Friday, August 06, 2010

On the Expense of Remythologizing Theology

Dear Editors,

I first encountered Kevin J. Vanhoozer's work in a slim and affordable volume, Reading Scripture with the Church: Toward a Hermeneutic for Theological Interpretation ($20 from Baker Academic, or $9.99 on the Kindle). All four essays contributed to that volume are wonderful, but Vanhoozer's "Imprisoned or Free? Text Status and Theological Interpretation in the Master/Slave Discourse of Philemon" was especially revelatory.

When D. Stephen Long's review of Remythologizing Theology appeared in the most recent issue of The Christian Century, I was inspired to purchase a copy and read it for myself, especially when Long issued this challenge: "In an era in which more clergy know their Myers-Briggs score than can explain the doctrine of the enhypostaton, Vanhoozer's work is a breath of fresh air. If you are one of those clergy, obtain and read Remythologizing Theology." However, Cambridge University Press's price for the book is $131, and the best on-line prices are around $120, or $80 on the Kindle. Not to put too fine a point on it, but most pastors I know are even more familiar with the limits of their book budgets than with either the Myers-Briggs or the doctrine of the enhypostaton. If clergy are going to read this book, it will need to be priced for that market, and not exclusively at a price point affordable to institutions of higher learning.


  1. If it's any consolation, CUP has indicated that they may publish a paperback next summer. I am as frustrated as you by the exorbitant price.

    - Kevin Vanhoozer

  2. Kevin, thank for posting a comment, and for the info re: a paperback next summer. My preferred plan would be for CUP to offer an affordable Kindle version. Or even if the book just cost $40 instead of $131 I'd probably buy it. In the meantime, I'll try to find an inter-library loan copy. Thanks.