There is a great similarity between processtheology and Chinul’s Buddhist thought. They share the conception of a mutual immanence and interaction between the world and the ultimate reality. They also share the view that the true or sanctified self is an incarnation and expression of the ultimate reality in and for the world. However, Chinul’s Buddhist thought is weak in dealing with the aspect of redemption.
: The suffering of creatures experienced throughout evolutionary history provides some conceptual difficulties for theists who maintain that God is an all-good loving creator who chose to employ the processes associated with evolution to bring about life on this planet. Some theists vexed by this and other problems posed by the interface between religion and science have turned to processtheology which provides a picture of a God who is dependent upon creation and unable to unilaterally intervene in (...) the affairs of the world and avert suffering. In the present paper I seek to critique process theism, focusing on divine action and the aforementioned problem posed by evolutionary suffering. I show that the promise of a more compelling account of a loving God who suffers with creation advanced by the process theist is illusory. Rather, the process God is less dynamic than promised. And on such an account the freedom of both God and the world are significantly more circumscribed than one may find in other forms of theism. (shrink)
This article is a critical exploration of compatibilities between Pentecostal-Charismatic theology and Process-Relational theology. The purpose of the investigation is to identify similarities that provide sufficient ground for mutual dialogue and transformation between the two traditions. Postmodernism is identified as a context in which such dialogue can occur, insofar as both the Pentecostal-Charismatic movements and Process-Relational theology are understood as reactions to modernism. The theological theme of “concursus,” the way in which God and humanity interact, (...) is briefly explored as a point of contact. Several social and ecclesial implications of mutual transformation are identified. Ecclesial implications of mutual transformation include a renewal of Process-Relational spirituality, an intellectualization of Pentecostal-Charismatic experience, ecumenical dialogue between evangelical and mainline denominations, and tempered operation of the charismata for Pentecostals. Social implications of mutual transformation include the possibility for positive social change, concern for healing and justice, and an increased cosmic concern. Ultimately, inasmuch as Pentecostalism is identified as an “experience in search of a theology,” Process-Relational theism is identified as a “theology in search of an experience.” Through dialogue and engagement, both the Pentecostal-Charismatic and Process-Relational traditions may gain a stronger and more holistic sense of humanity, God, and reality. (shrink)
RECENT THEOLOGICAL SPECULATION ON THE TRINITY HAS CONCEIVED THE DIVINE NATURE AS AN INTERPERSONAL PROCESS. WHITEHEADIAN PHILOSOPHY MAY POSSIBLY BE USEFUL HERE. ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT NOT ONLY ACTUAL ENTITIES, BUT LIKEWISE WHITEHEADIAN SOCIETIES POSSESS AN ONTOLOGICAL UNITY AND EXERCISE AN AGENCY PROPER TO THEMSELVES, THEN THE TRINITY MAY BE VIEWED AS A DEMOCRATICALLY ORGANIZED STRUCTURED SOCIETY WITH EACH OF THE DIVINE PERSONS AS A SUBORDINATE PERSONALLY ORDERED SOCIETY OF ACTUAL OCCASIONS.
Time’s arrow is necessary for progress from a past that has already happened to a future that is only potential until creatively determined in the present. But time’s arrow is unnecessary in Einstein’s so-called block universe, so there is no creative unfolding in an actual present. How can there be an actual present when there is no universal moment of simultaneity? Events in various places will have different presents according to the position, velocity, and nature of the perceiver. Standing against (...) this view is traditional common sense since we normally experience time’s arrow as reality and the present as our place in the stream of consciousness, but we err to imagine we are living in the actual present. The present of our daily experience is actually a specious present, according to E. Robert Kelly (later popularized by William James), or duration, according to Henri Bergson, an habitus, as elucidated by Kerby (1991), or, simply, the psychological present (Adams, 2010) – all terms indicating that our experienced present so consists of the past overlapping into the future that any potential for acting from the creative moment is crowded out. Yet, for philosophers of process from Herakleitos onward, it is the philosophies of change or process that treat time’s arrow and the creative fire of the actual present as realities. In this essay, I examine the most well known but possibly least understood process cosmology of Alfred North Whitehead to seek out this elusive but actual present. In doing so, I will also ask if process philosophy is itself an example of the creative imagination and if this relates to doing science. I conclude Whitehead's process philosophy falls short of allowing for the actual creative spontaneity of a dynamic (eternal) present. (shrink)
Religion, science, and naturalism -- Perception and religious experience -- Panexperientialism, freedom, and the mind-body relation -- Naturalistic, dipolar theism -- Natural theology based on naturalistic theism -- Evolution, evil, and eschatology -- The two ultimates and the religions -- Religion, morality, and civilization -- Religious language and truth -- Religious knowledge and common sense.
In recent years, the ontological argument and theistic metaphysics have been criticized by philosophers working in both the analytic and continental traditions. Responses to these criticisms have primarily come from philosophers who make use of the traditional, and problematic, concept of God. In this volume, Daniel A. Dombrowski defends the ontological argument against its contemporary critics, but he does so by using a neoclassical or process concept of God, thereby strengthening the case for a contemporary theistic metaphysics. Relying on (...) the thought of Charles Hartshorne, he builds on Hartshorne's crucial distinction between divine existence and divine actuality, which enables neoclassical defenders of the ontological argument to avoid the familiar criticism that the argument moves illegitimately from an abstract concept to concrete reality. His argument, thus, avoids the problems inherent in the traditional concept of God as static. (shrink)
In his The Phenomenon of Man, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin develops concepts of consciousness, the noosphere, and psychosocial evolution. This paper explores Teilhard’s evolutionary concepts as resonant with thinking in psychology and physics. It explores contributions from archetypal depth psychology, quantum physics, and neuroscience to elucidate relationships between mind and matter. Teilhard’s work can be seen as advancing this psychological lineage or psychogenesis. That is, the evolutionary emergence of matter in increasing complexity from sub-atomic particles to the human brain and (...) reflective consciousness leads to a noosphere evolving towards an Omega point. Teilhard’s central ideas provide intimations of a numinous principle implicit in cosmology and the discovery that in and through humanity evolution not only becomes conscious of itself but also directed and purposive. (shrink)
These two remarkable books, both published in 2010, share many themes but differ in significant ways, and each is very much worth reading and pondering. Oord’s The Nature of Love concentrates primarily on conceptual and theological themes relating to the very nature of love itself and what influential theologians have had to say about love. His Defining Love focuses on how the social and physical sciences impact our understanding of human and divine love. Both books presuppose and express many themes (...) that are prominent in processtheology such as: freedom is universally present (by degrees) in all creatures, especially us; predestination is abhorrent and untenable; God exists necessarily and everlastingly but not .. (shrink)
This book demonstrates the originality and coherence of Jonathan Edwards' philosophical theology using his dynamic reconception of reality as the interpretive key. The author argues that what underlies Edwards' writings is a radical shift from the traditional Western metaphysics of substance and form to a new conception of the world as a network of dispositions: active and abiding principles that possess reality apart from their manifestations in actions and events. Edwards' dispositional ontology enables him to restate the Augustinian-Calvinist tradition (...) in theology in a strikingly modern philosophical framework. A prime example of Edwards' innovative reconstruction in philosophical theology is his conception of God as both eternal actuality and a disposition to repeat that actuality within God and also through creation. This view is a compelling alternative to the traditional Western doctrine of God as changeless actuality, on the one hand, and the recent process theologians' excessive stress on God's involvement in change, on the other. Edwards' achievement was that he saw dynamic movement as essential to God's own life without compromising the traditional Christian tenets of God's prior actuality and transcendence. The author of this volume also explicates the way in which Edwards' dynamic reconception of reality informs his theories of imagination, aesthetic perception, the knowledge of God, and the meaning of history. This expanded edition includes a new preface and a new appendix titled "Jonathan Edwards on Nature.". (shrink)
Process metaphysics has had a more limited impact in Roman Catholic theology than it has had in Protestant theology. In The One, the Many, and the Trinity, Marc Pugliese traces the development of Roman Catholic theology synthesized with processtheology as it is found in the thought of Joseph A. Bracken, S. J. As the title indicates, Bracken’s process perspective concerning the Trinity is the main focus of the book. The One, the Many, (...) and the Trinity consists of four chapters wherein Pugliese carefully surveys Bracken’s philosophy, explaining how it incorporates a sweeping array of sources, including classical Greek thought, Thomism, modern philosophy, German idealism, American pragmatism, and .. (shrink)
Using the lenses of both biblical and processtheology, this essay explores the ways in which sacrament and church are inextricably bound with one another. By paying special attention to the seriousness with which Whiteheadian thought takes events in space and time, the essay develops a sacramentally focused ecclesiology that is radically embodied in the realm of occasions.
Nicholas Rescher’s way of understanding process philosophy reflects the ambitions of his own philosophical project and commits him to a conceptually ideal interpretation of process. Process becomes a transcendental idea of reflection that can always be predicated of our knowledge of the world and of the world qua known, but not necessarily of reality an sich. Rescher’s own taxonomy of process thinking implies that it has other variants. While Rescher’s approach to process philosophy makes it (...) intelligible and appealing to mainstream analytic philosophy, it leaves behind the more daring ideas of Bergson, James, and Whitehead, all of whom envisioned the primordial reality of process in a radical ontology of becoming. This variant of process thought can be construed as coherent and self-consistent, but not without relinquishing the correspondence theory of truth and embracing challenging ideas that bring us in close proximity to existentialism, apophatic theology, and Buddhism. (shrink)
It was only recently that people began to refer to God, occasionally, as “she.” Is it now possible to re-imagine divine power as a female force deeply related to the changing world? If so, then we can understand the deeper meaning of female images of divine power including depictions such as “The Goddess.” Carol Christ offers a new look at these female images of God in She Who Changes . She shows how many traditional ideas about divine power reject the (...) female body and connection to the natural world. She looks at the work of female theologians in Judaism, Christianity, and various religions that worship "The Goddess" to explore the way in which they are re-imagining both divine and human power as embodied both in a changing world and deeply related to all beings. (shrink)
Monica A. Coleman achieves remarkable rigor in bringing together in one volume her long-standing interests in process philosophy and theology, womanist theology and ethics, African diaspora studies, West African religions, and African American women’s literature. Making a way out of No Way (2008) is a tour de force in contemporary African American constructive theology and especially in womanist discourse on the religious experience(s) of African American women. Coleman insists on understanding black women’s religious experience through the (...) lens of their complex subjectivity, which is irreducible to singularity or totality. As typically found in academic womanist theology, Coleman does not begin her theology with .. (shrink)
Expanding Process: Exploring Philosophical and Theological Transformations in China and the West, by John Berthrong, is a model study of processive motifs in Chinese traditions and their contributions to global process-relational philosophy. Process-relational philosophy, which became a full-fledged school of thought in the twentieth century with the works of Alfred North Whitehead and the American Pragmatists, conceives of reality as constant flux. This metaphysical view is opposed to the substance-ontological view, which understands reality as a composition of (...) timeless, discrete substances, such as Plato's Forms.In working to move process philosophy out of its Whiteheadian and American roots, Berthrong draws out .. (shrink)
The present study asks the question whether Karl Rahner’s treatment of biological evolution holds merit for the dialogue between Catholic theology on the one hand and evolutionary biology on the other. Central to this evaluation will be an emphasis on two core tenets of modern evolutionary biology, namely emergence and the continuity of the evolutionary process. While the former bears relevance for our understanding of how life and anthropologically important phenomena such as “mind” and “consciousness” came to be, (...) the latter plays a crucial role in how we view our existence within the earth’s fluid and changing biosphere. It comes to the conclusion that Rahner’s concept of active self-transcendence recovers the notion of biological evolution as an on-going process where indeed something new emerges, and therefore offers an extremely helpful tool in the interdisciplinary conversation. However, this essay challenges Rahner’s understanding of the directedness of the evolutionary process toward the human being as well as his view that in us nature comes to self-consciousness for the first time and suggests alternatives. (shrink)
This paper attempts to reinterpret the idea of minjung messiah, a major doctrine of Korean minjung theology, in order to reveal its nondualistic understanding of Christian eschatology, by using process non-substantialist metaphysics. In a dialogue with process panentheism, minjung theology gets philosophical languages to articulate its organic ideas of the relationships between historical liberation and eschatological salvation, minjung’s self-transcendence and divine providence, and history and the Kingdom of God.
The following paper is a modified version of Ihe Edward S. O’Donnell, S.J., Distinguished Lecture, delivered at Marquette University in November of 1986, The original title of the lecture was, “The Fare of Theology 1986, or the Painful Process of Doctrinal Development.” Following a historical exegesis of the notion of responsibility for theologians. I offer a summary of dominant factors underlying the issue of doctrinal development in theology, and conclude with some recommendations relating to the present tasks (...) facing theologians. (shrink)
The concern of this work is with developing an alternative to standard categories in theology and philosophy, especially in terms of how they deal with nature. Avoiding the polemics of much contemporary reflection on nature, it shows how we are connected to nature through the unconscious and its unique way of reading and processing signs. Spinoza's key distinction between natura naturans and natura naturata serves as the governing framework for the treatise. Suggestions are made for a post-Christian way of (...) understanding religion. Robert S. Corrington's work represents the first sustained attempt to bring together the fields of semiotics, depth-psychology, pragmaticism, and a post-Monotheistic theology of nature. Its focus is on how signification functions in human and non-human orders of infinite nature. Our connection with the infinite is described in detail, especially as it relates to the use of sign systems. (shrink)
What, at this historical moment "after Auschwitz," still remains of the questions traditionally asked by theology? What now is theology's minimal degree? This magisterial study, the first extended comparison of the writings of Theodor W. Adorno and Emmanuel Levinas, explores remnants and echoes of religious forms in these thinkers' critiques of secular reason, finding in the work of both a "theology in pianissimo" constituted by the trace of a transcendent other. The author analyzes, systematizes, and formalizes this (...) idea of an other of reason. In addition, he frames these thinkers' innovative projects within the arguments of such intellectual heirs as Jürgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida, defending their work against later accusations of "performative contradiction" (by Habermas) or "empiricism" (by Derrida) and in the process casting important new light on those later writers as well. Attentive to rhetorical and rational features of Adorno's and Levinas's texts, his investigations of the concepts of history, subjectivity, and language in their writings provide a radical interpretation of their paradoxical modes of thought and reveal remarkable and hitherto unsuspected parallels between their philosophical methods, parallels that amount to a plausible way of overcoming certain impasses in contemporary philosophical thinking. In Adorno, this takes the form of a dialectical critique of dialectics in Levinas, that of a phenomenological critique of phenomenology, each of which sheds new light on ancient and modern questions of metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics. For the English-language publication, the author has extensively revised and updated the prize-winning German version. (shrink)
According to the doctrine of the Trinity, the Father, Son, and Spirit are supposed to be distinct from each other, and yet be one and the same God. As if that were not perplexing enough, there is also supposed to be an internal process of production that gives rise to the Son and Spirit: the Son is said to be 'begotten' by the Father, while the Spirit is said to 'proceed' either from the Father and the Son together, or (...) from the Father, but through the Son. -/- One might wonder, though, just how this sort of divine production is supposed to work. Does the Father, for instance, fashion the Son out of materials, or does he conjure up the Son out of nothing? Is there a middle ground one could take here, or is the whole idea of divine production simply unintelligible? -/- In the late 13th and early 14th centuries, scholastic theologians subjected these questions to detailed philosophical analysis, and those discussions make up one of the most important, and one of the most neglected, aspects of late medieval trinitarian theology. This book examines the central ideas and arguments that defined this debate, namely those of Henry of Ghent, John Duns Scotus, and William Ockham. Their discussions are significant not only for the history of trinitarian theology, but also for the history of philosophy, especially regarding the notions of production and causal powers. (shrink)
With an aim to develop a public theology for an age of information media (or media theology), this article proposes a new God-concept: God is a communicative system sui generis that autopoietically processes meaning/information in the supratemporal realm via perfect divine media ad intra (Word/Spirit). For this task, Niklas Luhmann's systems theory is critically appropriated in dialogue with theology. First, my working postmetaphysical/epistemological stance is articulated as realistic operational constructivism and functionalism. Second, a series of arguments are (...) advanced to substantiate the thesis: (1) God is an observing system sui generis ; (2) self-referential communication is divine operation; (3) unsurpassable complexity is divine mystery; (4) supratemporal autopoiesis of meaning is divine processing; (5) agape is the symbolic medium of divine communication. Third, this communicative model of God is developed into a trinitarian theology, with a claim that this model offers a viable alternative beyond the standard (psychic, social, process) models. Finally, some implications of this model are explored for constructive theology (conceiving creation as divine mediatization) and for science-and-religion in terms of derivative models: (1) God as a living system sui generis and (2) God as a meaning system sui generis. (shrink)
This paper comments on the other papers in this special issue of ’Faith and Philosophy’ on natural theology. It claims that most people today need both bare natural theology (to show that there is a God) and ramified natural theology (to establish detailed doctrinal claims), and that Christian tradition has generally claimed that cogent arguments of natural theology (of both kinds) are available. Plantinga’s "dwindling probabilities" objection against ramified natural theology is shown to have no (...) force when different pieces of evidence are fed into the arguments at different stages. But showing the cogency of arguments of natural theology involves the lengthy process of helping people to see the correctness of certain moral views. (shrink)
The thesis of political theology holds that all justificatory theories of the state rely on metaphysical assumptions, rather than just empirical facts and accepted political conventions. For this reason, the thesis challenges liberal theories that justify the state on the basis of individual autonomy and popular will. The thesis is controversial because many theorists believe that metaphysical assumptions introduce decisionism – the view that a state depends on the unrestrained personal decision of a ruler – to the theory of (...) the state. But, does political theology entail decisionism? This article argues that decisionism does not follow necessarily from political theology because an omnipotent deciding sovereign is only one of many possible metaphysical assumptions in theology. It illustrates this claim with examples from the philosophy of Nicholas Cusanus and process philosophy. This conclusion challenges two different entrenched views: first, that the modern state is a continuation of theistic beliefs; and second, that metaphysical discussions have no place in contemporary normative political theory. (shrink)
. Our ideas of disease try to explain it, and they aim at facilitating cures. In the process, they become entwined in sociocultural networks that have totalizing effects. Disease, however, counters this totalizing effect by revealing to us that our lives are fragments. Unless we engage this fragment character of disease and of our lives, we cannot properly understand disease or deal with it. HIV/AIDS clarifies these issues in an extraordinarily powerful fashion. Medical, legal, commercial, political, and institutional approaches (...) to disease overlook the fragment character of disease in favor of totalizing world- views. A theology of disease is necessary in order to maintain the focus on fragments. Unless we recognize this fragment character, we do not really understand our lives, and we do not really understand either disease or healing. (shrink)
If process thought, which has generally been used to support liberal Protestant Christianity, is good metaphysics, it should be able to clarify, but not necessarily judge the truth about, particular religious assertions. Using process thought, I attempt to interpret a conservative theological doctrine of the resurrection of the body, including Jesus's resurrection and his empty tomb, while criticizing the metaphysics of those who have generally held this doctrine. By focusing on the critical example of resurrection in Christian (...) class='Hi'>theology, I assert that process thought is more adequate to explain orthodox Biblical Christianity than traditional philosophies. (shrink)
Far from merely reinvigorating relativism, postmodernism has detected and expressed in our time a powerful nihilating process of which truth and reality itself are the final casualties; and with these morality and religion. Beginning from the theological reaches of philosophy, this book argues that gods played a crucial part in modern philosophy, even when it was most critical of them; that the dominant nihilism of Derrida is really an excessive and misleading outcome of a contemporary philosophy which could otherwise (...) resonate with all that is best in our evolutionary image of the universe; that moralists who turn to art in order to overcome the fact-value version of this deadly dualism do not thereby rule out religion; and that a Christian theology which recognises the evolutionary/historical conditions of faith and revelation is once again producing a theology that builds upon the best of contemporary philosophy and science. (shrink)
In theological discourse, argues Hugh Nicholson, the political goes "all the way down." One never reaches a bedrock level of politically neutral religious facts, because all theological discourse - even the most sublime, edifying, and "spiritual"--is shot through with polemical elements. -/- Liberal theologies, from the Christian fulfillment theology of the nineteenth century to the pluralist theology of the twentieth, have assumed that religious writings attain spiritual truth and sublimity despite any polemical elements they might contain. Through his (...) analysis and comparison of the Christian mystical theologian Meister Eckhart and his Hindu counterpart ÍaSkara, Nicholson arrives at a very different conclusion. Polemical elements may in fact constitute the creative source of the expressive power of religious discourses. Wayne Proudfoot has argued that mystical discourses embody a set of rules that repel any determinate understanding of the ineffable object or experience they purport to describe. In Comparative Theology and the Problem of Religious Rivalry, Nicholson suggests that this principle of negation is connected, perhaps through a process of abstraction and sublimation, with the need to distinguish oneself from one's intra- and/or inter-religious adversaries. -/- Nicholson proposes a new model of comparative theology that recognizes and confronts one of the most urgent cultural and political issues of our time: namely, the "return of the political" in the form of anti-secular and fundamentalist movements around the world. This model acknowledges the ineradicable nature of an oppositional dimension of religious discourse, while honoring and even advancing the liberal project of curtailing intolerance and prejudice in the sphere of religion. (shrink)
At the University of Pretoria the author, a practical theologian, experiences a fruitful soil for the development of an interdisciplinary process. He referred to concrete examples of cooperation, but used the article to reflect on best practices for the interdisciplinary dialogue. He came to the conclusion that it probably made more sense to talk of Practical-theological alternatives rather than to describe the subject in a single fixed manner of understanding and action. Our goal should rather be to open up (...) the boundaries between Practical Theology, Human, Social and Natural Sciences. (shrink)
In 1922 Charles Hartshorne, then an aspiring young philosopher, wrote to Edgar Sheffield Brightman, a preeminent philosopher of religion for twenty-three subsequent years and, remarkably, almost every letter was preserved. In their introductory essays, editors Randall Auxier and Mark Davies place the unusually rich and intensive correspondence in its intellectual context and address the relationship between personalism and process philosophy/theology in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and social philosophy.
This is an overview of Christian theology organized around the theme of love and informed at multiple points by contemporary philosophy of religion. Of particular philosophical interest because of features including the careful elaboration of a nonrelativist version of a nonfoundationalist epistemology of religion; an analysis of the problem of evil that suggests that the practical differences between process and classical free-will theodicies are limited and that theology need not necessarily choose between them; conceptual critiques of divine-command (...) theories of metaethics and substitutionary views of atonement; and an account of language about divine personhood in some ways paralleling Rylean behaviorism. (shrink)
Interstices of the Sublime represents a powerful theological engagement with psychoanalytic theory in Freud, Lacan, Kristeva and Zi zek, as well as major expressions of contemporary Continental philosophy, including Deleuze, Derrida, Marion, and Badiou. Through creative and constructive psycho-theological readings of topics such as sublimation, schizophrenia, God, and creation ex nihilo, this book contributes to a new form of radical theological thinking that is deeply involved in the world. Here the idea of the Kantian sublime is read into Freud and (...) Lacan, and compared with sublimation. The sublime refers to a conflict of the Kantian faculties of reason and imagination, and involves the attempt to represent what is intrinsically unrepresentable. Sublimation, by contrast, involves the expression and partial satisfaction of primal desires in culturally acceptable terms. The sublime is negatively expressed in sublimation, because it is both the "source" of sublimation as well as that which resists being sublimated. That is, the Freudian sublime is related to the process of sublimation, but it also distorts or disrupts sublimation, and invokes what Lacan calls the Real. The effects of the sublime are not just psychoanalytic but, importantly, theological, because the sublime is the main form that "God" takes in the modern world. A radical postmodern theology attends to the workings of the sublime in our thinking and living, and provides resources to understand the complexity of reality. This book is one of the first sustained theological readings of Lacan in English. (shrink)
In this book, Mike Higton provides a constructive critique of Higher Education policy and practice in the UK, the US and beyond, from the standpoint of Christian theology. He focuses on the role universities can and should play in forming students and staff in intellectual virtue, in sustaining vibrant communities of inquiry, and in serving the public good. He argues both that modern secular universities can be a proper context for Christians to pursue their calling as disciples to learn (...) and to teach, and that Christians can contribute to the flourishing of such universities as institutions devoted to learning for the common good. In the process he sets out a vision of the good university as secular and religiously plural, as socially inclusive, and as deeply and productively entangled with the surrounding society. Along the way, he engages with a range of historical examples (the medieval University of Paris, the University of Berlin in the nineteenth century, and John Henry Newman's work in Oxford and Dublin) and with a range of contemporary writers on Higher Education from George Marsden to Stanley Hauerwas and from David Ford to Rowan Williams. (shrink)
Are toleration and pluralism possible in Jewish religion? -- Yeshayahu Leibovitz : the man against his thought -- Leibowitz and Camus : between faith and the absurd -- Jewish religion without theology -- The critique of theodicy : from metaphysics to praxis -- The Holocaust : a theological or a religious-existentialist problem? -- Tikkun Olam : between utopian idea and socio-historical process.
This essay adds a theological voice to the current debate over the legacy of Gilles Deleuze. It discusses Peter Hallward's charge that Deleuze is best read as a mystical, theophanic philosopher who values creativity to the detriment of real creatures. It argues that while Hallward is right to discern a flight from bodies, relations, and politics in Deleuze, this is due not to Deleuze's contemplative mysticism, but rather to his strident rejection of any transcendence. The essay then draws upon Thomas (...) Merton in order to argue that only a fully contemplative engagement with transcendence allows us to save the sort of radical becoming that Deleuze sought but couldn't achieve. (shrink)
Whitehead's magnum opus is as important as it is difficult. It is the only work in which his metaphysical ideas are stated systematically and completely, and his metaphysics are the heart of his philosophical system as a whole. Sherburne has rearranged the text in a way designed to lead the student logically and coherently through the intricacies of the system without losing the vigor of Whitehead's often brilliant prose. "The Key renders Process and Reality pedagogically accessible for the first (...) time."-- Journal of Religion. (shrink)
Christian Philosophical Theology constitutes a Christian philosopher's look at various crucial topics in Christian theology, including belief in God, the nature of God, the Trinity, christology, the resurrection of Jesus, the general resurrection, redemption, and theological method. The book is tightly argued, and amounts to a coherent explanation of and case for the Christian world view. Although written from a broadly Reformed Protestant perspective, and although the author does not avoid controversial topics, his aim is to present a (...) `merely Christian' world view (to adapt slightly C. S. Lewis's famous term). That is, he attempts to write as much as possible from the perspective of the broad centre of Christian understanding. (shrink)
This collection opens a dialogue between process philosophy and contemporary consciousness studies. Approaching consciousness from diverse disciplinary perspectives—philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, neuropathology, psychotherapy, biology, animal ethology, and physics—the contributors offer empirical and philosophical support for a model of consciousness inspired by the process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947). Whitehead’s model is developed in ways he could not have anticipated to show how it can advance current debates beyond well-known sticking points. This has trenchant consequences for epistemology and suggests (...) fresh and promising perspectives on such topics as the mind-body problem, the neurobiology of consciousness, animal consciousness, the evolution of consciousness, panpsychism, the unity of consciousness, epiphenomenalism, free will, and causation. (shrink)
Robert Merrihew Adams has been a leader in renewing philosophical respect for the idea that moral obligation may be founded on the commands of God. This collection of Adams' essays, two of which are previously unpublished, draws from his extensive writings on philosophical theology that discuss metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical issues surrounding the concept of God--whether God exists or not, what God is or would be like, and how we ought to relate ourselves to such a being. Adams studies (...) the relation between religion and ethics, delving into an analysis of moral arguments for theistic belief. In several essays, he applies contemporary studies in the metaphysics of individuality, possibility and necessity, and counterfactual conditionals to issues surrounding the existence of God and problems of evil. (shrink)
According to Joshua Greene’s influential dual process model of moral judgment, different modes of processing are associated with distinct moral outputs: automatic processing with deontological judgment, and controlled processing with utilitarian judgment. This paper aims to clarify and assess Greene’s model. I argue that the proposed tie between process and content is based on a misinterpretation of the evidence, and that the supposed evidence for controlled processing in utilitarian judgment is actually likely to reflect generic deliberation which, ironically, (...) is incompatible with a utilitarian outlook. This alternative proposal is further supported by the results of a recent neuroimaging study we have done. (shrink)
The paper proposes a novel understanding of how Aristotle’s theoretical works complement each other in such a way as to form a genuine system, and this with the immediate (and ostensibly central) aim of addressing a longstanding question regarding Aristotle’s ‘first philosophy’—namely, is Aristotle’s first philosophy a contribution to theology, or to the science of being in general? Aristotle himself seems to suggest that it is in some ways both, but how this can be is a very difficult question. (...) My answer is in some respects a version of one that goes back at least to the middle ages—i.e., that first philosophy is concerned with the gods (and to that extent offers a theology) because the gods are causes and principles of beings precisely insofar as they are beings. The more original aspect of my position lies in my claim that the sort of tension found in the Metaphysics is likewise to be found in many of Aristotle’s physical works. Thus, for example, the De caelo is (I argue) concerned generally with natural beings (= beings susceptible of change), but its discussions are focused largely on the heavenly bodies and the Aristotelian elements insofar as they admit of change with respect to place. Here I claim that the particular objects of discussion are dealt with precisely because they are causes and principles of natural beings as such. Something similar goes, I claim, for the De generatione et corruptione, the general concern of which is a particular species of natural being—i.e., natural beings susceptible of generation and corruption. In this way, I argue, Aristotle successively deals in his theoretical works with those causes and principles of (say) a horse which attach to it insofar as it is a being, those causes and principles of a horse which attach to it insofar as it is a natural being, those causes and principles of a horse which attach to it insofar as it is a perishable natural being, and so on for the lower genera under which the species horse is subsumed. (shrink)
Thought experiments play an important cognitive role in many fields of inquiry, especially in physics and philosophy. Do they also matter in revealed theology? In addressing this question, I will argue first why it is important to do so, then elaborate on the characteristic features of such thought experiments in revealed theology, and finally discuss two instances of thought experimenting in Augustine.
This is the outline: Introduction : le praticien d’une science-philosophie; Épiphénoménisme retourné et subjectivité délocalisée; Dieu est-il jamais inféré par la science ?; La question du panthéisme; Le pilotage axiologique et la parabole mécaniste; L'unité domaniale comme ce qui reste en dehors de la science.
Nihilism is the logic of nothing as something, which claims that Nothing Is. Its unmaking of things, and its forming of formless things, strain the fundamental terms of existence: what it is to be, to know, to be known. But nihilism, the antithesis of God, is also like theology. Where nihilism creates nothingness, condenses it to substance, God also makes nothingness creative. Negotiating the borders of spirit and substance, theology can ask the questions of nihilism that other disciplines (...) do not ask: Where is it? What is it made of? Why is it so destructive? How can it be made holy, or overcome? Genealogy of Nihilism rereads Western history in the light of nihilistic logic, which pervades two millennia of Western thought and is coming to fruition in our present age in a virulently dangerous manner. From Parmenides to Alain Badiou, via Plotinus, Avicenna, Duns Scotus, Ockham, Descartes, Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, Heidegger, Sartre, Lacan, Deleuze and Derrida, a genealogy of nothingness can be witnessed in development, with devastating consequences for the way we live. Conor Cunningham's elaborate and sophisticated theology, spanning the disciplines of philosophy, science and popular culture, permits us to see not simply how modernity has formulated its philosophies of nothing, but how these philosophies might be transfigures by the crucial difference theology makes, and so be reconcilable with life and the living - with the very gift which being is. (shrink)