Theology by John Caputo essay
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John D. Caputo is one of the leading philosophers whose work is mainly focused on hermeneutics, phenomenology, deconstruction and theology. This is one of the reasons that make Caputo hybrid philosophers whose work is aimed at producing impure thoughts regarding philosophy and theology. This is going by the fact that there is no clear cut boundary between the two. In view of this, saying that the relationship that exists between theology and philosophy might be considered as an understatement and as Caputo suggest, “A lot of times when we say “and,” it turns out we mean “against” or “versus,” and we are trying to start a fight” (pp.3).
Caputo does not create some sort of narrative that tries to explain the relationship that exists between theology and philosophy but rather, he simply tries to analyze how both these two discipline communicate. Apparently, Maputo is able to achieve his objectives by producing a coherent engagement with theologians and philosophers that promotes the sense of awe found in both disciplines.
Inn this book, the author suggests that philosophy and theology are somehow related going by the fact that both of them have various unanswered questions. Maputo analyzes the pre-modern era where faith was the dominant factor over reasoning. Despite this, there was still a meaningful interaction between the two. During the modern era, the Maputo observes that reason became more dominant over faith in the wake of the world that saw science marginalize both philosophy and religion. Maputo views that Descartes delimited God to only what can be reasoned while Kant went further to limit our understanding to a rational natural and moral order, dismissing any other ideas about God as superstition.
The post-modernism however saw the challenging of the hegemony of reason and science by clearly stating that reasoning and sometimes perception require extensive acceptance of all the solution with respect to major problems in the society. In this sense, Maputo vies that faith is unavoidable while truth is unattainable. The post modern are on the other hand has situation whereby the perspective that is used is irreducible to any other perspective.
Some of the questions raised by Maputo with respect to post modern theology are such as how we should think of God and religion today an issue that has continuously existed as a controversial issue in the society. According to Caputo, Postmodernism is not relativism or skepticism but rather is nature’s way of detailing histories for sensitivity differences. Caputo description of postmodernism continues to state that postmodernists in their approach take the lead of God in tearing down the tower. This approach of postmodernism in Caputo’s approach seem to indicate that The self-consciousness of the effort of deconstruction potentially borders on the sort of hubris that the moderns get so often accused of. However, post-moderns are very effective both in faith and reasoning and are seen as the bridge between philosophy and religion going by the fact that they combine both reasoning and faith in thinking.
Caputo goes further to insist that Enlightenment modernity has its own problems in the form of socially exclusionary binaries. In amore religious context, post-modernism refers to the Christina outlook that is most of the times associated with post-Heideggerian. Caputo’s idea of post-modernism is that post modernity despite being a battle of different ideological perspective is basically based on the meta-physics of the present. In the past modern society, the scenario is such that despite the fact that human beings are able to lose the firm foundations regarding absolute truth, the grip of modernity has helped people be able to act ethically and politically precise.
Some of the advantages of postmodernism in relation to theology are that the modern mind is primarily concerned with the truth. This quest to be able to explain ultimate realistic situations is what has guided the modern world to the way it is today. One of the main components of post modernism with respect to theology is liberalism. In this, liberalists believe that God created the universe and established a set of laws to guide humans in life. The developments of theology in the post modern era have made it possible to discern the ultimate reality given the physical barriers that continue to exist in modern world. This development has also established that the truth sometimes is not easily discernable and may require in-depth interpretation and perspective in discerning true reality.
However, postmodernism has impacted negatively on the development of theology in the sense that truth is one of the most dynamic components in the society. Going by this, the assumption that there is only one truth that exists and is accessible to all individuals is wrong. Caputo states that from an empirical standpoint, the view says that ultimate reality is perfectly describable and all science will look the same to all people. However, this compared to a spiritual perspective would imply that the view that God is an ultimate reality is the truth. In addition, this translates to the common belief that when an individual seeks God and finds God, one will find the truth that is accessible to all the people who seek God.
Postmodernism ignores some of the recent developments in philosophy as well as substantial realities of human existence. This is going by the fact that different cultures have over the years established varying norms of truth. A practical example of this scenario is that whereas science may be seen as being universal, the general assumption that science provides a foundation for reality is itself built on modernist basis.