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  1. Jasper Hopkins, Didactic Sermons: A Selection.
    The title of this present volume tends to be misleading. For it suggests that Nicholas’s didactic sermons are to be distinguished from his non-didactic ones—ones that are, say, more inspirational and less philosophical, or more devotional and less theological, or more situationally oriented and less Scripturally focused. Yet, in truth, all 293 of Nicholas’s sermons are highly didactic, highly pedagogical, highly exegetical.1 To be sure, there are inspirational and devotional elements; but they are subordinate to the primary purpose of teaching. (...)
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  2. Jasper Hopkins, Of the Relationship of Faith to Reason.
    Is there any such thing as the Cusan view of the relationship between faith and reason? That is, does Nicholas present us with clear concepts of fides and ratio and with a unique and consistent doctrine regarding their interconnection? If he does not, then the task before us is surely an impossible one: viz., the task of finding, describing, and setting in perspective a doctrine that never at all existed. For even with spectacles made of beryl stone or through (...)
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  3. Jasper Hopkins, The Theme of Beauty.
    Giovanni Santinello in his insightful analysis and Italian translation2 of Nicholas of Cusa’s sermon “Tota Pulchra Es, Amica Mea” (Sermon CCXLIII) rightly points out that this sermon is the only work in which Nicholas deals systematically with the theme of beauty. Yet, he also points out that this theme pervades Nicholas’s other works, even though it does not surface in them extensively. Santinello goes on to exhibit the direct borrowings that Nicholas makes from Pseudo-Dionysius’s De Divinis (...)
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  4. Jasper Hopkins, Anselm on Christ’s Atoning Sacrifice.
     
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  5. Jasper Hopkins, Anselm of Canterbury.
    Anselm (b. 1033; d. 1109) flourished during the period of the Norman Conquest of England (1066), the call by Pope Urban II to the First Crusade (1095), and the strident Investiture Controversy. This latter dispute pitted Popes Gregory VII, Urban II, and Paschal II against the monarchs of Europe in regard to just who had the right—whether kings or bishops—to invest bishops and archbishops with their ecclesiastical offices. It is not surprising that R. W. Southern, Anselm’s present-day biographer, speaks of (...)
     
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  6. Jasper Hopkins, A Translation and an Appraisal of de Ignota Litteratura and Apologia Doctae Ignorantiae.
    To the venerable and devout man, Lord John of Gelnhausen,2 formerly abbot in Maulbronn, intercessor for one of his own. Most lovable Father, I was recently presented with Learned Ig- norance, which consists of three books (each incomplete in itself) and which is written in a sufficiently elegant style. It begins with the words “Admirabitur, et recte, maximum tuum et iam probatissimum ingeni- um” and ends “Eo aeternaliter fruituri qui est in saecula benedictus. Amen.” Having looked over [this work], I (...)
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  7. Jasper Hopkins, A Translation and an Appraisal of de Li Non Aliud (Third Edition).
    ABBOT:1 You know that we three, who are engaged in study and are permitted to converse with you, are occupied with deep matters. For [I am busy] with the Parmenides and with Proclus’s commentary [thereon]; Peter [is occupied] with this same Proclus’s Theology of Plato, which he is translating from Greek into Latin; Ferdinand is surveying the genius of Aristotle; and you, when you have time, are busy with the theologian Dionysius the Areopagite. We would like to hear whether or (...)
     
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  8. Jasper Hopkins, Cusanus.
    During this sexcentenary of the birth of Nicholas of Cusa, there is an almost ineluctable temptation to super-accentuate Cusa’s modernity—to recall approvingly, for example, that the Neokantian Ernst Cassirer not only designated Cusa “the first Modern thinker”1 but also went on to interpret his epistemology as anticipating Kant’s.2 In this respect Cassirer was following his German predecessor Richard Falckenberg, who wrote: “It remains a pleasure to see, on the threshold of the Modern Age, the doctrine already advanced by Plotinus and (...)
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  9. Jasper Hopkins, Coniectura de Ultimis Diebus.
    Nicholas of Cusa’s Coniectura de Ultimis Diebus contains Nicholas’s attempt to specify a time-frame within which the world will come to an end. His inferences are speculative and are based largely on passages from the Bible. In assessing Nicholas’s proposal, one needs to keep in mind nine key considerations.
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  10. Jasper Hopkins, Complete Philosophical and Theological Treatises.
    In the notes to the translations the numbering of the Psalms accords with the Douay version and, in parentheses, with the King James (Authorized) version. A reference such as “S II, 264:18” indicates “F. S. Schmitt’s edition of the Latin texts, Vol. II, p. 264, line 18.”.
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  11. Jasper Hopkins, Complete Philosophical and Theological Treatises of Nicholas of Cusa.
    http://www.cla.umn.edu/jhopkins/ Taken together, twenty-four of these works constitute Nicholas of Cusa’s complete philosophical and theological treatises. They must be supplemented by studying his richly conceptual sermons, along with his ecclesiological and exegetical writings such as De Concordantia Catholica and Coniectura de Ultimis Diebus. His mathematical writings are also of interest, even though they are not of lasting importance, as Gottfried Leibniz rightly recognized.
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  12. Jasper Hopkins, Faith and the Rhetoric of Religious Paradox:.
    Within Judeo-Christian theism many of the initially-sounding paradoxical and counter-intuitive expressions—such as Martin Luther’s description of the Christian believer as simul peccator et iustus—seem oftentimes contradictory, or at least pointless, to the unbeliever. Yet, these expressions play an important role within the theistic context of faith. The present essay promotes the view that such expressions should not be eliminatively reduced to “equivalent” restatements of them in non-paradoxical language. For the paradoxical formulations are themselves instinct with a rhetorical force that makes (...)
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  13. Jasper Hopkins, Freedom of the Will : Parallels Between Frankfurt and Augustine.
    At first glance it seems strange to compare the views of two philosophers from such different contexts as are Harry G. Frankfurt1 and Aurelius Augustinus. After all, Frankfurt makes virtually no use of Augustine, virtually no mention of his philosophical doctrines—whether on free will or anything else.2 And yet, the two have more to do with each other than initially meets the eye. For in their own ways both of them sketch a respective theory of freedom that is similarly insightful; (...)
     
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  14. Jasper Hopkins, Nicholas of Cusa's Didactic Sermons: A Selection.
    The title of this present volume tends to be misleading. For it suggests that Nicholas’s didactic sermons are to be distinguished from his non-didactic ones—ones that are, say, more inspirational and less philosophical, or more devotional and less theological, or more situationally oriented and less Scripturally focused. Yet, in truth, all 293 of Nicholas’s sermons are highly didactic, highly pedagogical, highly exegetical.1 To be sure, there are inspirational and devotional elements; but they are subordinate to the primary purpose of teaching. (...)
     
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  15. Jasper Hopkins, Nicholas of Cusa on Wisdom and Knowledge.
    A. Historical Context. The ancient philosophers regarded wisdom (sofiva) as an excellence (ajrethv). Plato devoted much of the Pro- tagoras to a “proof” that holiness (oJsiovth"), courage (ajndreiva), justice (dikaiosuvnh), and self-control (swfrosuvvnh) are but variants of wisdom, which he there also sometimes referred to as knowledge (ejpisthvmh). In not distinguishing explicitly between either various notions of wisdom or various notions of knowledge, Plato—or, at least, the Platonic Socrates—found himself troubled as to whether moral excellence, i.e., moral virtue, could be (...)
     
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  16. Jasper Hopkins, Nicholas of Cusa: Metaphysical Speculations: Volume Two.
    With the English translation of the two Latin works contained in this present book, which is a sequel to Nicholas of Cusa: Metaphysical Speculations: [Volume One],1 I have now translated all2 of the major treatises and dialogues of Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464), except for De Concordantia Catholica.3 My plans call for collecting, in the near future, these translations into a two-volume paperback edition—i.e., into a Reader—that will serve, more generally, students of the history of philosophy and theology. Reasons of economy (...)
     
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  17. Jasper Hopkins, Nicholas of Cusa on Learned Ignorance.
    Like any important philosophical work, De Docta Ignorantia cannot be understood by merely being read: it must be studied. For its main themes are so profoundly innovative that their author's exposition of them could not have anticipated, and therefore taken measures to prevent, all the serious misunderstandings which were likely to arise. Moreover, the themes are so extensively interlinked that a misunderstanding of any one of them will serve to obscure all the others as well. In such case, the mental (...)
     
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  18. Jasper Hopkins, Nicholas of Cusa's Metaphysic of Contraction.
    Although the dimness of my intelligence is already known to Your Paternity,1 nonetheless by careful scrutiny you have endeavored to find in my intelligence a light. For when during the gathering of herbs there came to mind the apostolic text in which James indicates that every best gift and every perfect gift is from above, from the Father of lights,2 you entreated me to write down my conjecture about the interpretation of this text. I know, Father, that you have a (...)
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  19. Jasper Hopkins, Nicholas of Cusa's de Pace Fidei and Cribratio Alkorani: Translation and Analysis.
    regions of Constantinople, was inflamed with zeal for God as a result of those deeds that were reported to have been perpetrated at Constantinople most recently and most cruelly by the King of the Turks.2 Consequently, with many groanings he beseeched the Creator of all, because of His kindness, to restrain the persecution that was raging more fiercely than usual on account of the difference of rite between the [two] religions. It came to pass that after a number of days—perhaps (...)
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  20. Jasper Hopkins, Nicholas of Cusa.
    By permission of The Gale Group, this article is reprinted (here on-line) from “Nicholas of Cusa,” pp. 122-125, Volume 9 of the Dictionary of the Middle Ages, edited by Joseph R. Strayer (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1987 ). The short bibliography at the end of the original article has been omitted; and the page numbers of the article are here changed.
     
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  21. Jasper Hopkins, Philosophical Criticism: Essays and Reviews.
    Not many years ago Carl Jung levelled the charge of “ crackpot psychology” against the philosophical writings of Hegel.1 There is, of course, an element of truth in Jung’s stricture; for one has only to read again the Phenomenology of Spirit in order to realize anew that the conceptual matrix of this work is an account of the self’s psycho-social development. Thus, both Hegel’s notion that the Other is a necessary condition of my selfidentity and his account of the master-slave (...)
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  22. Jasper Hopkins, Prolegomena to Nicholas of Cusa's Conception of the Relationship of Faith to Reason.
    Is there any such thing as the Cusan view of the relationship between faith and reason? That is, does Nicholas present us with clear concepts of fides and ratio and with a unique and consistent doctrine regarding their interconnection? If he does not, then the task before us is surely an impossible one: viz., the task of finding, describing, and setting in perspective a doctrine that never at all existed. For even with spectacles made of beryl stone or through the (...)
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  23. Jasper Hopkins, The Arthur J. Banning Press Minneapolis.
    In an intrepid article entitled “Why Anselm's Proof in the Proslogion Is Not an Ontological Argument,”45 G.E.M. Anscombe takes issue with the traditional reading of Anselm's text. According to this reading Anselm's proof in Proslogion 2 depends upon the premise that existence is a perfection; and as a result of this dependency it has been given the label “ontological argument.” I In challenging the traditional reading, Anscombe proposes a corrected version of Anselm’s proof—a version which eliminates the premise that existence (...)
     
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  24. Jasper Hopkins, Theological Language and the Nature of Man in Jean-Paul Sartre's Philosophy.
    There is no more prominent atheist today than Jean-Paul Sartre. Yet serious students of Sartre’s philosophy are struck by his unabashed use of theological idiom. This use is so extensive that Professor Hazel Barnes in her translator’s introduction to Being and Nothingness comments: Many people who consider themselves religious could quite comfortably accept Sartre’s philosophy if he did not embarrass them by making his pronouncement, “ There is no God,” quite so specific.1 The present chapter will explore the theological idiom (...)
     
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  25. Jasper Hopkins (2006). BESPRECHUNGEN-Die Sermones des Nikolaus von Kues. Merkmale und ihre Stellung innerhalb der mittelalterlichen Predigtkultur. Akten des Symposions in Trier vom 21. bis 23. Oktober 2004 (Mitteilungen und Forschungsbeitrage der Cusanus-Gesellschaft 30). Trier: Paulinus, 2005. [REVIEW] Mitteilungen Und Forschungsbeiträge der Cusanus-Gesellschaft 31:292.
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  26. Jasper Hopkins (2005). The Philosophy of Anselm. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 13 (4):745 – 753.
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  27. Jasper Hopkins (2003). Anselm of Canterbury, Proslogion (Ca. 1078). In Jorge J. E. Gracia, Gregory M. Reichberg & Bernard N. Schumacher (eds.), The Classics of Western Philosophy: A Reader's Guide. Blackwell Pub.. 111.
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  28. Tobias Hoffmann & Jasper Hopkins (2002). American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 518. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 76 (3).
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  29. Jasper Hopkins (2002). Nicholas of Cusa (1401–1464): First Modern Philosopher? Midwest Studies in Philosophy 26 (1):13–29.
    Ever since Ernst Cassirer in his epochal book Individuum und Kosmos in der Philosophie der Renaissance1 labeled Nicholas of Cusa “the first modern thinker,” interest in Cusa’s thought has burgeoned. At various times, both before and after Cassirer, Nicholas has been viewed as a forerunner of Leibniz,2 a harbinger of Kant,3 a prefigurer of Hegel,4 indeed, as an anticipator of the whole of..
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  30. Jasper Hopkins & Herbert Richardson (2000). ISBN: 0847696138. Levinas, Emmanuel. Alterity and Transcendence. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1999. Pp. 195. Hard Cover $29.50; ISBN: 0231116500. Lohfink, Gerhard. Does God Need the Church? Toward a Theology Olthe People olGod. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1999. Pp. 341. Paper $39.95, ISBN. [REVIEW] American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 74 (4).
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  31. Jasper Hopkins (1983). Anselm on Freedom and the Will. Philosophy Research Archives 9:471-493.
    C. Stanley Kane’s book, Anselm’s Doctrine of Freedom and The Will, is the only monograph in English on this topic. It will therefore influence a wide array of students and scholars. The book advances five theses: (1) that Anselm operates with a general ontological principle to the effect that the essential nature of anything is determined by its purpose in existing; (2) that Anselm’s theory of the will is not determinist but a variant of indeterminism; (3) that human freedom, for (...)
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  32. Jasper Hopkins (1981). Anselm and Talking About God. New Scholasticism 55 (3):387-396.
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  33. Jasper Hopkins (1981). On an Alleged Definitive Interpretation Ofproslogion2-4: A Discussion of G. Schufreider'san Introduction to Anselm's Argument. [REVIEW] Southern Journal of Philosophy 19 (1):129-139.
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  34. Jasper Hopkins (1981). On An Alleged Definitive Interpretation of Proslogion 2-4. Southern Journal of Philosophy 19 (1):129-139.
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  35. Jasper Hopkins, Nicholas & Johannes Wenck (eds.) (1981/1988). Nicholas of Cusa's Debate with John Wenck: A Translation and an Appraisal of De Ignota Litteratura and Apologia Doctae Ignorantiae. A.J. Banning Press.
  36. Jasper Hopkins (1978). On Understanding and Preunderstanding St. Anselm. New Scholasticism 52 (2):243-260.
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  37. Rudolf J. Siebert, Jasper Hopkins, Joseph Owens, Joanmarie Smith, Johan H. Stohl & Charles R. Campbell (1978). Books in Review. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 9 (2):122-128.
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  38. Jasper Hopkins (1977). Augustine on Foreknowledge and Free Will. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 8 (2):111 - 126.
  39. Milton H. Snoeyenbos, Jonathan A. Weiss & Jasper Hopkins (1977). Book Reviews. [REVIEW] Journal of Value Inquiry 11 (1):65-78.
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  40. Jasper Hopkins (1972). Are Moods Cognitive?: A Critique of Schmitt on Heidegger. [REVIEW] Journal of Value Inquiry 6 (1):64-71.
    If, as Schmitt suggests, Heidegger bases the claim that moods are cognitive on the philosophical distinction between theoretical and non-theoretical knowing, then much of what Heidegger says in this connection turns out to be either unclear, trivially true, or else false. Yet Schmitt himself only occasionally seems to recognize how dubious this account really is. Moreover, in attempting to help Heidegger say what he means, Schmitt's interpretation in Chapter 5 falters. It falters because(1) the emphatic likening of moods to skills,(2) (...)
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  41. Jasper Hopkins, Anselm's Debate with Gaunilo.
    Gaunilo, monk of Marmoutier, is known almost exclusively for his attempted refutation of Anselm’s ontological argument around 1079. Indeed, both his counter-example about the alleged island which is more excellent than all others and Anselm’s rebuttal thereof have nowadays become standard items for courses in medieval philosophy. Over the past decade or so, which has witnessed a revival of interest in the ontological argument, Gaunilo has been either lauded for his brilliancy or disparaged for his mediocrity. Thus, R. W. Southern (...)
     
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