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To browse Academia. Skip to main content. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. The Nature of Doctrine by George Lindbeck. Matthew Bryant. George A. Born in China to American missionaries, he moved to Minnesota to attend Gustavus where he received his B.

He went from there to Yale University where he received both a B. Lindbeck taught on Yale's faculty from until his retirement in Lindbeck does this by providing an alternative to the two dominant ways of conceiving of doctrine from preliberal and liberal perspectives. Both the cognitively propositional and the expressively symbolic dimensions and functions of religion and doctrine are viewed.

A primary question, for Lindbeck and the cultural-linguistic comparison, is determining whether religions are by- products or producers of religious experiences Lindbeck uses categorial adequacy in the cultural-linguistic framework because religion is understood in terms of language. A language is either categorically adequate or it is not. Conversely, a language is not understood as propositionally true or false.

A map that is categorically true a valid map may render false propositions if it is incorrectly read But an imaginary map is incapable of creating a false proposition or a true one because it is categorically false.

In this way, the cultural-linguistic approach emphasizes both internal coherence and correspondence with reality. Doctrine grammar is true when those shaped by the doctrine perform speak in accord with that doctrine. By understanding doctrine as grammar, Lindbeck doctrines can be have permanence and yet produce varied experiences : This is simply the kind of stability that languages and religions, and to a lesser extent cultures, observably have.

Or, to change the simile, just as genetic codes or computer programs may remain identical even while producing startling different products depending on input and situation, so also the basic grammars of cultures, languages, and religions. They remain while the products change While the grammar of Christianity may remain the same, if the cultural context changes, then the way in which someone encounters and experiences Christianity changes.

For Lindbeck, this can account for how doctrines can be unconditional, conditional, and accidental. The intelligibility of a cultural-linguistic framework, throughout ND, is likened unto learning a language The emphasis here is on praxis. Do you know the language from using it? And when you use the language, do you obey its grammatical rules? If yes, then the language may prove to be both intelligible and credible. Although, to this author, the cultural-linguistic framework fails to provide a suitable understanding of the nature of doctrine, ND contains many honorable points that should be praised before proceeding to its weaknesses.

If the actions and assertion do not correspond, then the statement is false. Still, his conclusions raise serious questions related to the nature of truth in addition to the nature of doctrine. What is true? Who is in charge?

And is there any hope? Understanding doctrine from a cultural-linguistic framework appeals to postmodern notions of relativism and undercuts the notion that propositions have ontological reference. Vanhoozer provides a satisfying emphasis on right practice of doctrine without undermining the possibility for doctrines to have first-order ontological reference. The abysmal performance of a doctrine does not project an ontological reality falsifying the doctrine.

He is a liberal with conservative language. This makes him a postliberal by his own designation. First, the Bible is the basis of doctrinal authority. Lindbeck, aiming to increase ecumenical dialogue , places the community in charge of what is to be considered doctrinally authoritative. The cultural-linguistic model limits doctrines authority to pronounce truth across cultural and linguistic boundaries.

The grammatical rules of one language do not have authority outside of their own cultural-linguistic boundaries. This has major implications for the performance of this specific doctrine. This leads to the final question. Is there any hope? With the framework described in ND, there is hope for ecumenical dialogue. But having hope for salvation and a genuine relationship with God, that is another question.

I assume he means salvation in a John kind of way. He proposes that, All previous decisions, whether for faith or against faith, are preliminary. We must hope and trust, although we cannot know, that in this dreadful yet wonders end and climax of life no one will be lost. And here, even if not before, the offer of redemption is explicit These are perhaps the most hopeless lines in The Nature of Doctrine. How would you describe sin in a cultural-linguistic framework? Lindbeck seems to think that those inside the culture and speaking the language of Christianity are closer to being damned than those outside Both Vanhoozer and Lindbeck use performance language in emphasizing the necessity of practicing doctrines not merely interpreting them.

Does this confuse all doctrines as some sort of explicit or implicit command? His emphasis on ecumenical dialogue in the argument for a cultural-linguistic framework may be rooted in a postmodern utilitarianism that is juxtaposed to the modern hedonism of experiential-expressive framework.

Elements of this may be seen on pp. Related Papers. By Michael C Koski. Travis McMaken. By David Muthukumar S. By Lyndon Jost. The Political Nature of Doctrine: a critique of Lindbeck in light of recent scholarship. By Hugh Nicholson. Download pdf. Remember me on this computer. Enter the email address you signed up with and we'll email you a reset link. Need an account? Click here to sign up.


The Nature of Doctrine

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