Baker Academic has a brand new website! Click Here To Visit:

Mapping Modern Theology

A Thematic and Historical Introduction

Cover Art Request Exam Copy

Where to Purchase

More Options


"This intriguing volume tackles the traditional loci of systematic theology through the lens of modernity's particular challenges. An excellent textbook and focus for debate."--Sarah Coakley, University of Cambridge

This text offers a fresh approach to modern theology by approaching the field thematically, covering classic topics in Christian theology over the last two hundred years. The editors, leading authorities on the history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century theology, have assembled a respected team of international scholars to offer substantive treatment of important doctrines and key debates in modern theology. The volume enables undergraduate and graduate students in modern theology, twentieth-century theology, and contemporary theology courses to trace how key doctrinal questions were discussed, where the main debates lie, and how ideas developed.
1. Introduction: On "Modernity" as a Theological Concept    Bruce L. McCormack
2. The Trinity    Fred Sanders
3. Divine Attributes    Stephen R. Holmes
4. Scripture and Hermeneutics    Daniel J. Treier
5. Creation    Katherine Sonderegger
6. Anthropology    Kelly M. Kapic
7. The Person of Christ    Bruce L. McCormack
8. Atonement    Kevin J. Vanhoozer
9. Providence    John Webster
10. Pneumatology    Telford Work
11. Soteriology    Richard Lints
12. Christian Ethics    Brian Brock
13. Practical Theology    Richard R. Osmer
14. Ecclesiology    Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen
15. Eschatology    Michael Horton


"This outstanding collection of essays with contributions from leaders in the field will appeal to scholars and students alike. The format is classical: a topical overview of particular doctrines. By combining careful attention to the development of the different loci in the modern period alongside sensitivity to the theological nuances involved in each doctrine, the editors have managed to provide the reader with a genuine alternative to other textbooks. The essays are all excellent, setting a high watermark for other such symposia. It should quickly establish itself as a resource of choice for those wanting a comprehensive account of modern Christian theology that is alert to historical as well as systematic considerations. I highly recommend it."

Oliver Crisp, professor of systematic theology, Fuller Theological Seminary

"This intriguing volume fills a gap in teaching materials for theological students that has long been noteworthy: it tackles the traditional loci of systematic theology through the lens of modernity's particular challenges. Not a history of doctrine nor yet a systematic theology in itself, it introduces the reader to the chief problems that Christian systematic theology has had to face in the modern and contemporary periods when seeking to defend, or at times adjust, its classic heritage. Intended primarily for students in the Reformed tradition, this book will prove to be an excellent textbook and focus for debate; the editors are to be congratulated on the quality and insightfulness of the contributions."

Sarah Coakley, Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge

"This collection of fifteen essays on key topics will repay careful study. Through examining the different ways in which the central doctrines of the Christian faith have been handled under the pressures of modernity, it provides valuable orientation for students of modern theology. Clear, informed, and insightful, it deserves inclusion on all relevant reading lists."

David Fergusson, professor of divinity and principal of New College, University of Edinburgh

"A volume such as this is a welcome guide indeed to the contours of modern theology. Especially valuable is the organization of this book according to the classical doctrinal loci and central concerns of the Christian theological tradition. An impressive lineup of scholars provides a sure guide to the ways each of these concerns has been treated within the context of modernity and demonstrates thereby the necessity of our striving, even if sometimes failing, to tell of the gospel in ways both responsible to the tradition and alert to the realities of contemporary culture."

Murray Rae, professor of theology, University of Otago

"This is an unusually helpful book. Clearly written, reliable, and illuminating, it traces the development of key Christian doctrines throughout the modern period, and in so doing offers a lucid introduction to modern theology. The best book of its kind. Highly recommended."

Adam A. Neder, associate professor of theology, Whitworth University

The Authors

  1. Kelly M. Kapic

    Kelly M. Kapic

    Kelly M. Kapic (PhD, King's College, University of London) is a professor of theological studies at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, where he has taught for twenty years. He is an award-winning author or editor of more than fifteen books,...

    Continue reading about Kelly M. Kapic

  2. Bruce L. McCormack

    Bruce L. McCormack

    Bruce L. McCormack (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary; DrTheol hc, Friedrich Schiller University) is Charles Hodge Professor of Systematic Theology Emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. A world-renowned Barth scholar, he is a...

    Continue reading about Bruce L. McCormack


"The primary contribution of this book is its organizational structure, which seeks to fill a gap in the field with a genealogy of modern theology arranged around traditional systematic theological loci. This it does very well, enabling it to function equally usefully as a topical reference text or as an introductory textbook. Specifically written for a student readership, the style is appropriate for both college-level (assuming an adequate theological and philosophical background) and graduate-level instruction. . . . This book is recommended for those with an interest (whether broad or narrow) in theology's response to the provocations of modernity."

Will Williams,

Religious Studies Review

"This is a wonderful compendium of fifteen essays, contributed by a high-caliber array of evangelical scholars, that all concentrate on the development of various classical Christian doctrines over the course of the modern period. . . . The essays are . . . impressively informative. . . . While this book covers a lot of topical ground, it succeeds overall in providing a good balance of substantive breadth and depth. . . . The quality of these fifteen essays is consistently excellent. . . . Besides serving the more-general theologically interested readership, this compendium will serve very well as a supplemental textbook for any systematic theology or modern/contemporary theology courses of study. Does the book achieve its aim of organizing modern theology along the lines of classical doctrinal topics or themes so that more complete coverage of significant developments in each area of doctrinal construction might be achieved? The answer most definitely is Yes."

Jonathan King,


"What makes this volume, edited by Kapic and McCormack, unique in this genre of books is its attempt to tell the story of modern theology in a thematic format. . . . The fifteen chapters cover the typical topics of theology (e.g. creation, anthropology, atonement, pneumatology, etc.), each written by . . . a leading voice from within a broadly Reformed perspective. . . . Mapping Modern Theology is a welcome addition, and one which I as a teacher plan on adopting the next time around. Rarely does there come along a volume which is not only historically rich, but systematically nuanced and readable as well. Kapic and McCormack (and all the contributors) are to be commended for a fine book which will serve students well."

Myles Werntz,

Englewood Review of Books

"An interesting survey of contemporary theology."

R. Albert Mohler Jr.,

Preaching (Annual Preaching Survey of the Year's Best Books, 2012)

"[This volume] is extremely thorough without being pedantic, with much to commend it to students and scholars. . . . Although each author brings expert observations to the study of modern theology, the historical approach taken within each chapter ensures genuine continuity of approach and style. . . . As is often the case with introductions to the theology and theologians of the modern era, German ideas and persons occupy primacy of place. . . . Yet significant space is also given to other ideas and thinkers. . . . This broad scope makes this volume stand out amongst other works on modern theology without sacrificing any depth in the treatment of particular ideas or theologians. . . . The task of providing an introduction to modern theology in a thorough yet readable manner is a difficult one. On the whole, the authors have made a significant and beneficial contribution. They provide readers with a well organized thematic approach to trends and persons since the Enlightenment, giving breadth without sacrificing depth."

Joshua C. Miller,

Lutheran Quarterly

"The unique achievement of Mapping Modern Theology is showing the development of particular doctrines within modern theology [and] highlighting the theologians who carried these conversations forward. . . . This book provides a valuable map for every student of theology. It will be beneficial for those seeking an overview of modern theology as well as a crucial resource for systematic theology courses. For anyone interested in theology, this is an essential book for your shelf, but like the best maps, it is not meant to collect dust and should be underlined, notated, and dog-eared through continual use and enjoyment."

Wes Vander Lugt,

Jesus Creed blog

"The essays each stand alone. The authors were given the freedom to choose their approach and structure, as well as what to include and what to ignore. Each of them contributes positively to advancing the thesis of the book. The diversity of authorship and of approaches enhances the readability of the book. There is remarkable unity in the midst of the diversity. This is an excellent book. Upper-class college students and graduate students will find it understandable and instructive. Pastors and professors will find it helpful. Students will be grateful for such an insightful evaluation of an important period in the development of Christian thought. The essays summarize well the state of modern theology and help to set the context for the postmodern turn. It should be a required textbook in historical and systematic theology courses that deal with modern theology. It is highly recommended."

Glenn R. Kreider,

Criswell Theological Review

"This is a unique book and one that has been needed for a long time. . . . What has not appeared, till now, is a thematic approach that looks at individual doctrines from the standard loci of systematic theology and surveys that development in somewhat brief overviews from an evangelical perspective. That is what makes this volume valuable. . . . I found this to be a very helpful work that I will return to time and again in trying to understand this period. I teach a PhD seminar on nineteenth-century Protestant theology--I already know what one of the new textbooks is going to be."

Chad Brand,

Southern Baptist Journal of Theology

"Mapping Modern Theology is a collection of essays around the traditional theological loci. . . . What makes it distinctive is it aims to provide an introduction to how these doctrines have been articulated and discussed in the last two hundred years, what is termed as 'modern theology.'. . . Kapic and McCormack have gathered some excellent contributors."

Andy Goodliff,

Regent's Reviews

"This book serves as a good reminder of the impact our philosophical assumptions can have on our theology, even when we are not conscious of them (or even deny them). The book will also serve well anyone who wants to know how the various topics in systematic theology have been influenced by modernity. [It] could serve as a helpful textbook to a course on systematic theology or contemporary theology. . . . Readers will benefit greatly from the contributions in Mapping Modern Theology."

Andrew K. Gabriel,

Pneuma Review

"This is a great textbook for understanding what's happened in systematic theology over the last couple of centuries. . . . There's a sweet spot here in the shared space between evangelical and mainline scholarship. . . . Between them, Kapic and McCormack have really assembled a great team of writers, and this looks like a book that's going to help a lot of students and stay in use for quite a while. There are a few other overviews of modern theology available, but Mapping is likely to establish itself as the go-to text for college and seminary, for one main reason: its thematic organization. . . . The book is carefully designed with students in mind, to solve problems that Kapic and McCormack have seen their students encounter over their years of teaching modern theology."

Fred Sanders (a contributor to the volume),

The Scriptorium blog

"The editors' use of the well-worn and time-tested theological loci goes a long way in clearing the fog that often attends engagement with Modern Theology. Besides that overall positive element, we could list several other general strengths. The contributing authors for each chapter are, for the most part, outstanding. Some chapters may be better than others, but all of them are informative and handle their material with remarkable aplomb. There's quite a list of well-known names who have contributed to the volume. . . . The more or less Reformed perspective of the contributors is a bonus which provides at least some confessional standpoint from which to engage the vagaries of Modern Theology. . . . Mapping Modern Theology is a truly great contribution. It certainly deserves a place among graduate level textbooks providing an advanced introduction to Modern Theology."

Matthew Claridge,


"Designed as a textbook for theology students, Mapping Modern Theology is probably of limited usefulness outside the academy. But for its primary purpose, it is invaluable--nothing similar exists. If you want to get the gist of modern theological thought in reasonable chunks, look no further."

Caleb Nelson,

WORLD Magazine

"I highly recommend Mapping Modern Theology to students."

Stephen M. Garrett,

Journal of Reformed Theology