Guest / Limited Access /

As the popular radical philosopher Slavoj Zizek routinely points out to his audiences, in our age of ordained transgressions, there is nothing quite so radical as what G.K. Chesterton called the "thrilling romance of orthodoxy." Thus in our besotted age, orthodoxy becomes for Zizek (the fighting atheist) as for Chesterton (the traditionalist Catholic), "the most dark and daring of all transgressions." We ought not to be surprised then, that at the dawn of the 21st century a movement dubbed Radical Orthodoxy (RO) has emerged at the cutting-edge of theology and postmodern philosophy.

What this movement is about—its key thinkers and their texts, its strengths, and its weaknesses—is the purpose of James K.A. Smith's recently published volume, Introducing Radical Orthodoxy (Baker Books, 2004). Smith announces at the outset that he writes for three audiences: 1) the academy of theorists, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates; 2) theologians, both in the movement itself and in the Reformed tradition (in which Smith places himself); and 3) the church, in particular its pastors, worship directors, and other leaders.

It is a difficult task to write a volume to satisfy each of these constituents; one that is learned enough for the academy and yet accessible enough for the educated but non-academic professionals. While there are certainly portions of the volume from which non-professionals will be able to glean insight, for the most part Smith has written a work best calibrated for theorists and theologians. Happily, his volume also possesses a number of aids for further study. Each chapter leads off with a side-panel of key related readings and contains copious footnotes throughout. There is an extensive 14-page bibliography ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedFive Ways to Cut to the Heart of Non-Christian Ideas
Five Ways to Cut to the Heart of Non-Christian Ideas
Nancy Pearcey equips believers with tools to expose error and promote truth.
TrendingWhich False Teachings Are Evangelical Christians Most Tempted to Believe In?
Which False Teachings Are Evangelical Christians Most Tempted to Believe In?
Hidden heresies come in many shapes and sizes.
Editor's PickO for 7,000+ Tongues to Meep
O for 7,000+ Tongues to Meep
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word birthed many more.
Comments
Christianity Today
What's so Radical about Orthodoxy?
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

May 2005

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.