This collection of primary documents from Christian history spans the second to eighteenth centuries (Irenaeus to George Whitefield). Severson has chosen writings that all deal with the interpretation of the Parable of the Sheep and Goats (Matthew 25:31-46). ""Severson's The Least of These is a unique and brilliant contribution to theological pedagogy. Taking a central biblical text, it illustrates the development, twists, and turns of Christian theology from the beginning up to the eighteenth century with commentaries on that text from a host of extremely diverse theologians. Although intended for beginners, this volume is even more helpful to students (and professors ) with enough background to say, 'Aha Wesley's sermon on this one text expresses his entire sanctification theology.'"" --Robert Cummings Neville, Boston University author of Behind the Masks of God ""In compiling and editing this collection Severson exhibits the rare talent of being able to combine intellectual imagination, biblical scholarship, and sheer human compassion in these illuminating readings of a crucial scriptural passage."" --Richard Kearney, Boston College author of States of Mind: Dialogues with Contemporary Thinkers ""In search of a better way of teaching theology, Severson brings a fresh eye not only to the fields of Christian history and theology, but to biblical studies and homiletics. This stunningly concise and pedagogically useful text engages students in the best of theological work--the pursuit of bringing scripture to life. Reading the canonical figures in this way, Severson gathers all readers around Matthew 25, extending the same challenge: How do we interpret this parable for our times? Envisioning the teaching of theology after the era of systematics, Severson presents biblical theology in a new key."" --Shelly Rambo, Boston University Eric R. Severson is Assistant Professor of Religion at Eastern Nazarene College, Quincy, Massachusetts.