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Baker Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?: Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church (The Church and Postmodern Culture)

The philosophies of French thinkers Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault form the basis for postmodern thought and are seemingly at odds with the Christian faith. However, James K. A. Smith claims that their ideas have been misinterpreted and actually have a deep affinity with central Christian claims.

Each chapter opens with an illustration from a recent movie and concludes with a case study considering recent developments in the church that have attempted to respond to the postmodern condition, such as the "emerging church" movement. These case studies provide a concrete picture of how postmodern ideas can influence the way Christians think and worship.

This significant book avoids philosophical jargon and offers fuller explanation where needed. It is the first book in the Church and Postmodern Culture series, which provides practical applications for Christians engaged in ministry in a postmodern world.

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Customer Reviews for Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?: Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church (The Church and Postmodern Culture)
Review 1 for Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?: Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church (The Church and Postmodern Culture)
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Bogeyman?

Date:March 18, 2011
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Russ
Location:Dayville, CT
Age:45-54
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Smith has delivered a good primer with his treatment of Postmodernism as (1) he “unpacks it” (i.e., provides guiding explanations, etc.) and (2) shows why rather than being the “bogeyman” of the Church, Postmodernism may be of profit in its ability to call the Church to return to what truly made her unique. Smith’s picture of what a church could be (144-146) so resonates “community” as to make us ache as we perceive the lack of community within much of Western Christianity.
On a personal note – this is one book that (1) engaged my interest the entire time, (2) in which I did not sense the author repeating himself simply to make the book a “bit longer”, and (3) has been cited often and highlighted even more.
+2points
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Review 2 for Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?: Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church (The Church and Postmodern Culture)
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 18, 2008
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Aaron Denbo
The book is an excellent book on the Christian adaptation of post-modernism. Smith effectively decodes the sometimes difficult concepts of the likes of Foucault and Derrida (if you've read their work it is rather difficult to parse) and shows how a fresh appropriation of postmodern themes, already simmering in Western culture, can and should be used in the Christian life. This is not unlike Justin Martyr or any of the early apologists applying Greek thought into a defense and appropriation of Christianity in their time.
+3points
3of 3voted this as helpful.