Blog Archives

Karl Barth Blog Conference (Week 3)

The third week of the Karl Barth Blog Conference is underway, and Travis has lined up another set of interesting posts. Here’s the lineup for the week with biographical information on each blogger. And, here’s what’s been posted so far.

Thinkers you just can’t get into

Peter Leithart has posted a very helpful summary of Frederiek Depoortere’s Badiou and Theology (T&T Clark, 2009), which in turn serves as a nice explanation of why Badiou’s philosophy is seen as being significant for contemporary theology. As I was reading the post, however, I realized that for me Badiou falls into that category of thinkers that other people think are really important, but that I just don’t care about yet. Although I know quite a number of very intelligent people who insist that Badiou is someone that we need to pay close attention to, I just can’t do it.

That started me thinking about other theologians and philosophers that I hear a lot about but just haven’t been able to get interested in for one reason or another. At the risk of making myself look like a complete idiot, the people who come to mind off the top of my head  include Alain Badiou, Slavoj Zizek, John Milbank (anyone catching the pattern here?), Sally McFague, Alister McGrath, Jurgen Moltmann, and (for some unknown reason) Rowan Williams. That’s not to say that these are unimportant thinkers (especially Williams!), just that I haven’t been able to get interested in their theology to this point.

What do you think? Who are the theologians and philosophers that you’ve heard a lot about but you aren’t convinced yet that you need to spend that much time on them? I’m particularly interested in people who are still writing/teaching today that you don’t think you need to spend your time on, but I’d be interested in what you have to say about historical figures as well. And, you don’t have to limit yourself to philosophers and theologians. If there are Bible scholars that work this way for you, add them to the list.