Reviewed by John A. Dick (European Centre for ethics, Catholic University of Leuven)
Published on H-Catholic (March, 2001)
The Medieval Theologians
The Medieval Theologians
In some respects this is a companion volume to The Modern Theologians edited by David Ford, which was first published in 1989 and revised in 1997. Its timespan ranges from the fifth to the sixteenth centuries. One looks forward to another volume that will deal with Reformation and post-Reformation theologians. The present volume is a fine comprehensive introduction to medieval theology and introduces students to the major individual theologians of that period. The book is chronologically arranged and enables students to explore the crucial period between the Fathers and the Reformation, when theology emerged as an academic discipline and when so many important controversies took place. These issues, focussing on the nature and purpose of the church and the sacraments planted the seeds for the divisions in the church that persist into our own day.
Albertus Magnus, surprisingly to me, gets very brief mention; but Anselm, Aquinas, Scotus and Ockham get full-stage treatment. Contributors to the book come from Reformed, Anglican and Catholic traditions; and the book seems objective and balanced.
G. R. Evans, lecturer in history at the University of Cambridge, is the author of a number of significant books in the area of patristics, medieval and Reformation theology and history. Her critical introductory essay in The Medieval Theologians is itself a fine overview of the place and importance of medieval theology. 20
I recommend this book as a very good introductory text. Were I teaching a course on medieval theology at the moment, I would probably list this as required reading for my students.
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John A. Dick. Review of Evans, G. R., ed., The Medieval Theologians.
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