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Loving to Know: Covenant Epistemology Paperback – June 1, 2011
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Noah Porter Professor Emeritus of Philosophical Theology
"Esther Meek has given a good gift in Loving to Know, continuing her lifelong reflections on a more human and truthful understanding of knowledge. Drawing on the best of scholarship, she is her own scholar too, offering a unique vision of a covenant epistemology, a way of knowing that is deeply personal and responsible, because it is profoundly relational. A book for every one of us, as we take up the most perennial of human questions, viz. what will we do with what we know?"
The Washington Institute
"This book is a tour de force of clarity, depth, and compelling wisdom. Esther Meek argues that we become what we love and that if we love truth then we must love to engage in the interpersonal dialogue of seeing the world well through the prism of another's heart. Her premise is lived out through dialogue with a range of authors that makes my head spin. She seizes their wisdom and yet pursues it further to the person of Christ than any I have read. This is an epistemologically therapeutic embrace of how to live well in the world of divergent thought that nevertheless longs to reveal Jesus as the center of all true wisdom. It is a breathtaking and beautiful labor."
--Dan B. Allender
Professor of Counseling Psychology and Founding President
Mars Hill Graduate School
"Loving to Know is a marvelous follow-up to Meek's Longing to Know. Like her earlier work, this is clearly the work of a masterful, compassionate teacher inviting a wide audience to reflect on the nature of knowledge. Here is epistemology for the people, so to speak. In the process, through a rich set of conversation partners, Meek puts her own stamp on a Reformed epistemology that makes love and covenant central to our account of knowing. An excellent achievement."
--James K.A. Smith
Professor of Philosophy
Calvin College --Wipf and Stock Publishers
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Top Customer Reviews
Dancing through Esther Meek's Loving to Know is what we all need to do, right now. Wherever she pushes you, stop and ponder. Take courage to hope again, that there really is a there there after all, and that you can move ahead in knowing it, since you already do! Yes, you do know and you are knowing. Yes, you are known too. Against the complexities of philosophical jargon, Meek displays hope for living in the real world, and challenges you to flourish in that confidence.
Follow her in giving an enthusiastic burial to the old dream of a world of facts, standing all alone in splendid isolation. With her, be also radically discontent with today's relativistic vacuums. Could there be a third way, Meek's way? That she learned from Michael Polyani: scientists truly make discoveries, and they know that they will. They already know where they are going before they get there! Could we do that too, and enjoy that we know where we want to go? Could we employ in that quest all we have: our bodies, our skills, our friends, our being loved and loving?
Meek showed us that in her earlier Longing to Know. Loving builds upon it, passionately and oh-so-comprehensively. Polyani science is not the only game in town; there are also 'conversations' with: philosopher of religion John Macmurray, psychologist and theologian James Loder, marriage counselor David Schnarch, theologians Colin Gunton and Philip Rolnick, and especially education guru Parker Palmer.
As I am a theologian, I find the interactions with Calvinist theologians John Frame and Mike Willams especially provocative. Meek honors Calvinist comprehensiveness, where knowledge of God relates to knowledge of anything.Read more ›
Here is the Publisher's review which is sadly missing from the Amazon webpage:
"This radical book develops the notion of covenant epistemology--an innovative, biblically compatible, holistic, embodied, life-shaping epistemological vision in which all knowing takes the shape of interpersonal, covenantal relationship. Rather than knowing in order to love, we love in order to know. Meek argues that all knowing is best understood as transformative encounter. Creatively blending insights from a diverse range of conversation partners--including Michael Polanyi, Michael D. Williams, Lesslie Newbigin, Parker Palmer, John Macmurray, Martin Buber, and James Loder--Meek offers critically needed "epistemological therapy" in response to the pervasive and damaging presumptions that those in Western culture continue to bring to efforts to know. The book's innovative approach itself subverts standard epistemological presumptions of timeless linearity. While it offers a sustained and sophisticated philosophical argument, Loving to Know's texts and textures interweave loosely to effect therapeutic epistemic transformation in the reader."
Esther Meek's book Loving to Know is a remedy to modern and postmodern epistemologies. She proposes a model entitled covenant epistemology that seeks to integrate knowledge that we gather from investigation and from emotion. What makes covenant epistemology unique is that it is grounded in covenant theology and assumes that all knowledge is essentially covenantal. Thus Meeks assumes that even non-Christians are under some sort of covenant relationship with their Creator. This allows Christians and non-Christians to integrate our findings since all knowledge ultimately come from God. This allows integration from various fields to be possible.
Meek's philosophy of knowledge is difficult to pinpoint since she draws from such a variety of sources. Meeks integrates the theological thinking of John Frame and Mike Williams as well as the philosophical thinking of Michael Polanyi, James Loder, Martin Buber, John Macmurray, David Schnarch, Colin Gunton and Philip Rolnick. The benefit of this is it allows Meeks to synthesize a massive amount of material. The downside is that it feels as if what is really happening is adopting so many views that it accommodates any issue while solving nothing. In other words, her theory of epistemology feels so unbelievably bloated that I am not entirely sure that she has synthesized anything. With every layer of knowledge discussed, I kept thinking "Do we really need yet another dialogue partner?"
But maybe that is the appeal. Maybe we need an extremely complicated system of knowing because we are dealing with an extremely complex God, right? Maybe the reason Meek's book resounds so much is because we recognize the inherent complexity of living in a world with various viewpoints.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The books requires a commitment, much life a companion on a long trip. You must be willing to move beyond the superficial relating of a day-trip and engage the transformation of a... Read morePublished 10 months ago by J McNeil
Esther Lightcap Meek challenges the 'default' way of knowing common to western civilization since the dawn of the Enlightenment. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Mark at Every Good Path