Essay on Postmodernism and Social Praxis

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Postmodernism and Social Praxis

Whereas the interpreter is obliged to go to the depth of things, like an excavator, the moment of interpretation [genealogy] is like an overview, from higher and higher up, which allows the depth to be laid out in front of him in a more and more profound visibility; depth is resituated as an absolutely superficial secret.(18)
So those are the changes, and I try to show those changes...(19)

In Communities of Resistance and Solidarity, as well as in A Feminist Ethic of Risk, Sharon D. Welch sets forth a liberation theology in which the deconstructive processes of Michel Foucault are key. Her theology is an amalgam of Foucault's poststructuralist concepts and liberation theology's action-oriented
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How effective are Foucault's methods, never intended for practical use, for Welch's liberation theology? The purpose of this paper is to examine these questions and the accuracy of Welch's treatment of Foucault's concepts by exploring the relevant works of Sharon Welch and the works of Foucault referenced therein.

In Communities of Resistance and Solidarity, Welch presents an adamant argument for the similarities between the work of Michel Foucault and the work of liberation theologians before her. Welch claims not only to possess Foucault's suspicious awareness, or "skepticism," as she refers to it, but also claims its absolute necessity for her theology (85). She attempts to be true to Foucault's methods: skepticism is the engine for the vehicle of continuing analyses. However, Welch fails to acknowledge the radical nature of Foucault's concept of skepticism, as opposed to the concept she utilizes for her theology. Foucault's is a drastic suspicion, a total and continuous skepticism which repeatedly serves as an alarm to the genealogist. Its purpose is to make the scholar cognizant of the undeniable link between power and knowledge. It is a reminder that there exists no absolute Truth on which a discourse confidently may be established. In Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason, Foucault traces the history of what is deemed "the liberation of the insane" in a manner which supports this theory. He documents the work of Pinel and
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