A pastor asked me what he could read for a basic understanding of historical theology. Out of all the great books out there, here is what I recommended. I don’t claim that this is an exhaustive list, but it will give someone a solid foundation in the important theologians and the history of doctrine. I will give my Early and Medieval Church list now and the Reformation and Modern Church tomorrow.
Are there any books that have helped you that you would like to add? I apologize for the formatting issue–my Word document didn’t mesh well with WordPress, and I fixed what was fixable without retyping the entire thing.
1. General survey
Olson, Roger E. The Story of Christian Theology. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1999.
McGrath, Alistair. Historical Theology. Wiley-Blackwell, 1998.
John Hannah. Our Legacy: The History of Christian Doctrine. NavPress, 2001.
2. Early Church
Chadwick, Henry. The Early Church. New York: Penguin Books, 1967; revised 1993.
Frend, W.H. C. The Rise of Christianity. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1984.
Quasten, Johannes. Patrology. 4 volumes. Westminster, M.D.: Christian Classics, 1986.
Brown, Peter. Augustine of Hippo. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969.
Hanson, R. P. C. The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God: the Arian Controversy, 318-81. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1988.
b. Primary Sources
Stevenson, J. Creeds, Councils, and Controversies. London: SPCK, second edition, 1989.
_____. The New Eusebius. London: SPCK, second edition, 1987.
Augustine. The Confessions. Trans. Maria Boulding. Hyde Park, N.Y.: New City Press, 1997.
Anti-Pelagian Writings of Augustine. Selections from Philip Schaff, ed. Nicene and
Post-Nicene Fathers, first series, vol. 5: Anti-Pelagian Writings (Edinburgh: T.
& T. Clark; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, reprinted 1991).
3. Medieval Church
Copleston, Frederick C. A History of Medieval Philosophy. New York: Harper & Row, 1972; repr. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1990.
Ozment, Steven. The Age of Reform: 1250-1550. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980.
Southern, R. W. Saint Anselm: A Portrait in a Landscape. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
Weisheipl, James A. Friar Thomas D’Aquino. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, 1974.
b. Primary Sources
Pegis, Anton C., ed. Introduction to St. Thomas Aquinas. New York: Random House, 1945.
Erasmus, The Praise of Folly. New York: Penguin, 1971.