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Sheila Greeve Davaney, Pragmatic Historicism: A Theology for the Twenty-First Century . Albany: State University Press of New York, 2000. Pp. xv + 223. ISBN 0-7914-4693-X

Sheila Greeve Davaney, Pragmatic Historicism: A Theology for the Twenty-First Century . Albany:... and vague. We learn, for example, that this is an "expansive" historicist method in which the validation of theological positions can only be pragmatic; that is, pragmatic norms are to determine the viability and adequacy of theological construals of reality. Davaney acknowledges that a multiplicity of options claim adequacy on this count. She thinks that adherents of different religions can and should "openly set forth their interpretations of human existence, history, and practice and ... critically engage and be engaged by others in terms of the practical and concrete repercussions for human life and organization that flow from such convictions, values, and commitments" (117). But how can scholars adjudicate among competing theological claims or "visions of reality"? In what way do pragmatic norms provide a basis for theory-choice or vision-selection in theology? Why pick pragmatic historicist theology as better than some other? If these questions are the most pressing methodological ones, then it is misleading to paint challenges to pragmatic historicism as proceeding from a non-historicist urge for directionality and certitude. No one these days is seeking a basis for certitude, only for reasonable choice. How far does procedural pragmatism takes us with that question? Procedural pragmatism holds, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

Sheila Greeve Davaney, Pragmatic Historicism: A Theology for the Twenty-First Century . Albany: State University Press of New York, 2000. Pp. xv + 223. ISBN 0-7914-4693-X

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 1 (1): 174 – Apr 21, 2004

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2004 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-90000136
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

and vague. We learn, for example, that this is an "expansive" historicist method in which the validation of theological positions can only be pragmatic; that is, pragmatic norms are to determine the viability and adequacy of theological construals of reality. Davaney acknowledges that a multiplicity of options claim adequacy on this count. She thinks that adherents of different religions can and should "openly set forth their interpretations of human existence, history, and practice and ... critically engage and be engaged by others in terms of the practical and concrete repercussions for human life and organization that flow from such convictions, values, and commitments" (117). But how can scholars adjudicate among competing theological claims or "visions of reality"? In what way do pragmatic norms provide a basis for theory-choice or vision-selection in theology? Why pick pragmatic historicist theology as better than some other? If these questions are the most pressing methodological ones, then it is misleading to paint challenges to pragmatic historicism as proceeding from a non-historicist urge for directionality and certitude. No one these days is seeking a basis for certitude, only for reasonable choice. How far does procedural pragmatism takes us with that question? Procedural pragmatism holds,

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Apr 21, 2004

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