Between Relativism and Fundamentalism : Religious Resources for a Middle Position

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-12-30
  • Publisher: Eerdmans Pub Co
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Our contemporary culture is dominated by two extremes relativism and fundamentalism. Neither is desirable: relativism claims that all questions of truth are irrelevant, whereas fundamentalism insists on sole possession of absolute truth. Internationally renowned sociologist of religion Peter Berger has gathered a group of scholars to consider how, from out of different traditions, one can define a middle position between both extremes. / After an extensive introductory overview by Berger, three essays (sociological descriptions) give an objective picture of how relativism and fundamentalism play out in todays world. In the second part (theological directions) authors from several different Christian traditions and one conservative Jewish tradition flesh out a normative middle ground that is neither relativist they affirm specific truth claims nor fundamentalist their affirmations include tolerance of the claims of others.

Author Biography

Peter L. Berger is senior research fellow and founder of the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs at Boston University. His many previous books include The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics and (with Anton Zijderveld) In Praise of Doubt: How to Have Convictions without Becoming a Fanatic.

Table of Contents

Contributorsp. vii
Prefacep. ix
Introduction: Between Relativism and Fundamentalismp. 1
Sociological Descriptions
Fundamentalism and Relativism Together: Reflections on Genealogyp. 17
An English Example: Exploring the Via Media in the Twenty-First Centuryp. 35
Evangelicals in Search of a Political Theologyp. 56
Theological Directions
Religious Conviction in a Diverse World: A Jewish Perspective on Fundamentalism and Relativismp. 105
Christianity in an Age of Uncertainty: A Catholic Perspectivep. 124
A Lutheran Approachp. 152
Pilgrim at the Spaghetti Junction: An Evangelical Perspective on Relativism and Fundamentalismp. 164
Relativism and Fundamentalism: An Eastern Church Perspective from the ˘Paris School÷ and Living Traditionp. 180
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