Alan Sell maintains that systematic and constructive theology are best understood as the product of a conversation with the biblical writers, the heritage of Christian thought and the current intellectual environment. The conversation will benefit if the voices of hinterland writers are heard as well as those of the theological and philosophical 'giants'. In this book ten hinterland theologians associated with English Dissent are introduced and their writings are discussed. Thomas Ridgley, Abraham Taylor and Samuel Chandler wrote in the wake of the Toleration Act of 1689; George Payne and Richard Alliott responded to the Enlightenment and the Evangelical Revival; D. W. Simon, T. Vincent Tymms and Walter F. Adeney took account of modern biblical criticism, and Robert S. Franks and Charles S. Duthie respectively lived through and followed the heyday of liberal theology. The study reveals both adjustments and time-lags in theology, and shows how hinterland theologians can stimulate the ongoing conversation concerning theological method, philosophico-theological relations, the Trinity, the atonement and ecumenism.
Alan P.F. Sell
Alan P. F. Sell, of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and the University of Chester, is a philosopher-theologian and ecumenist with strong interests in the history of Christian thought in general, and of the Reformed and Dissenting traditions in particular. A minister of The United Reformed Church, he has held rural and urban pastorates, has served from Geneva as Theological Secretary of the World Alliance (now Communion) of Reformed Churches, and has held academic posts in England, Canada, and Wales. He has earned the rarely-awarded senior doctorates, DD and DLitt, is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and of the Royal Historical Society, and holds honorary doctorates from the USA, Hungary, Canada, and Romania. He is the author of more than thirty books, and the editor of others. Ever seeking to hold together what belongs together, he explores the relations between philosophy, theology and apologetics, Christian ethics and moral philosophy, and doctrine in relation to spirituality and the ecumenical quest.