Thursday, January 08, 2004


Giles Fraser in this week's Church Times:

"The hopes and prayers of many of us for the New Year are focused on the work of the commission to explore the limits of diversity in the Anglican Communion.

"I suspect that, very quickly, the commission will have to face a question that is often at the heart of disagreements about value: is there some philosophical space between monism and relativism?

"The question is whether the Bible is capable of supporting different theological positions.

"I wonder whether the answer to our crisis lies in the unlikely work of Isaiah Berlin. Berlin argued for a value-pluralism that is neither absolutism nor relativism. The idea that giving up on the belief that there is one, and only one, way of reading the Bible leads to anything-goes relativism is irresponsible scaremongering."

See the full piece here.

It is good to see Berlin's voice being heard again in so many areas of public life. For too long he was written off as a derivative, anodyne pragmatist. But his 'agonistic' thought (often mis-translated by lazy sub-editors as 'agnostic') is vital for an age of pathos.

Incidentally, Giles Fraser has himself written an excellent theological account of Nietzche; a corrective both to religious romantics and anti-religious cynics.

Comment on this post: FaithInSociety

No comments: