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The Cambridge Companion to Postmodern Theology (Cambridge Companions to Religion) [Paperback]

By Kevin J. Vanhoozer (Editor)
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Pages   318
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.04" Width: 5.98" Height: 0.74"
Weight:   1.12 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2011
Publisher   Cambridge University Press
ISBN  0521793955  
EAN  9780521793957  

Availability  0 units.

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Item Description...
Postmodernity allows for no absolutes and no essence. Yet theology is concerned with the absolute, the essential. How then does theology sit within postmodernity? Is postmodern theology possible, or is such a concept a contradiction in terms? Should theology bother about postmodernism or just get on with its own thing? Can it? Theologians have responded in many different ways to the challenges posed by theories of postmodernity. In this introductory guide to a complex area, editor Kevin J. Vanhoozer addresses the issue head on in a lively survey of what 'talk about God' might mean in a postmodern age, and vice versa. The book then offers examples of different types of contemporary theology in relation to postmodernity, while the second part examines the key Christian doctrines in postmodern perspective. Leading theologians contribute to this clear and informative Companion, which no student of theology should be without.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Good read for seminary students  Dec 16, 2006
In my unending search to discover a way in which the sacramental life of the church, LCMS, may be used to intersect post-modernism, I ran across this collection of essays. The collection is very good, however it tends to lean heavily toward the philosophical; I am much more concerned with the practical day to day life of the church. The work contains essays that deal with a range of theologies in the post-modern world. There are several that I thought were quite helpful to my own thesis: D. Stephen Long's Essay on "Radical Orthodoxy," and both of Vanhoozer's. The work also includes a "for further reading" section at the end of each essay that I also found helpful.
good  Nov 5, 2006
Very good book, it expands the spectrum for postmodern thought and keeps the theological aspect close at hand. This book is excellent for this genre, and it should be considered because of the diverse essays and authors.
A great postmodern primer  Oct 19, 2005
According to the introduction, 'Postmodernity allows for no absolutes and no essence. Yet theology is concerned with the absolute, the essential.' Not meaning to be postmodern to the extreme, this statement can hardly be taken as an absolute, either in regard to postmodernity or in terms of theological development. So, where does one start?

The definition of postmodernity is difficult to formulate. The modern is more easy to situate, in that it occurs in or after the Enlightenment, and the different developments in intellectual and philosophical areas that that entails. Postmodern, as the name implies, is defined in relation to (and in contrast to) the project of modernity. 'Postmodernity is upsetting, intentionally so. Postmodern thinkers have overturned the table of the knowledge-changers in the university, the temple of modernity, and have driven out the foundationalists,' according to editor Kevin J. Vanhoozer.

The book is divided into two primary parts. In the first part, there are essays by theologians such as Kevin Vanhoozer, Nancey Murphy and Brad Kallenberg, George Hunsinger, Thomas A. Carlson, Graham Ward, David Ray Griffin, Mary McClintock Fulkerson, and D. Stephen Long. These look at different types of theology that might be classified as postmodern - postliberal theology, postmetaphysical theology, deconstructive theology, reconstructive theology, feminist theology, and radical orthodoxy. No one form of theology in this list holds a monopoly on the term postmodern; no one form of theology in this list fully qualifies under all the parameters by which one might judge something to be postmodern. (Vanhoozer playfully comments that there are eight chapters, a sort of eightfold-path to enlightenment.)

In the second part of the book, various aspects of the traditional structure of systematic theology receive a 'postmodern' treatment. Most systematic theologies are divided broadly into sections that look at scripture, tradition, the Trinity, method, God, creation, humanity, Christology, soteriology (salvation), ecclesiology (church), and pneumatology (Holy Spirit). These are drawn together in essays by Vanhoozer, Dan Stiver, David Cunningham, Philip Clayton, John Webster, Walter Lowe, Stanley Grenz, and David Ford.

Prior to this collection, I was very familiar with many of the theologians (Ward, Griffin, Cunningham, Grenz, Ford), and had fleeting acquaintance with the work of many others. They constitute an interesting and diverse group to approach this particular topic - postmodernity as an enterprise eschews the idea of conformity and lock-step methods, and these writers approach their subjects from vastly different areas. For example, David Ray Griffin has been one of the leading lights in the school of process theology, but here writes on reconstructive theology, stating that 'not all process theology is properly called postmodern.' Graham Ward is known to me more as a writer in the area of radical orthodoxy topics, but here is developing the idea of deconstruction a la Derrida as applied to the theological task. Stanley Grenz is on the more conservative side of writers here; I was surprised (in a pleasant way) to see him dealing with the issue of ecclesiology through the lens of narrative theology.

This is a really interesting text, one of the most interesting theology books I've read in a long while. It is a good text for introducing many of the strands of modern, er, I mean postmodern (okay, contemporary) theology in a brief but systematic, clear and accessible manner.


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