George Lindbeck

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
George Lindbeck
George Lindbeck.jpg
George Arthur Lindbeck

(1923-03-10)March 10, 1923
Luoyang, China
DiedJanuary 8, 2018(2018-01-08) (aged 94)
Florida, United States
Spouse(s)Violette Lindbeck[1]
Academic background
Alma mater
ThesisIs Duns Scotus an Essentialist? (1955)
Academic advisors
Academic work
School or tradition
InstitutionsYale University
Notable students
Notable worksThe Nature of Doctrine (1984)

George Arthur Lindbeck (1923–2018) was an American Lutheran theologian. He was best known as an ecumenicist and as one of the fathers of postliberal theology.[12][13]

Early life and education[edit]

Lindbeck was born on March 10, 1923, in Luoyang, China, the son of American Lutheran missionaries. Raised in that country and in Korea for the first seventeen years of his life,[14] he was often sickly as a child and found himself often isolated from the world around himself.[15]

He attended Gustavus Adolphus College, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1943. He went on to do graduate work at Yale University, receiving his Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1946. After his undergraduate work he spent a year at the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies with Étienne Gilson in Toronto then two years at the École Pratique des Hautes Études with Paul Vignaux [fr] in Paris. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Yale in 1955 concentrating on medieval studies, delivering a dissertation on the Franciscan theologian Duns Scotus.[14]


Lindbeck first gained attention as a medievalist and as a participant in ecumenical discussions in academia and the church. He was a "delegate observer" to the Second Vatican Council and since that time he has been an important part of ecumenical dialogue, especially between Lutherans and Roman Catholics.[15] From 1968 to 1987 he was a member of the Joint Commission between the Vatican and Lutheran World Federation.[14] In 1994, Lindbeck spoke at length about his memories of Vatican II with George Weigel, and a transcript of his interview with Weigel was published in the December 1994 edition of First Things.

His best-known work is The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age, published in 1984. It was widely influential and is one of the key works in the formation and founding of postliberal theology.

He was appointed to the Yale Divinity School faculty in 1952 before his studies were finished, and remained there until his retirement in 1993. His book The Church in a Postliberal Age was published in 2002.

He was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a recipient of the Wilbur Cross Medal from the Yale Graduate School Alumni Association.[16]

Lindbeck died on January 8, 2018.[1]

Selected works[edit]

  • Lindbeck, George A. (1984). The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 9780664246181
  • Lindbeck, George A. (2003). The Church in a Postliberal Age. Grand Rapid, MI: William B. Eerdmans. ISBN 9780802839954


  1. ^ a b Sterling, Greg (January 19, 2018). "George Lindbeck, 1923–2018". Yale Divinity School. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  2. ^ Lindbeck, George (1989). "Response to Bruce Marshall". The Thomist. 53 (3): 405. Cited in Adiprasetya, Joas (2005). "George A. Lindbeck and Postliberal Theology". Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Modern Western Theology. Boston: Boston University. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  3. ^ Placher, William C. (1996). The Domestication of Transcendence: How Modern Thinking About God Went Wrong. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. p. xi. ISBN 978-0-664-25635-7.
  4. ^ a b Adiprasetya, Joas (2005). "George A. Lindbeck and Postliberal Theology". Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Modern Western Theology. Boston: Boston University. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  5. ^ Johansson, Lars (1999). "Mystical Knowledge, New Age, and Missiology". In Kirk, J. Andrew; Vanhoozer, Kevin J. (eds.). To Stake a Claim: Mission and the Western Crisis of Knowledge. New York: Orbis Books. p. 178. ISBN 978-1-57075-274-2.
  6. ^ a b Knowles, Steven (2010). Beyond Evangelicalism: The Theological Methodology of Stanley J. Grenz. Farnham, England: Ashgate. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-7546-6608-0.
  7. ^ Erwin, R. Guy (January 23, 2018). "Memories of Lindbeck: Prayerful Ecumenist". The Living Church. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  8. ^ Kilby, Karen (2014). Foreword. Alasdair MacIntyre, George Lindbeck, and the Nature of Tradition. By Trenery, David. Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications. p. ix. ISBN 978-1-62564-705-4.
  9. ^ Ditmer, Bob (January 24, 2018). "Postliberal Theologian George Lindbeck Dies at 94". Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Placher, William C. (2007). The Triune God: An Essay in Postliberal Theology. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. p. ix. ISBN 978-0-664-23060-9.
  11. ^ Sumner, George (January 18, 2018). "Missionary to Postmodernity". The Living Church. Retrieved October 3, 2018.
  12. ^ Francisco, Grant D. Miller (1999). "George Lindbeck, (1923–)". Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  13. ^ Shellnutt, Kate. "Died: George Lindbeck, Father of Postliberal Theology". News & Reporting. Retrieved 2020-01-01.
  14. ^ a b c Eckerstorfer, Bernhard A. (2004). "The One Church in the Postmodern World: Reflections on the Life and Thought of George Lindbeck". Pro Ecclesia. 13 (4): 399–423. ISSN 1063-8512.
  15. ^ a b Lindbeck, George A. (Interviewee) (November 28, 2006). "Performing the Faith: An Interview with George Lindbeck". Christian Century: 28–35. ISSN 0009-5281.
  16. ^ "George A. Lindbeck, 1946 B.D., 1955 Ph.D. | Yale Divinity School". Retrieved 2020-01-01.

Further reading[edit]