James K.A. Smith Quotes

Enjoy the top 43 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by James K.A. Smith.

James K.A. Smith Quotes

In short, liturgies make us certain kinds of people, and what defines us is what we love.
— James K.A. Smith —

All discourses and disciplines proceed from commitments and beliefs that are ultimately religious in nature. No scientific discourse (whether natural science or social science) simply discloses to us the facts of reality to which theology must submit; rather, every discourse is, in some sense, religious. The playing field has been leveled. Theology is most persistently postmodern when it rejects a lingering correlational false humility and instead speaks unapologetically from the the primacy of Christian revelation and the church's confessional language.

— James K.A. Smith

[E]ducation is a holistic endeavor that involves the whole person, including our bodies, in a process of formation that aims our desires, primes our imagination, and orients us to the world
all before we ever start thinking about it.

— James K.A. Smith

Liturgies aim our love to different ends precisely by training our hearts through our bodies.

— James K.A. Smith

We confess knowledge without certainty, truth without objectivity.

— James K.A. Smith

The question of the relation between modernity and postmodernity revolves around the issue of 'legitimation.' Modernity, then, appeals to science to legitimate its claim - and by 'science' we simply mean the notion of a universal, autonomous reason. Science, then, is opposed to narrative, which attempts not to prove its claims but rather to proclaim them within a story.

— James K.A. Smith

In short, liturgies make us certain kinds of people, and what defines us is what we love.

— James K.A. Smith

An education, then, is a constellation of practices, rituals, and routines that inculcates a particular vision of the good life by inscribing or infusing that vision into the heart (the gut) by means of material, embodied practices. And this will be true even of the most instrumentalist, pragmatic programs of education (such as those that now tend to dominate public schools and universities bent on churning out "skilled workers") that see their task primarily as providing information, because behind this is a vision of the good life that understands human flourishing primarily in terms of production and consumption. Behind the veneer of a "value-free" education concerned with providing skills, knowledge, and information is an educational vision that remains formative.

— James K.A. Smith

Discipline is aimed at formation for a specific end, and that end is determined by our founding narrative.

— James K.A. Smith

A sacramental understanding of the world is simply a shorthand way of describing the psalmist's claim that "The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it" (Ps. 24:1), echoed in Paul's claim that in the Creator God "we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28).

— James K.A. Smith

Sealed off from enchantment, the modern buffered self is also sealed off from significance, left to ruminate in a stew of its own ennui.

— James K.A. Smith

By calling into question the very ideal of a universal, autonomous reason (which was, in the Enlightenment, the basis for rejecting religious thought) and further demonstrating that all knowledge is grounded in narrative or myth, Lyotard relativizes (secular) philosophy's claim to autonomy and so grants the legitimacy of a philosophy that grounds itself in Christian faith. Previously such a distinctly Christian philosophy would have been exiled from the 'pure' arena of philosophy because of its 'infection' with bias and prejudice. Lyotard's critique, however, demonstrates that no philosophy - indeed, no knowledge - is untainted by prejudice or faith commitments. In this way the playing field is leveled, and new opportunities to voice a Christian philosophy are created. Thus Lyotard's postmodern critique of metanarratives, rather than being a formidable foe of Christian faith and thought, can in fact be enlisted as an ally in the construction of a Christian philosophy.

— James K.A. Smith

Subtraction stories Accounts that explain "the secular" as merely the subtraction of religious belief, as if the secular is what's left over after we subtract superstition. In contrast, Taylor emphasizes that the secular is produced, not just distilled.

— James K.A. Smith

Learning what seems insignificant can be training us for (and about) what's essential-that what's ultimate can unwittingly be at stake in what appears to be innocuous.

— James K.A. Smith

James Smith argues that liturgies are compressed, performed narratives that recruit the imagination through the body.

— James K.A. Smith

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