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The most important theology books of the last 25 years

In case you haven’t seen this yet, Christian Century recently asked a number of influential theologians to name 5 books that they thought were the most important theology books written in the last 25 years. You’ll have to read the post to see the comments that each person made regarding their choices, but I’ve listed their selections below.

I will say that it looks like some of them missed the point of the question. They were asked to list the most important theology books, not just the ones that they thought were really good. Some of these books shouldn’t even be in the conversation for most important theology books of the last 25 years. (Yong, Townes, and Coakley seemed particularly egregious in this area.)

I’d be intrigued to hear in the comments what you think about two things:

  1. Who do you think did the best job identifying the 5 most important books of the last 25 years?
  2. Are there any books that were excluded from all these lists, but that you think should be considered among the most important books of the last 25 years?

Stanley Hauerwas

  • George A. Lindbeck, The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age
  • John Howard Yoder, The Priestly Kingdom: Social Ethics as Gospel
  • Robert Jenson, Systematic Theology
  • James Wm. McClendon Jr., Systematic Theology
  • John Milbank, Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason

Amos Yong

  • Nancy L. Eiseland, The Disabled God: Toward a Liberatory Theology of Disability
  • Clark H. Pinnock, Flame of Love: A Theology of the Holy Spirit.
  • Miroslav Volf, Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation
  • J. Kameron Carter, Race: A Theological Account.
  • Paul F. Knitter, Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian

Emilie M. Townes

  • Katie Geneva Cannon, Katie’s Canon: Womanism and the Soul of the Black Community
  • Charles H. Long, Significations: Signs, Symbols, and Images in the Inter­pretation of Religion
  • Peter J. Paris, The Spirituality of African Peoples: The Search for a Common Moral Discourse
  • Larry L. Rasmussen, Earth Community, Earth Ethics
  • Kathryn Tanner, Jesus, Humanity and the Trinity: A Brief Systematic Theology

Lawrence S. Cunningham

  • Bernard McGinn, The Presence of God: A History of Western Christian Mysticism
  • Herbert McCabe, God Matters and God Still Matters
  • John Milbank, Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason
  • David Bentley Hart, The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth

Sarah Coakley

  • Andrew Louth, The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition: From Plato to Denys
  • Steven Payne, John of the Cross and the Cognitive Value of Mysticism: An Analysis of Sanjuanist Teaching and Its Philosophical Implications for Contemporary Discussions of Mystical Experience
  • Richard Swinburne, The Existence of God.
  • Linda Alcoff and Elizabeth Potter, editors. Feminist Epistemologies.
  • William T. Cavanaugh, Torture and Eucharist: Theology, Politics, and the Body of Christ

Kevin Vanhoozer

  • David J. Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission
  • John Webster, Word and Church: Essays in Church Dogmatics
  • N. T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God.
  • Nicholas Wolterstorff, Divine Discourse: Philosophical Reflections on the Claim That God Speaks.
  • John D. Zizioulas, Being as Communion: Studies in Personhood and the Church.

George Hunsinger

  • Thomas F. Torrance, The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church
  • Alexander Schmemann, The Eucharist
  • Sarah Coakley, Powers and Submissions: Spirituality, Philosophy and Gender
  • J. Kameron Carter, Race: A Theological Account
  • Derek S. Jeffreys, Spirituality and the Ethics of Torture

Willie James Jennings

  • Sallie McFague, The Body of God: An Ecological Theology
  • John Milbank, Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason
  • Eugene F. Rogers, Sexuality and the Christian Body: Their Way into the Triune God
  • Miroslav Volf, Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation
  • Delores S. Williams, Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk