Obviously am not terribly good at blogging anymore, but I do think I should keep trying.
Most of my time has been taken up trying to finish The Strategic Smorgasbord of Postmodernity, a collection of academic papers that utilize and discuss postmodernism as a way toward understanding a variety of topics – literature, gender studies, religion, and more. It’s written by a number of respected Christian professors and scholars. I’ll be using it as a springboard for an article for undergraduates who are wondering how to navigate postmodern theory.
My overall take on postmodernity and Christianity is that Christians have, first of all, generally misunderstood many of the claims of postmodernity. There’s some dreck in there, but a lot of times we simply generalize the claims of men like Derrida and Foucault and the rest of them (make “bumper stickers” of their work, as Jamie Smith points out in his excellent book which I am also reading). This reductionist approach means we completely misunderstand what postmodernism represents and how we should react/engage with it in the church and as people of the Book.
Bowen’s and Smith’s books go a long way toward giving authors and thinkers the respect they deserve, holding them up to the Book and pointing out where they do and do not provide a way into understanding and walking alongside culture. They also helpfully point out where we’ve swallowed ideas of modernity hook, line and sinker.
There’s a lot that could be said on this, but I’m still mulling it over in preparation for writing the article – and, also, my M.A. thesis, which I’m trying to pull together – so more will probably trickle out later.