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Words and Witnesses: Communication Studies in Christian Thought from Athanasius to Desmond Tutu
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Words and Witnesses: Communication Studies in Christian Thought from Athanasius to Desmond Tutu

by ,

Hendrickson 2018

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


How should Christians address specific problems, controversies, and crises in communication today? By looking at influential Christian thinkers throughout history, we can identify wisdom that enriches us today in practical ways.

Words and Witnesses explores various influential Christian thinkers and theologians from across church history in order to expand our contemporary conversations in communication studies and media theory. Individual chapters written by contributing scholars focus on major Christian thinkers, starting with Athanasius, St. Augustine, and John Chrysostom, moving through the Middle Ages to address figures such as Anselm, Nicholas of Cusa, Teresa of Lisieux, and arriving in the present with reflections on the work of John Howard Yoder, C. S. Lewis, Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Kuyper, and Desmond Tutu, among others.

Each chapter delves into how the contemporary church, and scholars of media, can turn to these influential Christian thinkers as resources for addressing specific problems in communication today. By analyzing church practices, doctrine, and biblical texts this book provides the church with resources and inspiration to communicate in distinctly Christian ways.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Reflects on communication theory and practice from a Christian point of view
  • Analyzes communicative problems of everyday life
  • Provides an accessible guide that explores the works of a range of influential Christians


  • Part One: Early Church and Medieval Christian Thinkers and Theologians
  • Part Two: Renaissance, Reformation, and Early Modern Christian Thinkers and Theologians
  • Part Three: Modern and Contemporary Christian Thinkers and Theologians


  • Mark Allan Steiner
  • Tom Holsinger-Friesen
  • Paul A. Creasman
  • Naaman K. Wood
  • Calvin L. Troup
  • Diane M. Badzinski
  • Mark A. E. Williams
  • Brian Gilchrist
  • Barbara S. Spies
  • Russell P. Johnson
  • Mark L. Ward Sr.
  • Blake J. Neff
  • Thomas J. Carmody
  • Bill Strom
  • Kenneth R. Chase
  • Joy E. A. Qualls
  • Stephanie Bennett
  • Elizabeth W. McLaughlin
  • William J. Brown
  • Asbjørn Simonnes
  • Donald H. Alban Jr.
  • Benson P. Fraser
  • Kenneth E. Waters
  • Janie Marie Harden Fritz
  • Kathy Bruner
  • Kenneth Baillie
  • Mary Albert Darling
  • Christina Littlefield
  • Mark A. Gring
  • Frank Fuentes
  • Michael Ray Smith
  • Steven A. Beebe
  • Jennifer Jones
  • John R. Katsion
  • Thomas M. Lessl
  • Margaret M. Mullan
  • Craig T. Maier
  • Quentin J. Schultze
  • Gerald J. Mast
  • Michael A. Longinow
  • Dennis D. Cali
  • Kathleen Osbeck Sindorf
  • Terri Lynn Cornwell
  • Timothy M. Muehlhoff
  • Kevin D. Miller
  • Richard K. Olson
  • Julie W. Morgan

Praise for the Print Edition

What an imaginative book—professors of communication theory writing about theology—and not just writing, but making quite illuminating remarks about theology and its communication.

—Stanley Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Divinity and Law, Duke University Divinity School

This volume announces the power of witnesses offering testimony for a faith narrative engaged in action. People embedded in a story of faith significance provide vivid markers that witness to the fact that God’s world still has moments of revelatory change and genesis moments that transform lives.

—Ronald C. Arnett, author of Levinas’s Rhetorical Demand: The Unending Obligation of Communication Ethics

Words and Witnesses provides long-needed explorations of the ways in which communication concerns, as well as theories of communication, run throughout the Christian tradition. Impelled by Christ’s command to ‘go, teach all nations,’ and born in the era of Greco-Roman rhetoric, Christianity consistently engaged communication, laying an often-forgotten groundwork for contemporary communication study. Words and Witnesses wonderfully reintroduces those connections for a current generation of communication scholarship.

—Paul A. Soukup, SJ, Pedro Arrupe Professor of Communication, Santa Clara University

Product Details

  • Title: Words and Witnesses: Communication Studies in Christian Thought from Athanasius to Desmond Tutu
  • Editors: Robert H. Woods, Jr. and Naaman K. Wood
  • Publisher: Hendrickson
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Pages: 400
  • Resource Type: Collected Essays
  • Topic: Historical Theology

About the Editors

Robert H. Woods, Jr. is Professor of Communication at Spring Arbor University, where he teaches in the MA program. He holds a PhD in Communication from Regent University, Virginia, and is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Dr. Woods has served as the President of the Religious Communication Association and is editor, coeditor, or author of 10 books.

Naaman K. Wood is Assistant Professor of Media and Communication at Redeemer University College and has taught communication courses at Tidewater Community College, Spring Arbor University, and courses in theology and culture at Northwest University. Wood holds an MTS and ThM from Duke Divinity School, and a PhD from Regent University. His work has been published in Symbolic Interaction, Jazz Perspectives, and Prophetic Critique and Popular Media.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition