Historical Theology

Historical Theology : An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought

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Freshly updated for this second edition with considerable new material, this authoritative introduction to the history of Christian theology covers its development from the beginnings of the Patristic period just decades after Jesus's ministry, through to contemporary theological trends.


A substantially updated new edition of this popular textbook exploring the entire history of Christian thought, written by the bestselling author and internationally-renowned theologian
Features additional coverage of orthodox theology, the Holy Spirit, and medieval mysticism, alongside new sections on liberation, feminist, and Latino theologies, and on the global spread of Christianity
Accessibly structured into four sections covering the Patristic period, the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the reformation and post-reformation eras, and the modern period spanning 1750 to the present day, addressing the key issues and people in each
Includes case studies and primary readings at the end of each section, alongside comprehensive glossaries of key theologians, developments, and terminology
Supported by additional resources available on publication at www.wiley.com/go/mcgrath
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 187.96 x 243.84 x 17.78mm | 544.31g
  • Wiley-Blackwell
  • Hoboken, United States
  • English
  • 2nd Edition
  • 0470672862
  • 9780470672860
  • 100,122

Back cover copy

This popular introduction to the history of Christian thoughthas been thoroughly revised and expanded for a second edition. Itfeatures substantial new material, including additional coverage oforthodox theology, the Holy Spirit, and medieval mysticism, alongside new sections on liberation, feminist, and Latinotheologies, as well as on the global spread of Christianity.

Covering the entire history of Christian thought, this textbookprovides all the material needed for a broad understanding ofChristian theological development, from the earliest days of theChurch Fathers right up to the present day. The book is orderedinto four distinct periods, the Patristic period, the Middle Agesand Renaissance, the Reformation and post-Reformation, and themodern period, addressing the key ideas, processes and people ineach. Readers are encouraged to interact with the material throughcase studies and study questions at the end of each section whichexplore central themes, and primary texts are included tofacilitate deeper understanding of the issues discussed. A set ofcomprehensive glossaries encompass theologians, theologicaldevelopments, and important words, names, and phrases.

Meeting the demand for a vibrant, chronological historicaltreatment of the subject, this authoritative and accessible volumeis a welcome new edition of a bestselling textbook. Additionalresources to support the book are available at www.wiley.com/go/mcgrath.
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Table of contents

How to Use this Book xii


Introduction 1


The Concept of "Theology": A Brief Introduction 1


The Architecture of Theology 4


Historical Theology: Its Purpose and Place 8


1 The Patristic Period, c.100 451 16


A Clarifi cation of Terms 17


Difficulties in Approaching Patristic Theology 17


The Historical Background to Patristic Theology 18


Centers of Theological Reflection 22


Key Theologians 22


Key Theological Developments 26


Key Names, Words, and Phrases 35


Questions 35


Case Studies 36


2 The Middle Ages and the Renaissance, c.500 1500 77


On Defining the "Middle Ages" 78


Medieval Theological Landmarks in Western Europe 80


The Rise of Scholasticism 84


The Italian Renaissance 84


The Rise of Humanism 85


Medieval Theological Landmarks in Eastern Europe 86


Key Theologians 88


Key Theological Developments 93


Key Names, Words, and Phrases 98


Questions 98


Case Studies 98


3 The Reformation and Post-Reformation Periods, 1500 1750 124


Reformation or Reformations? 125


A Clarification of Terms 126


Post-Reformation Movements 133


Key Theologians 136


Key Theological Developments 139


Developments in Theological Literature 141


Key Names, Words, and Phrases 146


Questions 146


Case Studies 146


4 The Modern Period, 1750 to the Present Day 182


A Cultural Watershed: The Enlightenment 184


The Enlightenment Critique of Christian Theology 184


Romanticism and the Critique of the Enlightenment 187


The Crisis of Faith in Victorian England 189


Postmodernism and a New Theological Agenda 190


Key Theologians 192


Some Recent Western Theological Movements and Trends 195


Key Names, Words, and Phrases 209


Questions 210


Case Studies 210


Where Next? 269


Details of Theologians 271


A Glossary of Theological Terms 276


For Further Reading 288


Sources of Citations 292


Index 297
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Review Text

"HISTORICAL THEOLOGY is a great book for seminary studentsor any just interested in theology. McGrath covers a lot ofmaterial in a relatively short book, and he keeps it interestingthroughout." ( Tom-farr.blogspot.com , 1 August2013)
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Review quote

HISTORICAL THEOLOGY is a great book for seminary students or any just interested in theology. McGrath covers a lot of material in a relatively short book, and he keeps it interesting throughout." (Tom-farr.blogspot.com, 1 August 2013)
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About Alister E. McGrath

Alister E. McGrath is the Head of the Centre for Theology, Religion & Culture at King's College London, having previously been Professor of Historical Theology at the University of Oxford. He is one of the world's leading Protestant theologians and has long been involved in theological education. McGrath is also the author of some of the most widely used theology textbooks, including the bestselling Christian Theology: An Introduction (2010, Wiley-Blackwell), now in its fifth edition. He is in constant demand as a speaker at conferences throughout the world.
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Rating details

341 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 25% (86)
4 47% (159)
3 21% (73)
2 5% (17)
1 2% (6)
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