“Constructive theology—the phrase has become commonplace in theological circles and in the job titles of a growing number of seminary and divinity school professors. But, surprisingly, the term has received little sustained historical and methodological analysis. Just what is constructive theology? When did the phrase first come into circulation? What are its historical antecedents and its contemporary obligations? Jason Wyman has written the first book length treatment of these questions, and, in a fully constructive key, he also offers compelling proposals about what constructive theology might yet become. This book is indispensable reading for all who care about constructive theology’s rich past and promising future.”
To date, constructive theology hasn’t been viewed or conceptualized as a movement or trend in theology on its own as a whole. Questions arise as to what constructive theology is, where it came from, why it considers itself “constructive,” and why “constructive” is something different from the ways in which theology has been done in the past. This book traces the overall historical arc of constructive theology, from proto-movement through the present. Inklings of constructive theology emerged well before it began to take any formalized shape. At the same time, an important shift occurred when a group of theologians decided to create the Workgroup on Constructive Theology. Further, even as the workgroup continues to work collectively, producing textbooks, statements, and methodologies concerning theology, many theologians who are not part of the workgroup or may not even know it exists have adopted the moniker of “constructive theologian.” The book also considers the term “constructive” itself, offering possible reasons and historical contexts that led to this distinction being made in contrast to “systematic” theology and its subcategories. Constructive theology speaks to a very specific, historically situated emergence in the academy generally and in theology’s attempts to engage those shifts specifically.
- Publisher Fortress Press
- ISBN 9781506418605
- Format Paperback
- Dimensions 6 x 9
- Pages 234
- Publication Date July 15, 2017
1. The Emergence of Constructive Theology
2. The Workgroup on Constructive Theology
3. Constructive Theology as Interdisciplinary Theology
4. Constructive Theology as Activist Theology
5. Constructive Theology as a Method and a Tradition
This book is indispensable reading for all who care about constructive theology’s rich past and promising future.
Keenly perceptive, learned, persuasive, and luminous
"Jason Wyman's interpretation of the constructivist approach to theology is keenly perceptive, learned, persuasive, and luminous, showing that this recent theological trend already has a richly diverse history and a promising future."
We have needed a book like this, and here it is!
“Jason Wyman has provided an invaluable resource to anyone interested in the past century of theological innovation. He traces the history of constructive theology throughout the twentieth century and ties together the many themes and concerns that inspire and empower the vibrant diversity of theologians who take seriously the human responsibility to interpret and build meaning from faith in the context of real life. This book not only describes a broad movement in Christian theology, it is also a work of constructive theology itself, introducing readers to the possibility of theological discourse that is not arid or removed from the challenges we face today. Wyman not only orients, he also evaluates. We have needed a book like this, and here it is!”
It is an indispensable guide for all of those who want to understand the history, development, commitments and methods of this vibrant approach to theology.
“This book capably and carefully answers a wide set of questions about the what, how, and whence of constructive theology. It is an indispensable guide for all of those who want to understand the history, development, commitments and methods of this vibrant approach to theology. Jason Wyman is a lucid, capable, and smart guide who helps readers discover the shared concerns and approaches of constructive theological work. We are deeply indebted to his patient tracing of the varied manifestations of a discourse that is still emerging and mapping its various expressions.”
A trusty and capacious account of constructive theology
“Now that Jason Wyman has done it, we realize how badly we needed it: a trusty and capacious account of constructive theology as such. If our contextualism, pluralism, and fear of systematicity inhibited such an integral narrative, we may now welcome it not just for its engaging history and illumining expositions—but for its gathering of a disparate collective, in a time of theological precarity, into an open force field of future-creating communication."