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The Other Calling: Theology, Intellectual Vocation and Truth

ISBN: 978-0-470-77548-6
248 pages
April 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
The Other Calling: Theology, Intellectual Vocation and Truth (0470775483) cover image
What is the true calling of the intellectual? In this provocative new book, Andrew Shanks presents a distinctive fresh answer. The Other Calling is a systematic riposte both to the elitism of philosophy in the heritage of Plato, and to the typical individualism of Plato's philosophic opponents. Here, instead, intellectual integrity is identified with a form of priesthood.

  • Asserts that intellectuals are critical to bringing together the common aspirations of a community

  • Offers a strikingly original approach to the moral and political aspects of theology’s relationship with philosophy, exploring the perspectives of both disciplines
  • Draws on the work and thought of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Agnostics, and Atheists
  • Argues for a new, religiously multicultural “priesthood of all thinkers”, considering how once, all intellectuals were as a matter of course also priests
  • Published in the new and prestigious Illuminations series
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Introduction: Why Theology? / What is an Intellectual?.

PART I: PHILOSOPHY.

1. The Incompleteness of Philosophy Alone.

2. Philosophy and Folk Religion: Two 'Forms' for a Single 'Content'.

3. 'Philosophic Politics' (i): Strauss amongst 'the Moderns' and 'the Postmoderns'.

4. 'Philosophic Politics' (ii): Strauss and 'the Ancients'.

5. Anti-Philosophical Philosophy (i): Kojève's Critique of the 'Cloistered Mind'.

6. Anti-Philosophical Philosophy (ii): Epicurus, Rousseau.

PART II: THEOLOGY.

7. Beyond Metaphysics: 'the Science of the Sacralisation of Honesty, in Theist, Catholic form'.

8. Coleridge's Notion of the 'Clerisy'.

9. Sacramentally Framed Thought.

10. 'The Conflict': From Amos to Hegel, and Girard.

11. What is an Intellectual? / Why Theology?.

Notes.

Index

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Andrew Shanks is the Canon Theologian for Manchester Cathedral. He is also the author of the following books: Hegel's Political Theology (1991), Civil Society, Civil Religion (Blackwell, 1995), God and Modernity (2000), What is Truth? (2001), and Faith in Honesty (2006).
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  • A provocative and unique book which questions what the true calling is of the intellectual, identifying intellectual integrity with a form of priesthood
  • Asserts that intellectuals are critical to bringing together the common aspirations of a community
  • Offers a strikingly original approach to the moral and political aspects of theology’s relationship with philosophy, exploring the perspectives of both disciplines
  • Draws on the work and thought of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Agnostics, and Atheists
  • Argues for a new, religiously multicultural “priesthood of all thinkers”, considering how once, all intellectuals were as a matter of course also priests
  • Published in the new and prestigious Illuminations series
See More
“This book is a brave counter to both anti-intellectualism and intellectual élitism, and would be worth buying simply for the opening and closing chapters, where the essentials of the argument are clearly articulated. Nevertheless, those who wish to overhear the author coming to his conclusions in conversation with the likes of Plato, Hegel, Leo Strauss, Alexandre Kojève, Coleridge, and Girard will find the intervening chapters intellectually demanding, but also consistently enlightening.” Church Times
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