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Lindbeck’s Scheme-Content Distinction: A Critique of the Dualism Between Orders of Language

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Author(s): Adonis Vidu

Journal: Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies
ISSN 1583-0039

Issue: 9;
Start page: 110;
Date: 2004;
Original page

Keywords: George Lindbeck | Donald Davidson | Bruce D. Marshall | holism | philosophy of language | theological method | postfoundationalism | justification | ontology

ABSTRACT
There are several tensions present in George Lindbeck’s postliberal theology. One of these is between realist intuitions and a non-epistemic account of truth, on the one hand, and a social-constructivist non-realism with regard to theological statements. Theology is relegated to the status of second-order discourse, while first order language comprises the practices, rituals, vocabulary of a religion. I am challenging this intermediary status of religion with the help of Donald Davidson’s critique of the dualism between scheme and content. Since there isn’t much to be made of the notion of epistemic intermediaries (either as ‘content’ or as ‘scheme’) it does not make sense to continue to speak either in terms of realism or of non-realism. This clears the way for treating theology as cognitive.
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