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Introducing Radical Orthodoxy: Mapping a Post-Secular Theology (Englisch) Taschenbuch – Dezember 2004

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 11 Rezensionen
50 von 55 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A wonderful introduction to a perplexing topic 2. Februar 2005
Von Tedd Steele - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Over the last few years there have been many questions and conversations about Radical Orthodoxy. For many, it is a way of thinking that is as confusing as it is insightful. James K. A. Smith shows the promise of Radical Orthodoxy in this very accessible introduction.

Smith aims to summarize what the "theological sensibility" (most of the authors don't want to be considered a movement or school of thought) known as Radical Orthodoxy has been about. He also intends to point out deficiencies in "RO" and suggest avenues for future research. He does all of this from a Reformed point of view, one that is missing in much of RO's work. The book is divided into two parts. The first seeks to place RO within the greater theological and philosophical discussion. It does so by discussing other ways of thinking, outlining RO's main contentions, and giving a brief account of the history of philosophy as RO reads it. The second section more clearly articulates RO's contentions and points the way to future improvements. Chapters deal with politics, epistemology, ontology, and ecclesiology. Smith makes it clear that he finds RO's soteriology and understanding of sin particularly in need of repair.

If you are a student struggling with RO, this book is definately for you. If you are theologian interested in RO, this book will help summarize RO and give a brief critique. If you are involved in RO and want to see it move in different directions, this book is a useful part of the conversation. I highly recommend it.
34 von 37 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Radical Orthodoxy Rendered Intelligible 15. Januar 2005
Von Nathan P. Gilmour - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
I had the opportunity three years ago to read through John Milbank's Theology and Social Theory with a theology professor and a group of dedicated, intelligent seminarians. Without those resources, I would never have entered into the world of Radical Orthodoxy (RO). Now, for those who don't have the opportunity to study with Dr. Norris at Emmanuel School of Religion, James Smith has provided an entrance that is just as helpful (even if it lacks the entertainment value of a Norris class).

Smith, a theologian and philosopher claimed by the Reformed tradition, does a superb job locating RO's project, critique moves, and conceptual refinements among the trends of contemporary academic theology, taking care to include its relationships with oft-ignored intellectual movements such as fundamentalism and the emergent church. He notes the political, philosophical, metaphysical, and ecclesiological swerves that Ward and company make and gives ample attention to several critiques of the movement and to the content of their objections.

Most interesting is Smith's willingness to bring his own Reformed tradition, especially in the person of Dooyeweerd (sp?), into contact with RO and to let each correct the other. He thus presents an excellent model of what help theological traditions might offer one another.

The book itself had no major weaknesses that I could discern but invites much more work that would engage RO from other theological traditions. I can only hope that some Pentecostals and Episcopalians and Evangelicals take up Smith's challenge.
11 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Parisian Augustinianism 11. November 2007
Von Jacob - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
t is always interesting to find "coincidences" in theological movements. That is, when group A arrives at a theological position/conclusion that looks eerily similar to what group B believes. It is even stranger to find that they never borrowed from the same sources or even interacted. Such it is with the rise of Radical Orthodoxy (hereafter RO) and its critique of modernity.

RO is a group of theologians who saw the bankruptcy of modernity, and the inability of post modernity to answer the tough questions, thus positing a critique that seeks to avoid both secularism and pre-modernity. It is similar to a Parisian Augustine. RO is sensitive to post-modernity's critiques of secularism. The book offers a multi-angled critique of secularalism: epistemological, ontological, and ecclesiological.

Once Upon a Time there was Plato
RO's epistemological critique of secularism is a retelling of the story of Western philosophy. According to RO, philosophy took a fatal turn with Duns Scotus. Scotus posited a univocity of being stating there is only one kind of being in everything real, though infinite in the case of God and finite in the case of creatures. According to RO, this flattened ontology, removing the transcendent and giving us a metaphysics of immanence. Smith writes, "The created, immanent order no longer participates in the divine and thus is no longer characterized by the depth of that which is stretched toward the transcendent (93)." In other words, man is now able to interpret reality apart from God or any notion of the transcendent. This opened the door to secularism.
The antidote to Scotus, then, is Plato. If Scotus unhooked ontology, Plato (or his Christian disciples) can reconnect it. In short and in contrast with modernity, RO offers, not a univocity of being, but a participatory metaphysics. Popular opinion on Plato is that Plato denigrated the material in favor of the spiritual (I will resist applications to some Reforme--never mind). But RO suggests, on the other hand, that it is nihilism, with its denial of the transcendent that denigrates the material. But can Platonism make the claim that it values the material?
RO inverts Platonism on this point. Following Phaedrus, RO argues that when the material participates in the spiritual, the physical is rightly energized and affirmed. For example, the physical embodiment of beauty excites the soul's desire such that its wings sprout and are nourished." On one hand I agree. I value the material very much (almost too much), but is this an accurate reading of Plato? I really can't (and neither can Smith) follow their reconstruction of Plato. Plato spoke often of soma sema: the body is a prison for the soul. But we need not accept their reading of Plato to grasp their point.

Ontology: Unfolding Reality
This was arguably the toughest section of the book. And the most surprising. Smith reintroduced Dooyeweerd to the Reformed and academic scene. If nihilism/modernity flattened their epistemology, it also flattened its ontology. Secular ontologies, according to RO, "claim to fully define the conditions" for reality (187). This section will be shorter since the same critique of epistemology will be used for ontology. RO counters the secular ontology with a new move on RO's part: an Incarnational or participatory ontology. In rephrasing RO's ontology, Smith uses the arcane philosophy of Herman Dooyeweerd, particularly his modal scheme.
12 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Essential first step for those interested in RO 9. Oktober 2006
Von N. Wood - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I read this book two years ago during the summer before my senior year of college, and I found it utterly fascinating. Even at the level of learning I was at then (three years of college philosophy and theology courses), the book was rather difficult at times, so it's definitely only for those at advanced undergraduate or graduate levels. That said, it's still infinitely easier to read that any of John Milbank's own writings, so anyone wanting a relatively easy introduction to the thought of Milbank and other RO thinkers should definitely start hear before picking up any of the source texts themselves.

For those unfamiliar with RO, it is a movement combining the best of contemporary Christian theology, Continental and postmodern philosophy, and ancient and medieval thought, creating a new "post-secular" theology that doesn't simply parrot the findings of the social sciences and secular philosophy, but recasts them in a distinctively Christian mould. For those who, like myself, have looked for something in Continental philosophy of religion that doesn't end up with results that look disappointingly unorthodox, RO definitely merits a look.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Von Steven H Propp - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
James K.A. Smith teaches philosophy and theology at Calvin College; he previously taught at Loyola Marymount University, Fuller Seminary, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Regent College. Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?: Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church (The Church and Postmodern Culture), Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation (Cultural Liturgies), Teaching and Christian Practices: Reshaping Faith and Learning, etc.

He wrote in the Introduction to this 2004 book, "My goal in this book is to play the role of a cartographer---mapping the coordinates of recent developments in contemporary theology and philosophy to navigate a way forward for both practice and theory... In its introductory intentions, this book is not intended to be exhaustive, though I do hope it is comprehensive."

He suggests that if we are now witnessing not only the "postmodern" era, we should also be seeing the advent of the "post-secular." (Pg. 33) Radical Orthodoxy is "a deeply ecumenical program," which transcends confessional boundaries. (Pg. 64)

He denies that Radical Orthodoxy (or "RO," as he abbreviates it) is not antimodern; rather, it takes seriously the accomplishments of modernity and subjects them to critical scrutiny. (Pg. 125-126) He admits, however, that there may be a "lingering scholasticism" in RO. (Pg. 154) He acknowledges that, in its critique of the autonomy of reason, RO "spells the end of apologetics." (Pg. 180)

He is most enthusiastic about RO's "unabashed and shameless affirmation of the project of metaphysics"---despite all of the postmodern, post-Nietzsche/Heidegger/Derrida talk of the "end of metaphysics." (Pg. 186)

This is a very useful introduction and orientation to this significant new theological trend.
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