[HT: Trevin Wax]
Gerald McDermott (Professor of Philosophy and Religion, Roanoke College) has a new book just released this week, The Great Theologians: A Brief Guide (IVP). I perused bits of it through Amazon’s “search inside,” and it looks like an excellent guide for those getting into the study of theology. It would be especially good for those, whether evangelical or liberal, who focus on, shall we say, less-than-stellar theologians. 🙂 The list is quite good: Origen, Athanasius, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Edwards, Schleiermacher, Newman, Barth, and von Balthasar. Each theologian gets a chapter, with some historical-biographical background and a synopsis of their contributions to theology. I’ll agree with Trevin that the absence of Irenaeus is a questionable choice, but the inclusion of Newman is surely appropriate. It’s hard to overestimate the importance of Newman’s theory of doctrinal development for Catholic theologians breaking from Scholasticism, whether they be more liberal (Kung and friends) or more conservative (Ratzinger and friends). And I, for one, don’t see how (1) history and (2) Catholic dogmatic commitments can jive jibe without something similar to Newman’s sketch.