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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

Abstract

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.

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