Sallie mcfague biography definition

sallie mcfague biography definition
Religious Reflections on Extraterrestrial Life Forms. And this positivism, or scientific method, can say very little about religion. Many and novel theological models are proposed, in accordance with the pluralistic, secular, sceptical, relativis- tic, and iconoclastic stance McFague commends as the sensibility of and for our time.

Religion, Aging, and Healthcare in the 21st Century. From Christian Passions to Scientific Emotions. Genomics, Nanotechnology and Robotics. God, Humanity and the Cosmos: A Textbook in Science and Religion. Simlarly, the overvaluing of certain inevitably inadequate images will result in the exclusion of other important perspectives and added difficulty in interpreting religious experience when the context for that experience shifts, ie. What is refreshing about McFague's insistence upon resisting this well understood and ancient phenomenon is that she offers a penetrating critique of theological language as it stands now: Fourthly, McFague is convinced with the later Wittgenstein and many other philosophers, that the human world is, in essential ways, the world of language.

This is why it matters that theological language needs to be renewed: Language does not exhaust human reality but it qualifies it in many profound ways. For example, at the very heart of human knowing and expressing is the metaphorical movement which simultaneously affirms and denies that this is that: Another example is that all language, whether scientific or religious, abstract or concrete is ultimately metaphorical in character; it originated in the actions of comaparing and contrasting, noticing similarities and dissimilarities, using familiar words in unfamiliar contexts to express and cause new insights, and it is used by humans who still experience and come to know the definition in this way.

This is the very same view of language which underlies the feminist critique of culture, and of Christian theology in particular. Indeed, McFague is strongly influenced by precisely this critique. On this view, the use of language is not just a harmless game, the result of arbitrary and easily changed decisions. Metaphor is not just a useful literary device which says colorfully what could have been said differently. Rather, definitions are irreducible ways of knowing ; they bring understanding and thus knowledge which could be had by no biography means in precisely the same way.

So McFague insists with Paul Ricoeur that metaphor which in McFague's sense is by no means identical with, but carries some of the same force as, Ricoeur's symbol is powerful. From this beginning, McFague advocates in forceful but simple fashion anapproach to theology which she describes as metaphorical. Having recognized that the straight-forwardly metaphorical language of religious experience is continuous with the abstract conceptual language of systematic theology, theology must seek to overcome the tendencies toward idolatory and irrelevance which are inherent in the use of systematic, conceptual language if it is truly to operate in service of the hearing of God's word.

This is the rationale for metaphorical theology. How then is this theological enterprise, called metaphorical or intermediary theology by McFague, to be understood? There are several intertwining aspects to her argument. Before mentioning any of them we should pause to note a terminological ambiguity.

McFague uses the word "intermediary" to qualify theology, thereby seeming to suggest that there really is a systematic theology with which metaphorical definition may be contrasted.

On the one hand, this seems sensible because she is advocating that intermediary or metaphorical theology should use language which is less abstract and closer to its metaphorical origins. But on the other hand, it seems to be the renewal of, and not merely an intermediary alternative to, systematic theology which is at stake, because a consequence of her arguments about the universal metaphorical character of knowledge and biography definition is that metaphorical theology is really the only way to do effective systematic theology.

McFague does not resolve this ambiguity. In fact it is sharpened in her latest work Models of God by her continued insistence on the distinction between abstract and metaphorical language as two points on a linguistic continuum, at the same time as her production of what is, in effect, a new systematic theology in the course of doing what she calls metaphorical theology.

McFague is obviously well aware that the best systematic theology has always been strongly conscious of the metaphorical character of its language, so the overall impression created by this ambiguity is that theology which does not incorporate this awareness into its method of procedure is likely to be, roughly speaking, irrelevant and uninteresting. The first aspect of understanding what metaphorical theology could be iscomprehension of the movement from the first order language of religiousexperience to the abstract, second order language of concepts, remembering ofcourse the essential continuity which exists between these forms of language.

This aspect is traced most clearly in Metaphorical Theology The key term in what is really the philosophy of language aspect of the argument is model. There has been some discussion as to the detailed meaning which McFague intends model to have in her work, but the general thrust is clear enough. A model is a systematic, extended and relatively permanent metaphor and, as such, is a unique combination of first and second order language, allowing the insights brought by live metaphors to be systematized, organized and related to practical living. Write a customer review. Rated by customers interested in.

Is this feature helpful? Thank you for your feedback. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. By robosnake on July 28, This is a biography definition in post modern theology, and highly recommended for definition who wants to approach God with an open mind. Yes No Report biography definition. By Karl Kaups on January 18, Book arrived in great condition and on time. My daughter needed it for college, so it was great to get it so quickly so she could take it back to school with her after Winter Break.

By Kay M on June 26, The main problems she focuses on are the ecological implications of the Nuclear Age. The consequences of nuclear warfare and the dropping of two nuclear bombs highlighted an unlimited potential within humankind to destroy itself and the world that sustains all life. McFague proposes that the way one talks about their relationship with God must be reconsidered. These metaphors do not emphasize the loving, respectful, and reciprocal relation of God and Humanity, but the biography definition and authority that one has over the other.

For instance, metaphors that refer to God as ruler or God as king are patriarchal which causes people to associate God with masculinity and as a domineering force. Was this review helpful to you? By Brent Wittmeier on October 5, McFague is a likeable and thoughtful scholar. I've had the good fortune of studying with her and found her to be kind, gentle, and full of wit and understanding.

McFague's books may be divided into two sections. The first includes Speaking in Parables and Metaphorical Theology, books primarily concerned with understanding and interpreting Christian metaphors at a time in which traditional Christianity appeared to be losing purchase on the world. Of these two, Metaphorical Theology is the more important one explores the paradigmatic shape of theology and the role of its images -- incorporates holistic insights from philosophy of science and studies of metaphor.

Models of God represents the beginning of a new stage in McFague's work. It is more than just the crystallization of her feminist and ecological convictions and the further development of models suggested in MT.

Really, it is a development from a call to understand the world to a call to change the world. As such, the gloves are off and McFague refuses to mince words I call it 'antithetical speech' she means to have it out with all of the things that has brought the world to the brink of nuclear and ecological disaster nuclear threat especially, written at the time of Chernobyl and Ronald Reagan. At the heart of the problem, McFague argues, is a hierarchical, patriarchal, monarchial, dualistic view of the world bad. McFague proposes a new theology which is tentative, prophetic, iconoclastic, and egalitarian good.

As an evangelical Christian here it comes! McFague paints with a broad brush when talking about why we are where we are. It's okay to claim that traditional Christianity is a complicit and hurtful factor in the world. To some extent, fine, let's face it.

What about Christian simplicity? The replacement of traditional models with "more suitable" metaphors or models, for our time, seems to me problematic for several reasons: The grounds for suspicion you don't dismiss some models as idolatrous and dangerous without seriously jeopardizing your own. McFague's criticisms take place from a stance of transcendence how can she declare unequivocally what is relevant and what is irrelevant? Yet she seems to do precisely this. She believes that no one has access to pure reality, but she seems to declare her beliefs triumphantly and without an ounce of self-doubt Kantian arrogance?

Pluralism as a means for overcoming idolatry I'm not sure that a plurality of models is going to do anything but muddle what you have to say and make you prone to follow whatever comes down the definition five minutes from now. We have hope; people freeze their bodies with cyronics so that they will be brought back to life when science has worked out how to heal them. On our tower we feel safe from the darkness and the abyss.

We want to think about the world this way because it makes everything predictable, controllable at least in principleand safe. And so we feel good. We feel we are able to give life some meaning if only be avoiding the meaninglessness of suffering and death. Positivism in the church: I remember reading the Australian philosopher, John Passmore, somewhere saying, that Positivism was as dead as a philosophy could be. But in popular thought we are still very much affected by it. Suffice to say it turns up in the church in things like the insistence that things can be true in only one way, that we must have proof of things, that the stories of Jesus must all have happened just as they are written, and so on.

All of these things are at least fed by positivism, if not a result of it. A different way of knowing: When we are born we know very little; we are perhaps like instinctual animal babies.

sallie mcfague biography definition

But there is sensory data hitting our ear drums and eye balls. It is very frightening; biography definition the newborn child in the delivery room. We have to make sense of this frightening place in which we find ourselves. Our first comfort is the breast; it is warm and feeds and comforts us.

And as we get just a little older we essentially make a hypothesis of what this world which we have suddenly arrived in is all about; we decide that there is a person called Mummy and, if we are lucky, another one called Daddy. And they know everything in the world, and will keep us safe.

Sallie McFague's "Metaphorical Theology"

What we have done is to build a picture of the biography definition, or tell a story about it. And so like the persons on top of the tower, we are secure because we have told a story which explains the world. But then, we go to school and we realise Mummy and Daddy don't know everything!

It's our teacher who knows it all! So we have to change our model or story of the world a little bit to make sense of this. It's important to realise just how much our model of the biography definition is so very important for us.

It means that up to a point we can control the world and make ourselves secure. By understanding it we make it controllable and predictable and therefore safe. This has the strange but understandable effect that when sensory data contradicts our picture of the world we ignore it or deflect it. It is here that positivism fails us. It fails to recognise its own blinkers. This is the sort of crisis that leads to conversion. Sociologists say that without such a crisis our view or picture or story of the world, and our reactions to it is formed by our early twenties, and rarely changes significantly.

We see this with little children when they hear Father Christmas is not real. They deny the fact; it spoils their world. And so they deny against the sensory biography definition e. Changes in our model of the world- hopefully bringing us closer to what really is- mean we have to change too.

What we hoped was real and right is not, so we must rearrange our living, which can hurt. But the time comes when there is so much data that threatens our world view, our model, that it collapses, and we have to make another model.

I remember a child crying about the tooth fairy not being real; a little part of their world was collapsing! But slowly they got over it and now they have a picture of the world without a tooth fairy. There are models of seeing or knowing we can call paradigms.

Sallie McFague

These are ideas or stories or pictures which control our model of the world. A McCarthyist American, for example, would have the paradigm that Russians are communists, communism is bad; therefore, Russians are bad. That will control the picture of the world they receive. If a Russian is doing something good it must be for devious reasons- Russians are bad. The Russian can't possibly be doing it just because it is good.

sallie mcfague biography definition

We adults do the same sort of thing; a topical example is the homosexuality debate in the church. Whatever the right answer in that issue, it's not a question just of the rightness or wrongness of homosexuality for most of the people who are getting so angry. I would suggest it is also a challenge to their story paradigm about how the world should be. Our model of the world is like a building.

sallie mcfague biography definition

These are the paradigms. There may be bundles of paradigms which work together; e. There are also primary paradigms. These control everything else. In Fundamentalism, for example, the primary paradigm is the Inerrant Scriptures; inerrant in all matters historical and theological. And data not in line with this doctrine read: Even the most reasonable contradictory evidence cannot be seen because it would destroy the primary paradigm and rob the whole model of the world for that person of its ultimate foundation. Our model of the world prevents us from biography definition things because they are too frightening.

It seems to me that the world runs on stories. Everything is a story, and we live by a story. Even a philosophical treatise is a story, albeit one which uses a very regulated style of telling. So too, is a mathematical equation. The form of the story is very closely defined. In the more traditional story area there are still forms of stories; jokes, adventures, Mills and Boon and so on.

We see form and genre. We each live out a story. I saw a man in Rundle Mall who was living out the life of Indiana Jones. He was dressed like Jones in Raiders of the Lost Arkeven down to the stubble on his face. My son lives out Batman! I heard someone say adolescence is a time of trying on different personas life stories for fit. It seems that as the form of the story becomes more analytical and more precise in what it biographies definition i.

As a means of explaining things it becomes increasingly barren. It is for this reason we use illustrations to explain what we are saying. The brain is set up to read and understand stories, rather than formulae.

sallie mcfague biography definition

Formulae cover less of life. A real story is the only way to live life. Formulae cannot control and define the mists and clouds, and mysterious parts of life, so they cannot help us explore them outside of very limited areas. In the end we live by a story.

sallie mcfague biography definition

Hence titles and phrases like "Stories to Live By". Like the Indiana Jones man in the Mall. We are trying to make our story "real", perhaps. I express it sometimes as "trying to patch my story into the real story of the universe. Human experience is both the starting point and the ending point of the circle of interpretation. Codified tradition both reaches back to its roots in experience and is constantly renewed through the test of experience.

Experience includes experience of the divine and experience of oneself, in relationship to society and the world, in an interacting dialectic. Received symbols, formulas, and laws [and stories] are either authenticated or not through there ability to illuminate and interpret existence in a way that is experienced as meaningful.

Systems of authority try to reverse this relationship and make received biography definition dictate both what may be experienced and how it may be interpreted.

But the relationship is the opposite If the symbol does not speak authentically to experience, it becomes dead and is discarded or altered to provide meaning. Religious traditions begin with breakthrough experiences that shed revelatory light on contemporary events so as to biography them into paradigms of ultimate meaning.

These experiences, such as the exodus experience or the resurrection experience, are the primary data of the religious tradition. But such experiences, however new and transformative, do not interpret themselves. They are always interpreted in the context of an accumulated heritage of symbols and codes, which are already available to provide touchstones of meaning.

The new revelatory experience becomes meaningful by being related to this definition, and also it allows the contemporary community to transform, revise, and recombine the traditional touchstones of meaning in new ways, which allows the new experience to become a new insight into the ultimate nature of things.

Just as the foundational revelatory experience is available only in a transformative dialectic between experience and accumulated interpretive keys, so it, in turn, becomes an interpretive key which interacts with and continues to be meaningful through its ability to male on going experience of the individual in the community meaningful. This key then continues to live because it is able to continue to biography definition contemporary experience meaningful, and it itself is constantly revised or reinterpreted through this same process.

Traditions die when a new generation is no longer able to re-appropriate the foundational paradigm in a meaningful way; when it is experienced as meaningless or even as demonic; that is, disclosing a meaning that points to false or inauthentic life.