My ongoing research lies in three main directions: (1) modern German theology, particularly the work of Rudolf Bultmann; (2) the rule of faith and biblical hermeneutics; and (3) historical and ecumenical theology.
1. Rudolf Bultmann
I am not yet done with the great Marburg theologian!
Having written two books on Bultmann’s theology, I am currently working on an advanced introduction to his life and work for Bloomsbury/T&T Clark as part of their “Guides for the Perplexed” series. This volume will have the accessibility of my recent book, Rudolf Bultmann: A Companion to His Theology, but it will be much more comprehensive. A key feature will be an extensive glossary of key terms.
I am editing a collection of writings by Karl Barth and Rudolf Bultmann in response to each other’s work during the 1950s. Between 1952 and 1959, Barth and Bultmann engaged in a public dispute over a host of theological and hermeneutical issues. Until now these writings have been scattered among various works, all of them now out of print. This volume, forthcoming from Cascade Books (Wipf & Stock), will gather them in one place and provide an introduction to the debate.
I am also editing a volume of Bultmann’s writings for Fortress Press’s Shapers of Modern Theology series. This will likely appear in 2018 or 2019.
2. Interrogating the Rule of Faith
My next monograph will be a study of the so-called “rule of faith” (regula fidei). For some time now I have been in dialogue and debate with work in the burgeoning field of “theological interpretation of scripture.” A central feature of this school of thought is the claim that biblical interpretation should be normed by the church’s rule of faith. But what exactly is this rule? Who determines its content? And how do we understand what it means to be in continuity with such a rule—if there is one—in the face of the diversity of Christian history and world Christianity? These are the questions I will be exploring in my next work.
3. A Revisionist History of Twentieth-Century Theology
My long-term research agenda is to write a revisionist history of twentieth-century theology under title, Spectres of Barth. The project subjects to historical analysis and critique the claim that postliberalism is an extension of the revolution inaugurated by Karl Barth in the 1920s. While most scholars acknowledge that postliberal theologians have diverse interests and claims that go beyond or even against Barth, the general assumption is that postliberalism is a variation on dialectical theology rather than—as I contend—a rejection of it. This has significant implications for understanding ecumenism and ecclesiology today.