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Paul Ricoeur between Theology and Philosophy By Boyd Blundell

Paul Ricoeur between Theology and Philosophy by Boyd Blundell

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The integrity and relevance of Ricoeur's theology

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Paul Ricoeur between Theology and Philosophy Summary

Paul Ricoeur between Theology and Philosophy: Detour and Return by Boyd Blundell

Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005) remains one of philosophy of religion's most distinctive voices. Ricoeur was a philosopher first, and while his religious reflections are very relevant to theology, Boyd Blundell argues that his philosophy is even more relevant. Using Ricoeur's own philosophical hermeneutics, Blundell shows that there is a way for explicitly Christian theology to maintain both its integrity and overall relevance. He demonstrates how the dominant pattern of detour and return found throughout Ricoeur's work provides a path to understanding the relationship between philosophy and theology. By putting Ricoeur in dialogue with current, fundamental, and longstanding debates about the role of philosophy in theology, Blundell offers a hermeneutically sensitive engagement with Ricoeur's thought from a theological perspective.

Paul Ricoeur between Theology and Philosophy Reviews

Boyd Blundell offers a helpful introduction to the structure of the philosopher's expansive, multidimensional thought which entailed significant forays into philosophy of religion, theology, psychoanalytic theory, and biblical studies. Ricoeur's favorite dictum was: 'to explain more is to understand better' and Blundell endeavors to embody this.

* The Heythrop Journal *

Blundell impressively weaves together three lines of inquiry while ably engaging a diverse number of interdisciplinary conversation partners. First, the book offers a convincing and appropriately limited account of the relationship between philosophy and theology that moves the conversation forward in helpful ways. Second, it adds to recent work about the debate between theological revisionists and postliberals. Finally, it provides an account of Ricoeur's thought that should be of interest to anyone who wants an intermediate level presentation of Ricoeur's philosophical hermeneutics. The three lines are put together in a textured, careful, smart, elegantly written, and theologically suggestive argument.

* *

Blundell is . . . superb at mapping the contours of Ricoeur's extensive corpus, which effectively blends three major modes of analysis-reflexive, phenomenological, and hermeneutical-with an abiding respect for the distinction between philosophy and religion. In Blundell's eyes, theology and philosophy can engage each other advantageously, without either succumbing to the other. . . . Highly recommended.

* Choice *

This book is well written, concise, and clear. It provides a cogent account of theological debates while at the same time making Ricoeur accessible. . . . Those involved with Ricoeur scholarship will no doubt find Blundell's study a valuable resource for drawing a clear line of intellectual development in Ricoeur's thought.

* Philosophy in Review *

Blundell's book is a valuable addition to the literature on Ricoeur. It will be of interest to theologians concerned with the methods of theology, philosophical hermeneutics, or the place of theology in the academy.

* Religious Studies Review *

About Boyd Blundell

Boyd Blundell is Assistant Professor of Ethics in the Department of Religious Studies at Loyola University New Orleans.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
Part 1. The Main Road
1. Fundamental Loyalties
2. Theology, Hermeneutics, and Ricoeur's Double Life
Part 2. Detour
3. Prefiguration: The Critical Arc and Descriptive Identity
4. Configuration: The Narrative Arc and Narrative Identity
5. Refiguration: Ricoeur's Little Ethics
Part 3. Return
6. Chalcedonian Hermeneutics
7. Theological Anthropology: Removing Brackets
Works Cited

Additional information

Paul Ricoeur between Theology and Philosophy: Detour and Return by Boyd Blundell
Indiana University Press
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