Theology: A Short Bibliography of Reference Tools

Reference Works and Bibliographies

  • Beinert, Wolfgang; Fiorenza, Francis Schussler, ed. Handbook of Catholic Theology. New York: Crossroad, 1995. [BX 1754.5 L4913 1995 TRIF].
  • Helpful, short articles that set the question in modern Catholic theology.
  • Berardino, Angelo Di, ed. Encyclopedia of the Early Church. Trans. Adrian Walford. New York: OUP, 1992. [BR 66.5 D5813 TRIF].
  • A wonderful resource covering individuals, movements, significant sites, etc. in the Early Church, and most entries have bibliographies to the more important primary and secondary works on a subject.
  • Cameron, Nigel M. de S., ed. Dictionary of Scottish Church History and Theology. Downers Grove: IVP, 1993. [BR 782 D43 TRIF/WYC].
  • Chadwick, Henry. Atlas of the Christian Church. New York: Facts on File Publications, 1987. [BR 98 A74 TRIF].
  • A serviceable atlas with good text offering insights and interpretations on the maps.
  • Clarke, Paul Barry; Linzey, Andrew, ed. Dictionary of Ethics, Theology and Society. London: Routledge, 1996. [BJ 63 D45 1996 TRIF].
  • McGrath, Alister, ed. The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Modern Christian Thought. Oxford: Blackwell,1993. [BR95B53 TRIF].
  • These articles offer some of the best short introductions to modem theological thought, with bibliographies to guide further reflection.
  • Muller, Richard. Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms. Grand Rapids: Baker 1985.[BR 95 M85 TRIF].
  • If you wonder what that phrase in Latin means, this is a good place to start, though unfortunately it is primarily limited to terminology arising in Protestant Scholasticism.
  • Musser, Donald W.; Price, Joseph L., ed. A New Handbook of Christian Theology. Nashville: Abingdon, 1992. [BR 95 N393 TRIN/WYC STOR].
  • A conservative perspective that also has articles on theology and individuals in North American religious thought that are not always covered in other dictionaries.
  • O'Carroll, Michael. Trinitas: a theological encyclopedia of the Holy Trinity. Wilmington: Michael Glazier, 1987. [BT 111.2 O33 TRIF].
  • Veni Creator Spiritus: a theological encyclopedia of the Holy Spirit. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1990.
  • Verbum caro: an encyclopedia on Jesus, the Christ. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1992.
  • Though the treatment in O'Carroll's three encyclopedias is at times uneven, it does offer insights into the tradition, key figures, and controversies surrounding these three key areas.
  • Rahner, Karl, et al. Sacramentun Mundi: an encyclopedia of theology. New York: Herder and Herder, 1968. [BR 95 S23 TRIF].
  • A standard work, often with extensive articles on a topic.

Theological Research

  • Bolich, Gregory C. The Christian Scholar: an introduction to theological research. Lanham: University Press of America, 1986. [BR 118 B558 C45 TRIN/WYC].
  • Bolich offers workbook type exercises to familiarize you with the resources, a knowledge that can certainly save you time in the future.
  • Johnston, William M. Recent Reference Books in Religion: a guide/or students, scholars,researchers, buyers, & readers. Downers Grove: IVP. 1996. [BL 48.J653].
  • The highly annotated work that offers clear analysis of the numerous works available. It is useful as a quick introduction to the types of works that are available.
  • Kennedy, James R. Library Research Guide to Religion and Theology: illustrated search strategy and sources. 2nd Ed. Michigan: Pierian Press, 1984. [BL41 K45 1984 TRIF/WYC].
  • Kepple, Robert J.; Muether, John R. Reference Works/or Theological Research: an annotated selective bibliographical guide. 3rd ed.. Lanham: University Press of America, 1992. [Z 7751 K46 R44 1992 TRIF].
  • Though not as comprehensive as Johnston, it still offers good guidance in identifying reference works to consult on a topic.

Theological Methodology

  • Barth, Karl. Anselm: fides quaerens intellectum: Anselm 's proof of the existence of God in the context of his theological scheme. Trans. Ian Robertson. London: SCM Press, 1960.
  • While an analysis of Anselm, this also reveals a great deal about how Barth understood the theological task.
  • Frei, Hans W. Types of Christian Theology. Ed. George Hunsinger and William C. Placher. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992. [BR 118 F75 TRIN; TRIN/WYC].
  • Frei offers a succinct yet illuminating typology of modem theology that serves well to highlight various approaches to theology.
  • Pannenberg, Wolfhart. Theology and the Philosophy of Science. Trans.Francis McDonagh. London: DLT, 1976. [BR 118 P2713 TRIN; TRIN/WYC STOR].
  • Pannenberg's major methodological work portrays a correlation between Christian truth claims with knowledge from other spheres.
  • Placher, William C. Unapologetic Theology: a Christian voice in a pluralistic conversation.Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1989. [BT 1102 P56 U52 TRIN/WYC STOR].
  • Placher offers both a well written and intelligible survey of recent positions on religion and truth as well as some constructive proposals.
  • Stone, Howard W.; Duke, James 0. How to Think Theologically. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1996. [BR 118 S75 2006 TRIN].
  • A simple introduction to theological reflection that emphasizes its central (though often inchoate) status in the Christian life.

History of Theology

  • Berardino, Angelo Di; and Studer, Basil, ed. History of Theology. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1996-.
  • A very useful introduction by some of the foremost scholars in each area, it should be consulted for any introduction to theology in the Early Church.
  • Cunliffe-Jones, Hubert. A History of Christian Doctrine. Philadelphia: Fortress,1978. [BT21.2H57 TRINSTOR].
  • Gonzalez, Justo L. A History of Christian Thought. Rev ed. 3 vols.Nashville: Abingdon,1987. [BT 21.2 G6 TRIN].
  • Written in a very readable style, Gonzales is probably the easiest survey to comprehend.
  • Grillmeier, Aloys. Christ in Christian Tradition. 4 vols. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1975-1996. [BT 198 G743 TRIN].
  • A definitive work on the history of christology in the first six centuries.
  • Johnson, William Stacy; Leith, John H. Reformed Reader: a sourcebook in Christian theology. 2 vols Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1993.
  • Ford, David F., ed. The Modern Theologians. 2 vols. Oxford: Blackwell,1997. [BT 28 M67 TRIN/WYC].
  • The best recent survey of twentieth-century theology, with essays on both individual theologians and major movements.
  • Pelikan, Jaroslav. The Christian Tradition: a history of the development of doctrine. 5 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1971. [BT 21.2 P42 TRIN].
  • An ambitious work that covers the history of doctrine for the early church through the modem period. It offers a reliable guide to the development of doctrine, and is one of the few works that also considers Eastern Christian thought.
  • Quasten, Johannes. Patrology. 4 vols. Westminster: Christian Classics, 1983-1986.[BR 67 Q37 TRIN/WYC STOR].
  • An essential work for study of the early church writings, Quasten primarily gives information on texts, editions, and translations. If you want to know the works a writer penned and if a translation is available, Quasten is a good source to consult.
  • Schaff, Philip. The Creeds of Christendom. 3 vols. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1983. [BT 990 C72 TRIN].
  • A standard collection that contains most important creeds and confessions from the early church to the modem period. Most are presented in both their original language and in translation.
  • Smart, Ninian. et. at., ed. Nineteenth Century Religious Thought in the West. 3 vols. Cambridge: CUP 1985. [BL 98 N53 TRIN/WYC].
  • Short essays by experts on most significant writers on religious thought in the 19th century, not just theologians. Philosophers are significantly represented.
  • Welch, Claude. Protestant Thought in the Nineteenth Century. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1972-1985.[BT 28.W394 TRIN].
  • The best introduction to Protestant theology in the formative 19th century.

Systematic and Dogmatic Theology: Recent and Classic

  • Aquinas, Thomas. Nature and Grace: selections from the Summa theologica of Thomas Aquinas. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1954. [BR 61 L59 v.XI TRIN/WYC STOR].
  • Containing selections from Thomas' Summa, these can serve as an introduction to the larger work.
  • Barth, Karl. Church Dogmatics. Edinburgh: T & T Clark. 13 vols. [BT 75 B285 TRIN/WYC; TRINSTOR].
  • A classic work by one of the 20th centuries foremost theologians. It is certainly worth the effort to follow Barth's reflection on a subject.
  • Dogmatics in Outline. Trans.G. T. Thompson. New York: Harper & Row, 1959. [BT 80 B35 TRIN; TRIN/WYC].
  • A short introduction to the Apostles' Creed.
  • Braaten, Carl E.; Jenson, Robert W. ed. Christian Dogmatics. 2 vols. Philadelphia: Fortress,1984. [BT 75.2 C48 TRIN/WYC].
  • A Lutheran perspective that offers beneficial essays on all the topics of Christian theology.
  • Calvin, John. Institutes of the Christian Religion. Trans.Ford Lewis Battles. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1960. [BX 45. B3 vols.20-21 TRIN/WYC; TRIN].
  • Fiorenza, Francis Schussler; Galvin, John P., ed. Systematic Theology: Roman Catholic Perspectives. 2 vols.Minneapolis: Fortress, 1991. [BX 1751.2 S888 TRIN/WYC].
  • A modern Roman Catholic theology with essays by various writers. This makes it less of a systematic presentation.
  • Gunton, Colin, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Christian Doctrine. Cambridge: CUP, 1997. [BT 80 .C29 TRIN].
  • Not simply an introduction to the topics of theology, the companion's essays often survey recent opinions and problems and offer constructive proposals.
  • Hall, Douglas John. Thinking the Faith, Professing the Faith, Confessing the Faith. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1991-1996. [BT 30 N7 H35 TRIN/WYCSTOR].
  • A contextual project by a significant Canadian theologian.
  • Jenson, Robert W. Systematic Theology. New York: OUP 1997- [BT 75.2 J45 TRIN/WYC; TRIN].
  • McClendon, James W., Jr. Systematic Theology. 2 vols. Nashville: Abingdon,1986-1994. [BJ 1251 M46 TRIN/WYCSTOR].
  • McClendon begins with ethics as the launching point for understanding Christian reflection upon the Gospel's meaning.
  • McGrath, Alister E. Christian Theology: an introduction. Oxford: Blackwell, 2nd ed.1997. [BT 65.M34 TRIN/WYC].
  • __________, ed. The Christian Theology Reader. Oxford: Blackwell, 1995. [BT 77 C47 TRIN].
  • A readable survey of Christian theology that is concerned with both historical and systematic themes. It is written to be used for individual study as well as group study.
  • Migliore, Daniel L. Faith Seeking Understanding: an introduction to Christian theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991. |BT 65 M54 TRIN' TRIN/WYCSTOR].
  • A brief introduction to theology that takes into account many recent concerns (e.g. feminist and liberationist critiques), but is weak in its interaction with the tradition.
  • Pannenberg, Wolfhart. Systematic Theology. 3 vols. Trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991-1997. [BT 75.2 P2613 TRIN; TRIN/WYC].
  • A significant project from a German Lutheran, Pannenberg develops his theology from the standpoint of revelation as history.
  • Rahner, Karl. Foundations of Christian Faith. Trans. William V. Dych. New York: Seabury Press, 1978. [BT 75.2 R3313 F6 TRIN; TRIN/WYCSTOR].
  • This is a serviceable introduction to a writer who continues to be significant for modern Roman Catholic theology.

Recent Movements and Issues

  • Boff. Leonardo: Boff, Clodovis. Introducing Liberation Theology. Trans. Paul Burns. Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1987. [BT 83.57 B6313 I57 TRIN/WYC].
  • A good yet brief summary of liberation theology's issues and concerns by two of its leading writers.
  • Carr, Anne E. Transforming Grace: Christian tradition and women's experience. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1988. [BT 704 C38 T72 TRIN; TRIN/WYCSTOR].
  • Chopp, Rebecca S.; Davaney, Sheila Greeve, ed. Horizons in Feminist Theology: identity, tradition, and norms. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1997. (BT 83.55 H66 TRIN; TRIN/WYC].
  • Cobb, John B., Jr; Griffin, David Ray. Process Theology: an introductory exposition.Philadelphia: Westminster Press. 1976. [BT 83.6 C6 TRIN; TRIN/WYC; TRINSTOR ].
  • The standard introduction to theology from the perspective of Process philosophy.
  • Dyrness, William A, ed. Emerging Voices in Global Christian Theology. Grand Rapids:Zondervan, 1994. [BT 30 D44 E44 TRIN/WYCSTOR].
  • A brief yet helpful introduction to theological reflection outside the North America and Europe, it enables the reader to begin to see the breadth of Christian reflection.
  • Fahey, Michael A. Ecumenism: a bibliographical overview. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1992. [BX 8.2 F33 TRINSTOR].
  • An essential annotated bibliography on ecumenical writings.
  • Gonzales, Justo L. Mariana: Christian theology from a Hispanic perspective. Nashville: Abingdon, 1990. [BT 30 U6 G65 TRIN/WYCSTOR].
  • Gutierrez, Gustavo. A Theology of Liberation: history, politics, and salvation. Maryknoll: Orbis, 1973. [BT 83.57 G8613 TRIN/WYCSTOR; BT 738.G 8613T TRIN].
  • The classical statement of liberation theology which clearly puts forth some of the abiding themes of the movement.
  • Hennelly, Alfred T., ed. Liberation Theology: a documentary history. Maryknoll: Orbis,1990. [BT 83.57 L487 TRIN/WYC].
  • Loades, Ann, ed. Feminist Theology: a reader. London: SPCK, 1990. [BT 83.55 F45 TRIN; TRIN/WYCSTOR].
  • Lossky, Nicholas, et al. Dictionary of the Ecumenical Movement. Geneva/Grand Rapids: WCC Publications/ Eerdmans, 1991. [BR 95 D49 TRIF].
  • A crucial tool for understanding the ecumenical movement, the Dictionary identifies major writers, documents, and issues in ecumenical perspectives. Short bibliographies of important works add to each essay.
  • Musto, Ronald G. Liberation Theologies: a research guide. Garland Publishing: New York & London, 1991. [BT 83.57 M87 TRIN].
  • An extensive, annotated bibliography on works in Liberation Theology.
  • Newbigin, Lesslie. The Gospel in a Pluralist Society. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989. [BR 115 C8 N468 TRIN/WYC].
  • Ruether, Rosemary Radford. Sexism and God talk. Boston: Beacon Press. 1983. [BT 704 R83 TRIN; TRIN/WYCSTOR].
  • A classic critique of theology from a feminist perspective, it treats many of the traditional topics of Christian theology.
  • Tanner, Kathryn. Theories of Culture: a new agenda for theology. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1997. [BR 115 C8T36 TRIN; TRIN/WYC].
  • Young, Josiah U. African Theology: a critical analysis and annotated bibliography. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1993.[BT 30.A438 Y68 TRIN].

Philosophical Theology

  • Allen, Diogenes. Philosophy for Understanding Theology. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1985.[BT 40.A44 TRIN].
  • An introductory text that considers philosophy and philosophers on the basis of their influence upon Christian theology from the early church to the modem period.
  • Dalferth, Ingolf U. Theology and Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell, 1988. [BR 100 D25T43 TRIN; TRIN/WYCSTOR].
  • Dalferth investigates how the relation between theology and philosophy has been understood by theologians as well as how philosophy has been theologically utilized.
  • Davis, Stephen T. God, Reason and Theistic Proofs. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans , 1997. [BL 182 D38 TRIN/WYC].
  • Surveys the proofs for the existence of God both in the tradition and in more recent analysis.
  • Plantinga, Alvin; Wolterstorff, Nicholas, ed. Faith and Rationality: reason and belief in God. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1983. [BT 50 F34 TRIN/WYC].
  • Essays by respected Christian philosophers on the relation between faith and reason attempt to take into consideration recent work in epistemology.
  • Stead, Christopher. Philosophy in Christian Antiquity. Cambridge: CUP, 1994. [BR 100 S7583 TRIN; TRIN/WYCSTOR].
  • A clear and concise work, written for the non-specialist, detailing the relation between philosophy and theology in the early church.

Revised Nov. 2012 by Tom Power.