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Reading the Theology of Colin Gunton

  P1230264Thanks to T & T Clark Kirsten and I have been enjoying an excellent collection of essays on the theology of Colin Gunton edited by Lincoln Harvey. I think we're reading John Webster's chapter on Gunton and Barth in this picture, which includes a great quote (see below). In my opinion theology doesn't get much better than Gunton and its great to see the likes of Webster, Robert Jenson, Steve Holmes, John Colwell, Christoph Schwoebel and others engaging positively with this British theologian. They demonstrate together that Gunton is a voice that cannot be, and should not be, ignored.

'... Gunton's self-conception as a theologian: he valued openness, freedom, range; he listened unusually carefully but not too long to his masters and then made up his own mind; he never evaded theological responsibility by hiding in the skirts of the tradition. Barth would have enjoyed that kind of feisty Christian independence.'


John Lyons

One too many "nots"? Unless they really did say he could be ignored...


I've heard that Gunton's reading of Augustine is off-base. do you find that to be true? I haven't read much Gunton.

Andy Goodliff

Thanks John.

T.Y this is often the criticism directed at Gunton. Jenson discusses this in his chapter. He says Gunton probably went too far in his polemic, but was generally right. A new book from Lewis Ayres on Augustine and the Trinity (Cambridge, 2010) will off another reading. As Jenson says if you read everything Augustine wrote if doctrine of the Trinity is not so problematic, but it does get away from the fact that in significant places, it is, or at least for Gunton and Jenson.

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