Monday, 16 April 2007

Radical Orthodoxy Bibliography in English - as promissed!

Radical Orthodoxy bibliography (2007)

This bibliography is intended to be a short guide for people interested in the Radical Orthodoxy movement and contemporary issues in theology. I am merely mentioning and commenting on some of the sources here, without any claims of being objective. For the one who is interested in a fuller bibliography I can recommend James Smith’s (see below). These sources can and should bee taken together with the other published bibliography on the Emerging Church since they are parallel phenomena, originating from two different theological continents.

Milbank, John; Pickstock, Catherine; Ward, Graham, A New Theology: Radical Orthodoxy (London, Routledge, 1999)

This is the book that started it all. It is the New Testament of RO! A group of theologians, many still doing their PhDs, gathered for a conference in Cambridge under the title that later became this book. The width of subjects is worth noting – from economy to sex to language philosophy. It manifests the attempt of RO to be all-encompassing in theology, that theology has a magisterial use in the sciences. The introduction to the book is often quoted as a programmatic sketch of the general theological sensibilities that drives the project.

Milbank, John, Theology and Social Theory (Oxford: Blackwell, 1990).

If the book above is the New Testament, this one is the Old. It was written as am ideological preamble of what later became RO. It is a sharp criticism (though often as complicated as it is dubious in its arguments) of how modern, mainly European, theology has given in to secularism. Theology has been done, not from a theological perspective primarily but from the paradigm of social science. Even if its criticism is well needed I think the way there is one that I would not share.

Smith, James, K.A. Introducing Radical Orthodoxy: Mapping a Post-Secular Theology.

This is my favourite introduction to RO. The first chapters which are an orientation in modern theology are worth reading on its own even if RO is not ones interest. The book is written from a Protestant-Reformed perspective (Kuyper, Doyerweerd) which is no secret. The fact that the writer is writing from an open perspective makes it an extra interesting read as he tries to show overlaps between theological strands and makes suggestions for how the conversation can go further. Don’t miss the controversial yet stimulating use of Leibniz metaphysics as a way to redeem creational theology! Sadly Smith is not able to make any good contribution to RO’s view of the history/genealogy of ideas which is so central to the whole project. For instance he is merely repeating the supra-Augustinian Aquinas and the historically misinformed interpretation of Scotus’ ideas heavily influenced by Etienne Gilson’s grand yet biased views. For a what should be an ultimate defeater for this old school interpretation see Riochard Cross’ great and intricate article, "'Where Angels Fear to Tread': Duns Scotus and Radical Orthodoxy," in Antonianum 76.1 (2001): 7-41. This criticism aside, his voice is well needed and welcome in the RO conversation.

Here is Smith’s biliography:

Some relevant homepages: [Smith’s homepage] [A good article from a good Roman Catholic Journal!] [Since RO has its deepest historical and ideological roots in the Roman Catholic 20th century reform movement Nouvelle Theologie I cannot neglect mentioning this homepage.]

Friday, 23 March 2007

Emerging church bibliografi

Emerging church-bibliografi (2007)

Har ar ett urval av kallor med mina personliga kommentarer om Emerging church (EC). Den ar langt fran uttommande men med de referenser som dessa kallor ger kommer man ganska langt. Tolle lege!


McLaren, Brian, A Generous Orthodoxy (Zondervan, 2004). Svensk oversattning: En generos radikalitet (Marcus forlag, 2006) [Forklara mer av EC’s teologiska riktning.]

- A New Kind of Christian: A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey (Jossey-Bass, 2001). Svensk oversattning: Kristen pa nytt satt (Marcus forlag, 2006) [Genom en fiktiv dialog emllan en pastor (!) och en van berattar McLaren om sin och manga andra manniskor brottning med tron]

Webber, Robert, Younger Evangelicals. Facing the Challenges of the New World (Baker Books, 2002) [En god teologisk introduktion till de skiften i tankandet som EC foreslar]

Smith, James, K.A., Who Is Afraid of Postmodernism. Taking Dewrrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church (Baker Academic, 2006) [En passionerad kritiker och foresprakare i samma person. Detta ar min favoritbok, inte bara for att den ar kort, utan darfor att den ar teologiskt och filosofiskt stimulerande och men samtidigt latt att lasa. Man far ta en del med en nypa salt men andra saker ar undebara. Smith sjalv ar filosofiprofessor pa Calvin College i Amerika och kombinerar kyrka och akademi pa ett foredomligt satt. Se ref. Till hans hemsida nedan.]

Carson, Don, Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church. Understanding a Movement and its Implications (Zondervan, 2005) [Ett engagerat svar till EC fran en kand relativt sett traditionell evangelikal teolog. Lases med fordel tillsammans med Smith da Smith ofta kritiserar Carsons satt att tolka EC. Denna bok har manga styrkor, inte minst kapitlet om modernismen mangfald.]

Dan Kimball, Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations (Zondervan, 2003) [Ett daligt exempel pa hur pragmatisk EC kan bli. Kop den inte men las den garna! Finns en del for den som vill tanka pa alternativ gudstjanst, men jag skulle saga att i Europa har vi redan allt detta genom Taize och annat mer mystiskt och liturgiskt-hogkyrkligt orienterat tankande.]


Johansson, Lars ’Emerging church’, NOD nr. 2, 2006.

Hellstroms, Fredrik ’Att vara kyrka i ett postmodernt samhalle’ (En bra svensk artikel om emerging church. Bra bibliografi.)

Carson, Don, ’The Emerging Church Profile’ (Forsta kaptiel fran hans bok om EC. Se nedan)

’An Inteview with Stanley Grentz’, [Interview med Stanley Grentz som var en ledande teolog och visionary inom rorelsen. Grentz dog hastigt i mars 2005 av en hjarnsjkdom]

Hemsidor [McLarens framsta huvudsida dar nyheter och artiklar standigt poppar upp. Finns massor av lastips har] [En hemsida/blogg som uppkom efter boken A Generous Orthodoxy. Den resulterade, som mycket annat McLaren har gjort, i en massa korrespondens med forfattaren. I varsta fall ar dessa bloggar for hans del global terapi, men det finns mycket intressant att lasa har] [Den storsta hemsidan for EC-rorelsen. En kalla for den kunskapstorstande.] [En spackad nyhetssida med EC inriktning. Rik pa information.] [Ett ekemuneiskt projekt inriktat pa efterfoljelse. Manga artiklar att se narmare pa.] [James K.A. Smith’s hemsida. Smith forsoker koppla EC till vad jag kallar en parallellrorelse inom akademisk teologi: Radical Orthodoxy rorelsen. Finns manga intressanta ide.] [en brittisk hemsida om alternativt gudstjansttankande] [Wikipedia har pa sistone etablerat sig som en av mina favoritstallen for att finna nagorlunda tillforlitlig och relativt kortfattad infromation om saker. Tycker deras artikel om EC ar utmarkt. De ar mycket bra pa andra saker som film, se Ingemar Bergman.] [Tva artiklar fran Reformation 21 om Emerging church fran ett reformert perspektiv] [Re:tro - En samarbetssite for Johanneskyrkan, SALT, Liljeholmens fhsk. Mycket handlar om eller ar i samma anda som EC. Kanske det mest EC vi har i sverige. Ofta bra och tankvarda inlagg.]

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Is divine unchangeability a great-making property?

Here are some fragments of a paper I have been thinking about lately

In this paper I will try to contribute to an ongoing discussion about how we conceptualise the divine nature. In classical theology God has among other related attributes said to have been essentially unchangeable (immutabilitas Dei). In modern theology the conceptual scheme has been reversed, God, it is said, is essentially essentially changeable. This most often not to be taken as a modest suggestion but a strong affirmative invocation for any theology proper today.

Now I will not try to do what takes book length of writing and arguing – to demonstrate how contemporary theology can re-reverse the conceptual scheme. Such a project is time craving and full of pitfalls. But as a part of such and argument, or maybe as a preamble to it, I want to ask the necessary question: “Is changeablitlty a great-making property for God?” This is not to ask the question: "whether God is unchangeable?" or even try to demonstrate that so is the case. I will be content with dealing with the minor instead of the major issue at hand.

I am well aware (at least) of some problems with this question for contemporary philosophical theology. It seems to me that some of the problems lie in the poor exchange between systematic and philosophical theology. (Not to mention biblical and historical theology and philosophical theology.) I believe the major objections against such a blessed exchange would be responded to in this paper, but there are some that I would like to mention explicit at the outset.

The way I have asked the question seems to presuppose (i) that God has a ‘nature’ and (ii) that it is sensible to talk about great-making properties. I believe these two items are problematic to contemporary theologians because they presuppose a more ancient (pre-modern) as well as a way of talking familiar to analytic philosophers. The later are, as is well known, not very highly esteemed among the ones who argue for divine mutability. At the surface this might seem a crude anachronistic way of reasoning and in the current discussion climate be thought of as having little or no appeal. There simply is a new set of theological sensibilities among modern theologians which have helped re-shape the old metaphysics in which it made sense to talk about an unchageable God. Let me therefore try to give a sketch of the kind of metaphysical outlook I am implicitly advocating here and why anyone today, no matter from what school, should try to adhere to.

Radical Orthodoxy bibliografi

Radical Orthodoxy bibliografi (2007)

Namner endast nagra relevanta bocker har. For den intresserade rekomenderar jag hemsidorna nedan och framfor allt Smith’s bibliografi. Dessa bocker kan med fordel ses som en lost sammanbunden enhet med bibliografin om Emerging church. For er som tanker pa att skriva uppsatser pa teologen finns har mycket intressant att skriva om for den som vill lara sig lite mer om samtida teologiskt tankande.

Milbank, John; Pickstock, Catherine; Ward, Graham, A New Theology: Radical Orthodoxy (London,

Routledge, 1999) [Detta ar boken som startade det hela. En grupp unga teologer

samlades kring de redaktorerna under en konferens med samma titel som boken. Deras

bidrag kom sedan att tryckas. Vart att marka ar vidden av de olika artiklarnas innehall –

fran ekeonomi till sex till sprakfilosofi! Inledningen ar ofta referead till som en

kondencerad form av introduktion till de centrala ideerna i RO.]

Milbank, John, Theology and Social Theory (Oxford: Blackwell, 1990). [Som den ledande ideologen

bakom RO aterfinns de flesta ideerna redan i denna bok. Det ar en kritik av hur samtida,

inte minst Europeisk, teologi har givit efter for sekularismen. Teologers framsta

perspektiv ar inte teologiskt utan utgar fran beteendevetenskapliga monster istallet. En

skarp och i mangt och mycket valbehovlig kritik! Aven om jag inte alltid (eller valdigt sallan) haller med om argumenten sa haller jag med om analysen.]

Pickstock, Catherine, After Writing: On the Liturgical Consummation of Philosophy.

Smith, James, K.A. Introducing Radical Orthodoxy: Mapping a Post-Secular Theology. [Min favoritintroduktion till amnet. De forsta kapitlens orienteering i modern teologi ar vart att lasa aven for den som inte ar intresserad av RO. Boken ar skriven fran en protestantisk-reformert synvinkel vilket ocksa kommer fram i kritiken. Smith ar en valkommen rost i RO samtalet da de flesta antingen ar Romerskt Katolska eller hogkyrkligt Anglikanska]

Den basta bilbiografin till dags dato ar formodligen James K.A. Smiths pa:

Har ar nagra relevanta hemsidor: [James Smith’s hemsida] [Artikel fran en bra Rommersk Katolsk tidsskrift]

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

My first blogg


This is my first time blogging and it feels a little bit weird. In any case, this blogg is a place where I hopefully will post some ideas and material that will be of interest to some people out there. Of course it has a focus on philosophical theology but I hope it not to be too restricted by that. I also hope people will feel welcome to give a word or two back.

To begin with I am publishing two annotated bibliographies on Emerging Church and Radical Orthodoxy, from material that I have lately been working on. Unfortunately they are in Swedish but I will soon have them translated to Latina Moderna - English - in order to be more oecumenical.

Pax et bonum/ Stefan