What is Radical Orthodoxy?

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Dear Friends and Family

When I first came here to Nottingham I had never heard of Radical Orthodoxy. John Milbank and Simon Oliver were names I only knew through Bibledex and if you had said the name Catherine Pickstock to me I’d have said, ‘To be honest, I don’t know who that is.’ Then I started meeting people, talking to my colleagues and the floodgates of Radical Orthodoxy were opened. I inundated myself, trying to learn as much as I could about this, at times quite controversial, new––well, it isn’t exactly a movement. One of the definitions that is often bandied about amongst proponents and friends of Radical Orthodoxy is, ‘If Radical Orthodoxy is anything, it is a theological sensibility.’ In essence, this sensibility seeks to do theology traditionally, that is historically, paying special attention to Thomas Aquinas and the Church Fathers, as well as Plato, Aristotle, and some of the Neo-Platonists. The areas of philosophy and theology covered, critiqued, and endorsed by the Radically Orthodox are myriad, and include: Politics, Phenomenology, Speculative Realism, Neo-Platonism, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Motion, Metaphysics, Science, Resourcement (a return to the sources, i.e. the Church Fathers), Catholic Theology, Liturgy, Analogy of Being, Nominalism, Nihilism, and more.

There are a lot things one could write about this sensibility called Radical Orthodoxy. Most of it, however, probably ought to be preserved for more scholarly avenues than this blog. Instead, I want to provide you with some excellent resources so you can check it out for yourselves. Radical Orthodoxy, whatever it is, has left me relatively smitten, but it has its fair share or nay-sayers and critics as well. Check out the links and videos below to make up your own mind as to whether this theological sensibility has merit.



CBC Interview with John Milbank and Catherine Pickstock


Theology and Social Theory by John Milbank

After Writing by Catherine Pickstock

Radical Orthodoxy: A New Theology

The Radical Orthodoxy Reader

Introducing Radical Orthodoxy by James K. A. Smith

Other Links:

Centre for Theology and Philosophy

Radical Orthodoxy: Theology, Philosophy, Politics


I hope you enjoy the links.


3 comments on “What is Radical Orthodoxy?

  1. […] his theological writings and a theological sensibility called Radical Orthodoxy. See my post ‘What is Radical Orthodoxy?‘ to get an idea of what it’s about and some seminal works on the subject. John is also […]

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