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Reason, Truth and Theology in Pragmatist Perspective

Authors:  Murray P.D.
Year: 2004
ISBN: 978-90-429-1452-0
Pages: XIV-280 p.
Price: 35 EURO

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In this work Paul Murray explores which style of rationality is most appropriate to Christian theology in the contemporary pluralist, postfoundationalist, postmodern context. At its heart is a fresh consideration of the American pragmatist tradition, focussing on the writings of Richard Rorty and Nicholas Rescher. Where Rorty correctly diagnoses the failures of foundationalist "objectivism", Rescher's "pragmatic idealism" is presented as healing the ills in Rorty's own neo-pragmatism. The significant resonance between Rescher's view of rationality and Christian understanding of the trinity is explored. In turn, Donald MacKinnon's influential writings are presented as exemplifying just such an approach to theology. Murray both articulates an enriched form of Christian postliberalism, committed to receiving and learning from other traditions of thought and practice and probes the claim that the dynamics of human rationality can be expected to reflect the Trinitarian dynamics of God's being. "Paul Murray presents us here with an exhaustive and insightful study of recent pragmatic theory, in which he sets up rhythms of healing and completion as well as interrogation... particularly remarkable is his exploration of Christianity as the deep and in some sense final interlocutor of pragmatic tradition. I strongly recommend this book." Olivier Davis, Professor of Christian Doctrine, King's College London. "This is a mature, wide-ranging work that by uniting the intellectual and the practical carries both rational and ethical conviction. It does equal justice to the classic teachings of Christianity and to the challenges to rethink them in dialogue with modern and postmodern approaches. The result is a conception of Christianity both generously orthodox and deeply engaged with contemporary life and thought. It is especially good to see the profound contribution of Donald MacKinnon understood and developed with such perception and relevance." David F. Ford, Regius Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge. Paul Murray is currently Lecturer in Systematic Theology within the Department of Theology at the University of Durham, England. He has previously held posts at St Cuthbert's Seminary, Ushaw College, Durham and Newman College of Higher Education, Birmingham. Essays of his exploring issues in philosophical theology, science and theology and contemporary Roman Catholic theology have appeared in leading journals and edited collections. This is his first monograph.

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