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Interpreting God and the Postmodern Self: On Meaning, Manipulation and Promise Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company (December 6, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802841287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802841285
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,092,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Anthony C. Thiselton is professor of Christian theology at the University of Nottingham.

More About the Author

Dr. Anthony C. Thiselton is professor of Christian theology at the University of Nottingham and Canon Theologian of Leicester Cathedral. His substantial volume on hermeneutics, The Two Horizons, received international acclaim as a standard resource for this growing subject area.

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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
I really like this book. It is very clear, though Thiseleton is constantly referencing philosophers from all throughout history. I am American enough to find myself pining for the bottom line, but I know reading references is good for me because I am getting a lesson in philosophy and history at the same time! The sheer volume of citations in these first two parts testifies to the experience and the patience of Thistleton as a philosopher.
In the first part, he examines the Nietzscheian idea that truth is nothing other than a metaphor that we have forgotten is a metaphor and keep around only in so far as it serves an individual's will to power. He points out that the postmodern fear of manipulation can actually be healthy for the Christian Church, because it will help us to unite against the "Christian Leaders" who are, in fact, merely manipulating people. He also points out that the whole Nietzscheian slave morality thing really just doesn't apply to true Christianity. He gives examples from Bonhoffer and Luther, testifying to the fact that Christianity is not a system of beliefs that calls for its people to remain passive while the Truth is being slandered. And as for manipulation, the New Testament is clear about the fact that false apostles will try to distort the Truth to suit their agenda, but we are not to give them any credit (2 Corinthians and Galatians).
In chapter 5 Thistleton has a lot to say about Wittgenstein and language that is incredibly important. One of the major conclusions of part one is that Truth is usually best interpreted relationally. This is the idea that leads us into part two. In part two, we get a lesson in hermeneutics.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Charles W. Murry on March 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
Anthony Thiselton's Interpreting God and the Postmodern Self confronts the problem of identity as it is encountered in so-called postmodernism. On the one hand, a cursory reading of Thiselton's book might render comments regarding his evaluations of the failings of modernism and postmodernism in relation to identity, his criticisms of Don Cupitt's and the Sea of Faith Movement, or his hermeneutical approach to identity via Schleiermacher, Dilthey, et al. On the other hand, there seems to be more to this text than simply a descriptive analysis and rhetorical corrective. Indeed, the problem is one of identity, primarily, but perhaps even more important to his overall project is the question of whose identity? As the title itself suggests, Thiselton is not simply offering a corrective or re-conceptualization of the human self, but rather a study, which seeks a hermeneutic for interpreting both God and the postmodern self.

Of course, as noted above, Thiselton sets out by exploring the historical roots of both modernity and postmodernism. Thiselton quotes Schleiermacher as asserting that "all understanding begins with `a preliminary knowledge of the subject matter'"(57). This is precisely what Thiselton sets out to do in the first section of his book. In other words, Thiselton begins his work by engaging in precisely the kind of hermeneutical approach he advocates later on, namely one of historical situatedness.

Historically, then, Thiselton identifies to major sources for notions of the self: the objective, Cartesian self, who determines with certainty the truth of itself via interior reflection and the subjective, psycho-socially constructed self, who is determined from forces both within and outside of the self.
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