Theologies of Preaching
One of the most vital genres of homiletical-theological reflection concerns a theology of preaching. It asks many crucial theological questions.
- What is the “Word of God”?
- How do we understand that Word in relation to scripture, preaching, or Christology?
- How do we understand the Word in relation to the Holy Spirit?
- What is the relationship of preaching to the church?
These and other questions occupied the Protestant Reformers along with Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions, but continue with us through neo-Orthodox understandings, and contemporary revisionist, feminist, and liberationist theologies. Theologies of preaching are concerned with discerning what God is up to in the act of preaching.
Lutheran Theologies of Preaching
Ebeling, Gerhard. God and Word. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1967.
—. Theology and Proclamation. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1966.
—. Word and Faith. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1963.
Fant, Clyde. Bonhoeffer: Worldly Preaching. Nashville: Nelson, 1975.
Hall, Thor. The Future Shape of Preaching. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1971.
Lischer, Richard. A Theology of Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon, 1981.
Schwarz, Hans. Divine Communication. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985.
Sittler, Joseph. The Ecology of Faith. Philadelphia: Muhlenberg, 1961.
—.The Anguish of Preaching. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1966.
Stuempfle, Hermann. Preaching Law and Gospel. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1978.
Wingren, Gustav. The Living Word. Philadelphia: Muhlenberg, 1960.
Reformed Theologies of Preaching
Allmen, Jean-Jacques. Preaching and Congregation. Richmond: Knox, 1962.
Barth, Karl. The Preaching of the Gospel. Philadelphia: Trans. B. E. Hooke; Philadelphia:
—. The Word of God and the Word of Man. Trans. D. Horton; New York: Harper, 1957.
Bartow, Charles. God’s Human Speech. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997.
Bohren, Rudolf. Preaching and Community. Richmond: Knox, 1965.
Brueggemann, Walter. The Word Militant: Preaching a Decentering Word. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007.
Buttrick, David. A Captive Voice. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1994.
Campbell, Charles. Preaching Jesus. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997.
Clowney, Edmund. Preaching and Biblical Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1961.
Duke, Robert. The Sermon as God’s Word. Nashville: Abingdon, 1980.
Farmer, H. H. The Servant of the Word. New York: Scribners, 1942.
Forsythe, P. T. Positive Preaching and the Modern Mind. Armstrong, 1907.
Ford, D. W. Cleverley. The Ministry of the Word. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979.
Kay, James. Preaching and Theology. St. Louis: Chalice, 2007.
Kraemer, Hendrick. The Communication of the Christian Faith. Philadelphia: Westminster,
Lüthi, Walther. Preaching, Confession, Lord’s Supper. Richmond: Knox, 1960.
Marcel, Pierre Ch. The Relevance of Preaching. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1963.
Miller, Donald. Fire in Thy Mouth. Nashville: Abingdon, 1954.
Ott, Heinrich. Theology and Preaching. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1961.
Philibert, Michel André Jean. Christ’s Preaching and Ours. Richmond: Knox, 1963.
Pitt-Watson, Ian. Preaching: A Kind of Folly. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1978.
Ritschl, Dietrich. A Theology of Proclamation. Richmond: Knox, 1960.
Additional Protestant Traditions (Denomination in Caps)
Adam, Peter. Speaking God’s Words: A Practical Theology of Preaching. Leicester: InterVarsity, 1996. EVG
Beaudean, John. Paul’s Theology of Preaching. Macon, GA: Mercer, 1988. BAP
Browne, Robert. The Ministry of the Word. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1976. ANG
Casserly, J. V. Apologetics and Evangelism. Philadelphia: Westminster, 1962. ANG
Childers, Jana, ed. Purposes of Preaching. St. Louis: Chalice, 2004.
N.B.: Childers’ volume surveys several contemporary homileticians from a variety of traditions about their view of the “why” of preaching, an important element of any theology of preaching.
Cho, Il Koo, “Preaching as a Theological Act.” PhD diss., Claremont, 1995.
Chopp, Rebecca. The Power to Speak. New York: Crossroad, 1991. UMC
English, Donald. An Evangelical Theology of Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon, 1996.
González, Justo and Catherine González. Liberation Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon, 1980.
Greiser, David B. and Michael King. Anabaptist Preaching. Scottsdale, PA: Herald, 2003. MENN
Jones, John Ithel. The Holy Spirit and Christian Preaching. London: Epworth, 1967.
Knox, John. The Integrity of Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon, 1957. ANG
LaRue, Cleophus. I Believe I’ll Testify: The Art of African-American Preaching. Louisville: WJKP, 2011. BAP
Mitchell, Henry. The Recovery of Preaching. New York: Harper, 1977. BAP
Moyd, Olin. The Sacred Art. Valley Forge: Judson, 1995. BAP
Niles, D.T. The Preacher’s Task and the Stone of Stumbling. New York: Harper, 1958. METH
Pittenger, W. Norman. Proclaiming Christ Today. Seabury, 1962. ANG
—. Preaching the Gospel. Morehouse-Barlow, 1984. ANG
Rust, Eric. The Word and the Words. Macon, GA: Mercer, 1982.
Sellers, James. The Outsider and the Word of God. New York: Abingdon, 1961. UMC
Sleeth, Ronald. Proclaiming the Word. New York: Abingdon, 1964. UMC
Taylor, Gardner. How Shall They Preach? Elgin, IL: Progressive Baptist, 1977. BAP
Turner Mary D. and Mary Lin Hudson. Saved from Silence. St. Louis: Chalice, 1999. DIS
Willimon, William. Peculiar Speech. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992. UMC
—. Proclamation and Theology. Nashville: Abingdon, 2005.
Catholic Theologies of Preaching
Burke, John. Gospel Power. New York: Alba, 1978.
—. A New Look at Preaching. Wilmington, DE: Glazier, 1983.
Church, Aloysius. The Theology of the Word of God. Notre Dame: Fides, 1970.
Danielou, Jean. Christ and Us. New York: Sheed & Ward, 1962.
Fichtner, Joseph. To Stand and Speak for Christ. New York: Alba, 1981.
Grasso, Domenico. Proclaiming God’s Message. South Bend, IN: Notre Dame, 1965.
Henry, A.M., A Mission Theology. Notre Dame, IN: Fides, 1962.
Hilkert, Mary Catherine. Naming Grace. New York: Continuum, 1997.
Hitz, Paul. To Preach the Gospel. New York: Sheed & Ward, 1963.
Jungmann, Josef A., The Good News, Yesterday & Today. New York: Sadlier, 1962.
Kahmann, J. The Bible on the Preaching of the Word. De Pere, WI: Norbert, 1965.
Miller, Charles. Ordained to Preach. New York: Alba, 1992.
National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Fulfilled in Your Hearing. Washington, DC: USCC,
Rahner, Hugo et al. A Theology of Proclamation. New York: Herder, 1968.
Rahner, Karl, ed., The Renewal of Preaching. New York: Paulist, 1968.
Rahner, Karl et al., The Word: Readings in Theology. New York: Kenedy, 1964.
Rahner, Karl. Theological Investigations (Vol IV, Chapter 10). London: DLT, 1966.
Rock, Augustine. Unless They Be Sent. Dubuque, IA: Brown, 1953.
Schmaus, Michael. Preaching as a Saving Encounter. Staten Island, NY: Alba, 1966.
Schmeiser, James, ed. Celebrating the Word. Toronto: Anglican Book Centre, 1977.
Semmelroth, Otto. The Preaching Word. New York: Herder, 1965.
Orthodox Theologies of Preaching
Chrysostom. On the Priesthood.
Breck, John. The Power of the Word in the Worshipping Church. Crestwood, NY: St.
Schmemann, Alexander. “The Sacrament of the Word,” in The Eucharist. Trans. P. Kachur; Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1987.