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Products>Writing Theology Well: A Rhetoric for Theological and Biblical Writers, 2nd ed.

Writing Theology Well: A Rhetoric for Theological and Biblical Writers, 2nd ed.

ISBN: 9780567022196

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Writing Theology Well is a working guide for students conducting theological writing and research on theology and biblical studies courses. It integrates the disciplines of writing, rhetoric, and theology, providing a standard text for the teaching and mentoring of writing across the theological curriculum. As a theological rhetoric, it also encourages excellence in theological writing in the public domain by helping to equip students for their wider vocations as writers, preachers, and communicators in a variety of ministerial and professional contexts.

This Edition includes new chapters on ‘Writing Theology in a New Language’, which explores the linguistic and cultural challenges of writing theology well in a non-native language, and ‘Writing and Learning Theology in an Electronic Age’, addressed to distance learning students learning to write theology well from online courses, and dealing with the technologies necessary to do so.

Learn how theology developed from the Reformation to postmodernism with Christopher Ben Simpson’s Modern Christian Theology.

Resource Experts
  • Offers professional guidance for writers working in every theological discipline
  • Develops students’ preaching, professional speaking, and writing skills
  • Attunes students to the challenges of communicating theology cross-culturally
  • Provides professors with a standard text for classroom use
  • Part 1: Writing Theological Rhetorics Well
    • Writing Theology Well in Its Own Context
    • Writing Theological Reflection Well: Rhetorics of Process, Problem-Solving, and Proclamation
    • Writing Theological Argument Well: Rhetorics of Inquiry, Reading, Reflection, and Persuasion
    • Writing the Theological Essay Well: Rhetorics of Identification, Correlation, Suspicion, and Construction
  • Part 2: Writing Theological and Biblical Research Well
    • Writing Theological Research Well: Rhetorics of Research, Investigation, and Documentation
    • Writing the Biblical Essay Well 1: Rhetorics of Exegesis and Interpretation
    • Writing the Biblical Essay Well 2: A Critical-Hermeneutical Rhetoric
  • Part 3: Toward a Theological Style and Voice of One’s Own
    • Writing Theology Well in a New Language
    • Rewriting Theology Well 1: Rhetorics of Style and Voice
    • Writing with Theological Imagination Well: Rhetorics of Analogy, Metaphor, and Symbol
    • Rewriting Theology Well 2: A Rhetoric of Revision
  • Part 4: Writing Theology Well in Widening Contexts
    • Writing Theology in a New Language: Rhetorics of Communication, Enculturation, and Empowerment
    • Writing Theology Well 4.0: Writing and Learning Theology in an Electronic Age

Top Highlights

“We have already defined theology as ‘a language used by a specific group of people to make sense of their world,’11 and theological reflection is one of its written and spoken dialects. In this book, I shall make a preliminary distinction between ‘theological reflection,’ which begins with the experience of the writer who is ‘reflecting,’ and ‘theological research,’ which begins with someone else’s article, or book, or other media that is relevant to the writer’s project.” (Page 22)

“exegesis is a research-driven project of biblical investigation” (Page 167)

“Simply stated, then, what we call ‘the writing process’ is actually a series of interrelated processes, each of which is integral to the composite activity of writing. Initiated by a particular writing project, they include: (1) prewriting processes (to induce the labor of writing); (2) freewriting processes (to reduce the fear of writing and foster its flow); (3) composing processes (to deduce the evolving form of writing and bring it to completion); (4) rewriting processes (to produce a readable piece of writing); and (5) publication processes (to reproduce writing for its intended audience).” (Pages 26–27)

“By the theological imagination, I understand our active minds thinking, questioning, dreaming, creating, construing, constructing, critiquing, speaking, and writing in the conceptual language of theology.12 Theological reflection is the disciplined and creative exercise of this theological imagination in dialogue with our individual or communal experience.” (Page 22)

“What distinguishes the writing of theological reflection from other kinds of theological writing is its appeal to experience, or to the particular issue, question, problem, or text that ‘we are trying to make sense of,’ as a starting point for reflection.” (Page 22)

It is imperative that theologians learn to write coherently and with ready access for a general audience—and not simply for each other. No one can help us to do this better than Lucretia Yaghjian. This volume will tutor all theological writers to write in more reasonable ways.

Thomas Groome, professor, Boston College

In 2006 I wrote that the first edition of this book on writing theology was incomparable in its combination of theory practice, quality, depth and style. And now, almost ten years later, Lucretia Yaghjian expands the breadth of her coverage to second-language English writers and to all of us caught up in a comprehensive digital environment. In a brilliant and yet transparent way she leads young and mature theologians into a new technological and cultural context of teaching, studying and writing. She has taught this old dog new tricks, and I am grateful.

Roger Haight, S.J., Union Theological Seminary

What a wise book! What a pleasant book! What a helpful book! The book reflects Yaghjian’s special background, literature as it is well and interestingly written, graced with a conversation with leading figures in the field. There is in this book so much practical wisdom concerning the craft of writing. For a beginner, an absolutely necessary guide; for those who have been writing for years, a welcome and informative reminder of what makes theological writing readable and pointed. This should be required reading for graduate students (and their teachers).

Jerome H. Neyrey, professor emeritus, University of Notre Dame

Lucretia B. Yaghjian is director of the The WRITE Program at Episcopal Divinity School and is an adjunct faculty member at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. She earned her PhD in English Literature from the University of Colorado and also obtained and Master’s of Divinity.


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  1. Sean



    This is an excellent overview of the process of writing theologically. It is pitched directly towards beginning theology students and would be most appropriate for them; however, writers, teachers, and other professionals can also find much of value here. As might be expected, the author writes quite clearly, and although the tome seems long at 427 pages, if anything I wish there had been more to it. Purchasers should be aware--but not wary!--that the author comes from a mainline perspective, and the neo-liberal/liberation theology, particularly in its feminist form, that presently dominates the mainline is the assumed paradigm. Readers/writers from all perspectives, however, can find much that is useful here. After all, the basic "theological reflection paper" is common (overdone?) in all seminaries, and she provides an excellent tutorial on how to complete one. The only adjustment that needs to be made, really, is to not see personal experience as a source of authority and revelation but rather to bring it under the rule of the Word of God in Jesus Christ. Do that, and this work can help in writing just about any theological work.
  2. David Wanat

    David Wanat


  3. Michael Sayre

    Michael Sayre


    I finally found a great book about writing theology to reveal what God is saying to me through the scriptures.
Enjoy the Verbum free book and extras in June!


Print list price: $29.95
Regular price: $26.99
Save $13.00 (48%)