Continental philosophy underwent a ‘return to religion’ or a ‘theological turn’ in the late 20th Century. And yet any conversation between continental philosophy and theology must begin by addressing the perceived distance between them: that one is concerned with destroying all normative, metaphysical order (continental philosophy’s task) and the other with preserving religious identity and community in the face of an increasingly secular society (theology’s task). Colby Dickinson argues in Continental Philosophy and Theology rather that perhaps such a tension is constitutive of the nature of order, thinking and representation which typically take dualistic forms and which might be rethought, though not necessarily abolished. Such a shift in perspective even allows one to contemplate this distance as not opting for one side over the other or by striking a middle ground, but as calling for a nondualistic theology that measures the complexity and inherently comparative nature of theological inquiry in order to realign theology’s relationship to continental philosophy entirely.
Anchored in secular humanism as well as within the existentialist tradition, yet recognizing their limitations, Secular Grace seeks to protrude them by means of dialogue with their other: Christianity. Inspired by a variety of intellectual roots from ancient Greece to post modernist thinkers - chiefly the deliberations of Buber and Levinas in the encounter with the other, and notions of gift and friendship – it offers a rich concept of Secular Grace. It furthermore examines the possibilities of grace towards the dead, self-grace and secular salvation.