Word, Words, and World

Patterson, Sue coverThe question this book aims to address is: how do we take on board post-modern insights regarding the relationship between language and world without losing our grip on theological truth? Employing the linguistic philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein as ‘philosophical hand-maid’ (as opposed to ‘metaphysical gate-keeper’, which has tended to be the case), it subjects to critique both traditional realist and post-modern constructivist perspectives as it examines how the nature and role of metaphor-making at the creative edge of language casts light on the God-language-world relationship. It concludes that a Wittgensteinian understanding of the relationship between language and world is not only compatible with a ‘theistic-realist’ doctrine of God but that the shape of this doctrine is inescapably Trinitarian.

Sue Patterson returned to New Zealand in 2010 to take up the post of Senior Lecturer in Philosophical Theology and Ethics at Bishopdale Theological College following a decade in Ireland as a Church of Ireland Rector and (latterly) Dean of Killala Cathedral. Prior to her time in Ireland, she was Lecturer in Ethics and Applied Theology at Trinity College, Bristol and a Postdoctoral (Fulbright) Scholar at the Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton NJ. Her first book, the product of her post-doctoral research, Christian Realist Theology in a Postmodern Age, was published in 1999.

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