Stephen Prickett, Regius Professor Emeritus of English, University of Glasgow, and Honorary Professor, University of Kent at Canterbury
This is an unusual and original book designed to interest and encourage those thinking of studying theology or religious studies as an academic discipline - more specifically, those thinking of reading it at university. Unlike many academic subjects, Cherry argues, theology is more a matter of the questions you ask, than any traditional certainties: 'as an enterprise [it] only makes sense if you know that you don't know all the answers already.' Supporting his thesis by a sweeping history of Christianity in 20 Tweets, the Dean of Kings College, Cambridge, gives an interesting and thoughtful introduction to a subject that has increasingly come to fascinate him the more he has studied it.
Malcolm Guite, Priest, Poet, and Chaplain of Girton College, Cambridge
In a world of glib sound-bites, a world that sneers at 'experts', it has never been more important to encourage people to read and think for themselves. Stephen Cherry's accessible, passionate and entertaining introduction to the key ideas of Christian Theology does just that. Vital ideas are explained lucidly and powerfully, old ideas are brought to life in new contexts, and Stephen Cherry not only makes the case for theology, but stimulates a new enthusiasm for it.
Canon Mark Oakley, Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral
In the 21st century, theology might appear to be some historical residue left over from out-of-date worldviews, and studying it as quirky as trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics - but less interesting. Stephen Cherry characteristically makes us think again, pointing to theology as the disciplined, human and holistic way in which we explore the eternal questions that hover over every century. The rumour of God that circles the book, implying that reality might be worthy of trust, is compelling and unignorable. I hope this work will entice a new generation of theologians fit for purpose, imaginative in language, engagement and prayer.
Professor Mike Higton, Theology and Ministry, Durham University
This book is an invitation to ask deep questions. With brevity, clarity, and cheerful honesty Stephen Cherry explains how he came to be captivated by these questions - questions about God, about the purpose of life, about the nature of love - and beckons his readers to join him. Even if you have never before considered studying theology, this may well be the book that will persuade you to dive in.
In this short meditation on the meaning and importance of the theological quest, psychologist Cherry frames the discussion in a helpful way, viewing study as 'fun, fascinating, and important.' Cherry peeks into the many corners of the questioning world (both religious and not), from Socrates to Richard Dawkins, to flesh out his thesis. This approach works well as he paints a picture of an all-encompassing approach to the contemplation of religious ideas. Chapter 8 cleverly presents the study to a modern audience with 'A History of Christian Theology in Fewer than Twenty Tweets.' Drawing from the Bible and other texts, Cherry distills the theological quest into bite-sized units, focusing on ideas that relate to a contemporary audience seeking answers to their highest questions. 'Theology today has a huge and complex agenda, which can perhaps be boiled down to one very short, eternal question: What really matters?' This nicely sums up Cherry's thesis in this very readable, illuminating work.
Adrian RobertsThe Reader
One important aim of this book is to encourage young people to study theology at university, though it could equally well be used to stimulate anyone's interest in the subject. ...it gives a clear treatment of some difficult topics, and covers a huge range of material in some hundred and twenty pages. In conclusion, if you like its style, I think you will find this book both enjoyable and stimulating.