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Title: Theology and the 'logic of practice' : a study with reference to Shona anthropology, history and religion
Author: Buckland, S. G.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1997
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Like all practices, anthropological knowledge is situated (in space and time), laborious (taking time and labour, carrying a risk of failure), and directed (oriented in a direction). This situation, labour and direction are specifiable in social and political space, in history. Chapters Two and Three of this dissertation reconstruct the fieldwork and scriptural practices which in recent decades have produced anthropological accounts of some groups of the Shona-speaking peoples of Zimbabwe. Being a practice (or a set of practices), anthropological knowledge can itself become the object of a 'science of practices'. Chapter Four argues that a 'reflexive anthropology', which insists on knowing the social, political, and historical conditions of its own possibility, is necessary to pass beyond 'subjectivism' and 'objectivism' to an 'adequate science of practices'. At the level of theory, such reflexive knowledge quickly opens to an unresolvable infinite regress. It is at the level of practice, and relative to its own (often unspoken) project, that reflexive empiricism is intelligible. Speaking knowingly of God, Christian theology too is a form of laborious practice, situated within specifiable communities and directed within specifiable projects. However, since its holds that its knowledge is both situated, laborious and directed and also 'revealed', it is to an ultimate moral authority that theology lays claim. To speak not just knowingly but also responsibly about God, therefore, theology strains towards reflexive awareness of the social and political conditions of the possibility of its own knowledge, towards opening all its accounts of God's project to a reflexive critique. Its intelligibility is that of a practical form of hope in a future which, with God, remains radically unknown.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available