Rob Saler, research fellow and director of the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Programs here at CTS, has a new book out!
Between Magisterium and Marketplace:
A Constructive Account of Theology and the Church
by Robert C. Saler
Fortress Press, 2014
From the back of the book:
What is the relationship of the church to theology? How does the church relate to the work of creative theological authorship, particularly when authors propose novel claims? Even more, how do ecclesial models, particularly of ecclesial authority, underwrite or authorize how theology is done? Saler takes up these challenging and provocative questions and argues for a fresh ecclesiology of the church as event, specifically as a diffusively spatialized event.
Establishing this claim through the fascinating historical encounters between thinkers like Thomas More and William Tyndale, John Henry Newman and Friedrich Schleiermacher, Between Magisterium and Marketplace provides a theological genealogy of modern ecclesiology, arguing that modern and contemporary ecclesiology is a theological contest not between Barth and Schleiermacher, but rather Newman and Schleiermacher. Constructing an alternative path, Saler turns to the work of a diverse array of authors past and present to argue for a humble yet hopeful view of the theological task in light of contemporary ecclesial opportunities.
Praise for Between Magisterium and Marketplace
“In this excellent and clearly written book, Rober Saler argues that theological creativity and the authority of the church are not at odds so long as the church is understood as an event of the gospel. Saler makes his case through an argument that touches on important historical moments and decisive methodological concerns. This book is important for both those committed to a broad and energetic theological artistry and those who consider theology as a church practice.” Gregory A. Walter, St. Olaf College
“Saler makes a persuasive case for what he calls a ‘diffuse’ understanding of church. He brilliantly extends Joseph Sittler’s subversive ecological ecuminism, Vito Westhelle’s church as ‘event,’ and even Karl Barth’s ecclesiology of hope, to offer a compelling alternative to authoritarian high-magisterial ecclesiologies today. With eloquence and clarity, he shows that the task of theology is truth-telling about God’s redemptive work in surprising and unpredictable spaces in the world, both inside and outside the church.” Barbara R. Rossing, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago