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In The Theological Project of Modernism, Kevin Hector of the University of Chicago Divinity School offers a nuanced and timely defense of what he sees as an unjustifiably maligned tradition in modern Christian theology. He focuses on what is commonly labeled the liberal or revisionist tradition, centered in its early stages on figures such as Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Schleiermacher, G. W. F. Hegel, Albrecht Ritschl, Ernst Troeltsch, and, more recently, Paul Tillich. By carefully reconstructing key arguments from these thinkers, Hector shows not only how this trajectory hangs together as a tradition, but also how its animating impulse differs from what many critics have assumed. Hector's central claim is that this tradition is fundamentally concerned with a distinctive problem, namely, how to relate religious faith to a sense of one's life as one's own—or, put differently, how one's faith can be self-expressive. Hector labels this the problem of “mineness,” or the problem of “how persons could identify with their lives or experience them as ‘mine,’ especially given their vulnerability to tragedy, injustice, luck, guilt, and other ‘oppositions’” (viii). Hector argues that for his chosen thinkers in this tradition, faith—more specifically, faith in a God who is able to reconcile such oppositions—plays a crucial role in resolving this problem.


Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

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