I am still continuing my review of Russian Orthodoxy Resurgent, but I need to offer a few explanatory points on postmodernism as an academic philosophy. For all of its problems, postmodernism has always suffered from detractors who really don’t know what it is. Contra Evangelical apologetics manuals, postmodernism is not “the denial of absolute truths,” or literary and epistemological relativism. The leading postmodernists–Derrida, for one–explicitly denied that.
Still, it’s hard to define in one sentence. The following are aspects on approaches that postmodernism takes.
- Postmodernism (ala Lyotard) challenges that any one metanarrative from the Enlightenment should rule the world. They are not necessarily saying, “Down with all metanarratives,” which is itself a metanarratives. They are simply (and rightly) pointing to the power plays within Enlightement metanarratives
- Nothing Exists Outside the Text. Derrida is not saying all interpretations are equally relative. This view says that all interpretations are conditioned. Presuppositionalism 101.
- As in the case of the authors of Russian Orthodoxy Resurgent, another form of postmodernism is seeing “differance” (spelling intentional) as violence. Any form of ambiguity means suspicion of violence.