Fighting Hegemony, Saving the Event
Why Theologize with Jean-François Lyotard and Postmodern Philosophy?
This article explores reasons for theologizing in dialogue with contemporary-postmodern-philosophy. Elaborating on a particular instance of the French author Jean-Francois Lyotard, I argue that theology engaging with philosophical critique is capable to creatively reflect on the very question of its own mission. To set up the contextual framework for my thesis, I will briefly review the (mis)uses of Lyotard in theology. The central part of the essay will focus on the core of Lyotard’s venture, which is, first, the critique of hegemonic master narratives, second, the refigured idea of truth drawn from the preceding critique and, third, the presentation of the event of the unpresentable. Finally, I will address the question: What can theology learn from Lyotard and his thought? And more generally: Why (fundamental) theology should take contemporary postmodern philosophy seriously and what are the consequences of such an engagement? The offered answers will consist of the elaboration on the concept of theology as thinking.
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