Reading Guides, VOLUME 10

Michael Polanyi – Introductory Reading Guide

This week marked the anniversary of the death of philosopher Michael Polanyi, one of the most significant philosophers for understanding the roots of theology in the twenty-first century.

To mark the occasion, we offer the following introductory reading guide to his most significant works.

We’ve ordered this list in the order that we think the books should be read, and offered a brief explanation of why each book was included. We’ve also included excerpts of most the books via Google Books.


5. [easyazon_link identifier=”B0077QFSMA” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Critical Conversations: Michael Polanyi and Christian Theology[/easyazon_link] Murray Rae, Editor


One of the best books on the implications of Polanyi’s philosophy for theology

“Critical Conversations displays two remarkably distinctive things about . . . Michael Polanyi’s epistemology. The rich, open-ended truthfulness of his proposals inspires innovative and penetrating cross-disciplinary conversations of all kinds; and conversants thus engaged experience freeing creativity and conviviality. Theological engagement is especially fruitful since Polanyi himself challenges a deadening Enlightenment legacy with an approach that is knowledge- and humanity- and hope-restoring because it is theologically attuned. These essayists offer a rich conversation that others may join profitably–convivially.”  –Esther L. Meek



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Image Credit: Adapted from the cover of [easyazon_link identifier=”019517433X” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Michael Polanyi: Scientist and Philosopher[/easyazon_link] by William Taussig Scott and Martin X. Moleski.


C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at:

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Reading for the Common Good
From ERB Editor Christopher Smith

"This book will inspire, motivate and challenge anyone who cares a whit about the written word, the world of ideas, the shape of our communities and the life of the church."
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