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An increasing number of contemporary scientists, philosophers and theologians downplay their professional authority and describe their work as simply telling stories about the world . If this is so, literary criticism can and should be applied to all these fields. Yet story telling is neither innocent nor empty-handed. Register, rhetoric, and imagery all manipulate in their own ways. Above all, irony emerges as the natural mode of our modern fragmented culture. Since the eighteenth century there have been only two possible ways of understanding the world--the fundamentalist and the ironic.
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