Embracing the viewpoints of Catholic, Protestant, or Orthodox thinkers, of conservatives, liberals, radicals, and agnostics, Christianity today is anything but monolithic or univocal. In The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought, general editor Adrian Hastings has tried to capture a sense of the great diversity of opinion that swirls about under the heading of Christian thought. Indeed, the 260 contributors, who hail from twenty countries, represent as wide a range of perspectives as possible. Here is a comprehensive and authoritative (though not dogmatic) overview of the full spectrum of Christian thinking. Within its 600 alphabetically arranged entries, readers will find lengthy survey articles on the history of Christian thought, on national and regional traditions, and on various denominations, from Anglican to Unitarian. There is ample coverage of Eastern thought as well, examining the Christian tradition in China, Japan, India, and Africa. The contributors examine major theological topics such as resurrection, the Eucharist, and grace as well as controversial issues such as homosexuality and abortion. In addition, short entries illuminate symbols such as water and wine, and there are many profiles of leading theologians, of non-Christians who have deeply influenced Christian thinking, including Aristotle and Plato, and of literary figures such as Dante, Milton, and Tolstoy. Most articles end with a list of suggested readings and the book features a large number of cross-references. The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought is an indispensable guide to one of the central strands of Western culture. An essential volume for all Christians, it is a thoughtful gift for the holidays.
Religion & Spirituality, General,