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Displaying: 1-9 of 9 documents


1. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
T. Allan Hillman, Tully Borland Leibniz and the Imitation of God: A Criticism of Voluntarism
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The primary goal of this essay is to demonstrate that Leibniz’s objections to theological voluntarism are tightly connected to his overarching metaphysical system; a secondary goal is to show that his objections are not without some merit. Leibniz, it is argued, holds to strong versions of the imago dei doctrine, i.e., creatures are made in the image of God, and imitatio dei doctrine, i.e., creatures ought to imitate God. Consequently, God and creatures must possess similar structures of moral psychology, and must be motivated in similar ways. Yet, Leibniz argues, a thoroughgoing voluntarism would obstruct both doctrines in philosophically unsettling ways, impeding the possibility for creatures to genuinely imitate God.
2. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Tyler Tritten First Philosophy and the Religious: Tillich on Theonomy
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This article responds to Merold Westphal’s assertion that Paul Tillich suffers from “ontological xenophobia.” Westphal 1) subverts Tillich’s Augustinian/Thomistic typology into a Neoplatonist/Augustinian one and 2) critiques Tillich via Levinasian alterity. In response I show that 1) Westphal has misunderstood Tillich’s notion of Augustinianism insofar as he minimizes the role of estrangement in this viewpoint and that 2) Tillich’s notion of personhood and responsibility are anything but incompatible with Levinasian Ethics as First Philosophy. Tillich’s endorsement of theonomy in contradistinction to autonomy and heteronomy overcomes both the arbitrariness of pure autonomy and the tyranny of pure heteronomy.
3. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Angelo Caranfa The Luminous Darkness of Silence in the Poetics of Simone Weil and Georges Rouault
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This essay tries to demonstrate two distinct but complementary visions to a central theme of Christian faith: humanity’s redemption in the crucified Christ. It will attempt to show how the poetics of Simone Weil (1909–1943) and the poetic art of Georges Rouault (1871–1943) embody different understandings of Christian faith. Considering faith from a philosophical approach, Weil detaches the sufferings of Christ from the totality of salvific history. Viewing faith from the artistic approach, Rouault places the crucified Christ in the context of the history of salvation, including Mary and the Church. Though different from one another, these two visions reveal to us a light in the midst of our dark or suffering existence that makes audible or perceptible the silence of God’s love in Christ that is its source.
4. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Niamh Middleton Existentialism and Operative Grace: The Mystical Morality of Karl Rahner
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Karl Rahner believed that orthodox Christology is too often perceived as mythology, irrelevant to the lives of contemporary Christians. As a result, he felt, the role of conversion as the gateway to an authentically Christian morality has been neglected. Influenced by existentialist philosophy and life-stage theories that were popular during his lifetime, Rahner established a basis for a new ethical system that would integrate psychological theory and techniques into his theological existentialism in order to provide a cohesive structure within which individuals can be guided towards conversion. It is the purpose of this article to suggest a theoretical framework for Rahner’s proposed “Existential Ethics” and to make some suggestions for its concretization.
5. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Yossi Nehushtan The Links between Religion and Intolerance
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This paper explores two main arguments. The first argument is that religious persons—because they are religious persons—are likely to be more intolerant than non-religious persons. This argument is supported by decisive empirical evidence. The second argument is that there are meaningful, clear and unique theoretical links between religion, or, more precisely, certain types of religion, and intolerance. It is submitted that the special links between religion and intolerance are the result of seven characteristics of religion which are specified in the paper. Both arguments should encourage us to re-evaluate the proper place that religion should have in the legal and political sphere.
6. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Jasper Doomen Religion’s Appeal
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In this article, it is inquired which reasons are decisive for acting in accordance with divine commands, and whether these can be regarded as moral reasons; the emphasis lies on Christianity. To this effect, the position of God as a—basic—lawgiver is expounded, with special attention to the role His power plays. By means of an account of the grounds given (in the Bible) to obey God, the selfish motives in this respect are brought to light. It is questioned whether any other elements can be discerned, particularly from a meta-ethical perspective.
7. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Simon Beck Can Parables Work?
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While theories about interpreting biblical and other parables have long realised the importance of readers’ responses to the topic, recent results in social psychology concerning systematic self-deception raise unforeseen problems. In this paper I first set out some of the problems these results pose for the authority of fictional thought-experiments in moral philosophy. I then consider the suggestion that biblical parables face the same problems and as a result cannot work as devices for moral or religious instruction in the way that they are usually understood to work. I examine a number of influential theories about interpretation of the parables which might appear to deflect the problems, and argue that none of them are ultimately successful in doing so.
8. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Stefan Lukits Narrativity and the Symbolic Vacuum
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“Narrativity and the Symbolic Vacuum” examines the descriptive and the prescriptive narrativity claim in the context of a claim that there are narratives in the biblical literature that resist both. The descriptive narrativity claim maintains that it is not an option for a person to conceive of their life without narrative coherence. The prescriptive claim holds that narrativity is a necessary condition for a good and successful human life. Phenomenological thought and Aristotelian virtue ethics, expressing a critical stance towards modernity (modernity with its desire for objective, narrative-free criteria for truth), encourage narrativity claims. Biblical theology, despite its pervasive use of narrative strategies, offers a space in which narrativity claims are relativized. It is especially in confrontation with death where human life cannot be narratively managed. That is why it is in particular the cross in the New Testament which defies both descriptive and prescriptive narrativity claims.
9. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
James B. South Editor’s Page
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