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Transforming Fire: Imagining Christian Teaching (Theological Education between the Times)

, 2021
ISBN: 9780802879035


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“We don’t need books about teaching so much as books that teach.”

Considering Jesus himself taught in a variety of ways—parable, discussion, miracle performance, ritual observance—it seems that there can be no single, definitive, Christian method of teaching. How then should Christian teaching happen, especially in this time of significant change to theological education as an institution?

Mark Jordan addresses this question by first allowing various depictions and instances of Christian teaching from literature to speak for themselves before meditating on what these illustrative examples might mean for Christian pedagogy. Each textual scene he shares is juxtaposed with a contrasting scene to capture the pluralistic possibilities in the art of teaching a faith that is so often rooted in paradox. He exemplifies forms of teaching that operate beyond the boundaries of scholarly books and discursive lectures to disrupt the normative Western academic approach of treating theology as a body of knowledge to be transmitted merely through language.

Transforming Fire consults writers ranging from Gregory of Nyssa to C. S. Lewis, and from John Bunyan to Octavia Butler, cutting across historical distance and boundaries of identity. Rather than offering solutions or systems, Jordan seeks in these texts new shelters for theological education where powerful teaching can happen and—even as traditional institutions shrink or vanish—the hearts of students can catch fire once again.

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Resource Experts
  • Explores the question of how Christian teaching should happen
  • Exemplifies forms of teaching that operate beyond the boundaries of scholarly books
  • Examines contributions from writers ranging from Gregory of Nyssa to C. S. Lewis
  • A Little Advice
  • Part One: Bodies
  • Part Two: Sciences
  • Part Three: Moving Pictures
  • Part Four: Children
  • Part Five: Barriers
  • Conclusion: Finding or Making Shelter
At once visionary and realistic, the books in this series offer fresh, short, and very different answers to the question, ‘What is theological education for?’ Studies of that question have appeared every couple of decades and seem to assume that ‘one-size-fits-all’ answers are possible. What’s new and groundbreaking here is that a group of theological educators from a broad array of very different religious traditions address the question in conversation with one another and in light of the changing place of faith communities in contemporary culture.

—David H. Kelsey, Yale Divinity School

I would be hard-pressed to name any other resource that even approaches this series in its visionary outlook and wide perspective on the challenges and opportunities currently facing theological education. The authors represent an unparalleled selection of leaders in theological education whose views and experiences point to different paths into the future, all leading to true excellence and relevance in theological education.

—Justo L. González, author of The History of Theological Education

The authors of this series invite us into an exercise of the imagination—to let loose of the theological school models we know so well and instead craft ways that we teach and learn as if we are living in the new Jerusalem. This is daring work. Will we have the will to grasp it? I encourage you to read and see.

—Emilie M. Townes, Vanderbilt University Divinity School

  • Title: Transforming Fire: Imagining Christian Teaching
  • Author: Mark D. Jordan
  • Series: Theological Education between the Times
  • Publisher: Eerdmans
  • Print Publication Date: 2021
  • Logos Release Date: 2020
  • Pages: 164
  • Era: era:contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Reader Edition
  • Subject: Christian education
  • ISBN: 9780802879035
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-04-01T16:05:54Z

In the Logos Reader Edition, this volume is enhanced to best fit the content. Scripture references are hand-tagged to integrate with powerful functionality in Logos Bible Software. Page milestones and internal citation tagging provide accurate points of reference. Search important words across resources 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 tools for reading digital content are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Mark Jordan, who joined the Faculty of Divinity in January 2009, taught previously at the University of Notre Dame and at Emory University, where he was Candler Professor of Religion. His interests include Christian ethics of sex and gender, the limits of religious language, medieval Latin theology, and the ethical or ritual creation of religious identities. His books include The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology (University of Chicago Press, 1997), winner of the 1999 John Boswell Prize for lesbian and gay history; The Silence of Sodom: Homosexuality in Modern Catholicism (University of Chicago Press, 2000), a Lambda Literary Award finalist; The Ethics of Sex (Blackwell, 2002); Telling Truths in Church: Scandal, Flesh, and Christian Speech (Beacon, 2003); and Blessing Same-Sex Unions: The Perils of Queer Romance and the Confusions of Christian Marriage (University of Chicago Press, 2005). He is currently writing on the rhetoric of American church controversies over homosexuality.


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    Print list price: $19.99
    Save $1.00 (5%)