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HUMANITIES 361 understandings of 'apocalyptic' in Jesus scholarship (Edith Humphrey), and in Peter Richardson's plea for more attention to archaeological realia. Amal's retrospective brings into focus ideological questions that lurk behind recent Jesus scholarship: whether a nostalgic and anachronistic notion of 'religion' (and Jesus as a 'religious' figure) effectively serves as a bulkwark against the loss of the subject in postmodemity, and whether the almost frantic attempt to retain an apocalyptic Jesus is not an effort to keep Jesus safely 'Other' (and, if Freyne is right, christologically 'Other') to avoid having Jesus' significance evaporate entirely once he is seen as the hero of a failed social movement. There is hardly an unworthy essay in the lot and I should expect that Whose Historical Jesus? will soon win a place of distinction in the bibliography of historical Jesus scholarship. It is to the credit of the editors and contributors that the essays form a genuine conversation that is courteous, learned, and unmarked by the rancour that sometimes infects this field. (JOHNS. KLOPPENBORG) James H. Olthuis, editor. Knowing Other~Wise: Philosophy at the Threshold of Spirituality Fordham University Press. x, 268. us$56.oo Contained in this collection are essays by four students and three professors of the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto. The reader is offered the opportunity to 'overhear' the conversation among them concerning the critique of modem rationality, chiefly by postmodernism, with two of the authors drawing on feminist arguments as well. Those familiar with both forms of criticism will not so much find new insights here, but will be treated to clear and coherent presentations by 'new voices' intentionally speaking, as editorJames Olthuis notes, 'in the Calvinist Christian tradition that is the spiritual horne for the writers in this collection.' To borrow an image from Olthuis, the essays occupy the 'wild spaces' between philosophy and Christian theology. Distancing themselves from Western philosophy, they make conunon cause in declaring the inadequacy of modern reason: its disembodied, contextless self; its violent universalizing essentialism; its neglect of difference and otherness. HendrikHartin the first essay of the volume proposes that faith in reason needs to be balanced by a restoration of a more humble way of knowing 'focused in hope and trust.' He cautiously introduces the term 'spirituality' to name Olthuis's wild place in which there is interwoven 'human responsibility with realities which overcome us.' Janet Wesselius and Carroll Hart present the two feminist essays, offering suggestions from the Dutch Calvinist Herman Dooyeweerd (18941977 ) and the American philosopher John Dewey to continue the criticism 362 LETTERS IN CANADA 1997 of Kantian rationality and Western essentialist thinking. Both essays tentatively propose further specifications of the new space in which new kinds of thinkffig and acting might be possible, carrying forward the the1ne of 'spirituality regained.' The middle section of the book begins with an essay by Ronald Kuipers, correcting and balancing Richard Rorty and Jacques Derrida with each other, but chiefly critical of Rorty's renovated liberal faith as no real solution to the need for a new place and a new way to construct an ethical society. There follow three essays, one by Olthuis and two by Jeffrey Dudiak, which offer a sustained conversation with Emmanuel Levinas. In sum, both authors are sympathetic ┬Ěreaders of Levinas's version of Heideggerian philosophy, particularly in contrast to Jolm Caputo's recent work Against Ethics. Like the first section,this one proposes the underlying conviction that after one has thoroughly deconstructed the 'easy answers' of modern rationality (and religion, one presumes), there is something more than utter difference, diversity, and intellectual or ethical paralysis. It isn't named 'spirituality' here but one presumes it could be. The final section contains an essay by James Smith on 'speaking about God' and another by Olthuis offering the closest thing to a positive, heuristic account of what the new space between philosophy and theology might be like. Smith likewise offers an all too brief suggestion about the discourse of that new space, appealing somewhat naively to storytelling as a discourse which 'avoids violence because it is a discourse of praise rather than predication,' an appeal to the Christian scriptures no doubt. His caution to...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 361-363
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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