Forum Philosophicum

Volume 12, Issue 1, Spring 2007

Alexander J.B. Hampton
Pages 57-70

The Conquest of Mythos by Logos
Countering Religion without Faith in Irenaeus, Coleridge and Gadamer

Irenaeus, Coleridge and Gadamer all wrote about religion in distinct historical periods, however the work that each produced reflects the anthropological condition of the middle position. Furthermore, each thinker provides an opportunity for self-reflection about the motivations of faith without requiring the individual to abandon their religious belief in order to do so. In this manner they present a productive altemative to the required external views of the social sciences. The individual's position in mid-creation, his moral freedom and his historical contingence all require the acceptance, commitment and trust of faith. Gnosticism, Empiricist thought and the desire to overcome historical contingency all reveal intellectual impatience in riposte to this condition. This intellectual impatience seeks the absolute without the need for faith. For Irenaeus, Coleridge and Gadamer such absolute, logocentric, complete systems end up alienating man from the reality of the incomplete condition that permeates his existence and the faith-requiring my-thos that ultimate realities necessitate in order to be communicated.