The Blackwell encyclopedia of modern Christian thought /

Other Authors: McGrath, Alister E., 1953-
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Oxford [England] ; Cambridge, Mass. : Blackwell, 1993.
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Review by Choice Review

McGrath covers Christian theology from the beginning of the 18th century to the present; hence there are articles on Methodism, John Wesley, and Lutheranism, but not Martin Luther. Contributors emphasize theology rather than history. Major essays focus on central themes of Christian thought (e.g., soteriology). Other articles describe philosophical movements (e.g., existentialism), or the relationship of other fields to theology (e.g., music and Christianity; physical science and Christian thought). Lengthy biographies of major theologians (e.g., Paul Tillich) are supplemented by brief biographies of others influential on Christian thought, directly or indirectly (e.g., Nietzsche, T.S. Eliot). The introduction is clear and outlines the various facets of the book. Good syndetic structure and numerous cross-references facilitate usage. Coverage is international and balanced, while bibliographies include recent works. McGrath includes a glossary of theological terms and an index that ties names from the past to articles or concepts. One flaw in an otherwise well-produced volume is the running head "Evangelism" that should read "Evil, Problem of." This work provides a more specific and updated companion to The New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, by J.D. Douglas (rev. ed., 1978) and Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology by Alan Richardson and John Bowden (CH, Jun'84). Recommended. R. Hartsock; University of North Texas

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

The general editor of this treatment of Christian thought from the eighteenth century to the present day is the prolific and learned Alister McGrath of Oxford. Arranged in standard encyclopedia form, the volume has a detailed index and a helpful glossary of theological terms following the text. Librarians will appreciate the numerous cross-references. All entries include a bibliography with excellent sources for follow-up reading. Lengthier ones follow major commissioned essays signed by their respective authors, the affiliations of whom are given at the beginning of the volume. The essays were written and commissioned "as a review of schools of thought, personalities, literature and debates" to allow the "reader to gain an overview of the main developments." The volume succeeds in these goals. A series of articles covers Christian thought in non-Christian countries: Arab nations, China, India, Japan, and Korea. Another series on Protestant theology has separate sections on Australia, Britain, Germany, South Africa, the U.S., etc. There are entries on such schools of thought as Existentialism, Hegelianism, and Marxism. Other interesting articles include Biological Science and Christian Thought and Physical Science and Christian Thought and Islam and Christianity and Judaism and Christianity. Biographies of religious leaders and theologians are abundant throughout the text. The text is lucidly written in a succinct manner. Some subjects and personalities are either left out or have no separate entry. For example, such basic topics as sin and the priesthood are not given separate entries, nor is William Law. Other curiosities are separate entries for John Locke and Immanuel Kant, but not for Tillotson, Tindal, Toland, or John Stuart Mill. No separate entry is given for the Oxford movement or Pusey, but there is a lengthy essay on Newman and a briefer one on Keble. For more current figures, an entry appears on Hans K{{}}ung, but not Matthew Fox. Notwithstanding the above, the volume is an appropriate addition for reference collections in college, university, and religious libraries. (Reviewed June 1994)

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.