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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
June 2014
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Religion, Theology

Book description

In 2011, Frances Young delivered the Bampton Lectures in Oxford to great acclaim. She offered a systematic theology with contemporary coherence, by engaging in conversation with the fathers of the church - those who laid down the parameters of Christian theology and enshrined key concepts in the creeds - and exploring how their teachings can be applied today, despite the differences in our intellectual and ecclesial environments. This book results from a thorough rewriting of those lectures in which Young explores the key topics of Christian doctrine in a way that is neither simply dogmatic nor simply historical. She addresses the congruence of head and heart, through academic and spiritual engagement with God's gracious accommodation to human limitations. Christianity and biblical interpretation are discussed in depth, and the book covers key topics including Creation, anthropology, Christology, soteriology, spirituality, ecclesiology and Mariology, making it invaluable to those studying historical and constructive theology.


‘No-one but Frances Young could have written a book like this. It combines an immense professional expertise in the literature of early Christianity with intense personal and pastoral reflection, an insightful perspective on contemporary theological concerns and an interweaving of sermons and poetic meditations that remind us of Frances's stature as a spiritual guide. It is a book of exceptional human maturity as well as intellectual challenge. Frances Young has always combined these elements in a rare way, but this book is a summation of all that has been most fruitful and nourishing in both her academic and her pastoral ministry. It is a treasury of real wisdom, authoritative and vulnerable.'

Rowan Williams - University of Cambridge, and former Archbishop of Canterbury

'… an incredibly rich treasure trove of biblical and patristic learning, contemporary and practical theological reflection and beautiful writing. This book, as an epitome of many lectures, sermons and smaller pieces of writing, but also of a rich life as a theologian, a pastor and a Christian, will undoubtedly be a cherished companion not only for scholars and theologians, but also for more generally educated readers interested in theology not just as a scholarly but also as an intellectual and artistic endeavour and a spiritual exercise.'

Josef Lössl Source: Journal of Ecclesiastical History

‘Frances Young has given us something unusual and valuable: a profoundly patristic, and profoundly personal, one-volume systematic theology.’

Andrew Davison Source: Church Times

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‘Typology’ in Porter, Stanley E, Joyce, Paul and Orton, David E (eds.), Crossing the Boundaries, Essays in Biblical Interpretation in Honour of Michael D. Goulder, Leiden: Brill, 1994, 29–48.
University Sermon for the Tercentenary of the Birth of John Wesley’, Epworth Review 31 (2004), 44–51.


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