This audiobook offers a concise and original introduction to the whole of the theological discipline. Writing with a focus on Christianity, David Ford provides a trenchant and balanced discussion of the study of faith and religion. He describes the development of the field of theology, and explores such issues as knowledge, community, worship, salvation, God, prayer, and evil. Ford also weaves the idea of the quest for wisdom into the entire fabric of his discussion, and concludes with a look ahead to the theology of the next century. Theology: A Very Short Introduction tackles the questions raised by and about religion in a thought-provoking and engaging manner.
©2013 David F. Ford (P)2014 Audible Inc.
"Questions of meaning, truth, beauty & ohyeah God"
"Theology deals with questions of meaning, truth, beauty, and practice raised in relation to religions and pursued through a range of academic disciplines."
--David F. Ford, Theology: A Very Short Introduction
David Ford's Very Short Introduction (VSI #9) to Theology is my sixth selection of Oxford's Very Short Introduction series. I liked it enough. Not much new, but I enjoyed a couple highlights. I really enjoyed the discussion of religion's place in the modern age with our multiple overwhelming. The idea of God as an overwhelming wasn't exactly revelatory, but it also was new and expansive, so perhaps there was a bit of revelation going on.
As a theologian Ford seems like a collector. A categorizer. He would have been just as happy, I think to have worked in the Smithsonian labeling and putting caterpillar pupal casings into multiple, thin boxes, arranged from 1 to 5. His scaling of theology was certainly useful as an introduction, but it almost became predictable that in each chapter he would present a scale of 1 to 5, and ignore the edges and focus on 2-4, the center three. Always.
The basic framework of the book:
I. Describing the Field
II. Theological Explorations
III. Skills, Disciplines, and Methods
Anyway, as a short introduction the other critique was Ford's focus on Christian theology (especially dominant in Part II). I get that is a Western theologian teaching at Cambridge, so his perspective on theology was going to rely heavily on Christian beliefs given his background and his studies. However, the book would probably have been better titled 'Christian Theology: A Very Short Introduction Utilizing Scales from 1 to 5, but focusing only on 2-4'
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