What is it about?

N. T. Wright proposes a methodology he calls 'Critical Realism,' which, on the one hand asserts the possibility of understand reality as it is (hence realism) while, on the other, acknowledges that individual subjectivity always distorts how we understand that reality (hence critical). He uses his methodology in his many influential publications on topics as diverse as Jesus and ethics and heaven and revelation and Paul. However, I don't think his method is adequately critical, by which I mean he does not incorporate the subjectivity - the critical - into his method enough. He ultimately reverts to a sort of empirical objectivism he would otherwise deny.

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Why is it important?

N. T. Wright has been a very influential scholar in the last 40 years or so. Though his influence within historical Jesus research has recently lessened, his legacy looms large in Evangelicalism. This article is not necessarily saying that Wright does not deserve that influence, but that his methodology requires re-evaluation and updating.

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This page is a summary of: Subjugating Subjectivity: Why Wright’s Critical Realism is Not Critical Enough, Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, July 2023, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/17455197-bja10022.
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