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One of the Guardian Unlimited Books' top 10 literary blogs: "A home-grown treasure ... smart, serious analysis"

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Tuesday 24 April 2007


A favour: do any readers know of a good theological/philosophical book on the (Christian) concept of grace? Any tip-offs? Thanks so much!

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Reader Comments

Tuesday 24 April 2007

Geoff says...

What's So Amazing About Grace, by Philip Yancy is a well written anecdotal discussion of Grace. It avoids in-depth philosophy or theology (at least, as normally understood - its all there but underpinning rather than on the surface as in an academic essay), so if that's what you're looking for it might not be right, but for someone unfamilar with the concept it is a powerful explanation of the key themes, of the 'point' of it.

Tuesday 24 April 2007

Mark says...

Thanks Geoff, good of you to write. That'll be a fine starting point, I'm sure.
Everyone else: any other tips? Geoff's book looks decent enough, but I'm really after something that is more of a theological overview, something a bit heavier i.e. a book that tells me that this theologian reckons grace is this, whereas the Catholic Church thinks it is this, and Wesley thought it was that, etc.!

Tuesday 24 April 2007

Leora Skolkin-Smith says...

Mark, you might check out the whole Oxford Series about Christianity (The Oxford Early Christian Studies). Seemed impressive (to me). One book in the series is called: "Grace and Christology in Early Christianity"
Here's a link:

Tuesday 24 April 2007

Mark says...

Hiya Leora,

Ooh, thanks for this. Ace.

I'll blog about this separately but, thinking about Christian History, the publisher IB Tauris are just about to start releasing an impressive looking history of the church -- some details here:;=I.B%20Tauris%20History%20of%20the%20Christian%20Church%20S.&sort;=sort_title&TAG;=&CID;=ibtauris


Tuesday 24 April 2007

Levi Stahl says...

A friend suggests a couple of ideas: try looking up Monica Hellwig, a Catholic lay theologian who wrote a series of short paperbacks under the heading "What the Theologians Think About . . . " and most likely included grace as a topic; she crosses boundaries and is not writing from a strictly Catholic perspective. He also suggests Loome Theological Books, an antiquarian theological bookseller that can be found online; he suggests calling them with your question because their staff is knowledgeable.

Tuesday 24 April 2007

Scott says...

G.C. Berkouwer's *The Triumph of Grace in the Theology of Karl Barth* is a marvelous treatment of grace in general. Dietrich Bonhoeffer's *Life Together* is about the communal experience of grace.

Tuesday 24 April 2007

Robert Cheeks says...

You may enjoy Msgr. Robert Sokolowski's Christian Faith and Human Understanding, a collection of essays which include a discussion of the German theologian, Spearman sp, ideas on the "heart." An indepth read.

Wednesday 25 April 2007

Sylvia says...

You could get your hands on a large variety of books of your choice on this book site.Hope it helps.

Wednesday 25 April 2007

Mark says...

Thanks to all for all these tips, wonderfully helpful ... I'll chase these books down asap.

Wednesday 25 April 2007

eddy b. says...

The famous French philosopher Simone Weil has also written on grace, in Gravity and Grace. See the Wikipedia article on Weil:
La Pesanteur et la Grace (1947) Gravity and Grace – English translation 1952, Routledge Kegan Paul 2002 edition: ISBN 0-415-29001-5, Bison Books 1997 edition: ISBN 0-8032-9800-5. This was the first compendium of her work, compiled posthumously by her friend Gustave Thibon.

See also an (older) article on Weil by Susan Sontag, later collected in Against Interpretation:

Wednesday 25 April 2007

LIZE says...

I recommend Stepping Out of Denial into God's Grace Participant's Guide #1 by John Baker and Rick Warren. Warren, as you might know, wrote the mega blockbuster book, The Purpose Driven Life.

Hope this helps.


Thursday 26 April 2007

Sophie of DAP says...


I'm asking my friend William, who is a young priest and an elegant dresser and will probably be able to answer from all angles.

Sunday 29 April 2007

Mark says...

Thanks everyone for all these suggestions!


Thursday 03 May 2007

nc says...

I have two suggestions a bit belatedly....
History and Theology of Grace by Fr. John Hardon and Grace, Predestination and the Salvfic Will of God by Fr William Most. both are in print.....

Friday 11 May 2007

Gregory says...

I've just discovered your page ... very interesting. I the hope you might still be looking for reliable books on the subject of grace I can recommend William C. Placher, The Domestication of Transcendence (Westminster/Jhn Knox Press, 1996).

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