John Rawls never published anything about his own religious beliefs, but after his death two texts were discovered which shed extraordinary light on the subject. A Brief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and Faith is Rawls's undergraduate senior thesis, submitted in December 1942, just before he entered the army. The present volume includes these two texts, together with an Introduction by Joshua Cohen and Thomas Nagel, which discusses their relation to Rawls's published work, and an essay by Robert Merrihew Adams, which places the thesis in its theological context.
“If someone were to ask,‘Where is God?’ how would you respond?”
Joseph A. Bracken, SJ, uses this question as a springboard to introduce the process-relational metaphysics of Alfred North Whitehead and other process theologians as he tries to reconcile the sometimes-conflicting views of traditional Christian doctrines and the modern scientific world. To present this material in an accessible manner to a wider audience, Bracken reworks Whitehead’s “model” of the God-world relationship, showing that God is involved in an ongoing, ever-changing relationship with humans and other . He also discusses the work of other contemporary theologians to help Christians come to terms with their role in our multi-dimensional pluralistic society.
Bracken examines divine and human creativity, the collective power of good and evil, divine providence and human freedom, prayer, altruism, and the basic question, “What is truth?” He shows how Whitehead&rsqio;s process thought approach to these issues can in fact "harmonize" traditional Christian beliefs and contemporary culture, benefiting both faith and reason.
Understanding the God-world relationship subtly influences our attitude toward ourselves, toward other human beings, and indeed toward all of God’s creatures, says Bracken. His revision of Whitehead's metaphysical vision in terms of a cosmic community shows how modern views of the world and God can be accepted and kept in balance with the traditional biblical views found in the Christian faith and how this balance can help Christians make better choices in a world shaped both by contemporary natural science and by traditional Christian spirituality.
“If we truly believe that in God we live and move and have our being and that as a result we share with the divine persons in a deeply communitarian way of life together with all of God’s creatures, we may be more readily inclined to make the periodic sacrifice of personal self-interest so as to pursue the higher good of sustained life in community. In the end, it is simply a matter of seeing the ‘bigger picture,’ realizing what life is ultimately all about.”
Recent critical theory is curiously preoccupied with the metaphors and ideas of early Christianity, especially the religion of Paul. The haunting of secular thought by the very religion it seeks to overcome may seem surprising at first, but Ward Blanton argues that this recent return by theorists to the resources of early Christianity has precedent in modern and ostensibly secularizing philosophy, from Kant to Heidegger.
Displacing Christian Origins traces the current critical engagement of Agamben, Derrida, and Žižek, among others, back into nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century philosophers of early Christianity. By comparing these crucial moments in the modern history of philosophy with exemplars of modern biblical scholarship—David Friedrich Strauss, Adolf Deissmann, and Albert Schweitzer—Blanton offers a new way for critical theory to construe the relationship between the modern past and the biblical traditions to which we seem to be drawn once again.
An innovative contribution to the intellectual history of biblical exegesis, Displacing Christian Origins will promote informed and fruitful debate between religion and philosophy.
This title, which at first sight seems curious, shows Pieper’s philosophical work as rooted in the basics. He takes his inspiration from Plato – and his Socrates – and Thomas Aquinas. With them, he is interested in philosophy as pure theory, the theoretical being precisely the non-practical. The philosophizer wants to know what all existence is fundamentally about, what “reality” “really” means. With Plato, Pieper eschews the use of language to convince an audience of anything which is not the truth. If Plato was opposed to the sophists – amongst them the politicians –, Pieper is likewise opposed to discourse that leads to the “use” of philosophy to bolster a totalitarian regime or any political or economic system.
A fundamental issue for Pieper is “createdness.” He sees this as the fundamental truth of our being – all being – and the fundamental virtue we can practise is the striving to live according to our perception of real truth in any given situation.
The strength and attraction of Pieper’s writing is its direct and intuitive character which is independent of abstract systematization. He advocates staying in touch with the “real” as we experience it deep within ourselves. Openness to the totality of being – in no matter what context being reveals itself – and the affirmation of all that is founded in this totality are central pillars of all his thinking. Given the “simplicity” of this stance, it is no surprise that much of it is communicated – and successfully – through his gift for illustration by anecdote. Like Plato, this philosopher is a story-teller and, like him, very readable.
In this long-awaited work, Ray L. Hart offers a radical speculative theology that profoundly challenges classical understandings of the divine. God Being Nothing contests the conclusions of numerous orthodoxies through a probing question: How can thinking of God reach closure when the subjects of creation are themselves unfinished, when God’s self-revelation in history is ongoing, when the active manifestation of God is still occurring?
Drawing on a lifetime of reading in philosophy and religious thought, Hart unfolds a vision of God perpetually in process: an unfinished God being self-created from nothingness. Breaking away from the traditional focus on divine persons, Hart reimagines the Trinity in terms of theogony, cosmogony, and anthropogony in order to reveal an ever-emerging Godhead who encompasses all of temporal creation and, within it, human existence. The book’s ultimate implication is that Being and Nonbeing mutually participate in an ongoing process of divine coming-to-birth and dying that implicates all things, existent and nonexistent, temporal and eternal. God’s continual generation from nothing manifests the full actualization of freedom: the freedom to create ex nihilo.
Jean-Luc Marion advances a controversial argument for a God free of all categories of Being. Taking a characteristically postmodern stance, Marion challenges a fundamental premise of both metaphysics and neo-Thomist theology: that God, before all else, must be. Rather, he locates a "God without Being" in the realm of agape, of Christian charity or love.
This volume, the first translation into English of the work of this leading Catholic philosopher, offers a contemporary perspective on the nature of God.
"An immensely thoughtful book. . . . It promises a rich harvest. Marion's highly original treatment of the idol and the icon, the Eucharist, boredom and vanity, conversion and prayer takes theological and philosophical discussions to a new level."—Norman Wirzba, Christian Century
Jean-Luc Marion is one of the world’s foremost philosophers of religion as well as one of the leading Catholic thinkers of modern times. In God Without Being, Marion challenges a fundamental premise of traditional philosophy, theology, and metaphysics: that God, before all else, must be. Taking a characteristically postmodern stance and engaging in passionate dialogue with Heidegger, he locates a “God without Being” in the realm of agape, or Christian charity and love. If God is love, Marion contends, then God loves before he actually is.
First translated into English in 1991, God Without Being continues to be a key book for discussions of the nature of God. This second edition contains a new preface by Marion as well as his 2003 essay on Thomas Aquinas. Offering a controversial, contemporary perspective, God Without Being will remain essential reading for scholars and students of philosophy and religion.
“Daring and profound. . . . In matters most central to his thesis, [Marion]’s control is admirable, and his attunement to the nuances of other major postmodern thinkers is impressive.”—Theological Studies
How can one think and name an inconceivable and ineffable God? Christian mystics have approached the problem by speaking of God using "negative" language—devices such as grammatical negation and the rhetoric of "darkness" or "unknowing"—and their efforts have fascinated contemporary scholars. In this strikingly original work, Thomas A. Carlson reinterprets premodern approaches to God's ineffability and postmodern approaches to the mystery of the human subject in light of one another. The recent interest in mystical theological traditions, Carlson argues, is best understood in relation to contemporary philosophy's emphasis on the idea of human finitude and mortality.
Combining both historical research in theology (from Pseudo-Dionysius to Aquinas to Eckhart) and contemporary philosophical analysis (from Hegel and Nietzsche to Heidegger, Derrida, and Marion), Indiscretion will interest philosophers, theologians, and other scholars concerned with the possibilities and limits of language surrounding both God and human subjectivity.
True religious faith cannot be confirmed by any external proofs. Rather, it is founded on a basic act of trust—and the common root of that trust, for Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions, is a belief in the divine creation of the universe. But with Learning to Trust in Freedom, David B. Burrell asks the provocative question: How do we reach that belief, and what is it about the universe that could possibly testify to its divine origins? Even St. Augustine, he points out, could only find faith after a harrowing journey through the lures of desire—and it is that very desire that Burrell seizes on as a tool with which to explore the origin and purpose of the world. Delving deep into the intertwinings of desire and faith, and drawing on St. John of the Cross, Edith Stein, and Charles Taylor, Burrell offers a new understanding of free will, trust, and perception.
Spirit's Gift is the first book in English devoted to the philosophy of Claude Bruaire (1932-1986). Its focus is the notion of gift, a notion that has recently been the subject of lively debate involving Jacques Derrida, Jean-Luc Marion, Marcel Mauss, and others.
José Antonio Antón-Pacheco exercises his expertise in philosophy in this meditation on the ideas of Emanuel Swedenborg.
In this book he tackles subjects as diverse as the nature of unity and the way that the Divine manifests in the world; the nature of human beings as they relate to the higher realms, and specifically Swedenborg’s concept of the Grand Man or Universal Human; the mystical nature of Swedenborg’s interpretation of the Bible; and the nature of time and space in the spiritual world. Alongside his exploration of Swedenborg’s thought are examinations of Swedenborg’s influence on a variety of different thinkers and authors, from Jorge Luis Borges to Ibn ’Arabi.
This book was originally published in Spanish as El profeta del norte: Un libro sobre Swedenborg. Perfect for scholars and serious students of Swedenborg’s thought, Antón Pacheco’s powerful writing casts a new light on the Swedish prophet.
Diverse in topics yet unified in purpose, this volume brings together Schmitz's penetrating and rich insight into being, produced over many years, to offer readers a magisterial study from one of the great Christian philosophers of our time.
Theology Needs Philosophy
Matthew L. Lamb Catholic University of America Press, 2016 Library of Congress BX1795.P47T44 2016 | Dewey Decimal 230.01
Theology Needs Philosophy brings together essays by leading theologians and philosophers on the fundamental importance of human reason and philosophy for Catholic theology and human cultures generally. This edited collection studies the contributions of reason, with its acquired wisdom, science, and scholarship, in five sections. Those sections are: (1) the inevitable presence and service of philosophy in theology; (2) the metaphysics of creation, nature, and the natural knowledge of God; (3) the history of Logos as reason in the fathers, in St. Thomas Aquinas, and Medieval Biblical commentaries; (4) the role of reason in Trinitarian theology, Christology, and Mariology; and finally (5) reason in the theology of Aquinas.
Is the faith journey a matter of reflection, of emotion, or of obedience? Is there valid and convincing evidence that does enable human beings to assent to Jesus Christ and his message? What is the influence of cognitive assumptions and of affective tende
For over thirty years Schubert Ogden has championed and exemplified a particular understanding of the task and content of Christian theology. The task of theology is to examine the meaning and truth of Christian faith in terms of human experience. All theological claims, therefore, are assessable by two criteria: their appropriateness to the normative Christian witness and their credibility in terms of human existence. The content of Christian theology may be accurately and succinctly stated in two words: radical monotheism. The point of all theological doctrines, from christology to ethics, is to reflect on the gift and demand of God's love. It may be said, then, that Ogden's entire theological project consists in the attempt to show that radical monotheism, which is the essential point of the Christian witness, is also the inclusive end of human existence.
Witness and Existence pays tribute to Ogden by bringing together essays by eminent scholars in New Testament studies and philosophical theology, two fields which directly reflect his methodological concerns and his substantive contributions. The book honors Ogden precisely by engaging the fundamental issues which Ogden himself has taken so seriously.
The first group of essays presents careful analyses of issues basic to the early Christian witness; the second group examines the credibility of the Christian claim about God in terms of human experience. The editors' introductory essay provides the first comprehensive analysis yet to appear of Ogden's theology. A complete bibliography of his published writings is included as an appendix.