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Liberalism versus Postliberalism: The Great Divide in Twentieth-Century Theology

Knight, John Allan


The divide between liberal and postliberal theology is one of the most important and far-reaching methodological disputes in twentieth-century theology. Their divergence in method brought related differences in their approaches to hermeneutics and religious language. This split in the understanding of religious language is widely acknowledged, but rigorous philosophical analysis and assessment of it is seldom seen. John Allan Knight provides such analyses, using the developments in analytic philosophy of language over the past forty years. The book provides an original reading of the "theology and falsification" debates of the 1950s and 60s, and Knight's interpretation of the debates supplies a philosophical lens that brings into focus the centrality of religious language in the methodological dispute between liberal and postliberal theologians. Knight suggests that recent philosophical developments reveal problems with both positions and argues for a more inclusive method that takes seriously the aspirations of the debaters. His book makes an important contribution to contemporary theological method, to the understanding of liberal and postliberal theologies, and to our understanding of the role of analytic philosophy in contemporary theology and religious studies.

Additional Information

  • Hardback
  • 336 Pages
  • Published: December 2012
  • ISBN: 9780199969388
  • Series: Academy

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