The nature and story of the Christian church is immensely important to theology students and scholars alike. Written by an international team of distinguished scholars, this comprehensive book introduces students to the fundamental historical, systematic, moral and ecclesiological aspects of the study of the church, as well as serving as a resource for scholars engaging in ecclesiological debates on a wide variety of issues. It divides into six parts:

  • the church in its historical context
  • the different denominational traditions
  • global perspectives
  • methods and debates in ecclesiology
  • key concepts and themes
  • ecclesiology and other disciplines: social sciences, philosophy, literature and film.

Authoritative, accessible and easily navigable, this book is indispensable for everyone interested in the nature and history of the Christian Church.

chapter |6 pages


Ecclesiology — the nature, story and study of the Church
ByGerard Mannion, Lewis S. Mudge

part Part I|146 pages

Historical Ecclesiology

chapter 1|19 pages

In Search of the Early ‘Church’

The New Testament and the development of Christian communities
ByPaula Gooder

chapter 2|20 pages

The Church in the Early Christian Centuries

Ecclesiological consolidation
ByG.R. Evans

chapter 3|15 pages

The Church in Medieval Theology

ByJames R. Ginther

chapter 5|21 pages

The Church in the Tridentine and Early Modern Eras

ByAlison Forrestal

chapter 6|21 pages

The Church in Modern Theology

ByNicholas M. Healy

chapter 7|26 pages

Postmodern Ecclesiologies

ByGerard Mannion

part Part II|119 pages

Ecclesiological ‘Traditions’

chapter 8|15 pages

Ecclesiology in the Orthodox Tradition

ByKondothra M. George

chapter 9|17 pages

Lutheran Ecclesiology

ByRisto Saarinen

chapter 10|15 pages

Reformed Ecclesiology

ByEddy van der Borght

chapter 11|15 pages

Anglican Ecclesiology

ByPaul Avis

chapter 12|17 pages

Non-Conformist Ecclesiologies

ByMichael H. Montgomery

chapter 13|17 pages

Roman Catholic Ecclesiology

ByRichard Lennan

chapter 14|21 pages

Ecclesiologies at the Margin

ByHenk de Roest

part Part III|112 pages

Global Perspectives

chapter 15|16 pages

The Church in Asian Perspective

ByPeter C. Phan

chapter 16|15 pages

Earth, Water, Fire and Wind

Elements of African ecclesiologies
BySteve de Gruchy, Sophie Chirongoma

chapter 17|20 pages

The Church in a Latin American Perspective

ByDavid Tombs

chapter 18|16 pages

The Church in a North-American Perspective

ByGregory Baum

chapter 19|22 pages

The Church in an Oceanic Perspective

ByDavid Pascoe

chapter 20|21 pages

The Church from a European Perspective

ByPeter De Mey

part Part IV|110 pages

Methods and Debates

chapter 21|15 pages

Comparative Ecclesiology

ByRoger S.J. Haight

chapter 22|19 pages

Ecclesiology and Ecumenism

ByThomas F. Best

chapter 23|22 pages

Liberation Ecclesiology

ByGerard Mannion

chapter 24|18 pages

Black Ecclesiologies

ByAnthony G. Reddie

chapter 25|15 pages

Feminist Ecclesiology

ByNatalie K. Watson

chapter 26|19 pages

Ecclesiology and Religious Pluralism

ByHans S.J. Waldenfels

part Part V|142 pages

Concepts and Themes

chapter 27|14 pages


ByMark Chapman

chapter 28|13 pages

The Laity

ByPaul Lakeland

chapter 29|12 pages


ByMichael A. Fahey

chapter 30|14 pages


ByAdam Hood

chapter 31|10 pages


ByEamonn Conway

chapter 32|16 pages

The Sensus Fidelium

ByJohn J. Burkhard

chapter 33|18 pages

Hermeneutics and Ecclesiology

BySimone Sinn

chapter 34|13 pages

Doctrine and Ecclesiology

ByGemma Simmonds

chapter 35|16 pages

Ecclesiology and Ethics in the Western Church

ByLewis S. Mudge

chapter 36|14 pages

Ecclesiology and World Mission/Missio Dei

ByPaul M. Collins

part Part VI|37 pages

The Church in a Trans-Disciplinary Context

chapter 37|16 pages

Ecclesiology and the Social Sciences

ByNeil Ormerod

chapter 38|19 pages

Ecclesiology and Philosophy

BySteven Shakespeare