Thursday 7 February 2008

Essential digitised texts for theologians

A publisher recently got in touch with me with a query about creating a digitised library of key theological texts. If you could have a digitised collection of about 30 key theological works (multi-volume works are fine), which books would you choose? (This can include historical theology, practical theology, etc – but no biblical studies, commentaries, etc).

Anyway, here’s a rough list of some of my suggestions – please add your own ideas as well, and I’ll pass all this on to the publisher. Thanks!

  • Philip Schaff, Creeds of Christendom (3 vols)
  • J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines
  • Adolf von Harnack, History of Dogma (7 vols)
  • Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition (5 vols)
  • Augustine, Works
  • Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae
  • Calvin, Institutes
  • Heinrich Heppe, Reformed Dogmatics
  • Friedrich Schleiermacher, The Christian Faith
  • Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics (new edition, 14 vols)
  • Otto Weber, Foundations of Dogmatics (2 vols)
  • Jürgen Moltmann, The Crucified God
  • Hendrikus Berkhof, Christian Faith
  • Eberhard Jüngel, God as the Mystery of the World
  • David Tracy, Blessed Rage for Order
  • George Lindbeck, The Nature of Doctrine
  • Hans Frei, Theology and Narrative: Selected Essays
  • Hans Urs von Balthasar, Trilogy (15 vols): Glory of the Lord, Theo-Drama, Theo-Logic
  • John Milbank, Theology and Social Theory
  • Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church
  • Wolfhart Pannenberg, Systematic Theology (3 vols)
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church
  • Stanley Hauerwas, The Peaceable Kingdom
  • Rowan Williams, On Christian Theology
  • David Bentley Hart, The Beauty of the Infinite
  • Robert Jenson, Systematic Theology (2 vols)
  • Kathryn Tanner, Jesus, Humanity and the Trinity
  • John Webster, Confessing God
  • Bruce McCormack, Orthodox and Modern (forthcoming)


Anonymous said...

That's a good list. But I would say that the exclusion of Luther is a bit of a lacuna. I would at least include the 5-volume "Selected Works" edited by Tappert. And I think some Henri de Lubac should be in there too. But that's just me.

Matt Jenson said...

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Works.
Karl Rahner, Theological Investigations.

Anonymous said...

No Yoder? I'd also put in Bonhoeffer, Gutierrez, and the Documents of Vatican II. Still, its a pretty healthy list already.

Anonymous said...

no need for luther; and agreed on adding rahner and gutierrez.

Anonymous said...

A good list, although I would include Luther's Commentary on Galatians.

::aaron g:: said...

Thomas Groome, Christian Religious Education, Sharing Faith

Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology (3 vols.)

Anonymous said...

Catherine Pickstock, After Writing: On the Liturgical Consummation of Philosophy.

Anonymous said...

No Bultmann!? I'd add Rahner's Theological Investigations and John Zizioulas' Being as Communion.

Unknown said...

Don't forget Torrance: The Christian Doctrine of God, The Trinitarian Faith, Theological Science, and others.

Joshua said...

This list is way tot heavy on late 20th century works. Tracy, Hart, and Jenson and no Athanasius, Cyril, Maximus, Gregory, or even Luther?

You cannot exclude Luther's Three Treatises or his debate with Erasmus if you want to understand anything about Protestant theology. Earlier, I'd add On the Incarnation by Athanasius and Basil's on the Holy Spirit.

John Mark Inman said...

I would eliminate the stuff that is already available online at places like

iotw, keep the modern stuff that's not in public domain. augustine, calvin,schaff, aquinas are available online. unless the publisher can get the more modern translations.

Robert Cornwall said...

Cobb and Griffin on Process Theology is probably something that should be added.

Anonymous said...

G. C. Berkouwer, Studies in Dogmatics (about 18 volumes).

Anonymous said...

Sarah Coakley's "Powers and Submissions" is Third Generation
Feminist thinking to be included.
(Mary Daly is first gen, E. Johnson is second gen) according Jason Byassee in Anglican Theological Review.

Anonymous said...

"Of making may lists there is no end ..."

Anonymous said...

I'd love them forever if they included Richard A. Muller, 'Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms: Drawn Principally from Protestant Scholastic Theology'.

Anonymous said...

McClendon, Oden?

Anonymous said...

LaCugna, God For Us?

Anonymous said...

I'll second Oden's 3 vols. And what about Robert Jenson and Carl Braaten, "Christian Dogmatics" (2 vols.).

Anonymous said...

When it's published: the first volume of Colin Gunton's unfinished dogmatics.

Alex said...

The only one I've read is Calvin's Institutes and I didn't get anything out of it. But I'm surprised to not see Luther on the list, though I see the other four of the big five. Also, to give it broad appeal for the publisher's sake, if only to sell more copies, you might add a C.S. Lewis work to the list.

bgeorge77 said...

Brevard Childs' works on Biblical Theology.

Ratzinger's "Introduction to Christianity"

And if I were buying this thing, I would love to have a decent interlinear Hebrew OT, Greek NT and Septuagint.

Jordan Barrett said...

I would add Muller's Post Reformation Reformed Dogmatics (4 vols); perhaps Bavinck's recently translated Reformed Dogmatics (4 vols). And if we're including multiple volume works, why not just add The Early Church Fathers (38 vols). ;)

Anonymous said...

On texts, how about:

Anselm. Cur Deus Homo
Avery Dulles. Models of the Church
Gustavo Gutierrez. A Theology of Liberation
Elizabeth Johnson. She Who Is
Karl Rahner. The Foundations of Christian Faith
Carter Lindberg. The European Reformations
Martin Luther. Luther's Works

Anonymous said...

For history of doctrine, one of the most useful works is Hubert Cunliffe Jones, ed., A History of Christian Doctrine (T. & T. Clark 1978).

Dan said...

How about major multi-volume theological works from C.F.H. Henry, H. Bavinck, H. Thielicke (no order implied).

Paul Allen said...

Bernard Lonergan, Method in Theology - the most important book written on method in the 20th. century. It contains a nuanced interp. of Bultmann and Thomas, among many other things...

byron smith said...

Luther - particularly if multi-volume works are fine, why not include his complete works? Love him or loathe him, hard to pick someone more "key".

Anonymous said...

Thanks, all, for the awesome list of suggestions. I've got great news for you. We already have many of the volumes on your wish lists:

1. Henry's God, Revelation and Authority
2. Early Church Fathers
3. Lexham Hebrew-English Interlinear OT
4. Lexham Greek-English Interlinear NT
5. Lexham Greek-English Interlinear LXX
6. Oden's Systematic Theology
7. Muller's Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms
8. Berkouwer's Studies in Dogmatics
9. Torrance's The Christian Doctrine of God and others
10. Luther's Works
11. Pannenberg's Systematic Theology
12. Barth's Church Dogmatics, New Edition

We'll work hard to add many more from your suggestions. Thanks!

Ben Myers said...

Thanks, Phil — keep up the great work!

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