Every Sunday, I will share a quote from something I’ve been reading. The hope is for you, dear reader, to share your thoughts on the quote and related issues and perhaps pick up some reading material along the way!
Critical Theory and… everything?
I finished reading Theology and Contemporary Critical Theory by Graham Ward recently, and I found it extremely interesting. Critical theory is not a united movement or even way of doing things; rather, it simply refers to the practice of drawing out motivations, means, sources, and the like from anything. Does that sound broad? Well, it is:
There is no conceivable limit to what critical theory cannot comment upon, nor what form that comment can take. Every discipline and cultural phenomenon is swept into its purview… (xviii)
Critical theory touches on every aspect of reality, because people who engage in it can search any work, any words, any statements for things to draw out. The book itself has made me more self-aware of how my own ways of thinking may be directed by things beyond what I would desire. Sometimes, we may import aspects of our culture into our reading of the Bible, for example. Although it is impossible to avoid that, when we become aware of it in certain areas, we should work to correct it. Critical theory allows us to become self-aware of these importations and seek to excise them where needed. The book was a short, good read, but not without fault. I’ll have a review coming in a week or three.
What do you think? In what areas could you be more self aware? If you could apply critical theory to any one study or discipline, what would it be? Leave a comment below!
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Graham Ward, Theology and Contemporary Critical Theory (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000).
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