Surveying important nineteenth- and twentieth-century theologians, primarily in the German tradition, John Wilson provides a thorough introduction to modern theology and those whose work within it helped initiate a new era in Christian theology. Beginning with Immanuel Kant and extending into the late twentieth century, Wilson describes the formative theological work of a number of theologians such as Friedrich Schleiermacher, Albrecht Ritschl, Karl Barth, Rudolf Bultmann, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, Dorothee Sölle, and Wolfhart Pannenberg. In so doing he demonstrates the continuities that unite these theologians in a relatively common tradition of theological language. The first chapter is a survey of the social and political background of German theology in the modern period.
“An extremely helpful resource for students and professors alike, John Wilson's Introduction to Modern Theology provides a roadmap of 19th and 20th century theology ‘in the German tradition.’ This erudite work, impressive in its breadth and depth, sets a high standard as an introduction and interpretation of these most important trajectories in Protestant theology.”—James Brandt, Associate Professor of Historical Theology, Saint Paul School of Theology, author of All Things New: Reform of Church and Society in Schleiermacher's Christian Ethics
“A comprehensive and illuminating presentation of the theological ideas of major Protestant thinkers in the modern period. John Wilson offers clear and enlightening accounts of the major theological and philosophical ideas of important figures in the history of modern theology. He also provides helpful coverage of influential German thinkers who are less well known in the American setting. His introductory chapter features an invaluable discussion of the historical and political context of modern European theology, especially in Germany. It is an informative resource for students and scholars of modern theology.” —Lori K. Pearson, Assistant Professor of Religion, Carleton College, author of Beyond Essence: Ernst Troeltsch as Historian and Theorist of Christianity
“Wilson provides a good introduction to the tradition of German theology stretching back into the 18th century that stands behind much of the best of contemporary theology. He takes care to relate the German tradition to developments in the history of American theology. The tradition he traces so thoroughly is not easily accessible; thus, this book will prove to be a useful resource for theology students, pastors, and interested lay people.”—Theodore M. Vial Jr., Associate Professor of Theology, Iliff School of Theology, author of Liturgy Wars: Ritual Theory and Protestant Reform in Nineteenth-Century Zurich