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James K.A. SmithBaker Academic / 2014 / ePubOur Price$12.003.5 out of 5 stars for Who's Afraid of Relativism? (The Church and Postmodern Culture): Community, Contingency, and Creaturehood - eBook. View reviews of this product. 3 Reviews
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Curious1 Stars Out Of 5Dude literally denies truthJanuary 15, 2018CuriousQuality: 1Value: 1Meets Expectations: 3This is a sequel of sorts to Whos afraid of postmodernism and he doubles down on his denial of the correspondance view of truth (ie. truth is what corresponds to reality). i dont know how any Christian in his or her right mind could endorse this book.
This isnt so much an attack on modernity as it is an attack on our humanity.
BibliophileIndiana, PAAge: Over 65Gender: Male5 Stars Out Of 5Tired of being god?February 23, 2017BibliophileIndiana, PAAge: Over 65Gender: MaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The idol of modernity's certainty will topple before the contingency of creaturely confession and humble truth claims.
Mr BultitudeVancouverAge: 18-24Gender: Male4 Stars Out Of 5Excellent Engagement With RelativismAugust 22, 2014Mr BultitudeVancouverAge: 18-24Gender: MaleQuality: 4Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4I am very grateful for James K.A. Smith's scholarship. Modeling St. Augustine's "looting of the Egyptians," Smith ably appropriates insights of non-Christian philosophers and thinkers and demonstrates how their thought can constructively impact and orient theology and Christian practice.
Overall, I preferred the earlier "Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?" to this book, largely because at the time I read it I was finishing up my undergrad in sociology and Foucault is one of that discipline's key contributors. "Who's Afraid of Relativism?" explores the work of Wittgenstein, Rorty and Brandom (I had never heard of Brandom until reading this book). Smith criticizes those who abhor any hint of sympathy with relativism because they claim it will lead to nihilism; Smith argues that admitting our relativism is NOT necessarily going to lead someone into nihilism. I think Smith makes convincing arguments for Christians to adopt "relativist" and "pragmatic" approaches although I he could have explained himself more succinctly. He effectively points to the Incarnation as the ultimate act of condescension to mankind, an act necessary because of our contingency and creaturehood. His main point is that we can't just have cognitive belief or ecstatic expression; Christians need to be in community and be taught practices that orient us to Christ. Chapter 5 is the KEY chapter in which all the insights of the three philosophers are brought together and woven together with how the Church should act. I was a bit wary that Smith would entirely withdraw "natural law" from the table (to the horror of apologists!) but he affirms that there ARE indeed universals but that they can only be understood by being gifted with the interpretive lens of faith. The relativism discussed here is not so much MORAL relativism but the fact that are knowledge and practices are dependent upon context and circumstances.
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