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Title: A permanent revolution of the heart : pragmatic re-Christianisation in Richard Hooker and Friedrich Schleiermacher
Author: Levanway, William Douglas
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 5835
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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The Reformation, according to historian Scott Hendrix, can be understood as a movement responding to a semi-pagan Europe detached from living Christian piety. The failure of Christian piety in everyday life, despite its speculative richness, produced a situation demanding a missionary response. The theologies of Richard Hooker and Friedrich Schleiermacher represent two such responses in the turbulent wake of the institutionalisation of Protestantism. Is this ‘Reformation’ situation, though, exceptional, or normative for Christian theology? Are Christians, and Christian theologians by extension, committed to a permanent revolution of human values or is confessionalisation necessary step? In a time when Western culture evinces a level of disconnect similar to the Reformation situation, theology needs to understand the tactics of those who sought to construct appropriate missionary theologies. The tactics they employed remain living hypotheses for fundamental theologies deciding between reconstruction and confessionalisation. The hypothesis scrutinised in thesis is a principled scepticism and committed reconstruction responsive to the situation of Re-Christianisation. It will be presented as a living and momentous, but not forced, hypothesis in this thesis. This thesis uses Jamesian Pragmatism to approach this hypothesis in Hooker and Schleiermacher. Both pursued Re-Christianisation in terms of the Reformation without adopting a rigidly confessional position preferring a process of progressive Christianisation beginning in the affective life. For them, Re- Christianisation begins with a pre-reflective experience of the world as an ordered integrity modified by the living power of Jesus Christ at that pre-thematic level of the desiring and feeling body. The thesis contributes to contemporary Re-Christiansiation by providing a clearer understanding of the process in terms of Pragmatism instead of Idealist confessionalism or reductive empiricism. The pragmatic style practised by Hooker and Schleiermacher emerges as a possible strategy for the renewal of the body of Christian piety and reconstructive reflection on it.
Supervisor: Davies, Oliver Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available