Book Recommendation

I’m not making one here, I’m actually looking for one. 

Right now I’m reading Geico Muller-Fahrenholz’s The Kingdom and the Power: The Theology of Jürgen Moltmann before I get into Moltmann’s own writing.  This is actually proving to be a good idea since this book is a nice introduction to some of the major aspects of Moltmann’s theology.  I was fascinated to learn of his conversion while in P.O.W. camp, it’s truly a moving story — no wonder he’s a liberation theologian! 

But I wanted to ask my theologian friends out there in the blogosphere who they would recommend that I read first after finishing up with Moltmann: Hans Urs von Balthasar or Eberhard Jüngel?  I’m looking to get into more German (speaking) theology and while I do have Pannenberg’s Jesus: God and Man I have found it a little too challenging at the moment.  I’ve received reports that Moltmann is going to take some re-reading to grasp as well. 

So what’s it gonna be?  Jüngel or Balthasar?  Given my predilection for Trinitarian theology I’d be more interested in whoever has the better (not sure that’s the right word) of the two.  Thanks!

Oh, I might also note that I’m looking for contemporary 20th or 21st century theologians to read right now.  Barth and Brunner have already been recommended and one of my goals for this year is to get into Barth.  I’ve already started his commentary on Romans. 

B”H

7 thoughts on “Book Recommendation

  1. Gosh, I don’t know what to tell you, but you sure did the right thing in reading about Moltmann’s theology before trying to read it. I’m in Theology of Hope now, and doing I think a rather abysmal job of making it intelligible even to myself.

    It’s a lot like philosophy, awfully hard without a expert guiding you. If you come up with any good ideas let me know. I’m conflicted whether to stick with Moltmann or drop it in favor of something easier.

  2. I would go with von Balthasar. Don’t tackle Jungel until you’ve done Barth.

  3. Meadow,

    I’m with you. I couldn’t make any sense out of Theology of Hope either. I picked it up after hearing all these great things but ended up being pretty disappointed.

  4. For trinitarian theology you must start with TF Torrance. Begin with The Mediation of Christ, then the Trinitarian Faith and finally God in Three Persons. Then Barth, then Jungel.

  5. If you do choose to read von Balthasar on the Trinity, just note that his trinitarian theology is scattered among the volumes of his great trilogy, particularly the Theo-Drama and the Theo-Logic. It might be good to read some introductory essay, e.g., Rowan Williams’ essay in The Cambridge Companion to Hans Urs von Balthasar…

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