A Critical Evaluation of George Lindbeck's Cultural-Linguistic Theory of Religion

조지 린드벡의 문화-언어의 종교이론 비평

  • Received : 2014.03.10
  • Accepted : 2014.04.08
  • Published : 2014.04.28


This is a study of George Lindbeck's postliberalism that views religion as a cultural-linguistic approach. Knowing that the conceptual-propositional approach of the traditional Christian theology and the experiential-expressive approach of liberalism cannot be a solution for the post-modem religious phenomenon, George Lindbeck proposes an alternative. He proposes a cultural-linguistic approach to overcome the previous approaches. The first insight of Lindbeck's postliberalism is to understand religion as culture or language, because human beings become acquainted with a religion as they learn a language. The second insight comes out of the first, to understand doctrine as grammar. If we understand religion and doctrine this way the troubles and conflicts among religions will be resolved naturally, because each religion can be interpreted in its own system just as a language cannot be said to be good or bad, right or wrong. This approach makes several contributions as follows: it promotes a dialogue among religions, it emphasizes practice; and it preserves the Bible as an authoritative theological text. However it also brings many limitations as follows: it emphasizes the church's interpretation rather than the text's own interpretation; it views the truth simply as coherence; it promotes radical relativism and elitism; and through theological eschatology he makes his theory return to a propositionalism. Accordingly, the researcher concludes that Lindbeck's cultural-linguistic theory of religion is not an alternative that overcomes the limitations of theological conservativism and liberalism.


  1. 이우찬, "조지 린드벡의 후기자유주의 신학 연구", 한국개혁신학, 제18권, pp. 249-270, 2005.
  2. Gavin D'Costa, "Christian Theology and Other Faiths," in Companion Encylopedia of Theology, ed. Peter Byrne and Leslie Houlden, Routhledge, 1995.
  3. Richard A. Pruitt, "Rethinking Postliberal Theology:Comparing and Contrasting Lindbeck and Vanhoozer," Evangelical Review of Theology, Vol.36, No.2, pp. 161-175, 2012
  4. Lindbeck, George A. The Nature of Doctrine:Religion and Theology in an Postliberal Age. Westminster, 1984.
  5. 한인철, "린드벡의 종교다원주의", 세계의 신학, 제96권, pp. 181-201, 2002.
  6. Paul Horwich, "Truth," The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, ed. Robert Audi. Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  7. 김연희, "조지 린드벡의 후기자유주의 신학", 신학전망, 제172권, pp. 2-34, 2011.
  8. 정승태, "후기자유주의 신학의 해석학적 한계", 한국기독교신학논총, 제20권, pp. 75-108, 2001.
  9. Susanne Langer, Philosophyina New Key, Pelican Books, 1948.
  10. Bradford E. Hinze, "Postliberal Theology and Roman CatholicTheology," Religious Studies Review, Vol.21, No.4, 1995.
  11. 송재룡, "문화.언어적 종교 이해의 종교사회학적 함의", 현상과 인식, pp. 79-99, 2007.
  12. 이우찬, "조지 린드벡의 후기자유주의 신학 연구", 한국개혁신학, 제18권, pp. 249-270, 2005.
  13. Jay W. Richards, "Truth and Meaning in George Lindbeck's The Nature and Doctrine," Religious Studies, Vol.33, pp. 33-53, 1997.
  14. James Callahan, "The Bible Says:Evangelical and Postliberal Biblicism," Evangelical Review of Theology, Vol.36 No.2, pp. 161-175, 2012.
  15. Ronald F. Thiemann, "Responseto George Lindbeck," Theology Today, Vol.43, 1986.
  16. Marianne Moyaert, "Postliberalism, Religious Diversity, and Inter religious Dialogue," Journal of Ecumenical Studies, Vol.47, No.1, pp. 64-86, 2012.
  17. Kevin J. Vanhoozer, The Drama of Doctrine:A Canonical Linguistic Approach to Christian Theology, Westminster John Knox, 2005.
  18. N. T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God:Christian Origins and the Question of God, Vol.1, Fortress, 1992.
  19. 손호현, "하나님의 텍스트성:조지 린드벡의 후기자유주의 종교론에 대한 비판", 한국조직신학회, 제35집, pp. 7-38, 2013.
  20. James M. Gustafson, "Just What is 'Postliberal' Theology?," Christian Century, pp. 353-355, 1999.