Religion professor publishes theological trilogy and sermon collection

SALEM, Va. - Dr. Paul R. Hinlicky, the Tise Professor of Lutheran Studies at Roanoke College, has authored three volumes in Christian theology. The first, Paths Not Taken: Fates of Theology from Luther through Leibniz, was released by Eerdmans Publishing Company in August 2009. The second volume, Luther and the Beloved Community: A Path for Christian Theology after Christendom, is due to be released by Eerdmans in May, followed by the final volume, Divine Complexity: A Theological Account of the Rise of Creedal Christianity, to be released this November by Fortress Press.

Paths Not Taken explores the ways in which modern Christian theology has diverged from Martin Luther's reforming vision of the Church as a community of love, resulting in a loss of both audience and theme. The book, Hinlicky writes, tells "the tale of the fate of theology in early modernity from Luther's great endeavor on behalf of the autonomy of revealed theology as a discipline through Melanchthon to Leibniz and on to Barth."

Luther and the Beloved Community explores how Luther as teacher of the faith can be of help today, when theology is perceived in relation to the coming of the "Beloved Community"-an ideal of social justice popularized by Luther's namesake, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Divine Complexity intentionally combines Reformation theology, patristic studies (studies of the Church fathers) and modern biblical criticism in order to argue for a "social" view of the Trinity-the view of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as three distinct persons united in love-as the grounds of the Christian hope in the coming of the "Beloved Community."

Hinlicky expresses gratitude for the support his scholarship has enjoyed in the decade he's been with the College: "The publication of this weighty trilogy would not have occurred without Roanoke College's commitment to scholarship in general and theological scholarship in particular. I hope this will enhance the reputation of our major in theology across North America and beyond."

In addition to the trilogy, a collection of Hinlicky's sermons, Proclaiming God's Word according to Luther's Doctrine to Americans Today, is due to be released shortly from ALPB Books. The book is organized around the Apostles' Creed and includes three Easter sermons given to a shocked and grieving community after the 2007massacre at Virginia Tech.

Roanoke College, an independent, co-educational, four-year liberal arts college in Salem, Virginia, combines firsthand learning with valuable personal connections in a classic, undergraduate setting. Roanoke prepares students for their futures through its commitment to providing a true classic college experience. Roanoke is one of just 280 colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review names Roanoke as one of the "best in the Southeast."

For additional information, call the Roanoke College Public Relations Office at (540) 375-2282.

Released: April 19, 2010
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