Volume 12, Issue 3, July 1995
The Religious Significance of Postmodernism
Accepting Lyotard’s “incredulity toward metanarratives” as its definition of postmodernism, and Derrida’s “openness to the other” as deconstruction’s contribution to it this essay distinguishes three species of postmodernism: minimal (we have no believable metanarratives), mainline (they are unavailable in principle), and polemical (“good riddance!”). It then argues that the religious impulse challenges all three of these contentions. Contra polemical postmodernism, metanarratives/worldviews are needed. Contra mainline postmodernism, reliable ones are possible. And contra minimal postmodernism, they already exist - in the world’s great, enduring religious traditions.