The Christian Theological Tradition  book cover
4th Edition

The Christian Theological Tradition

ISBN 9781138689497
Published August 9, 2019 by Routledge
680 Pages

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Book Description

The fourth edition of The Christian Theological Tradition provides students with essential theological knowledge of key persons and events of the Bible and the Christian faith, and of Christianity's multifaceted encounter with Western culture.

Historically arranged, the textbook addresses major theological themes such as revelation, God, Jesus Christ, Creation, salvation, and the church. The textbook deals with the entire Christian tradition from an orientation that is both Catholic and ecumenical, with the fourth edition including expanded coverage of modern Protestant Christianity. The Christian Theological Tradition has been thoroughly revised and updated with nine new or rewritten chapters, including:

  • A new section on the reception of the Second Vatican Council, including the pontificate of Pope Francis.
  • A new treatment of contemporary developments in liberation and environmental theology.
  • A new examination of the relationship between science and Christianity.
  • An entirely rewritten treatment of Islam that focuses on the ways in which the Christian tradition has historically understood and responded to Islam. 
  • A new discussion of the "New Atheism," with theological responses to this influential movement.


  • New textboxes on aspects of religious life, such as liturgy, prayer, art, moral teaching, and social institutions, appropriate to given chapters.


With the assistance of images and maps, key words, and recommended reading, this textbook outlines the methods for Christian theology and demonstrates the relevance of the Christian theological tradition for our contemporary world.

This is an ideal resource for students of theology, biblical studies, or religious studies, and anyone wanting an accessible and comprehensive introduction to the Christian theological tradition.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of figures and maps

List of contributors


Chapter 1: Introduction: Approaching the Christian Theological Tradition

Mark McInroy

Part I: The Old Testament

Corrine Carvalho

Chapter 2: Israel’s Story of the Creation of the World

Corrine Carvalho

Chapter 3: The Pentateuch

Corrinne Carvalho

Chapter 4: Israel in the Land: Settlement, Exile, Return

David Penchansky

After the Babylonian Exile Paul Niskanen

Chapter 5: Second Temple Judaism

David T. Landry

The Land

John W. Martens

Part II: The New Testament

David T. Landry

Chapter 6: Jesus and the Gospels

David T. Landry

Chapter 7: Paul

John W. Martens

Part III: The History of Christianity

Michael J. Hollerich

Chapter 8: Christianity after the Apostles

Michael J. Hollerich

Chapter 9: The Age of the Imperial Church

Mark DelCogliano and Michael J. Hollerich

Chapter 10: Augustine

David Hunter

Chapter 11: Eastern Christianity

Paul L. Gavrilyuk

Other Eastern Christianities

Michael J. Hollerich

Chapter 12: Islam as Seen in the Christian Tradition

F. Dominic Longo

Chapter 13: Christianity in the Early Medieval Period

Fr. (Jan) Michael Joncas

Chapter 14: Christianity in the High Middle Ages

Michael J. Hollerich

Chapter 15: Thomas Aquinas

Robert St. Hilaire

Chapter 16: Christianity in the Late Medieval Period

Anne H. King

Part IV: The Modern Period

William Junker

Chapter 17: The Renaissance

William Junker

Chapter 18: Martin Luther

Sherry E. Jordon

Chapter 19: Other Protestant Reformers

The Swiss Reformation

Sherry E. Jordon

The Radical Reformation

Ry Siggelkow and David Cunningham


Sherry E. Jordon

The English Reformation

Mark McInroy

Chapter 20: The Catholic Reformation

Anne H. King

Chapter 21: The Coming of Global Christianity: Mission, Empire, and Post-


Christianity in the Age of Global Exploration: Conversion, Conquest, and


Michael J. Hollerich

The Christian Globe Tilts South

Gerald W. Schlabach

Chapter 22: Christianity in the Modern Period

Mark McInroy

Chapter 23: Christianity in the United States

Michael J. Hollerich

Chapter 24: The Second Vatican Council in Context

From the French Revolution to Vatican I

Michael J. Hollerich

Theological Trends between Vatican I and Vatican II

Robert Koerpel

The Second Vatican Council

Elaine MacMillan

The Reception of Vatican II

Massimo Faggioli

Chapter 25: Christianity and Science

Philip Rolnick

Chapter 26: Christianity in the Contemporary Situation

Mark McInroy

The New Atheists

Anne H. King

Chapter 27: Theologies of Liberation

Latin American Liberation Theology

Gerald W. Schlabach

Contextual Theology in South Africa

Kimberly Vrudny and Richard Cogill

Black Theology

Ry Siggelkow

Feminist Theology

Sherry E. Jordon

Christianity and Environmental Sustainability

Cara Anthony

Chapter 28: Christianity and Interreligious Dialogue

Edward Ulrich


Moral Theology Textboxes

Bernard V. Brady, Amy Levad, Paul Wojda


Lived Religion Textboxes

Mary Margaret Hoden

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Mark McInroy received his doctorate from Harvard Divinity School, and after postdoctoral research at the University of Cambridge he joined the Theology Department at the University of St. Thomas, USA, where he is Associate Professor of Theology. He is the author of Balthasar on the Spiritual Senses: Perceiving Splendour (2014) for which he received the Manfred Lautenschlaeger Award for Theological Promise in 2015. In addition to his work on Balthasar, he has published examinations of Karl Rahner, Karl Barth, John Henry Newman, Martin Luther, and Origen of Alexandria in journals such as the International Journal of Systematic Theology, the Scottish Journal of Theology, and Catholica, along with several edited volumes. His current projects include co-editing with Anthony Sciglitano and Cyril O’Regan The Oxford Handbook of Hans Urs von Balthasar (forthcoming), and with C.A. Strine and Alexis Torrance Image as Theology: The Power of Art in Shaping Christian Thought, Devotion, and Imagination (forthcoming). He is presently completing a monograph on the view of deification found in Martin Luther’s mature theology.

Michael J. Hollerich is Professor of Theology at the University of St. Thomas, USA. His teaching and academic interests include early Christian exegesis, religion and politics/political theology, modern German Catholic history, and Eastern Christianity. He has articles and chapters in books on all these subjects. His books include Eusebius of Caesarea’s Commentary on Isaiah: Christian Exegesis in the Age of Constantine (1999), partial contribution to Isaiah: Interpreted by Early Christian and Medieval Commentators, ed. Robert L. Wilken (2007), and an edition in English of Erik Peterson’s Theological Tractates (2011). He is currently finishing a book on the reception history of the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius of Caesarea.


Praise for the previous edition:

"I think The Christian Theological Tradition is the best introduction to the Christian tradition on the market."

Joseph Kroger, St Michael’s College, Colchester, VT, USA


Endorsements for the fourth edition: 

"This superb volume introduces students to the places, forms, and agents of a complex tradition incomprehensible without an accurate version of its historical settings. The new edition is indispensable for instructors and students alike."

Robin Darling Young, The Catholic University of America, USA

"This textbook is both thoroughly historical and genuinely theological; it displays the vibrancy and sophistication of Christian attempts to deal with questions of meaning in a way that is accessible to undergraduates and other beginners, whether Christian or not. The text as a whole makes a compelling case that one cannot understand the world today without understanding the Christian tradition. I taught the third edition of this book for many years; this new fourth edition is even better."

William T. Cavanaugh, DePaul University, USA