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Displaying: 1-20 of 28 documents


1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 28 > Issue: 2
James B. South Editor's Page
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rahner papers
11. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 28 > Issue: 2
Howard Ebert The Social Nature of the Sensus Fidei in the Thought of Karl Rahner
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This paper argues that Rahner’s approach lays the foundation for a serious analysis of the social dynamics at work in the reality of the sensus fidei. Theologically, Rahner’s view of the Church as communal, sacramental, and spirit-filled is dynamic and relational. This view coupled with his acknowledgement of the new social reality of the World Church living in diaspora creates a conceptual space in which a socially informed notion of the sensus fidei can be articulated. Suggestive in nature, Rahner’s appreciation of the significant role of practical theology’s inductive and self-reflective nature provides a method to analyze and express a socially nuanced, theologically grounded understanding of the sensus fidei. This understanding enriches the life of the Church and is a model for the incorporation of the social sciences in theological discourse.
12. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 28 > Issue: 2
Mark F. Fischer The Soteriologies of Karl Rahner and Hans Urs Von Balthasar
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Karl Rahner and Hans Urs von Balthasar differed in their approaches to Christian soteriology, especially in their understandings of redemption and the cross. These differences stem in part from Rahner’s emphasis on the Trinity in history (the economic Trinity) and Balthasar’s focus on the Trinity’s inner life (the immanent Trinity). While Balthasar’s soteriology better reflects the Church’s official descending Christology, Rahner’s ascending Christology (with its view of Jesus as the fullness of God united to human nature) is the more profound.
13. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 28 > Issue: 2
Ashley Logsdon Karl Rahner and Stephen Jay Gould on the Conflict between Faith and Science
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How are religiously-devout scientists and scientifically-minded theologians to address, both professionally and personally, the perceived conflict between their disciplines? This paper brings Stephen Jay Gould’s principle of “Non-Overlapping Magisteria” (NOMA) into dialogue with Karl Rahner’s notion of gnoseological concupiscence in order to elucidate strategies for interdisciplinary dialogue and everyday living amidst chronic “conflict.” NOMA helpfully articulates a pragmatic mindset that is widespread among scientists but is ultimately too simplistic to account for scientists’ daily experiences of tension. In contrast, Rahner’s understanding of gnoseological concupiscence takes seriously both human nature and experience, paving the way for productive interdisciplinary dialogue that is attentive to the “human factor” within each discipline. Furthermore, Rahner provides pastoral guidance for scientists experiencing inner conflict between their professional work and profession of faith. Rahner encourages conflicted scientists to surrender their struggles to divine mystery as part of their asymptotic striving for integration between science and faith.
14. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 28 > Issue: 2
Richard Penaskovic Rahner Papers Editor's Page
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15. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Nathan A. Jacobs On the Metaphysics of God and Creatures in the Eastern Pro-Nicenes
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Amid the Arian dispute, opponents of Arius object to his Christology by arguing that if the Son came into being, then the Son is a creature; he is mutable; he is corruptible; his goodness is non-essential; and he cannot give life to humanity. These charges consistently appear in the writings of Arius’s contemporaries, the councils to follow, and the Eastern Church fathers in the centuries after the dispute. In this essay, I flesh out the metaphysical foundation of Eastern anti-Arian polemics and what this foundation tells us about how the Eastern pro-Nicenes understand the basic metaphysical differences between God and creatures.
16. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Kyle Hubbard Idolatrous Friendship in Augustine’s Confessions
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In Book Four of his Confessions, Augustine recalls his grief at the death of his closest friend. Augustine believes he grieved excessively because he loved his friend as an idol, in the place of God. To illuminate the problems with Augustine’s friendship, I will draw on Jean-Luc Marion’s helpful analyses of the idol and the icon. In doing so I seek to clarify not only Augustine’s position on proper human love in the Confessions, but also suggest a way to understand his infamous uti/frui (use/enjoyment) distinction from On Christian Teaching, a nearly contemporaneous text to the Confessions.
17. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Juan Eduardo Carreño The Living God in the Philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas
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Traditionally divine life has been conceived as an attribute that belongs to God according to his way of acting. This thesis is based on a notion of life as a purely operational perfection and on the place in which Aquinas develops his thought about divine life in the Summa theologiae. Here we contend that these arguments are not entirely conclusive and introduce the idea that life, in its most radical meaning, is an attribute that belongs to God according to his way of being. In our view, this approach is more consistent with Thomas’s doctrine and avoids some common misunderstandings.
18. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Ronald R. Bernier After Aquinas: Restoring Hope to Beauty
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This article centers on the modes of maintaining an equivalence of the moral and the good that lies behind and within Augustine’s and Aquinas’ understandings of beauty. Beauty, in the medieval experience of it, never derived exclusively from sense impression; it was neither purely pleasure in the sensuous nor a wholly intuitive contemplation of the transcendent occurring exclusively in the mind. Rather, beauty was the intelligible form of some higher reality, the quality of things that reflects their origin in the divine. Beauty, then, like meaning itself, could never be fully present in its material sign, as it appears to us only as a promise of presence through embodied absence, neither fully here and now nor entirely elsewhere and beyond. This, ultimately, may be the very purpose of beauty, a hopeful pull toward the perfect and yet never fully knowable God who is beauty.
19. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Liran Shia Gordon Matter, Place, and Being from a Scotistic Point of View: A Bypass the the Psycho-Physical Problem?
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The aim of this paper is to apply the metaphysics of John Duns Scotus in constructing a new conception of matter which does not stand in opposition to the mental realm, but is rather composed of both physical and mental elements. The paper is divided into four parts. Section one addresses Scotus’ claim that matter is intelligible and actual in itself. Section two aims to show that matter can be seen as a deprived thinking being. Section three analyzes Scotus’ conception of place. The final section brings together the conclusions of the three preceding parts to confront the Cartesian psycho-physical problem anew and to suggest a viable solution.
20. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Toan Do A Plea for the Novum Instrumentum: Erasmus and His Struggle for a New Translation
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In the wake of the humanism in the early sixteenth century, Erasmus of Rotterdam was often taxed with the “sin of journalism” as having little to contribute to the then--current obsolete Latinism. Despite much of the false accusation against his scholarship and erudition, one of Erasmus’s inaugural works, whose impact reverberates to this day, was the Novum Instrumentum (1516). Many of Erasmus’s contemporaries misunderstood this “new” Latin edition to be just “another” Greek edition of the New Testament. This article seeks to explore the background of Erasmus’s desire and struggle which led to the composition and publication of this Novum Instrumentum, on the one hand, and caused much confusion among his contemporaries, on the other.