Saturday, September 20, 2008

Radical Orthodoxy

I've already forgotten whose footnote set me on the trail, but I suddenly realized that the language I've been using of participation and analogy, etc. is a significant part of the vocabulary of Radical Orthodoxy, so I've been trying to get up to speed with the way Milbank, Ward, Pickstock & co. are using those terms/notions. In the process, it finally twigged why John Webster chose, in his paper at the analogia entis conference, to deal with participation and plenitude. What at that time seemed so puzzling in that context was actually quite astute--he was connecting the way Hart and co. are looking at analogy with the same theme in RO (with a particular sidelong reference to Todd Billings).
It's fascinating to me how my project has fallen out exactly along the lines of what I'm saying about the change that the Internet has brought about in how people learn: I started with an interest in Thielicke's use of the Prodigal Son parable re: conversion, and that led me to conversion in Lonergan (via Gelpi, if I remember correctly). I can't remember how I started on Torrance, but I was fascinated to hear him talk of epistemological reversal, where the object of study grasps the learner rather than vice versa. I connected that with the insight I gained from Anna Sfard about acquisition and participation as two metaphors for learning and then began to see connections/patterns in the most interesting of places, so I've been clicking my way from one lead to the next, trying hard not to assume that everyone is using these terms in the same, or even commensurate, ways.
Now it's crunch time. Can I really draw this all together in a coherent piece of writing within the time allotted? Lord, in your grace . . .

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