Already a subscriber? - Login here
Not yet a subscriber? - Subscribe here

Browse by:

Displaying: 1-20 of 27 documents

1. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Paul S. MacDonald Philosophical Conversion
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Although the concept of conversion is usually encountered in religious contexts, the main contention of this paper is that there is a genuine significance in the concept of philosophical conversion. The scene is set by considering the New Testament meaning of epistrepho, “to turn away from,” and the Platonic use of the term in the Republic. The underlying concept here is that one must lose the old world in order to gain it anew. Through the process of conversion, both the person and his world are transformed: but where the religious believer accepts the experience as beyond his ability to account for its power, the philosopher must always be able to account for the grounds and results of this transformation. There are some historical instances of philosophers who have gone through such a process and demand it of their readers. The two principal case studies of this are Descartes’ enterprise for a universal science and Husserl’s project in the foundation of pure phenomenology. Detailed attention is paid to a number of key texts in order to elucidate the rhetorical imagery and argumentative ‘moments’ in this process.
2. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Thomas Krettek The Moral Argument For The Non-Existence Of God
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
I highlight a dimension of the debate about the problem of evil and the existence of God that has loomed on the periphery and consider how, if at all, a specific consideration of that dimension can move the debate forward. My contention is that there is specific version of moral argument for the non-existence of God that is implicit in the problem of evil. This argument is a strategic but suppressed premise that strengthens or undermines the persuasiveness of arguments for or against the existence of God. This argument needs to be thematized if the debate between theism and atheism is to move forward.
3. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
J. P. Moreland Naturalism and Libertarian Agency
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
While most philosophers agree that libertarian agency and naturalism are incompatible, few attempts have been offered to spell out in some detail just why this is the case. My purpose in this article is to fill this gap in the literature by expanding on and clarifying the connection between naturalism as it is widely understood today and the rejection of libertarian agency. To accomplish this end I begin by clarifying different forms of libertarian agency and identity the key philosophical components that constitute libertarian agency per se. Second, three different aspects of contemporary scientific naturalism are analyzed and the relations among them clarified: the naturalist epistemic attitude, etiology, and ontology. This is followed by a presentation of six arguments for the claim that libertarian agency should be rejected by advocates of scientific naturalism. Finally, I criticize a recent attempt by Randolf Clarke to reconcile libertarian agency and scientific naturalism.
4. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Marie Baird Death Camp Survival and the Possibility of Hope: A Dialogue with Karl Rahner
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper will argue that many survivors’ ability to take up their existence hopefully is rooted in the deeply visceral and unintegrable memory of “living the existence of a walking corpse” (Niederland 1968b, 12) that constitutes the ontic basis for their most fundamental presence to self, others, and God. I will show, secondly, that Karl Rahner’s theological formulation of witness as “an act of self transcendence in which the subject reaches up to the unsurpassable and sovereign Mystery which we call God” (TI 13, 155-6) does indeed provide the basis for some survivors’ hopeful decision about and disposal of the self in relation to God to the extent that hope inscribed in the memory of “living the existence of a walking corpse” does become expressed as the “one, unifying ‘outwards from the self’ attitude into God as the absolutely uncontrollable” (TI 10, 250) by sustaining the commitment to witness. However I will also argue, finally, that the unintegrable nature of such memory prevents survivor hope-as-witness to be completely reconciled with the theological sense of witness that Rahner proposes because his vision of witness has not taken adequately into account this unintegrable memory and its long-term effects.
5. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Michael Purcell Grace and the Experience of the Impossible: Blanchot’s “Impossible Relation” as a Prolegomenon to a Theology of Grace
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Karl Rahner distinguishes “the experience of grace” and “the experience of grace as grace.” How is the experience of grace to be understood? How is grace experienced? This article attempts to understand the experience of grace in terms of Maurice Blanchot’s thought of the impossible. “Human life is impossible,” as Simone Weil reflects. Blanchot, particularly through a reflection which echoes that of Levinas, seeks to reverse the relationship between possibility and impossibility. Whereas, for Heidegger, the subject is to be understood in terms of possibility, Blanchot stresses the impossibility of human life which is only rendered possible through an initiative which is prior to the subject. The impossible relation with the other is the context for any possibility the self may have. With regard to grace, we argue its prior necessity, and its experience as impossible. Like suffering and death, the experience of grace is not the possibility of impossibility, but the impossibility of possibility. Maurice Blanchot himself remains relatively unfamiliar, he and his thoughts remaining in themselves inaccessible. Michel Foucault quite simply writes, “so far has he withdrawn into the manifestation of his work, so completely is he, not hidden by his texts, but absent from their existence, that for us he is that thought itself—its real, absolutely distant, shimmering, invisible presence, its inevitable law, its calm, infinite measured strength” (Foucault: Maurice Blanchot: The Thought from the Outside, 19). To a world espoused to philosophies of light and systems of integration, Blanchot’s thought presents itself as a “thought from outside” of any philosophy and any system, and refuses, as Levinas, says, to “see in philosophy the ultimate possibility.”
6. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Lieven Boeve Critical Consciousness in the Postmodern Condition: New Opportunities for Theology?
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In an attempt to clarify our present-day postmodern context and to ascertain the critical consciousness of our time, I study a number of main lines of thought in the work of the postmodernist thinkers Wolfgang Welsch, Jean-François Lyotard and Richard Rorty. Afterwards, I elaborate on the position of Jürgen Habermas in the postmodern debate. In the second section I present a schematic overview of this postmodern panorama, pointing out the main similarities and differences of the theorists under consideration. A critical discussion of and with these authors, in the third section, yields the model of the “open narrative” as a possible form of contemporary critical consciousness. This model will help me to recontextualize the Christian narrative in our postmodern context. In the conclusion I shed some light upon this recontextualization.
7. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Giovanni B. Sala Bernard Lonergan’s Method in Theology: A Theologian Questions His Own Understanding
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Fr. Sala attempts in this article to provide readers and students of Lonergan with a clear, precise, and condensed presentation of his conception of method in theology in today’s context. He does this by sketching the most important stages in the evolution of Lonergan’s thought. The core of this presentation is the analysis of the “human subject in its subjectivity.” Lonergan deals primarily not with the content of theological science but with the operations theologians perform in constructing theology. He endeavors to clarify this subjectivity in all its dimensions. Having given us an analysis of Lonergan’s Verbum articles, Sala goes on to present Lonergan’s Insight under three headings: knowledge, objectivity, and reality. This done, he proceeds to summarize Method in Theology under these headings: the religious dimension of the subject, the structure of theological method, the specific theological principle of a method in theology, and the authentic subject as the foundation for theological reflection.The article is a masterly presentation of a vast area of research and a good introduction to Lonergan’s works.This article appeared in Theologie und Philosophie 63 (1988) 34-59 and was titled: “B. Lonergans Methode der Theologie: Ein Theologe hinterfugt seinen eigenen Verstand.” Von Giovanni B. Sala, S.J.
8. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Ingeborg Berlin Vogelstein Reformation Pamphlets: Expressions of a Society in Search of New Moorings
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
By way of introduction, this paper points out inherent problems in attempting a comprehensive social history of the Reformation, due to the complex dynamics at work in sixteenth century European society.Contemporary pamphlet literature, a resource as yet not intensively explored, reflects in a unique manner the rich variety of the Reformation experience in all walks of life, from both sides of the schism. By examining a representative sampling of such tracts, the essay strives to establish some immediacy to that experience. The nearly 300 pamphlets held by the Ambrose Swasey Library at the Colgate Rochester Divinity School in Rochester, NY, served as source material to help straddle the 500 year gap. The abbreviation ASL is used to identify pamphlets in the text.
9. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Philip J. Rossi Editor’s Page
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
10. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Ignacio Ellacuría, T. Michael McNulty What Is the Point of Philosophy?
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
11. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Avery Dulles The Cognitive Basis of Faith
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This article indicates the light that an epistemology like Newman’s, with its stress on the convergence of probabilities, the experience of conscience, and the presence of grace, can shed on the problem of faith and reason. The longstanding controversy over this problem between evidentialists and fideists has found new echoes in recent disputes between foundationalists and nonfoundationalists. It is necessary to distinguish between different aspects of the approach to faith—-the metaphysical, the historical, the religious, and the theological—-each with its own logic and distinct style of epistemology. Examination of these aspects indicates that neither evidentialism nor fideism, neither foundationalism nor nonfoundationalism, does justice to the complexity of the matter. Faith arises out of a process in which human reason, in a large and comprehensive sense, is involved at every step of the way. Faith is not above or beyond reason, even though it depends for its origin and existence upon the grace of God.
12. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Mark D. Gedney Reasonable Faith and Faithful Reason: The Central Role of Freedom in Hegel’s Philosophy of Religion
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In this paper I have attempted to develop Hegel’s philosophy of religion in light of his critical appropriation of both Kant and Schleiermacher. My purposes for doing so are two-fold. On the one hand, I think that many of the difficulties in interpreting Hegel’s philosophy of religion stem from a failure to see his position as a response to both of these key figures. On the other hand, I wished to give emphasis to the fact that Hegel’s philosophy of religion can only be understood as a continution of Kant’s and Schleiermacher’s attempts to reinterpret religion in the light of the strong notion of subjective freedom arising out of the Enlightenment. In short, my position is that Hegel’s conception of religion presents a clearer and more coherent account of God’s aseity or transcendence and of his relation to the world in general and humanity within the limits imposed by the Enlightenment understanding of human subjectivity and freedom.
13. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
John K. Downey I. A Conversation on The Wisdom of Religious Commitment by Terrence W. Tilley
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Tilley argues that since religions are not summaries of bloodless beliefs but embodied communal practices, the heuristic for the justification of beliefs must shift. Although some of the lines of this shift to practical wisdom remain vague, Tilley has taken philosophy of religion in an excellent direction. Attention to these questions would sharpen his sketch: Why abandon linguistic philosophy with no attention to the help one might receive from the embodied linguistic practice of the later Wittgenstein? What grounds the wisdom we seek to practice? Can community outsiders argue with insiders? Do these embodied philosophical arguments differ from theological arguments?
14. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Patricia A. Johnson II. A Practical Philosophy of Religion: A Response to Terrence Tilley’s The Wisdom of Religious Commitment
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
While sympathetic to Tilley’s call for a practical philosophy of religion, I raise three questions: Does Tilley think that one can do philosophy of religion from a position other than that of a committed believer? Does Tilley’s description of the ordinary believer disburden most people from doubt and answerability? Does Tilley’s description of the role of the theologian place too much trust in the theologian? I suggest that some insights from contemporary phenomenology and hermeneutics would lead to a clearer understanding of the role that philosophy of religion can play in the development of a practical philosophy of religion.
15. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Anthony J. Godzieba III. God and Self in Terrence Tilley’s, The Wisdom of Religious Commitment
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Tilley has provided a novel retrieval of the Pascalian wager within a postmodern context. He is to be especially commended for his critique of mainstream philosophy of religion, his approach to religious traditions as a set of practices, and his insistence that religious commitment is an act of phronesis within a social-traditional context. Two issues remain problematic, however, in Tilley’s treatment of religious commitment: 1. His conception of religion pays inadequate attention to the establishment of the plausibility of the transcendent referent of religious commitment; 2.In his account there is a fundamental ambiguity regarding the role of the individual and an unresolved tension between the self and the social context.
16. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Terrence W. Tilley IV. A Response to My Critics
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
First, in response to Johnson, I note that my rejection of the “discourse practice” of philosophy of religion does not have a primarily pedagogical concern; instead, it is a concern with a discipline which has shaped itself to work consistently on the ground staked out by skeptics. Second, in response to questions raised by all three critics, while I do not think that only committed religious believers can contribute to philosophy of religion I do think that the philosopher’s commitments play a role in her or his engaging in the practice of doing philosophy of religion. Third, in response to Johnson and Godzieba, I indicate why I think the “ordinary believer,” as described, can be called prudent. Fourth, I note that we do not need to add a hermeneutics of suspicion to the practical philosophy of religion as I have described it because it is already there in practice for most believers. Finally, I note that the quest for wisdom is not abstract but is embodied and shared.
17. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Michael Levine Bayesian Analyses of Hume’s Argument Concerning Miracles
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Bayesian analyses are prominent among recent and allegedly novel interpretations of Hume’s argument against the justified belief in miracles. However, since there is no consensus on just what Hume’s argument is any Bayesian analysis will beg crucial issues of interpretation. Apart from independent philosophical arguments—arguments that would undermine the relevance of a Bayesian analysis to the question of the credibility of reports of the miraculous—no such analysis can, in principle, prove that no testimony can (or cannot) establish the credibility of a miracle. Bayesian analyses of Hume’s argument are not analyses of Hume’s argument at all—but superfluous representations of it.
18. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Philip Rossi Editor’s Page
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
the annual rahner papers
19. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Robert Masson Introducing the Annual Rahner Papers
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
20. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Benedict M. Ashley Fundamental Option and/or Commitment to Ultimate End
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The Post-Vatican revision of moral theology aimed to reduce legalism and take better account of the subjective factors in moral decision. Karl Rahner contributed to this effort by his “formal existential ethics” which featured a replacement of the classical “ultimate end” by the concept of the “fundamental ultimate option” as an exercise of transcendental freedom through concrete categorical acts. Diverse interpretations of this principle resulted in the system of “proportionalism” and the thesis of a category of “serious” sins intermediate between mortal and venial has been rejected in Veritatis splendor. Rahner himself seems to have held neither of these positions. The wide acceptance of the “fundamental option” (often with little acquaintance with its philosophical basis) is probably due to its supposed pastoral advantages. I argue that a proper application of the classical notions of ultimate end and the distinction between objective and subjective morality are pastorally more practical and avoids the many philosophical obscurities connected with the idealism of transcendental Thomism.