12 June 2002

I'll add this. I read Bruce Marshall's book Trinity and Truth (which I blogged about below) and thought it was quite good, even if I had the occasion quibble. My one misgiving is that he didn't interact more with Continental philosophy, particularly some of the post-modern and phenomenological thinkers who have, I think, a number of affinities with what Marshall argued.

Still the obsessive bibliophile, I've also purchased/received several books I'm hoping to work my way through this summer.
  • The Religious, edited by John Caputo in the series Blackwell Readings in Continental Philosophy (Blackwell, 2002).

  • Post-Secular Philosophy: Between Philosophy and Theology, edited by Philip Blond (Routledge, 1998).

  • On Christian Theology by Rowan Williams in the series Challenges in Contemporary Theology (Blackwell, 2000).

  • Common Worship: Services and Prayers for the Church of England by the Church of England (Church House, 2000).

  • New Heavens, New Earth: The Biblical Picture of Christian Hope by N.T. Wright (Grove Books, 1999).

  • Matthew for Everyone and Paul for Everyone: Galatians and Thessalonians by Tom Wright (SPCK, 2002).

I've already read the short book on eschatology by Wright (only 24 pages) and thought it was a wonderful little summary of biblical teaching on Christian hope--the kind of thing you could easily hand to someone who asks, "So, what do you Christians believe about life after death and so on?"

The Religious is divided into two sections, one section collecting together classical texts in continental philosophy regarding religion (Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Levinas, Derrida, Irigaray) and the other section providing a series of contemporary essays on religious themes from a continental perspective (Marion, Kearney, Westphal, Milbank, and others). I've not started to read it yet.

Post-secular Philosophy is premised on the disintegration of "the modern" in philosophy and with it, the isolation and construction of the secular, thereby opening philosophy to a critique from the standpoint of theology, laying bare the unfounded atheistic assumption of modern thought. The book is a series of critical essays on various modern thinkers: Descartes, Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Freud, Wittgenstein, among others.

In addition to a wonderful introductory essay by Philip Blond, the volume includes contributions from Jean-Luc Marion, Rowan Williams, John Milbank, John Peacocke, Graham Ward, Fergus Kerr, Regina Schwartz, and seven others. I've read through Milbank on Kierkegaard, Kerr on Wittgenstein, and Ward on Marion (though I may need to re-read them to grasp all they have to say) and found them very helpful.

As for the other books, Rowan Williams' volume is a collection of previously published essays on topics of theology, God, language, sacraments, incarnation, and resurrection. The Wright books "for everyone" are a continuation of his series of popular-level expositions of all the books of the New Testament. Common Worship is the new set of authorized liturgical texts for the Church of England comprised of texts from the Book of Common Prayer, various alternative services, and other materials.