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61. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Jane Duran Margaret Cavendish and Causality
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Lines of argument taken from Cavendish’s Observations and Letters are used to support the notion that her innovative metaphysics was designed to counter the thinking of the new science and Descartes’s own arguments. The work of Broad, Atherton and Lichtenstein is cited, and it is concluded that Cavendish deserves close reading. In addition, although Cavendish does not address notions having to do with Christianity as directly as we might wish, it is clear that these concepts are crucially related to her work.
62. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Jonathan S. Marko Why Locke’s “Of Power” Is Not a Metaphysical Pronouncement: Locke’s Response to Molyneux’s Critique
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It is my contention here that the chapter “Of Power,” in John Locke’s An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, is not a metaphysical pronouncement upon the liberty-necessity debates but more along the lines of what those like James Harris portray it to be: a description of our experience of freedom of the will. It is also prescriptive since it is descriptive of the right use of the will. My claims are based upon two key pieces of evidence that are responses to William Molyneux’s oft noted critique of the first edition of the chapter: 1) an admission by Locke in his correspondence: at least part of the reason he is attempting to avoid metaphysical pronouncements is that trying to reconcile divine and human agency is too difficult; and 2) the theological message of “Of Power”—the truly free agent is reasonable, and the truly reasonable agent will have her eyes fixed on the afterlife, thus aiming for herself to be a slave and determined, therefore, by her ever-cultivated desire for righteousness and not by her fleshly desires—and his development of it throughout the chapter eludes sectarian categorization by the avoidance of theological issues that are not unrelated to the metaphysical question of human free agency. To frame his chapter otherwise makes him out to be a theological novice or, perhaps, unconcerned with the religious background of his readership.
63. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
John P. Slattery Dangerous Tendencies of Cosmic Theology: The Untold Legacy of Teilhard de Chardin
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Pierre Teilhard de Chardin loved the world, but, theologically and spiritually, he often tried to leave it behind. This essay shows that from the 1920s until his death in 1955, Teilhard de Chardin unequivocally supported racist eugenic practices, praised the possibilities of the Nazi experiments, and looked down upon those who he deemed "imperfect" humans. These ideas explicitly lay the groundwork for Teilhard’s famous cosmological theology, a link which has been largely ignored in Teilhardian research until now. This study concludes that such support requires a reconsideration of how Teilhard is used in twenty-first century theology.
64. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Matthew W. Knotts You Show Me Yours, I’ll Show You Mine: Comparing Paradigms
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The task of this article is to propose an alternative method for adjudicating truth claims between various paradigms. Informed by sources such as Augustine, Aquinas, Heidegger, Gadamer, and Kuhn, I argue for a form of reasoning which aspires to credibility, plausibility, and explanatory capacity, rather than absolute proof. Instead of representing a flight from scientific standards, I argue that such an approach ultimately represents the best hope of safeguarding the essence of science and rationality as such.
65. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Abbas Ahsan A Realist Approach in Analytic Theology and the Islamic Tradition
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I shall argue that the prominent realist methodological approach that is adopted by majority of analytic theologians is inconsistent with the Islamic tradition. I will propose that the realist outlook is constituted of two essential components – metaphysical theological realism and epistemic theological realism – both of which fail to be amenable with the Islamic tradition. The prime reason for this, as I shall demonstrate, is that both metaphysical theological realism and epistemic theological realism divest the Islamic God of absolute transcendence in different ways, impinging on the religion in a manner which ironically defies the purpose of analytic theology. In conclusion, this would establish that the prominent realist position adopted by majority of analytic theologians is inconsistent with the Islamic tradition.
66. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
J. Angelo Corlett Divine Justice and Human Sin
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This paper challenges the claim that the traditional Christian (Augustinian, Thomistic, Anselmian) idea of hell as a form of eternal punishment (damnation and torment) for human sin cannot be made consistent with the idea of proportionate punishment, and it raises concerns with the notion that divine justice requires divine forgiveness and mercy. It argues that divine justice entails or at least permits retribution as the meting out of punishment by God to those who deserve it in proportion to the degree and amount of harm unduly and responsibly caused by sinners to others. For God to fail to punish those who deserve it in proportion to their harmful wrongdoings would imply God’s failure to be both just and omnibenevolent.
67. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Héctor Sevilla Godínez The Being of Nothingness
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The reader will find a proposal of philosophical comprehension of nothingness. The intent of this article is to express in nineteen concrete categories that which can be understood by nothingness in the realm of metaphysics. Among other things: that nothingness is, that there is no manner of directly knowing it, that it contains the world without a will, that it is neither deity nor creator, at the same time that it is un-created, incontingent, atimely, absolute, generator of uncertainty, conditioning, and pre-existing to everything that is; in that sense, nothingness implies movement, is enabling, and is associated to chaos and the cosmos.
68. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Christopher Morgan The Paradox of Thought: A Proof of God’s Existence from the Hard Problem of Consciousness
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This paper uses a paradox inherent in any solution to the Hard Problem of Consciousness to argue for God’s existence. The paper assumes we are “thought machines”, reading the state of a relevant physical medium and then outputting corresponding thoughts. However, the existence of such a thought machine is impossible, since it needs an infinite number of point-representing sensors to map the physical world to conscious thought. This paper shows that these sensors cannot exist, and thus thought cannot come solely from our physical world. The only possible explanation is something outside, argued to be God.
69. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Guy Woodward The Maker of the Song
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This article seeks explore the complex relations between Beauty and the Sublime. The exploration is guided by two very powerful, but very different, thinkers: Swiss Catholic metaphysical theologian Hans Urs von Balthasat and American naturalist metaphysician Robert S. Corrington. Through reflection upon von Balthasar’s themes of Beauty, Splendor and Being and Corrington’s themes of the Sublime and the Encompassing it is hoped implications of the complex relations between Beauty and the Sublime might be evoked and engaged.
70. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
James B. South Editor's Page
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71. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 28 > Issue: 2
Marc Champagne God, Human Memory, and the Certainty of Geometry: An Argument against Descartes
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Descartes holds that the tell-tale sign of a solid proof is that its entailments appear clearly and distinctly. Yet, since there is a limit to what a subject can consciously fathom at any given moment, a mnemonic shortcoming threatens to render complex geometrical reasoning impossible. Thus, what enables us to recall earlier proofs, according to Descartes, is God’s benevolence: He is too good to pull a deceptive switch on us. Accordingly, Descartes concludes that geometry and belief in God must go hand in hand. However, I argue that, while theism adds a layer of psychological reassurance, the mind-independent reality of God would ensure the preservation of past demonstrations for atheists as well.
72. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 28 > Issue: 2
Scott R. Paeth Feeling, Thinking, Doing: Ethics and Religious Self-Consciousness in Kant and Schleiermacher
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This article examines the relationship between Schleiermacher’s conception of religious self-consciousness and morality. It argues that Schleiermacher’s theological approach to morality provides a possible alternative to Kant’s philosophical attempt to ground religious belief in practical reason. Schleiermacher grounds morality in religious faith rather than the other way around. After tracing Kant’s approach to the question of religious faith and ethical thought through its development in the work of Fichte and Schelling, the article considers in more detail Schleiermacher’s approach to this issue.
73. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 28 > Issue: 2
Edwin El-Mahassni Larry Laudan’s Research Traditions with Applications to Understanding the Development of Christian Doctrine
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Hans Küng was the first theologian to systematically apply Thomas Kuhn’s ideas to the study of the Christian faith when he wrote Theology for the Third Millenium. In 1991, along with other theologians, Paradigm Change in Theology was published. Terms like paradigms, anomalies, crisis and revolutions have been shown to correspond to distinct epochs throughout history to characterise Christian thought. However, there are also limitations to how far these analogies can go. These limitations, alongside the work of other philosophers of science, in particular Larry Laudan, are here discussed to aid in understanding the development of Christian doctrine.
74. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 28 > Issue: 2
Ryan G. Duns, SJ Beneath the Shadow of the Cross: A Rahnerian Rejoinder to Jean-Luc Marion
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Building on Peter Fritz’s work, this essay contributes to the dialogue between Jean-Luc Marion and Karl Rahner. Often assumed to be incompatible, I argue that there are sufficient points of contact to merit a consideration of how each conceives the relationship between philosophy and theology. Drawing on Hearer of the Word, my Rahnerian rejoinder challenges Marion to be more explicit about the role faith plays in his phenomenology. Ultimately, their work does not fit readily into philosophy or theology, allowing me to suggest that they are better understood as mystagogical thinkers who draw us more deeply into God’s Infinite Mystery.
75. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 28 > Issue: 2
Gregory C. Lendvay Unprecedented Creativity: An Analysis of the Metaphor of Learning with the Heart
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Learning with the Heart is a process in which images from memory conflate with imagination and sensation to generate transpersonal awareness. Highlights of the occidental understanding of learning with the heart, embedded in poetic images, religious metaphors, ritualistic gestures, and biological insights as explained by Gerald Edelman, provide a background to examine learning with the heart. Henri Corbin’s metaphor of imaginal perception, the conflation of diverse awarenesses held together and valued through the energy of the heart, can be a focus for examining learning with the heart embedded in ordinary experiences such as in the classroom, in meditation, or in conversation. Corbin’s work invites us to understand the status sui generis of the procreative heart. It has evolutionary implications through generating an unprecedented valuation of the immediate conflation of embodied memory, sensation, and imagination.
76. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 28 > Issue: 2
James B. Gould Theological Reflective Equilibrium and the Moral Logic of Partnered Homosexuality
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In this paper I argue two things. First, taking my cue from the process of Rawlsian reflective equilibrium, I outline a theological method in which rational perspectives not grounded in Scripture play a controlling role in interpreting the Bible. Some reason-revelation conflicts should be resolved by taking philosophical or scientific thinking as the correct starting point, and adjusting our understanding of Scripture accordingly. Second, I apply this approach to the dilemma of partnered homosexuality. Moral reasoning clearly permits committed same-sex relationships, and so the Bible must be understood to not forbid them.
77. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 28 > Issue: 2
Jennifer M. Buck Grace in the Theology of Jürgen Moltmann and Karl Rahner
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This article seeks to explore the theology of grace and specifically the nature-grace relationship in the works of theologians Jürgen Moltmann and Karl Rahner. Both attempt to liberate nature and grace from the framework that limits its expanse while still respecting its thought and ontology. Moltmann and Rahner share very similar conclusions on a theology of grace, with differing methodologies and ontological assumptions. Rahner’s ‘economy of grace’ is the means by which God as an infinite being gives the reality of inner, divine, Trinitarian life to humanity through grace. Moltmann attempts to ‘radicalize’ this notion of grace by introducing eschatology and abandoning previous frameworks. Within contemporary theology, Moltmann expands and constructs a truer theology of the mystery of God and of grace. Moltmann successfully expands on Rahner’s conception of grace while still demonstrating the means by which Rahner’s theology still stands.
78. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 28 > Issue: 2
Joshua Farris Bodily-Constituted Persons, Soulish Persons, and the Imago Dei: The Problem from a Definite I
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Lynne Rudder Baker makes a significant contribution to theological anthropology by constructively drawing from her constitutional view of human persons (hereafter CV). In a recent article, “Persons and the Natural Order”, Baker defends CV and argues that it more satisfactorily accounts for the philosophical and theological desiderata. I am especially interested in the theological desiderata given by Baker, which at its core seems to depend upon personal agency. I argue that substance dualism offers a superior accounting for the psychology persons have of themselves as personal agents. In fact, Baker’s CV encounters a significant problem concerning the ability to pick out definite content regarding the ‘I’ that entails other problematic theological ramifications.
79. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 28 > Issue: 2
J. August Higgins Spirit and Truth: Gadamer’s Fusion of Horizons and Contemporary Spirituality Studies
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This article examines Hans-Georg Gadamer’s seminal work Truth and Method and the central notion of the “fusion of horizons” as it relates to several central concerns within the contemporary study of Christian spirituality. In particular, the nature of human experience in general and religious experience in particular play a significant role in Gadamer’s work and spirituality respectively. Ultimately, this article concludes that Gadamer’s fusion of horizons opens up the possibility of integrating the experience of God via the Holy Spirit into a critical hermeneutics of spirituality that is socially-communally oriented within the interpretive community of believers.
80. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 28 > Issue: 2
James B. South Editor's Page
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