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Pro Ecclesia (Fall 2009)

The current issue of the theological journal Pro Ecclesia (vol. 18.4, Fall 2009) features "A Book Symposium on Steven R. Harmon's Towards Baptist Catholicity: Essays on Tradition and the Baptist Vision." It includes four articles reviewing the book by two Catholic and two Baptist theologians, along with Harmon's response:

Richard Crane, "Explosive Devices and Rhetorical Strategies: Appreciation for Steven R. Harmon's Towards Baptist Catholicity" (pp. 367-70)

Nicholas M. Healy, "Traditions, Authorities, and the Individual Christian" (pp. 371-74)

Elizabeth Newman, "Remembering How to Remember: Harmon's Subversive Orthodoxy" (pp. 375-80)

Maureen H. O'Connell, "Towards a Baptist (and Roman Catholic) Catholicity" (pp. 381-85)

Steven R. Harmon, "Why Baptist Catholicity, and by What Authority?" (pp. 386-92).

I've not yet read the reviews (the University of Oxford has stopped hard copy subscriptions on a wide-scale to journals, and so I have to wait for it to appear in an e-version, which for some journals like Pro Ecclesia takes ages!), but Steven has kindly sent me a copy of his response. The book I think is an important one, although perhaps more controversial in the US than in Europe as Steven points out. It is fantastic to see a major international theological journal engaging with Baptist theology (reviews of Baptist theologians is not always forthcoming - I have struggled to find many reviews of Paul Fiddes' Tracks and Traces ; John Colwell's Promise and Presence ; amongst others). The reason in this case, apart from being a good book (:-)!) is it's arguments for Baptists to situate themselves more consciously in the catholic church tradition (they risk becoming sub-christian if they don't!) and that the ultimate goal is communion with Rome.  

One of Steven's recent arguments is for those training for Baptist ministry to be more exposed to ecumenical theology, to the voices of other traditions beyond Baptists and evangelical ones and he repeats this in his response with particular reference to Roman Catholic theology. I hope those involved in theological education of Baptists ministers heed his call. As Keith Clements signals in the post previous to this, ecumenical theology and engagement has dropped off the radar after the huge attempts of the 20th century.


Andy Rowell

Yes, I don't have access to it online yet either here at Duke. The Winter 2009 issue is available online but not yet the Fall 2009 issue.

andy goodliff

The Winter 2009 is from January 2009. So there have been 3 more since. Although the Pro Ecclesia website has not update its contents pages for Summer or Fall 2009.

Andrew Tatum

Having had Harmon as a student at Campbell and having shared conversation (however briefly) other Baptist theologians (Curtis Freeman, Mark Medley, Elizabeth Newman, Brad Kallenberg, Barry Harvey, etc.) who share aspects of Harmon's thought, I continue to be hopeful about the history of Baptist theology and ministry in the coming years. Schools such as Duke, Baylor, Beeson, Campbell, etc. are quickly realizing that ecumenical theological engagement is more important than it has ever been. Take heart!

Ed Kaneen

We still get the paper copy at Durham - but the most recent we have is... Winter 2009! Curious.

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