Brian Leiter has a great piece up on sophomoric skirmishes between presumed "analytic" and "continental" camps in philosophy.
This is an important piece to read for me, and I assume for many other students of theology as well. I have in the past made sweeping and rather stupid statements about "philosophy" as a discipline, more than anything I think because of frustration at professional and methodological rigidity that I've perceived in some philosophers. And when I'm feeling a little bit more friendly, I usually (and this seems rather typical amongst theologians as well) will make this sort of dumb appeal to the "Continental" tradition against the "analytic" tradition. That is, if I'm going to put up with any philosophers, their work should at least look a bit more like poetry than mathematics.
It makes sense, on a superficial level. "Continental" thinkers often look more like theologians to us, and their work seems to be more amenable to our work. Add to that similarity all of these grandiose proclamations of a "theological turn" in continental thought, and it's easy to see why many theologians snub their noses at the "Analytics" the way that Leiter's interlocutor does.
But I've realized of late that this is all pretty stupid and immature of me to do. I think Kevin Hector's pragmatism seminar has contributed some to my new-found acceptance of philosophical work that would have just bored me to tears a little bit ago. It's not that I know the first thing about 20th century analytic thought, but at least a smattering of readings in some "post-analytic" thinkers has led me to appreciate the broad problems and attempts at solutions that are entertained in real, rigorous, philosophical work. It may not always be my cup of tea, but at least I'm beginning to learn to refrain from making altogether asinine criticisms of it. I'm also learning that if I hope to speak intelligently about these problems, I'd best do my homework and read these people rather than simply make crap up about what sort of thinkers they are on the basis of vague stereotypes and entrenched opinions.
These sorts of suspicions of analytic thought have also come up recently with regard to the recent essay collection, Analytic Theology. Please note- I bring this up not to associate R.O. Flyer with the more superficial reaction to analytic thought by those of the "party line continental" camp. There are surely still critiques to be leveled against certain aspects of "analytic", "continental", or any number of other traditions, even after we recognize that partisan hatchet jobs aren't the way to go.
Anthony Paul Smith has also offered some worthwhile thoughts about the precarious nature of the theological appropriation of certain philosophical concerns, obviously from a quite different conversation than the originally linked Leiter piece.