Simpson, Gary M. Critical Social Theory: Prophetic Reason, Civil Society, and Christian Imagination Guides to Theological Inquiry. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002.
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.”1