Friday, 18 January 2008

Theology highlights of 2007

Best theology book (academic): Rowan Williams, Wrestling with Angels: Conversations in Modern Theology (Eerdmans, 2007) – an extremely important collection of essays; this is Williams at his best.

Best theology book (popular): Rowan Williams, Tokens of Trust: An Introduction to Christian Belief (WJKP, 2007) – a beautiful, compelling and exquisitely elegant account of Christian belief, all organised around the very simple and very beautiful idea that God is the one whom we can trust.

Best book (New Testament): Susan Eastman, Recovering Paul's Mother Tongue: Language and Theology in Galatians (Eermans, 2007)

Best book (Old Testament): Rudolf Smend, From Astruc to Zimmerli: Old Testament Scholarship in Three Centuries (Mohr Siebeck, 2007)

Best theology journal: Modern Theology. This journal really stood out from the rest in 2007; it published an impressive range of groundbreaking articles, e.g. Philip Ziegler on Bonhoeffer; Kenneth Oakes on Barth and de Lubac; Kevin Hector on pneumatology; Jeffrey McCurry on Rowan Williams and Augustine; Merold Westphal on Jean-Luc Marion; Frederiek Depoortere on Žižek; Oliver Crisp on Robert Jenson; and Daniel Barber on John Howard Yoder.

Best journal article: Hugh Nicholson, “The Political Nature of Doctrine: A Critique of Lindbeck in Light of Recent Scholarship,” Heythrop Journal 48:6 (2007), 858-77.

Best conference paper: Douglas Harink, “The Time of the Gospel and the History of the World” (a brilliant SBL paper presented in San Diego, November 2007 – a copy is available online here)

Best theology blog: Inhabitatio Dei

Best new blog: The Immanent Frame

Best TV episode: The final episode of The Sopranos

Best new TV show: East West 101 (a terrific new Aussie crime show)

Best comedy scene: the Chasers’ APEC motorcade stunt (I adore these guys: wonderfully anarchic Aussie comedy)

Best film: I’m Not There (admittedly I didn’t get to see many new films in 2007 – but I loved this one)

Best novel: Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns (Riverhead, 2007)

Best song: Bob Dylan, “Huck’s Tune” (2007) – from the Lucky You soundtrack; you can hear the song at YouTube. This is such a great song that I’ll end with an excerpt from the lyrics:

        “I count the years and I shed no tears,
        I’m blinded to what might have been.
        Nature’s voice makes my heart rejoice;
        Play me the wild song of the wind.

        I found hopeless love in the room above
        When the sun and the weather were mild;
        You’re as fine as wine, I ain’t handin’ you no line,
        I’m gonna have to put you down for a while.”

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