Also titled: A Return to Radical Orthodoxy after 10+ Years of Criticism. I am going to reflect on some criticisms made of Milbank’s work (and note he has answered some of these in The Future of Love, even agreeing with a few). There are some that are good, some that are interesting, and some that are stupid.
Michael Horton has advanced the most interesting critique of Milbank: his metaphysics posits an “overcoming bodily estrangement” vs a “creational covenantal meeting.” In other words, transcending finitude.
Others have pointed out (Herdt et al) that Milbank overplayed the medieval guild socialism of John Ruskin. There’s probably something to that charge and Milbank conceded as much. Others charge that Milbank misread NeoPlatonism. I’m not so sure about that. What I think the charge of Hankey and others is trying to get at is that Catherine Pickstock wasn’t warranted in connecting NeoPlatonism with modern anti-secular Liturgical arguments. Maybe. I’m not sure.
I spent last summer analyzing The Enneads. I *think* I know what Plotinus means, but I could be wrong. Plotinus is very easy on surface level but notoriously difficult once you start asking deeper questions.
As to their reading of Plato, I think they are fundamentally correct. James KA Smith simply criticized their assertion that Phaedrus is secretly pro-embodiment. I don’t think it is, either. On the other hand, I do their their is something to the claim that if the finite is not upheld by the transcendent, we have nihilism.
A lot of academia simply got angry that Milbank asserted that Christians didn’t have to ask secularists’ permission to engage in theology in the academy.
Milbank is engaging with men like Slavoj Zizek and the New Atheists. Are his critics?