Item description for A Primer on Postmodernism by Stanley J. Grenz...
Overview Postmodernism is an emerging force in contemporary Western culture. But what is it and how should Christians proclaim the gospel to a postmodern generation? In this scholarly yet accessible overview, Grenz introduces you to thinkers such as Derrida and Foucault, and helps you understand the impact of this cultural shift on art, philosophy, literature, and the media.
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Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.01" Width: 6.04" Height: 0.62" Weight: 0.7 lbs.
Release Date Feb 6, 1996
Publisher WM. B. EERDMANS PUBLISHING CO.
ISBN 0802808646 ISBN13 9780802808646
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More About Stanley J. Grenz
Stanley J. Grenz (1950-2005) was the Pioneer McDonald Professor of Theology and Ethics at Carey Theological College. He earned the Doctor of Theology degree at the University of Munich and wrote numerous books. Jay T. Smith (PhD, Trinity College, Bristol) is president and Bridger Professor of Theology and Ethics at Yellowstone Theological Institute.
Stanley J. Grenz was born in 1950 and died in 2005 and has an academic affiliation as follows - North American Baptist Seminary.
Stanley J. Grenz has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about A Primer on Postmodernism?
Good intro to postmodernism Nov 3, 2006
This book is a great introduction to a subject that can be hard to understand - postmodernism. Grenz writes from a Christian perspective as he highlights key points and the thinkers who paved the way for this emerging view of life.
Toward the end of the book Grenz contemplates some similarities between the Christian faith and postmodernism. I recommend it.
Nice intro Sep 8, 2006
I feel this is one of the better introductions to Postmodernism. It is a little clearer than say "Teach Yourself Postmodernism", which is also a very good introduction. If you want to understand the Postmodern idea, get both these books, they compliment each other very well IMHO.
Excellent history and analysis Oct 1, 2005
This was an excellent study in the philosophical foundations of the actual movement of postmodernity, contrasted with the pop images of that movement which don't represent the shift in the history of human thought.
Grenz cleverly takes us into the movement (c. 1) by contrasting images of the old Star Trek, in which Mr. Spock represented the peak of intelligence, pure logic. He is presented as an image of modernity. In the newer Star Trek(s), there is ethnic diversity, a diversity of skills and stories, and a new emphasis on emotion. This is a taste of postmodernity.
Chapter 2 gives an account of the rise of postmodernity into the public eye and the U.S. culture, but this largely reflects the art and architecture of the post-1960's cultural revolution. The real foundations of postmodernity consist of a more sophisticated critique of earlier philosophy. Chapter 3 gives a more detailed look at a shifting worldview or vantage point, away from the monolithic empiricist view of the Enlightenment. As Descartes split the subjective self from the objective world, Bacon's creation of empirical method to bridge the two, and Newton's mechanistic description of an ordered universe created the pursuit of a universal worldview, the God's eye perspective. Modernity sought that one perspective and believed that humanity could attain an objective, rational grasp on it. Unfortunately, reasonable people in power seem to find ways to rationalize their use of it. This cast doubt on reason and objectivity themselves. This culminated (c. 4) in the Kantian analysis of reason. Reason creates categories through which the world is filtered. It is thus limited by its filter (leaving room for the noumenous or the metaphysical), but it is still rational and objective.
Chapters 5 and 6 are worth their weight in gold. This is a beginner's survey of the philosophical influences leading up to the present day. Without summarizing them all here, it suffices to say that Nietzsche announced the conclusion of modernity (both descriptively and prophetically). Godamer attempted a last grab at modernity by positing "a fusion of horizons" (Robert Nozik has more recently called it "invariances"). Schleiermacher and Wittgenstien turned modern philosophy from strict epistemology to linguistics, grounding meaning (if it can be had) in shared vocabulary. Foucault then accused language itself of bearing Nietzche's will-to-power, particularly language concerning sexuality; Derrida deconstructed the correspondence theory of knowledge and suggested that meaning coheres only within the context of a given vocabulary; Rorty affirms a coherence theory as well, denying there is a fundamental essence in anything.
Grenz fails to make note of the consequent shift of philosophy towards cognitive science after the perceived failure of epistemology. The contemporaries: Searle, Putman, and Nozik, are now operating under an assumed pragmatic realism and talking about whether or not computers can create minds.
I like that Grenz leaves us with very little prescriptions in the end. He closes on a fairly mild assertion that we need neither fully reject or embrace postmodernity, but we have to deal with it. Excellent book.
Great Christian Foundation for Postmodernism Sep 7, 2005
Grenz does a great job at providing a background leading up to and a readable exposition of current postmodern thought. His book is written in such a way that those with little to no previous background knowledge of philosophy won't be lost. However, for those that do remember something from philosophy class, Grenz spends perhaps too much time tracing the precursors to postmodernism.
Postmodernism in itself probably takes up about half of the book. The rest is devoted to providing historical background information and setting the postmodern stage.
Grenz's treatment of postmodernism is highly fair, unbiased, and insightful. He is willing to allow postmodernism to help Christians get past some of the hindrances we face when we rely completely on modern theological techniques, but he isn't afraid to reject tenants of postmodernism that are antithetical to Christian orthodoxy.
I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 because I felt like it was mildly repetitive at times and said the same thing over and over in places. It's almost as if it was written in a way that you could read independent chapters out of order and it would still make sense. If that's the kind of book you are looking for, then it's worth 5 stars!
This book is a must-read for Christians wanting a fair treatment of Postmodernism. It should be required reading for anyone ministering on university campuses or in large metropolitan areas that are directly influenced by postmodernism.
Getting a grasp on postmodernism Aug 27, 2005
Excellent introduction into postmodernism. The author leads you historically to the thinkers of today and explains in very clear terms a number of present-day societal phenomena. Although the analysis was done to gain a Christian view of these phenomena, only the last chapter tries to deal with postmodernism and the gospel; the chapter has some sort of epilogue character. The book provides very good leads into further, more specialized literature.