By William Dean

ISBN-10: 0585063133

ISBN-13: 9780585063133

ISBN-10: 0887062814

ISBN-13: 9780887062810

It is a transparent and sharply written security of the thesis that American empirical theology, specifically that linked to the Chicago tuition, is a postmodern circulation within the experience endorsed via the deconstructionists. while it is usually idea that Protestant neo-orthodoxy introduced lifestyles again into theology, Dean argues that it used to be in simple terms a past due gasp of the demise transcendental-signified culture.

It indicates what unifies the concept, stretching from the idealistic empiricism of Jonathan Edwards, to the pragmatic empiricism of James and Dewey, to the cosmological empiricism of Whitehead, to the socio-historical empiricism of the Chicago institution theologians, to the present paintings of the starting to be physique of procedure theologians. The ebook argues that theology wishes a brand new shape, one who will make American spiritual empiricism right into a devoted historicism, a continuing reinterpretation of the non secular prior.

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As for instance," Edwards said, "some men are said to have a sense of the dreadfulness of God's displeasure. ''10 For Edwards, then, the process of salvation depends in part on a process of restoring sensibility. John Locke had claimed that Page 23 if words are removed from the sensations which gave them meaning, they become meaningless signs; and he had argued that for this meaninglessness the only cure was a renewed acquaintance with empirical sensation. 14 In particular, however, it applies to ''Enthusiasm," "Awakenings," "Convictions," and to the literally "sensationalist" preaching he himself practiced.

An American Empiricism Described negatively, the distinctiveness of American radical empiricism lies in its rejection of the closure of both German idealism and eighteenth century British empiricism, including the positivism which grew from that empiricism. 1 Jonathan Edwards followed John Locke in rejecting innate ideas; but Edwards departed from Locke by rejecting Locke's own working notion that knowledge of the external world is derived exclusively by means of the five senses. William James, much later occupying the same Massachusetts soil, stared east and recalled German idealism, British empiricism, and the uneasy French, Cartesian corpus from which, like two arms (one spiritual, one sensuous), they grew.

Page 20 In the effort to illustrate these two points, I will narrow the range of figures discussed earlier, and concentrate on only three moments in the chronology of American religious empiricism: the eighteenth century episode which was the work of Jonathan Edwards; the philosophical stabilization of American religious empiricism which came in the work of William James, John Dewey, and Alfred North Whitehead; and the theological stabilization of American religious empiricism which came in the empirical process theologies of Henry Nelson Wieman, Bernard Meland, and Bernard Loomer.

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