By William Dean

It is a transparent and sharply written security of the thesis that American empirical theology, specially that linked to the Chicago university, is a postmodern flow within the feel encouraged through the deconstructionists. while it could be idea that Protestant neo-orthodoxy introduced lifestyles again into theology, Dean argues that it used to be only a past due gasp of the death transcendental-signified culture.

It exhibits what unifies the concept, stretching from the idealistic empiricism of Jonathan Edwards, to the pragmatic empiricism of James and Dewey, to the cosmological empiricism of Whitehead, to the socio-historical empiricism of the Chicago institution theologians, to the present paintings of the becoming physique of method theologians. The booklet argues that theology wishes a brand new shape, one who will make American non secular empiricism right into a trustworthy historicism, a continuing reinterpretation of the spiritual earlier.

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About the Author

John M. body (A. B. , Princeton collage; B. D. , Westminster Theological Seminary; M. A. and M. Phil. , Yale collage; D. D. , Belhaven collage) is the J. D. Trimble Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando and the writer of many books, together with the four-volume Theology of Lordship sequence.

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However, I abbreviate even the Chicago story, for in many respects it continues into the present, in the work of Langdon Gilkey, David Tracy, Don Browning, Franklin Gamwell, Jerald Brauer, and Martin Marty. I must emphasize that my treatment of even my select few people is never more than a sketch, seeking to note a few of their common points in order to establish that continuity in American thought which allows one to speak of an American religious empiricism. Here my task is not to provide a rounded treatment of these people, not to describe their dissimilarities or even all their similarities, and not to set them carefully into their historical contexts.

In this sequence God's power over history is derived from God's power over nature; this is especially clear when God's power over nature is manifest in God's acts of creation (Von Rad cites Jeremiah 27:4ff and Isaiah 45:12ff). 4 Israel, however, should not merely observe God extending the covenant promise and judgment through natural and social history. Israel should also respond to God through new interpretations of that natural and social history. "5 Von Rad rejects as largely irrelevant the "scientific" theologies of the Hebrew Bible, which attempt to unify the Hebrew Bible under the heading of doctrines such as the doctrine of God and the doctrine of human nature.

James, Whitehead, Dewey, and the empirical process theologians all finally rejected not only the Cartesian method, but the one-sidedness of both the German and the British traditions. It is as though, in typical American fashion, they all looked west, and all saw the prospect for a new beginning with a new openness. " It is as though they sought to return to the sources of knowledge, prior to the division into mind and body, self and world. Like Hebrews in the wilderness, they chose that unformed, uninterpreted, physical cacophony of emotional, valuational, largely nonconscious Page 21 and in every sense ambiguous, objective experience, felt initially and blindly by the body.

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