Saturday, June 9, 2007

Postmodernism

I am a member of the Evangelical Philosophical Society (their website--which has not been updated in over a year, can be found here). Each year our annual conference is held in conjunction with the big Evangelical Theological Society conference. This year's conference should be exciting because of the resignation of ETS President, Frank Beckwith (also an EPS member), due to his joining the Catholic Church. My blog entry about this here.

As an extension of the ministry of EPS, William Lane Craig (Wikipedia article here) organizes an apologetics training conference each year around the time of the annual shindig. This year we're in San Diego, and I'll be speaking at the apologetics conference on the topic of postmodernism. It is something that I taught a class on a few years ago (and did some seminars). But I fear that with the pace of change these days, I'm already out of the loop. I would appreciate any books or resources any of you out there could point me too that would get me up to speed.

What's the BUZZ on postmodernism?



Thanks in advance.

3 comments:

entirelysimulated said...

There is no substitute for reading the structuralists (Saussare, Levi-Strauss) and the phenomenologists (Husserl, Heidegger, Marleau-Ponty) as a way to understand Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault. Nonetheless if you are pressed for time, the following are good:

Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault (Stephen R. C. Hicks)

Part III of Gary Gutting's "French Philosophy in the Twentieth century" (As one who can easily bridge the analytic-continental divide, Gutting can actually make sense of these guys. His emphasis of both phenomenology and structuralism is essential background for understanding some sane forms of postmodernisms. If you are really pressed for time, read this before you read the previous title)

For interesting "postmodern" critique of traditional epistemology, of course: Rorty's "Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature"

For interesting "postmodern" critique of contemporary moral theory and his Aristotelian-Wittgensteinian's fix, see MacIntyre's "After Virtue" and his

The most interesting postmodern attempt at theology is of course Vanhoozer’s “The drama of doctrine”

RCP said...

There's no substitute for immersing yourself in both pop-culture (try watching 2-3 hours of television in one sitting but never stay on one channel for longer than 3-5 minutes, 15-30 seconds in most cases is enought). Then, a bunch of postmodern novels. The fictions of the novelists are a thousand times better than the fictions of the theorists.

Paul said...

It should be noted that the incoming wave of "new" atheism is rather more modernist than post-modernist. In my exchanges with atheists and agnostics I have noted their aversion to moral relativism, even if they grudgingly admit that it is philosophically demanded. They haven't quite got the hang of how to ground their moral intuitions, but they would like very much to say that they are on to something tangible.