- Paperback: 568 pages
- Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 4 edition (November 13, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1405153601
- ISBN-13: 978-1405153607
- Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 165 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #471,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Christian Theology: An Introduction (4th Edition) 4th Edition
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Of the previous edition
"This book is an extraordinary achievement, a tour de force which will introduce thousands of students to theology as a discipline with a rich heritage, a clear sense of its own methods and norms, and an elusive yet articulate understanding of Christian language." Reviews in Religion and Theology
"This publication is a seminal text for the student or teacher of Christian Theology. Its readability and general presentation make it a very accessible text for those with a general interest in this area of academic endeavour. In essence this is a text which would be a useful and valuable resource for the teacher or student of theology. For school-based practitioners it is a very sound teacher reference text. It contains in one volume a very thorough treatment of the key developments in Christian Theology over the past 2000 years." Religious Education Journal of Australia
"This is one of the most user friendly textbooks I have come across drawing attention to important connections between different histories and human attempts to give expression to Christianity. I highly recommend this edition of McGrath's book to anyone looking for a place to begin the study of Christianity as a major World Religion." Dr Isabel Mukonyora, Western Kentucky University
"I have successfully used, over a decade, the earlier editions of McGrath’s strikingly clear and astonishingly comprehensive Introduction in helping students to be historically grounded in classical theological heritage and to engage with its contemporary developments. I consider this fourth edition, more concise and impressively more accessible, as a ‘must’ for theological students and pastors." Prof. Christopher Duraisingh, Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA
“This revised and expanded edition of a popular textbook has several features geared toward making it an accessible introduction and a useful reference tool. “
Religious Studies Review
From the Back Cover
Alister McGrath’s internationally-acclaimed Christian Theology: An Introduction is one of the most widely used textbooks in Christian theology. Fully revised and featuring lots of new material, this fourth edition provides an unparalleled introduction to 2,000 years of Christian thought.
Key features of this new edition include:
- New sections on monastic schools of theology, the English Reformation, and Radical Orthodoxy
- Increased discussion of women in the early Church, feminist theology, Eastern Orthodox theology and history, and Catholic teachings on the Doctrine of the Church
- User-friendly key terms sections and study questions.
These changes will ensure that Christian Theology remains the essential textbook, providing an even-handed, comprehensive and lively introduction to the field. The fourth edition is accompanied by a website at www.blackwellpublishing.com/mcgrath, featuring additional lecturer resources.
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Of course, this book is as comprehensive as a 536-page book can be, and that is pretty darn comprehensive; the book has large pages and small text. McGrath often refers to things he had talked about earlier in the book (the specific in-text citations were helpful here). He effectively pulls the most important components of each view he summarizes so that later he can develop them further when considering a different discipline of Christian theology. For example, in the chapter 17, “Christianity and World Religions,” he brings together Karl Barth’s views on the person of Christ (chapter 11) and his views on salvation (chapter 13) to demonstrate how they are all interconnected in Barth’s worldview.
McGrath is as objective as anyone can ever expect a theologian to be on a topic like Christian theology. He is honest with every position he summarizes, providing its best arguments and its strengths and weaknesses. On most issues, it is nearly impossible to discern exactly on what side McGrath stands. Perhaps such an eminent Oxford University scholar should be expected to be able to so carefully discuss ideas he has studied his entire life. Being the fifth edition, this book has also probably faced enough scrutiny to fine-tune it into this unbiased textbook.
Probably in hopes of being objective, McGrath omits first-person pronouns. This results in many passive sentence constructions and thus, sometimes, wordiness. Although this wordiness annoyed me, it usually was unnoticeably because the content was interesting. McGrath is, nevertheless, a great writer and explains everything in plain language, and this book is easy to understand for a beginner in theology.
This book read like a book on history more than anything else, although this is due mostly to the nature of Christian theology. Such a discipline can only consist largely of looking back at what theologians have written in the past and revising their ideas to accommodate the ways society has since developed. I highly recommend this book to any student of theology or world religions.
theologies (including Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, as well as many of the Protestant ones). Second, it is simple to understand. I don't go to England any more, but I wish I might sometime meet Alister McGrath, the author.