More Information
ISBN: 9781783689460
Imprint: Langham Monographs
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 9
Publication Date: 14/08/2014
Pages: 168
Language: English

In Academia for the Church

Eastern and Central European Theological Perspectives


Tension between theory and practice in theological education is an unfortunate yet common occurrence, with educators sometimes finding themselves on one extreme or the other. Some academics can be so immersed in high-level theological discourse that they hardly interact with the main questions of the average church-goer, while others are so keen to be engaging and relevant they fail to be rigorous in their scholarship. Regardless of the reasons the results are the same – failure to present the good news with a powerful, credible voice. To address this tension between academia and the church, a group of Eastern European theologians came together in the spring of 2013 in Berekfüdő, Hungary. This publication is a collection of 10 edited papers presented at that conference. While topics are addressed from a European context the principles behind them are far-reaching, providing important insight for the global church and academy alike.

Author Bios

Ábrahám Kovács
(Edited By)

DR ÁBRAHÁM KOVÁCS is an Associate Professor at Debrecen Reformed University. After obtaining his MTh from Princeton, he earned his PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 2003. He has published several books with Peter Lang and L’Harmattan Publishing House. Dr Kovács’ articles focus on Christian theology, comparative theologies, mission studies, Jewish- Christian relations and Scottish Hungarian church history. He is trained as a historian, theologian and historian of religion.

Zoltán Schwáb
(Edited By)

DR ZOLTÁN SCHWÁB earned his PhD in Old Testament studies from Durham University where he is currently a teaching assistant. Before commencing his theological research focusing on Old Testament wisdom literature he worked as the General Secretary of the Hungarian Fellowship of Evangelical Students.


In this volume the readers will be able to encounter the reflections of evangelical theologians from Eastern and Central Europe around the topic of In Academia for the Church. Important topics such as discipleship and spiritual formation, new dimensions of mission in the city or to minorities, and working at interdisciplinary fields have been engaged in a critical and constructive manner.

Tanya Petrova
Vice-rector for Academics Bulgarian Evangelical Theological Institute

I highly recommend this volume for ministers, educators, theologians and laymen from Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Europe since the issues discussed in local context are truly global.

Professor Botond Gaál
Doctor of Hungarian Academy of Sciences,
Debrecen Reformed Theological University

This collection is a rare gem. . . This book models a robust theological dialogue that points to the potential for transformed and transformative practices – those of the church in mission as well as those of the theological academy.

Rev Dr Darrell Jackson
Senior Lecturer in Missiology,
Morling College, Sydney

Christian scholarship and academic excellence have to be viewed as part of biblical stewardship, and although the relationship between the Academy and Ecclesia does not exist without tensions, we must continually strive for creative balance, mutual accountability and respect in order to achieve optimal synergies and advance the performative dynamic of both. This diverse collection of East European contributions asks contextually relevant questions and points in the right direction. 

Dr. Peter Kuzmic
Eva B. and Paul E. Toms Distinguished Professorof World Missions and European Studies,
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword
    1. Listening to One Another!
  2. Introduction
  3. Chapter 1
    1. History and Theology: Johann Philipp Gabler’s Legacy in Biblical Studies
    2. Tamás Czövek
      1. Johann Philipp Gabler
      2. Biblical Studies Void of Theology
      3. Biblical Studies Void of History
      4. Concluding Remarks
      5. Bibliography
  4. Chapter 2
    1. Should Theological Academic Environments Be More Spiritually Formative and Practical?
    2. Ksenija Magda
      1. The Task of Theological Academia
      2. What is Biblical?
      3. Some Concluding Propositions
      4. Bibliography
  5. Chapter 3
    1. From Knowledge to Understanding: Teaching Systematic Theology after Modernity
    2. Dóra Bernhardt
      1. After Modernity
      2. Systematic Theology after Modernity
      3. Conclusion
      4. Bibliography
  6. Chapter 4
    1. Developing Missional Leaders in the Reformed Church in Hungary: Missional Leadership in the City
    2. András Lovas
      1. The Problem to be Addressed: What Kind of Leadership?
      2. The Methodology and the Content of the Courses
      3. Relevant Issues from My Experience
      4. Some Concluding Remarks
      5. Bibliography
  7. Chapter 5
    1. A Growing Need for a Common Moral Vision: A Cry for Humble Co-operation between Theology and Other Disciplines
    2. István Pásztori-Kupán
      1. All are One?
      2. Sustainable Development: Plans and Illusions
      3. The Illusion of Moral Development
      4. The Illusion of a Morally Neutral Science
      5. A Possible Synergy between Theological Ethics and Sciences
      6. Bibliography
  8. Chapter 6
    1. The Place of the Theological Academy in the Church: A Case for Public Theology
    2. Tamás Béres
      1. The Church – How Christians Live Togethe
      2. The Relationship between Church and Academia
      3. Academia as an Opportunity – A Special Place for the Acceptance of
      4. Global Challenges
      5. An Answer to Today’s Worldwide Challenges: Public Theology
      6. How to Teach Theology Today? – Some Practical Examples
      7. Bibliography
  9. Chapter 7
    1. The Christian University: An Oxymoron or a Community of Faith and Knowledge
    2. Tibor Fabiny
      1. The Problem: Is There a ‘Christian University’?
      2. Experience – From a Personal Perspective
      3. The Vision – A Community of Faith and a Community of Knowledge
      4. Conclusion: A (Perhaps Utopian?) Vision of a Vibrant,
      5. Open-minded, Faith-oriented Community
      6. Bibliography
  10. Chapter 8
    1. Faith and Learning: Re-visiting the Idea of Christian University
    2. Corneliu Constantineanu
      1. The Re-emergence of Religion in the Social Arena
      2. The Search for Integration
      3. The Tension Requiring the Integration of Faith and Learning:
      4. Models of Integration
      5. A Christian University
      6. Conclusion: Christian University and Postmodern Culture
      7. Bibliography
  11. Chapter 9
    1. Choosing from Theology, theology, theology and THEOLOGY: A Plea Against Pigeonholing Theology in Universities
    2. Corneliu C. Simuț
      1. Who is Afraid of Theologians?
      2. What is Theology?
      3. Why Pigeonholing Theology?
      4. Concluding Remarks: The God of Pigeonholed Theology
      5. Bibliography
  12. Chapter 10
    1. Theological Education in Academia: A Convictional Theological Perspective on Evangelical Learning
    2. Parush R. Parushev
      1. The Challenge of Credibility and Relevance
      2. Challenges of Contextualization
      3. Education and Socialization
      4. Conclusion
      5. Bibliography
  13. Contributor’s Biographies


Tamás Béres

REV DR TAMÁ BÉRES is a university professor of Systematic Theology at the Lutheran Theological University in Budapest. Tamás wrote his PhD thesis on the role of myth in the theological work of Paul Tillich. Recently he defended his Habilitation thesis at Debrecen Reformed University, which was about ecotheology. For the past years he has addressed public theological questions in his professional activity.

Dóra Bernhardt

DÓRA BERNHARDT has an MA in languages and a ThM from Regent College, Vancouver, BC. She is currently teaching at the Department of English at the Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary and finishing her PhD studies at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in Systematic Theology. She has acted as sessional lecturer at the Central and Eastern European Institute for Mission Studies.

Corneliu Constantineanu

REV DR CORNELIU CONSTANTINEANU (PhD, University of Leeds and the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, UK) is Professor of New Testament Studies and Rector of Theological Pentecostal Institute in Bucharest, Romania. He is the former Academic Dean of Evanđeoski teološki fakultet in Osijek, Croatia where he taught for more than 16 years, and also the former Executive Director of the Areopagus Centre for Christian Studies and Contemporary Culture in Timisoara, Romania. In addition to his specialization and publications in the areas of Pauline theology and reconciliation, Corneliu has a special interest in pursuing a holistic understanding of the gospel as public truth, thus trying to integrate Christian faith with cultural, social and political realities of everyday life.

Tamás Czövek

REV DR TAMÁS CZÖVEK is an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in Hungary. He did his Masters degree in Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary and his PhD with the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. Currently he teaches Old Testament at the Pentecostal Seminary in Budapest.

Tibor Fabiny

DR TIBOR FABINY is Professor of English Literature and Hermeneutics at Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary where he is Head of the English Institute and Director of the Center for Hermeneutics including the Jonathan Edwards Center - Hungary. He is also a lay theologian, a member of the Lutheran Church in Hungary and the President of the Hungarian Luther Alliance. He has published books and articles widely on Christian Hermeneutics, the English Reformation and Literature of the 16th–17th Centuries.

András Lovas

RE DR ANDRÁS LOVAS is senior pastor of Gazdagrét Reformed Church in Budapest, Hungary. He also mentors church planters and is involved in seminary training for urban ministry and church planting at Károli Gáspár Reformed University. András holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in missional leadership in the city, having graduated from Bakke Graduate University in 2006.

Ksenija Magda

DR KSENIJA MAGDA, Doc Hab, is Professor of New Testament at the Theological Faculty ‘Matthias Flacius Illyricus’ in Zagreb, Croatia. Dr Magda completed her PhD at the London School of Theology (Brunel University) reading on Paul’s Territoriality and Mission Strategy in the Epistle of Romans. The book was published in Germany by Mohr-Siebeck Verlag. Dr Magda’s interest is the reception of biblical texts in contemporary contexts. She has been involved in the ministry of the Croatian Baptist Union where she was the Director of the Baptist Institute of Adult Training in Faith and Doctrines for 10 years and the President of Baptist Women for 12 years. Dr Magda is currently serving as Chair of the Academic Committee of the Board of Trustees of the International Baptist Theological Study Centre (Amsterdam).

Parush R. Parushev

REV DR PARUSH R. PARUSHEV, Doc Hab, (Bulgaria) is an ordained Baptist minister. He has doctoral degrees in applied mathematics (St Petersburg, Russia) and theology (Fuller, California) and Habilition in science and theology. Dr Parushev is currently the Rector and Dean of Research at the International Baptist Theological Seminary of the European Baptist Federation in Prague, Czech Republic. He is a senior lecturer in theology at IBTS and Free University Amsterdam and the founding Director of the Institute for Systematic Studies of Contextual Theologies (IBTS).

Istvan Pasztori-Kupan

REV DR ISTVÁN PÁSZTORI-KUPAN, MTh, PhD, Doc Hab, is a Professor of Reformed Systematic Theology and History of Christian Doctrine at the Protestant Theological Institute in Kolozsvár (Cluj), Transylvania, Romania. He obtained his PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 2003 and his Habilitation at the Reformed Theological University in Debrecen in 2010. His publications include a monograph about Theodoret of Cyrus, a Greek theologian of the fifth century, published in The Early Church Fathers series by Routledge in 2006.

Corneliu C. Simuţ

DR CORNELIU C. SIMUț is Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Emanuel University of Oradea, Romania. Professor Simuț holds a PhD in Church History from the University of Aberdeen, a ThD in Dogmatic Theology from the University of Tilburg, a Habilitation in Systematic Theology from the Reformed Theological University of Debrecen, and a DD (by publications) from the University of Pretoria. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Perichoresis, the theological journal of Emanuel University (published in conjunction with Walter de Gruyter Open), and has recently been appointed associate research fellow at the University of Pretoria.

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