The Anglican Scotist: Leander’s Use of Michael Polanyi


The Anglican Scotist, who clearly knows a great deal more about Polanyi’s thought than I do, takes Leander Harding to task for the way he uses Polanyi’s thinking to critique the Episcopal Church:

“Much of the gist of Polanyi’s work is consistent with the theology of TEC worked out by Westerhoff and Holmes in Christian Believing and Griffiss in The Anglican Vision. Both works presume an obligation among Christians to epistemic humility, implying that some of our convictions cannot be formulated in propositions that in turn might be proven or disproven. We have, as Polanyi would put it, a tacit knowledge embodied or incarnate in our practices as a community. This practice is what Griffiss et al would have called primary theology: the worship of the church. Propositional formulation can always only be secondary and dependent on worship. Indeed, no final articulation in propositions can exhaust the primary practice: in principle, all confessional covenants consisting of propostions can only defectively state the articles of Christian faith. Prima facie, someone should quickly pack up collections of Polanyi’s collected works and send them off to Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Orlando, Lagos and Lambeth Palace.”

The post goes on to point out some of the surprising ways that a recognition that Harding’s use of Polayni’s work actually points the disputing parties in the Church toward a path of agreement…

Read the rest here: The Anglican Scotist: Leander’s Use of Michael Polanyi

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