Associated with the Frankfurt School, Habermas’s work focuses on the foundations of social theory and epistemology, the analysis of advanced capitalistic societies and democracy, the rule of law in a critical social-evolutionary context, and contemporary politics, particularly German politics. Habermas’s theoretical system is devoted to revealing the possibility of reason, emancipation, and rational-critical communication latent in modern institutions and in the human capacity to deliberate and pursue rational interests. Habermas is known for his work on the concept of modernity, particularly with respect to the discussions of rationalization originally set forth by Max Weber. He has been influenced by American pragmatism, action theory, and even poststructuralism.read more
Edmund Arens is a catholic theologian and professor of Fundamental Theology at the University of Luzern, Switzerland. Fundamental Theology is “a relatively recent theological discipline whose object and method has not altogether been clarified by theologians themselves. It is clear, however, that a task of fundamental theology is to verify the foundations of theology. Thus, before deepening in the knowledge of God, Christ, the Church or the sacraments, theology has to deepen into the dogma which is in turn the foundation of everything else: Revelation. Unlike apologetics, fundamental theology does not try to speak to unbelievers but contented itself with analyzing for the sake of believers how God brings human beings to assent to His word.” Arens seeks to find a political theology with critical theory and works to provide a biblical foundation for the systematic theology, so that all of these disciplines can work together.read more
Gary Simpson is a professor of Systematic Theology at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN and an ordained pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
From the Foreword by Paul Lakeland
“Gary Simpson initiates a dialogue between critical social theory and the Protestant prophetic imagination. On the one hand, he charts the emergence of an understanding of critical theory in the work of the Frankfurt School, principally in the thought of Max Horkheimer, and shows how Jürgen Habermas’s views both correct and advance the notion of critical theory into a full-fledged philosophical and political account of the contemporary world. On the other, and interwoven with this, is the fascinating story of Paul Tillich’s early associations with the Frankfurt School, and the dialectical relationship between the notion of critical theory and Tillich’s views on prophetic criticism. This emerges in an important constructive proposal for the role of contemporary Christian congregations as ‘public companions,’ which restores the prophetical dimension to the notion of servanthood. Simpson’s work is important for the continued understanding of Christian relevance to the postmodern world. It offers a stimulating reading of critical theory, will give new vigor to debates on the social role of Christianity, and above all shows the fruitfulness of continued dialogue between secular and religious thought.”1read more