2016 Bibliography Project

Let me encourage you to read Dr. Abraham's Introduction below. It lays out his vision for collecting this material. We are, with his permission, taking up where he left things 4 years ago.

Here is the plan

  • Digitize the Bibliography. (Done!)
  • Link all of the article titles to PDF's on the web of philpaper pages. (Huge task)
  • Update the Bibliography as years progress.
  • Create a rating/voting system to help newcomers discover what to read first, what articles set the benchmark in an area, etc.. (My plan is to create a star rating, comment or voting system for the articles in months to come. )

How would you make the Bibliography super useful to others studying analytic theology? Click Contact to share your ideas!


Introduction (From 2012 Edition)

This bibliography is a work in progress. It is intended to gather together material cultivated within analytic philosophy on the various loci of systematic theology. Ideally it constitutes a beginning bibliography in analytic theology. In my judgment the time is ripe for the development of such a bibliography. Over the last generation we have seen an extraordinary revival of first rate work in the philosophy of religion and in philosophical theology. Regrettably the truth of this claim is often overlooked in reviews of current work in philosophy. Taken as a whole this material covers a wide range of topics that pick up conceptual and epistemological issues in religion. It is striking how much of this material is now devoted to philosophical reflection on Christian doctrine. This in turn leads directly into doing work in theology proper, that is, articulating normative claims about the most appropriate content of Christian teaching for today. It is this latter development that prompts the move to look at the role of analytic philosophy within systematic theology and to designate this work as “analytic theology”. One way to think about analytic theology is to think of it precisely as systematic theology done in such a way that it draws intentionally and systematically on the skills and resources of analytic philosophy. I argue the case for this in the introductory essay, “Systematic theology as Analytic Theology”, which is reprinted here by permission of Oxford University Press. (Not included on website...yet..)

The bibliography does not confine itself to work done by theologians and philosophers trained in the analytic tradition. It is also includes other historical and systematic material that should prove useful to those interested in analytic theology. Choices at this level very much reflect my own initial reflections. I hope that future editions will be more representative. Ideally we really need a robust bibliography that will provide both theological and philosophical material relevant to thedevelopment of analytic theology. Such a collection would enable philosophers get their initial bearings within theology and help theologians get their initial bearings within analytic philosophy. Here the weight falls on the provision of philosophical material for theologians.

It is important at the outset to identify one version of the classical loci of systematic theology used in organizing the material. The following list provides the sequence roughly but not slavishly followed in traditional volumes of Christian theology.

  • Prolegomenon: task, sources, norms, method, scripture;
  • God: the existence of God, attributes, Trinity (three persons in onesubstance or essence), (economic Trinity and immanent Trinity);
  • Creation: creature (world, human beings), providence (law, miracle, evil), the human condition (the image of God, sin);
  • Christology: the person of Jesus Christ (two natures in one person) the work of Jesus Christ (prophet – revelation, priest – reconciliation, king - deliverance, atonement); 
  • Pneumatology: the person and work of the Holy Spirit;
  • Ecclesiology: the nature of the Church, Word and sacraments, ministry, purpose or mission;
  • Soteriology: salvation, justification, sanctification, theosis;
  • Eschatology (the Last Things): death and eternal life (personal eschatology: death, the intermediate state, heaven, hell, and ultimate destiny), (cosmic eschatology: parousia or return of Christ, the final destiny of all things).

This bibliography operates with a version of this sequence of topics in systematic theology. There has been much debate about the origins of this network of topics. Some have tracked it to developments in medieval theology in early scholasticism. In my view these topics arise from the issues picked up in the early creeds of the Church; and these topics in turn were determined by intellectual, pastoral, and soteriological concerns clearly visible in the evangelization of the Roman Empire. Whatever their origin it is obvious that analytic theology, if it is at all to be taken seriously as theology, must ultimately deal with the whole gamut of topics that are of concern to theology. It is not enough simply to cherry pick this or that topic and run with it philosophically, for in both theology and philosophy the topics which have to be explored have systematic interrelationships. What one proposes on one topic has implications for other topics; hence, proposals ultimately have to be
seen in their systematic unity. I trust that this initial bibliography shows that analytic philosophers have a contribution to make right across the board in theology.

There is one important complicating factor, namely, the terrain covered by prolegomenon. It is clear that work in this section of systematic theology traditionally spills over very quickly into a wide body of epistemological reflection. Too much recent theology has been captive to underdeveloped work in epistemology. For this reason I have become a keen advocate of the creation of a new sub-discipline within and between philosophy and theology that is best identified as the epistemology of theology.[2] I am convinced that until we shoulder this responsibility, work in theology will remain naïve about the options in epistemology for theology. Equally work in systematic theology will suffer from serious underdevelopment in its own right. So the section of prolegomenon is problematic. The solution to this problem here has been to cut back drastically on epistemological issues related to theology and to restrict the selection to material dealing potentiallywith the nature of analytic
theology.

The choice of topics makes it clear that this bibliography deals essentially with topics in Christian theology. To some this will be a serious disappointment; they rightly and accurately point out that the work of analytic philosophers is also a resource for Jewish and Islamic theology. The answer to this disappointment is obvious. On the one hand, it is surely one of the great merits of analytic philosophy that its skills and virtues can indeed be deployed by Jewish and Islamic scholars. On the other hand, it is surely the task of Jewish and Islamic scholars to indicate how they want to proceed in their own versions of analytic theology; it would be both premature and presumptive for the Christian theologian to take on such an ambitious project at this time.

One last point: I am sure that there is excellent material that I have missed or overlooked in the compilation of this bibliography. I would be delighted if readers or authors would send me information about such material so that it may be incorporated into future editions.