The Fear of Time and the Joys of Contingency

Philosophy and Theology 16 (1):77-88 (2004)
Abstract
Radical Orthodoxy offers insight into the relationship between Christianity and culture. But it errs in its one-sided reading of modernity, its attempt to reduce philosophy to theology, and its prescription of a pre-modern metaphysics as the only authentic theological foundation. These suggest a fear of contingency and a desire for the immediate grasp of the divine which might circumvent history’s messiness. The result is a construal of reality that is in general inimical to an authentic Catholic reading of reality. Catholic theology must be more faithful to the incarnational and eschatological structure of revelation—and thus to contingency—than either it or Radical Orthodoxy has been in the past. Aquinas’ defense of philosophy and Metz’s principle of “dangerous memory” offer ways to overcome this fear and to enjoy created contingency, secure in hope for the eschatological transformation which God in Christ has promised to all persons and all epochs
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