After the postmodern turn, every tradition seeks the right to have their own rules of rational discourse. The crucial question is: are there ways to communicate between the traditions so that the traditions do not need to give up their identities in order to take part in conversation? Vainio examines the basic assumptions behind well known types of Christian theology and seeks ways in which they might interact with one other and with other non-Christian traditions without capitulation of their identities. Vainio claims that there are religious identities that can be negotiated and communicated, and that there are ecclesiastical doctrines which can be meaningfully discussed among churches. This book explores three key areas: analysis of the uses of 'fideism' within classical Christian theology; clarification of different types of theological method that seek to express the task of theology in contemporary setting; an explanation of the contours of religious identity and rationality which takes seriously both classical Christian identity and pluralistic contexts where most of the Christian communities dwell nowadays. The proposal for "negotiability" of Christian identity draws together ideas from, among others, virtue epistemology, reformed epistemology, communitarianism, and feminist sensibilities.
Olli-Pekka Vainio is Post-doctoral Researcher and Adjunct Professor of Ecumenical Theology, University of Helsinki, Finland
'Olli-Pekka Vainio presents a superb treatment of the theological and philosophical issues swirling around "fideism". He not only treats his various sources with care and skillfully brings readers into the conversation, he also charts new territory in helping us think through the relation of theological rationality and core Christian doctrines. Anyone interested in postliberal theology, Reformed or Catholic epistemology and the relation between faith and reason will need to read and consider this work carefully. It represents the best presentation of these matters to date.' Stephen D, Long, Marquette University, USA