Lindbeck RoX

My undergraduate work was in Sociology. Reading Lendbeck’s work (The Nature of Doctrine: Religion and Theology in a Postliberal Age ) reminded me of much of what was scrutinized discussed and explored in those studies. Specifically, there seems to be a major tie to the idea of the sociology of religion. Religion transcends cultural boundaries; it is found in an overwhelming majority of societies. Each religion is essentially a peoples’ attempt to explain the unknown. These explanations rarely come without an outline of what is deemed an appropriate response to the religious conclusions generated, regardless of the religion. Ultimately, this is seems to be the viewpoint Lindbeck takes in The Nature of Doctrine.

This idea does not originate with Lindbeck and does not end in his work. It is a useful comparison he makes in establishing a connection between the use of language or cultural with the roles of religion and doctrine. There are undoubtedly many who have followed a model of learning and adapting to religious teachings described in the book. As a sociologist, this is predictable and in many ways a verification of prior thought. However, I was disappointed in the lack of presentation of salvation that can be found in religion and celebrated in doctrine. Rather, there didn’t seem to be an emphasis on what work God could do in a person. It would seem to suggest the religious “experiences” of an individual are actually staged in some regard. Every person can only respond to religion in a way that has already been branded to them.

This would be my major concern with this portion of Lindbeck. The postliberal approach he suggests is given as not just another resource, but as a new, standalone, correct alternative to the older structures of theology. If that is the case, it would seem to me an important point to leave ample room for the work of God in our theological discussions.

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