in many cases there is no consensus to record. The editors' have invited contributors with a sympathy for a particular subject to write on it, and this one volume contains a multitude of viewpoints--all expressed within the courteous and cautious limits of the academically respectable and predominantly from theologically liberal perspectives. The angles of approach of the articles on, for example, evangelicalism, homosexuality, and Thomas Aquinas reflect the vastly diverging views of different parts of the Christian world, some more orthodox than others. These differences add an extra level of interest to what is destined to be a standard reference for a long time to come. --David Pickering, Amazon.co.uk

From Booklist

This new Oxford Companion gives a splendid panoramic view of the Christian intellectual tradition geared for the casual reader but aptly suited for scholarly consumption. The more than 600 alphabetically arranged entries range in length from several paragraphs to several pages when treating topics like Medical ethics, Protestantism, or the theological concept Revelation. Biographical entries include a limited number of historical personalities like Aristotle, Jesus, Origen, and Martin Luther, while contemporary twentieth-century thinkers like Karl Barth, Graham Greene, and John Paul II dominate the text. The editors added a helpful index of names that do not have their own entries but are mentioned and developed in supportive subject areas.

The volume clearly illustrates the vast diversity of opinion operative in modern Christian thought. Conservatives, radicals, religious practitioners, philosophers, and unbelievers share an equal spotlight. Each entry is signed by one of 260 Catholic, Protestant, or Orthodox contributors hailing from renowned universities throughout the world, giving requisite authority to the work. Considerable coverage is given to Eastern thought and the experiences of Christianity in places like Africa China, and India. The brief bibliographies direct the reader to a balanced presentation of the subject discussed, as evidenced in the entry Homosexuality. Here eight sources are cited, showing both the historical understanding of homosexuality and the leading moral variances. Cross-references lead from the reading of one article to another.

This reasonably priced title is recommended for all academic and large public libraries. The highly regarded Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (3d ed., 1997) is a necessary complement because of its greater specificity and more comprehensive bibliographies. REVWR
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I have read through it 3 times already and I have only had it a month.
Kathryn Guyot
The stress is on contemporary theology, but the excerpts which are accessible here show you that the history of Christian thought is well represented too.
Manuel Haas
This comprehensive book is great for reference purposes but even better for just browsing.
Tom Hinkle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tom Hinkle on February 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This comprehensive book is great for reference purposes but even better for just browsing. The articles are very interesting and informative, covering the gamut from biblical theology to spirituality to ethics, and even literature and philosophy. The contributors run the theological gamut from conservative to liberal, so everyone will find something to disagree with, but that's part of the educational process. Not just for academic types, everyone with an interest in Christian thinking should enjoy this volume.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tron Honto on March 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is quite an amazing look at Christianity. Not only does it cover a wide range of topics, its contributors come from a variety of backgrounds. It is niether centered on Western Christianity nor is it overly dogmatic. Particularly I was impressed with the tact with which hotly debated issues were presented (e.g., abortion, homosexuality, etc.). Moreover, it is extraordinarily accessible while remaining engaging. The articles are written excellently with further readings provided at the end. It's an impressive accomplishment that I would whole-heartedly recommend to any Christian from any background.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Manuel Haas on March 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
There is no denying that the Oxford Companion to Christian Thought is a very expensive book, but as it is something like an entire library in one book, it sure is worth its price.
You can have a look at the table of contents to see what you can find in the Companion. The essays are written by brilliant and committed theologians, there isn't even a whiff of the dead prose of encycolpedias.
The stress is on contemporary theology, but the excerpts which are accessible here show you that the history of Christian thought is well represented too.
Christianity is more than just your local church and your local preacher's views. This book gives you an idea what has been going on all around the world in the past 2000 years. There is much to learn!
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28 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn Guyot on January 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This was a very inspirational book, it moved me deeply when I read it. There are many thoughts discussed in this book that never even crossed my feeble mind. I wish i had found this sooner. I did not used to have much faith in the Christian religion but this book alone brought me back into the light. I feel like I am floating on a cloud when I read it. I have read through it 3 times already and I have only had it a month. I reccommend this book to any unsure christians, or unsure people period.
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