Daniel Patte, General Editor
Editorial Board | Preparing Contextual , Conceptual-Theological and Historical , and Methodological Entries
Overall List of Entries | Dictionary in Construction (Entries [almost] in final form) | Style sheet

What are the Conceptual-Theological and Historical Entries?  These entries provide concise definitions and explanations of terms, concepts, practices, and institutions by tracing the history of the present-day issues, concepts, and controversies from biblical time until today, and by showing the theological and philosophical underpinnings of these issues, concepts, and controversies.  Their collective goal is to make understandable the complexity of present-day Christianity by clarifying the theological issues raised by its diverse contextual manifestations.

Conceptual-theological and historical entries are of two kinds: a) Conceptual-Theological Entries provide concise definitions and explanations of terms, concepts, works, and present the views of  theologians and other church leaders throughout history and today.  Their role is to present how the theological concepts vary in different periods of history, because in each case they are shaped by theological assessments, marked by a specific context, and selectively grounded in history, and to show how these alternate views are related or not to the theological views found in different present-day contexts. b) Historical Entries, on events, communities, figures, or works that mark the history of Christianity, present how, throughout history, the church strove to make sense of contextual features of Christianity similar to those found today.  In order to help make understandable the complexity of world Christianity in its diversity, these entries begin with the question:  Which historical events, communities, figures, and/or works can be viewed as antecedents to the present-day manifestations of Christianity?   To facilitate this comparison, the historical entries must themselves identify how each historical manifestation of Christianity is marked by a specific context, shaped by theological assessments, and selectively grounded in history.  The historical entries should also suggest (through cross-references) how "the complexity of present-day world Christianity in its diversity" is in continuity or discontinuity with these historical manifestations. For further explanations: see Template # 2 T Concept (see also Template # 3 T Concept in Context).

The first step in preparing conceptual-theological and historical entries involves reviewing the traditional entries in existing dictionaries and encyclopedia and listing for each concept, event, institution, figure, or work,  the different ways in which, in different periods or circumstances, this manifestation of Christianity is contextually marked,  theologically shaped, and selectively grounded in history.