Preaching After God

Preaching After God: Derrida, Caputo, and the Language of Postmodern Homiletics

Paperback  ::  Kindle


Preaching After God introduces preachers to the positive theological themes stirring in the work of Jacques Derrida and John Caputo. It shows how engaging their thought provides possibilities for preaching that highly resonate with progressive listeners, especially those who don’t wish to see Christianity reduced to little more than superstition and magic. Those familiar with such thinkers will appreciate their homiletical appropriation, while those introduced to them for the first time will discover just how much their approach to religion and faith can reinvigorate progressive preaching. Six lectionary-based sermons are included as examples.

“In this grand-scale book, Snider takes on the enormous task of rethinking homiletics in light of postmodern thought, and comes up with a fresh and wonderful preacher-sized proposal for speaking of God in times like ours. His refreshing honesty and engaging style will kindle new hope in those who secretly fear that preaching may be impossible in progressive circles. His energy and delight in asking the big questions will inspire others to do the same. A lively conversation-starter of a book.”
Anna Carter Florence, author of Preaching as Testimony and Peter Marshall Associate Professor of Preaching at Columbia Theological Seminary

“There is a growing industry of Christians attempting to domesticate the work of radical thinkers to fit them into an already existing theological system. Provocative writers are thus tied to a Procrustean bed by religionists seeking to make them fit within an already established religious dogma. Not so with Snider. Here he reads these vital thinkers seriously and subtly, pouring their new wine into the old wineskins. Why? So as to crack open the actually existing church and help prepare the way for a new reformation.”
Peter Rollins, author of Insurrection

“In Preaching After God Phil Snider adroitly shows that postmodern theology will preach! He mounts an impressive argument that a ‘homiletic of the event’ is the best way to reach a world that has had enough of a supernaturalism that nullifies human agency, without sinking into an anthropologism where human subjects are the only game in town. He has an ear for postmodern theory and the gift of telling us what preaching needs to be. A must read for theologians and preachers alike.”
John D. Caputo, author of What Would Jesus Deconstruct? and Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion Emeritus at Syracuse University & David R. Cook Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Villanova University

“With a scholar’s reach and a pastor’s wisdom, Phil Snider courageously explores the postmodern crisis in religion and, thus, in preaching. He invigorates preaching once again by proposing a dangerous homiletical wager, that preachers risk everything, not on the power of their dogma but instead on the advent of the in-coming God. A most provocative book!”
Thomas G. Long, author of Preaching from Memory to Hope and Bandy Professor of Preaching at Candler School of Theology, Emory University

“In this smart and readable book, Snider does the spadework for a theology of preaching after the death of the Christian God shaped by Western metaphysics. Influenced by John Caputo’s reading of Derrida, Snider discovers a constructive homiletic emerging from the ashes of philosophical deconstruction . . . His relentlessly positive approach to Derrida is refreshing, and his homiletical ideas encourage a fundamental rethinking of both our reasons for preaching and the messages we preach.”
John S. McClure, author of Other-Wise Preaching and Charles G. Finney Professor of Preaching and Worship at Vanderbilt Divinity School

“There has been a lot of talk about preaching over the past number of years–debates about its viability and vitality in these post-secular, interactive times. But in the midst of all that talk, very little has been said about content. It was assumed that we all knew ‘what the message’ was, that it was simply a matter of finding the right container. Phil Snider ups the conversation by inviting us to consider the content of the influential and culture-shaping world of continental philosophy and offers us ways to incorporate it into our communicating. Phil doesn’t want us to domesticate these ideas, he wants us to use them to inform and frame a new way of preaching, but beyond that, a new way of thinking about life, God, church and everything in between.”
Barry Taylor, Professor of Culture & Religion at Fuller Theological Seminary and Associate Rector of All Saints Episcopal Church, Beverly Hills