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Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?: Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church (The Church and Postmodern Culture) Paperback – April 1, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 92 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Christians who think that "Lyotard" is something worn by gymnasts ought to investigate this unusual book, which aims to make accessible the philosophical and religious contributions of three postmodern thinkers: Jacques Derrida, Jean-François Lyotard and Michel Foucault. Smith, a philosophy professor at Calvin College, does this cleverly by employing illustrations and examples from such films as The Matrix; Memento; One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest; O Brother, Where Art Thou?; and, surprisingly but successfully, The Little Mermaid. Along the way, Smith also dissects the popular teachings of postmodern writers like Brian McLaren (reviewed and interviewed in this issue), Leonard Sweet and Robert Webber. At times, the language is decidedly academic ("heuristic," "metanarrative" and "epistemology" make routine appearances), and the book tends to assume a basic familiarity with philosophical debates. Still, it's one of the most accessible introductions to postmodern thought to date, and its concluding chapter—in which Smith brilliantly employs the movie Whale Rider to explore how Christianity might be simultaneously faithful to tradition and open to change—is alone worth the price of admission. Ironically but persuasively, Smith argues that postmodern Christianity's most powerful contribution could be a return to ancient, premodern church traditions and liturgy. (Apr.)
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About the Author

James K. A. Smith (PhD, Villanova University) is a popular speaker who has written many books, including Awaiting the King, Imagining the Kingdom, How (Not) to Be Secular, and the Christianity Today Book Award winners You Are What You Love, Desiring the Kingdom, and Who's Afraid of Postmodernism? He is professor of philosophy at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he holds the Gary and Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology and Worldview. He was editor in chief of Comment magazine from 2013 to 2018 and is now editor in chief of Image Journal. Smith has written for Christianity Today, First Things, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the Washington Post.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Baker Academic (April 1, 2006)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 160 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 080102918X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0801029189
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 6.8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.5 x 0.37 x 8.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 92 ratings

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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