Review of Campbell’s Deliverance PART 10
Today we complete our overview of DC's summary of Justification Theory.
Justification Theory and its Root Metaphors
George Lakoff's notion of root metaphor's position is important here. The activation of a single key metaphor or part of the narrative launches the whole thing.
‘Arguments tend to draw out more precisely the relationships and inferences inherent in a juxtaposition of premises ... and premises often have a strong image-based or metaphorical dimension. The Justification model is no exception’ (30)
Justification Theory, DC argues, is driven by two root metaphors, one concerning humans, and one concerning God.
Anthropology: For JT to work, humans are understood in highly rational, individualistic and self-interested terms, who ‘acquire knowledge by reflecting on the world’, which means knowledge becomes information. Anthropology thus determines an epistemology which works prospectively – it moves forward in a linear fashion. Knowledge of God, which is largely informational, is deduced from creation (natural theology) by this rational individual who is individually and ethically culpable before a holy God, and who acts to fulfil such ethical demands, in accordance with self-interest (can you think of popular approaches to ethics which tag in a line such as ‘it is in your own best interest not to [fill in the gap: sleep around, get drunk etc]’?)
Theology: God is both one and invisible, and importantly, God is retributively just – he is, in Lakoff’s terminology, a ‘strict’ authoritarian (the dominant image of God in the Southern states of America [!], according to The Baylor Survey of Religion - cf. 941 n. 27).
An aside: I have found DoG useful in prompting my mind to reflect on the ‘root metaphors’ that make sense not simply of my theology (which I kid myself is way more sophisticated than it actually is) but of my Christian practices. I wonder why I seem to default to a God dominated by justice (and love on good days)?DC finishes as he started: ‘it should be emphasized that the preceding description is primarily theoretical’. It is about ‘the Justification model’s approach to salvation in terms of the most coherent conceptual route to that end’, which particularly examines ‘the internal theoretical integrity of the model’ (35). This point has, as we mentioned, nevertheless sadly been missed, leading to many unfair dismissals.
Labels: Review of Deliverance of God