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Exploring Eternal Questions

Stephen Cherry

Quick Overview

Why study theology? Getting to the heart of this question, Stephen Cherry demonstrates the appeal of exploring the unknown and the unknowable and reveals how theology - the most interdisciplinary of all subjects - is fascinating, fun and important to our lives today.
Details Price Qty
Paperback / softback
2017, 8.74in x 6.77in / 222mm x 172mm, 128pp
ISBN: 9781785921995
2017, ePUB, 128pp
ISBN: 978-1-78450-473-1
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In a world where religion refuses to expire, two responses predominate. The first, to retrench within the certainties of one's native or adopted faith, questioning nothing; the second, to sneer and snarl from the secular side-lines. Here, Stephen Cherry offers a third alternative for religious believer, agnostic, and atheist alike - to engage with the study of theology.

Confessing himself to be a reluctant theologian, Cherry puts forward three positive reasons why more people should take theology seriously - because it's fascinating, fun and important. He suggests that genuine theology is the antidote to fundamentalism, contrasts the theological approaches of Jesus of Nazareth and Richard Dawkins, introduces some of the biggest puzzles unravelled by theology, and reviews the history of the subject in fewer than 20 tweets.

Drawing people at all stages of life into a more serious engagement with the riches, delights and fun of theology, it is a book for any who find themselves to be a little God-curious.


'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.'
- Stephen Prickett, Regius Professor Emeritus of English, University of Glasgow, and Honorary Professor, University of Kent at Canterbury

'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.'
- Malcolm Guite, Priest, Poet, and Chaplain of Girton College, Cambridge

'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.'
- Canon Mark Oakley, Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral

'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.'
- Professor Mike Higton, Theology and Ministry, Durham University

'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.'
- Publishers Weekly


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. 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.

- Adrian Roberts


By (author): Stephen Cherry