Chapter

The Rationality Intrinsic to Faith

Jason A. Springs

in Toward a Generous Orthodoxy

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780195395044
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866243 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395044.003.0005

Series: AAR Reflection and Theory in the Study of Religion Series

The Rationality Intrinsic to Faith

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Chapter 5 addresses the feasibility of Frei’s likening his theological approach to the cultural ethnographer’s task of “thick description.” Some critics claim that Frei’s borrowing from cultural anthropology results in an overly integrated and unified conception of “the church” and its practices. Others charge that his approach reduces theology to redescription of the logic internal to Christian practices, thereby eliminating the capacity to make truth claims or to correct Christian malpractice. This chapter responds to these charges, demonstrating that, rather than simply mimicking anthropological procedures, Frei’s portrayal of the theological task in terms of reflexively ethnographic redescription does not forgo the ability—even the necessity—to make propositional truth claims.

Keywords: Anselmian coherentism; thick description; reflexive ethnography; Chalcedonian pattern; moderate propositionalism

Chapter.  6460 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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