Seasons in theology: Postmodernism, reference and representation in theology
Cornel W du Toit (2007)
The scientific worldview that evolved over five centuries, culminating in modernism, hinges on representation. Representing reality means knowing it, and knowledge means control. But the study object of theology (God) is observable only indirectly in texts, with the focus on their validity; history; language, translation and commentaries; inter- and intra-text; textual reference; and representation. Like empirical science, theology is never free from human subjectivity and the power strategies people import to legitimise themselves, their schools of thought and the like.
Criticism of modernism led to movements like postmodernism, post-empiricism, post-positivism, post-structuralism, post-metaphysics, post-epistemology, post-representation. Unity, truth and method – the foundations of science and modernism – were combined with concepts like multiplicity, complexity, relativity, relationalism, interdisciplinary study, contingence and contextuality.
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