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Reconstructing The Nature of Doctrine

Higton, Mike

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It is now thirty years since George Lindbeck provided, in The Nature of Doctrine, an epitome of his approach to ecumenical dialogue, and an affirmation of related ways of studying religion and practicing theology.1 The approach that he set out was one that had been growing on him through two decades of involvement in ecumenical dialogues, and the book was intended as a brief prolegomenon to a much longer work that would summarise those dialogues’ achievements and prospects.2 Despite its brevity and its introductory nature, however, the argument of the book is unexpectedly knotty: its various strands require careful teasing out, and the ways in which they are woven together are sometimes difficult to unravel. This article is an attempt to do this teasing out and unravelling: to reconstruct the argument of The Nature of Doctrine, both by offering a redescription of its overall shape, and by suggesting clarifications and reorderings that can untangle some of its most significant knots.


Higton, M. (2014). Reconstructing The Nature of Doctrine. Modern Theology, 30(1), 1-31.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Deposit Date May 30, 2013
Publicly Available Date May 22, 2014
Journal Modern Theology
Print ISSN 0266-7177
Electronic ISSN 1468-0025
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 30
Issue 1
Pages 1-31


Accepted Journal Article (340 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Higton, M. (2014), Reconstructing The Nature of Doctrine. Modern Theology, 30 (1): 1–31, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

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