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Introducing Radical Orthodoxy: Mapping a Post-secular Theology

Baker Academic / 2004 / Paperback

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The news of modernity's death has been greatly exaggerated. The Enlightenment project lives on in the notion of "the secular"--a zone decontaminated of religious belief. But the postmodern critique of modernity also calls into question the very notion of the secular, presenting an opportunity for questions such as, If modernity is essentially linked to the secular, shouldn't Christians welcome the advent of postmodernity? In Introducing Radical Orthodoxy, James K. A. Smith plays the role of a cartographer, mapping the landscape of contemporary theology and culture in order to introduce the distinctive voice of Radical Orthodoxy, which is associated with John Milbank, Graham Ward, Catherine Pickstock, and others. Radical Orthodoxy, he argues, has important things to say to both the academy and the church.

Radical Orthodoxy affirms that there is no "secular." All is religious. If that is the case, Smith maintains, then the intellectual framework of all academic disciplines must be distinctively Christian. To deny this, he writes, is to fall victim to the modernist siren song of objective reason, which, in fact, is a pagan song in disguise. Radical Orthodoxy also challenges the church to a radical discipleship, resisting accommodation to a culture dominated by consumerism and violence. Drawing on Augustine and Aquinas, engaged through the lenses of the Reformed thought of Calvin, Kuyper, and Dooyeweerd, Smith argues that Radical Orthodoxy is in an ideal position to articulate an old-but-new postmodern theology that resonates with the Reformed tradition. Introducing Radical Orthodoxy will prove to be an invaluable guide, introducing an intellectual movement that challenges the church to consider the role of biblical revelation for all areas of life. It will find its place on the bookshelves of professors, students, and pastors.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 272
Vendor: Baker Academic
Publication Date: 2004
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0801027357
ISBN-13: 9780801027352
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Although God is making a comeback in our society, popular culture still takes its orders from the Enlightenment, a movement that denied faith a prominent role in society. Today, many are questioning this elevation of reason over faith. How should Christians respond to a secular world that continues to push faith to the margins?

While there is still no consensus concerning what a postmodern society should look like, James K. A. Smith suggests that the answer is a reaffirmation of the belief that Jesus is Lord over all. Smith traces the trends and directions of Radical Orthodoxy, proposing that it can provide an old-but-new theology for a new generation of Christians. This book will challenge and encourage pastors and thoughtful laypeople interested in learning more about currents in contemporary theology.

Author Bio

James K. A. Smith (Ph.D., Villanova University) is the Gary & Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology & Worldview at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In addition, he is editor of Comment magazine and a senior fellow of the Colossian Forum. He formerly taught at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Active in both the church and the academy, Smith is the author of Speech and Theology (part of the Routledge Radical Orthodoxy series) and The Fall of Interpretation.

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