The Blackwell Companion to Postmodern Theology / Edition 1

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This Companion provides a definitive collection of essays on postmodern theology, drawing on the work of those individuals who have made a distinctive contribution to the field, and whose work will be significant for the theologies written in the new millennium.

  • The definitive collection of essays on postmodern theology, drawing on the work of those individuals who have made a distinctive contribution to the field.
  • Each essay is introduced with a short account of the writer's previous work, enabling the reader to view it in context.
  • Discusses the following desciplines: Aesthetics, Ethics, Gender, Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, Heideggerians, and Derrideans.
  • Edited by Graham Ward, one of the most outstanding and original theologians working in the field today.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"If you think you know what postmodern theology is, or think you don't know, either way these remarkable essays will change your mind: written by Jews, Christians and atheists; indebted to Plato, the Bible and Augustine; haunted by Heidegger, Levinas, Foucault and Derrida; dealing with jazz, the Shoah, the ecological crisis, the American prison system and many other topics; some long and patient, others short and cryptic, all asking to be read more than once. You may still not know at the end but you will certainly have seen the variety and vitality of what theologians are doing, in these postmodern times, and the zest with which they do it." Fergus Kerr, Blackfriars

"Connecting theology to a variety of disciplines and intellectual traditions, this companion provides an exciting sample of the current work of postmodern theologians. Many of the essays are ground-breaking, as the fields of theology and religious thought move forward into the next century. The polyphony of the volume provides surprising moments of harmony (and discord). This is a valuable sequel to Ward's THEPOSTMODERN GOD, and will be useful in the classroom." Robert Gibbs, University of Toronto

"The essays provide a lofty introduction to contemporary theology. The introductory essay by Ward is as good as it gets on this topic." Choice

"Among the delights of this collection are the essays that dare to reconsider some of the 'bad guys' in the official postmodern story: thus Catherine Pickstock endeavours to rescue Plato from his Nietzschean decriers, by re-reading the Republic through the Laws to offer an account of Plato's politics as liturgical rather than totalitarian; while Jean-Luc Marion even seeks to learn from the much-despised Descartes." Literature & Theology

"a...useful and exciting volume, bringing together the work of religious scholars and theologians across a wide spectrum, creating space for their current work independently from a given theme, showing them sometimes in agreement, sometimes in heated argument with each other." Anglican Theological Review

"A book good libraries should have." Theological Studies

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Product Details

Meet the Author

The Revd Dr Graham Ward is Professor of Contextual Theology in the department for Religions and Theology at the University of Manchester and one of the Directors of the Centre for Religion and Political Culture based there. His books available from Blackwell include The Postmodern God (1997), The Certeau Reader (1999), True Religion (2002), and Christ and Culture (forthcoming).

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Table of Contents

List of Contributors
Introduction: "Where We Stand"
Pt. I Aesthetics 1
1 Postmodern Theology as Cultural Analysis 3
2 The Man Who Fell to Earth 24
3 Communion and Conversation 48
4 The Ends of Man and the Future of God 68
5 "Lush Life": Foucault's Analytics of Power and a Jazz Aesthetic 79
Pt. II Ethics 105
6 The Midwinter Sacrifice 107
7 Postmodernity and Religious Plurality: Is a Common Global Ethic Possible or Desirable? 131
8 The Christian Difference, or Surviving Postmodernism 144
9 Justice and Prudence: Principles of Order in the Platonic City 162
10 Visiting Prisoners 177
11 Suffering and Incarnation 192
12 Earth God: Cultivating the Spirit in an Ecocidal Culture 209
Pt. III Gender 229
13 An Ethics of Memory: Promising, Forgiving, Yearning 231
14 Is Macrina a Woman? Gregory of Nyssa's Dialogue on the Soul and Resurrection 249
15 "They Will Know We are Christians by Our Regulated Improvisation": Ecclesial Hybridity and the Unity of the Church 265
16 On Changing the Imaginary 280
17 Companionable Wisdoms: What Insights Might Feminist Theorists Gather from Feminist Theologians? 294
Pt. IV Hermeneutics 309
18 Shattering the Logos: Hermeneutics Between a Hammer and a Hard Place 311
19 The Renewal of Jewish Theology Today: Under the Sign of Three 324
20 Intending Transcendence: Desiring God 349
Pt. V Phenomenology 367
21 Transfiguring God 369
22 Presence and Parousia 394
23 The Formal Reason for the Infinite 399
24 Religions as Conventions 413
Pt. VI Heideggerians 425
25 The Self-Saving of God 427
26 The Subject of Prayer: Unwilling Words in the Postmodern Access to God 444
27 The Christian Message and the Dissolution of Metaphysics 458
Pt. VII Derrideans 467
28 The Poetics of the Impossible and the Kingdom of God 469
29 Anti-Discrimination 482
30 Is There a Postmodern Gospel? 490
31 Indian Territory: Postmodernism Under the Sign of the Body 505
Index 517
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