The Role of Diverse Perspectives in Theological Study

Today i picked my books for my other summer class (Theology of Family) that starts in the middle of July.  I noticed that out of the four books, three were by Ray Anderson.  I did some counting, and with those three i have 13 books by Ray Anderson, all of which were purchased after i started graduate school.

Now to be fair, some of those weren’t required reading, but i found them on sale at a used book store.  I though that since it was becoming clear to me that my professor loved Anderson’s work (he is a former student of his), it might be helpful to pick up other resources on the cheap. 

Even with this disclaimer, i find myself questioning at times whether or not it is such a good idea to spend so much of my time devoted to only one person’s thought.  Further, my prof also learned under T.F. Torrance, so i think that it is fair to say that roughly half of my required or recommended reading during my time at school has been either Anderson, the Torrances, or their mutual father in theology Karl Barth.  While i understand that their is an integrity issue here for my prof (teach the truth), nonetheless i am saddend that there hasn’t been a broader scope at times.  So the question is; how does one teach broadly while giving their convictions a prominent place in the classroom?

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4 responses to “The Role of Diverse Perspectives in Theological Study

  1. Jut for fun, I did a search on amazon for “Ray
    Anderson.” Apparently there’s a recording artist by that name. Funk, brass, etc. Interesting . . .

    They did list a book about emerging theology by a Ray Anderson. Methinks he’s the right one.

    This would be hard for me, especially at a graduate level. Unless this Ray Anderson is the pioneer of some extremely original thoughts on theology, I would guess your prof feels some sort of obligation to teach his stuff. Or he just thinks he’s the best one to present the things he wants to teach. Or he secretly hates him and hopes on of you smart students will refute his theories. Good luck . . .

  2. tysdaddy,

    Yep, Anderson wrote a book about emerging theology . . . I’m reading it right now for class.

    In my profs defense, Anderson is quite brilliant, and does have some quite original ideas, at least to me. My prof told me that in his mind Anderson is on the cutting edge, writing some of the best stuff out there right now.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I will have to check him out. Is there a book you’d suggest as a good starter . . .

    I love reading about all types of things, so the subject is irrelevant.

    Study har, friend.

  4. It all depends on the level of instruction. The first couple years in an undergrad theology program and the first year to two of an Mdiv program ought to be immersion in a particular perspective with very limited exposure to other perspectives. You have to be deep in one tradition to appreciate multiplicity of traditions. Of course, we could get on to the multiplicity a lot faster of churches did a proper job of catechesis.

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