Saturday, October 08, 2005

Postmodernism Outline

Here's a tentative outline of the pomo workshop (ur feedback and criticism most welcome)

Introduction: Why Do We Need To Grapple with Postmodernism?
- Understand the Way the World Thinks
- Evaluate the Opportunities and Threats To Mission

But, what Is Modernism?
- Some themes of modernism: confidence in human rationality as the measure of all things, science & technology to improve the world (progress), the rise of nation-states and world ideologies, suspicion towards religious authority and superstitions, Naturalism as the new creation story

- Descartes' "I think therefore I am" & Kant's fact/value divide

- World Wars show how technology can be efficiently used for evil (Holocaust)

What Is Postmodernism?

Some trends...

- continuity and discontinuity with modernism. "Capitalism in hyperdrive?"

- Cynicism towards claims of truth as tools of power and oppression

- No metanarrative, what is true for you may not be true for me

- Our access to truth is human, incomplete and limited by language and determined by socio-cultural factors

- Truth is relationally constructed, in our communities

- We cannot or should not discover author's intended meaning, its your response that matters

- openness to experimenting spiritualities, not organised religions

- openness to many differing views, stories as important in living in
new global village

- community, dialogue and listening as indispensable
- ethical criterion of a faith (is it oppressive or liberating?)
- The story of Jesus as 'theology of the cross', not oppression.

Response to 'Threats':
- Just bcos I learnt it from my culture, doesn't make it false (genetic fallacy)
- Manipulation of religion is idolatry (but why would we invent a more traumatizing
- Counterculture mandate, 'the truth is out there'
- We do not have complete knowledge but some true knowledge.

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