Gazing Through a Prism Darkly

Gazing Through a Prism Darkly : Reflections on Merold Westphal's Hermeneutical Epistemology

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Merold Westphal has been in the foremost ranks of philosophers who proclaim a new postsecular philosophy. By articulating an epistemology sensitive to the realities of cognitive finitude and moral weakness, he defends a wisdom that begins in both humility and commitment, one that always confesses that human beings can encounter meaning and truth only as human beings, never as gods.

The present volume focuses on this wisdom of humility that characterizes Westphal's thought and explores how that wisdom, expressed through the redemptive dynamic of doubt, can contribute to developing a postsecular apologetic for faith.

This book can function both as an accessible introduction to Westphal for those who have not read him extensively and also as an informed critical appreciation and extension of his work for those who are more experienced readers.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 22.86mm | 498.95g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0823230457
  • 9780823230457

Review quote

As a volume of collected essays on Merold Westphal written by his longtime colleagues and interlocutors, this book is long overdue. Westphal has been one of the most significant voices in the development of continental philosophy of religion, and this volume successfully introduces the reader to both his range as a thinker and his consistent point of view that has articulated a distinctly postsecular philosophical theology. The editor's concluding conversation with Westphal is as insightful and broad in its scope as readers of Westphal have come to expect. Not only a great treasure trove of contemporary philosophical and theological elaboration, this book is also a great work of love.----Jeff Robbins, Lebanon Valley College Useful, not only for those focusing on Westphal's own work, but also for those who are looking for new and exciting scholarship in the thinking of Kierkegaard, Levinas, Derrida, Hegel, and Marion.----Mark Gedney, Gordon College Merold Westphal's life-work spans Hegel's views on love and community

and Kierkegaard's critique of these, Nietzsche's revaluing of values

and Levinas' valorization of a primal ethical obligation to the other

so deep it verges on the religious. Westphal is one of the most

wide-ranging and insightful minds at work in philosophy of religion

over the last quarter century. Keith Putt's introduction and final

interview frame essays from an outstanding assembly of contemporary

scholars, accomplished in their own right, marshaled here to

critically trace Westphal's emergence as a continental philosopher of

religion and theology of the very first order.

----Edward F. Mooney, Syracuse University A unique contribution to knowledge in this field.----Christina Gschwandtner, University of Scranton Westphal occupies a unique and important position in the contemporary debates about God and religion.----Brian Treanor, Loyola Marymount University Putt's Gazing Through a Prism Darkly shines a beam of light on the rich work of Merold Westphal. The book illuminates Westphal's brilliant ability to cross the boundaries between liberal and conservative theology, analytical and continental philosophy, and Catholic and Protestant ecclesiology. Indeed Westphal's thought merits such a multidimensional anthology. It is long overdue.----Sharon L. Baker, Messiah College
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About B. Keith Putt

B. Keith Putt is Professor of Philosophy at Samford University.
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