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Title: Postmodernism and Evangelical Theological Methodology with Particular Reference to Stanley J. Grenz.
Author: Knowles, Steven Denis
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool.
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2007
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Central to this thesis are the various ways in which postmodern discourse has influenced Christian theological methodology. In particular, it is concerned with the response of evangelical theology, which is particularly interesting because, it is argued, it has become shackled to Enlightenment thought. The result of this reliance on modernism has led to some uncritical assumptions regarding theological methodology. As a consequence evangelical theological methodology has been neglected until relatively recently. There is now a growing desire among evangelical theologians to rethink theological methodology. The principal theological focus of this work is Stanley J. Grenz, an American Baptist theologian who, more than many of his peers, has taken postmodern thought seriously and, accordingly, developed and adapted his theological methodology. How successful his attempt has been in staying within what many understand to be the boundaries of evangelical theology will be discussed in the thesis. It is certainly the case that many scholars consider his work to accommodate postmodernism too easily and uncritically. In Part One, three principal themes within postmodern thought that have had a direct impact on evangelical theology will be examined: the demise of the metanarrative; deconstruction; and the de-centred self. In Part Two, the work ofLudwig Wittgenstein and George Lindbeck will be discussed, not only because both have had an influence on contemporary theology, but, more significantly for this thesis, they have been important for Grenz. Part Three is a detailed examination of the work ofGrenz which focusses specifically on the development of his thought in Beyond Foundationalism. An assessment ofwhether Grenz can be faithful to a broadly evangelical theological methodology will be made. It is argued that, whilst creative and constructive, in the final analysis, his project fails. Finally, Part Four offers some suggestions as to how Grenz's thought might be employed. In this concluding part, the ideas of Grenz are developed in dialogue with John Searle, J. L. Austin, Alister MacIntyre, Alvin Plantinga, and critical realism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available