Religion Booknotes

The Future of Christian Theology
David F. Ford
Wiley-Blackwell, $34.95, 239 pp.

 

David F. Ford, a theologian at Cambridge University and author of the excellent book Christian Wisdom (2007), has a generous view of theology. In his new book, The Future of Christian Theology, he has some salutary words about theology as it’s taught in the university, but, for him, theology is more than an academic discipline. Before it’s anything else, it’s faith seeking understanding.

Ford argues that theology must be rooted not only in intelligence but in wisdom. It must engage in a wise retrieval of its sources and in a wise dialogue with God, church, and world. And it must be wise in its expression as well as in its thought. Most of The Future of Christian Theology is an elaboration on these four basic imperatives.

In the United Kingdom, there has been an ongoing debate about the vexatious relationship between religious studies and the study of theology. Ford believes that these two disciplines can live in harmony, and can even be mutually enriching. The question of theology’s future is a bit thornier in the American setting. For constitutional reasons, most public institutions of higher learning don’t offer...

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About the Author

Lawrence Cunningham is John O'Brien professor of Theology (Emeritus) at the University of Notre Dame.