Reading Notes on Theology and Social Theory by John Milbank (part 3)

Milbank moves on to lay out a genealogy of sociology, tracing its origins from Malenbranche to Durkheim. Secular social science faces a great connundrum: do humans construct society or does society construct humanity? A theological answer would be that both individuals and society are part of a created order and the order and our place ...

Reading Notes on Whose Justice? Which Rationality? by Alasdair MacIntyre (part 3)

Athens is the arena to which MacIntyre turns to examine the conflict between the competing justices and rationalities of excellence and effectiveness. Homer couldn’t imagine that there would ever be a conflict between the two, the Athenians proved otherwise. Athens held itself as a model of democracy, all Athenian citizens were treated equally, life within ...

Reading Notes on Whose Justice? Which Rationality? by Alasdair MacIntyre (part 2)

For MacIntyre those who inherited the Homeric canon were left with a dilemma regarding what constituted justice. Was it excellence, a justice founded upon a certain teleology toward which each person in their given station was supposed to work? Or was justice founded upon effectiveness, what works best for me? A justice founded on excellence ...

Reading Notes on Theology and Social Theory by John Milbank, part 2

Milbank’s argument continues that so-called secular social theory actually develops within a perverted Christian theological framework. What Milbank calls “the political economy” developed as a kind of theodicy to reconcile how individuals with their inherently selfish motives could corporately act toward the common good. Enter Hobbes and Adam Smith. In Hobbes the role of State ...

Reading Notes on Theology & Social Theory by John Milbank

I’ve heard people complain that Karl Barth is hard to read. Those people should read John Milbank and then shut their mouths. I’ve just started reading Milbanks highly influential, controversial, and dense work Theology & Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason (2nd ed.). The second edition contains a new preface. My advice: do not read this preface unless ...

Reading Notes on Whose Justice? Which Rationality? by Alasdair MacIntyre

Whose Justice? Which Rationality? is one of those books that you see cited everywhere. The reason being is that it calls into question the notion that there is one common rationality and conception of justice that unites us all and that if we could just acknowledge that we could get on with doing what we ...

Reading Notes: Deep Exegesis by Peter Leithart

Peter Leithart’s concern in Deep Exegesis is to ask not just how we should read and interpret Scripture but how Scripture shapes how we read all texts. His is an attempt at recovery and reformulation of the ancient “Four Ways” strategy of reading Scripture which attending to the text’s (1) literal (2) allegorical (Christological) (3) tropological ...

A Lacunae in God is Not One by Stephen Prothero 1

A Lacunae in God is Not One by Stephen Prothero
A couple summers ago I quickly devoured Stephen Prothero’s book God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World – And Why Their Differences Matter. Prothero’s thesis, is that despite the best wishes of those beholden to the Perennial Philosophy, the world’s religions don’t all teach the same things or worship the same ...

Ontotheology and Radical Orthodoxy

Through my recent reading of the writings of James KA Smith, I’ve gotten interested in learning about the Radical Orthodoxy (RO) movement. I remember hearing about this in seminary, and in a Barthian context like Princeton Seminary, RO is a dirty word. The reason for this is that RO is highly metaphysical, basing its theological ...

Reading Notes – Foolishness to the Greeks by Lesslie Newbigin 2

Reading Notes - Foolishness to the Greeks by Lesslie Newbigin
What would it look like for there to be a missionary encounter between the gospel and modern Western culture? This is the question that Lesslie Newbigin seeks to answer in Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture. For the uninitiated Lesslie Newbigin is a man. If you refer to Newbigin as a she within ...