Modern Believing

Book Reviews

Modern Believing (2017), 58, (1), 63–106.

Abstract

BOOK REVIEWS M. A. Higton and J. Fodor, eds., The Routledge Companion to the Practice of Christian Theology. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2015. Pp. xii, 450. Hb. £140. ISBN 978-0-415-61736-9. An international range of contributors, six of them women, have written for this very substantial compendium. Some of the institutions in which they are situated have distinct denominational/ecclesiastical identities, some are ‘secular’. A number carry significant management/administrative responsibilities. Two are not appropriately identified: Karen Kilby holds the Bede chair in Catholic theology at the University of Durham, the only fully-funded professorship in Catholic theology in the UK; Morwenna Ludlow has the distinction of a chair ‘personal’ to herself at the University of Exeter. One or two have relocated since publication – Professor Adams from Edinburgh to Birmingham; Professor Oliver from Nottingham to the Van Mildert canon professorship in Durham. At first sight, the volume is well organised into four parts: reason, scripture, tradition and experience, each with some indication of contents (pp. 20–1, 107, 297, 406), which helps readers to see which part/essays to tackle first. They need also to be alert to the fact that there does not seem to have been any attempt to cross-reference contributions to one another. That has to be achieved by the readers. Nor is it quite clear what levels of expertise the readers are expected to bring to the book. At times, they seem to be addressed as ‘beginners’, but if so, may be put off by the claim that ‘Theological reasoning is above all an active pursuit of settlement, an ongoing, iterative, unpredictable social negotiation in pursuit of responsible habitability’ (p. 20). If undeterred, however, they may discover that it is the second part, ‘Scripture’, that is the overall focus of attention, as clearly indicated on p. 5 by the editors, who between them contribute six out of the twenty-seven essays, across each of the four parts, the group plus one or two other essays virtually adding up to a monograph (see the extent of the index entries Modern Believing 58.1 2017 doi: https://doi.org/10.3828/mb.2017.7

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