The top 25 progressive theologians

Who do progressive clergy read? A group of thirty United Church of Canada clergy listed their top 25 theologians. There are a number of Episcopalian and Anglican writers in the mix. Marcus Borg tops the list which includes Barbara Brown Taylor, John Spong and even N.T. Wright.

Take a look at the list here. Who’s missing? Has there ever been a similar study done in the U.S.? Me, I’d add in James Alison to start.

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  1. Jim Naughton

    I would recommend the Catholic Biblical scholar the Rev. John Meier over any of the scripture scholars on the list. For history, I’d add Diarmaid MacCulloch. I wish there were more liberation theologians on the list. Gustavo Guttierez is the one I would recommend. I am thrilled to see Marilynne Robinson and Annie Dillard on the list, but would love to see the poet Denise Levertov included. Somewhat chagrined to see Spong, whom the left needs to outgrow. And Nick, I agree entirely about James Alison.

  2. Nicholas Knisely

    I noticed the lack of Liberation theologians, and of feminist theologians as well. I was going to suggest adding Rene Girard but I figure that Alison’s so strongly influenced by Girard’s thought that listing them both would be redundant.

    I agree with you about MacCulloch. Don’t know anything about Meier. Thanks for the lead.

    Oh – and I’d add Lesslie Newbigen, who’s writing I’m just starting to discover.

  3. I would add John MacQuarrie’s Principles of Christian Theology, a work that has shaped many of us along the way (and when I looked, I noted he was ordained in the Episcopal Church, and then returned to England. I would also include Urban T. Holmes’ Spirituality for Ministry and A Priest in Community. No, these are not the most recent authors; but I haven’t found anything better since.

    Marshall Scott

  4. Bob McCloskey

    Given some of the names, most recently read does not mean current authors. I would have added Paul Tillich, who has more than anyone to my knowledge synthesized theology, world religions and the behavioral sciences.

  5. Couldn’t agree more about MacCulloch. And, since my tastes run to people whose theology is rooted in history, I would add James Carroll for Constantine’s Sword.

    Jan Adams

  6. tgflux

    NO ONE African-American, African, Latino/a, Asian???

    That’s crazy! [Or ridiculously white ethno-centric. Take your pick]

    To name just a few off the top of my head: James H. Cone, Leonardo Boff, Gutierrez (who Jim listed), Hyun Chung-Kyung, my Master’s thesis advisor (memory eternal) Kosuke Koyama. Also, I’d add Paul Knitter and John Dunne.

    I’m still gob-smacked by the whiteness of that list… }-X

    JC Fisher

  7. tgflux

    But I would also comment that

    “30 United Church ministers from across Canada to tell us which authors and books they would recommend to people in the pews”

    is not the same as “the top 25 progressive theologians”.

    JC Fisher

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