Saturday, April 2, 2011

Forthcoming books by Kevin Hector

Some news about a few of Kevin Hector's book projects has shown up.  A little while back I mentioned his introduction to Schleiermacher's Speeches on Religion, and unfortunately T&T Clark seems to have pushed the publication date for this project to November 2012.  Some better news is that Cambridge has posted some details of his Theology Without Metaphysics, to be released in their Current Issues in Theology series later this year.  Prof. Hector also has a project with a tentative title of Modernism as a Theological Problem that hasn't surfaced yet on any publisher websites to my knowledge.  You can also find a book titled On God-Talk listed in various places, but I'm guessing that this is the same as what has now become Theology Without Metaphysics (Prof. Hector can correct me on this if I'm mistaken).

Following is the description of Theology Without Metaphysics given on the Cambridge website.  You can find a more extensive discussion from Prof. Hector in his 2009 interview with Circa.
One of the central arguments of post-metaphysical theology is that language is inherently 'metaphysical' and consequently that it shoehorns objects into predetermined categories. Because God is beyond such categories, it follows that language cannot apply to God. Drawing on recent work in theology and philosophy of language, Kevin Hector develops an alternative account of language and its relation to God, demonstrating that one need not choose between fitting God into a metaphysical framework, on the one hand, and keeping God at a distance from language, on the other. Hector thus elaborates a 'therapeutic' response to metaphysics: given the extent to which metaphysical presuppositions about language have become embedded in common sense, he argues that metaphysics can be fully overcome only by defending an alternative account of language and its application to God, so as to strip such presuppositions of their apparent self-evidence and release us from their grip.


  1. That sounds pretty good. Hopefully it generates some discussion online; I haven't had time to read a theology book in ages.

    Is the Modernism book related to Robert Pippin's work? The name seems too close for it to be mere coincidence. But then Google shows that it's already been used for a book on Langdon Gilkey, so maybe it's a more common formula than I think.

  2. Hector's book on religious language seems to be the counter-weight to Long's book from last year. Should be good.

  3. Hi Evan,

    Thanks for the publicity...and the detective work that apparently went into it. Theology without Metaphysics is indeed set to appear later this year--before AAR, if everything goes as planned--but another book project is due to appear before Modernism as a Theological Problem, namely, something I am tentatively calling The Ontology of Grace and the Uneasy Conscience of Modernity. (If nothing else, this should allow you to apply your detective skills to something more worthwhile.)

    Mr. Lindquist is right, by the way, to detect an allusion to Pippin in Modernism as a Theological Problem. Pippin and I have talked about the project, in fact, and he got a kick out of the title.

    Thanks again.