Fortress Press

Reading Theologically

Reading Theologically

Eric D. Barreto (Editor)

Reading is one of the basic skills a student needs. But reading is not just an activity of the eyes and the brain. Reading Theologically, edited by Eric D. Barreto, brings together eight seminary educators from a variety of backgrounds to explore what it means to be a reader in a seminary context—to read theologically.
Reading theologically involves a specific mindset and posture towards texts and ideas, people and communities alike. Reading theologically is not just about academic skill building but about the formation of a ministerial leader who can engage scholarship critically, interpret Scripture and tradition faithfully, welcome different perspectives, and help lead others to do the same.
This brief, readable, edited volume emphasizes the vital skills, habits, practices, and values involved in reading theologically. Reading Theologically is a vital resource for students beginning the seminary process and professors of introductory level seminary courses.

Fortress Press Live podcast:
Hear editor Eric Barreto talk about his new book, Reading Theologically!

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  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781451483420
  • eBook ISBN 9781451487527
  • Pages 100
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Publication Date July 1, 2014


"Eric Barreto’s edited book, Reading Theologically, is a timely one for theological educators and theological school students. The task of reading theologically is both difficult to teach and learn—and perhaps even more complicated to practice well. This volume offers perspectives about how to engage reading as theologically reflective, intensely dialogic, capable of generative meaning-making, able to push epistemic boundaries, communally engaged, open to inspiration and spiritual growth, intensely self-reflective and formative, a forum for asking theological questions without swift solutions, and an environment for embracing reading as a lively, living, and engaging space where the activity of God might be discerned."
—Paul O. Myhre
Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion

"Reading Theologically comes as a great gift to students at seminaries and divinity schools. The thoughtful essays in this collection will help students develop deeply rooted practices of reading—gracefully, mindfully, attentively—that will position them to be more engaged interpreters of religious texts and traditions and more effective guides for the people they will serve. Written in a very accessible style, this book will be a first read for many theological students."
—Gail R. O'Day
Wake Forest University School of Divinity

"This book is an excellent resource for persons thinking of preparing for seminary, seminarians, or for lifelong learners. Each chapter incrementally teaches us to delve deeper into reading for personal growth, understanding, thinking critically, and for appreciation of others. It is reading for formation, reading to meet God in our lives. I have never before read a book so beautifully written on how to enter the ambiguities and polarities of thoughts and theories so that we can hold the tensions with the purpose of holding those who think differently with grace so as to cultivate not only our minds but our relationships with persons, for creating community and for deepening our spirituality. As one who has been in theological education for over twenty years, I knew I had found a treasured resource in this reading even for myself and for my students."
Elizabeth Conde-Frazier
Eastern University
"Reading Theologically reframes reading as a Christian practice through which we cultivate a faithful way of being in an increasingly complex world. It encourages theological students to take seriously the role of reading in their formation as Christian leaders, thinkers, and citizens. Designed as a dialogue among diverse theological educators, this book also calls us to revisit the nature and purpose of the peculiar enterprise we call theological education. This is a book I wish I had when I started seminary. The serious seminarian should not begin without it."
Matthew Wesley Williams
Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE)

"With as much concern for spiritual formation as intellectual introduction, this reassuring guide invites those entering theological education to do so with integrity of body and spirit, mind and heart."
—Katherine Turpin
Iliff School of Theology
"Thinking about thinking about thinking is a challenge. The clarity and crispness of these essays makes it enjoyable. The diversity of voices represented pushes the interpreter of the Bible to listen globally and empathetically. I wish this volume had been available when I began seminary and when I tried to help students learn to read the Bible lovingly and critically. Now I see an important role for this book as I work with church groups to deepen their relationship with Scripture."
Sharon Ringe
Wesley Theological Seminary  
"Thinking Theologically is an engaging text that is clearly oriented towards the church and those who are seeking to understand Scripture in light of the world’s complexities."
Brian Bantum
Seattle Pacific University and Seminary


Fortress Press Live podcast:
Hear editor Eric Barreto talk about his new book, Reading Theologically!

Click here to find more podcasts on Fortress Press Live!

Editor Eric Barreto sat down with us at AAR/SBL 2014 to talk about Reading Theologically!