This article reflects upon the relationship between philosophy and theology. It further considers the persisting relevance of the specifically Hellenic inheritance of philosophy as contemplation and the Delphic exhortation, “Know thyself!” It concludes with reflections upon the role of imagination in relation to the philosophical idea of God as the supreme and transcendent causal principle of the physical cosmos.
This essay remarks upon a seeming paradox in the philosophical anthropology of Joseph de Maistre (1753–1821). He presents a traditional Platonic asymmetry of reason and the passions. This is put to the service of an Origenistic-universalistic theology that revolves around questions of guilt, punishment and redemption and a theory of sacrifice. Maistre is far from being the irrationalist that many political theorists observe, even if he presents an antagonistic relationship between reason and passions, the rational self and its desires. The (...) apparently grim and sanguinary Platonism of the Savoyard Count can be neatly compared with Kant and contrasted with Hume’s sanguine, if not breezy, view of reason as a slave to the passions. (shrink)
Coleridge's relation to his German contemporaries constitutes the toughest problem in assessing his standing as a thinker. For the last half-century this relationship has been described, ultimately, as parasitic. As a result, Coleridge's contribution to religious thought has been seen primarily in terms of his poetic genius. This book revives and deepens the evaluation of Coleridge as a philosophical theologian in his own right. Coleridge had a critical and creative relation to, and kinship with, German thought. Moreover, the principal impulse (...) behind his engagement with that philosophy is traced to the more immediate context of the English Unitarian-Trinitarian controversy of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The book re-establishes Coleridge as a philosopher of religion and as a vital source for contemporary theological reflection. (shrink)