Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Theologian's Guide to Christmas Gifting for 2013

'Tis the season of Advent but it's not too early to look forward to Christmas gifting (12 days, ya know). While turtle doves and five golden rings may have once been enough to get the heart racing, you'll need a bit of help these days to get your favorite theologian's heart racing in the Christmas season (though if they're far enough along in their spiritual maturation, you could always just insist that they don't need presents - they've got their poverty and simplicity to work out, right?).

That being said, here's a collection of theological books (and accoutrements) that will be sure to please - including some of the most significant book titles of 2013 (and a goodly list of theology texts from the past 25 years).

Starters and Stocking Stuffers:

1) The Brunswick Set from The Pipe Guys. Oh, you mean you're favorite little theologian doesn't smoke a pipe? Well, she should. And this starter set is a great place to begin.

2) Once you get her the Brunswick starter set, considering including a tin of Three Nuns. It was C.S. Lewis' favorite pipe tobacco.

3) Then get her a set of theologian trading cards for those cold winter nights in front of the fire. Then watch her get all exasperated as she realizes who did (and who didn't) make the card set. Great fun! Calvin and Arminius included together in the same subcategory? Egads!!

4) Buy her the best desktop book stand on the market. Desposyni tested and approved. Imagine all the fun she'll have writing at her desk surrounded by books on display, ready at hand, standing proudly all around her workstation! Why be stingy? Buy her three!

The Main Event

Classic hardcover titles that moved to more affordable paperback format this year

Christopher A. Beeley, Gregory of Nazianzus on the Trinity and the Knowledge of God: In Your Light We Shall See Light (Oxford Studies in Historical Theology). June, Oxford UP. An outstanding study of the premier Cappodocian theologian that explains his most important contributions.

Mark Noll, Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind. Eerdmans.

Stanley Hauerwas, With the Grain of the Universe: The Church’s Witness and Natural TheologyBaker Academic.

Gerald O’Collins, Rethinking Fundamental Theology. Oxford UP.

Morwenna Ludlow, Gregory of Nyssa, Ancient and (Post)modern. Oxford UP

Some New Editions that you don't want to miss

Joel B Green, Jeannine K. Brown, and Nicholas Perrin (eds), Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 2nd edition. Sept, IVP Academic. An important update of a classic reference work.

Millard Erickson, Christian Theology, 3rd edition. Baker Academic.

New and New-ish Titles

[Descriptions are gleaned from the publishers and or descriptors on Amazon - FYI]

Hans Boersma, Embodiment and Virtue in Gregory of Nyssa: An Anagogical Approach (Oxford Early Christian Studies). Oxford UP. Embodiment in the theology of Gregory of Nyssa is a much-debated topic. Hans Boersma argues that this-worldly realities of time and space, which include embodiment, are not the focus of Gregory's theology. Instead, embodiment plays a distinctly subordinate role. The key to his theology, Boersma suggests, is anagogy, going upward in order to participate in the life of God. This book looks at a variety of topics connected to embodiment in Gregory's thought: time and space; allegory; gender, sexuality, and virginity; death and mourning; slavery, homelessness, and poverty; and the church as the body of Christ. In each instance, Boersma maintains, Gregory values embodiment only inasmuch as it enables us to go upward in the intellectual realm of the heavenly future. Boersma suggests that for Gregory embodiment and virtue serve the anagogical pursuit of otherworldly realities. Countering recent trends in scholarship that highlight Gregory's appreciation of the goodness of creation, this book argues that Gregory looks at embodiment as a means for human beings to grow in virtue and so to participate in the divine life. It is true that, as a Christian thinker, Gregory regards the creator-creature distinction as basic. But he also works with the distinction between spirit and matter. And Nyssen is convinced that in the hereafter the categories of time and space will disappear-while the human body will undergo an inconceivable transformation. This book, then, serves as a reminder of the profoundly otherworldly cast of Gregory's theology.

Scott R. Swain, The God of the Gospel: Robert Jenson’s Trinitarian Theology (Strategic Initiatives in Evangelical Theology). IVP Academic. Who is the God of the gospel? Robert W. Jenson's way of answering this question, according to Scott Swain, hinges on the nature of the relationship between God in himself and the redemptive events through which God becomes our God. Swain first locates Jenson's pursuit of a relentlessly "evangelical" understanding of God in the broader history of trinitarian theology after Karl Barth, before carefully and sympathetically unpacking Jenson's doctrine of the Trinity. For Jenson, one of today's most prominent theologians, the answer to the question, "Who is the God of the gospel?" may be summarized as, "The one who raised Jesus from the dead." Swain then offers a constructive evaluation of Jenson's account of the mutually constitutive character of God's intrinsic identity and saving acts. Although critical of many of Jenson's trinitarian reinterpretations, Swain remains attentive to Jenson's concerns and insights. In the process, Swain sheds new light on what it means for the ecumenical trinitarian tradition to advocate a truly evangelical doctrine of the Trinity in the wake of the twentieth-century recasting of the identity of the God of the gospel.

Pecknold and Toom (eds), T&T Clark Companion to Augustine and Modern Theology. T&T Clark. The T&T Clark Companion to Augustine and Modern Theology is both a theological companion to the study of Augustine, and a resource for thinking about Augustine's importance in modern theology. Each of the essays brings Augustinian depth to a broad range of contemporary theological concerns. The volume unveils cutting-edge Augustinian scholarship for a new generation and at the same time enables readers to see the timely significance of Augustine for today. Each of the essays not only introduces readers to key themes in the Augustinian corpus but also provides readers with fresh interpretations that are fully conversant with the theological problems facing the church in our world today. Designed as both a guide for students and a reference point for scholars, it will seek both to outline the frameworks of key Augustinian debates while at all times pushing forward fresh interpretative strategies concerning his thought.

D.G. Hart, Calvinism: A History. Yale Univ. Press. This briskly told history of Reformed Protestantism takes these churches through their entire 500-year history—from sixteenth-century Zurich and Geneva to modern locations as far flung as Seoul and São Paulo. D. G. Hart explores specifically the social and political developments that enabled Calvinism to establish a global presence. Hart’s approach features significant episodes in the institutional history of Calvinism that are responsible for its contemporary profile. He traces the political and religious circumstances that first created space for Reformed churches in Europe and later contributed to Calvinism’s expansion around the world. He discusses the effects of the American and French Revolutions on ecclesiastical establishments as well as nineteenth- and twentieth-century communions, particularly in Scotland, the Netherlands, the United States, and Germany, that directly challenged church dependence on the state. Raising important questions about secularization, religious freedom, privatization of faith, and the place of religion in public life, this book will appeal not only to readers with interests in the history of religion but also in the role of religion in political and social life today.

Denys Turner, Aquinas: A Portrait. Yale Univ. Press. Leaving so few traces of himself behind, Thomas Aquinas seems to defy the efforts of the biographer. Highly visible as a public teacher, preacher, and theologian, he nevertheless has remained nearly invisible as man and saint. What can be discovered about Thomas Aquinas as a whole? In this short, compelling portrait, Denys Turner clears away the haze of time and brings Thomas vividly to life for contemporary readers—those unfamiliar with the saint as well as those well acquainted with his teachings. Building on the best biographical scholarship available today and reading the works of Thomas with piercing acuity, Turner seeks the point at which the man, the mind, and the soul of Thomas Aquinas intersect. Reflecting upon Thomas, a man of Christian Trinitarian faith yet one whose thought is grounded firmly in the body’s interaction with the material world, a thinker at once confident in the powers of human reason and a man of prayer, Turner provides a more detailed human portrait than ever before of one of the most influential philosophers and theologians in all of Western thought.

Jeanine Thweatt-Bates, Cyborg Selves: A Theological Anthropology of the Posthuman. Ashgate Science and Religion. What is the "posthuman?" Is becoming posthuman inevitable-something which will happen to us, or something we will do to ourselves? Why do some long for it, while others fearfully reject it? These questions underscore the fact that the posthuman is a name for the unknown future, and therefore, not a single idea but a jumble of competing visions - some of which may be exciting, some of which may be frightening, and which is which depends on who you are, and what you desire to be. This book aims to clarify current theological and philosophical dialogue on the posthuman by arguing that theologians must pay attention to which form of the posthuman they are engaging, and to demonstrate that a "posthuman theology" is not only possible, but desirable, when the vision of the posthuman is one which coincides with a theological vision of the human.

Vittorio Hösle, God as Reason: Essays in Philosophical Theology. UNDPVittorio Hösle presents a systematic exploration of the relation between theology and philosophy. In examining the problems and historical precursors of rational theology, he calls on philosophy, theology, history of science, and the history of ideas to find an interpretation of Christianity that is compatible with a genuine commitment to reason. The essays in the first part of God as Reason deal with issues of philosophical theology. Hösle sketches the challenges that a rationalist theology must face and discusses some of the central ones, such as the possibility of a teleological interpretation of nature after Darwin, the theodicy issue, freedom versus determinism, the mind-body problem, and the relation in general between religion, theology, and philosophy. In the essays of the second part, Hösle studies the historical development of philosophical approaches to the Bible, the continuity between the New Testament concept of pneuma and the concept of Geist (spirit) in German idealism, and the rationalist theologies of Anselm, Abelard, Llull, and Nicholas of Cusa, whose innovative philosophy of mathematics is the topic of one of the chapters. The book concludes with a thorough evaluation of Charles Taylor’s theory of secularization.

Erich Pryzwara, trans. by John R. Betz and David Bentley Hart. Analogia Entis: Metaphysics: Original Structure and Universal Rhythm (Ressourcement: Retrieval and Renewal in Catholic Thought). Eerdmans. This volume includes Erich Pryzwara's groundbreaking Analogia Entis, originally published in 1932, and his subsequent essays on the concept analogia entis -- the analogy between God and creation -- which has certain currency in philosophical and theological circles today.

Bruce McCormack and Thomas Joseph White (eds), Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth: An Unofficial Catholic-Protestant Dialogue. Eerdmans. Thomas Aquinas and Karl Barth are often taken to be two of the greatest theologians in the Christian tradition. This book undertakes a systematic comparison of them through the lens of five key topics: (1) the being of God, (2) Trinity, (3) Christology, (4) grace and justification, and (5) covenant and law. Under each of these headings, a Catholic portrait of Aquinas is presented in comparison with a Protestant portrait of Barth, with the theological places of convergence and contrast highlighted. This volume combines a deep commitment to systematic theology with an equally profound commitment to mutual engagement. Understood rightly and well, Aquinas and Barth contribute powerfully to the future of theology and to an ecumenism that takes doctrinal confession seriously while at the same time seeking unity among Christians.

Angela Dienhart Hancock, Karl Barth’s Emergency Homiletic, 1932-1933: A Summons to Prophetic Witness at the Dawn of the Third Reich. Eerdmans. What does a theologian say to young preachers in the early 1930s, at the dawn of the Third Reich? What Karl Barth did say, how he said it, and why he said it at that time and place are the subject of Angela Dienhart Hancock's book. This is the story of how a preaching classroom became a place of resistance in Germany in 1932–33 -- a story that has not been told in its fullness. In that emergency situation, Barth took his students back to the fundamental questions about what preaching is and what it is for, returning again and again to the affirmation of the Godness of God, the only ground of resistance to ideological captivity. No other text has so interpreted Barth's "Exercises in Sermon Preparation" in relation to their theological, political, ecclesiastical, academic, and rhetorical context.

Richard Burnett (ed), The Westminster Handbook to Karl Barth. WJKFeaturing essays from renowned scholars, this volume in the Westminster Handbooks to Christian Theology series provides an insightful and comprehensive overview of the theology of Karl Barth (1886-1968). This volume offers concise descriptions of Barth's key terms and concepts, while also identifying the intricate connections within Barth's theological vocabulary. Masterfully compiled and edited, this volume features the largest team of Barth scholars ever gathered to interpret Barth's theology. The result is a splendid introduction to the most influential theologian of the modern era. Contributors include Clifford B. Anderson, Michael Beintker, Eberhard Busch, Timothy Gorringe, Garrett Green, Kevin Hector, I. John Hesselink, George Hunsinger, J. Christine Janowski, Paul Dafydd Jones, Joseph L. Mangina, Bruce L. McCormack, Daniel L. Migliore, Paul D. Molnar, Adam Neder, Amy Plantinga Pauw, Gerhard Sauter, Katherine Sonderegger, John Webster, and many others.

Frances Young, God’s Presence: A Contemporary Recapitulation of Early Christianity (Current Issues in Theology). Cambridge UP. In 2011, Frances Young delivered the Bampton Lectures in Oxford to great acclaim. She offered a systematic theology with contemporary coherence, by engaging in conversation with the fathers of the church - those who laid down the parameters of Christian theology and enshrined key concepts in the creeds - and exploring how their teachings can be applied today, despite the differences in our intellectual and ecclesial environments. This book results from a thorough rewriting of those lectures in which Young explores the key topics of Christian doctrine in a way that is neither simply dogmatic nor simply historical. She addresses the congruence of head and heart, through academic and spiritual engagement with God's gracious accommodation to human limitations. Christianity and biblical interpretation are discussed in depth, and the book covers key topics including Creation, anthropology, Christology, soteriology, spirituality, ecclesiology and Mariology, making it invaluable to those studying historical and constructive theology.

John Behr, Irenaeus of Lyons: Identifying Christianity (Christian Theology in Context). Oxford UP. This book provides a full, contextual study of St Irenaeus of Lyons, the first great theologian of the Christian tradition. John Behr sets Irenaeus both within his own context of the second century, a fundamental period for the formation of Christian identity, elaborating the distinction between orthodoxy and heresy and expounding a comprehensive theological vision, and also within our own contemporary context, in which these issues are very much alive again. Against the commonly-held position that 'orthodoxy' was established by excluding others, the 'heretics', Behr argues that it was the self-chosen separation of the heretics that provided the occasion for those who remained together to clarify the lineaments of their faith in a church that was catholic by virtue of embracing different voices in a symphony of many voices and whose chief architect was Irenaeus, who, as befits his name, urged peace and toleration.

Stanley Hauerwas, Approaching the End: Eschatological Reflections on Church, Politics, and Life. Eerdmans. In this book Stanley Hauerwas explores the significance of eschatological reflection for helping the church negotiate the contemporary world. In Part One, "Theological Matters," Hauerwas directly addresses his understanding of the eschatological character of the Christian faith. In Part Two, "Church and Politics," he deals with the political reality of the church in light of the end, addressing such issues as the divided character of the church, the imperative of Christian unity, and the necessary practice of sacrifice. End, for Hauerwas, has a double meaning -- both chronological end and end in the sense of "aim" or "goal." In Part Three, "Life and Death," Hauerwas moves from theology and the church as a whole to focusing on how individual Christians should live in light of eschatology. What does an eschatological approach to life tell us about how to understand suffering, how to form habits of virtue, and how to die?

William Hasker, Metaphysics and the Tri-Personal God (Oxford Studies in Analytic Theology). Oxford UP. This is the first full-length study of the doctrine of the Trinity from the standpoint of analytic philosophical theology. William Hasker reviews the evidence concerning fourth-century pro-Nicene trinitarianism in the light of recent developments in the scholarship on this period, arguing for particular interpretations of crucial concepts. He then reviews and criticizes recent work on the issue of the divine three-in-oneness, including systematic theologians such as Barth, Rahner, Moltmann, and Zizioulas, and analytic philosophers of religion such as Leftow, van Inwagen, Craig, and Swinburne. In the final part of the book he develops a carefully articulated social doctrine of the Trinity which is coherent, intelligible, and faithful to scripture and tradition.

Frederick Christian Bauerschmidt, Thomas Aquinas: Faith, Reason, and Following Christ. Oxford UP. Thomas Aquinas is widely recognized as one of history's most significant Christian theologians and one of the most powerful philosophical minds of the western tradition. But what has often not been sufficiently attended to is the fact that he carried out his theological and philosophical labours as a part of his vocation as a Dominican friar, dedicated to a life of preaching and the care of souls. Fererick Christian Bauerschmidt places Aquinas's thought within the context of that vocation, and argues that his views on issues of God, creation, Christology, soteriology, and the Christian life are both shaped by and in service to the distinctive goals of the Dominicans. What Aquinas says concerning both matters of faith and matters of reason, as well as his understanding of the relationship between the two, are illuminated by the particular Dominican call to serve God through handing on to others through preaching and teaching the fruits of one's own theological reflection.

Stephen T. PardueThe Mind of Christ: Humility and the Intellect in Early Christian Theology (T&T Clark Studies in Systematic Theology). T&T Clark. This book brings a variety of theological resources to bear on the now widespread effort to put humility in its proper place. In recent years, an assortment of thinkers have offered competing evaluations of humility, so that its moral status is now more contentious than ever. Like all accounts of humility, the one advanced in this study has to do with the proper handling of human limits. What early Christian resources offer, and what discussions of the issue since the eighteenth century have often overlooked, is an account of the ways in which human limits are permeable, superable and open to modification because of the working of divine grace. This notion is especially relevant for a renewed vision of intellectual humility—the primary aim of the project—but the study will also suggest the significance of the argument for ameliorating contemporary concerns about humility’s generally adverse effects.

Stephen R. Holmes and Shawn Bawulski (eds), Christian Theology: Introducing the Classics. Routledge. Christian Theology: The Classics is a vibrant introduction to thirty of the most important works of Christian theology. From the origins of Christianity to the present day, the writings of some of the most influential theologians of all time are explored – with the author, the context in which they were writing and the lasting significance of the work all under the spotlight.

Myk Habets, Theology in Transposition: A Constructive Appraisal of T. F. Torrance. Fortress. T. F. Torrance was one of the most significant English–language theologians of the 20th century known extensively for his curatorship of the English translation of Barth's Church Dogmatics but also for his own prodigious theological scholarship. The complexity and astonishing breadth of Torrance's output, however, have made assessment and appropriation markedly difficult. This volume seeks to rectify that lack of assessment through careful exposition of the vital centers and interconnections within Torrance's theology alongside constructive appraisal and critique of his contributions to contemporary theology.

R. Michael Allen, Justification and the Gospel: Understanding the Contexts and Controversies. Baker Academic. Seeking to move beyond current heated debates on justification, this accessible introduction offers a fresh, alternative approach to a central theological topic. Michael Allen locates justification within the wider context of the gospel, allowing for more thoughtful engagement with the Bible, historical theology, and the life of the church. Allen considers some of the liveliest recent debates as well as some overlooked connections within the wider orbit of Christian theology. He provides a historically informed, ecumenically minded defense of orthodox theology, analyzing what must be maintained and what should be reconfigured from the vantage point of systematic theology. The book exemplifies the practice of theological interpretation of Scripture and demonstrates justification's relevance for ongoing issues of faith and practice.

NT Wright, Paul and the Faithfulness of God. Fortress Press. Probably should mention this squeaker. This highly anticipated two-book fourth volume in N. T. Wright's magisterial series, Christian Origins and the Question of God, is destined to become the standard reference point on the subject for all serious students of the Bible and theology. The mature summation of a lifetime's study, this landmark book pays a rich tribute to the breadth and depth of the apostle's vision, and offers an unparalleled wealth of detailed insights into his life, times, and enduring impact. Wright carefully explores the whole context of Paul's thought and activity— Jewish, Greek and Roman, cultural, philosophical, religious, and imperial— and shows how the apostle's worldview and theology enabled him to engage with the many-sided complexities of first-century life that his churches were facing. Wright also provides close and illuminating readings of the letters and other primary sources, along with critical insights into the major twists and turns of exegetical and theological debate in the vast secondary literature. The result is a rounded and profoundly compelling account of the man who became the world's first, and greatest, Christian theologian.

Eschew the New! Some classic texts...

Sarak Coakley and George Hunsinger (among others) were asked by The Christian Century  for some notable theological titles - here's what they came up with:

George A. Lindbeck, The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age. Lindbeck not only maps the alternative in contemporary theology but also offers a constructive way forward that has been taken up by many theologians. He does this by drawing on Ludwig Wittgenstein and Clifford Geertz to provide an account of doctrine that might help us see ecumenical possibilities that would otherwise be unavailable.

John Howard Yoder, The Priestly Kingdom: Social Ethics as Gospel. In this collection of essays Yoder develops a constructive alternative to Reinhold Niebuhr. Yoder's case for Christian nonviolence draws on christological and eschatological connections that reveal that any attempt to separate theology and ethics is erroneous. Yoder may provide the kind of ecclesiology that Lindbeck suggests we need.

Robert Jenson, Systematic Theology. Volume 1 - Volume 2. Jenson's work not only is the kind of theology that Barth made possible, but it represents the recovery of the work of the church fathers as crucial for understanding contemporary theological struggles. Jenson's ability to use scripture as constitutive of theological arguments is exemplary. These volumes should become the training manual for future theologians.

James Wm. McClendon Jr., Systematic Theology. In the three volumes of his systematic theology, McClendon develops a Baptist theology that is in conversation with the great Catholic tradition. Like Jenson's, McClendon's theology has ecumenical implications that are extremely promising. His suggestions regarding how classical christological issues can be understood more fruitfully as narrative have yet to be considered in the way they deserve.

John Milbank, Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason. Milbank's tour de force offers a theological engagement with modern intellectual formation that we desperately need. He argues that modern theology has legitimized social theories that make theology unintelligible to itself. Though Milbank is critical of Lindbeck, his is the kind of work that Lindbeck hopes will be done.

Thomas F. Torrance, The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church. This book is an exposition of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed that draws heavily on patristic sources. If I could recommend only one book that explains the faith that unites the world's more than 2 billion Christians—Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox—this would be it. Learned and profound, it is perhaps Torrance's most readable work.

Alexander Schmemann, The Eucharist. This deeply spiritual meditation on the sacrament of unity that divides the churches does theology by way of reflection on liturgical practices. Westerners who read it will not only learn more about the treasures of Eastern Orthodoxy, they will also become better Christians.

Sarah Coakley, Powers and Submissions: Spirituality, Philosophy and Gender. This beautifully written collection of essays connects feminist theory with both philosophy and prayer. At once dialogical and tough-minded, it contains cutting-edge reflections on questions of gender that keep their moorings in the Nicene faith.

J. Kameron Carter, Race: A Theological Account. Vigorous, audacious and groundbreaking, Carter's book, published in 2008, sets the agenda for theology and race for at least the next 25 years. The scope of its scholarship is amazing and endlessly provocative. Whoever would have thought of Maximus the Confessor as an anticolonialist intellectual?

Derek S. Jeffreys, Spirituality and the Ethics of Torture. This simply written book explains why torture is never justified. Jeffreys carefully considers contrary views and finds them wanting. A brilliant account of one of the most troubling moral issues of our time, grounded in a compelling reflection on what it means to be human and to act humanely.

Cornel West, Race Matters. Cornel West - a leading African-American intellectual and social commentator - tackles some of our most intractable social problems.

Janet Martin Soskice, The Kindness of God: Metaphor, Gender, and Religious Language. Clear-sighted feminist interventions on traditional theological questions.

Brian A. Gerrish, Grace and Gratitude: The Eucharistic Theology of John Calvin. A fresh look at Calvin that destroys many stereotypes and displays the heart of his piety.

Stanley Hauerwas, After Christendom? How the Church is to Behave if Freedom, Justice, and a Christian Nation Are Bad Ideas. A deliberately provocative plea for a countercultural church fundamentally committed to peacemaking.  Don't let the subtitle put you off.

Randall C. Zachman, The Assurance Of Faith: Conscience in The Theology of Martin Luther and John Calvin. A powerful discussion of Reformation theology through one of its central themes.

Eric Gregory, Politics and the Order of Love: An Augustinian Ethic of Democratic Citizenship. A stunning account of political liberalism thoroughly informed by Augustinian wisdom.

Andrew Louth, The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition: From Plato to Denys. If you are struggling to integrate prayer and theology, this is a book you need to keep at hand. Louth begins with the origins of Christianity's controversial alliance with Platonism and with the birth of mystical theology and takes the story as far as the end of the patristic period. Con­troversial at points, Louth's book deserves its status as a classic.

Richard Swinburne, The Existence of God. Swinburne refused to give up on arguments for the existence of God at a time when the postmodern theological tide was flowing in the opposite direction.

Linda Alcoff and Elizabeth Potter, editors. Feminist Epistemologies. The contributors include the best secular feminist philosophers of the period. Philosophy of religion, vital for the future of theology's status and accountability in the university and in society at large, is blinkered until it takes on the insights of people on the margins. This book shows how to reorder the debate to attend to what has been pushed out of sight, even by liberal theologians.

William T. Cavanaugh, Torture and Eucharist: Theology, Politics, and the Body of Christ. Published in 1998, Cavanaugh's book is an astonishing achievement. It not only points the way beyond the old liberation theology of the 1970s and 1980s, but also indicates a new way of grounding theology in social and political realities (in this case in Chile), yet without reducing theological analysis to nontheological explanations.

Be sure and check out all the recommendations from The Christian CenturyAlso, don't miss The Theology Studio's "3 Book Shelf." Everytime the Theology Studio folks interview a theologian they ask them to recommend three of the most significant books in their lives. There are titles here suggested by Rowan Williams, Sarah Coakley, Stanley Hauerwas, and other great. They also have a list of all the books mentioned on their podcast. There is some great stuff here. Check it out.