TRANSFORMATION THEOLOGY AND RADICAL ORTHODOXY
One of the many strengths of Radical Orthodoxy is the identification of itself in its ownnarration of our common theological and intellectual history. That narrative is wellknown. It understands for instance the roots of modern secularism to lie in fact intheological territory and so to be re-graspable as a deviation from its own theologicalnorms. Radical Orthodoxy can then take itself to be the corrective to a nihilisticmodernity. But in order to do this well, it has to show that it itself properly
tomodernity, and does so in fact pre-eminently. Radical Orthodoxy achieves this by arguingthat the turn to the sign which signals the advent of modernity is itself first brought aboutin theological circles. It is itself the product of revelation: Christ himself is in fact pre-eminently
. The claim to the pre-eminence of theology within secular modernity,where theology is itself the source of the turn to the sign which defines that modernity,necessarily leads to a marked emphasis on the re-narration of secular modernity
theology. Radical Orthodoxy is that re-narration, and its rationale lies in its ownconviction that it can out-narrate the secular modernists. In its imaginativeness, insightsand perhaps brilliance, Christian orthodoxy as re-narration of history
outperform allother narratives. It must persuade in the way that the true, the beautiful and the good persuade and as they have enchanted souls and won them over throughout the passage of history.Transformation theology shares with Radical Orthodoxy the understanding thatTheology is an historical discourse, albeit one which has an intrinsic orientation to atranscendent source. Theology seeks to think history and transcendence at one and thesame time: each in the light of the other. But TT and RO do so, of course, in quitedifferent ways.The difference becomes clear when we ask ourselves: where is the
of thetranscendence? RO will answer this: in the narrative and in the capacity of giftedtheologians to grasp and incarnate that transcendence within the cultural sign. Theologyhere becomes iconic: permeated by transcendence, effulgent. Its capacity to
isgrounded precisely in this grace-filled power of signification.