Light in a Burning-Glass, A Systematic Presentation of Austin Farrer’s Theology


Light in a Burning-Glass, A Systematic Presentation of Austin Farrer’s Theology



Light in a Burning-Glass introduces readers to the distinctive synthesis of theological reflection and everyday faith that characterizes the life and theology of Austin Farrer (1904–1968), a man widely considered to be the most important Anglican theologian of the twentieth century. Often quoted for isolated insights but rarely appreciated for his depth and coherency, Farrer is a theologian who, according to Robert Boak Slocum, is fascinating to consider but difficult to master. In this survey and explanation of the Anglican leader's prodigious output and complexity of thought, Slocum sorts through Farrer's many writings to articulate his theological vision.

Slocum delves into Farrer's treatises, essays, lectures, correspondence, and reviews in an exploration of his three primary areas of theological concern: pastoral, biblical, and philosophical. Noting that few theologians have published so many significant works in such varied areas of theological study, Slocum maps the connectedness of thought that unites Farrer's works.

Slocum moves from a basic study of Farrer's background and methodology to a consideration of his major themes, including his understanding of Christian hope, the problem of evil, the role of image and imagination in Christian faith, the use of literary methods in the interpretation of theology, and the interplay of divine action and human freedom in the Christian life.



Publication Date



University of South Carolina Press


Columbia, SC


List of Illustrations

Acknowledgments and Dedication

Preface: The Challenge and Promise of Farrer

l Farrer's Background, Method, and Perspective

2 Farrer's Systematic Themes

3 The Ultimate Hope

4 The Problem of Evil

5 Transforming Images

6 Poetical Inspiration and Literary Interpretation

7 Divine Action and Human Freedom


Works Cited