Sometime, at your leisure—if you want to know what philosophy is—go into a large bookstore and browse. Check a variety of books in psychology, anthropology, physics, chemistry, archeology, astronomy, and other nonfiction fields. Look at the last chapter in each book. In a surprising number of cases, you will find that the author has chosen to round out his work with a final summation of what the book is all about. That is, having written a whole book on a specialized (...) subject in which he is probably an authority, he finds that he also has ideas about the larger meaning of the facts that he has written about. The final chapter may be called “Conclusions,” “Epilogue,” “Postscript,” “My Personal View,” “Implications,” “Comments," ,“ “Speculations,” or (as in one case) “So What?” But in every instance, the author is trying to elucidate the larger implications of his subject matter and to clarify how he thinks it relates to other fields or to life. He has an urge to tell us the meaning of all his facts taken together. He wants to share with us the philosophic implications of what he has written. When he does this, the author has moved beyond the role of a field specialist. He is a philosopher. (shrink)
The article surveys few of the most important philosophical contributions by Christians in the 21st century. Those surveyed include Francis Schaeffer, Alvin Plantinga, Norman Geisler, and Ravi Zacharias.
In late antiquity Plato's philosophy became a battlefield between the competing discourses and rival intellectual paradigms represented by Hellenism and Christianity. Focusing on Theodoret of Cyrrhus' Graecarum Affectionum Curatio, Dr Siniossoglou examines the philosophical, rhetorical and political dimensions of the Neoplatonic-Christian conflict of interpretations over Plato. He shows that the apologist's aim was to procure a radical shift in Hellenic intellectual identity through the appropriation of Platonic concepts and terminology. The apologetical strategies of appropriation are confronted with the perspective (...) of the intended audience, the Hellenic elite, by means of comparative discourse analysis. The outcome is a reconstruction of a vital trial of strength between Neoplatonic hermeneutics and the Christian rhetorical mode of rewriting Plato. The volume concludes that the fundamental Hellenic-Christian opposition outweighed any linguistic merging that might have occurred between the two systems, and that this opposition outlived the dominance of Christianity in late antique society and politics. (shrink)
Christianity began as a little-known Jewish sect, but rose within 300 years to dominate the civilised world. It owed its rise in part to inspired moral leadership, but also to its success in assimilating, criticising and developing the philosophies of the day, which offered rationally approved life-styles and moral directives. Without abandoning their allegiance to their founder and to Holy Scripture, Christians could therefore present their faith as a 'new philosophy'. This book, which is written for non-specialist readers, provides a (...) concise conspectus of the emergence of philosophy among the Greeks; an account of its continuance in early Christian times, and its influence on early Christian thought, especially in formulating the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation; and finally a brief critical assessment of the philosophy of St Augustine - arguably the greatest philosopher of the first millennium. (shrink)
The philosophy of religion and theology are related to the culture in which they have developed. These disciplines provide a source of values and vision to the cultures of which they are part, while at the same time they are delimited and defined by their cultures. This book compares the ideas of two contemporary philosophers, John Hick and Seyyed Hossein Nasr, on the issues of religion, religions, the concept of the ultimate reality, and the notion of sacred knowledge. On a (...) broader level, it compares two world-views: the one formed by Western Christian culture, which is religious in intention but secular in essence; the other Islamic, formed through the assimilation of traditional wisdom, which is turned against the norms of secular culture and is thus religious both in intention and essence. (shrink)
This is an analysis of the interpretation of Christian theology that is found in G. W. F. Hegel's Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion. Hodgson argues that these lectures are among the most valuable resources from the nineteenth century for theology as it faces the challenges of modernity and postmodernity. The author is also editing and translating the critical edition of the lectures, which are being published concurrently by Oxford University Press.
Joseph Gikatilla's early works, composed during the 1270s, have been understood by many scholars as a fusion of Kabbalah and philosophy—an approach that he abandoned in his later compositions. This paper argues that Gikatilla's early works are in fact consistent with his later works, and that the differences between the two can be explained by the polemical engagement during his early period with Jewish philosophy and Christian missionizing. By subtly drawing Jewish students of philosophy away from Aristotelian speculation and (...) towards Kabbalah, Gikatilla sought in his early works to lay the foundation for an understanding of Judaism based on kabbalistic mytho-poesis and ecstatic mystical experience. (shrink)
Psychology and religious belief.--The self and "the unconscious."--Sin and its remedy in the light of psychology.--The question of freedom.--Freedom, grace and providence.--Compromise, tension and personality.--Birth control and Christian ethics.--Original sin and baptism.--Sacraments.--Authority.--The reunion of Christendom.--Corruptio optimi pessima.
What is philosophy about?--Mr. Adler and the Order of learning.--The position of philosophy in a Catholic college.--Philosophy and the unity of man's ultimate end.--A note on the future of Catholic philosophy.--An appraisal of scholastic philosophy.
A part of the “return to religion” now evident in European philosophy, this book represents the culmination of the career of a leading phenomenological thinker whose earlier works trace a trajectory from Marx through a genealogy of psychoanalysis that interprets Descartes’s “I think, I am” as “I feel myself thinking, I am.” In this book, Henry does not ask whether Christianity is “true” or “false.” Rather, what is in question here is what Christianity considers as truth, what kind of truth (...) it offers to people, what it endeavors to communicate to them, not as a theoretical and indifferent truth, but as the essential truth that by some mysterious affinity is suitable for them, to the point that it alone is capable of ensuring them salvation. In the process, Henry inevitably argues against the concept of truth that dominates modern thought and determines, in its multiple implications, the world in which we live. Henry argues that Christ undoes “the truth of the world,” that He is an access to the infinity of self-love, to a radical subjectivity that admits no outside, to the immanence of affective life found beyond the despair fatally attached to all objectifying thought. The Kingdom of God accomplishes itself in the here and now through the love of Christ in what Henry calls “the auto-affection of Life.” In this condition, he argues, all problems of lack, ambivalence, and false projection are resolved. (shrink)
This book contains the collected papers of Alan Donagan on topics in the philosophy of religion. Donagan was respected as a leading figure in American moral philosophy. His untimely death in 1991 prevented him from collecting his philosophical reflections on religion, particularly Christianity, and its relation to ethics and other concerns. This collection, therefore, constitutes the fullest expression of Donagan's thought on Christianity and ethics, in which it is possible to discern the outlines of a coherent, overarching theory. Editor Anthony (...) Perovich has supplied a useful introduction, which brings Donagan's work into focus and brings out the unifying themes in the essays. (shrink)
In this paper I raise awareness of a crucial blind spot in scholarship on the Christian-Jewish dialogue. The main argument of the paper is that a closer examination of the dialogue form is necessary in order to assess the tenability of Christian-Jewish dialogue. Despite the widespread talk and intensive scholarship about the Jewish-Christian dialogue two things remain unclear: (a) what concept of dialogue is presupposed; (b) what makes the dialogue form appropriate for the Christian-Jewish encounter. This (...) paper discusses the possibility that the use of the dialogue form is a means of theological imperialism. I both rule out this possibility and propose an argument to justify the tenability of Jewish-Christian dialogue that I defend against objections which follow from Richard Swinburne’s Christian philosophy of revelation. (shrink)
Seeing and hearing God in the Old Testament -- Seeing and hearing God in the New Testament -- Word and image in classical Greek philosophy -- Philosophers and sophists of the early Roman era -- Image, text and incarnation in the second century -- Image, text and incarnation in the third century -- Neoplatonism and the arts -- Image, text and incarnation in the fourth century -- Myth and text in proclus -- Christianity of Christian Platonism.
Panentheism is an often-discussed alternative to Classical theism, and almost any discussion of panentheism starts by way of acknowledging Karl Christian Friedrich Krause (1781-1832) as the person who coined the term. However, apart from this tribute, Krause’s own panentheism is almost completely unknown. In what follows, I firstly present a brief overview of Krause’s life and correct some misconceptions of his work before I turn to the core ideas of Krause’s own panentheistic system of philosophy. In brief, Krause elaborates (...) a scientific holism that is anchored in intellectual intuition of the Absolute as the one principle of being and recognition. The task of philosophical speculation consequently is twofold: the analytic-ascending part of philosophy proceeds by way of transcendental reflection and according to Krause enables us to obtain intellectual intuition. The synthetic-descending part of philosophy starts by way of showing that science as a whole is an explication of the original union of the Absolute as apprehended in intellectual intuition. Once this is achieved, Krause argues that the emerging philosophy of science is most adequately referred to as ‘panentheism’ since everything is what it is ‘in and through’ the Absolute while the Absolute itself is not reducible to anything in particular. I end by showing how to relate Krause’s panentheism to recent philosophical discussion. (shrink)
This essay disputes one of the central claims in Jeremy Waldron?s God, Locke, and Equality (2002), that being the claim that Locke?s arguments about species in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding undercut his assertions about the equality of the human species as a matter of natural law in Two Treatises of Government. It argues, firstly, and pace Waldron, that Locke?s view of natural law is foundational to his view of man, not vice versa, and, secondly, that Two Treatises is written (...) in an idiom different from Locke?s philosophical writings, such that directly transposing the ideas discussed in one idiom to the other is as confused as it is confusing. After providing a new account of the relationship between Locke?s philosophy and his views of morality, politics and religion, the essay concludes that Waldron fails to grasp the style and structure of Locke?s thinking, and so cumulatively misunderstands and distorts Locke?s views about moral identity, toleration, religion and politics alike. (shrink)
The function and method of philosophy.--The nature of religious experience.--Religion and philosophy: naturalism.--Religion and philosophical idealism.--The structure of the universe and the objectivity of values.--The christian conception of god.--The doctrine of the person of christ.--The doctrine of the trinity.
The Intellectual Foundations of Christian and Jewish Discourse is a unique and controversial analysis of the genesis and evolution of Judeo-Christian intellectual thought. Jacob Neusner and Bruce Chilton argue that the Judaic and Christian heirs of Scripture adopted, and adapted to their own purposes, Greek philosophical modes of thought, argument and science. Intellectual Foundations of Christian and Jewish Discourse explores how the earliest intellectuals of Christianity and Judaism shaped a tradition of articulated conflict and reasoned argument (...) in the search for religious truth and focuses especially on methods of discourse in the Judaic and Christian intellectual and literary traditions. (shrink)
Philosophy, as Aquinas, and many others, described it-- as a demonstrative progression from self-evident premises to evident (or even necessary [Scotus]) conclusions,-- is rarely attempted nowadays, even by "scholastic" philosophers. Demonstrative success,-- that is, entirely to eliminate competitors to one's conclusions, -- is not the expectation now, nor has it been the achievement of philosophers historically. Thus, some restrictions upon starting points may be relaxed as unnecessary, e.g. that they be self-evident.
<span class='Hi'>Reductionism</span> in the Philosophy of Science develops a novel account of reduction in science and applies it to the relationship between classical and molecular genetics. However, rather than addressing the epistemological issues that have been essential to the <span class='Hi'>reductionism</span> debate in philosophy of biology, the discussion primarily pursues ontological questions, as they are known, about reducing the mental to the physical. For Sachse construes <span class='Hi'>reductionism</span> as a purely philosophical endeavor and defends the possibility of reduction in principle, (...) which may not be relevant to understanding reductionist reasoning and explanation occurring in scientific practice, as discussed by philosophers of science. Likewise, the conceptual framework used stems more from metaphysics and philosophy of mind than philosophy of science. Sachse's aim is twofold. First, he argues for the special sciences' being reducible to physics, by deriving the in principle possibility of epistemological reduction from ontological reduction. Second, he attempts to simultaneously make room for the legitimacy of the special sciences, effecting a conservative reduction rather than an elimination of the special sciences. (shrink)
The author discusses the origins and basic themes of the Radical Orthodoxy movement. Two major objections raised against the Radical Orthodoxy movement are canvassed, noting historical misconstruals of the neoplatonic tradition and Thomas Aquinas. The author concludes that the Radical Orthodoxy movement has not yet been able to find a lasting place in the theological conversation because of the difficulty of navigating the “range of tonalities” its name evokes in its readers.