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Three Ways of Engaging Theologically with Modernity



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.