Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Liberalism versus PostliberalismThe Great Divide in Twentieth-Century Theology$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

John Allan Knight

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199969388

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199969388.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 November 2020



(p.1) Introduction
Liberalism versus Postliberalism

John Allan Knight

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the overall argument of the book. It describes the concerns that drive the divide between liberals and postliberals. Liberal theologians are concerned to validate theological claims as being true, while postliberals are concerned with the Barthian project of preserving the lordship of Jesus Christ over all of theology, including method. This leads in turn to a concern to maintain the particularity of soteriological and Christological claims and to avoid systematizing. These concerns yield a postliberal theology that is essentially Wittgensteinian both in its understanding of the meaning of theological claims and in its antitheoretical bias. The liberal concern for validation, on the other hand, yields a theological method that accepts descriptivist requirements for successful reference and a descriptivist or truth-conditional understanding of the meaning of theological claims. Neither of these understandings of language are adequate, but recent developments in analytic philosophy of language make possible more adequate accounts of meaning and reference, which in turn can yield a more inclusive method that can lead beyond the liberal/postliberal divide.

Keywords:   analytic philosophy, falsifiability, liberal theology, meaning, postliberal theology, reference, religious language, theological method, validation, Wittgenstein

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .