Yes to Radical Orthodoxy, BUT

Over the years, it’s taken me a great deal of parsing to differentiate DBHart from Milbank at times, not rhetorically, of course, but philosophically.

Hart has critiqued certain strands of Thomism, humorously to me, arrogantly to some, in a way that makes me suspect he grounds his epistemology in a weakened foundationalism, i.e. a suitable response to a postmodernist chastisement.

Milbank, on the other hand, seems to be suspicious of all metanarratives … ahem … with the exception of his own. And he seems to urge it by only resorting to a distinct existential panache & rhetorical magnetism, which will invite others in to his ecclesial participatory imagination.

And, honestly, I do believe that, soteriologically, that can indeed be necessary & sufficient for many.

It’s foundational in the sense that, in my view, philosophy is best articulated by a life well-lived as progressively conforms, orthotheotically, to that divine telos, which is embodied in our human nature & will and manifest in humanity’s common sense & sensibilities. And his approach realizes this telos orthopathically, orthopraxically & orthocommunally in a radically orthodox manner.

But, here’s the rub.

Any authentically human anthropology will be holistic and will integrate our participatory imaginations with our discursive cognitive map-making, which, for some, may provide a necessary
praeambula fidei, and, for others, a richer life of prayer & worship.

And I say this knowing that explicit philosophical articulations, including syllogistic arguments, of faith’s implicit existential interpretations have contributed to my own life of faith in both ways.

I don’t begrudge RO its harsh critiques of vulgar modernistic & postmodernistic depredations of meaning, manifest in all manner of encroachments such as skepticism, voluntarism, relativism, nominalism & nihilism (although, they’ve manifestly caricatured Scotus beyond recognition).

BUT there’s a certain McCarthyesque strain in their interrogations of other stances, which results in R.O. seeing nihilists behind every modernist tree and under every philosophical rock?


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