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Theology and Social Theory

Beyond Secular Reason


Publisher writes

This is a revised edition of John Milbank's masterpiece, which sketches the outline of a specifically theological social theory. The Times Higher Education Supplement wrote of the first edition that it was "a tour de force of systematic theology. It would be churlish not to acknowledge its provocation and brilliance".

Author Information

John Milbank

John Milbank is Professor of Religion, Politics and Ethics at the University of Nottingham and one of the most influential contemporary theologians. He is also the author of The Word Made Strange: Theology, Language, Culture (Blackwell, 1996).

Judges' and contributors' comments

Rupert Shortt: Theology & Social Theory (1991; new and expanded edition, 2005) is a contemporary classic. The clue is in the subtitle: ‘Beyond Secular Reason’. John Milbank is a pioneer of the Radical Orthodoxy movement, which argues inter alia that the seeds of modern atheism were sown when 14th-century Christian philosophers distorted the traditional doctrine of God. This forms the background to Milbank’s chief argument in his book, which is that the social sciences are themselves haunted by unacknowledged – and deeply questionable – theological assumptions. Though this thesis proved contentious, few doubt that it was a game-changer, and that Milbank’s book is a key text in the recovery of nerve seen in theological studies over the past generation.

Reader comments

Adrian Worsfold

27 September 2014 @ 18:45

The notion that Sociology is 'secular theology' is a nonsense because sociology is backed up by research delivering answers one doesn't want as well as does, whereas Milbank's theology is a story-like fantasy in a bubble.

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