Reflection on Secularity

Many of your readings have focused on the Christian tradition in itself. However, Christian faith is always in context. Newbigin's The Gospel in a Pluralist Society has focused on the Christian faith against the backdrop of modern secularity. Camp and Hauerwas have focused on the distinctiveness of apostolic Christianity over against both secularity and the cultural Christianity that has made its peace with secularity. You have also read Narciso or E.O. Wilson, who describe the Christian faith (or 'religion' in general) as it appears from that secular perspective, whose many forms dominate western intellectual circles.

You are very likely to take part in this conversation for the rest of your life.

As a group, choose ahead of time two of the most plausible or compelling claims in Narciso or E.O. Wilson that seem to undermine the Christian faith. In a chat, examine what response the church offers, or ought to offer, to each claim. (That 'response' might be an argument in defense, an action, a concession, a refusal of the presuppositions of the claim and a radical alternative, or some combination.)

I suggest that one in your group contend for Narciso's or Wilson's claim, another focus on Camp or Hauerwas, and a third on Newbigin. That will help make sure that your group takes all these voices seriously. However, any of you can take any position, including of course positions unrepresented in our readings.

The usual rules apply.

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