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41. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Jeffrey R. Reber The Operational Mechanics of Contemporary Systematic Theology: Two Case Studies
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The primary goal of this article is to provide both a descriptive and comparative analysis of two representative models of systematic theology. The findings of this study show each model to be capable of processing biblical facts, packaging them into a systematic whole, and exhibiting the facts. Yet, inescapably, the conclusions inextricably connect authorial purpose to operational structure, suggesting it is necessary to reevaluate the contemporary stigmas accompanying authorial presuppositions. There is also, however, the uncovering of a potential danger area within systematic theology, namely: the scientific-rational classification system, driven by cause and effect, which engenders classifications removed from Scripture.
42. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
James B. South Editor's Page
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rahner papers
43. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Andreas R. Batlogg, S.J., Thomas F. O’Meara Church Father of the Twentieth Century
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Andreas Battlogg, S.J., one of the supervising editors, discusses the conclusion of the publication of Karl Rahner's Sämtliche Werke in over thirty volumes along with its impact on the study of theology now and in the future.
44. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Michael Rubbelke Reading Rahner’s Evolutionary Christology with Bonaventure
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In his evolutionary Christology, Karl Rahner shares some surprising affinities with Bonaventure. Both envision human beings as microcosmic, that is, as uniquely representative of the whole of creation. Both describe creation Christocentrically, oriented in its design and goal toward the Incarnate Word. Both understand humans as radically responsible for the non-human world. These similarities point to a more foundational congruence in their Trinitarian theologies. Rahner and Bonaventure connect the Father’s personal character as fontal source of Son and Spirit to God’s unoriginated and free relation to creation. If the Word expresses the Father fully, creation expresses God in a real but incomplete way. This grounds a series of analogous relationships between created spirit and matter, human freedom and nature, as well as grace and human nature. From this perspective, Rahner’s evolutionary Christology can be seen as ecologically significant, appreciatively critical of evolution, and ultimately rooted in the Trinity.
45. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Jean-Pierre Fortin Self-Transcendence and Union in Christ: Karl Rahner’s Eucharistic Theology of Creation
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In Laudato Si, Pope Francis calls for a theology respectful of creation. I here suggest that balancing Karl Rahner’s theology of creation with his sacramental theology brings us closer to providing such a theology. Rahner’s sacramental theology fittingly complements his theology of the incarnation, by highlighting the significance of the redemption of creation accomplished in Christ. Matter and nature are redeemed and must now be listened to because they also have been made to bespeak of the divine re-creative power. Revealing life to be a gift and consecrating all natural beings as creatures endowed with a purpose, the Eucharist leads those taking part in it to perceive in nature a sacrament of God’s love. In the Eucharistic liturgy, they celebrate and reconnect with (their own) nature, which is healed and transformed to become an instrument for God.
46. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Sarah A. Thomas Karl Rahner’s Theology of Love in Dialogue with Social Psychology and Neuroscience
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The commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 25:39) is central to Christian discipleship. How does the concrete way that we express love enhance or diminish our ability to love? This paper brings Karl Rahner’s theology of neighbor love into dialogue with a description of altruism and compassion provided by social psychologist, C. Daniel Batson, and neuroscientists Tania Singer and Olga Klimecki. For Rahner, grace enables and sustains love. In addition, a mutually reciprocal relationship of unity exists between human love for God, neighbor, and self. Furthermore, Rahner contends prayer as one way to cultivate compassion for another. The scientific research presented here examines aspects of the relationship between self and other known as empathy and compassion. The research of Batson, Singer, and Klimecki shed light on the role of self-love in compassion as well as the ways our capacity to empathize conditions our potential for altruism.
47. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Brent Little An Anonymous Christian along the Ganges?: Grace and Symbol in Rahner’s Theology and Endo’s Deep River
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Although not ignored, Rahner’s theology has not played a significant influence on the interdisciplinary scholarship between Catholic theology and literature, perhaps because Rahner’s thought is often considered to lack a theological aesthetics. This article encourages a reevaluation of this impression by bringing Rahner’s theology of symbol and his argument for the anonymous Christian into dialogue with the last novel of the acclaimed Japanese Catholic Shusaku Endo, Deep River (1994). Endo’s novel challenges theologians to consider Rahner’s insights in concrete, multi-cultural, and non-Christian contexts, and demonstrates the importance of thinking about Rahner’s theology of symbol in terms of narrative. At the same time, Endo’s novel prompts a reconsideration of Rahner’s controversial argument for the anonymous Christian, for Rahner’s thought and Endo’s novel present two different approaches to the issue of religious pluralism. In this dialogue between novelist and theologian, the Incarnational foundation of Rahner’s argument for the anonymous Christian emerges more clearly, a foundation that can be easily missed amidst his abstract rhetoric.
48. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Mark F. Fischer Rahner Papers Editor's Page
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49. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Emmanuel Falque The Relevance of Medieval Philosophy: God, the Flesh, and the Other
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The “phenomenological practice of medieval philosophy” actualizes its relevance. This method, undertaken substantially in the author’s God, the Flesh, and the Other: From Irenaeus to Duns Scotus (2015) finds its full justification here. The fruitfulness of a method is not found in its theorization, but in its practical application. An examination of authors as diverse as St. Augustine, John Scotus Eriugena, and Meister Eckhart (for “God”), Sts. Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Bonaventure (for the “flesh”), and Origen, Thomas Aquinas, and Duns Scotus (for the “other”), actualizes the relevance of medieval philosophy—an actualization of relevance understood in the first place as the realization of these thinkers’ “potentialities” (actualitas).
50. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Erin Stackle What Does St. Thomas Say Is the Matter in Aristotle’s ‘Health’?: A Case Study of the Commentary Tradition
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Two tasks are pursued here. One is to display the difference (and its significance) between hermeneutic commitments in commenting on Aristotle’s difficult metaphysical texts. The other is to begin rethinking an Aristotelian account of medical healing by considering in detail the connection between matter and the form of health in Metaphysics VII. This is carried out through the examination of two puzzles: one about the relation of parts to causes, the other about the relation of matter to articulation (logos).
51. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Brandon L. Morgan Love as the Logic of Reconciliation in Hegel
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This essay explores the significance of Hegel’s considerations of love for his later dialectical philosophy in order to bring to attention love’s continued import as a category of logical and theological unity and reconciliation. A lingering question for Hegel scholarship is why he seemingly drops the unifying notion of love in his more developed dialectical philosophy, choosing instead to expound a philosophy of the concept that solely grants to reason the task of dialectical recovery. On my reading, this interpretation suffers from a failure to imagine Hegel’s early writings on love as contributing to the working out of his later dialectical logic and philosophy of spirit, specifically in terms of the unifying and reconciling principle of Vernunft (reason) in contrast to Verstand (understanding). Furthermore, Hegel’s substantial appeals to love in the later Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion show love's continued significance for him, not only as a logical but a theological principle of unity between finite and infinite spirit, a unity lost on the understanding alone. Reading Hegel’s Vernunft as a form of rationally reconciling love, therefore, shows a continuity in Hegel’s thinking that brings to bear Hegel’s later philosophical developments of reason and spirit on his philosophical theology.
52. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Jane Duran Frances Harper: A Christian Voice for the Nineteenth Century
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The work of Frances E. W. Harper is examined with an eye toward its place in the Black canon. It is argued that Harper was a major thinker of her time, along the lines of Ida B. Wells, and that further reading of her work is required, with an emphasis on the force of her religious views. She is also contrasted with other nineteenth century thinkers.
53. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
C. Andrew DuPée Out of Context: Newman and Marion on Religion, Revelation, and Hermeneutics
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This paper offers, first, an analysis and critique of John Henry Newman’s theorizing of real assent, in comparison with Jean-Luc Marion’s own phenomenological investigation of Revelation and Religious Experience. In conversation with the results of these analyses, I offer a critique of a certain hermeneutical criticism of Marion’s oeuvre. This, as I attempt to show, dovetails with certain strong criticisms towards Newman’s own interpretation of religious experience, insofar as it highlights the demand for some discussion or theorization of a standpoint beyond hermeneutic circularity.
54. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Shlomo Dov Rosen Rawls’s Structural Response to Arbitrariness: An Echo of Calvin
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John Rawls, father of contemporary distributive justice, professed the metaphysical neutrality of his theory, and formulated an additional theory to support such neutrality generally. This article exposes Rawls’s own theological underpinnings concerning his conception of the moral arbitrariness of existence, and his structural dichotomous approach for engaging it. I show how both of his theories are reminiscent of Calvin, employing methods of bifurcation, and thus generating tensions within both the concept of justice and moral personality. I end with analysis of the relationship of this structural rationality to arbitrariness. This exposure of Rawls’s theological debt is part of a wider argument concerning the theological basis of distributive justice theory, and the relevance of Theology for philosophical ethics.
55. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Michiel Meijer Strong Evaluation Down the Decades: Rearticulating Taylor’s Central Concept
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This essay pursues the development of Charles Taylor’s concept of “strong evaluation” from his first publications on this topic until his most recent uses of the concept. Because Taylor employs strong evaluation in discussions of philosophical anthropology, ethics, phenomenology, and ontology all in one, it has been (mis)understood in a variety of ways. To clarify his strategy, the analysis gradually progresses beyond strong evaluation to the more fundamental question of the relation between philosophical anthropology, ethics, phenomenology, and ontology in Taylor’s writings. It concludes that Taylor’s reasoning especially deserves further investigation with regard to the ontological implications of strong evaluation.
56. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Daniel A. Rober Grace and the Secular: Reading Charles Taylor through Henri de Lubac
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Charles Taylor indicates in A Secular Age his admiration for Henri de Lubac, Yves Congar, and other Catholic theologians associated with la nouvelle théologie. This essay reads de Lubac and Taylor on the secular, analyzing convergences as well as key differences. In particular, it argues that both underestimate the possibilities of political and liberation theologies. The concluding section puts de Lubac and Taylor in dialogue with forms of political theology that have been in dialogue with their work. The author argues that a stronger political theology can be drawn out of the approach of de Lubac and Taylor despite the trepidations of each toward such a project.
57. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Héctor Sevilla Godínez The Human and the Nothingness: The Anthropological Conception Derived from Assuming Nothingness
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The reader will find a proposal of anthropological conception derived from philosophically assuming nothingness. The intention of this article is to express nineteen concrete consequences derived from being a committed nihilist in the contemporary world. Among other things, the anthropological conception proposed along these lines is congruent with the fact that man is because of his own nothingness and can only believe that he knows, that he is hurled into the world, that his will is imaginary, and that he is un-created, finite, contingent, timely, and light, without certainties and without sense. The article likewise explains the human need of creating gods and what man lives after knowing himself to be mobile in a world that is inserted simultaneously into chaos and the cosmos.
58. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Tony Svetelj “Weak Thought” in the Face of Religious Violence: Perplexing Dimensions of Modernity and Globalization
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Modern comprehension of religion and violence, particularly modern attitudes toward religious violence, is the main topic of this paper. Mainstream secularization theory states that religion triggers conflict, tension, oppression, violence, and even war. As a continuation of this theory, the “myth of religious violence” assumes that religion is intrinsically connected with terror. These two narratives provide no sufficient proof for their claim about the irrelevance of religion; nonetheless, these narratives are expressions of the human agent’s struggle in his/her search for meaning. Referring to Gianni Vattimo’s idea of weak thought (pensiero debole), this writing proposes a narrative that treats religious and spiritual dimensions of human identity as essential for human life, as a source of remarkable consolation and hope in enduring the terror of violence, and as an opening to the new transcendental dimension of the ultimate meaning of human life.
59. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Michael Xiarhos Ethics and Morality in Cloning Technology: Christianity, Islam, and Pop Culture
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This article presents the ethical and moral changes traditional Christianity and Islam face regarding the developing technology of cloning. Using dystopian literature and film as discussion points, this article argues that there is conflict regarding the idea of the sanctity of all human life within Christian and Muslim doctrine and what value the life of a cloned human would retain. These issues are examined through the joint lenses of natural theology and natural knowledge.
60. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
James South Editor's Page
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