Postmodern Rationality, Social Criticism, and Religion presents a pragmatic, post-modern interpretation of the social nature of all human conceiving, asserting, perceiving, explaining, evaluating and justifying, and of the subjects and objects of all such rationality. It shows that such a social interpretation of human rationality leaves ample room for doing social criticism of social practices and for religious encounters with that which is other than all social rationality. This interpretation and demonstration...
Postmodern Rationality, Social Criticism, and Religion presents a pragmatic, post-modern interpretation of the social nature of all human conceiving, asserting, perceiving, explaining, evaluating and justifying, and of the subjects and objects of all such rationality. It shows that such a social interpretation of human rationality leaves ample room for doing social criticism of social practices and for religious encounters with that which is other than all social rationality. This interpretation and demonstration is communicated to the reader through a series of dialogues with the major philosophical writers and movements of the past 150 years.
The text aims at aiding readers to see that neither pursuing knowledge and justice nor remaining religiously faithful need a/social and a/historical ultimates. The construction of the form and content of the text is driven by an interest in aiding people to move beyond absolutizing human constructs and thus to minimize domination and oppression and to maximize a religious and ethical passion to be free and to act responsibly to all others who remain wholly other. It is to let ways of living and worshiping which are different from one’s own to remain in their otherness even as one enters into respectful dialogue with them.
"...explains some of the ways philosophers have been trying to make sense of things over the past 150 years. ...analyzes, criticizes, selectively appropriates, and reconstructs writings of existentialists, social and cultural critics, pragmatists, and postmodernists in order to find a coherent interpretation of the current human form of life and its future possibilities."
author of Critical Resistance
- David Hoy
"Henry Ruf’s book displays impressive scholarship and lucid exposition. The accounts of Rorty, Derrida, and Foucault were particularly valuable to me. This is an important contribution to current social theory that should help to establish religion at the heart of postmodern theory. The book also establishes Ruf as a major philosopher in the intersection of religion and continental social theory."
author of Nietzsche Unbound
- David Taffel
"This is an excellent, exciting work that performs the invaluable service of situating some of the most important thinkers of the last century and a half in one overarching account of the uses and abuses of 'instrumental rationality' and the consequences for genuine human spirituality and interpersonal relationships. It marks the detailed theoretical payoff on the promise of Religion, Ontotheology, and Deconstruction and on Huston Smith's popular Why Religion Matters."
Michigan State University
- Bill E. Lawson
"...should be required reading for all philosophy graduate students. Indeed, it should be required reading for graduate students in both the humanities and social sciences. In clear and concise language he explores and explains the differences in approach and perspective of those of the modern school of social analysis and those writers of the post-modern school of social criticism. Ruf's point that there is much to be learned by reading the works of scholars of both schools.... Persons interest
Stony Brook University
- Kelley Oliver
"In his impressive new book Postmodern Rationality, Social Criticism and Religion, Henry Ruf gracefully takes up some of the most pressing questions of our age: What is the relation between science and religion? How can we negotiate different religions and cultural belief systems? How can a notion of reason accommodate the differences between peoples and cultures? The breadth and dexterity of Ruf's textual engagements is magnificent. And the clarity of his style and insight make this book not on
Henry L. Ruf is adjunct professor of English and Philosophy at Florida Atlantic University and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at West Virginia University. He is the author of Investigating Philosophy and Moral Investigations and has contributed numerous articles to magazines such as The Philosophical Forum and Philosophical Studies