Radical Preaching

Can preaching again have something to say?
This blog marks the attempt to bring the theological vision of Radical Orthodoxy into the worship and preaching of the local church.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Recommended Reading?

One of the difficulties I've found as I've sought entry into the world of RO is the philosophical concepts and terminology employed therein. While I'm fairly comfortable in moving about the realms of ancient and medieval philosophy, postmodern philosophy (and perhaps even contemporary continental philosophy in general) is in many ways virtually unintelligible to me.

So, I'm wondering if those more experienced in the philosophical context of RO can provide a short bibliography of primers or introductions to postmodern and/or continental philosophy (I see that James K.A. Smith has a new book out which might be helpful here... anyone read it?).

Thanks for any help!


Blogger Eric Lee said...


I haven't had a chance to read Jamie's new book yet -- too swamped. But, from skimming through it, it looks like a pretty helpful guide to appropriating some of the tools that the postmodernists offer (without going as far to reach the same conclusions they arrive at) for good Christian practice.

I'd also recommend three (yeah, three!) other books by Jamie Smith:

- 101 Key Terms in Philosophy and their Importance for Theology (co-authored) ~ you may already know these terms, but this little guide helped me out quite a bit.

- Jacques Derrida: Live Theory ~ this is put out through Continuum Press as a more 'academic' introduction to the thought of Derrida (he actually has some strong critiques of Derrida, but they appear in other volumes)

- Introducing Radical Orthodoxy: Mapping a Post-Secular Theology ~ not sure if you've already read this, but it's a good intro to a lot of the concepts and themes of the sensibility. He doesn't really go over key terms in continental philosophy, but I know this book helped me to get a better grasp of the context in which those words are being used by Milbank, et. al.

- I'd also check out Continental Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction by Simon Critchley

- Genealogy of Nihilism: Philosophies of Nothing & the Difference of Theology, by Conor Cunningham ~ this is in the RO series itself, but this book, while it is just a great book, does a really good job of explaining the different philosophers ideas and stuff. Conor really takes the extra effort to offer an "in other words..." when describing the thought of, say, Plotinus, Avicenna, Henry of Ghent, John Duns Scotus, William of Ockahm, Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, Heidegger, Derrida, et. al. And then, of course, the last half of the book is just smashingly good.

I'm sure there are some more good resources out there. Anybody else have some good stuff to offer? Hope this helps a bit.



May 03, 2006 5:17 PM  
Blogger Eric Lee said...

Also a helpful volume, because a lot of RO has fun with 'genealogies': Nihilism Before Nietzsche, by Michael Allen Gillespie.

May 03, 2006 5:19 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

I think Eric's list is excellent. Jamie Smith's new book and his Intro to RO are both very helpful. The first chapter to his intro to RO helps map contemporary theology and RO's place in it. I found the Gillespie book to be very helpful, as well. An excellent critique of RO is a book entitled Waiting for Godot in Sarajevo where Milbank is critiqued as drawing so much from Continental philosophy that he is ultimately trapped in it.

May 03, 2006 8:46 PM  
Blogger St.Phransus said...

i concur with my above posse'. the only one i would add as a "Practics" book is Journey With Jesus by Robert Webber. He tries to lay out in it his idea of ancient/future church structure modeled after the early church. He spends a chapter talking about RO and how it, in his opinion, is a robust enough theology liturgically to carry the church. It's a good read, as well.

May 05, 2006 3:51 PM  
Blogger 1dayin7 said...

Look up "Neurolinguistic Programming" on a search engine and get a feel of all the stuff they are writing.

Business management is the new philosophy.

June 29, 2006 7:07 AM  

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