Dr. Evans is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Georgia, a member of the UGA Faculty in Linguistics, and Director of the UGA Medieval Studies Program. He received the Ph.D. in British Literature with a Minor and Doctoral Certificate in Medieval Studies from Indiana University in 1984 and joined the UGA faculty in that year. He serves on the Board of Directors of Westminster Christian Academy and Westminster High School in Watkinsville. He has edited and published scholarly books and articles on subjects including semiotics, literary theory, Old English and Old Norse literature and folklore; he is currently at work on long-term book projects including Introductory Old English and Old Norse Dragon-lore and articles on Old English grammar, Old Norse iconography, and the Southern Agrarian writers John Donald Wade and Donald Davidson. He and his wife Susan and their children, John David, Anna, and Owen currently worship at First Baptist Church, Watkinsville.
1. Introduction: "Having Abandoned my Search For Truth, I am Now Looking for a Good Fantasy"
a. Postmodern versus postmodernism.
b. Distinguish these from "pre-modernism" and "modernism."
"[I]t is premodern to seek beyond rational knowledge for God; it is modern to desire to hold knowledge in the structures of human rationality (with or without God); it is postmodern to see the impossibility of such knowledge."
-- Colin Gunton, "Christians and Postmoderns
3. Postmodernism and the "master narrative"
a. Story-telling is fundamental to human cognition.
b. Master narrative, myth and religious truth
c. Premodern, modern and Postmodern myth
4. Postmodernism and postrationality.
a. Rise of antirationalism: neopaganism, new-age, contemporary Christian mysticism
b. popular culture: X-files, Contact, 2010, Close Encounters, Alien I, II, III, Cocoon
5. What to do, how to survive
a. Observe self-contradictions in the official story.
b. Be aware of what the underlying story is: learn How to Read a Book, How to Read Slowly, how to think critically
c. Notice our own self-contradictions. Attempts to be perfectly rational fail
d. Maintain confidence in the adequacy of human cognition, communication, and community
e. Remain hopeful
Bottum, Jody. "Christians and Postmoderns." First Things (February 1994),
Gunton, Colin. The One, The Three, and The Many: God, Creation, and the Culture of Modernity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
Jones, Douglas. "The Hope of Medieval Protestantism." Credenda/Agenda 9:5 (1997), pp. 4-5.
Lundin, Roger. The Culture of Interpretation: Christian Faith and the Postmodern World. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1993.
Lyotard, Jean-François The Postmodern Condition. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1984.
Norris, Christopher. The Truth About Postmodernism,
Rapp, Carl. Fleeing the Universal: the Critique of Post-Rational Criticism. Albany, N.Y.: SUNY Press, 1998.
Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr. "The Relentless Cult of Novelty and How it Wrecked the Century." New York Times Book Review, February 3, 1993.
[ Previous | Contents | Next ]