- Introduction: Systematic Theology
The Oxford Handbook of Systematic Theology brings together a set of original and authoritative accounts of all the major areas of current research in Christian systematic theology, offering a thorough survey of the state of the discipline and its prospects. Drawn from Europe, the UK, and North America, the authors are all leading practitioners of the discipline. The book engages in a comprehensive examination of themes and approaches, guiding the reader through current debates and literatures in the context of the historical development of systematic theological reflection. Organized thematically, it treats in detail the full array of topics in systematic theology, as well as questions of its sources and norms, its relation to other theological and non-theological fields of enquiry, and some major trends in current work. Each article provides an analysis of research and debate on its topic, identifying and interpreting options and laying out the basis for the reader to explore the territory, asking: What are the critical issues? How have these issues developed and been expounded? What are the current prospects? The focus is on doctrinal (rather than historical) questions, and on major (rather than ephemeral) debates. The aim is to stimulate readers to reach theological judgements on the basis of consideration of the range of opinion.