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Broken Whole, The

Philosophical Steps Toward a Theology of Global Solidarity

Thomas E. Reynolds

Publication Year: 2005

In an increasingly precarious global situation, and in light of the postmodern emphasis on difference, efforts to grasp the “whole” as something universally shared by all human beings have fallen short, according to Thomas E. Reynolds. In this book, he explores the philosophical and theological significance of the problem of pluralism and asserts that the shared resources of the world’s religious traditions can be used to cultivate peace and solidarity across diverse boundaries. He engages a range of philosophical thinkers—such as Gadamer, Marcel, Rorty, Foucault, Levinas, Derrida, and Habermas—and brings them into conversation with contemporary theologians and writers in religious studies. Presenting a vision of solidarity that is both religiously charged and philosophically astute, The Broken Whole outlines an inventive approach toward retrieving the relevance of God-talk, an approach rooted in a philosophy of dialogue and cross-cultural hospitality.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. v-

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

The following pages represent several years of thought on a topic that has become of increasing importance in an ever-complex world of global interaction. The luxury of such thought, however, is possible only because of the support I have received from others in numerous ways. I owe a profound debt to St. Norbert College, the place of my present ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-14

Perhaps one of the most salient features of our time, indelibly marking its ethos, is the flourishing of a dynamic cultural diversity. Stunning advances in communication technologies and rapid means of transportation now make it possible for the widest variety of peoples to have direct access to each other, cultivating an increasingly global network of political and economic interdependency. Even as ...

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1. PLURALITY AND HISTORICAL CONSCIOUSNESS: FROM HETERONOMOUS BELONGING TO A TRADITIONED BELONGING TO HISTORY

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pp. 15-42

In 1584, the self-styled Renaissance philosopher Giordano Bruno wrote a treatise, “On the Infinite Universe and Worlds,” which is suggestive in its implications for thinking about pluralism in a postmodern and global context. This work, set in dialogue form, argues against the traditional Ptolemaic understanding of the universe as a finite, hierarchically structured system with the earth as ...

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2. PLURALISTIC CONSCIOUSNESS: FROM HISTORICAL BELONGING TO THE CHALLENGE OF RADICAL CONTINGENCY AND DIFFERENCE

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pp. 43-76

As chapter 1 concluded, the radical consequences of the historicist turn had begun to emerge in bold clarity, dramatizing the polycentric and plural character of human dwelling in the world by representing all events and significations as finite products of exigencies bound to particular times and places. I suggested there that what Giordano Bruno’s centerless polycentrism does to our sense of ...

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3. DWELLING TOGETHER: IDENTITY, DIFFERENCE, AND RELATION

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pp. 77-100

As chapters 1 and 2 have shown, our postmodern context requires a normative picture of pluralism. Thus far, however, I have sought to attend to the felt reality of sociocultural plurality, exploring its implications. The portrayal of “pluralistic consciousness” is not, in itself, a prescriptive proposal about how human beings ought to live in the world. It is a reflective portrait: an attempt to describe a predominant ...

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4. DIALECTICAL PLURALISM: TRUTH, THE OTHER, AND THE PRAXIS OF SOLIDARITY

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pp. 101-132

Reflecting on chapter 3, we must note an intrinsic double play between the necessity of a framework of orientation in dwelling together and the unavoidable presence of differences that crisscross within it and destablize it. To be sure, conversation is galvanized by the interaction of genuine differences; yet the contrast of difference is recognized as such only within the interpretive sway of ...

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5. THE TRANSCENDENT GRAMMAR OF PRESENCE AND THE RELIGIOUS SENSIBILITY

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pp. 133-164

I now wish to supplement and broaden the scope of our discussion of pluralism by exploring a set of issues anticipated by the argument in chapters 3 and 4. The purpose of this chapter is to bring into focus the possibility of a discourse about God—that is, the unconditioned and infinite—that does not merely acknowledge plurality but is itself pluralistic. Briefly, my proposal is this: insofar as the ...

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6. MAKING THE DIFFERENCE: RETHINKING RELIGIOUS PLURALISM IN LOCAL AND UNIVERSAL HORIZONS

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pp. 165-200

The appeal to transcendence as a source of meaningful vitality—that is, God, Krishna, Nirvana, the Tao, Wakan Tanka, and so forth—is an inherently finite and social act. As we explored in chapter 5, elemental trust is never fully guaranteed and exists amidst the fundamental ambiguity of not-having. Thus, it must be self-consciously recovered against the pull of anxiety. It is in the work ...

Notes

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pp. 201-244

Name Index

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pp. 245-246

Subject Index

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pp. 247-250


E-ISBN-13: 9780791482520
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791466117
Print-ISBN-10: 0791466116

Page Count: 258
Publication Year: 2005

Series Title: SUNY series in Theology and Continental Thought
Series Editor Byline: Douglas L. Donkel

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Religious pluralism.
  • Philosophical theology.
  • Globalization -- Religious aspects.
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