Three Ways of Engaging Theologically with Modernity

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Abstract

The paper discusses three theological ways of responding to modernity, all of which rely in some way upon the analogy of the church as a culture. First, Friedrich Schleiermacher represents the turn to the subject and the turn to the church. Second, Stanley Hauerwas's rejection of the turn to the subject is shown to require a sharper turn to the church. Third, David Kelsey's recent work is used to present a modification of that turn substantial enough to constitute a third way. Kelsey's analysis of various theological logics and how they are often conflated in modern theology, together with his account of church practices, is used to integrate a more traditional theocentric theological approach with a more contemporary focus on the church's practices. Some conclusions are then drawn for critical congregational study of enactments of church practices.

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