A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
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I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Monday, July 03, 2017

Peter Berger and Christian Scholarship

from D. Michael Lindsay at Christianity Today:
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It was Berger's fascination with religion that made him and his work so significant to evangelical Christians. He called himself an "incurable Lutheran," and his liberal Protestant theology might have placed him at odds with many evangelical leaders 100 years ago. But in our increasingly pluralistic world, Berger's sympathetic treatment of spirituality and faith made him something of a rock star among Christ-following academics.


But Berger was a classic liberal, open to changing his mind and convictions when he could be persuaded otherwise. As he witnessed the resilience of faith in places like the United States and the Global South, Berger eventually disavowed the linear argument about modernization that had come to be known as the "secularization hypothesis."

To be sure, he was always more comfortable speaking as a social scientist who studied religion than as a person of faith himself (or, as my literary agent once put it, as the ornithologist, not the bird). Yet anyone who spent much time with Berger over the last decade discovered his increasing admiration for, and sympathy with, the convictions of conservative Christians.

Berger leaves behind a rich legacy-- as a scholar, teacher, and public intellectual, certainly, but more particularly as someone who was always willing to change his mind and challenge his own assumptions and beliefs. He was one who pursued new insights and the people who could help develop them, wherever they were to be found.

Some of these qualities are unusual and countercultural in the academy today. But that never bothered Peter Berger.
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The entire post can be read here.

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