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MacDougall headshot

This year, CDSP has a new summer reading list for incoming students. Each month between now and the official start of the summer reading season, we'll highlight some titles on the new list chosen by our faculty members. 

This month, Visiting Assistant Professor Scott MacDougall discusses two books that he hopes will help incoming students understand the purpose of studying theology. “People studying for ordained ministry aren’t training to become a theological Delta Force,” he says. “They’re training to facilitate other people’s theological exploration.”

Fredrica Harris Thompsett, “We Are Theologians: Strengthening the People of God”

“I am convinced that we as a church need to rediscover theology as the work of all people. It’s not optional, it’s a requirement for being a Christian person,” says MacDougall, who, like Thompsett, is a lay theologian. “Those of us who teach in seminaries are not an aristocratic class of professional theologians.

“The way Thompsett frames her case is deeply Anglican. She attends really closely to the ways in which Anglican people through time have done theology and what the concrete results of that work have been, especially the ways in which theologically sophisticated laypeople have led movements for social justice and changed from within the way the church looks.”

Diogenes Allen, “Theology for a Troubled Believer”

“This book is an introduction to systematic theology from the perspective of someone who believes that the task of doing theology should be deeply troubling and painful,” says MacDougall. “He does this in narrative form, using examples from philosophy, literature, scripture and the lives of the saints, and raises thorny theological issues that we will investigate more fully in my courses.”