[Common Places] Announcing Our Next Series: New Voices for Theology

Michael Allen and Scott Swain, editors of Common Places on January 14th, 2015. Tagged under ,.

Michael Allen and Scott Swain, editors of Common Places

Trinity College Library

Ours is a day of noise, not silence.

The great difficulty in navigating theological study in the English-speaking world is not owing to the absence of resources, but to the profusion of so many significant resources (and, well, maybe a few not so significant ones offering cover). Targeted marketing may guide you to products for your likely demographic, but there’s little guarantee that you’ll find that thought-provoking volume that haunts you for years to come and no surety that the most worthy studies of our times will find the audience that they deserve. Indeed, some of the more substantive theological works have found their audiences years, if not lifetimes, later.

New Voices for Theology seeks to introduce reader-theologians to new publications worthy of their attention. This connection is no small matter, especially for those interested in doing systematic or dogmatic theology, which is by definition a discipline that draws on diverse ancillary fields of study (ranging from biblical literature to historical studies and beyond). The thoughtful and faithful theologian cannot develop a tunnel vision but must embrace a catholic spirit, seeking to appreciate the breadth or totality of God’s truth. For finite thinkers such as ourselves, this means that the theologian must learn to depend upon and celebrate the wisdom of those working in various doctrines and related fields.

This blog series will highlight several studies, all of which are published dissertations by junior scholars in the field. Some address systematic theology per se, while others offer particularly noteworthy reflections upon matters of biblical exegesis or historical genealogy that impinge upon the systematic task. In each case, a senior scholar (more often than not a doctoral supervisor) will commend the work, explaining not only the nature and shape of the text’s argument but also the potential implications for the task of doing theology today.

We look forward, over the next few installments, to posts from Kevin Vanhoozer and Lewis Ayres, from Gary Anderson and John Barclay, among others. In each case, we commend a recent—published in the last five years—publication to you as a significant work for theology. We encourage you not only to engage with the post but to read the book and comment upon it. In this enterprise as always, we want to foster the common places where theology can be done in our time. Tomorrow you may interact with Daniel Treier as he introduces our first featured work. Join us.

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Common Places is a regular column on the Zondervan Academic blog with a focus on systematic theology. The loci communes or “common places” of Christian theology, drawn out of the Scriptures and organized in a manner suitable to their exposition in the church and the academy, have functioned historically as common points of reference for theological discussion and debate. This column will focus upon the classical loci of systematic theology, not as occasions for revision, but as opportunities for entering into the ongoing conversation that is Christian systematic theology. We invite you to join and dialog with us on the first and third Thursdays of every month. For more about Common Places, read the column introduction.

Michael Allen and Scott Swain, editors

[Image: “Words in leather and wood” by Nic McPhee. Creative Commons License.]