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Ten Theology Books to Watch For – September 2021

Here are some excellent new theology books * that will be released in September 2021 :

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

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Theology Books September 2021

The Eucharistic Sacrifice 

Sergius Bulgakov

(U of Notre Dame Press)

This first English translation represents Sergius Bulgakov’s final, fully developed word on the Eucharist.

The debate around the controversial doctrine of the Eucharist as sacrifice has dogged relations between Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant churches since the Reformation. In The Eucharistic Sacrifice, the famous Russian theologian Sergius Bulgakov cuts through long-standing polemics surrounding the notion of the Eucharist as sacrifice and offers a stunningly original intervention rooted in his distinctive theological vision. This work, written in 1940, belongs to Bulgakov’s late period and is his last, and most discerning, word on eucharistic theology. His primary thesis is that the Eucharist is an extension of the sacrificial, self-giving love of God in the Trinity, or what he famously refers to as kenosis. Throughout the book, Bulgakov points to the fact that, although the eucharistic sacrifice at the Last Supper took place in time before the actual crucifixion of Christ, both events are part of a single act that occurs outside of time.

This is Bulgakov’s concluding volume of three works on the Eucharist. The other two, The Eucharistic Dogma and The Holy Grail, were translated and published together in 1997. This third volume was only first published in the original Russian version in 2005 and has remained unavailable in English until now. The introduction provides a brief history of Bulgakov’s theological career and a description of the structure of The Eucharistic Sacrifice. This clear and accessible translation will appeal to scholars and students of theology, ecumenism, and Russian religious thought.


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Theology Books September 2021

Fountain of Salvation: Trinity and Soteriology 

Fred Sanders

(Eerdmans)

A trinitarian exposition of Christian soteriology

The relation of God and salvation is not primarily a problem to be solved. Rather, it is the blazing core of Christian doctrine, where the triune nature of God and the truth of the gospel come together.

Accordingly, a healthy Christian theology must confess the doctrine of the Trinity and the doctrine of salvation as closely related, mutually illuminating, and strictly ordered. When the two doctrines are left unconnected, both suffer. The doctrine of the Trinity begins to seem altogether irrelevant to salvation history and Christian experience, while soteriology meanwhile becomes naturalized, losing its transcendent reference. If they are connected too tightly, on the other hand, human salvation seems inherent to the divine reality itself. Deftly navigating this tension, Fountain of Salvation relates them by expounding the doctrine of eternal processions and temporal missions, ultimately showing how they inherently belong together.

The theological vision expounded here by Fred Sanders is one in which the holy Trinity is the source of salvation in a direct and personal way, as the Father sends the Son and the Holy Spirit to enact an economy of revelation and redemption. Individual chapters show how this vision informs the doctrines of atonement, ecclesiology, Christology, and pneumatology—all while directly engaging with major modern interpreters of the doctrine of the Trinity. As Sanders affirms throughout this in-depth theological treatise, the triune God is the fountain from which all other doctrine flows—and no understanding of salvation is complete that does not begin there.

*** Which of these theology books of September 2021 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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