The Fragility of Language and the Encounter with God: On the Contingency and Legitimacy of Doctrine
Drawing on recent philosophical developments in hermeneutics and poststructuralism, The Fragility of Language and the Encounter with God offers a theological account of the contingency of language and perception and of how acknowledging that contingency transforms the perennial theological question of the development of doctrine. Klug applies this account to humanity's encounter with God and its translation into language. Because there exists no neutral epistemological standpoint, Klug integrates contemporary insights on the theory of the subject (especially those of Žižek and Badiou) and presents humanity as a subject that transforms its experience of and with God into language and places it in a shared space for reception. But can the speaking subject have authority and legitimacy in making statements about the Absolute? What role do the Christian faithful play in evaluating that authority?
These questions are addressed both to biblical texts and doctrinal statements. Crucial is the Catholic perspective that legitimate statements of faith and insights are only possible through the Holy Spirit. However, humanity cannot command or control the Holy Spirit but can only show its influence indirectly through the receptive tradition of the universal church. The Fragility of Language and the Encounter with God argues that statements of faith cannot overcome contingency. Instead, the Catholic notion of receptive tradition attempts to cope rationally with the fragility of perception and language in humanity's orientation toward God.