Parody or Actual Conference Paper?

So I was looking over the AAR website to see what seminars I might want to attend and noticed that Graham Ward pulled out of the (very strange) session on Radical Orthodoxy and process theology. He has been replaced by Anthony D. Baker, who I know as Tony Baker, former pupil at my not-quite-alma-mater ONU. Below is the abstract for the paper:

“Teleology and Insurrection
Anthony D. Baker, Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest

Postmodernity has either, according to precise definitions, abolished or severely reduced the field of reverence for the term “perfection.” Insofar as it signifies an extrinsically given and assumed goal of historical existence, it is abolished; insofar as it signifies, or might be taken to signify, a goal posited from within a system, or as consonant with the becoming of the subject itself, it is reduced to a horizon of ontological immanence, even if that horizon be, in itself, universal. This paper will argue that in its espousal of a radically world-defying “insurrective” perfection, postmodernity is thoroughly Christian, extending the theology of Maximus, Nicholas of Cusa, and the early Anglo quest narratives. Where the latter break with the former, however, is also exactly the point at which the postmodern remains thoroughly modern: the pre-modern and anti-modern Christian perfection literature conceived of historicity and existence as gifts from an excessively perfect source, while the postmodern, unable to contemplate an ontological gift, still registers telos as the violation of an utterly perfection-less horizon of being.”

Really?!

I can’t decide if this is a parody of John Milbank or if Tony Baker is serious.

4 thoughts on “Parody or Actual Conference Paper?

  1. The title “Radical Orthodoxy and Process Theology” is a misprint. It’s supposed to be “Completely Talking Past Each Other: Radical Orthodoxy and Process Theology.”

    They even have two moderators! I mean: seriously.

  2. I’d love to know if he really is “serious”…I’m sure he is–this sounds kind of like the project he is working on for his book. Did anyone else catch that “pre-modern” has become explicitly “anti-modern” here? I don’t recall seeing that forthrightness elsewhere…serious or not, at least he’s being honest.

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