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Radical Orthodoxy: A New Theology

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3.88  ·  Rating details ·  75 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Radical Orthodoxy is a new wave of theological thinking that aims to reclaim the world by situating its concerns and activities within a theological framework, re-injecting modernity with theology.
This collection of papers is essential reading for anyone eager to understand religion, theology, and philosophy in a completely new light.
Hardcover, 285 pages
Published October 15th 1998 by Routledge (first published 1998)
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Jacob Aitken
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
EDIT: I am far more critical of the Radical Orthodoxy project than I was when I wrote this review. Their genealogical critique of Scotus has been refuted and some of the essays, if not bizarre, are downright troubling (Graham Ward). Further, Jamie Smith has decisively "cut Radical Orthodoxy to the bone." But here goes:

I will write this review in topical format, rather than reviewing chapter-by-chapter. The authors in this book propose a new theological vision critiquing the modern project by dra
...more
Jacob Aitken
I will write this review in topical format, rather than reviewing chapter-by-chapter. The authors in this book propose a new theological vision critiquing the modern project by drawing upon Patristic and Medieval sources.

Ontology
The authors suggest that Western Christendom experienced an intellectual fall from grace around 1300. This dealt with the nature of “being” (or ontology). Previously, for the “church fathers or early scholastics, both faith and reason are included in the more generic fr
...more
Ian
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An amazing collection of essays centered around the (loosely Anglican) Radical Orthodox theology. Difficult to summarize justly, some prominent themes include a rejection of the univocity of Being (a misstep largely laid at the feet of Duns Scotus which allegedly opened the door for voluntarism, nominalism, and modernity) and a return to Thomas' view of theology as the Queen of the sciences (without, however, rejecting wholesale everything that comes after Thomas). The ability of the Radical Ort ...more
Ryan
Aug 08, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a collection of hits and misses for me. Some of the essays were of extreme value for me personally, while others were paragons of boredom. Hemming's essay on Heidegger is actually one of the best arguments for a developed Mariology I, a born and raised Protestant, have ever read. Hanby's essay on Augustine was devotional as much as intellectual reading. The last three essays on aesthetics, perception and music were all great. But, others were almost painful to get through. Ward's essay ...more
Beth
Feb 17, 2010 rated it liked it
This collection of essays has a couple of keepers (The City, or Displaced Bodies, for example), as well as some not so great contributions. While it was designed such that chapters could be independently read of one another, some should probably be read in succession to get the full impact. I don't know that I would call myself much of a John Milbank fan, but it presented new ways of looking at theology in postmodern times.
E Ei
Sep 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
hard ones..
Alden Bass
rated it it was amazing
Aug 24, 2007
J.W.D. Nicolello
A mixed bag and another book I would have devoured some years ago. I can seriously see this book being read by some inspired friends and causing epiphany left and right for five weeks over cheap wine, the friends then never to speak of this book again all of a sudden. It is not something I can imagine ever takino down from a shelf to revisit, nor something to reccomend, lest one have to speak of the thing more than once in these couple of days we call 'Life.'
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Professor John Milbank is Professor in Religion, Politics and Ethics and the Director of the Centre of Theology and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham. He has previously taught at the Universities of Lancaster, Cambridge and Virginia. He is the author of several books of which the most well-known is Theology and Social Theory and the most recent Being Reconciled: Ontology and Pardon. He is ...more
“The theological perspective of participation actually saves the appearances by exceeding them. It recognizes that materialism and spiritualism are false alternatives, since if there is only finite matter there is not even that, and that for phenomena really to be there they must be more than there. Hence, by appealing to an eternal source for bodies, their art, language, sexual and political union, one is not ethereally taking leave of their density. On the contrary, one is insisting that behind this density resides an even greater density – beyond all contrasts of density and lightness (as beyond all contrasts of definition and limitlessness). This is to say that all there is only is because it is more than it is. (...)

This perspective should in many ways be seen as undercutting some of the contrasts between theological liberals and conservatives. The former tend to validate what they see as the modern embrace of our finitude – as language, and as erotic and aesthetically delighting bodies, and so forth. Conservatives, however, seem still to embrace a sort of nominal ethereal distancing from these realities and a disdain for them. Radical orthodoxy, by contrast, sees the historic root of the celebration of these things in participatory philosophy and incarnational theology, even if it can acknowledge that premodern tradition never took this celebration far enough. The modern apparent embrace of the finite it regards as, on inspection, illusory, since in order to stop the finite vanishing modernity must construe it as a spatial edifice bound by clear laws, rules and lattices. If, on the other hand, following the postmodern options, it embraces the flux of things, this is an empty flux both concealing and revealing an ultimate void. Hence, modernity has oscillated between puritanism (sexual or otherwise) and an entirely perverse eroticism, which is in love with death and therefore wills the death also of the erotic, and does not preserve the erotic as far as an eternal consummation. In a bizarre way, it seems that modernity does not really want what it thinks it wants; but on the other hand, in order to have what it thinks it wants, it would have to recover the theological. Thereby, of course, it would discover also that that which it desires is quite other than it has supposed”
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