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Displaying: 1-20 of 27 documents


1. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
David Efird, David Worsley What an Apophaticist Can Know: Divine Ineffability and the Beatific Vision
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For an apophatic theologian, the doctrines of divine ineffability and of the beatific vision seem, on first glance, to contradict each other. If God is beyond knowledge (as we are taught in the doctrine of divine ineffability) how can we come to know Him, fully and completely (as we are taught in the doctrine of the beatific vision)? To resolve this problem, we argue that, if there are at least two qualitatively different kinds of knowledge, namely, propositional knowledge and knowledge of persons, then there are at least two qualitatively different kinds of ineffability, namely, propositional ineffability and what we will call personal ineffability. By postulating that God is propositionally ineffable but personally effable, we argue that the contradictory doctrines of divine ineffability and of the beatific vision can be reconciled. Thus, the apophatic theologian can know nothing God, but they can still come to God, fully and completely.
2. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Liran Shia Gordon Rethinking Intuitive Cognition: Duns Scotus and the Possibility of the Autonomy of Human Thought
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This study will examine the ontological dependency between the thinking act of the intellect and the intelligibility of the objects of thought. Whereas the intellectual tradition prior to Duns Scotus grounds the formation of the objects of thought and our ability to understand them with certainty in different forms of participation in the divine intellect, Scotus shows that the intelligibility of the objects of thought is internal to them alone and is not dependent on participation.
3. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Jonathan Head Anne Conway on Time, the Trinity, and Eschatology
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This paper considers the conception of the Triune God, soteriology and eschatology in Anne Conway’s metaphysics. After outlining some of the key features of her thought, including her account of a timeless God who is nevertheless intimately present in creation, I will argue that her conception of the Trinity offers a distinctive role for Christ and the Holy Spirit to play in her philosophical system. I also propose an interpretation of Conway’s eschatology, in which time is understood as grounded in a never-ending soteriological process of the overall movement of creatures towards perfection and a state of spirituality.
4. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Bernd Irlenborn Relativism and Christian Truth Claims
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Most philosophers and theologians would consider atheism as the main opponent of contemporary religious belief. In this paper, I dare to question this view. Relativism might be a far more challenging opponent of Christian truth claims. In the first section, I shall outline two types of relativism which might be more subversive of religious belief than its atheistic denial: ‘academic truth relativism’ and ‘quotidian truth relativism.’ The second section deals with academic truth relativism. The third section discusses quotidian truth relativism. A short conclusion is offered in the fourth section.
5. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Simon Maria Kopf Karl Rahner on Science and Theology
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This article addresses the question of how Karl Rahner conceives of the relationship between theology and the sciences. I argue that there is a significant development in Rahner’s conceptualisation of this relationship, and draw attention to the apparent collapse of Rahner’s concrete attempt to integrate the sciences into his theology. I point out considerable alterations in the role philosophy and theology plays in this respect. My thesis is that Rahner’s shifts in his general conception of the relationship between theology and the sciences are fundamentally theological in nature. These shifts, I claim, are rooted in the apparent loss of the mediating function of philosophy and reflect Rahner’s increasing awareness of the situation of pluralism.
6. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Bradford McCall Causation, Vitalism, and Hume
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Causation has troubled philosophers since the time of Aristotle, and they have sought to clarify the concept of causation because of its implications for other philosophical issues. The most radical change in the meaning of “cause” occurred during the late seventeenth, in which there emerged a strong tendency to understand causal relations as instantiations of deterministic laws. In this essay, I note how early modern philosophers, eminently apparent in Hume, reacted to the notion of vitalism and posited a conception of causation in which it and determinism became virtually equivalent, which thereby denied any sort of vitalistic impulse within matter.
7. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Daniel Shannon Hegel on Christianity in the Phenomenology of Spirit
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There has been significant disagreement about Hegel’s view of Christianity in the “Revealed Religion” section of the Phenomenology of Spirit. This paper attempts to show that his view encompasses the breath of the Christian experience that incorporates both orthodox and heretical teachings. It covers three doctrines: the Trinity, which features Sabellian modalism; Creation, which incorporates both Neo-Platonism and Christian Gnosticism; the Incarnation, which shows a conceptual conflict in how the Son is portrayed as both the servant of faith and the naturalistic lord of the world.
8. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Michael Vater Ultimate Concern and Finitude: Schelling’s Philosophy of Religion and Paul Tillich’s Systematic Theology
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This paper explores Paul Tillich’s use of the Friedrich Schelling’s philosophy in his explorations of the relevance of historical forms of Christian belief to contemporary culture, where human experience is marked by anxiety and guilt, and where the search for ultimate meanings seems to dead-end in meaninglessness. For Tillich as for Schelling, religion points to metaphysics. The only literal or nonsymbolic truth about God is that God is the affirmation of being over against the possibility of nonbeing, a divine Yes that is an overcoming of a prior No or self-inclusion. The ambiguity of existence as current human beings experience it is itself religious experience.
9. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Bernard J. Verkamp Thinking about the Laws of Nature
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Interdisciplinary theorizing about the laws of nature has given rise to many questions about the respective roles scientists, philosophers, and theologians are expected to play in any such dialogue. This paper focuses primarily on how the theological community itself might respond to such questions. In the light of an approach advocated by Karl Rahner, an argument is made that neither the theological credentials of the scientist proposing an hypothesis, nor the scientific credentials of the theologian reflecting upon it, should have any decisive bearing on the evaluation of either the scientific hypothesis or the theological reflection on it.
10. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Eric Yang Wisdom, Risk-Taking, and Understanding
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With a few exceptions, much of epistemology in the last century has been dominated by discussions centered on knowledge, and in particular propositional knowledge (along with associated concepts such as justification, the reliability of cognitive processes, etc.). Recently, attention has been given to other cognitive states such as understanding and wisdom, due in some part to the resurgence of theorizing about intellectual virtues. As with typical epistemic concepts such as justification and knowledge, offering an analysis of wisdom has been difficult. In this paper, I critique a recent attempt to analyze wisdom as risk-taking, and after gleaning from the insights of Thomas Aquinas, I defend a particular version of the wisdom-as-understanding approach.
11. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
James B. South Editor's Page
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rahner papers
12. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Matthew Petrusek Making the Fundamental Option Fully Free: How Human Capabilities Help Clarify Rahner’s Conception of Justice
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In his Theological Investigations article, “The Dignity and Freedom of Man,” Karl Rahner writes, “The personality of [the human] . . . requires of necessity a certain space for realizing itself.” What defines this “space” and how does it relate to Rahner’s understanding of justice? This article addresses this question by placing Rahner’s under-developed conception of justice, particularly as it relates to the fundamental option, in constructive dialogue with the language of human capabilities of Martha Nussbaum. Capabilities provide a moral framework for specifying the concrete meaning of the “space” necessary for one to freely say “yes” to God and neighbor, which gives greater depth and specificity to Rahner’s conception of justice. Both Rahner and Nussbaum recognize freedom as foundational for individual flourishing. The article concludes by recognizing how Rahner’s theology can also enrich Nussbaum’s conception of justice, particularly in relation to the question of moral motivation.
13. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Jerry Farmer Dignitatis Humanae and the Pneumatology of K. Rahner
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The Theology of Karl Rahner both preceded and followed the Second Vatican Council’s Dignitatis humanae, the Declaration on Religious Freedom. In fact, Rahner would continue to carry on his theological work for almost another twenty years after the publication of that Declaration. A new appreciation and ongoing understanding of his theology, drawing especially from his pneumatology, offers us today an opportunity to take a fresh look at Dignitatis humanae, first by recognizing its significant achievements, but then also seeing how we have moved forward beyond it. The United States Supreme Court Judicial Decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, which addresses the issue of same-sex marriage, is presented as an example of a pressing ecclesial and social question of the day in relation to Dignitatis humanae and the pneumatology of Karl Rahner.
14. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Judith Wolfe, Gesa Thiessen, Robert Masson, Mark Fischer, Peter Joseph Fritz Review Symposium: Four Perspectives on Karl Rahner's Theological Aesthetics, by Peter Joseph Fritz, followed by a Response from the Author
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15. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Richard Penaskovic Rahner Papers Editor's Page
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16. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Erin Stackle Aristotle's Phronimos Should Also Turn the Other Cheek
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Preliminary assessment of Aristotle’s treatment of justice suggests that he would consider unjust Jesus’s injunction to turn your other cheek to one who has unjustly struck you. Further consideration, however, shows that obeying such an injunction would qualify, even by Aristotle’s criteria, as a more just response than reciprocating the blow. Turning one’s cheek provides the assailant an opportunity to make a choice that could improve his character, which improvement is crucial to the political good that is the primary concern of justice in the full sense. Remaining concerns about rectification are obviated by considering how the megalopsukhos navigates honor.
17. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Jeffrey A. Allen Ignatius’s Exercises, Descartes’s Meditations, and Lonergan’s Insight
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Both René Descartes and Bernard Lonergan were educated at Jesuit schools in their youth, and both had exposure—the former perhaps indirectly, the latter directly—to Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises. Several scholars have outlined parallels between Descartes’s Meditations on First Philosophy and the Exercises. This article reviews those parallels, and then uses them as guides for exploring traces of the Meditations in Lonergan’s Insight: A Study of Human Understanding.
18. 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.
19. 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.
20. 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.