News, Theology

Ten Theology Books to Watch For – October 2020

Here are some excellent new theology books * that will be released in October 2020 :

* broadly interpreted, including ethics, church history, biblical studies, and other areas that intersect with theology

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Theology Books October 2020

T&T Clark Handbook of Ecclesiology

Kimlyn Bender /
D. Stephen Long, Eds.

T&T Clark

Divided into 3 parts, this handbook provides a wide-ranging survey and analysis of the Christian Church. The first section addresses the scriptural foundations of ecclesiology; the second section outlines the historical and confessional aspects of the topic; and the final part discusses a variety of contemporary and topical themes in ecclesiology.

Compiled and written by leading scholars in the field, the T&T Clark Handbook of Ecclesiology covers a range of key topics in the context of their development and importance in each stream of historic Christianity and the confessional traditions. The contributors cover traditional matters such as creedal notes, but also tackle questions of ordination, orders of ministry, and sacraments. This handbook is extensive enough to provide a true overview of the field, but the essays are also concise enough to be read as reference selections.


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Theology Books October 2020

The Solomonic Corpus of ‘Wisdom’ and Its Influence

Katherine J. Dell

Oxford UP

Solomon is the figurehead who holds the family of ‘wisdom’ texts together. In this study, Katharine Dell argues that a core of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes forms the inner sanctum of the ‘Solomonic wisdom corpus’, with the Song of Songs as a close relative, but Job at one remove. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song contain attributions to Solomon and demonstrate key ‘wisdom’ connections. Solomon is also portrayed as an idealized character in the narratives about him in 2 Sam. 24-1 Kings 11.

He is the embodiment of wisdom, thus linking both the narrative portrayal and canonical memory of his significance. His connections with Egypt and Sheba shed light on how Solomon gained his reputation for wisdom, as do the roles in his court for scribes, sages, and seers. Formative wisdom themes, notably that of God as creator, characterize the book of Proverbs and also influenced certain ‘wisdom psalms’ and the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah, texts which share links to wisdom ideas and contexts. For these prophets criticism of ‘the wise’ is a key concern. Dell introduces an intertextual method to open up fresh possibilities of ranging together different texts alongside the Solomonic corpus, without the constraints of probing literary or historical linkages: Ruth is considered with Proverbs, Genesis 1-11 with Ecclesiastes and the wider theme of gardens and water in the Hebrew Bible with the Song of Songs. While Solomon probably had very little to do with such readerly text-play, Dell’s argument in The Solomonic Corpus of ‘Wisdom’ and Its Influence is that he is the lynch-pin that holds ‘wisdom’ in its core texts and wider family together.

*** Which of these October 2020 new theology books do you want to read first?

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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: C-Christopher-Smith.com


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