In recent decades, theologians and philosophers of religion have engaged in a vigorous debate concerning the status and nature of ecclesiology. Throughout this debate, they have found resources for their arguments in concepts of political philosophy, particularly communitarianism and political liberalism. In this groundbreaking study, Peter Dula turns instead to the work of philosopher Stanley Cavell, examining the ways in which Cavell's understanding of companionship contributes to the debate over church and community.
Since the 1960s, Stanley Cavell has been the most category-defying philosopher in North America, as well as one of the least understood. Philosophers did not know what to make of his deep engagement with literature and film, or, stranger yet, with his openness to theological concerns. In this, the first English study of Cavell and theology, Dula places Cavell in conversation with some of the philosophers most influential in contemporary theology: Alasdair MacIntyre, Martha Nussbaum and John Rawls. He then examines Cavell's relationship to Christian theology, shedding light on the repeated appearances of the figure of Christ in Cavell's writings.
Cavell, Companionship, and Christian Theology finds in Cavell's account of skepticism and acknowledgment a transformative resource for theological discussions - not just of ecclesiology, but of sin, salvation and the existence of God.