What is postliberalism?

I generally don’t cross link posts but I feel like this might be of interest to some of those who don’t read the Barth Blog.

I know I am behind on my post for this week as I was up in Portland taking some Mennonite ordination classes. But in the meantime I would encourage fellow Barthian’s to check out the conversation on Postliberalism over at Halden’s blog. 

One of the more interesting thoughts comes from PhD student David Congdon at Princeton. His comment gives a fair, if not good, description of postliberalism regarding intratextuality and extratextuality and then ends with this point:

I myself think this dichotomy between intratextuality and extratextuality is a huge mistake. As I have defined it in my own work, Christian faith occurs in the (apocalyptic-existential) interstice between intra- and extratextuality.

Best I can tell both Halden and David think Frei and Lindbeck are missing Barth on this exact point. To make this point they use Barth’s idea of revelation over religion.

While I agree with both of them that Barth’s theology of revelation is exactly what is missing in Postliberal readings of Barth, I am not sure that they miss Barth. We aren’t very far into CD yet but as far as I can tell Barth does theology primarily through intratextuality and that he properly understands what all theology must admit: that God can, and does function extratextuality. But as far I can tell Barth does doesn’t do theology through extratextuality. The recognition that Frei and Lindbeck’s the works in question don’t deal with the nature of revelation, but how to do theology means to me that they don’t miss Barth by much, if at all. David and Halden might be right that theology should be done at “the interstice between intra- and extratextuality” I just don’t think Barth is a theologian that models that in how he does theology (although he leaves the door open for it). I do wonder if David Tracy and Paul Tillich might be better models of those who attempt to theology this way but I am not as familiar with their work enough to really make that claim.

That said we still have a long ways to go in CD.


One thought on “What is postliberalism?

  1. Off point, but at some point could you post (or at least shoot me an email) about the ordination process and the requirements given to you by the Conference?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s