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Seeing the World and Knowing GodHebrew Wisdom and Christian Doctrine in a Late-Modern Context$
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Paul S. Fiddes

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199644100

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199644100.001.0001

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The Mood of the Late-Modern World

The Mood of the Late-Modern World

(p.28) 2 The Mood of the Late-Modern World
Seeing the World and Knowing God

Paul S. Fiddes

Oxford University Press

Having briefly introduced the ethos of one conversation partner — Hebrew wisdom literature — in Chapter 1, this chapter introduces the mood of the other, the late-modern world and its representative writers. Late-modernism is defined in relation to modernity and modernism, and a preference for the term ‘late-modernism’ over ‘postmodernism’ is explained. ‘Late-modernism’ shows a reaction against modernity, the latter being characterized by a neglect of giving attention to the world, whether through conceiving the world as detached from the self, or as a mere expression of the self, or as a threat to the self. In reaction, late-modern thinking is characterized by immersion into the world (initiated by Husserl's phenomenology), a hermeneutic of suspicion, assertion of openness of meaning, and meeting the challenge of the ‘sublime’. This mood is illustrated by Roland Barthes' exegesis of Genesis 32:22-32 and Jacque Derrida's exegesis of the Book of Revelation.

Keywords:   late-modernism, modernism, modernity, hermeneutic of suspicion, openness, meaning, sublime, Derrida, Barthes, phenomenology

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