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The Future of Christian Theology (Blackwell Manifestos) (Wiley-Blackwell Manifestos) [Hardcover]

David F. Ford

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Book Description

11 Feb 2011 1405142723 978-1405142724 1
The Future of Christian Theology represents a personal manifesto from one of the world′s leading theologians, exploring the ways Christian theology in the twenty–first century has been, and can now continue to be, both creative and wise.   Represents an outstanding and engaging account of the task of theology today Offers an insightful description of what makes for discerning and creative theology. Written from the perspective of decades of experience, and in close dialogue with theologians of other faiths Features a strong interfaith and public theology dimension, and a contemporary portrait of the field from the inside A hopeful and illuminating search for wisdom and understanding in the increasingly complex religious and secular world of the twenty–first century.

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“In my opinion, this book’s readability is its greatest strength because here it comes closest to serving his purpose: to stimulate readers to seek wisdom and thereby assist them in shaping not only their personal lives but society.”  ( Studies in Religion , 1 September 2013) “Thus far, the volume is of general interest, but there follows two more specialist chapters which cover academic teaching, curriculum shaping and funding and then the process of learning to be a theologian.”  ( Evangelical Quarterly , 3 July 2012)  “This thoughtful and encouraging book forms part of a new series addressing contemporary debates and controversies in the humanities and social sciences . . . The book deserves to be read prayerfully and I hope it will find its way into the hands of those training for ministry as well as parish clergy and congregational leaders.”  ( Religion & Theology , 1 August 2012) “Ford’s central achievement, then, is his insistence on a model of theology that bears witness to the unity, diversity, and vibrancy of twenty–first century Christianity.”  ( The Furrow , 1 September 2012) "The Future of Christian Theology is a book which is at once as bold and exciting as it is sensitive and wise. . . The book marks the very best of what that series might provide: written in exceptionally clear and accessible prose, it is nevertheless profound and deep. . . I cannot imagine any theologian or church person who would not find the reading of this book a beneficial enterprise. It is a must for all who care about the health of theology, the Church and – even more broadly – the world of which they are a part." (Theology, 1 November 2011)   "This book represents a mature summary of his academic and institutional vision." (Church Times, 23 September 2011) "Ford writes exegesis that does more than illustrate; it leads . . . It′s really, really good . . . Few theologians writing today are better positioned to see where theology needs to stay the same and where it needs to change for a new century." (The Christian Century, 18 April 2011) "The Future of Christian Theology by Prof David Ford of Cambridge (Wiley–Blackwell, £50) is another feast of good things: a book to widen horizons and deepen spirituality . . .So, two splendid books to feed minds and hearts." (Methodist Recorder, 21 July 2011) "In the meantime, Ford′s timely, stylish and passionate manifesto gives theologians plenty of work to be getting on with." (The Tablet, 23 April 2011)  


"This is, quite simply, a wonderful book. It′s vintage David Ford, yet all new – providing an ever deeper integration of themes which is profoundly creative and invites the reader to engage and make fresh connections. David Ford more successfully than any other theologian I know, bridges the concerns of the academy and those of the worshipping communities." — Iain Torrance , President of Princeton Theological Seminary "David Ford′s The Future of Christian Theology is a manifesto for a theology adequate to its new context in the twenty–first century. It′s a bold, powerful and provocative vision." — David H. Kelsey, Weigle Professor Emeritus of Theology, Yale Divinity School

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A call for "creative and wise" theology 4 Aug 2012
By tcairns - Published on
An energetic, joyful call for a 21st theology that is "creative and wise." Ford has edited a massive survey work of modern theology, and is himself a major force in the British theological/religious studies scene, so he has the background necessary to try and mark out some possibilities of a 21st century Christian theology.

Ford calls for a theology which is scripturally centered; marked by receptive retrieval; engagement with God, community, and the world in primarily dramatic (as opposed to epic or lyric) terms; deep thinking; and effective, creative communication in various forms. Ford's experience in inter-religious dialogue also brings in a unique angle, as he emphasizes the importance of inter-religious engagement, an "inter-faith theology of blessing" that is still scripturally centered. Ford's ideal "apprentice theologian" is marked by "receptivity (first of all to the Holy Spirit), reading wisely and self-critically, prayer, collegial friendship, involvement in service, a well-nourished imagination, disciplined thinking, mature discernment, care and creativity in communication, and risky witnessing." I especially enjoyed his discussion of the "two wisdoms" which arise from dramatic engagement: a wisdom of "intensity and reserve" and of "extensity and ramification," the comparison of epic, lyric and dramatic modes, and the need for balancing the various "moods" of theology.

As always with Ford, the reader gets a wide-ranging, broad discussion, along with an impressive and creative scriptural foundation. One might wish that he had explored a few of the concepts/chapters in greater detail - especially in the final chapters, all of which included a series of maxims/points which could have been explored further.
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