Transforming Postliberal Theology responds to George Lindbeck's seminal proposal for postliberalism in The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age some twenty years after its first publication. Occasioned by new studies in the theological and religious roots of pragmatic philosophy, Pecknold argues that postliberalism represents 'a new pragmatism' that rediscovers its theological and semiotic roots in Scripture. Testing this hypothesis, Pecknold assesses Lindbeck's book, and; the book's critics read, to ask if there are good, immanent reasons for long-standing criticisms to remain. Pecknold proposes that problems readers have with postliberalism can be resolved through deeper engagements with Lindbeck's pragmatism. Arguing that Augustine stands at the roots of a kind of 'scriptural pragmatism' appropriate to Lindbeck's postliberalism, Pecknold shows that Christian theology has incarnational and trinitarian resources for the 'theo-semiotic' repair of entire traditions of inquiry without capitulating to pragmatic tendencies towards relativism, or postliberal tendencies towards sectarianism.
Displaying the theo-semiotic influence of Augustine on Peter Ochs' rabbinic pragmatism and Lindbeck's Christian pragmatism, Pecknold also uncovers significant theo-political implications for the scriptural relationship between the Church and Israel, and through this relationship, rediscovers the necessity of a return to Scripture for ecclesial communities that are prepared to engage in responsible repair of the world. Transforming Postliberal Theology entails a rediscovery and creative development of postliberalism for a new generation of theologians and other thinkers who recognize the centrality of the Bible for the reformation of thought and action in the church and in the world.
Table of Contents
Preface; Introduction: Postliberalism, Pragmatism, and Scripture; 1. Lindbeck; 2. Augustine; 3. Ochs; Conclusion: Transforming Postliberal Theology; Notes; Index.
Dr. C.C. Pecknold is Assistant Professor, Historical and Systematic Theology, at The Catholic University of America School of Theology and Religious Studies, Washington DC, USA.