A creative, informative introduction to public theology. Tracing the genesis of critical social theory in Germany's Frankfurt School of Social Research, Simpson explains the ideas of Jurgen Habermas---especially his thoughts on interpretation, praxis, communicative action, and civil society---to show how Christians can use critical theory to recover their prophetic vocation in today's postmodern culture. 178 pages, softcover from Fortress.
Critical theory explained and espousedSimpson ably introduces critical social theory, the German-born intellectual movement that has spawned sharp criticisms of modernity, its use of reason, and our highly technological, bureaucratic culture. Part 1 recounts the emergence of critical social theory within the Frankfurt School of Social Research and the theological stirrings that the Frankfurt project sparked, especially in Paul Tillich. Part 2 explores J rgen Habermas' reconception and expansion of critical social theory, especially his ideas about hermeneutics, praxis, communicative action, and civil society as the locus of prophetic social movements. Finally, in Part 3 Simpson shows how Christian theology employs critical social theory for the tasks of prophetic reason in a global civil society.Simpson's work is at once a programmatic introduction and a creative theological proposal for public theology.