Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 12

Philosophy of Religion 30: 65-76, 1991. 9 1991 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.

Postmodern theology and postmodern philosophy

A.T. NUYEN Department of Philosophy, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Qld. 4072, Australia

I wish to show in this paper that the debate in postmodern theology is an extension of the debate in postmodern philosophy, i.e., postmodern theology has to be understood within the larger context of postmodem philosophy. David Ray Griffin has characterized the debate as one between, on the one hand, deconstructive or eliminative postmodern theology and, on the other, constructive or revisionary postmodern theology. 1 Griffin's objection to the former turns out to be the same as that which is commonly leveled at deconstructive or post-structuralist philosophy, i.e., it is the claim that the deconstructive position destroys any basis upon which one may reflect on meaning and truth, on how we should live our lives, and on what we take to be holy - that is, the basis of knowledge, of ethics and of theology. However, I shall argue that the deconstructive position is not as negative as all that. In particular, I wish to argue that the objections to Mark C. Taylor's theology (he calls it "a/theology")2 are based on a misunderstanding of its underlying poststructuralist philosophy. The mistake lies in the commonly held beliefs that "deconstructive" is opposed to "constructive," and that the deconstructive position leads to relativism and skepticism.

. How to apply the label "postmodem" is a tricky matter) However, we are helped in our task by the common observation that there is a convergence of postmodemism and post-structuralism, an observation confirmed by the fact that well-known postmodernists such as Jean-Franqois Lyotard, Jean Baudrillard and Richard Rorty speak indifferently of post-structuralism and postmodernism. The point is that the label "post-structuralist" is somewhat less tricky to apply. From the post-structuralist literature, one could discern the following three theses:


1.1 The epistemic thesis

Post-structuralism rejects epistemic foundationalism, or the view that there is a certain class of sentences, or certain bits of knowledge, which are indubitable and serve as the foundation on which to build the rest of knowledge. Jean-Francois Lyotard refers to that class of sentences as a "grand narrative," or a "metanarrative," which functions to legitimate all other narratives. 4 He goes on to define "postmodern as incredulity toward metanarratives" (p. xxiv). Lyotard observes that we often find in a grand narrative an account of a transcendent realm or being or idea (such as "Spirit," "meaning," "the rational or working subject," wealth," and so on p. xxiii). When post-structuralists proclaim the "death of the author," or the "death of God," they are rejecting the grounding of meaning and truth (and values) in privileged sentences attributed to (or revealed by) such beings (or sentences expressing their "intentions"). The author does not determine the meaning of a text by virtue of his or her incorrigeable knowledge of what he or she means (nor does the "author" of the universe, i.e., God). The meaning of a text (and the truth of one's interpretation of it) does not depend on the presence of the author (nor is it tied to the presence of a referent). The claim that it does is influenced by what Jacques Derrida calls the "metaphysics of presence." Instead of grounding our understanding in a grand narrative, poststructuralism/postmodernism asserts that we need to pay attention to the context within which the object of understanding situates itself. For an individual, it is not the story about some isolated thinking subject that provides an understanding of oneself, but the various "small narratives" (Lyotard's petit recits) about one's own situation, i.e., one's own history and community. Furthermore, no narrative about the self can be the foundation, in the way envisaged by Descartes, for knowledge about the rest of nature. The self is no longer at the center of some grand unified story that contains the totality of knowledge, such as the Hegelian story. For post-structuralists, the self is "decentered."

1.2 The metaphysical thesis

Going hand-in-hand with the epistemic thesis is the rejection of transcendence. In the philosophical heritage of modernism, the idea of transcendence is taken for granted. Plato posits a transcendent reality (of which the phenomenal world is a reflection), Kant posits a transcendent realm of noumena, and Descartes posits an ego cogito, i.e., a transcendent self that reflects on the experiencing self. Post-structuralists and postmodernists

67 reject the idea of transcendence. For them, metaphysically, the "text" is all there is. The rejection of transcendence has an epistemic implication which complements the epistemic thesis above, viz. truth is not a matter of a perfect match, or correspondence, between the "real" world and what we "take it to be" (or between the noumenal world and phenomenal world in Kantian terms, or between the unmediated world and the world as linguistically mediated).

1.3 The quasi-logical thesis It is characteristic of modernism to make distinctions, to invent classifications and categories with which to divide and label objects of knowledge. Part of this tendency is the propensity to think in terms of binary oppositions. Post-structuralists, notably Derrida, have exposed the difficulties inherent in many such distinctions, using the well-known strategy of "deconstruction." When post-structuralists talk about "deconstructing" binary oppositions (e.g., "nature versus nurture," "inside versus outside," and so on), they are warning against the hazard of categorization. Toward this same goal, post-structuralists often speak of that quasi-logical space in between categories, of the gap, the crack, the dehiscence, the hiatus, etc. Alternatively, they speak of the "other" of reason, the "other" of 'normality, the "other" of the conscious self, and so on. (This post-structuralist tendency has been characterized by Taylor as the concern for "altarity".) 5 It appears that there is now a general consensus that postmodemism subscribes to these three theses. I suggest that the consensus is general enough for us to take them as the necessary characteristics of postmodernism. With them in mind, we can agree with Taylor's own characterisation of his reflection on the divine as postmodern. As it turns out, Taylor's position is what Griffin takes to be the paradigm example of what he calls "deconstructive or eliminative" postmodem theology. 6 Taylor would most probably object to the claim that his philosophical position is "eliminative," although he would certainly accept the description "deconstructive" given his post-structuralist tendencies displayed in his other works. 7 As pointed out above, Taylor's deconstructive theology has been criticized on the basis that it leads to relativism or even nihilism in so far as it denies our reflections on the holy any finn basis. Opposed to Taylor's view are many theological reflections claimed by their authors to be both postmodem and "constructive" rather than "deconstructive." I shall now argue that in this debate between "constructive" and "deconstructive" postmodern theologies, there has been a misunderstanding of the post-structuralist/postmodern nature of the philosophy that

68 underlies Taylor's reflection on the divine. I wish to begin with the claim that Taylor's theology is not even postmodern.

Nancey Murphy and James McClendon have provided their own set of criteria for distinguishing modem and postmodem theologies.8 Applying their criteria, they claim that George Lindbeck's "cultural-linguistic theory" of religion and Ronald Thiemann's "non-foundational theory" of revelation are, respectively, "through and through postmodem" (p. 207) and "thoroughly postmodem" (p. 208). By contrast, they claim that Taylor's a/theology is only apparently postmodem: it "might ... better be described as 'arch modem'" (p. 211), and that Taylor is really "an unrelieved modernist" (p. 212). I do not wish to question Murphy's and McClendon's distinguishing criteria. (Indeed, they are quite consistent with my account of the characteristics of postmodem above.) Nor do I wish to question their claim that Lindbeck and Thiemann are postmodernists. However, what they have said about Taylor is relevant. For if they are right about Taylor, my project of defending the deconstructive position via a defense of Taylor's a/theology will be undermined. But I do not think they are right about Taylor. According to Murphy and McClendon, the postmodemist stresses "collectivism" while the modernist privileges "individualism." On their view, the modernist claims that the collective, or the whole, can be understood by understanding the individuals comprising that whole. Thus, the reductionist methodology of breaking up the whole into component parts, or atomisation, is a modernist methodology. I have no objection to contrasting modernism with postmodernism in terms of the individualismcollectivism axis, or alternatively to the claim that reductionism or atomism is a modernist strategy. This distinguishing criterion is quite consistent with some aspects of the epistemic and metaphysical theses above. The problem is that Murphy and McClendon go on to claim that on the basis of this criterion, Taylor's a/theology is modem rather than postmodem. Their reason is that "in Taylor we find no restored appreciation for the role of community, but rather a further reduction, a further atomization, of the individual into its constituent properties or relations" (p. 211). This is a misunderstanding of Taylor's position. Presumably, what is responsible for the charge of "atomization" is Taylor's talk of deconstructing the self, or his deconstruction of the idea of subjective unity. However, this has to be understood in terms of the metaphysical and epistemic theses above. It is true that postmodemists do

69 talk about deconstructing unity or totality. (For instance, Lyotard declares: "Let us wage a war on totality.") 9 However, deconstruction does not aim at reducing the whole into component parts for methodological reasons, i.e., to gain a better understanding of the whole. It cannot be equated with the Cartesian strategy of reducing the complex into its simple parts in order to understand the complex itself. Murphy and McClendon are right in claiming that this reductionist strategy is modernist, but they neglect to emphasize the modernist motive, namely the attempt to understand the whole in terms of its component parts. This motive plays no part in the post-structuralists' deconstruction. Thus, Murphy and McClendon are wrong in thinking that Taylor's deconstruction is the process of atomization and that, as a result, his deconstructive theology cannot be postmodem. Deconstruction aims precisely at casting doubt on the reductionistic strategy. On the self, it casts doubt on the view that the self could be understood in terms of its separate aspects, e.g., as a thinking self and as an experiencing self. Given the modernist methodological motive, the modernist always aims at reconstituting the whole after the "atomized" parts have been well understood. For the modernist, the goal is always the totality, the unity itself. Deconstruction, by contrast, opposes the building up of the whole from "atomized" parts. It "wages a war on totality." The other reason for which Murphy and McClendon believe that Taylor is "an unrelieved modernist" is that "his rejection of the author's intent as locus of meaning" leads, on their view, "toward bleak meaninglessness" (p. 212), and "bleak meaninglessness" is characteristic of " ' m o d e m ' existentialism." I shall argue later that it is at least misleading to say that deconstruction leads to "bleak meaninglessness."

. The time has come to look more closely at Taylor's a/theology. By the slash in a/theology, Taylor means to say that his reflection on the holy occupies that quasi-logical space between theology and atheology. This is clearly the consequence of the post-structuralist/postmodemist quasilogical thesis which aims at deconstructing binary oppositions. One may say that a/theology results from deconstructing theology and atheology. As Taylor puts it, he is caught between belief and unbelief (p. 5), and his reflection is neither "properly theological nor nontheological, theistic nor atheistic, religious nor secular" (p. 12). It should be noted that despite Taylor's claim that his reflection is neither theistic nor atheistic, insofar as he denies classical theism, he is unambiguously an atheist. However, unlike the classical atheist, Taylor clearly wants to retain some meaning

70 for the idea of the holy. If theology is a systematic reflection on the holy then Taylor's a/theology is a kind of theology. It is a theology that goes beyond classical atheism and modem atheistic humanism, both of which posit a transcendent being, the former positing God and the latter the rational human mind. Taylor locates the transitional point in Hegel who combines both God and mind in his Geist. After Hegel, modemists simply subsitute one divine being, the rational mind, for another, the classical God. Taylor calls for a deconstruction of both. The death of God must now be followed by the death of the rational human subject. It is Taylor's call for a thorough-going deconstruction that has led critics such as Griffin to complain that his position is an "eliminative" one, eliminating not just the classical God but anything else that may serve as a basis for our reflections on the holy. However, this criticism ignores the fact that Taylor's deconstruction is only the first step toward a conception of the divine. When oppositions are deconstructed, when distinctions are shown to be blurring, the holy will be seen as occupying that in-between space, that quasi-logical space opened up by the post-structuralist/postmodemist quasi-logical thesis. Since we are linguistically determined creatures ("There is nothing outside the text"), the in-between space for us is the space between one word and another; it is the space in writing itself. Thus, the holy is to be located in writing. The Word is indeed holy, but it is for Taylor the wrong step to tum the Word into flesh, the flesh of Christ. We need to stay with the Word and to discover what is holy about it. As it tums out, there is in writing a creative and productive force that seems to be a reasonable basis for a non-theistic account of the meaning of the divine. For Derrida, it is the force of diffdrance. In Speech and Phenomena, lo Derrida says that diff~rance is "neither a word nor a concept" (p. 130): it refers to "the productive and primordial constituting causality" (p. 137). If after deconstruction we are left with the "productive and primordial constituting causality," there seems to be nothing else that is adequate to our conception of the holy, and it clearly makes sense to Taylor to think of it as the locus of meaning for the idea of the divine. The motivation is clearly the thought that writing, or the Word, by the force of diff~rance, creates us and everything else. John Caputo has objected to Taylor's move on the grounds that Derrida himself would have objected to it. 11 Thus, "were it possible to locate diff~rance in the divine, then indeed diffdrance would have become both concept and meaning, something definite and identifiable, namely, the divine milieu, a.k.a., God" (p. 112). It seems that Caputo's objection is that in "conceptualizing" diff~rance in this way, Taylor has gone against the post-structuralist/postmodemist spirit: he has endowed diff~rance with the ultimate presence. But this is not a fair objection. The point is not to

71 locate diff~rance in the divine; rather, it is to locate the divine in diff~rance. Even if we think of diffdrance as God, Caputo still misses the mark in his objection that in so thinking, we turn diff~rance into "concept and meaning, something definite and identifiable." This is so only if we in turn think of God as concept and meaning, as something definite and identifiable. But this is not Taylor's God; it is precisely the classical God that Taylor has deconstructed. Surprisingly, Taylor's a/theology has many very traditional Christian messages. Thus, since the self is no longer a unified self situated at the center of an all-encompassing narrative - it is decentered and disseminated it is no longer appropriate to characterize the self in terms of identity, dominance and conceit, and it is no longer appropriate for the self to live a life devoted to the accumulation of material wealth, power and other selfserving symbols. Modernism believes in the maximization of return for the rational self. However, post-structuralists have observed that the "other" of rationality is always lurking just below the surface, ready to erupt into what the modern mind takes to be irrational behaviour. Thus, post-structuralist anthropologists have observed many practices of "squandering" wealth, such as the North American Indians' "potlatch," or the practice of heaping gifts on others, particularly enemies, without any thought of being reciprocated. Against the modernist conception of rational behavior, Taylor's postmodemism recommends tuming "potlatch" into acts of supreme generosity, and his a/theology recommends a selfsacrifice, even humility, that one has come to expect in traditional Christianity. These surprising messages amount to what John Caputo has called the "post-structuralist sermon on the mount," a sermon that he finds "very impressive" (p. 111). There is a touch of irony in Taylor's "post-structuralist sermon on the mount." Insofar as postmodernism is a repudiation of modernity as the project of enlightenment, it is ironical that Taylor's postmodem a/theology turns out to be advocating enlightenment virtues such as compassion and charity. However, it is important to note that Taylor's advocacy is totally devoid of the metaphysical arguments belonging to modernity. A postmodernist need not behave differently from a modernist. What distinguishes a postmodemist from the latter is the way he or she justifies, or reasons toward, the adoption of a certain behavior. Deep down, the difference between modernism and postmodernism is philosophical, not what can be observed on the surface level of behavior. The fact that Taylor wants to be compassionate and charitable is no reason to think that he has resuscitated the kind of modernity that argues for such virtues (or that he is an "unrelieved modernist," to borrow a phrase from Murphy and McClendon).


I return now to the claim that deconstructive postmodern theology, such as Taylor's a/theology, takes away the basis of our beliefs in meaning, truth and the holy. In his book, Griffin simply takes this claim for granted, concentrating instead on providing the alternative to deconstructive theology, namely his "constructive or revisionary" theology. For a direct contrast between the two positions, we can turn to Linell Elizabeth Cady. 12 Like Griffin, Cady wants to contrast Taylor's deconstructive position with what she takes to be a more constructive view, that of Josiah Royce's. Cady interprets Royce as holding many post-structuralist/postmodernist views, particularly on the nature of knowledge. For Cady, Royce rejects the idea of knowing as gaining cognitive access to the transcendental realm of "hypothetical objects": "For Royce knowledge does not consist in getting our ideas correctly aligned with such hypothetical objects but in translating between our own horizon and that which confronts us" (p. 155). Clearly, such a view of knowledge is consistent with the metaphysical and epistemic theses above. However, Cady stresses the positive side of Royce's view, pointing out that Royce sets "certain very general constraints on the search for knowledge" (p. 157). For Royce, the search for knowledge just is the hermeneutical process of "translating between our own horizon and that which confronts us." In this process, we need to observe the moral constraints that require of us (1) "a degree of self-transcendence" (ibid.) in our attempt to understand others and (2) the creation of a "mediating idea" (ibid.) that fuses our horizon with that which confronts us. Cady argues that insofar as Royce's theology is based on this view of the cognitive process, we can clearly distinguish it from the deconstructive position. Her implied criticism of the latter is that it cares little for "the search for knowledge," hence it sees no need for constraints, moral or otherwise. Cady sees in Royce's writings a smooth transition from epistemology to theology. Naturally, Royce rejects the classical idea of God as "the single individual existing over against the finite sphere" (p. 161). Instead, the divine for Royce "is that creative, reconciling, interpretive spirit" which "occurs in and through the loyal and successful endeavors of those committed to the universal community" (ibid.). If I understand Cady correctly, what she attributes to Royce is that the. divine is not a being from without, but rather a spirit from within. I suggest that we understand it as a spirit that supervenes upon our activity of following the moral constraints in our search for knowledge. The more we pursue such activity, the more we will be guided by that "creative, reconciling, interpretive spirit." It is this spirit that is "responsible for the integration

73 giving rise to truth, selfhood, and community" (ibid.). The idea of supervenience best captures what Cady takes to be Royce's conception of the divine. As I see it, it is only as a supervening spirit that the divine can be both "independent of the single individual" (ibid.) in its performance of the critical and guiding functions and not "reified into an autonomous agent inexorably accomplishing its aim" (ibid.) As we act in our commitment to the universal community, the divine reconciling process occurs which in turn guides us toward a "deeper and wider community" and "facilitates our practical and cognitive pursuits" (ibid.). For Royce, there is a circularity here that has to be "acknowledged, not resolved" (p. 162). By contrast, Cady regards Taylor's position as "lacking constraints" (p. 163). This is the direct consequence of lacking a "single goal" (ibid.) such as Royce's goal of reaching the universal community. While Taylor shares with Royce the post-structuralist/postmodernist view that truth is a matter of interpretation, or hermeneutics, Taylor, on Cady's view, does not set any constraints on the interpretive process, showing a lack of commitment to any particular outcome. For Cady, that is why Taylor's reflection on the divine could only lead him tO placing the divine in "the milieu within which such interpretive play takes place" (ibid.). Cady goes on: "This view eliminates a moral dimension to the divine by failing to identify it with that which is supportive of a more just, truthful, and loving reality." By this comment, Cady may be said to agree with Griffin that Taylor's deconstruction is an "eliminative" position. Cady's criticism of Taylor's position is a reflection of the commonly held but mistaken belief that deconstruction is opposed to construction. Related to this is the belief, equally mistaken, that the deconstructive position leads to relativism and skepticism. Against these views, it can be argued that deconstruction frees us from misconceptions, from the restrictive oppositions and distinctions, and thus places us in a position to construct our own meanings, truth and values. To say that meanings, truth and values are not there to be found is only half of the deconstructive message - admittedly the half with a skeptical ring to it. However, the other half of the message is that since they are not there to be found, we have to create them. Now it may be said that while the call to construct one's own meanings, etc. goes some way toward allaying the fear that postmodernism is a kind of nihilism, it does nothing to assure those who feel that it leads to skepticism and relativism. Indeed, it may be said that constructing one's own meanings etc. just is what skepticism and relativism amounts to. Clearly, a defense of Taylor's postmodern a/theology - indeed, postmodern anything - depends on whether these concerns can be adequately addressed. Three points can be made in addressing the concerns about skepticism

74 and relativism. First, if by constructing one's own meanings etc. it is meant that one is free to come up with any construction whatsoever, or that any construction is as valid as any other, the concerns will be real enough. However, this is not what the majority of post-structuralists are saying. It has often been emphasized that not only the task of deconstruction but also the counterpart task of constructing new meanings has to be carried out within cognitive constraints. Meanings and values have to be communicated and shared, which means that not just any meaning and any value will do. This is the view of even the most radical literary deconstructionists. For instance J. Hillis Miller, to whom the view that all readings are misreadings has been attributed, insists that his view "does not mean that the narrator or the reader is free to give the narrative any meaning he wishes," and that "there are obviously strong and weak critical misreadings, more or less vital ones. ''13 Even Roland Barthes, a French radical deconstructionist, has to admit that in a society "locked in the war of meanings and thereby under the compulsion of rules of communication which determine its effectiveness, the liquidation of the old criticism can only be carried forwards in meaning ... and not outside it. ''14 In addition to the "rules of communication," one might mention the rules of thinking and reasoning, the rules of mutual respect and understanding, the rules governing the survival of the human race and so on as the broad constraints governing our construction of meanings and values, and dictating a certain commitment to them. The point above is somewhat defensive. However, we can make a second point which is a more direct response to the charge of skepticism and relativism. It can be argued that the post-structuralist/postmodernist view of meaning, truth and value is decidedly not skeptical or relativistic. In the most straightforward sense, epistemic skepticism is the view that there are immutable truth, objective meanings and values that are beyond the human epistemic capability. We will never know what the "real" truth, the "real" meaning, etc. are. This sense of skepticism leads to the view that, given our epistemic limitations, it is inevitable that there are various perspectives on, or interpretations of, what the world "really" is like, what the ultimate meaning is, and so on, and there is no way to decide which perspective, which interpretation, is the "correct" one (hence, for all we know, any one could be the correct one). This is relativism. However, in this sense of skepticism and relativism, the post-structuralist theses above do not yield a skeptical or relativistic position. For the metaphysical thesis denies that there is any transcendent reality underlying true meanings and objective values. Consequently, we can know all there is to be known, we can grasp all the meanings there are, and we can aspire to all the values there are. Alternatively, the meanings and values we construct are the true

75 meanings and values, not some imperfect copies of the "real" ones. Poststructuralism/postmodemism is not skeptical about our epistemic capability, it is only skeptical about (or incredulous toward, as Lyotard says) some grand narrative about a realm beyond the human capability. It differs from modernity not in pouring scorn on what we can know, but only on modernity's inflated view of the human epistemic capability. It rejects modernity's inflated view of human reason not by introducing the specter of skepticism and relativism but by deflating modemity's conception of what there is to know. By a different route, Wolfgang Fuchs has reached a similar conclusion. 15 For Fuchs, postmodemism is not skeptical or relativistic about meaning and truth; on the contrary, it goes "to the heart of the matter" about meaning and truth, a heart "the Sceptics could not, would not, win" (p. 400). Finally, we can indeed turn the table and argue that there is bound to be far less relativism and skepticism in the post-structuralist/postmodemist, as opposed to modernist, position. The latter rests on a knife-edge between objectivity and relativism of the worst kind, and between indubitability and the most debilitating skepticism. The first knife-edge situation is Leibniz's legacy, the second Descartes's. Thus, without any preestablished harmony that coordinates and guides the activities of the monads, relativism of the worst kind results: each monad is a world of its own totally unrelated to all others. As for Descartes, the fate of epistemology rests on a knife-edge on one side of which is indubitability and on the other total skepticism (as espoused in the first Meditation). The modernist pursuit of objectivity and indubitability is fraught with danger, and many modernist minds have fallen into relativism (reflected, for instance, in the modemist "anthropological tolerance" of other cultures and societies) and skepticism (reflected, for instance, in the modernist rejection of the divine). By contrast, it may be said that the deconstructive position does away with the knife-edge and eliminates the danger of relativism and skepticism. Retuming to Taylor's a/theology, it is evident that Taylor's deconstruction has allowed him to create, or construct, values that are his own but also can be shared with others. Thus, Cady is simply wrong in her remark that Taylor's position "eliminates a moral dimension." What she overlooks is precisely Taylor's "post-structuralist sermon on the mount" discussed above, a sermon that has so impressed Caputo. As for constraints, what Cady overlooks is the fact that for Taylor there is also a creative force "independent of the individual." It is that "productive and primordial constituting causality," or diffdrance. In locating the divine in diffdrance, Taylor is saying that the divine is present from the start, conditioning and creating from the first moment on, rather than something that "occurs in,"

76 or supervenes on, our practical and cognitive pursuits. It is there to shape our construction of our moral commitments in the first place, rather than something that occurs as we shape them and follow them through. The constraints are in the divine diff~rance, and have been with us from the beginning. There is a sense in which Taylor's conception of the divine is more "classical" than Royce's. I conclude that in the debate within postmodern theology, there is a false opposition between the "deconstructive" and the "constructive" positions. That opposition, that distinction, has to be deconstructed if we are to understand properly the postmodem theological message.

Notes 1. David Ray Griffin, God and Religion in the Postmodern Worm (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1989) p. x. 2. Mark C. Taylor, Erring: A Postmodern A/Theology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984). 3. For details, see my The Philosophy of Postmodernism (Cambridge: Polity Press, forthcoming). 4. Jean-Franqois Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, trans. Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi (MinneapoliS: University of Minnesota Press, 1984) p. xxiv. 5. See his Altarity (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1987). 6. In a privately circulated manuscript mentioned in Note 52 of Nancey Murphy and James Wm. McClendon, Jr., "Distinguishing Modem and Postmodem Theologies," Modern Theology, 5 (1989): 191-214. 7. In addition to Altarity, see also his Deconstructing Theology (New York: Crossroad Publishing Company, 1982). 8. "Distinguishing Modem and Postmodem Theologies," op. cit. 9. The Postmodern Condition, op. cit., p. 82. 10. Jacques Derrida, Speech and Phenomena, trans. David B. Allison (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1973:). 11. John D. Caputo, "Review of Erring: A Postmodern A/Theology," Man and Worm 21 (1988): 107-114. 12. Linell Elizabeth Cady, "Royce and Postmodem Theology," American Journal of Theology and Philosophy 9 (1988): 149-164. 13. J. Hillis Miller, "Steven's Rock and Criticism as Cure, r' The Georgia Review 30 (1975): 24. 14. Roland Barthes, "The Death of the Author," in his Image-Music-Text, ed. and trans. Stephen Heath (New York: Hill and Wang, 1971), p. 14. 15. Wolfgang W. Fuchs, "Post-modernism Is Not a Scepticism," Man and Worm 22 (1989): 393-402.