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Comparing FaithfullyInsights for Systematic Theological Reflection$
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Michelle Voss Roberts

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823274666

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823274666.001.0001

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Comparative Theology and the Postmodern God of “Perhaps”

Comparative Theology and the Postmodern God of “Perhaps”

A Response to Sydnor and Padilla

(p.66) 3 Comparative Theology and the Postmodern God of “Perhaps”
Comparing Faithfully

Kristin Beise Kiblinger

Fordham University Press

Kristin Beise Kiblinger responds to Elaine Padilla and Jon Paul Sydnor in conversation with the view of God developed by John D. Caputo. She observes points of agreement between Caputo and both comparative theologians with their common emphases on immanence (Padilla) and relationality (Sydnor), but argues that Caputo’s thought also challenges them both in significant ways. For Caputo, we inevitably condition what we know and thus God as the unconditioned cannot be known or present but remains “to come.” Caputo uses Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction as a hermeneutic principle that exposes conditionedness and thus keeps our theology humble and open. Kiblinger suggests that Sydnor and Padilla could benefit from following Caputo in his theology because Caputo’s work 1) helps respond to problems that have plagued past theology, 2) illuminates issues involving immanence and relationality, and 3) helps to justify (and lay the necessary theoretical groundwork for) comparative theology.

Keywords:   John Caputo, deconstruction, Jacques Derrida, immanence, relationality

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