Focusing on the history of ideas, this book explores important questions concerning knowledge in relation to philosophy, science, ethics and Christian faith. Kirk contributes to the current debate about the intellectual basis and integrity of Western culture, exploring controversial issues concerning the notions of modernity and post-modernity. Repositioning the Christian faith as a valid dialogue partner with contemporary secular movements in philosophy and ethics, Kirk seeks to show that in 'post-Christian' Europe the Christian faith still possesses intellectual resources worthy to be reckoned with. This book's principal argument is that contemporary Western society faces a cultural crisis. It explores what appears to be an historical enigma, namely the question of why Western intellectual endeavours in philosophy and science seem to have abandoned the search for a source of knowledge able to draw together disparate pieces of information provided by different disciplines. Kirk draws conclusions, particularly in the area of ethical decision-making, from this apparent failure and invites readers to consider Christian theism afresh as a means for the renewal of culture and society.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction. Part I Worlds Apart: An enigma and an idea. Part II The Arrival of the Modern World: An enquiry into the origins of modern science; The turn to rationalism: justification by reason alone?; The turn to empiricism: knowledge through science alone?. Part III The Departure of the Modern World: The turn to historicism; The turn to language. Part IV Imagining Another World: The world in transit: between arrival and departure (Part 1); The world in transit: between arrival and departure (Part 2); Regaining a lost opportunity: the preconditions; Regaining a lost opportunity: the conditions; Summing-up: the story; the enigma; the solution; Select bibliography; Index.
J. Andrew Kirk was formerly Senior Lecturer in Mission and World Christianity at the University of Birmingham, UK, but is now retired. He spent a lifetime's work in theological education in the tertiary sector, including 12 years in Argentina, 12 years in London and 12 years in Birmingham (Selly Oak Colleges and University of Birmingham). He is widely travelled on all continents as a theological consultant and lecturer. J. Andrew Kirk is an author of 13 books (currently) on various subjects related to contextual and interdisciplinary theological matters: e.g., theology of liberation, political theologies, social ethics, theology of religion, secularisation.
’This is a useful and accessible work for anyone interested in Christian apologetics or recent intellectual history. It is also an excellent resource for anyone engaging in inter-disciplinary dialogue across the academy.’ Theological Book Review ’This is undoubtedly a valuable book.’ ESSSAT News