Monday 26 March 2007

Kathryn Tanner

Last week, Kathryn Tanner presented the 2007 Warfield Lectures at Princeton Theological Seminary. She gave six lectures on the theme “Christ as Key” – and, luckily for the rest of us, three of those good-hearted Princeton bloggers joined forces to offer detailed reports of the entire series. David, Chris and WTM each wrote posts on two of the lectures, so that the whole series was covered with impressive thoroughness. Here’s the list of posts, one on each lecture:

1. “In the Image of the Invisible” (Monday, 19 March)
2. “Grace Without Nature” (Tuesday, 20 March)
3. “Trinitarian Life” (Tuesday, 20 March)
4. “Kingdom Come” (Wednesday, 21 March)
5. “Death and Sacrifice” (Thursday, 22 March)
6. “Workings of the Spirit” (Thursday, 22 March)

It’s well worth reading all this – I for one wish I’d been there to hear the lectures. In my view, Kathryn Tanner is one of the best theologians working in the Reformed tradition today – she has both a profound grasp of the dogmatic tradition and an acute sensitivity to the contemporary theological situation. If you’ve never read her books like Jesus, Humanity and the Trinity and Theories of Culture and Economy of Grace, then you’re really missing something special. Let’s hope that these lectures on Christ as Key make it to print soon too.


Anonymous said...

Not to be nitpicky, but she is Anglican with Reformed leanings. She regularly publishes in the Anglican Theological Reviews and contributes to debates on the Eucharist, ministry, oversight etc. for the the Episcopal Church USA.
Also, I was told by her that this is the start of her broader systematic theology that was promised in Jesus, Humanity, and the Trinity. She is also at work on a book on transnational migration, women, and religion. Not to mention her work with John Webster on editing the new Oxford Hanbook for Systematic Theology. A jack of all trades

Anonymous said...

oh and thanks to the princeton three for their work in spreading these out.

W. Travis McMaken said...

It was our pleasure to facilitate interaction with Dr. Tanner’s lectures.

David W. Congdon said...

It was a very positive experience, and I'm glad our summaries can be of some use. It was clear that these were selections from much larger works. In each lecture, Dr. Tanner skipped pages of material.

David Williamson said...

When she publishes them, she should include your synopses!

MP3s would be the cherry on this already rich cake.

Michael Westmoreland-White, Ph.D. said...

Tanner is also one of the very few real theological voices left at the University of Chicago Divinity School. Almost everyone else has gone over to comparative religions. Without Tanner and Dwight N. Hopkins, one would be hard pressed to find vibrant theological voices left at the glory that once was Chicago. This saddens me deeply. But I look forward to Tanner's lectures.

Halden said...

She's an interesting synthesis of Yale and Chicago, if I may wax theogeographical. Ultimately I don't think her ecclesiology's strong enough, but she's got some great stuff, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

Chicago will be making two hires in the coming months in theology. One for Tracey's chair and one junior faculty member, so maybe the glory will return.

Have you read Amy Plantinga-Pauw's extended critique on Tanner's response. It is quite interesting, but the journal escapes me at the moment.

Ben Myers said...

Hi Joshua. Since she's an Anglican with a Reformed theological outlook, I think Kathryn Tanner is in very good company. After all, the best Reformed theologian in Britain at the moment (John Webster) is also Anglican.

Michael Westmoreland-White, Ph.D. said...

I hope the glory will return. Although Chicago has always been more liberal (originally liberal Baptist, then liberal ecumenical) than I am or will be, it still put out some great work. But with the retirements of Martin Marty, David Tracy, and the great Langdon Gilkey, that has really faded. Even in theological ethics, Chicago has gone more & more to legal and political philosophers (and one of the great ones, Jean Bethke Elshtain, has become a neo-con and Bush-lover since 9/11!).

Anonymous said...

But the Anglicans are Reformed, even if there are some re-writers of history who would date the Church from the Oxford Movement (one should whisper the names of Cranmer, Tyndale, Hooker, George Herbert, et. al. in the ears of all neo-Tractarians!)

Lindy said...

AND Catholic... don't leave out the Catholic bit please.

Just wrote in to thank you for these great notes. I've enjoyed reading.

Linda McMillan
An Anglican

Michael Morrison said...

Tanner's lectures are apparently available as an audio download for 1.99 each, from

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget that Hans Frei was an Episcopal priest with strong Reformed leanings. The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.

John Starke said...

Her lectures are now in a book set to release next week. I'm sure you were aware of that, however.

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