I first started to read Moltmann whilst doing my degree, and I decided to re-read the books that I have again. I am currently half way through The Crucified God. I have to admit, it has taken me a while to get into the swing and understanding of what this excellent theologian is getting. I found this article recently, it has some useful suggestions and sources for introductory reading.
The article was originally posted at:
Getting Started with Moltmann
When I discovered Jürgen Moltmann a few years ago, the first book I read was The Trinity and the Kingdom, followed by The Crucified God and Theology of Hope. Those are still three of my favorite Moltmann books to date (I’ve read about fifteen of his books total now), but they aren’t easy reading, especially for anyone who is not used to reading thick theological books (i.e. most normal people!).
So here are a few of my personal recommendations for people interested in checking out Moltmann.
1) Listen to the Emergent Village Theological Conversation with Moltmann
In my opinion, the most accessible way to get started with Moltmann is to listen to the Emergent Village Theological Conversation with Moltmann from 2009. The audio from this event was originally made available via the Emergent Village podcast (which disappeared some time last year). It was made available again by Tony Jones last December, and is now mirrored over at The PostBarthian. To give you a flavor for some of the topics covered, you can check out some of the short clips from this conversation that I have shared here.
2) Check out other free online resources
I’m working on putting together a list of online Moltmann resources for this website, including audio/video lectures and published articles. I’m trying to add to these pages as I am made aware of more resources. If you know of anything I’m missing, please let me know! A few of my favorites:
Do You Understand What You are Reading? (excellent lecture on hermeneutics)
The Crucified God (article that appeared in Theology Today in 1974 – good intro to the theme of the book! I blogged about it quite a while back here)
The Trinity Wall Street Conference with Moltmann: Interview, God’s Unfinished Future Part 1, Part 2
3) Pick up one of his books
Kevin Brown posted some great recomendations for reading Moltmann here. I’ve not read all of the books he recommends, but I would second his recommendation to start with Jesus Christ for Today’s World. It is very short (160 pages) and gives you a good overview of Moltmann’s approach to a number of topics. This is the book where you can find Moltmann’s suggested addendum to the creed and much much more.
Another great little book that I enjoyed was The Gospel of Liberation, which is basically a collection of sermons that Moltmann gave during the period between Theology of Hope and The Crucified God. It’s no longer in print, but it is fairly easy to pick up a used copy or find via interlibrary loan (which is what I did!). I found it helpful to read this early on when I was first wading through Moltmann’s thicker books. If you have ever wondered, “How does a theology of hope preach?” this is a great place to start.
I’ve not yet found a Moltmann book that I didn’t like. Some of my other personal favorites are Ethics of Hope (his most recent), The Coming of God, and The Trinity and the Kingdom.
You can find an exhaustive list of books by Jürgen Moltmann in English here.