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1. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Caery A. Evangelist The Conceptual Content of Augustinian Illumination
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The prevailing interpretation of Augustine’s theory of divine illumination suggests that illumination provides the human mind with the content of our a priori concepts. While there is strong textual evidence to support this view, I contend it offers an incomplete picture of the work illumination does in Augustine’s epistemology. Based on an analysis of Augustine’s solution to the paradox of language acquisition in De magistro, I argue illumination also supplies the mind with the content of all our empirical concepts. In this text, Augustine calls our attention to the problem that learning the meaning of words by even the simplest of means—through direct acquaintance (i.e., by having an object pointed out to us and labeled with a name)—turns out to require a relatively sophisticated grasp of the word’s usage in the first place, one that depends on illumination to provide the content of all our universal concepts.
2. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Anna Marmodoro, Jonathan Hill Peter Abelard’s Metaphysics of the Incarnation
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In this paper, we examine Abelard’s model of the incarnation and place it within the wider context of his views in metaphysics and logic. In particular, we consider whether Abelard has the resources to solve the major difficulties faced by the so-called “compositional models” of the incarnation, such as his own. These difficulties include: the requirement to account for Christ’s unity as a single person, despite being composed of two concrete particulars; the requirement to allow that Christ is identical with the pre-existent Son, despite the fact that the pre-existent Son is a (proper) part of the incarnate Christ; and finally the requirement to avoid Nestorianism, i.e., the position that Christ’s proper parts are persons in their own right. We argue that Abelard does have adequate solutions to these problems. In particular, we show that his theories of relations and predication can be put to use in defence of a compositional account of the incarnation.
3. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Fred Ablondi, J. Aaron Simmons Heretics Everywhere: On the Continuing Relevance of Galileo to the Philosophy of Religion
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By carefully considering Galileo’s letters to Castelli and Christina, we argue that his position regarding the relationship between Scripture and science is not only of historical importance, but continues to stand as a perspective worth taking seriously in the context of contemporary philosophical debates. In particular, we contend that there are at least five areas of contemporary concern where Galileo’s arguments are especially relevant: (1) the supposed conflict between science and religion, (2) the status and stakes of evidence, (3) the question of biblical infallibility in light of scientific progress, (4) metaphorical approaches to biblical hermeneutics, and (5) possible dialogical constraints on public discourse.
4. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Jonathan S. Marko Revisiting the Question: Is Anthony Collins the Author of the 1729 Dissertation on Liberty and Necessity?
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In this article I argue that the 1729 Dissertation on Liberty and Neces­sity should be attributed to Anthony Collins. This was the prevailing view until the publication of James O’Higgins’s 1970 biography of Collins. Since then, most have followed Collins’s modern-day biographer in denying that Collins penned the Dissertation. After reviewing O’Higgins’s six reasons for rejecting Collins as the author, I respond to the substantive issues in what follows. Part I is a historical positioning of the Clarke-Collins liberty-necessity debate where I discuss the debate’s context, Collins’s methods and disposition, and timeline issues pertinent to ascribing authorship of the Dissertation to Collins. Part II is a demonstration of the fittingness of the Dissertation as Collins’s response to the earlier debate regarding liberty and necessity he had with Samuel Clarke.
5. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Marianne Moyaert The Struggle for Recognition: A Festive Perspective
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This article reflects on the struggle for recognition, in particular on the question of how to avoid people becoming battle-weary. Where do people find the strength to continue this struggle without lapsing into violence? These are questions which we derive from one of Paul Ricoeur’s latest publications Course of Recognition. Ricoeur claims that the only way to avoid the struggle for recognition degenerating into violent conflicts, is to place it in a horizon of hope—the hope that the struggle does not have the final word on interpersonal relations. In this article we take up Ricoeurs suggestion and elaborate it successively from a broad religious perspective and a Christian-Biblical perspective. This also allows us to develop new anthropological insights concerning the Struggle for Recognition.
6. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Donald L. Wallenfang Sacramental Givenness: The Notion of Givenness in Husserl, Heidegger, and Marion, and Its Import for Interpreting the Phenomenality of the Eucharist
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The notion of givenness (Gegebenheit/donation) serves a key role in the phenomenological paradigms of Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger and Jean-Luc Marion, yet can this notion be applied directly or analogously within the context of sacramental theology? This essay demonstrates how the respective understandings of givenness, in the works of Husserl, Heidegger and Marion, can be employed as hermeneutical centers for exploring the paradoxical phenomenon of the sacrament, whereby the phenomenalities of the visible and the invisible coincide. The Eucharist is called upon as sacrament par excellence for examining the dynamic of givenness within the phenomenality of the sacrament. Tracing the notion of givenness as employed in the thinking of Husserl, Heidegger and Marion, respectively, the essay concludes with a consideration of the Eucharist as event, or ‘happening.’ In such manner does the concept of givenness shed new light on traditional metaphysical understandings of sacramentality.
7. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Dennis Vanden Auweele Atheism, Radical Evil, and Kant
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This paper investigates the link between (radical) evil and the existence of God. Arguing with contemporary atheist thinkers, such as Richard Dawkins and Victor Stenger, I hold that one can take the existence of evil as a sign of the existence of God rather than its opposite. The work of Immanuel Kant, especially his thought on evil, is a fertile source to enliven this intuition. Kant implicitly seems to argue that because man is unable to overcome evil by himself, there is a need for God to bridge the gap. Si Deus est, unde malum? Si malum est, Deus est!
8. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Christina M. Gschwandtner À Dieu or From the Logos? Emmanuel Lévinas and Jean-Luc Marion—Prophets of the Infinite
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This paper examines the extent to which certain aspects of the philosophies of Emmanuel Lévinas and Jean-Luc Marion are directed toward the divine, especially in regard to how they employ religious imagery or even explicitly biblical metaphors, namely those of the face of the neighbor, the glory of the Infinite, the response of the witness, and the breaking or sharing of bread. This will show important parallels and connections between their respective works, but it will also highlight where they diverge from each other. In respect to all four symbols or (biblical) images, I suggest that while it is indeed one (or even the primary) goal of Marion’s work to open phenomenological discourse to enable talk about the divine, Lévinas is instead interested in emptying biblical language of its theological import for purely philosophical (or ethical) purposes.
9. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Brain T. Trainor The Divine Undergirding Of Human Knowing: Plato and Critical Realism
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Plato held that the Agathon (Being itself in its font) is the source or ‘common cause’ both of being(s) and of our understanding, both of the world (cosmos) and of our intellectual grasp thereof, both of the world beyond us (objectivity) that yet includes us and of the world of our inner thoughts (subjectivity) that yet stretches out to embrace the entire universe. This divine presupposition, found ‘philosophically’ in Plato and ‘religiously’ in Augustine’s doctrine of divine illumination, is that God is the common cause of us and our world, for both are held within the same divine/cosmic embrace, by the same Spirit operating within us and beyond us. This leads us to a ‘hand-in-its-glove’ or ‘mind-in-its-world’ proportionate realism that avoids the epistemological defects of Kant’s transcendental realism and Bhaskar’s critical realism. Finally, we should regard knowing by acquaintance as paradigmatic, as the fundamental form of knowing in terms of which the other types are best approached and understood. There is, I suggest, an important sense in which ‘all knowing is knowing in the biblical sense.’
10. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Augustine Shutte Evolution and Emergence: A Paradigm Shift for Theology
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Since the time of Darwin the conception of evolution has developed beyond the boundaries of science to include philosophy and now theology in its scope. After noting the positive reception of the evolutionary idea by theologians even in Darwin’s time, the article traces its philosophical development from Hegel to the work of Karl Rahner. It then uses the philosophical anthropology developed by Rahner to reformulate the essentials of Christian faith (“Christology within an evolutionary view of the world”). in a way that is consonant with a scientific and secular world view. It is the author’s view that secularity—understood as in the recent work of Charles Taylor—is the result of an evolution in the sphere of culture and provides both a standard for truth in religion and a basis for dialogue between the religions of the world.
11. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Howard Kainz Hegelian Priorities in Christendom: A Reconsideration
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Arguments from the nineteenth century concerning whether Hegel was an atheist or a theist are still ongoing. This paper examines Hegel’s philosophical and theological milieu, his influence on the history of philosophy and on politics, his unique interpretation of the unity of theology and philosophy, and his unusually sanguine interpretation of the relationship between church and state, along with special problems he discerned in the emergence of democracies.
12. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Thom Brooks The Bible and Capital Punishment
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Many Christians are split on whether they believe we should endorse or oppose capital punishment. Each side claims Biblical support for their professed position. This essay cannot hope to bring this debate to a conclusion. However, it will try to offer a different perspective. The essay recognizes that the Bible itself offers statements in support of each position. The proposed way forward is not to claim there is a contradiction, but to place greater emphasis on understanding these statements in their particular contexts, specifically with reference to their relation to Jesus’ New Covenant. Such a perspective should lead us to oppose capital punishment.
13. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Mark Glouberman God Is Love, Zeus Is Sex: Theology and Anthropology in the Bible
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Does the character called “God” make an essential contribution to the [Hebrew] Bible? So far as religion and religiosity are concerned, the Bible minus the character called “God” is not theoretically incomplete. In other words, the Bible is not at core a theological document. From this it does not however follow that the deity of the Bible is theoretically otiose. The character called “God” plays a role that is indispensable for anthropological reasons. The self-definition and self-understanding of men and women who define and understand themselves as you and I do cannot be accomplished without at least implicit appeal to that role. The key to the theoretical disposition of the Bible is an appreciation of the fact that it is expressly designed to counteract pagan-type views about the nature of men and women and about their position in the wider scheme of things.
14. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Shirley Isaac A Critical Re-Evaluation of “Persons in Relation” and Its Significance for a Social Trinitarianism
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According to John Macmurray, action is the starting-point for an analysis of persons, who exist only in relation. This paper re-examines Macmurray’s argument from action and finds it lacking. However, rather than implying an obstacle to a relational definition of persons, the failure to arrive at this definition provides the opening or space wherein God, who is fully relational, can be revealed. The implications for human persons are mirrored in the dual concept of the person found in a social trinitarianism, which lends support to an unexpected affirmation. Persons are found within community, but only by granting priority to the individual does this relational unity, which is the unity of the person, spring to life.
15. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
James B. South Editor’s Page
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rahner society papers
16. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Stephen Bullivant The Myth of Rahnerian Exceptionalism: Edward Schillebeeckx’s “Anonymous Christians”
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The term “anonymous Christian” is widely considered to be distinctively Rahnerian. Although other major Catholic theologians proposed similar theories for the salvation of those (formally) extra Ecclesiam, imputing an “implicit” or “unconscious” faith to justified non-Christians, it is commonly thought that none embraced his famous phraseology. Prior to Balthasar’s publication of Cordula in 1966, however, this was not the case. During this period “anonymous Christianity” enjoyed a wide currency, even among its prominent later critics. Focusing especially on Schillebeeckx’s extensive usage—and indeed, possible coinage—of the phrase, I argue for a reappraisal of the early reception of “anonymous Christianity.”
17. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Heidi Russell Efficacious and Sufficient Grace: God’s One Offer of Self-Communication as Accepted or Rejected
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This article suggests that in the delicate balance between grace and freedom, the opposite of rejecting God’s grace is not acceptance of grace, but rather is non-rejection or the openness to God that is the human person’s obediential potency. Using the insights of Karl Rahner and David Coffey, this article goes on to explain efficacious grace and sufficient grace as the one self-communication of God in the modes of acceptance and rejection. To protect the human freedom, one must emphasize that human persons can reject God’s offer of self, but to protect the gratuity of grace, one must acknowledge that acceptance of God’s grace is always undergirded and empowered by that same grace. The mediating point between these two modes is human openness or obediential potency for grace. One does not have to accept God’s grace to be this openness, but rather one must simply not reject God’s offer of grace, hence the primary categories of human freedom are not rejection and acceptance, but rejection and non-rejection.
18. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Jessica M. Murdoch Overcoming the Foundationalist/Nonfoundationalist Divide: Karl Rahner’s Transcendental Hermeneutics
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In this paper I argue that Karl Rahner’s theological method, properly understood as a method of transcendental hermeneutics, overcomes the impasse in contemporary theology between foundationalist and nonfoundationalist methods. Though Rahner is indeed a metaphysical foundationalist, his method is nevertheless epistemologically nonfoundational. In short, Rahner’s understanding of the radical contingency of subjectivity disallows the possibility of reliance on certain and indubitable principles of knowledge. I contend that an understanding of the nonfoundational elements of Rahner’s method will point towards the continued relevance of his method for our present period.
19. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Mark F. Fischer Rahner’s “New Christology” in Foundations of Christian Faith
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Christologie: Systematisch und exegetisch was published in 1972 by Karl Rahner and Wilhelm Thüsing. When in 1980 the translation appeared as A New Christology, it did not include Rahner’s five chapters from the 1972 volume, but inserted three essays by Rahner whose German originals were unidentified. The present essay identifies the source of the three chapters. It also reveals that Rahner’s original five chapters were published a second time in the 1976 Grundkurs des Glaubens, although in a different form, and in 1978 were accurately translated in the sixth chapter of Foundations of Christian Faith. The present essay concludes by tracing the genesis of Rahner’s transcendental Christology from its 1969 origins to its 1972 publication to its 1978 translation.
20. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1/2
Ann R. Riggs Rahner Papers Editor’s Page
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