The central theme of theological reflection has been mission studies and intercultural theology. Brandner’s theological endeavor, academic research, teaching, and service outside of the university all converged in the intercultural reflection and trans-cultural practice of Christian faith. A core conviction of Brandner’s academic work was that academic reflection needs to be related to and rooted in practice. In the case of theological studies, it means that simultaneous participation in ministry inspires and refines theological expertise and at the same time helps to verify theological thoughts. This was the reason that he remained – as honorary service to the community – involved in ministerial practice parallel to his academic position. This arrangement resulted in several publications.
History of Western Christianity
Beyond the Walls of Separation. Christian Faith and Ministry in Prison, Eugene, Oregon: Cascade, 2014 (published in German and with an additional epilogue as Gottesbegegnungen im Gefängnis: Eine Praktische Theologie der Gefangenenseelsorge, Frankfurt a.M.: Verlag Otto Lembeck, 2009; second edition 2010; in revised form and in chinese translation as鐵窗內的心靈世界。峴港基督教監獄事工面面觀，基道 , Hong Kong 2010.)
„The Political Context of Religious Exchanges: A Study on Chinese Protestants’ International Relations” in Journal of Current Chinese Affairs 3/2013: 149-179.
„Seelsorge und Freundschaft. Pastorale Rollenvielfalt und Rollenambiguität in der Gefangenenseelsorge“, in: Ralph Kunz und Isabelle Noth (ed.), Nachdenkliche Seelsorge – Seelsorgliches Nachdenken. Festschrift für Christoph Morgenthaler (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht), 184-200.
“Religious Counseling in the Penal Context: Strategies of Trust and Establishment of Trusting Relationships in a Context of Distrust” in Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling Vol 67, No 2 (2013), 4:1-14.
“Caught in the Middle: Issues of Interculturality in Early Missionary Encounters. The Case of the Basel Mission with Particular Regard to Theodor Hamberg”, Ching Feng 10/1-2, 2010-11, (2012) 121-140.
„Charismatic Faith and Prison Ministry“, in Australasian Pentecostal Studies 14 (2012), 20-40.
“Trying to make sense of history: A tradition of countercultural belief and their theological and political interpretation of past and present history”, Studies in World Christianity 17.3 (2011): 216-236.
“Mission, Millennium, and Politics: A Continuation of the History of Salvation—from the East,” in Missiology: An International Review (The Quarterly Journal of the American Society for Missiology), Vol XXXXVII, No 3, July 2009, 317-332.
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