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humanities 299 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 how they will do it. Lastly, the editing, rife with spelling and grammatical mistakes, and the choice to forge a two-part division, separating Lismer=s >Life in Art= and >Arthur Lismer=s Ideas in Education,= did not serve the book well. The curious redundant organization of the book seems to be derived a bit too closely from the finished work of Grigor=s master=s and doctoral theses on Lismer rather than from a conceptual longitudinal reflection of integrative analysis and contextual framing of the argument. Sadly, further and more in-depth consideration of this important topic would have made for a much stronger work. (E. LISA PANAYOTIDIS) Tim S. Perry. Radical Difference: A Defence of Hendrik Kraemer=s Theology of Religions Wilfrid Laurier University Press. x, 170. $29.95 Mainline scholarship in religious studies and theology has generally judged the thought of the Dutch phenomenologist and theologian Hendrik Kraemer (1888B1965) to be largely irrelevant, given the concerns of a complex, pluralistic world. Since Kraemer has generally been taken to be excessively conservative theologically, insufficiently sympathetic in his evaluation of non-Christian religions, and an outright hindrance to progress in the areas of ecumenicity and dialogue, his defenders have not been abundant. Therefore, the project signalled in this volume=s subtitle is a bold and intriguing one. The author is evidently not easily deterred, and he gives his reader good reasons for thinking that his case is an important one. Originally submitted to the University of Durham as a dissertation, Tim S. Perry=s important study attempts not just >to understand ... [and] to assess= Kraemer=s contribution to the theology of religions but >to redeem= it. The author, like Kraemer himself, is decidedly up front about his point of departure in the book: >Explicitly and unapologetically confessional in nature, it is written by a Christian and intended for Christians.= The book contains two parts: >Preliminary Matters= and >Radical Difference.= One of the book=s most useful contributions occurs early on in the preliminary material, where Perry examines the terms of the debate about religious plurality in contemporary philosophical and theological scholarship. His argument runs as follows: The commonly employed exclusivism-inclusivism-pluralism triad is itself a product of the pluralist camp (i.e., the British-American philosopher John Hick and his epigones). This now de rigueur triad casts pluralists in a most favourable light and is manifestly unfair to exclusivists, such as Kraemer. Especially in this part of the book, Perry shows that he is philosophically and theologically knowledgeable and sure-footed. With the completion of the preliminaries, Perry turns to an exposition of 300 letters in canada 2002 university of toronto quarterly, volume 73, number 1, winter 2003/4 Kraemer=s theology of religions, focusing on a handful of key works. On the whole, he undertakes this project carefully and accurately. Inter alia, he rightly and helpfully points out what the vast majority of Kraemer=s commentators have missed, owing to either incompetence or maliciousness, namely, that Kraemer was not a Dutch puppet of Karl Barth. For that matter, Kraemer was not really a Barthian at all, as Perry rightly notes, although the Dutch scholar did receive some fundamental theological inspiration from the Swiss colossus. Appreciative as one might be of Perry=s good work in interpreting Kraemer, however, one cannot suppress a nagging reservation about one aspect of it, for the book makes minimal reference to Kraemer=s native context. Granted, Kraemer was a pronounced international figure who composed his key treatises in English. But he was born and trained in The Netherlands. While he learned much from his famous University of Leiden mentor, W.B. Kristensen, the two also differed fundamentally in approach B a matter about which Perry is insufficiently nuanced. Moreover, the reader does not find discussion or even acknowledgment of important texts composed by Kraemer in his native tongue. There is also no engagement of Kraemer=s Dutch commentators, leaving the reader in the dark about the reception of Kraemer=s work in his home country and thereby not helping the reader understand the relative silence that has fallen over...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 299-300
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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