Teologi som kritik: Graham Ward och den postsekulära hermeneutiken
Sammanfattning: The British theologian Graham Ward has since the 1990 ́s been one of the most prominent voices in the theological discussions of the Anglo-American cultural sphere. As one of the key figures in the academic field that has been known as “post secularism”, “the resurgence of religion” or “the new visibility of religion” Ward has developed an independent theological position that most properly could be described as a Christian cultural critique. Deeply informed by continental critical theory Ward has attempted to analyze and categorize contemporary culture in terms of Christian theology. The thesis argued for in the present dis- sertation is that there is a unique resource in Christian theology, as at least partly captured in Wards project, for imagining a vision of a better future. By drawing on a negative strand of the Christian tradition, theology can find a capacity to articulate visions of a better world that, which is the crucial warning of critical theory, does not give in to utopian dreams and wishful thinking. The dissertation aims to present and analyze Wards project in order to lay the foundation for a theological critique of culture – an activity that draws on the material aspects of a religious tradition. The first part of the dissertation (chapter 2–5) consists of a presentation and an immanent critical analysis of Graham Wards project. The analysis is pursued under four distinct categories: metaphysics, anthropology, politics and apologetics. In these chapters, Wards theology is presented and analyzed through a contextualization within the Christian tradition and critical theory. In chapter 6, Wards theology is brought into a critical dialogue with three other theologians who work in the intersection point between critical theory and Christian theology – Mark C. Taylor, John D. Caputo and Jean Luc Marion – but have come to different conclusions regarding how this relation is to be understood. The dissertation argues that a theology that makes visible the particular standpoint and stresses the material resources of religion stands the best chance of becoming at critical and transformative force in contemporary culture. The last chapter is organized around six conditions that, working as an ex- tension of Wards project, are necessary for a theological critique of culture; the particular proviso, affirmative critique, ontological critique, theology and practice, methodological pragmatism and critique of faith. This works toward sketching a post-secular hermeneutics – an interdisciplinary field of research that take the theological traditions in full consideration when interpreting the configurations of thought and actions that we refer to as culture.
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