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Displaying: 1-17 of 17 documents

1. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1/2
Timothy Hinton The Priority of the Via Negativa in Anselm’s Monologion
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In this paper, I intend to demonstrate that in the Monologion Saint Anselm affirms the priority of the via negativa over the via positiva.More precisely, I shall argue that in that text Anselm defends a distinctive thesis with three components. There is, to begin with,a semantic component, according to which, all of our words for God—including those purporting to tell us what God is—fall utterlyshort of their mark. A consequence of this is that none of our speech is capable of describing the reality that is God. There is, inaddition, an epistemic component according to which there is no way for us to understand what God is; we can only know what Godis not. In consequence, we have no way of directly grasping God or of comprehending God’s being. Finally there is a metaphysicalcomponent according to which what God is in himself is an infinite and ineffable mystery. A consequence of this would be that Godturns out to have nothing at all in common with his creatures.
2. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1/2
William Franke Equivocations of “Metaphysics”: A Debate with Christian Moevs’s The Metaphysics of Dante’s Comedy
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Western intellectual tradition is brought to focus through the lens of Dante’s Comedia around the idea of the identity of being and intellect. All reality is dependent on God as pure Being, pure actuality of self-awareness (“thought thinking itself ”); everything else is or,equivalently, has form by its participation in this Being which is Intellect. The human soul can experience itself as divine by realizingthis identity of Being with Intellect through its own being refined to pure intellect and form. This is arguably the seminal idea of Westernmetaphysics relayed by Dante, but he transforms it so that it is no longer “metaphysics” in the sense current in Western thought.
3. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1/2
Ben Lazare Mijuskovic The Simplicity Argument and the Unconscious: Plotinus, Cudworth, Leibniz, and Kant
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I argue that Kant’s four Paralogistic conclusions concerning (a) substantiality; (b1) unity and (b2) immortality, in the famous “Achillesargument”; (c) personal identity; and (d) metaphysical idealism, in the first edition Critique of Pure Reason (1781), are all connectedby being grounded in a common underlying rational principle, an a priori (universal and necessary) presupposition, namely, that boththe mind and its essential attribute of thinking are immaterial and unextended, i.e., simple. Consequently, despite Kant’s predilectionfor architectonic divisions and separations, I show that in fact the simplicity assumption grounds all four Paralogisms and reinforcesKant’s corresponding commitments to the principles of continuity and coherence. Further, I maintain that Kant, under the influence ofhis earlier Leibnizian and subjective idealist leanings, continued to be guided in the first edition Critique, not only in the Paralogismsbut also in certain sections of the Analytic, by emphasizing unconscious activities, which once more reinforced his commitments to aparadigm of the simplicity, unity, and identity of self-consciousness or apperception.
4. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1/2
Andrei G. Zavaliy What Does Hegel Prove in His Lectures on the Proofs of God’s Existence?
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Even though Hegel rejects Kant’s criticism of the classical proofs for God’s existence, he is far from joining the followers of St. Anselm.What is needed, he suggests, is the rational account of the transition from the final notion to the infinite Being. The Lectures in its central treatment of the Cosmological proof present us with an explanation in rational terms of the fact of religion, i.e., the elevation of the finite spirit to infinite God, rather than with a proof in a narrow logical sense. Hegel is not so much asking the question ‘Does Godexist?’ but rather ‘How is the elevation of the finite spirit to God possible?’ The Hegelian ‘proof,’ I argue, consists in a demonstrationof the necessity of movement from finiteness to infinity, that is, the demonstration of the necessity of religion itself. Religious faith in this context is not juxtaposed to reason, but appears as a mode of imperfect knowledge, which is superseded by the further development of the rational concept.
5. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1/2
Anna Marmodoro, Jonathan Hill Modeling the Metaphysics of the Incarnation
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What metaphysics can plausibly back up the claim that God became incarnate? In this essay we investigate the main kinds of models of incarnation that have been historically proposed. We highlight the philosophical assumptions in each model, and on this basis offernovel ways of grouping them as metaphysical rather than doctrinal positions. We examine strengths and weaknesses of the models,and argue that ‘composition models’ offer the most promising way forward to account for the pivotal Christian belief that, in Christ,true divinity and true humanity meet in a genuine union.
6. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1/2
Christopher H. Conn Human Nature and the Possibility of Life after Death: Why Christian Orthodoxy Requires Compositional Substance Dualism
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In part one of this paper I argue that there are three possible accounts of human nature: we are either (i) purely material beings, (ii) purely spiritual beings (souls), or (iii) body/soul composites. In parts two and three I assess the relative merits of these positions both from a broadly secular perspective and also from the perspective of Christian orthodoxy. While both perspectives are mostly strongly opposed to the thesis that we are souls, and while a secular perspective is likely to favor some form of materialism, I argue that Christian orthodoxy commits us to compositional substance dualism, since materialism is incompatible first, with the traditional understanding of Christ’s humanity, and second, with the thesis that we shall enjoy a conscious, sentient existence during the interim period between our death and the General Resurrection.
7. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1/2
Scott Paeth Faith and the Claims of Reason
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This article attempts to present a typology for evaluating religious truth claims in light of epistemological and metaphysical categories.Beginning with a distinction between “strong” and “weak” epistemological and metaphysical categories, it argues that a strong metaphysical set of beliefs need not be rooted in strong epistemological claims in order to be valid. Rather, it is possible to ground a “strong” set of metaphysical assertions within a “weak” epistemological framework, which, within its own framework, may be viewed to be presumptively true. Such a position, the article concludes, has the potential to provide a valid grounding for religious beliefs while allowing room for discourse across belief systems in a pluralistic society.
8. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1/2
James B. Gould Broad Inclusive Salvation: The Logic of “Anonymous Christianity”
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In this paper I defend three points: (1) God loves and desires the salvation of every human person, (2) saving grace is available outside of the Christian church to those who do not hear the gospel but pursue moral goodness and (3) most, if not all, human persons will be saved. I argue that soteriological restrictivism is logically incoherent since its two ideas—every person is loved by God and only those who hear and believe the Christian gospel can be saved—cannot both be true. Throughout I integrate insights from Karl Rahner’snotion of “anonymous Christianity.”
9. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1/2
Philip Merklinger Spiritual Ecology: A Preliminary Sketch
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The aim of this paper is to introduce to the reader the concept of “spiritual ecology.” I show how the concept of spiritual ecologyopens up for us a broader, more holistic way of understanding the living complex of relations existent among the various religions andspiritualities of the world. I also show how the concept of spiritual ecology opens up for us the possibility of appreciating the innerintegrity and truth of ways of spirituality not our own.
10. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1/2
Ludwig F. Schlecht “Is Life Worth Living?”: The Responses of Albert Camus and William James
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Camus and James are not often thought to have much in common. But both agree that “Is life worth living?” is a fundamentalphilosophical question, and an examination of the views of each as to what constitutes a life that is worth living reveals strikingsimilarities. Although James freely uses the language of religion which Camus adamantly avoids, they agree that a life worth livingis marked by a sense of intimacy and communion with others and with the world itself—and by a resolve to fight against the evilsthat threaten well-being.
11. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1/2
J. Aaron Simmons, Mason Marshall Revisiting Gender-Inclusive God-Talk: A New, Wesleyan Argument
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Though academic debate over gender-inclusive God-talk seems to have fizzled, the issue is a pressing one within many Christiandenominations today—both within and outside the Church—and for that reason deserves to be briefly revisited. Accordingly, althoughin this essay we approach the issue as professional philosophers, our focus is on the life of the Church—more specifically, those no doubt sizable segments of the Church for which a personal God and Satan exist and evangelism matters. Running an elimination argument, we contend that if a certain sort of feminist concern about traditional God-talk is well-directed, the best response is to speak of not only God but also Satan in both masculine and feminine terms. And in closing, we address the possible worry that this response to the God-talk problem would not be Christian enough.
12. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1/2
James B. South Editor’s Page
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rahner society papers
13. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1/2
Theodore Kepes, Jr. Toward a Unified Vision: The Integration of Christian Theology and Evolution in Karl Rahner’s Understanding of Matter and Spirit
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In this paper I argue that despite the philosophical, theological and cultural challenges, it is still possible to maintain, in a legitimate and critical way, a worldview that is coherent, unified, comprehensive and meaningful. I believe that the philosophical theology of KarlRahner offers just such a perspective. Hence, this paper explored the extent to which Karl Rahner’s understanding of the unity of matterand spirit, expressed in his integration of theology and evolution, can serve as the foundation for a more comprehensive and integratedunderstanding of reality. I endeavored to provide a preliminary assessment of the adequacy of this integration by evaluating its abilityto respond to some of the important challenges to Christian theism raised by the American philosopher Daniel Dennett. By showingthat Rahner’s integration of theology and evolution can respond adequately to these challenges, the paper provides a promising firststep toward a more comprehensive investigation.
14. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1/2
Larry Chapp The Primal Experience of Being in the Thought of Hans Urs von Balthasar: A Response to Theodore Kepes, Jr.
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This paper is a response to Theodore Kepes’s “Toward a Unified Vision: The Integration of Christian Theology and Evolution inKarl Rahner’s Understanding of Matter and Spirit.” Kepes employs a Rahnerian strategy of attempting to integrate supposedly competing narratives—in this case, Michael Dennett’s reductive materialism—into the Christian narrative of creation and the evolution of both matter and spirit. The response given here argues that this Rahnerian strategy overlooks the programmatic nature of contemporary secular materialism, which is self-conscious in its opposition to any account of the world that invokes the transcendent or the divine. The paper presents an overview of Balthasar’s theological anthropology and argues that Balthasar’s emphasis on Gift, rather than Rahner’s emphasis on Mystery, makes it more personological and therefore more adequate to the task of understanding and responding to the current materialist, liberal, secular mythos.
15. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1/2
Thomas M. Beaudoin Engaging Foucault with Rahner: Sketching an Asymptotic Relationship
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Putting Karl Rahner and Michel Foucault in conversation shows the space of overlapping concern in their work for the relationshipbetween subjectivity and knowledge, while introducing new questions about power and history in this relationship. Both fomenta respect for mystery, through Rahnerian “transcendence” and Foucauldian “rescendence,” that while not the same, may yet beunderstood as convergent without a fully realized connection. In other words, the relation between Rahner and Foucault may beposed as “asymptotic.”
16. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1/2
Thomas F. O’Meara Karl Rahner’s “Remarks on the Schema, ‘De Ecclesia in Mundo Hujus Temporis,’ in the Draft of May 28, 1965”
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The author acquired in May of 1965 a copy of Karl Rahner’s observations on the latest draft of “Schema XIII” which would becomeGaudium et Spes. The title was “Anmerkungen zum Schema DE ECCLESIA IN MUNDO HUIUS TEMPORIS (in der Fassungvom 28.5.65).” After the third session of Vatican II serious work remained to be done on that text. Among several meetings was onelong and important occurred at Ariccia in the Alban hills outside Rome. Rahner could not attend because he could not miss so manylectures at the University of Munich. He sent written comments. That document is a valuable source for the research of the theologicalbackground of Gaudium et Spes. Rahner’s observations fall into three subheadings: remarks on the Latin syntax and style; generalobservations on the underlying theological principles; detailed observations on particular points.
17. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1/2
Ann R. Riggs Rahner Papers Editor’s Page
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