Article

Cultural Theory

Kathryn Tanner

in The Oxford Handbook of Systematic Theology

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780199245765
Published online September 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199245765.003.0030

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Cultural Theory

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This article looks at how an approach to theology is impacted by postmodern challenges to the idea that cultures are group specific, established by sharp cultural boundaries, and marked by homogeneity of practices. It presents the following conclusions. First, the distinctiveness of Christian culture should not be thought of as the product of a self-contained or self-sufficient social group. Second, while there are boundaries between Christian and non-Christian ways of life, those boundaries are fluid and permeable. Claims and values that are outside are brought inside in processes of transformation at the boundary. Third, what Christians have in common, what unites them, is not some baseline of shared beliefs and values forming some coherent whole. The project of determining what Christianity is all about is the principal theological task, both as a specialized intellectual activity and as an ingredient in the everyday effort to lead a Christian life.

Keywords: theology; Christian culture; Christianity; postmodern culture; social group

Article.  7408 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Philosophy of Religion

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