Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Reading is a THEOLOGICAL task


VanHoozer in Is There A Meaning in This Text? shows that reading is a theological issue; if we believe in God, and the authority of God, we will have no problem accepting the authority of an author; if not, “things fall apart; the center cannot hold.”

VanHoozer does go to “the heart of the heart” here:

It is because I start somewhere else, with a different set of concerns, that I must dialogue rather than debate with Derrida. Even a point by point rebuttal of deconstruction would still let deconstruction set the agenda, just as modernity sets the agenda for its deconstruction by postmodernity. I wish instead to make a fresh start on the question of textual meaning, inspired by a Christian understanding of God, language, and transcendence.  ... I propose that we take God’s Trinitarian self-communication as the paradigm of what is involved in all true communication. ...

And, here's a wonderful reminder from Plantinga,

What is needed is “less accommodation to current fashion and more Christian self-confidence.”

Alvin Plantinga, “Advice to Christian Philosophers,” Inaugural lecture to the John A. O’Brien Chair of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame on November 4, 1983 (p. 199)

And, Poythress's review of Is There A Meaning in This Text? provides a good summary:

He (Vanhoozer) convincingly shows that the crisis of hermeneutics is basically theological. If people cease to believe in God, then meanings, authors, texts, and readers all become problematic. Underneath the postmodern loss of confidence in meaning is a loss of the sense of God’s transcendence and presence (remember Derrida’s focus on presence?).

No comments:

Post a Comment