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The Culture of Theology

ISBN: 9781493425976



This outstanding work offers a short account of the nature of Christian theology. In a series of six lectures, John Webster explores the privilege of thinking and speaking of God in light of “the staggering good news of Jesus Christ.” How might faith approach that task? Webster proposes that we do theology well when we recognize the gospel as the most important reality. He considers the significance of church, Bible, and tradition as foundational to the unique “cultural world” the gospel brings into being, and he explores the challenges as well as the joys of inhabiting that sphere. Theology has particular responsibilities: in its academic conversations, in its self-criticism, and in its spiritual and moral life; at the heart of its calling lies prayer. Webster’s exposition, here available in book form for the first time, is accompanied by an introduction by his close colleague, Ivor J. Davidson, who was involved in the original lecture series and discussed the material extensively with him.

Resource Experts
  • Examines the nature and tasks of Christian theology
  • Contains the fullest and most integrated examples of Webster’s thinking on the practice of theology
  • Focuses on the overarching principal of the good news of Jesus Christ
  • Culture: The Shape of Theological Practice
  • Texts: Scripture, Reading, and the Rhetoric of Theology
  • Traditions: Theology and the Public Covenant
  • Conversations: Engaging Difference
  • Criticism: Revelation and Disturbance
  • Habits: Cultivating the Theologian’s Soul
This volume provides the reader with a wonderful and welcome chance to reflect with John Webster on the task of theology—its methods, sources, contexts, purpose, and character. The lectures presented here are redolent with the freshness, insight, and wisdom that characterize the finest theological inquiry. They leave one inspired and encouraged, yet also gloriously unsettled by the vocation of theology and its demands. Complete with an illuminating introduction by Ivor Davidson, this work comes highly recommended.

—Paul Nimmo, King’s Chair of Systematic Theology, University of Aberdeen

Why would a theologian as God-centered as John Webster be constantly ruminating on theology’s culture, theology’s tasks, Christian tradition, university faculties, and so forth? He does so in order to meet his hearers in the midst of their (our) theologically scandalous loss of interest in God and Christ and to call out: God is summoning you, the eschaton (Christ himself) has broken in among you, Scripture is speaking Christ’s Word to you in the Spirit! When Christ is recognized for who he is, theology can rediscover itself for what it is: a joyful response to the risen Lord. Let theologians be Christians and thereby really have something to say to one another, to the university, and to the wider world.

—Matthew Levering, James N. and Mary D. Perry Jr. Chair of Theology, Mundelein Seminary

The Culture of Theology encapsulates John Webster’s thinking about the task of theology at a crucial stage in his own theological development, orienting the study of theology around the living address of the gospel’s God and toward the communities, conversations, and character requisite to theology’s flourishing. In addition, this book exhibits many of the virtues it commends: reverent wonder before theology’s divine subject matter, humble attention to the divine Word, deference to the wisdom of the communion of saints, and critical dialogue with the various conversation partners and settings of theology. For this reason The Culture of Theology is a welcome guide in the cultivation of theological understanding.

—Scott R. Swain, president and James Woodrow Hassell Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando

  • Title : The Culture of Theology
  • Author: John Webster
  • Editors: Ivor J. Davidson and Alden C. McCray
  • Publisher: Baker
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Pages: 176
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Topic: Theology

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.

John Webster

John Webster (1955–2016) was a distinguished British theologian who was strongly influenced by Karl Barth and a member of the Anglican Communion. He began his career as chaplain and tutor St. John‘s College, Durham University and the became Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at Oxford University, following Rowan Williams. During his time at Oxford he also served as canon of Christ Church. In 2003, he became the Chair of Systematic Theology at King‘s College, University of Aberdeen.

Working with Colin Gunton, Webster cofounded the International Journal of Systematic Theology, and served as an editorial board member International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church and the Scottish Journal of Theology, and coedited the Oxford Handbook of Systematic Theology.  He authored several other books including Confronted by Grace: Mediatations of a Theologian,  Karl Barth, Confessing God, Holiness, Word and Church, and Domain of the Word: Scripture and Theological Reason.


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