Products>Doing the Work of Comparative Theology: A Primer for Christians

Doing the Work of Comparative Theology: A Primer for Christians

Format: Digital
, 2020
ISBN: 9780802874665


In a world that is more religiously diverse than ever before, our coworkers and neighbors may well be adherents of other faiths. But how many of us really grasp the similarities and differences between the major world religions? Comparative theology is one increasingly important way to bridge this gap, especially for Christian leaders and professors, but also for lay people and students.

Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen introduces the nature and work of comparative theology, then delves into a detailed doctrine-by-doctrine comparison of Christian teachings with those of historical and contemporary Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. With every doctrine, he first presents a summary of consensual Christian belief and then orients the reader to the distinctive teachings of other faith traditions, highlighting parallels and differences.

Ideal for students, ministers, instructors, and lay people interested in interfaith dialogue, Doing the Work of Comparative Theology distills the comparative-theological rigor of Kärkkäinen’s Constructive Christian Theology for the Pluralistic World series into an accessible and user-friendly textbook. Readers will not only learn basic methodology but also begin to undertake the actual work of comparative theology.

  • Introduces the nature and work of comparative theology
  • Compares Christian teachings with Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism
  • Orients readers to the distinctive teachings of other faith traditions, highlighting parallels and differences
  • Introduction: What Is Comparative Theology? Why Do We Need It?
  • Revelation and Scripture among Religions
  • The Triune God among Religions
  • Nature and Creation in Religions’ Imagination
  • Humanity and Human Nature in Religions’ Teachings
  • Jesus Christ and “Savior” Figures among Religions
  • “Atonement” and Reconciliation among Religions
  • Holy Spirit and the S/spirit(s) of Religions
  • Visions of “Salvation” and Liberation among Religions
  • The Church and Religious Communities
  • Eschatological Visions and Symbols among Religions
  • Epilogue: In Search of a “Proper Confidence”
Veli-Matti has established himself as one of the leading evangelical theologians for the pluralistic world. With staggering breadth and depth, he engages the world’s religions, yet never at the cost of obscuring his Christian theological vision.

—Philip Clayton, Claremont School of Theology

The author operates with a methodology that takes seriously the ‘contextual’ nature of constructive theology. . . . Highly recommended.


In the Logos edition, these volumes are 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.

Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen joined the Fuller faculty as associate professor of systematic theology in 2000 and was named full professor in 2003. He also holds a teaching position at the University of Helsinki as Dozent of Ecumenics. Prior to coming to Fuller, Kärkkäinen served as president and professor at IsoKirja College in Keuruu, Finland. He has taught and lived with his family on three continents: Europe, Asia (Thailand), and North America (the U.S.) He has also lectured and served as visiting professor in various schools around the world. He travels widely and has a command of several languages.

A prolific writer, Kärkkäinen has published 11 books in English (and seven in his native language, Finnish), most recently The Trinity: Global Perspectives (2007), One With God: Salvation as Deification and Justification (2004), and Trinity and Religious Pluralism: The Doctrine of the Trinity in Christian Theology of Religions (2004), as well as more than 100 articles, which have appeared in international scholarly journals. He is also the editor (with William Dyrness) of Global Dictionary of Theology (2008). Kärkkäinen was appointed to three editorial boards in 2008, which include the Strategic Initiatives in Systematic Theology series by InterVarsity Press, the Studies in Systematic Theology series by Brill Press (Leiden, Netherlands), and the International Journal of Systematic Theology. He is a member of three working groups of the World Council of Churches and has participated in numerous international consultations. He is also an external examiner for Wales University.