Lyotard and the Christian metanarrative: A rejoinder to Smith and Westphal

Faith and Philosophy 22 (3):301-315 (2005)
Recently, James Smith and Merold Westphal have sought to reconcile Christianity with Lyotard’s definition of the postmodern – “incredulitytowards metanarratives” – by claiming that Christianity is not a metanarrative in Lyotard’s sense. This paper argues that their understanding of theLyotardian metanarrative is too restrictive, and that the term specifically includes Christianity within its scope. Despite this, though, there is a meansby which Christianity and Lyotard can be brought closer together. That method is to understand Lyotard’s refusal of metanarratives as being tosome extent provisional. Combining this idea with Lyotard’s notion of the differend allows Christianity and Lyotardian postmodernism to be found, ifnot in agreement, at least to coexist
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