When first published in 1961, Treasure in Earthen Vessels was hailed by H. Richard Niebuhr as "the first real sociology of the church." In this landmark work, James M. Gustafson examines the church as a human institution that must, and does, participate in the social structure of all human communities. His penetrating analysis remains an important contribution to the dialogue between the theological and social-scientific disciplines. Gustafson has written a new preface for this volume.
The Library of Theological Ethics series focuses on what it means to think theologically and ethically. It presents a selection of important and otherwise unavailable texts in easily accessible form. Volumes in this series will enable sustained dialogue with predecessors though reflection on classic works in the field.