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1. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Stephen A. Calogero Caritas and Consciousness: Aristotle and Aquinas on Love of Neighbor
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In Book IX of the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle discusses the motivating psychology of the benefactor. He finds that self-love is the crucial element of consciousness that accounts for the benefactor’s desire to participate constructively in the community of being. His analysis invites comparison with Aquinas’s treatment of the theological virtue of caritas. Similarities are found, but Aquinas’s approach leads to a discussion of divine beatitude where we find a somewhat surprising analogy between Aristotle’s human and Aquinas’s divine benefactor. For Aquinas finds that divine beatitude is also a self-love flowing outward to the divine creative project.
2. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Bradford W. Manderfield Julian's Christology and Lyotard's Sublime: A Dialogue on the Cusp of Knowability
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This work initiates a dialogue between pre-enlightenment mystic Julian of Norwich and post-modern philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard. The first section of this paper gives an account of the post-modern subject for Lyotard and of how he renews the “unknown” and the “un-mastered,” in opposition to Kant’s autonomous subject. The second section shows the outer and inner strata of Julian’s treatise. The outer portion evidences the paradigm shift that places Julian’s reflections more prominently within Lyotard’s configuration of the sublime. The inner section examines the shifting emphases within Julian’s work between vision and speculation and the meaningful parallel this yields for the understanding of the sublime.
3. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Julia Meszaros Desire and Vision: Problems of Conversion
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This article seeks to discern how, in spite of our fallenness, we can come to desire what is good. Judging desire and vision to be inter­dependent faculties, it finds that human reason alone is incapable of generating ‘good’ desire. Rather, desire must be transformed gradually and in relation to human vision. To this end, and drawing on James Alison and Iris Murdoch, particular practices are offered whose strength lies in focusing less on altering the objects than the quality of human vision and desire.
4. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Scott Celsor The Two Centers of Skepticism and Their Identification through the Use of Language
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This article contends that there are two formulations of skepticism; one centered upon epistemic investigation, the other centered upon developing the human capacity for judgment, a type of “quasi-religious” quest. The identification of these two easily confused formulations is suggested by an analysis of language usage within skeptical argumentation, supported by briefly analyzing Eric Havelock’s Preface to Plato, and confirmed by an analysis of Descartes. The significance of this confusion, i.e., the lack of progress in finding a solution to the skeptical problem, is demonstrated through a critique of an article written by Barry Stroud.
5. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
James B. South Editor's Page
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rahner papers
6. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Richard Lennan "Narcissistic Aestheticism"?: An Assessment of Karl Rahner's Sacramental Ecclesiology
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At the heart of Karl Rahner’s ecclesiology is a sacramental understanding of the church. This approach, which has its grounding in Rahner’s trademark theology of grace, connects the church with both God’s self-communication in history and human freedom. Sacramental ecclesiologies, however, are subject to the criticism that they do insufficient justice to “mission” as formative of the church’s identity and purpose. Determining whether Rahner’s theology articulates adequately the mission of the church in the world is a primary concern of this paper. As part of its exploration, the paper identifies the echoes of Rahner’s sacramental approach in contemporary Protestant sacramental ecclesiologies.
7. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Shannon Craigo-Snell Rahner's Mission: A Response to Richard Lennan
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Responding to Richard Lennan’s paper, this short essay highlights three elements of Rahner’s work on ecclesiology: sacramentality, heresy, and mission. In Lennan’s account, the first two of these call for self-reflection and self-criticism. Viewing church as sacramental, rather than as a continuation of the incarnation, is important for Rahner because it makes room for ongoing self-criticism. Rahner even turns the category of heresy into an opportunity for self-reflection rather than the condemnation of others, asking how the church offers a compelling “yes” as well as a guiding “no.” The third element of Rahner’s ecclesiology that Lennan engages is mission. Rahner’s work does not fit neatly into traditional notions of evangelism or contemporary typologies of mission. In Lennan’s rendering, however, Rahner’s ecclesiology provides a powerful view of mission as persistent, embodied hope. This view of mission—appropriate to a self-critical and self-reflective church—might be precisely what is needed today.
8. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Robert Lassalle-Klein Ignacio Ellacuría's Rahnerian Fundamental Theology for a Global Church
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Ignacio Ellacuría reconstructs three aspects of Karl Rahner’s metaphysics and fundamental theology for a Latin American context. First, Ellacuría reframes Rahner’s focus on the metaphysics of being, arguing instead that historical reality is the proper object of a truly Latin American theology and philosophy. Second, Ellacuria builds upon and diverges from aspects of Rahner’s use of the hylomorphic theory and the role of the agent intellect in his theory of knowing, using Xavier Zubiri’s analysis of the role of sentient intelligence in order to reconstruct Rahner’s theological epistemology. And third, Ellacuría appropriates and reframes Rahner’s supernatural existential, situating it within the larger horizon of historical reality, which he says the tradition asserts has been transformed by grace.
9. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Ann R. Riggs Rahner beyond the Pyrenees: Response to Lassalle-Klein
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Robert Lassalle-Klein’s paper has provided an examination of how Ignatio Ellacuría, working with philosopher (and fellow Basque) Xavier Zubiri, both used and criticized some of Karl Rahner’s key ideas for the purpose of finding a philosophical framework for working out Ellacuría’s own theological vision, rooted in his experiences as a Spanish Jesuit serving in Latin America. While the technical work in this adaptation receives some commentary here, most of my remarks are observations about the impact of this work on Rahner scholarship more generally. Ellacuría’s use of Rahner is in marked contrast to Metz’s critique that saw Rahner’s transcendental method incapable of dealing with historical realities. Ellacuría’s work can be understood as supplying a particularity to Rahner’s austere structures that, I argue, is intrinsic to those structures. As such, Ellacuría’s (and Zubiri’s) work should be adopted into the canon of mainstream Rahner scholarship.
10. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Pamela McCann Karl Rahner and the Sensus Fidelium
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This paper explores the contribution of Karl Rahner to theological reflection on the topic of the sensus fidelium and offers his thought as a resource towards rethinking ecclesial norms and praxis in the Roman Catholic Church. Rahner’s reflections bring to the surface a theological value at the heart of revelation, the sensus fidelium, which has remained latent in the Christian tradition. Rahner understood that the People of God as a whole are “Hearers of the Word.” They share the collective responsibility of transmitting revelation from age to age. Rahner understood authoritative teachers of the faith to have a normative role in interpreting God’s revelation; yet the insights and collective faith consciousness of the faithful (sensus fidelium) also provide a legitimate norm for the faith. This work presents Rahner’s thought on the sensus fidelium to show how it is relevant to present-day theological discussion and offers his ideas for integrating the value of the sensus fidelium into the practices of the Catholic Church.
11. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Eugene R. Schlesinger Sacramental Efficacy in Karl Rahner and Cognitive Linguistics
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An examination of Rahner’s theology and cognitive linguistics shows that the two are basically in accord concerning sacramental efficacy. This article also puts cognitive linguistics into conversation with Rahner’s theologies of expression. In Rahner’s theology of the symbol, he argues that all beings express themselves in that which is not themselves. Furthermore, Rahner noted the existence of uniquely powerful “primordial words” (Urworte), which mediate the reality to which they point. Cognitive linguistics sees all human knowing as mediated by the “embodied mind,” and characterized by concept integration, wherein a given thing comes to be known in terms of another. This understanding of embodied mind, poses a significant challenge to the Christian tradition. This challenge is answered, though, by Rahner’s distinctive anthropology and christology.
12. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Richard Penaskovic Rahner Papers Editor's Page
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13. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
J. Angelo Corlett, Marisa Diaz-Waian Liberating Liberation Theologies
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Some recently articulated American Christian liberation theolo­gies maintain that they seek justice for the oppressed. But such “justice” fails to encompass the respecting of certain rights of the oppressed to compensation from their oppressors. The right of the oppressed to holistic (including compensatory) reparations from their oppressors is explored in terms of why liberation theologies ought to, among other things, respect and embrace such a right. For economic issues, both distributive and compensatory, are inseparable from oppression-based poverty and hence inseparable from the will of God insofar as it is the will of God to liberate the oppressed. By pressing the importance of reparations for oppressed groups, we seek to liberate liberation theologies from the shackles of a view that fails to recognize in a robust sense the law as a vehicle of rectification of oppression.
14. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Víctor Zorrilla Providentialism as an Instrument for Moral Instruction in Bartolomé de las Casas and José de Acosta
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Certain distinctively patristic and medieval features may be traced in Spanish-Renaissance thought, a tradition in which Aristotelianism played an otherwise dominant role. The study of these features may help to better understand the place of Hispanic thought in Renaissance intellectual history. I focus on one such a feature, providentialism, as it can be seen in two representative authors of sixteenth-century Spanish historiography. By discussing their differing providentialist views, and their motives for adopting them in each author’s historical and political circumstances, it is argued that the zeal for justice constitutes a distinctive trait of Spanish-Renaissance thought.
15. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Ronald A. Cordero Intergalactic Morality and Existential Significance
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If recent cosmological reasonings are correct, our universe is expanding irreversibly into oblivion—a conclusion that might well inspire feelings of insignificance and futility. Can we perhaps find a sense of meaning by seeing ourselves as participants in intergalactic morality? In this paper I examine the way in which moral rules come into being, exist, and cease to exist—and conclude that there is an intergalactic morality in which we can participate and through which we can feel a sense of significance in our rapidly dissipating universe.
16. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Jane Duran Tudor History and Women's Theology: The Philosophy of Katherine Parr
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Examining the writings of Katherine Parr both from the standpoint of metaphysical issues of her time and her status as a writer of the Tudor era, it is concluded that Queen Katherine had a developed humanist ontology, and one that coincided with a great deal of the new learning of the Henrician period, whether stridently Protestant or not. Analyses from James, Dubrow, and McConica are alluded to, and a comparison is made to some of the currents at work in English intellectual life at that time.
17. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Philipp W. Rosemann Tradition and Deconstruction
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It is easy to view tradition and deconstruction as irreconcilably opposed approaches to the history of ideas: tradition aims at the preservation, transmission, and deepening of highly valued insights, whereas deconstruction exposes inconsistencies in these insights and distortions in their transmission. This article argues that this opposition is more superficial than real. Closer analysis of the workings of tradition shows authentic tradition to require an inherent critical element, a deconstructive impulse. Deconstruction, on the other hand, makes sense only as part of a project of tradition-building. The article advances this thesis in dialogue with Denys the Carthusian, a late medieval theologian who developed a significant theory of the Christian tradition, and Martin Heidegger, who in Being and Time carefully articulated the foundations of the deconstructive method.
18. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
T. Ryan Byerly Wisdom and Appropriate Risk-Taking
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In this paper, I argue for an account of wisdom according to which wisdom is a disposition to take appropriate risks. I show why this account should be attractive generally, and also why it should be especially attractive for someone from within the Christian Aristotelian tradition. Finally, I show why the account has certain advantages over an account of wisdom from within the Christian Platonist tradition defended recently by C. Stephen Evans.
19. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
Dale Tuggy Constitution Trinitarianism: An Appraisal
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In recent work, philosophical theologians Michael Rea and Jeffrey Brower have formulated a precise way of understanding the doctrine of the Trinity along the lines of a contemporary constitution theory of material objects. Here I explain the theological and philosophical thinking behind their proposal, and give seven objections to it. Stepping back to consider methodology, I distinguish several goals a Trinity theory may aim at, and argue that the theory at hand achieves some but not others. Most importantly, it fails as a Rational Reconstruction of creedal trinitarian claims.
20. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 25 > Issue: 1
James B. South Editor's Page
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