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Nonfoundationalism (Guides to Theological Inquiry) [Paperback]

By John E. Thiel (Author)
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Item description for Nonfoundationalism (Guides to Theological Inquiry) by John E. Thiel...

Not so much as a movement or school as an emerging consensus about philosophical criteria of truth and reality, nonfoundationalism is the critical impulse associated with the work of Richard Rorty, Richard Berstein, and others. Increasingly its critique of the search for sure and impregnable foundations shapes the fundamental commitments that gird contemporary theology. John Thiel here assays a careful exploration of its assumptions and convictions, as well as ways nonfoundationalism has influenced contemporary theology.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   140
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.49" Width: 5.52" Height: 0.43"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 5, 2000
Publisher   Augsburg Fortress Publishers
Series  Guides To Theological Inquiry  
ISBN  0800626923  
ISBN13  9780800626921  

Availability  131 units.
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More About John E. Thiel

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! John E. Thiel is professor of religious studies at Fairfield University. He is the author of a number of books, including "Senses of Tradition: Continuity and Development in Catholic Faith" and "God, Evil, and Innocent Suffering: A Theological Reflection."

John E. Thiel was born in 1564 and died in 1616 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Fairfield University.

John E. Thiel has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Guides to Theological Inquiry

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology

Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Nonfoundationalism (Guides to Theological Inquiry)?

Method for a "PoMo" Theology  Jun 24, 2003
This is a short but informative work on how nonfoundational thought has affected theology. In Ch 1 Thiel discusses the arguments of Quine, Sellars, and Rorty concerning philosophical nonfoundationalism. He then examines modern theology in nonfoundational perspective and comments on the mediating (apologetic) theologies of the former. Nonfoundationalists criticize the search for a common ground between Christianity and secular culture. Whether this common ground is a philosophy or a general anthropology they complain that it eventually shapes the content of Christian theology to the detriment of the latter. Some theologians he describes as antifoundational are Barth, Lindbeck, Thiemann, Tanner, and Frei who believe that theological interpretation is a Christian act that focuses on the particularity of Jesus as evidenced in the biblical narratives and the web of Christian belief and practices. This latter point is important in understanding that *nonfoundational* is used as a metaphor by these theologians. They admit of no foundations OUTSIDE Christianity only within (Scripture, confessions, tradition, etc.). Quine, Sellars, Rorty, et al. would definitely not consider that as nonfoundational. In the last part of the book Thiel looks at nonfoundational theology critically and discusses the varying kinds (Protestant, confessional, Roman Catholic, etc.) and the possible contributions of each. This was an enjoyable read and an excellent intro to nonfoundational theology.
A Hard Read, but Worthwhile  May 10, 2000
In this volume, part of the Guides to Theological Inquiry series, John Thiel provides a good and thorough overview and analysis of postfoundationalism and its impact on theology. He begins with a look at the philosophical and epistemological aspects of nonfoundationalism, focusing especially on Quine, Sellars, Rorty, Davidson, and Williams and their rejection of Cartesianism. Next, he outlines the way this rejection of modernity has affected theology. He concentrates this section on the thought of George Lindbeck, Hans Frei, Karl Barth, and Ronald Thiemann, showing how nonfoundationalism has caused the rise of narrative theology and its accompanying `unapologetic theology,' to use William Placher's term. Thiel's final chapter addresses the critics of nonfoundationalism and draws a valuable and necessary distinction between theological and philosophical nonfoundationalism.

Altogether, Thiel has supplied his readers with a useful introduction to the recent developments in contemporary theology and their relationship to current trends in epistemology. My main complaint is that Thiel's prose is turgid, to say the least. The jargon-filled pages contain seemingly interminable sentences that stress the reader's ability to follow. Perspicuous brevity is apparently a foreign concept to Thiel. Many academics need to learn that brevity is next to godliness and that profundity does not equal unreadability.


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