Exploring California as a theological place, this book renders critical engagement with significant Californian religious and theological phenomena and the inherent theological impulses within major Californian cultural icons. Harnessing conceptual tools inherent to theology, through theological reflection, assessment, and critique, the chapters in this volume begin to ascertain the significance of various empirical data and that no other qualitative methodological Californian study has done. Many universities are picking up on California literature as a theme that highlights a place of hope, wonder, and cultural innovation, but have neglected the significance of theological instincts flowing through the Californian dynamic. Californians Fred Sanders and Jason Sexton assemble leading voices and specialists both from within and without California for engagement with California’s influential culture: including leading theologians and cultural critics such as Richard J. Mouw, Paul Louis Metzger, and Fred Sanders, alongside leading specialists in Film studies and cultural critique, theological anthropology, missiology, sociology, and history.
Fred Sanders is Professor in Biola University’s great books program, the Torrey Honors Institute. With Oliver Crisp he is the coordinator of the annual Los Angeles Theology Conference, and he is a faculty member for the Los Angeles Bible Training School. An evangelical Protestant theologian with a passion for the great tradition of Christian thought, he holds a degree in art from Murray State University, an MDiv from Asbury Theological Seminary (Kentucky), and upon moving back to California earned a PhD from the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley). Since 1999 he has taught at Biola University. Sanders has published four volumes of theological comic books, Dr. Doctrine’s Christian Comix (InterVarsity Press, 1999), one academic monograph, The Image of the Immanent Trinity: Rahner’s Rule and the Theological Interpretation of Scripture (Peter Lang, 2005), a more accessible volume engaging trinitarian theology, The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything (Crossway, 2010), and is author of the the volume on the Trinity in Zondervan Academic's New Studies in Dogmatics series. He co-edited Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective: An Introductory Christology (Broadman & Holman, 2007). His articles have appeared in Dialog: A Journal of Theology, Cultural Encounters: A Journal for the Theology of Culture, Southwestern Journal of Theology, and The Oxford Handbook of Systematic Theology. Along with having reviewed books in Theology Today, Scottish Journal of Theology, the International Journal of Systematic Theology and First Things, he is also a popular blogger at Patheos’s blog, The Scriptorium and also at the First Things blog Evangel. Jason S. Sexton is a fourth generation Californian who taught theology at Cambridge while a visiting scholar at Ridley Hall. He is currently a Research Associate at USC's Center for Religion and Civic Culture, is a lecturer in the Honors Department at California State University, Fullerton, and is the Administrative Convener
'Providential thinking clearly shapes ideas about California. Does the opposite also take place? Does California shape religion and theology too? Is there perhaps a unique California theology, call it Californianity? In a state where religious adherence is increasing rather than declining - unlike the rest of the country - these questions have an unexpected purchase. And the theologians and scholars in this volume, following Josiah Royce's call for a "higher provincialism," bring welcome new light to the connections between place and faith.' Jon Christensen, Editor: Boom: A Journal of California 'Theology is faith seeking understanding - yes, but of California? As a theologian and native Californian, I am delighted to recommend this collection of essays that seek to understand the spirit of the place that shaped my childhood (and millions of others), and how the Holy Spirit may be active in that place. The church, after all, is always local, and a theology of California will undoubtedly serve Christ's body in California by fostering understanding and enabling her to continue her ongoing mission of witnessing both to the lordship of Jesus Christ over all things and to the renewal of all things in Christ.’ Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, USA 'This volume... is an ambitious undertaking to bring theology into the conversation of California - what it was, what it is, and what it will become. To the degree that co-editors Sanders and Sexton have raised pertinent questions to interrogate our state’s spiritual situation, as well as have offered clear examples of Californian theological reflection, they have succeeded admirably... Theology and California is an excellent launching point for further theological work about California and the diversity of Californian experiences. It heads us in the right direction by asking the right questions.' Russell M. Jeung, San Francisco State University, USA ’Arranged to encourage debate and discussion,