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By Adonis Vidu / Paternoster / 2005
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Postliberal Theological Method is a fresh, critical analysis of one of today’s most influential theological movements. It focuses on several aspects pertaining to postliberal theological method, specifically its understanding of background, hermeneutics, epistemic justification, ontology, the nature of doctrine and Christological method.
Drawing on recent thinking in analytic philosophy, particularly Donald Davidson’s work on truth and meaning, Vidu raises questions about the linguistic turn in the theology of Hans Frei, George Lindbeck, John Milbank, Ronald Thiemann and others.
Vidu looks especially at one particular problem which haunts Postliberal theology, one that pertains to its theological epistemology. Postliberal writers exhibit two potentially contradictory presuppositions: the pragmatist doctrine of the epistemic priority of the social forms of life, and the theological conviction of the ontological priority of God. It is upon this dilemma that Vidu basis his critical study, asking does not the narrative construal of Jesus’ and God’s identity preclude their ontological superiority for the Christian form of life?
Vidu has written an exemplary critical engagement with Postliberal theological method. This book analyses and clarifies the directions open to theology today.
—Philip Good child, Department of Theology, University of Nottingham
Postliberal Theological Method is a book by a young scholar of considerable ability. Adonis Vidu is not afraid to ask disquieting questions about the semantic rules that govern much Postliberal discourse, pointing, for instance, to the illegitimacy of incommensurability prior to the testing of dialogue. This book appeals throughout to a way of thinking which conscientiously tests the fine canons of its abstractive reasoning against practice and the particular. Thus over time it will free itself from the constraining limits of its own theological horizons, and from the undiminished latency of violence which lingers there. This is a serious study, in a field characterized by play, and we should take it seriously.
—Oliver Davies, Professor of Christian Doctrine, King’s College London
In this valuable study, Adonis Vidu offers a searching analysis of the central tenets of recent post-liberal theological writing. These are subjected to rigorous scrutiny, thus producing an important discussion of some of the most significant influences upon contemporary theology.
—David Fergusson, Head of the School of Divinity, New College, University of Edinburgh
This is a perceptive, incisive, and judicious evaluation of precisely what the title describes. Dr. Vidu values Postliberal concerns with narrative, but looks for more on ontology. I warmly commend this excellent study, which is based on very wide reading and on careful, meticulous, research.
—Anthony C. Thiselton, Emeritus Professor of Christian Theology in the Universtiy of Nottingham
Adonis Vidu (Ph. D., University of Nottingham) is Lecturer in Theology at Emmanuel University, Orandea, Romania.