Recovering Neglected Theologians: Series to Date
So far, we have had guest post entries for recovering the following neglected theologians:
I am expecting guest entries on Georgia Harkness (Methodist theologian and first American woman to become an academic theology professor in a seminary) or Geoffrey Wainwright; British Methodist Richard Watson; St. Isaac of Ninevah (I hope); Baptist ethicist and defender of church-state separation, James Dunn (not to be confused with the British NT theologian, James D.G. Dunn); Lutheran biblical theologian Samuel Terrien; Haitian priest and liberation theologian Jean-Bertrand Aristide (BEFORE he became the president and then-deposed president of Haiti); Fr. Urban Holmes; Brazilian Franciscan and liberation theologian Leonardo Boff (although I didn’t know Boff was neglected–it may show how much liberation theologies themselves are being marginalized, today). Maybe others. Except for Harkness no one has volunteered to write any entries for women, although there are many who could be added to such a list.
I plan to write at least one entry to this series–on Richard Overton, the patron “saint” of this blog. I am holding off on commitments to others in order to see what others submit. But I make the following suggestions for those who might wonder about submitting an entry, but no one comes to mind:
- French Reformed theologian Jacques Ellul
- Ellul’s American “counterpart,” the Episcopal lay theologian, William Stringfellow
- Muriel Lester
- St. Hildegaard of Bingen
- Dame Julian of Norwich
- D. C. Mackintosh
- Gerrard Winstanley, founder of the Digger Movement
- British Baptist John Clifford–who was the Rauschenbusch of the UK, imo
- Paul Lehmann
- Suzanne de Dietrich
- H. Wheeler Robinson
- Dale Moody
- J. Deotis Roberts
- Almost ANY Eastern Orthodox figure
- Fr. Daniel Berrigan, S.J.
- P.T. Forsyth
- Andre Trocme
- Howard Thurman (there is a small recovery of Thurman among African-Americans, but, like most African-American thinkers, he is nearly completely ignored by white Christians–except, in Thurman’s case, by Quakers)
Daniel Schweissing is correct to say, in the comments, that more women and theologians from the two-thirds world need to be included. Some are on the way and I have suggested some others, but let me be intentional in some neglected figures from outside the white, Western, male theological tradition:
- Toyohiko Kagawa (Japan)
- Takashi Yamada (Japanese Mennonite)
- Mercy Amba Odoyuye (Methodist woman–feminist theologian in Ghana)
- Lucretia Mott (19th C. Hicksite Quaker)
- Osadolor Imasogie (Baptist theologian in Nigeria)
- Elsa Tamez (Methodist NT theologian in Mexico)
- Jorge Pixley (American Baptist transplanted to Nicaragua)
- Archbishop Malkhaz Songashvili of the Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia–and a leader of the nonviolent Rose Revolution there.
- Luís Rivera-Pagán of Puerto Rico
- Letty M. Russell, just deceased pioneer of feminist theology in the USA
- Allan Boesak, South Africa
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Ret.), South Africa
Surely many more could be suggested. I have avoided most of the “big names” in global liberation theologies because I hope and pray they aren’t being neglected, but after I received the suggestion for a guest post on Leonardo Boff, I became very depressed at the thought that the Western world has gone back to the pattern of ignoring the Two-Thirds World and its theologians, after such a brief break in that pattern during the ’70s and ’80s. Those of my readers who are in academic theology posts or seminary/divinity school programs, please tell me that is not true!
And those are just the ones who come easily to my mind. I think theology is impoverished by faddishness and needs to recover major voices of the past–recent and farther past. That’s the reason for this series.
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