Books We’d Like to Read

Here are the books we are thinking about reading.



FOR 2020-2021

FOR 2021-2022




FOR 2020-2021



(1870 to 1962)

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (died 1881)

The Brothers Karamazov (pages ≈ 1,398)

G. K. Chesterton (died 1936)

Orthodoxy. We read this in 2017-2018.

The Everlasting Man (pages ≈ 398)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (died 1945)

The Cost of Discipleship (pages ≈ 320)



(1962 to present)

Second Council of the Vatican


1. Sacrosanctum Concilium (“Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy”). Estimated pages: 12,878 words ÷ 250 words per page ≈ 52 pages.

2. Lumen Gentium (“Dogmatic Constitution on the Church”). We read this in 2019-2020.

3. Dei verbum (“Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation”). We read this in 2019-2020.

4. Gaudium et Spes (“Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World”). Estimated pages: 33,498 words ÷ 250 words per page ≈ 134 pages.


5. Gravissimum Educationis (“Declaration on Christian Education”)

6. Nostra Aetate (The Relation of the Church to non-Christian Religions). We read this in 2019-2020.

7. Dignitatis Humanae (“On the Right of the Person and of Communities to Social and Civil Freedom in Matters Religious”). Estimated pages: 5,059 words ÷ 250 words per page ≈ 20 pages.


8. Ad Gentes (“On the Missionary Activity of the Church”)

9. Presbyterorum Ordinis (“Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests”)

10. Apostolicam Actuositatem (“Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity”)

11. Optatam Totius (“Decree on Priestly Training”)

12. Perfectae Caritatis (“The Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life”)

13. Christus Dominus (“The Pastoral Office of Bishops”)

14. Unitatis Redintegratio (“Decree on Ecumenism”). Estimated pages: 7,047 words ÷ 250 words per page ≈ 28 pages.

15. Orientalium Ecclesiarum (“The Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rite”)

16. Inter Mirifica (“The Media of Social Communications”)

C. S. Lewis (died 1963)

Mere Christianity. We read this in 2018-2019

Screwtape Letters. We read this in summer 2020

The Problem of Pain.

Surprised by Joy. (pages ≈ 304)

Adrienne von Speyr (died 1967)

Author of more than 60 works of spirituality and theology

Thomas Merton (died 1968)

The Seven Storey Mountain (pages ≈ 496)

New Seeds of Contemplation (pages ≈ 296)

Seeds of Destruction (pages ≈ 348)

The Inner Experience: Notes on Contemplation. We read this in 2018-2019

Jacques Maritain (died 1973)

Integral Humanism (pages ≈ 368)

Rudolf Bultmann (died 1976)

Theology of the New Testament (pages ≈ 648)

Dorothy Day (died 1980)

The Long Loneliness (pages ≈ 304)

Karl Rahner (1904-1984)

Content of Faith (pages ≈ 199)

Encounters with Silence

Hearers of the Word

Homanisation and Incarnation

Foundations of Christian Faith

I Remember

Mystical Way of Contemplative Life (pages ≈ 199)

Spirit in the World

Spiritual Writings (pages ≈ 200)

The Trinity

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (died 1968)

Letter from a Birmingham Jail

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (died 1972)

Howard Thurman (died 1981)

Meditations of the Heart (pages ≈216)

Henri J. M. Nouwen (died 1996)

The Return of the Prodigal Son (pages ≈ 151)

Avery Dulles (died 2008)

Models of the Church (pages ≈ 304)

Models of Revelation (pages ≈ 344)

Gustavo Gutiérrez Merino (still alive)

Professor page at Notre Dame

A Theology of Liberation (pages ≈ 334)

Bryan Massingale (still alive)

Professor page at Fordham University

Racism in the Catholic Church (pages ≈ 150)

Racial Justice and the Catholic Church (pages ≈224)

Social Justice and the Catholic Church

John Allen (still alive)

The Future Church (pages ≈ 450)

Jacques Philippe (still alive)

Interior Freedom (pages ≈ 134)

Sherry Weddell (still alive)

Forming Intentional Disciples




NOTE 1. Reading Days 2020-2021

  • August 2020: 7
  • September 2020: 26
  • October 2020: 27
  • November 2020: 25
  • December 2020: 27
  • January 2021: 26
  • February 2021: 24
  • March 2021: 27
  • April 2021: 26
  • May 2021: 26
  • June 2021: 23
  • Rest days: -8
  • TOTAL: 256


NOTE 2. Number of Pages 2020-2021

  • At a slow pace of 2.9 pages per day: 742 pages
  • At a medium pace of 3.5 pages per day: 896 pages
  • At a fast pace of 4 pages per day: 1,024 pages


NOTE 3. Previous years

  • 2013-2014: 262 reading days
  • 2014-2015: 258 reading days; 726 pages
  • 2017-2018. 242 reading days; 856 pages
  • 2018-2019: 248 reading days; 614 pages



FOR 2021-2022

At the moment, this is just an idea.

It is that we go back. Across the entire span of Systematic Theology, what did we miss? What should we revisit?

Here are the names that have come up recently:



Brother Lawrence

Julian of Norwich

The Ecumenical Councils

John of the Cross

Hildegard of Bingen

Edith Stein

Flannery O’Connor

Thomas Aquinas. A useful introduction is Ralph McInerny’s A First Glance at St. Thomas Aquinas (pages ≈ 180)




Our Systematic Theology Schedule

Books We’d Like to Read

Books We’ve Read

The Modern Era of Church History (1648 to 1962 AD)

The Postmodern Era of Church History (1962 AD to present)




For the coming academic year of 2020-2021, we are focusing on the Postmodern Era. I combed through our records to find our known books for this timeframe.

The boundary between the Modern Era and the Postmodern Era is a little blurry. Many key authors lived in both timeframes. So I’ve included some authors from the very end of the Modern Era.

In some cases, we’ve already read a work by a given author. I include those previous works. They are in grayed-out text. That way we can easily see how much of each author we’ve already read.

I’ve included approximate page counts for some of the works.


Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.