Faith, Scholarship, and postmodernism
Postmodernism represents perhaps the most important philosophical shift occurring in Western thought since the Enlightenment. It is thus crucial for Christian scholars to address the issues it raises. In the United States, Christian scholars have employed at least two different paradigms in discussing the relationship of faith and scholarship. In the integration model, scholars assume that faith and scholarship are two distinct entities that must be brought together, while the worldview model assumes that the scholar always begins with a narrative worldview that subsequently informs one's scholarship. However, the worldview model holds that one's worldview can be influenced and informed by one's scholarship, life experiences, and cultural settings as well. After distinguishing between various kinds of postmodernism based upon their views of truth, unknowability, and cultural relativism - this article argues that worldview thinking may benefit from the academy’s embrace of postmodernism. Although Christian scholars have expressed a wide variety of opinions on postmodernism, I argue that postmodernism’s anti-foundationalism and recognition of the importance of perspectival thinking provide new opportunities for Christian scholarship.
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