New In Print: Companion to Reformed Orthodoxy

companion-to-reformed-orthodoxyWillem van Asselt, Irena Backus, John Witte Jr, Carl Trueman and others (including John Fesko and myself) are among those contributing to A Companion to Reformed Orthodoxy by Brill. If you’re interested in the academic study of the history of Reformed theology and the modern study of Reformed orthodoxy/scholasticism, this volume should interest you. My essay is “Christ and Covenant: Federal Theology in Orthodoxy.” It is a survey of the history of covenant theology in the Reformed tradition in the 16th and 17th centuries. It is heavily documented from primary sources. There are a number of outstanding contributors, mainly European, with whom you may not yet be familiar, who are doing excellent work. Thus far, the good news. Now for the bad. This collection is published by Brill. If you know academic publishing you will know what that implies. They do good work but they publish expensive volumes. Priced at $277.00, few individuals will buy this work. Books such as these are intended for libraries and institutions that expect to pay such prices. This is what academic publishing has become. If it is any consolation, the contributors do get paid. We get a copy of the book but we write in order to make scholarship available to a wider audience and to help advance the understanding of a field for students and others for the next few years.

This volume might be appropriate for some church libraries with heftier budgets but it is mainly intended for academic libraries. Once they begin acquiring it you should be able to see it, however, by inter-library loan.


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  1. High prices for academically oriented works occur across many disciplines, including my own. Certain publishers in natural sciences have reputations for works that are both important and expensive. The intended markets are libraries serving institutions with large reaearch budgets and individuals with grants or other professional discretionary funds. Of course, the great expansion of digitized publishing has reduced priinted sales and increased their costs.

  2. Thanks for the heads up. I’ve been looking forward to this.

    One of the advantages of my wife working for Cambridge University Library is getting access to books like this 🙂

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