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T&T Clark Studies in Ecclesiology (7 vols.)
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Gathering Interest


The T&T Clark Studies in Ecclesiology offers seven in-depth volumes on significant topics in the doctrine of the church. This collection includes a selection of volumes from T&T Clark’s Ecclesiological Investigations, a series that brings together quality research and inspiring debates in ecclesiology from a network of international scholars and research centers in the field. Several volumes examine the contribution of significant theologians to the development of ecclesiology, such as John Calvin and Jean-Marie Tillard. Others focus on specific issues in ecclesiology, such as church government and the phenomenon of denominations. Several volumes also discuss ecumenism, including the massively important Lutheran-Roman Catholic Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.

The Logos Bible Software editions of these volumes enhance and streamline your study of systematic theology. Scripture passages link directly to your preferred English translations and original-language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. You can also perform powerful searches in the topic guide to study important issues like ecumenism and church polity.

Key Features

  • In-depth monographs on topics in ecclesiology
  • Historical analyses of important contributions to ecclesiology
  • Diverse perspectives on church government

Individual Titles

Perpetually Reforming: A Theology of Church Reform and Renewal

  • Author: John P. Bradbury
  • Series: Ecclesiological Investigations
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 256

One of the slogans of the Reformation was “ecclesia reformata semper reformanda”—the reformed church always reforming. Churches throughout the western world are currently engaged in reform and renewal programs through internal structural reforms as well as movements like the “emerging church.” This book presents a challenging theology of church reform and renewal that offers a contemporary understanding of this historic slogan. Taking an interdisciplinary approach with the categories of collective memory and mimetic practice, Bradbury analyzes processes and practices which are perpetually reforming and renewing the identity of the church. He examines doctrinal and confessional conceptions of the church, re-examines texts concerned with covenantal renewal, and explores Jewish-Christian dialogue as an example of renewal.

John P. Bradbury is the director of studies in theology and church history at Westminster College, Cambridge and is a minister of the United Reformed Church.

Communion, Diversity, and Salvation: The Contribution of Jean-Marie Tillard to Systematic Ecclesiology

  • Author: Brian Flanagan
  • Series: Ecclesiological Investigations
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 176

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Brian Flanagan presents a systematic communion ecclesiology through an investigation of the concept of communion in the work of Jean-Marie Tillard. Tillard’s theology is noted as the most prominent Roman Catholic communion ecclesiology. Flanagan argues that Tillard contributes to systematic ecclesiology by defining the concept of communion in relation to Christology, soteriology, and theological anthropology, thereby framing an answer to the contemporary question of ecclesial unity and diversity. The book also assesses the danger of idealism in Tillard’s thought and suggests that further engagement with socio-scientific study of the church will help strengthen, nuance, and critique Tillard’s idea of communion.

In this comprehensive study, Brian Flanagan explores for English-speaking readers the theological corpus of this major ecumenist. The key concept is that of communion (koinonia) with emphasis also on salvation and grace. This probing monograph, clearly articulated and richly documented, is the latest in the valuable new series from T&T Clark entitled Ecclesiological Investigations.

—Michael A. Fahey, professor of ecclesiology, Boston College

The contribution of the late Jean-Marie Roger Tillard to post-Vatican II communion ecclesiology and his influence on Christian unity was immense and far-reaching and in many respects is still not widely known. In this book, Brian Flanagan draws on a large number of Tillard’s works, including those most important not yet translated into English, presenting an excellent summary of Tillard’s thought and developing his ecclesiology in order to make it more meaningful to the questions of church life today. Flanagan’s grasp of the key elements of Tillard’s theological system and method and his ability to perceive the nuances within, is superior. It is now required reading for anyone wishing to understand Tillard and his work. Moreover, it is an essential resource for those working in twenty-first century ecumenical ecclesiology.

—Michael Attridge, associate professor of systematic theology, University of Toronto

A valuable introduction to the ecclesiological contribution of Jean-Marie Tillard. Brian Flanagan deftly situates major facets of Tillard’s life work in relation to contemporary debates about communion, ecclesiology, and theological method. His most important contribution is his assessment of Tillard’s achievement and his appeal to remedy his limitations by critically engaging social theories in the study of the concrete practices of the church.

—Bradford Hinze, professor of theology, Fordham University

Brian Flanagan is assistant professor of theology at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia.

Denomination: Assessing an Ecclesiological Category

  • Editors: Paul M. Collins and Barry Ensign-George
  • Series: Ecclesiological Investigations
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 192

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

The term denomination is now widely used to describe a Christian community or church. But what is a denomination? In this highly creative collection of essays, representatives of all major Christian traditions give an answer to this question. What does the term mean in their own tradition? And does that tradition understand itself to be a denomination? In dialogue with the argument and ideas set forth in Barry Ensign-George’s essay, each contributor offers a response from the perspective of a particular church tradition. Each essay also considers questions concerning the current landscape of ecumenical dialogue, ecumenical method, and the goals of the ecumenical movement, as well as questions of Christian identity and belonging.

With the collapse of classical ecumenism and the emergence of new divisions in the church, the time is ripe for a fresh theological look at the contentious issue of denominationalism. This volume tackles the thorny issues cleanly and forthrightly. Both those who are repelled by the whole idea of denominationalism and those who want to retrieve and fix it will find this splendid volume invaluable in thinking through their positions.

William J. Abraham, Albert Cook Outler Professor of Wesley Studies and Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor, Southern Methodist University, Perkins School of Theology

This topic and these superb treatments of it provide a unique entrée into the ecumenical vision that people from all the denominations will appreciate. As a whole the book represents a quiet, conversational but brilliant essay in comparative ecclesiology that no course in ecumenism can neglect.

—Roger Haight, scholar in residence, Union Theological Seminary

Paul M. Collins was formerly a reader in theology at the University of Chichester and a parish priest on Holy Island in Northumberland, England. He is also the author of Partaking in Divine Nature: Deification and Communion.

Barry Ensign-George is a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), which he serves as associate for theology in the denomination’s office of theology and worship. His research is focused on ecclesiology, particularly on formulating a theological assessment of denomination as an ecclesiological category.

John Calvin’s Ecclesiology: Ecumenical Perspectives

  • Authors: Gerard Mannion and Eduardus Van der Borght
  • Series: Ecclesiological Investigations
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 254

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Many events were held and a plethora of new books appeared to mark the quincentenary of the birth of John Calvin in 2009. But one area received considerably less attention in that anniversary year: Calvin’s ecclesiology. This study explores the development and fundamental legacy of Calvin’s perspectives on the church. Several contributions explore the later development and denominational variations of Calvin’s ecclesiology, along with discussions of Calvin’s ecclesiology from an ecumenical perspective. Several chapters focus on particular aspects of the topic, such as Calvin’s ecclesiological method, understanding of ministry, the sacramental principle, and the invisible church. This volume also discusses the use of Calvin’s ecclesiology by other notable ecclesiologists.

This is an excellent book, offering a varied and original range of perspectives on the historical and contemporary interpretation of Calvin’s ecclesiology. The book gives an exemplary introduction to some of the ways in which Calvin’s ecclesiological ideas have been, and might be, appropriated and applied. The volume suggests that Calvin offers a theologically profound, catholic, pastorally concerned, and ecumenical ecclesiology. As a reformer, Calvin was concerned with the renewal of the face of the church as a whole, not with the founding of a new tradition. In this sense, his work is part of the inheritance of the all denominations. It is a rich resource for thinking about the Christian life, church-state relationships, ecumenical dialogue, church order, worship, and many other of the issues that have been perennial challenges to the churches . . .

—Adam Hood, vice principal and director of the Graduate and Research Centre, The Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education, UK

Much of John Calvin’s life and work was dedicated to the upbuilding and unity of the Christian church in Geneva and elsewhere across Europe. Deriving from the quincentenary celebrations in 2009, these essays now provide us with a rich series of reflections on his ecclesiology. They offer a valuable point of reference for further work in this field.

David Fergusson, professor of divinity, University of Edinburgh

Gerard Mannion is director of the Centre for Catholic Thought and Culture and professor of theology and religious studies at the University of San Diego. He is also the coeditor of Moral Theology for the Twenty First Century: Essays in Celebration of Kevin T. Kelly.

Eduardus Van der Borght is the Desmond Tutu Chair of Systematic Theology at the Free University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Church, Liberation, and World Religions

  • Author: Mario I. Aguilar
  • Series: Ecclesiological Investigations
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 208

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Mario Aguilar presents an analysis of church community from the perspective of liberation theology in conversation with the concept of liberation from suffering in Tibetan Buddhism. What unites both is the human process of sublimation for others, whereby liberation theologians, as well as enlightened lamas, give the best of themselves for the liberation of others. Aguilar seeks to contribute to the conversation between inclusivists and exclusivists by proposing that dialogue with world religions—in this case, Buddhism—is not about finding possible dogmatic similarities, but a common place and purpose through a common humanity.

Mario I. Aguilar is professor of divinity and director of the Centre for the Study of Religion and Politics at the University of St. Andrews.

Democracy in the Christian Church: An Historical, Theological, and Political Case

  • Author: Luca Badini Confalonieri
  • Series: Ecclesiological Investigations
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 304

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Is church government divinely willed, permanent, and irreversible? Can Christians modify the polity of their church like they do with that of civil society? What would be the role of the office of oversight in a Christian church democratically organized? These and other questions are taken up in this volume. Building on a number of studies in exegesis, church history, political philosophy, canon law, and ecclesiology, this book convincingly fulfills three goals. First, it encourages Christians to determine the political outlook of their faith community. Second, it provides some fundamental criteria for judging the ethical value of church structures on the basis of Bernard Lonergan’s cognitional theory and recent insights from contemporary political philosophy. Third, it outlines a largely novel and groundbreaking understanding of a democratic church.

Luca Badini Confalonieri holds a PhD in Catholic ecclesiology from Durham University and is a research associate at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Values at the University of Birmingham.

Doctrine, Dynamic, and Difference: To the Heart of the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Differentiated Consensus on Justification

  • Author: Pieter de Witte
  • Series: Ecclesiological Investigations
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 272

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One of the most divisive issues in Western Christianity since the Reformation is the doctrine of justification. In 1999, after many decades of ecumenical dialogue, Lutherans and Roman Catholics declared that the issue of “justification by faith” is no longer a cause of division between them. The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ) expresses a “differentiated consensus” on justification between the Lutheran and Roman Catholic traditions. The method of differentiated consensus is generally regarded as an important step forward in the ecumenical dialogue.

This study attempts to clarify the method of differentiated consensus by investigating the process of doctrinal rapprochement which led up to the JDDJ, examining the doctrinal consensus in the document itself, analyzing arguments offered by critics and advocates of the consensus, and reflecting on the concept of doctrinal difference.

The Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification is a major ecumenical agreement whose theological rationale requires rigorous exploration for the future of Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogue. In an exemplary manner, Dr. De Witte offers such an examination which will contribute significantly to the ongoing debate about the Joint Declaration. Anyone interested in the contemporary church will discover this work to be indispensable, even if not everyone will concur with all of its conclusions. It is a highly important piece of scholarship.

—William G. Rusch, adjunct professor of Lutheran studies, Yale Divinity School

Pieter de Witte is a lecturer at the Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel and a postdoctoral research fellow in the faculty of theology and religious studies at the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven, Belgium.

Product Details

  • Title: T&T Clark Studies in Ecclesiology
  • Series: Ecclesiological Investigations
  • Publisher: T&T Clark
  • Volumes: 7
  • Pages: 1,662