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A Companion to the Theology of John Webster

by Michael Allen , R. David Nelson

Hardcover: $50.00

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ISBN: 9780802876744

Page Count: 366

Publication Date: 6/10/2021

Trim Size: 6 x 9

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An overview and analysis of John Webster’s seminal contributions to Christian theology 

At the time of his death, John Webster was widely hailed as one of the leading Christian theologians in the world. Over the course of three decades, he produced groundbreaking studies on the theologies of Eberhard Jüngel and Karl Barth and, especially since the turn of the millennium, numerous books and essays on various themes in Christian dogmatics. He then intended to write an encyclopedic systematic theology—a project he was unable to complete.

No substitute is possible for that lost opus, but the contributors offer this volume as an homage to Webster and an aid to those who want to learn from him. A Companion to the Theology of John Webster begins with an introductory section on Webster’s theological development, then continues into an extensive overview of Webster’s contributions to contemporary discussions of particular doctrines. An epilogue suggests how Webster’s theology might have unfolded had he lived longer and imagines the continuing influence of his work on the enterprise of Christian dogmatics. Readers hoping to understand the legacy of this great theologian, and also those eager for fresh insights into the present state and future trajectories of contemporary Protestantism, will find much to offer here.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Kevin J. Vanhoozer
1. John Webster (1955–2016) by Ivor J. Davidson
Part One: John Webster’s Theological Development
2. Theological Theology: Webster’s Theological Project by Michael Allen
3. Webster on Eberhard Jüngel by R. David Nelson
4. Webster on Karl Barth by Kenneth Oakes
5. Webster on the Theology of the University by Martin Westerholm
6. Webster’s Theological Exegesis of Christian Scripture by Matthew Levering
Part Two: John Webster on the Theological Topics
7. Scripture by Darren Sarisky
8. Reason by Michael Allen
9. The Triune God by Fred Sanders
10. The Perfection of God by Christopher R. J. Holmes
11. Creation by Justin Stratis
12. Anthropology by Michael Allen
13. Jesus Christ by Katherine Sonderegger
14. Salvation by Ivor J. Davidson
15. The Church by Joseph L. Mangina
16. Metaphysics by Tyler R. Wittman
17. Ethics by Paul T. Nimmo
Epilogue: Courses Charted but Not Taken by R. David Nelson
Bibliography of Published Works by John Webster

> Reviews - /

“John Webster was probably the most creative and intellectually rigorous Protestant theologian in the English-speaking world in the last few decades, and his tragically early death robbed us of a uniquely joyful, insightful, and nourishing perspective on Christian revelation. This first-class collection of essays shows how his prolifically diverse writings converge toward a truly comprehensive and magisterial theological vision of apostolic faith for our generation.”
— Rowan Williams
104th Archbishop of Canterbury
“With contributions from some of today’s finest theologians, this volume is a labor of love that honors the rich legacy of John Webster’s theology and points towards ways to further it. Those who already know his work will find much of value here, and those who are new to Webster will find an outstanding introduction to the breadth and development of his thought, along with the reminder that, in Webster’s own words, ‘positive Christian dogmatics is a wise, edifying, and joyful science.’”
— Suzanne McDonald
Western Theological Seminary
“John Webster’s work was wide-ranging, profound, and, owing to his untimely death, all too provisional. While we can only lament that he was unable to complete the comprehensive theological statement that his Systematic Theology would have been, this exquisitely crafted volume provides an indispensable vade mecum for understanding Webster’s tireless pursuit of a truly theological theology.”
— Ian A. McFarland
Candler School of Theology and University of Cambridge
“This is a superb introduction to a major, if still underappreciated, theologian whose reputation will only continue to grow. Webster’s constructive powers grew out of careful and creative study of earlier modern Protestant systematicians, whose work he was able to reconfigure within broader catholic and evangelical perspectives, profoundly scriptural and Trinitarian. He produced one of the richest and most rigorous theological visions of our era. Allen and Nelson have assembled a group of theologians, significant in their own right, to provide a us with a well-lit entry into Webster’s sophisticated project. Helpfully ordered, crystal clear, yet also filled with appropriate detail, this volume will define the shape of future research on Webster and is indispensable for scholar and student alike.”
— Ephraim Radner
Wycliffe College
“As someone who was John’s student from the age of seventeen in Oxford and then his colleague for several years as a professor in Aberdeen, I cannot begin to estimate the significance of his work on my own theological development. This collection of essays on his work offers for the first time a clear and helpful introduction to Webster’s theology in the hope that others, too, might benefit from his wisdom. The authors are trustworthy guides to anyone wishing to become more familiar with the work of one of the greatest theologians of his generation.”
— Tom Greggs
University of Aberdeen
“What a wonderful volume! Like Webster himself, these essays bear a cheerful witness to the God of the Gospel and are unapologetic about ‘theological theology.’ Webster’s thought did develop through his career, and these essays helpfully take his ideas and mature proposals seriously, though not uncritically. There is much to learn from them, and more importantly, they point us in meaningful ways back to Webster’s corpus itself. The result will not simply be that we understand Webster better, but that our theology might become more faithful in the process.”
— Kelly M. Kapic
Covenant College
“This companion is a celebration of John Webster’s theology and a declaration of gratitude to John Webster the theologian. The contributions serve as an ideal travel companion, following the itinerary of John Webster’s theological thinking, carefully retracing his steps, and surveying the coordinates—the dogmatic loci—which provided orientation for his theology. The rich abundance of reflections on the true subject of theology is a most fitting tribute to a theologian who counted humility among the chief theological virtues and who had an acute sense of theology always being on the way, not yet having reached the ultimate destination of God’s plan with his creation.”
— Christoph Schwöbel
University of St. Andrews
“This collection is a fitting tribute to a theologian beloved by many of us. Yet these essays avoid fawning; they advance constructive, critical understanding of Webster’s thought. John would be pleased that ultimately this book celebrates the perfection and presence of the Triune God, not the imperfect testimony of a particular theologian, however insightful.”
— Daniel J. Treier
Wheaton College

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