chapter  3
20 Pages

What is Secularity?

ByCharles Taylor

A number of thinkers, especially in the field of theology and biblical hermeneutics, have turned to speech act theory in order to traverse ugly hermeneutical ditches from the past and to enable interpretative advances. Nicholas Wolterstorff, Kevin Vanhoozer and Nancey Murphy are three of the most notable. Murphy contrasts her Anglo-American post modernity with what she considers to be relativistic deconstructive continental postmodern philosophy. Wolterstorff highlighted the more recent appropriation of speech act theory in the publication of his Gifford Lectures entitled Divine Discourse. His main thesis is that speech act theory opens up in a remarkable way the possibility of regarding God as speaking that does not reduce to the act of revelation, which he regards as too limiting. Melding the approach of speech act theory with these categories of hermeneutical philosophy, as it were combining felicity and fusion, can add depth to the interpretative act and help to avoid the limitations that have been noted.