Spirit of Liberality: Collected Essays

By George Newlands

A selection of essays by the Scottish theologian George Newlands, addressing a range of issues from a liberal theological perspective.

ISBN: 9780227176412


Written between 2005 and 2014, George Newlands’s essays span a wide array of subjects, from Christology and the doctrine of God to human rights and Christian spirituality. Coming from within the liberal tradition of theology, these essays were written and delivered in a variety of contexts, from colleges to churches, on both sides of the Atlantic. In Spirit of Liberality, Newlands displays his own brand of theology, marked by its kindness and erudition, in his approach to the vastness of human experience.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 264

Trade Information JPOD

About the Author

George Newlands is Professor Emeritus of Divinity in the University of Glasgow and an Honorary Fellow in the University of Edinburgh. A Fellow of Royal Society of Edinburgh, he is a former Dean of Trinity Hall, Cambridge. His recent publications include Christ and Human Rights (2006) and Hospitable God (2010).



1. The Spirit, the Academy, and the Vertical City
2. Faith after Faith – Perplexed and Unperplexed
3. Luther’s Ghost
4. Humane Spirit
5. Christianity and Culture
6. Public Theology in Postfoundational Tradition
7. John Macquarrie in Scotland
8. John McIntyre and History
9. Religion and Democracy
10. Incarnation
11. Adolf von Harnack
12. Faith, Slavery, and Human Rights
13. Affirmation Scotland, Gay Christians, and Equality
14. In Church
15. Christian Futures
16. A Journey into Theology

Author Biography and Bibliography
Index of Names


Endorsements and Reviews

Liberal theology is not dead! In this outstanding series of essays, as well as giving a liberal meaning to the word liberal, the author shows that liberal thought has been present in theology throughout the ages, and that it is to be celebrated, not feared.
Keith Ward, former Canon, Christ Church, Oxford

These essays offer an account of liberal theology in conversation with the classical Christian tradition. Set within the context of contemporary problems in the academy, church, and society, the collection shows how an unashamedly liberal approach may be pursued today in faithfulness to the cause of Jesus. Informed by Newlands’s characteristic wit and wisdom, the volume will provide no small measure of enjoyment and illumination.
David Fergusson, Professor of Divinity, University of Edinburgh

In Spirit of Liberality, George Newlands offers a series of essays and sermons charting the contours of a vibrant liberal theology. With characteristic passion and discernment, he engages a wide array of discourses and figures, embodying the inclusive approach to the theological task for which his work calls, and challenging the reader to reconceive the contemporary shape of a faithful response to the gospel. Radical yet grounded, prophetic yet humble, and above all insightful, this collection comes highly recommended.
Paul T. Nimmo, Professor in Systematic Theology, University of Aberdeen

George Newlands continues his life-long scholarship to develop and envelop an emancipatory strand of liberal theology back into the conversation. The wide variety of topics and figures that are discussed… are both exhaustive and refreshing. The volume is full of wit, candor, humility, and ambition. … These essays are vast in their scope, but accessible to many readers. I urge anyone who engages from within or outside of the liberal theological persuasion to read these essays, take them seriously, and respond critically to their sense of purpose.
Kyle Trowbridge, in Reading Religion, 14 September 2017