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Solomon Among the Postmoderns Paperback – January 1, 2008
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From the Back Cover
Solomon's words from a famous passage of Ecclesiastes have been translated, "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity." In Solomon among the Postmoderns, Peter Leithart says those words are better translated "Vapor of vapors, all is vapor," emphasizing that human life is fleeting. He uses this theme, as well as the entire book of Ecclesiastes, to indicate how Solomon resonated with the themes of today's postmodernism.
"Classic Leithart: learned, witty, and readable, Solomon among the Postmoderns guides us toward a sympathetic and faithful engagement with our critical, protean, and vaporous times."--R. R. Reno, Creighton University
"Here is a vivacious account of postmodern culture from a true Renaissance man. With characteristic verve, Leithart deftly narrates the postmodern critique of modernity--without the typical fixation on epistemology and questions of knowledge. But the story doesn't end on the postmodern bandwagon; rather, Leithart pushes further to show that the postmodern critique of idolatry still fails to yield wisdom. In the wake of Derrida and Foucault, we still find ourselves waiting not for Godot or St. Benedict, but Solomon. Amidst the ruins of modernity, this book is an invitation to feast in the temple."--James K.A. Smith, associate professor of philosophy, Calvin College and author of Who's Afraid of Postmodernism? Taking Derrida, Lyotard and Foucault to Church
"Peter Leithart's Solomon among the Postmoderns is welcome evidence of a maturing evaluation of postmodernism in Christian circles that neither lionizes nor demonizes. Engaging in conversation rather than caricature, the author takes his interlocutors seriously precisely because he is so confident in the power of the biblical narrative to pull down all of our towers of Babel, whatever we call them. For those weary of wholesale denunciations or wholesale endorsements of postmodernism, this patient, well-informed and well-written essay in godly wisdom will illumine and inspire."--Michael Horton, Westminster Seminary
About the Author
Peter J. Leithart (PhD, University of Cambridge) is senior fellow of theology and literature at New St. Andrews College and pastor of Trinity Reformed Church in Moscow, Idaho. He is the author of numerous books, including A House for My Name: A Survey of the Old Testament, Against Christianity, and 1 & 2 Kings in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible. He is also a contributing editor for Touchstone.
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Top customer reviews
However, postmodernity has suffered from naive supporters and savage critics. I had my own misunderstandings. I thought postmodernists were those people with dark eye-liner, low-brow culture, readers of Nietzsche and those who sit around all day watching *Fight Club.* Leithart convinced me I was wrong.
The strengths of the book:
Leithart, following Kevin Vanhoozer, sympathetically interacts and appreciates some of the good things that postmodernity has to offer. Postmodernity can celebrate the death of modernity (but so can conservative foundationalists) but postmodernity doesn't share the same modern presuppositions that many of modernity's critics share.
Leithart gave a good critique of democracy. Democracy celebrates religious freedom to the degree that a religion supports the statist status quo. Whenever that religion begins to proclaim another king, one Jesus, then they will be marginalized and persecuted.
Leithart gave a good critique of postmodernism's non-eschatology. Postmodernism can't even claim the honor of being a noble tragedy. A tragedy implies a climactic ending. Postmodernism denies precisely that. It forces its adherents to hope for eternal anti-climax (Foucalt's thoughts on the matter).
Leithart correctly translates the Hebrew word *hebel* as vapor, not vanity.
This is not Leithart's best piece of writing, stylistically. I gave him 4 stars because he is capable of outstanding, breathtaking writing. This book was quite good, but not his best.
That being said, I definitely recommend it and would encourage the reader on to Leithart's other work *Deep Comedy,* particularly the chapter "Supplement at Origin."