- Postmodern Christianity
Postmodern Christianity is an outlook of Christianity that is closely associated with the body of writings known as
postmodern philosophy. Although it is a relatively recent development in the Christian religion, many Christian postmodernists assert that their style of thought has an affinity with foundational Christian thinkers such as Augustine of Hippoand Thomas Aquinas, and famed Christian mystics such as Meister Eckhartand Angelus Silesius.
In addition to
Christian theology, postmodern Christianity has its roots in post-Heideggerian continental philosophy. Many people eschew the label "postmodern Christianity" because the idea of postmodernity has almost no determinate meaning and, in the United States, serves largely to symbolize an emotionally charged battle of ideologies. Moreover, such alleged postmodern heavyweights as Jacques Derridaand Philippe Lacoue-Labarthehave refused to operate under a so-called postmodern rubric, preferring instead to specifically embrace a single project stemming from the European Enlightenment and its precursors. Nevertheless, postmodern Christianity and its constituent schools of thought continue to be relevant.
Liberal Christianity—sometimes called liberal theology—has an affinity with certain current forms of postmodern Christianity, although postmodern thought was originally a reaction against mainstream Protestant liberalism. Liberal Christianityis an umbrella term covering diverse, philosophically informed movements and moods within 19th and 20th century Christianity.
Despite its name, liberal Christianity has always been thoroughly
protean. The word "liberal" in liberal Christianity does not refer to a leftistpolitical agenda but rather to insights developed during the Enlightenment. Generally speaking, Enlightenment-era liberalismheld that man is a political creature and that libertyof thought and expression should be his highest value. The development of liberal Christianity owes much to the works of philosophers Immanuel Kantand Friedrich Schleiermacher. As a whole, liberal Christianity is a product of a continuing philosophical dialogue.
Many 20th century liberal Christians have been influenced by philosophers
Edmund Husserland Martin Heidegger. Examples of important liberal Christian thinkers are Rudolf Bultmannand John A.T. Robinson.
Christian existentialismis a form of Christianity that draws extensively from the writings of Søren Kierkegaard. Kierkegaard initiated the school of thought when he reacted against Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's claims of universal knowledge and what he deemed to be the empty formalities of the 19th century church. Christian existentialismplaces an emphasis on the undecidability of faith, individual passion, and the subjectivity of knowledge.
Although Kierkegaard's writings weren't initially embraced, they became widely known at the beginning of the 20th century. Later Christian existentialists synthesized Kierkegaardian themes with the works of thinkers such as
Friedrich Nietzsche, Walter Benjamin, and Martin Buber. Paul Tillich, Lincoln Swain, Gabriel Marcel, and John Macquarrieare examples of leading Christian existentialist writers.
Continental philosophical theology
Continental philosophical theology is the most recent form of postmodern Christianity. The movement was fueled heavily by the slew of notable post-
Heideggerian philosophers that appeared on the continent in the 1970s and 1980s. Groundbreaking works such as Jean-Luc Marion's "God Without Being" and John D. Caputo's "The Prayers and Tears of Jacques Derrida" ushered in the era of continental philosophical theology.
Radical orthodoxyis a form of continental philosophical theology that has been influenced by the phenomenological writings of Jean-Luc Marion.
Radical orthodoxy is a style of theology that seeks to examine classic Christian writings and related
Neoplatonictexts from a contemporary, philosophically continental perspective. The movement finds in writers such as Augustine of Hippoand Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagitevaluable sources of insight and meaning relevant to modern society and Christianity at large. John Milbankand James K.A. Smithare leading proponents of radical orthodoxy.
Hermeneutics of religion
The hermeneutics of religion is another form of continental philosophical theology. The system of
hermeneuticinterpretation developed by Paul Ricœurhas heavily influenced the school of thought. A central theme in the hermeneutics of religion is that Godexists outside the confines of the human imagination. Richard Kearneyis a prominent advocate of the movement.
Professor Brent-wood Samuel Skipworth Walters Jr. III of San Jose State University's Comparative Religious Studies Department is a prominent scholar in this field.
Non-dogmatic theology (also known as Weak theology)
Weak theology is a manner of thinking about theology from a
deconstructivepoint of view. The style of thought owes a debt to Jacques Derrida, especially in light of his idea of a "weak force." Weak theology is weak because it takes a non- dogmatic, perspectival approach to theology. Proponents of weak theology believe that dominant contemporary explications of theology are inherently ideological, totalizing, and militant. In response, weak theology expresses itself through acts of interpretation.
According to Caputo, the distinctive reinterpretive act of weak theology has resulted in the notion of the weakness of God. In the body of thought, the paradigm of God as an overwhelming physical or metaphysical force is regarded as mistaken. The old God-of-power is displaced with the idea of God as an unconditional claim without force. As a claim without force, the God of weak theology does not physically or metaphysically intervene in nature. Weak theology emphasizes the responsibility of humans to act in this world here and now. Because God is thought of as weak and as a call, weak theology places an emphasis on the "weak" human virtues of
forgiveness, hospitality, openness, and receptivity. In each of these virtues, a metaphoric"power of powerlessness" is at work. Gianni Vattimo, John D. Caputo, and Jeffrey W. Robbinshave recently completed works that further develop the idea of a weak theology.
* [http://www.jcrt.org/archives/06.1/caputo.pdf "Jacques Derrida (1930–2004)"] (pdf), by John D. Caputo
* [http://www.espaces.info/deutsch/artikel/januar/ReligionVilolenceenglish.pdf "Religion and Violence: Plea for a 'Weak' Theology in Tempore Belli"] (pdf), by Ulrich Engel OP
* [http://www.jcrt.org/archives/08.1/raschke.pdf "The Weakness of God ... and of Theological Thought for that Matter"] (pdf), by Carl Raschke
* [http://www.jcrt.org/archives/07.2/heltzel.pdf "The Weakness of God: A Review of John D. Caputo's 'The Weakness of God: A Theology of the Event'"] (pdf), by Peter G. Heltzel
* [http://religion.syr.edu/caputo.html Homepage of John D. Caputo, Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion and Humanities at Syracuse University]
* [http://fmwww.bc.edu/Pl/fac/kearney.fac.html Homepage of Richard Kearney, the Charles Seelig Professor in Philosophy at Boston College]
* [http://divinity.uchicago.edu/faculty/marion.shtml Homepage of Jean-Luc Marion, Professor of the Philosophy of Religion and Theology at the University of Chicago]
* [http://personal-pages.lvc.edu/~robbins/ Homepage of Jeffrey W. Robbins, Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Lebanon Valley College]
* [http://www.calvin.edu/~jks4/ Homepage of James K.A. Smith, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Christianity in the 21st century — Trinity Church, Antarctica, a 15m high siberian pine Russian Orthodox church that can accommodate up to 30 worshipers. It opened in 2004, and it is manned year around by Orthodox hieromonk priests volunteering for the Antarctic assignment.… … Wikipedia
Postmodern philosophy — Postmodernism preceded by Modernism Postmodernity Hypermodernity Hypermodernism (art) Post anarchism Posthumanism … Wikipedia
Christianity in the 19th century — Part of a series on Christianity … Wikipedia
Postmodern Reformation — The Postmodern Reformation is a movement presently taking place throughout Western culture in which Christianity is experiencing a dramatic cultural shift away from institutionally centralized Christian practice closely related to primary… … Wikipedia
Liberal Christianity — Part of a series on the History of Christian Theology … Wikipedia
Progressive Christianity — is the name given to a movement within contemporary Christianity characterized by willingness to question tradition, acceptance of human diversity with a strong emphasis on social justice or care for the poor and the oppressed (see Minority… … Wikipedia
Practice in Christianity — (also Training in Christianity) is a work by 19th century philosopher Søren Kierkegaard. It was published on September 27, 1850 under the pseudonym Anti Climacus , the author of The Sickness Unto Death . Kierkegaard considered it to be his most… … Wikipedia
Buddhism and Christianity — The French artist Paul Ranson s Christ et Buddha (1880) juxtaposes the two figures There is speculation concerning a possible connection between both the Buddha BC 623 BC 543 and the Christ, and between Buddhism and Christianity. Buddhism… … Wikipedia
Mormonism and Christianity — Depiction of God the Father and Jesus as two distinct beings appearing to Joseph Smith, Jr. during his First Vision, reflecting Mormonism s nontrinitarian theology. Mormonism and Christianity have a complex theological, historical, and… … Wikipedia
History of Christian theology — This is an overview of the history of Christian theology from the time of Christ to the present.Key themesThe TrinityIn Christianity, the doctrine of the Trinity states that God is one being who exists, simultaneously and eternally, as a mutual… … Wikipedia