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1. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
Bernard Cooke History as Revelation
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In this article, a sequel to “Prophetic Experience as Revelation,” I argue that history is the symbolic agency through which revelation occurs. Four issues are central to this claim: the action of God in history, the notion of universal history as revelation, the concept of Christian history as revelation, and the function of history as a symbol in the process of revelation itself.
2. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
Tiina Allik Narrative Approaches to Human Personhood: Agency, Grace, and Innocent Suffering
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The essay argues that narrative approaches to human personhood which conceptualize the goal of human personhood in terms of the fulfillment of a capacity for self-constitution by means of deliberate choices tend to make inordinate and inhuman claims for human agency. The narrative approaches of the psychoanalyst and psychoanalytic theorist, Roy Schafter, and of the theologian and ethicist, Stanley Hauerwas, illustrate this. Both thinkers implicitly deny the permanent vulnerability of human agency in the area of the appropriation of narratives. In the case of Hauerwas, this also implies a denial of theneed for God’s grace in the area of the appropriation of narratives. The work of the philosopher, Paul Ricoeur, serves as a contrast to Schafer and Hauerwas and demonstrates that a narrative approach to human persons does not need to make inordinate claims for an autonomous human capacity for self-constituion. The last part of the essay shows how the rejection of the need for God’s grace in the area of the appropriation of narratives is connected to a rejection of the idea of innocent suffering.
3. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
Hendrik Hart Kai Nielsen’s Philosophy & Atheism
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Kai Nielsen’s recent book Philosophy and Atheism is discussed here. The main point is that Nielsen’s arguments against Christianity can be turned against his own rationalist atheism with similar results, namely that the position seems incoherent from its own point of view. Christianity is unempirical and irrational by certain arguments, but the position assumed underneath those arguments does not survive treatment by those same arguments. Nielsen’s dependence on arguments that undermine the position assumed in these arguments should make him open to the suggestion that these arguments may not be relevant to the assessment of the validity of a religious position.
4. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
George H. Tavard Justification: The Problem of the Twentieth Century
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Developments among Lutherans and Catholics since the Reformation have had positive as well as negative effects, as secularism has offered the same challenge to both. In their answers to this challenge, both have renovated their reading of the Scriptures and they have taken a new look at their specific traditions. But Catholic spirituality has accented aspects of anthropology and of ecclesiology which Lutherans find particularly hazardous. The ecumenical agreements arrived at over the last twenty years, on baptism, eucharist, ministry, and the Petrine office, have led to a recent agreement on justification. This has overcome in principle the dilemma of the 16th century. It remains to draw its implications for the piety of the faithful as well as for the Church’s life and theology in general. This is the second in a two-part study of justification, the earlier part of which was published in Vol. 1#3.
5. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
Carol Caraway Romantic Love: Neither Sexist Nor Heterosexist
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Feminists and gay liberationists condemn romantic love as an inherently sexist and heterosexist institution which requires sexist idealizations and heterosexual desire. I argue that although romantic love in contemporary Western societies often includes sexist idealizations and heterosexual desire, those elements are not necessary constituents of the concept of romantic love. The crucial elements in romantic love are concern, admiration, the desire for reciprocation, and the passion for union, none of which require either sexist idealizations or heterosexual sexual desire.
6. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
Dana E. Bushnell Love Without Sex: A Commentary on Caraway
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This commentary argues that Caraway’s analysis of romantic love is incomplete, and that the concept of exclusivity may be in basic conflict with other components of her analysis.
7. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
Alan Soble The Unity of Romantic Love
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Romantic love is analyzed as including concern, admiration, the desire for reciprocity, exclusivity, and the passion for union. I argue that the passion for union is its central element. An analysis of “x admires y” which recognizes the intentionality of admiration is used to explain how romantic love practices turn out to be sexist . The analysis also shows that idealization is a special case of admiration, and is therefore not an essential part of romantic love.
8. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
Andrew Tallon Editor’s Page
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9. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
David McLellan The Marxist Critique of Religion and the Concept of Alienation
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In the following pages I distinguish three types of Marxism and try to determine which offers the best prospects for dialogue with Christian believers. The first, based on the ontological theses of dialectical materialism, dismisses religion as simply false. The second, reading Marxism as a simple science of society, claims to be value neutral and, as such, indifferent with regard to religion. The third, of neo-Hegelian provenance, addresses itself to many of the questions posed by progressive Christians. Although no ultimate compatibility between Christianity and Marxism is envisaged, the bulk of the article argues for this third interpretation of Marxism as (a) being more emancipatory in itself and (b) permitting a more fruitful dialogue with Christianity - which dialogue is seen as desirable in the face of a reactionary politics which claims support in the Judaeo-Christian tradition.
10. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
Bernard Cooke Prophetic Experience as Revelation
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To attempt in two short articles to provide an adequate review of present-day reflection about divine revelation to humans is folly; in addition to suggest and justify a particular understanding of revelation borders on the impossible. What I propose to do is something much more limited: within the content of contemporary discussion about revelation to examine only two critical and, I hope, illumining instances - namely, the revelation of the divine that occurs in prophetic experience (which I will deal with here) and (in the sequel) human history as the symbolic agency through which revelation occurs.
11. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
Daniel Liderbach The Eucharistic Symbols of the Presence of the Lord
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The forms of bread and wine can be understood to be amogs a series of symbols representing the presence of the Lord. The object of the celebration is this presence, not the symbols. This can be observed in the history of the Christian tradition.
12. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
Michael Downey A Costly Loss of Heart: The Scholastic Notion of Voluntas Ut Natura
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In using the term “heart” to describe that which is constitutive of human personhood, Jean Vanier gives evidence that he views the person largely as affective, open to attraction, to be acted upon by another and drawn to communion. This is not to suggest that the heart is irrational or anti-intellectual, or to suggest that Vanier’s vision of the human person is so. Rather it is to suggest that, for Vanier, all that is known and decided is to be shaped by the affective basis within the human person which needs to be touched by the Spirit. Maintaining the importance of intellect and reason, especially as these bear upon the social order, Vanier’s concern is with the core or ground of the human person which is antecedent to intellectual activity or rational discourse, and which, when touched by the presence of the Spirit, motivates one to the activity of the beatitudes. Those who respond to this action of the Spirit, and act from the heart when moved by God to compassion, become signs of God’s love, healing, tenderness and compassion.
13. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
Sylvain Zac Life in the Philosophy of Spinoza
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The notion of life is here presented as a major theme which permeates all of Spinoza’s writings, from the earliest work to the mature statement of his philosophy in the Ethics. Some of the implications of this concept are here outlined, and a number of possible objections to my dynamic interpretation of the concept of life are also explicitated and answered. This artide is a translation of the essay, “Sur une idée directrice de la philosophie de Spinoza,” from Sylvain Zac, Etudes spinozistes, ©1985, Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin.
14. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
George H. Tavard Justification: The Dilemma of the Sixteenth Century
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This article and its sequel illustrate the thesis that oblivion of the doctrine of justification and liturgical-eucharistic decadence went together in the middle ages. The ensuing contradictions led directly to the Reformation. Luther recovered the doctrine of justification as he tried to answer the question, how do sinners become just in God’s eyes? But his liturgical reforms were inspired by a medieval theology which made it impossible for him to restore the patristic insight into liturgy and the eucharistic mystery. The council of Trent went a long way toward meeting Luther on justification, but did not attempt to do so in its liturgical reforms, which established the framework for the Counter-Reformation. Thus Catholic and Lutheran differences are based on misunderstandings no less than on different doctrinal stresses.
15. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
Andrew Tallon Editor’s Page
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16. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Avery Dulles Community of Disciples as a Model of Church
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Models of the Church (published 1974) still seems adequate as an overview of the dominant types of ecclesiology in our day. It leaves open the question whether a single model could be found to harmonize the differences among the five described. To this end the author later proposed “community of disciples.” Well grounded in the Gospels, this model relies also on the post-Easter concept of discipleship as inclusive of the whole Christian life. Christian catechesis, ministry, and sacraments can profitably be understood as means of fostering discipleship, which also demands missionary activity for its completion. The discipleship model is appropriate in an age of dechristianization, when the Church must necessarily assume the form of a contrast society. This model, however, needs to be appraised in the light of the other five, which in some ways supplement and correct it.
17. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Monika K. Hellwig Actual and Possible Convergences in Christian and Marxist Projections of Human Fulfillment
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Christian hopes for salvation and redemption, and Marxist promises of emancipation and liberation have had and do have today much to do with each other. Historically they have grown up in dialogue with one another and today they address each other more than ever. Mutual condemnations get us nowhere. This article tries to identify areas of common intention and cooperation, without ignoring real differences, and offers a theological reflection that suggests an alliance with the critical elements within Marxist circles that speak for humanism and the exercise of freedom in the present.
18. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Sholomo Avineri The Paradox of Civil Society in the Structure of Hegel’s Views of Sittlichkeit
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The way in which much of the conventional interpretation has tried to describe the structure of Hegel’s civil society is inaccurate and one-dimensional. To Hegel civil society is not just the economic marketplace, where every individual tries to maximize his or her enlightened self-interest: side by side with the elements of universal strife and unending clash which are of the nature of civil society, there is another element which strongly limits and inhibits self-interest and transcendswhat would otherwise be a universal atomism into a sphere of solidarity and mutuality. The principle of civil society itself is dual. Hegel’s communitas grows organically within civil society itself, and is not imposed on it from outside by the state.
19. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Kenneth L. Schmitz Truths of Nature, Truths of Culture, Truths of Faith
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Three distinct objects of attention - nature, culture, and God - call for the recognition of three distinct modes of truth. A single code of rational discourse - the preferred one today is that of the empirio-mathematical study of nature - is not enough to preserve the diversity of meanings called for by the investigation of culture and religion. In particular, the human subject stands in relation to the three objects of enquiry respectively as “door-keeper,” “participant,” and “respondent.” Recognition of the analogous unity of rational discourse is prelude to releasing the spheres of culture and religion from subjection to the epistemology that functions in the natural sciences and frees them for investigation on their own terms.
20. Philosophy and Theology: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Andrew Tallon Editor’s Page
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