The Lindisfarne School of Theology

and Christian Leadership


Reading List for Those

in Preparation for Ordination to the Diaconate and Priesthood


This list is a general reading list that covers the main areas of Christian theology. It is by no means exhaustive, but should be looked on as a good beginning in serious theological study and preparation for ordained ministry. It will take a committed student at least four years to complete. The list may be supplemented by other books on specific topics that the student may have in their library. Substitute books must be as theologically demanding. The purpose of the reading list is to develop habits that will last a lifetime in ministry: reading, critical thinking and personal development.


The general list is to provide ready reference tools. Using books and articles from this section can be very helpful in providing an overview before an in-depth study is undertaken.


All books are currently in print and are available from and may be ordered from the Lindisfarne Community web site (, or from a local bookstore. Exceptions: 1) those few we have included which are out of print and may be available from secondhand book distributors 2) books not an which have a alternative supplier and indicated at the end of the book details.



Section 1: General


Recommended Reference Books


The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha New Revised Standard Version, Oxford University Press; ISBN: 0195284828; 3 Ed edition (February 2001)

A Catechism of the Catholic Church, United States Catholic Conference; ISBN: 1574551108; 2nd edition (October 2000)

David J. Atkinson and David H. Field, New Dictionary of Christian Ethics and Pastoral Theology Intervarsity Press; ISBN: 0830814086; (January 1995)

Sinclair B. Ferguson and David F. Wright, (Eds), New Dictionary of Theology, Intervarsity Press; ISBN: 0830814000; (March 1988)

Richard P McBrien, Catholicism, Harper San Francisco; ISBN: 0060654058; New Revised Edition (April 1994)

W.E. Vine, Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Thomas Nelson; ISBN: 0785211608; (October 1996)


Recommended Bible Commentaries


Ancient Christian Commentary Series, InterVarsity Press, Various dates

International Critical Commentary Series, T and T Clark, various writers and dates

The IVP Women’s Bible Commentary, Eds Catherine Clark Kroeger and May J. Evans, Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2002); ISBN:  083081437X

The Women’s Bible Commentary, Carol A. Newsom (Editor), Sharon H. Ringe (Editor), Westminster John Knox Press; ISBN: 066425781X; Expanded edition (August 1998)



Section 2: Doctrinal Theology — Trinity, Christology, Holy Spirit


Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, Ignatius Press, 2008

Marcus Borg, The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith, New York: Harper, 2004.

Marcus Borg, Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary, New York Harper One, 2008.

James D. G. Dunn, Baptism in the Holy Spirit: A Re-Examination of the New Testament Teaching on the Gift of the Spirit in Relation to Pentecostalism Today, Westminster John Knox Press; ISBN: 0664241409; (July 1996)

James D. G. Dunn, Jesus and the Spirit: A Study of the Religious and Charismatic Experience of Jesus and the First Christians As Reflected in the New Testament, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; ISBN: 0802842917; (October 1997)

Elizabeth Schussler Fiorenza, Jesus: Miriam's Child, Sophia's Prophet: Critical Issues in Feminist Christology, Continuum 1995.

John Hick The Fifth Dimension: An Exploration of the Spiritual Realm. One World, 2004.

Grace M. Jantzen Becoming Divine: Towards a Feminist Philosophy of Religion

C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Harper San Francisco; ISBN: 0060652926; (February 5, 2001)

Ann Loades, Feminist Theology: A Reader, Westminster John Knox Press; ISBN: 0664251293 (April 1991)

James McClendon, Doctrine: Systematic Theology, Abingdon Press; ISBN: 0687110211; (September 1994)

Jürgen Moltmann, James W. Leitch (Translator), Theology of Hope: On the Ground and the Implications of a Christian Eschatology, Fortress Pr; ISBN: 0800628241; 1 Fortress Edition (October 1993)

Jürgen Moltmann, Margaret Kohl (Translator),The Trinity and the Kingdom: The Doctrine of God, Fortress Pr; ISBN: 080062825X; Reprint edition (October 1993)

Jürgen Moltmann, R. A. Wilson (Translator), The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ As the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology, Fortress Pr; ISBN: 0800628225; 1 Fortress Edition (October 1993)

Jürgen Moltmann, Margaret Kohl (Translator),The Church in the Power of the Spirit: A Contribution to Messianic Ecclesiology, Fortress Pr; ISBN: 0800628217; 1st Fortress edition (October 1993)

Paul Tillich Biblical Religion and the Search for Ultimate Reality, Chicago: Univerity of Chicaco, 1964.

Ken Wilber The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and Religion, Broadway, 1999.


Section 3: Spiritual Theology — Prayer, Mysticism, the Disciplines


Aelred of Rievaulx, Historical Works (Cistercian Fathers Series, No 56), Cistercian Publications; ISBN: 0879072881; (February 2002)

Regis J. Armstrong, Francis and Clare: The Complete Works, Paulist Press; ISBN: 0809124467; (December 1988).

Kim Boykin, Zen For Christians, Jossey-Bass, 2003.

Oliver Davies, Celtic Spirituality, Paulist Press; ISBN: 0809138948; (January 2000)

Esther de Waal, The Celtic Way of Prayer, Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub (Trd Pap); ISBN: 0385493746; (July 20, 1999)

Andy and Jane Fitz-Gibbon, The Kiss of Intimacy: The Soul’s Longing After God, Monarch Publications; ISBN: 1854243217; (July 1, 1995)

Andy and Jane Fitz-Gibbon, Prophetic Lifestyle and the Celtic Way, Monarch Publications; ISBN: 1854243853; (October 1, 1997)

Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth: 20th Anniversary Edition, Harper San Francisco; ISBN: 0060628391; 3rd edition (October 1988)

Richard Foster, Devotional Classics: Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups, Harper San Francisco; ISBN: 0060669667; (March 1993)

Richard Foster, Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home, Harper San Francisco; ISBN: 0060628464; 10 edition (September 1992)

Richard Foster, Streams of Living Water: Celebrating the Great Traditions of Christian Faith, Harper San Francisco; ISBN: 0060628227; Reissue edition (November 27, 2001)

Richard Foster, Freedom of Simplicity, Harper Mass Market Paperbacks; ISBN: 0061043850; (January 1998)

Matthew Fox, Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth, Harper San Francisco; ISBN: 0060629177; (April 1991)

Ignatius, Personal Writings: Reminiscences, Spiritual Diary, Select Letters Including the Text of the Spiritual Exercises, ISBN: 0140433856; (January 1997)

John of the Cross, The Dark Night of the Soul, Image Books; ISBN: 0385029306; Reprint edition (February 1, 1959)

Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love, Penguin USA (Paper); ISBN: 0140446737; (February 1999)

Ursula King, Christian Mystics: Their Lives and legacies Through the Ages (Mahwah, NJ: Hidden Spring, 2001), ISBN: 1587680122

Michael Mitton, The Soul of Celtic Spirituality: In the Lives of Its Saints, Twenty-Third Publications; ASIN: 089622662X; (January 1996) [Out of print but a great introduction]

Teresa of Avila, Interior Castle, Image Books; ISBN: 0385036434; Reissue edition (February 1, 1972)

Frank Whaling, (editor) John and Charles Wesley: Selected Prayers, Hymns, Journal Notes, Sermons, Letters and Treatises, Paulist Press; ISBN: 0809123681; (December 1988)

The Cloud of Unknowing and the Book of Privy Counseling, William Johnston (Translator), Image Books; ISBN: 0385030975; Reissue edition (August 1, 1996)


Section 4: Sacramental Theology — Liturgy and Worship


Alexander Carmichael, Carminica Gadelica, ISBN: 0940262509; (August 1, 1992)

Celtic Daily Prayer: Prayers and Readings From the Northumbria Community, Harper San Francisco; ISBN: 0060013249; 1st edition (February 19, 2002)

Common Worship Desk Edition, Church House Publishing; ISBN: 0715120174, (9 November, 2000) — from

Common Worship Pastoral Services, Church Ho. Pub.; ISBN: 0715120077; (9 November, 2000) — from Amazon

Cheslyn Jones, Geoffrey Wainwright, Edward Yarnold and Paul Bradshaw, The Study of Liturgy, Oxford University press, ISBN: 0-19-520922-2, (1992).

Howard E. Galley, The Ceremonies of the Eucharist: A Guide to Celebration, Cowley Publications (1989); ISBN 0-936384-83-2

Derek G. Michno, A Priest’s handbook: The ceremonies of the Church, Morehouse Publishing; ISBN: 0-8192-1768-9 (1998). (Out of print but worth getting)

Marjorie Procter-Smith, In Her Own Rite: Constructing Feminist Liturgical Tradition, Abingdon Press; ISBN: 0687187907; (April 1990)

Paul Smith, Is it Okay to Call God Mother? Hendrickson Publishers, Inc; ISBN: 1-56563-013-0 (1993, 2003).

A Way of Living, The Lindisfarne Community, 2003. (The Daily Office of the Lindisfarne Community)

Robert Webber, The Biblical Foundations of Christian Worship, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.; ISBN: 1565631854; (July 1, 1995)

Robert Webber, Worship Old and New, Zondervan Publishing House; ASIN: 0310366518; Reprint edition (March 1985) [Out of print, but very useful if you can get it used]

Robert Webber, Rediscovering the Christian Feasts, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.; ISBN: 1565632761; (January 1, 1998)


Section 5: Ecclesial Theology — The Church, Monasticism, Orders of Ministry


Aelred of Riveaux, Spiritual Friendship, Cistercian Publishers, 2005.

Robert Banks, Paul’s Idea of Community, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.; ISBN: 1565630505; Revised edition (November 1, 1994)

Robert and Julia Banks, The Church Comes Home, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.; ISBN: 156563179X; (January 1, 1998)

James Monroe Barnett, The Diaconate: A Full and Equal Order, Trinity Pr Intl; ISBN: 1563380935; Revised edition (January 1995)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, Harper San Francisco; ISBN: 0060608528; (October 1978)

Rodney Clapp, A Peculiar People: The Church As Culture in a Post-Christian Society, Intervarsity Press; ISBN: 0830819908; (November 1996)

Esther de Waal. Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict (Second Edition), Spring Arbor Distributors; ISBN: 0814613888; Second edition (April 2001)

Avery Dulles, Models of the Church, Image Books; ISBN: 0385133685; Expanded Rev edition (September 1991)

Margaret Guenther, Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction, Cowley, 1992.

C. H. Lawrence, Medieval Monasticism: Forms of Religious Life in Western Europe in the Middle Ages (3rd Edition), Longman; ISBN: 0582404274; 3rd edition (November 1, 2000).

Kenneth Leech, Soul Friend, Moorehouse, 2001.

James McClendon, Witness: Systematic Theology, Abingdon Press; ISBN: 0687098238; (December 2000)

Robert Webber, Ancient-Future Faith: Rethinking Evangelicalism for a Postmodern World, Baker Book House; ISBN: 080106029X; (November 1999)            

Helen Waddell, The Desert Fathers, Vintage Books; ISBN: 0375700196; Reprint edition (May 1998)

The Rule of St. Benedict, Vintage Books; ISBN: 037570017X; Reprint edition (May 1998)

World Council of Churches, Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry — direct from WCC


Section 6: Biblical Theology — Hermeneutics, Jewish Scriptures and New Testament


Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Narrative, Basic Books; ISBN: 046500427X; Reprint edition (July 1983)

Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Poetry, Basic Books; ISBN: 0465004318; Reprint edition (May 1987)

Marcus Borg, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, Harper San Francisco; ISBN: 0060609192

Walter Brueggemann, The Prophetic Imagination, Fortress Pr; ISBN: 0800632877; Revised edition (June 2001)

Walter Brueggemann, Hopeful Imagination: Prophetic Voices in Exile, Fortress Pr; ISBN: 0800619250; (October 1986)

Carol J. Dempsey, The Prophets: A Liberation-Critical Reading, Fortress Pr; ISBN: 0800631161; (February 2000)

John Drane, Introducing the New Testament, Fortress Pr; ISBN: 0800632729; Revised edition (February 2001)

John Drane, Introducing the Old Testament, Fortress Pr; ISBN: 0800634322; Revised edition (October 2001)

James D.G. Dunn, Unity and Diversity in the New Testament: An Inquiry into the Character of Earliest Christianity, Trinity Pr Intl; ASIN: 0334024366; 2nd edition (June 1990)

Christopher A. Hall, Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers, Intervarsity Press; ISBN: 0830815007; (September 1998)

Alice Laffey, Introduction to the Old Testament: A Feminist Perspective, Fortress Pr; ISBN: 080062078X; (April 1988)

Millard C. Lind, Yahweh Is a Warrior: The Theology of Warfare in Ancient Israel, Herald Pr; ISBN: 0836112334; (November 1980)

Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, Searching the Scriptures: A Feminist Introduction, Crossroad/Herder & Herder; ISBN: 0824517016; (November 1997)

Willard Swartley, Slavery, Sabbath, War, and Women: Case Issues in Biblical Interpretation, Herald Pr; ISBN: 0836133307; (May 1983)

Anne Thurston, Knowing Her Place: Gender and the Gospels, Paulist Press; ASIN: 080913862X; (July 1999) [Out of print but an outstanding example of “reading against the grain”]

Phyllis Trible, Texts of Terror: Literary-Feminist Readings of Biblical Narratives (Overtures to Biblical Theology), Fortress Pr; ISBN: 0800615379; (June 1984)

Phyllis Trible, God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality, Fortress Pr; ISBN: 0800604644; (October 1978)



Section 7: Moral theology — Personal and Social Ethics, Gender, Peace


John Temple Bristow, What Paul Really Said About Women: The Apostle’s Liberating Views on Equality in Marriage, Leadership, and Love, Harper San Francisco; ISBN: 0060610638; Reprint edition (March 1991).

Rodney Clapp, Families at the Crossroads: Beyond Traditional & Modern Options, Intervarsity Press; ISBN: 0830816550; (October 1993)

Andrew L. Fitz-Gibbon, In the World But Not of the World: Christian Social Thinking at the End of the Twentieth Century, Rowman & Littlefield; ISBN: 0739101196; (June 14, 2000)

Joseph Fletcher, Situation Ethics

Stanley Grenz, The Moral Quest: Foundations of Christian Ethics, InterVarsity press, ISBN 0-8308-1549-X, (1997).

Stanley Hauerwas, The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer in Christian Ethics, Univ of Notre Dame Pr; ISBN: 0268015546; (September 1984)

James McClendon, Ethics: Systematic Theology, Abingdon Press; ISBN: 0687090873; 2nd Rev&enlarged edition (October 2002)

H. Richard Niebuhr, Christ and Culture, HarperCollins (paper); ISBN: 0061300039; 1st edition (February 1986)

Nel Noddings, Caring, University of California Press, 2003

Paul Ramsey, Basic Christian Ethics, Westminster John Knox Press, 1950.

Elaine Storkey, Origins of Difference: The Gender Debate Revisited, Baker Book House; ISBN: 0801022606; (April 2001)

Walter Wink (ed.), Homosexuality and Christian Faith: Questions of Conscience for the Churches, Fortress Press, ISBN 0-8006-2186-2 (1999).

John Howard Yoder, When War is Unjust, Wipf & Stock Publishers; ISBN: 1579107818; (October 2001)

John Howard Yoder, The Politics of Jesus, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; ISBN: 0802807348; 2nd edition (May 1994)


Section 8: Historical Theology — Jewish and Christian History


Karen Armstrong, A History of God, Ballentine, 1994.

Thomas Cahill, How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role from the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe, Anchor; ISBN: 0385418493; (March 1996)

Thomas Cahill, Desire of the Everlasting Hills: The World Before and After Jesus, Anchor Books; ISBN: 0385483724; (February 13, 2001)

Thomas Cahill, The Gifts of the Jews: How a Tribe of Desert Nomads Changed the Way Everyone Thinks and Feels, Anchor Books; ISBN: 0385482493; (September 1999)

Henry Chadwick, The Early Church, Penguin USA (Paper); ISBN: 0140231994; Revised edition (October 1993)

Owen Chadwick, The Reformation, Viking Press; ISBN: 0140137572; Reprint edition (December 1990)

Gerald R. Cragg, The Church and the Age of Reason 1648-1789, Viking Press; ISBN: 0140137610; Rev Rep edition (December 1990)

Donald Durnbaugh, The Believers’ Church: The History and Character of Radical Protestantism, Herald Pr; ISBN: 0836112717; Reprint edition (August 1985).

Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ, Riverhead, 1995.

Philip Jenkins, The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, Oxford University Press; ISBN: 0195146166; (March 2002)

Ann Loades, Feminist Theology: Voices from the Past, Polity Pr; ISBN: 0745608698; (June 2001)

John McManners, (Editor), The Oxford History of Christianity, Oxford University Press; ISBN: 0192852914; (April 1994)

Diane Morgan, The Best Guide to Eastern Philosophy and Religion, St. Martin Griffin, 2001.

Stephen Neill, The History of Christian Missions, Viking Press; ISBN: 0140137637; 2nd edition (November 1994)

R.W. Southern, Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages, Viking Press; ISBN: 0140137556; (August 1990)

Alec R. Vidler, The Church in an Age of Revolution, Viking Press; ISBN: 0140137629; Rev Rep edition (June 1991)



Section 9: Pastoral Theology — Pastoral Care, Grief, Sickness


C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed (San Francisco: Harper, 2001) ; ISBN 0060652381.

C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (San Francisco: Harper, 2001) ; ISBN 0060652969.

Henri Nouwen, Ministry and Spirituality: Creative Ministry, the Wounded Healer, Reaching Out, Continuum Pub Group; ISBN: 0826409105; Revised edition (November 1996)

Henri Nouwen, Can You Drink The Cup?, Ave Maria Press; ISBN: 0877935815; (September 1996)



Revision January 2010