The praxis of erring in Mark C. Taylor's a/theology: To err is divine

Hancock, Brannon M (2004) The praxis of erring in Mark C. Taylor's a/theology: To err is divine. MTh(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Mark C. Taylor's "deconstructive a/theology," unveiled in 1984 with the publication of Erring: A Postmodern A/theology, represents a significant contribution to the task of theological thinking in a postmodern age. An imaginative synthesis of Hegelian dialectics, Nietzschean negation, Derridean deconstruction and Altizerian radical theology, Taylor's a/theology seeks to be thoroughly post-post-foundational, post-ecclesial, and even perhaps post-theological. However, Taylor's work has been neglected and even in some cases discounted by many within academic theology and has thus far found no sustained discourse with ecclesially accountable Christian theology. I find this to be a startling oversight. While Taylor's a/theology is difficult, and no doubt troubling to traditional doctrinal theology, I assert that it is a potentially viable and even vital path for the future of theological thinking. In this dissertation, I undertake the task of outlining the basic premises of a/theology as demonstrated and developed in the corpus of Taylor's writings. I seek to contextualize Taylor's a/theology within a particular and particularly Christian textual tradition that goes back to the gospels (best exemplified by St. Mark) and also includes the negative tradition of early and medieval Christian mystics such as Meister Eckhart and Pseudo-Dionysius. I argue that the embodiment of a/theology is the practice or performance of erring, Taylor's literal and literary metaphor for the contemporary human condition, and bring his a/theological work into mutually-enlightening dialogue with other writers and texts selected for their resonance with Taylor's particular textuality. Furthermore, I suggest that a/theology, as a parasitic and deconstructive force, necessarily deconstructs itself in the process of deconstructing its host (theology), which results in the eventual abandonment of both theology and a/theology, a forsaking that never reaches a final end.

Item Type: Thesis (MTh(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Advisers: Jeff Keuss; David Jasper
Keywords: Theology, Philosophy of Religion
Date of Award: 2004
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2004-71185
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 10:49
Last Modified: 10 May 2019 10:49
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/71185

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