Author: Dickens, David, Fontana, Andrea
Genre: Theology - Postmodern
Tags: Modernism / Postmodernism
Rick Shrader‘s Review:
Twelve sociology and humanity professors from ten major universities contributed to this book. You find this kind of book in the philosophy section at Barnes & Noble. After having read many Christian men write on postmodernism, I am in the process of reading both the original sources and also non-Christians who are evaluating them. There is no doubt that these writings are forming the thought processes of our culture. Image is everything! Pastiche, simulacra, semiotics and deconstruction make up the new language. Words are out, symbols are in. History is unknowable because of the “metaphysics of presence,” and difference is the only similarity. (I told you you wouldn’t want to read it.)
One Final Note…
After reviewing two books on postmodernism, I think I should add some of my current thoughts. There is one thing in which almost all Christians would find agreement with a postmodernist: a definite dislike of modernism! Much of the postmodern cultural rebellion is simply an objection to a cold, industrial, sky-scraper, cookie-cutter world. Postmodernists see modernism as the cause of industrial, scientific, governmental and cultural oppression of the common man. We have been told how to think, how to act, how to get ahead, and even what to believe and not believe. The modern humanistic, atheistic, scientific world has formulated cultural mores that do not allow for variation. Surprised? We shouldn’t be. Christians have been voicing those objections for two hundred years. The danger in postmodernism comes in thinking we are “co-belligerents” (to use Schaeffer’s term) on the same path.
The postmodern response to cultural conformity is chaos. If living in a high-rise apartment is modernism’s “sign” of cultural conformity, homelessness is postmodernism’s “sign” of the victim. If three-piece suits and brief-cases are modernism’s “signs” of forced cultural values, body piercing, grunge clothing and random shaped hair styles are postmodernism’s “signs” of cultural nihilism. Believers must be careful, in their glee over modernism’s decline, not to trade the lion’s den for the stake. T.S. Eliot wrote that culture is the incarnation of religion. Postmoderns take the culture neutrally because, to them, all religion is neutral. When Christians take no thought of cultural “signifiers,” they are building the postmodernist’s case against the “Signified.”