Augsburg Fortress

Transforming Christian Theology: For Church and Society

Transforming Christian Theology: For Church and Society

Is there a role for Christian theology in the ongoing transformation of church and society? How can the reflective imperative of Christian discipleship support a transformative vision of the world?

This compact volume offers a way for Christians to reflect deeply on how best to conceive Christian identity, commitment, and discipleship in today's challenged, globalized, pluralistic scene. Growing out of the recent "Rekindling Theological Imagination" initiative and led by esteemed theologian Philip Clayton and his colleagues, this volume seeks to capture and articulate the ferment in grassroots North American Christianity today and to relate it directly to the recent strong resurgence of progressive thought and politics. It argues strongly for a mediating role specifically for Christian theology, conceived first as a life practice of Christian discipleship, and its call has found enormous response from popular audiences in conferences, online, in informal Christian settings, as well as in mainline denominations and the academy.

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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800696993
  • eBook ISBN 9781451416053
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 144
  • Publication Date October 20, 2009


"How can an important theological book be so delightful to read? How can a top-drawer theologian have such high respect for 'normal' Christians that they are seen as partners in the work of transforming theology? How can Philip Clayton make the idea of big-tent, progressive Christianity so believable and attractive that one can imagine Evangelicals, charismatics, mainliners, and Roman Catholics joyfully discussing it over a meal together? There's only one way to find out: open up Transforming Christian Theology and start reading--now."
—Brian D. McLaren

"Philip Clayton is one of the world's leading philosophical theologians. In this new book, he calls for a transformation of theology--for a theology that transforms by radically engaging the concrete and practical concerns of both church and society. Pointing to significant movements within the Christian church, as well as shifts in late modern culture, Clayton clearly shows that the time is right for challenging old divisions such as 'evangelical' and 'liberal.' A welcome call for and contribution to transforming theology!"
—F. LeRon Shults
Professor of Theology and Philosophy
University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway
Author of Reforming the Doctrine of God

"We all know that the once dominant form of Protestantism in this country is fading to the sidelines of society. In this book one of America's premier theologians seriously and passionately writes for ordinary Christians, inviting them to become their own theologians. He also shows how they can do so. If a hundred thousand members of our old-line denominations take this book seriously and follow its suggestions, there is yet hope for renewal. Understanding and support from denominational leadership would also help."
—John B. Cobb Jr.
Professor Emeritus
Claremont School of Theology

"Straight-forward and tantalizingly thorough, Transforming Christian Theology is the first volume to describe in a highly accessible and concrete way how Christian groups of any size or circumstance can locate and amend themselves theologically. This is, in sum, a very, very user-friendly Traveler's Guide to largely uncharted territory."
——Phyllis Tickle
Author of The Great Emergence

"In the confusion of how to live one's faith in these changing times, Dr. Clayton calls all of us, and especially young people, not to 'give up on church.' Thankfully, he goes on to tell us why and how, with a challenge to become active theologians, to write our own credos and debate them vigorously. That is the challenge he has taken up in this valuable book."
—Bishop Mary Ann Swenson
The Los Angeles Area
The United Methodist Church
"Philip Clayton's new book, Transforming Christian Theology: For Church and Society, is nothing if it is not the fully skinny on progressive, mainline–shaped emergent theology...Clayton argues that theology has been the prerogative an elite group of professors, but he believes it's got to be seen as what all of us do instead of just what the professors and professionals do. He outlines what can only be called a progressive emergent agenda for doing theology in a series of proposals —too many to name here. It's a good book and I hope it gets a wide hearing."
—Scot McKnight
Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies
North Park University