Religious Studies Faculty Publications

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Source

Radical Pluralism: Essays in Honor of D. Z. Phillips


The study of Wittgenstein has spawned a new sort of Christian theology. A growing list of theologians have discovered in Wittgenstein a therapy for conceptual confusion and tips for how to go on, not only in religious faith and practice, but also in the practice of theology as an academic discipline. This is not to say that such thinkers have succeeded in turning Wittgenstein into an instrument of apologetics or that Wittgenstein has “delivered” them from the grip of their own religious particularity. No; they have learned from Wittgenstein the skill of silence. Their theology, like Wittgenstein’s philosophy, comes to a full stop.

What this full stop amounts to, of course, is a matter of discussion. D. Z. Phillips has described “contemplative philosophy” as culminating in a “radical pluralism.” In this essay, I argue that the radical pluralism that is said to follow from contemplative philosophy is so radical that the presumed “boundary” between philosophy and theology is once more conceived as semi-permeable, a feature that lets back to the table at least a few theologians.

Document Version



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Citation information:

Kallenberg, Brad. “A Member of No Community? Theology after Wittgenstein.” In Radical Pluralism: Essays in Honor of D. Z. Phillips, edited by Brian Birch and Patrick Horn. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, forthcoming.


Mohr Siebeck

Place of Publication

Tübingen, Germany