Post-modern theology appears to fit comfortably with post-Christian secularism and humanism of the northern European and Northeastern American elites. The popularity of post-modern theology in establishment Protestant churches and divinity schools explains, at least partially, the close alliance in the Northeast between the church intellectuals and the media centers. This is the alliance that foamed protest over Mel Gibson's film, Passion of Christ.
How adequate is postmodern Christianity and postmodern Christian theology to recognizing and understanding Islam? I know this is a complicated question with some unpopular answers. The reaction to the thesis of Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch--that Islam is in essence a violent, extremist religion without theological moderation--demonstrates its dimensions. (Also consider Muslim hostility to Jews; see, James Arlandson, "Muhammad and the Jews", The American Thinker.)
Let me quote John Cobb, Jr., Christ in a Pluralistic Age ( Wipf and Stock, 1999), a major work in postmodern Christian theology. The quotation is long, because I want the penultimate claim in context.
The New Testament Christ does not embody a system of values. The New Testament does not offer an ethical code. Christ is a reality in terms of which one is called and empowered to act responsibly. Responsible action in the light of Christ ordinarily conforms to some generally recognized principle of morality, but the need is to discern the call of Christ in each particular situation. That is not decided by appeal to any established principle. It is to be determined in openness to the meaning of Christ for that situation. Where cultural values differ, there will be a difference of meaning. But the meaning will not be settled by the cultural values alone; for Christ has his own meaning. He is the not-yet-realized transforming the givenness of the past from a burden into a potentiality for new creation. Christ always means, regardless of what the cultural values are, that they must be relativized without being abrogated; that the believer lives toward the future rather than attempting to defend, repeat, or destroy the past; that each should be open to the neighbor, in whom also one meets the claim of Christ; and that the good in what is now happening is to be completed and fulfilled.[p.59.]
Cobb does not mean, in this summary of postmodern theology, that the Christian should be open to those neighbors who express the claim of Christ. He means that all religious neighbors--Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, etc.--express the claim of Christ (this is the point of the preceding chapters); therefore Christians should be open to them.
I do not know how carefully Cobb or other postmodern Christians have studied Islam; but Cobb's quotation points to the issue clearly.
Does Mohammedanism express the claim of Christ? Are postmodernists being too quick and glib in their assumption that it does? If they sincerely believe that the Muslim religion does express the claim of Christ, would not they then be incapable of seeing that Islam is essentially Jihadism, if indeed it is?