VTS Announces the Publication of “The Craft of Innovative Theology”

Date: February 1, 2022

Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) announces the publication of The Craft of Innovative Theology: Argument and Process (2022, Wiley-Blackwell) edited by the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D., dean and president of VTS. Ph.D. and John Allan Knight, Ph.D., the Sprigg Visiting Professor of Philosophical Theology and director of faculty research.

“There are countless books that are solid introduction to the ‘content’ of theological research, there is less that explains the mysteries of the ‘process’ of theological research,” said Dean Markham. “Working with with Dr. Knight was a complete joy. We hope this book will help students to learn how to become creative theologians.”

The Craft of Innovative Theology: Argument and Process delivers a thorough examination of the method of producing and writing creative theological theses and projects, explaining to students how to write elegant, innovative research-oriented articles. Through a collection of papers written by distinguished scholars, the text exhibits numerous examples of well-executed creative writing on topics as varied as theodicy and evolution, and artificial intelligence and baptism.

Each article includes an introduction by the editor that serves to guide the student through the material and elucidates what makes the work stand out as exceptional. The articles are also annotated to assist with the appreciation of the methodology and style used by the author. The Craft of Innovative Theology assists theology students in improving their research writing to a point where they’ll be ready for a Masters’ thesis or PhD dissertation and is an excellent resource for a research methods course in a graduate program.

The works incorporated by the editors include:

  • A thorough introduction to God and the Incarnation, including knowing God through religious pluralism
  • An exploration of God and church, including racial stigma and the southern Baptist public discourse in the twentieth century, and the appropriateness of baptizing artificial intelligence
  • A discussion of God and the world, including where humanity has come from and where we’re going, and the challenges posed by biological evolution to Christian theology
  • A treatment of God and ethics, including sin and the faces of responsibility

Perfect for students of postgraduate theology and research methods courses, The Craft of Innovative Theology: Argument and Process will also earn a place in the libraries of students in courses that prepare them to write a Masters’ thesis in theology or to begin shaping their PhD dissertation topic.

Each article features an introduction by the editors that serves to guide readers through the selection and describes the traits that make the work stand out. The articles are also annotated to make it easier for students to appreciate the methodology and style used by the author.

The Craft of Innovative Theology readily improves students’ research writing and allows them to tackle a Masters’ thesis or PhD dissertation with confidence. It is an essential resource for students taking a research methods course in a graduate program, as well as for postgrad.

Recently the Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Marist College, Knight is a graduate of the University of Chicago. Knight is the author of Liberalism versus Postliberalism: The Great Divide in Twentieth-Century Theology (2012, Oxford University Press), and several articles in both scholarly and popular journals. He is currently working on a book on religious freedom and the nature of religious claims.

Markham has degrees from King’s College London, the University of Cambridge, and a PhD from the University of Exeter. He is the author of numerous books, including Against Atheism: Why Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris are Fundamentally Wrong (Wiley Blackwell, 2010), The New Apologetics: At the Intersection of Secularism, Science, and Spirituality (2020, Fortress Academic), A Theology of Engagement (Blackwell, 2003), Truth and the Reality of God (1998, T&T Clark), and Plurality and Christian Ethics (1994, Cambridge University Press).


Founded in 1823 as a beacon of hope in a country new and finding its way, Virginia Theological Seminary has led the way in forming leaders of the Episcopal Church, including the Most Rev. John E. Hines (VTS 1933, D.D. 1946), former presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church; the Rt. Rev. John T. Walker (VTS 1954, D.D. 1978), the first African-American bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington; and theologian, author and lay preacher Ms. Verna J. Dozier (VTS D.D. 1978). Serving the worldwide Anglican Communion, Virginia Theological Seminary educates approximately 25% of those being ordained who received residential theological education. Visit us online: www.vts.edu.


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