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The top 25 progressive theologians

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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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


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


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

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.


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

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