Drawing on the philosophy of C. S. Peirce, Robinson develops a ‘semiotic model’ of the Trinity and proposes a new theology of nature according to which the evolving cosmos may be understood as bearing ‘vestiges of the Trinity in ...
We provide an overview of a proposal for a new metaphysical framework within which theology and science might both find a home. Our proposal draws on the triadic semiotics and threefold system of metaphysical categories of C. S. Peirce. We summarize the key features of a semiotic model of the Trinity, based on observed parallels between Peirce's categories of Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness and Christian thinking about, respectively, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We test and extend the semiotic (...) model by exploring how Peirce's taxonomy of signs offers a new approach to theological reflection on the Incarnation. This leads to a novel way of framing scientific questions about human evolution in semiotic terms and to a new approach to theological anthropology. Finally, we use the semiotic model of the Trinity as the basis of a trinitarian approach to the theology of creation according to which the semiotic processes that are fundamental to life and to human behavior and cognition may be understood as “vestiges of the Trinity in creation.”. (shrink)
The essay seeks to single out, describe, and analyze the main semiotic features that compose the fundamentalist understanding of authoriality. Given a definition of authoriality as the series of semiotic dynamics that induce a reader to posit a genetic relation between an author and a text, the fundamentalist authoriality is characterized as displaying six main traits. First, centrality of the written text: in order to postulate a perfect coincidence between a transcendent intentio auctoris (intention of the author) and an immanent (...) intentio lectoris (intention of the reader), fundamentalist exegetical and juridical hermeneutics must be anchored to a stable message, canonized into a written verbal text or into a corpus of written verbal texts. Second, fundamentalist authoriality rests on the assumption of the immutability and mono-centrism of the religious semiosphere that irradiates from the written text. Third, literalism, infallibility, and non-contradiction are attributed to the relation between the written text, its exegetical hermeneutics, and the pragmatic normative orders to which it gives rise. Fourth, fundamentalist authoriality rules out any potential duplicity of the operations that ‘extract’ meaning from religious texts. Fifth, the assumption of the immutability of the religious text leads to exclusion of any operation that might alter the form of both its expression and content, hence to stigmatization of translation. The sixth feature of fundamentalist authoriality encompasses all the previous ones: in fundamentalism, a religious text is not actually a text anymore, but a mirror, whose passive reflection of the exegete’s mind undermines the semiotic nature of the relation between the reader and the text. (shrink)
In Intimations of Christianity Among the Ancient Greeks , Simone Weil discusses precursors to Christian religious ideas which can be found in ancient Greek mythology, literature and philosophy. She looks at evidence of "Christian" feelings in Greek literature, notably in Electra, Orestes, and Antigone , and in the Iliad , going on to examine God in Plato, and divine love in creation, as seen by the ancient Greeks.
The subject of this book is the thought of the American pragmatist and founder of semiotics, Charles Sanders Peirce. The book collects the papers presented to the International Conference Semiotics and Philosophy in C.S. Peirce (Milan, April 2005), together with some additional new contributions by well-known Peirce scholars, bearing witness to the vigour of Peircean scholarship in Italy and also hosting some of the most significant international voices on this topic. The book is introduced by the two editors (...) and is divided into three sections, corresponding to the three main areas of the most interesting contemporary reflection on Peirce. Namely, Semiotics and the Logic of Inquiry (part I); Abduction and Philosophy of Mathematics (part II); Peirce and the Western Tradition. (part III). The analysis is carried out from a semiotic perspective, in which semiotics should not be understood as a specific doctrine but rather as the philosophical core of Peirce’s system. As we read in the introduction: “it is semiotics and philosophy or, rather, semiotics as philosophy and philosophy as semiotics, which emerge from a reading of these papers”. (shrink)
Christians and Marxists have co-operated in various forms of political work in recent decades, and, after earlier years of antagonism, thinkers on both sides have come to take the other seriously. The aim of this book is to get Christianity and Marxism to meet on terrain on which they might seem most opposed: their philosophical positions; and to do so without watering either down, but taking then full strength.
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)
A RECENT BIOGRAPHY of Marcus Loane, evangelical Anglican Archbishop of Sydney in the 1960s, records that as a student at Moore Theological College he would read during lectures to avoid having to listen to the liberal Principal. When you are committed to a closed system of thought, you can't be too careful when it comes to letting ideas in from the outside. But what about the ideas already inside? How does the Sydney Anglican interpretation of Christianity compare to what (...) Jesus said? (shrink)
Through an exchange that is both intimate and enlightening, Vattimo and Girard share their unparalleled insight into the relationships among religion, modernity, and the role of Christianity, especially as it exists in our multicultural ...
Although modern societies have come to recognize diversity in human sexuality as simply part of nature, many Christian communities and thinkers still have considerable difficulties with related developments in politics, legislation, and science. In fact, homosexuality is a recurrent topic in the transdisciplinary encounter between Christianity and the sciences, an encounter that is otherwise rather “asexual.” I propose that the recent emergence of “Christianity and Science” as an academic field in its own right is an important part of (...) the larger context of the difficulties related to attempts to reconcile Christianity and a recognition of diversity in human sexuality as a norm. Through a critical discussion of arguments which are upheld most disturbingly on a global scale by the Roman Catholic Church and supported with much sophistry by important stakeholders of an influential stream in analytic philosophy of religion, this paper aims to contextualize and defend the legitimacy of the question why God would create homosexuals as such if it is true that every homosexual act is prohibited by God. While recently advanced nonheterosexist scientific models of sexuality in nature inform the discussion, I reject the simplistic view that religions suppress and the sciences liberate in matters sexual. (shrink)
Over 700,000 copies of the original hardcover and paperback editions of this stunningly popular book have been sold. Karen Armstrong's superbly readable exploration of how the three dominant monotheistic religions of the world—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—have shaped and altered the conception of God is a tour de force. One of Britain's foremost commentators on religious affairs, Armstrong traces the history of how men and women have perceived and experienced God, from the time of Abraham to the present. From classical (...) philosophy and medieval mysticism to the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the modern age of skepticism, Armstrong performs the near miracle of distilling the intellectual history of monotheism into one compelling volume. (shrink)
The author uses Eco's The Name of the Rose to pose the problem of the relation between the infinite aesthetic play of semiotics and pragmatic moral responsibility for human conduct. This problem is addressed through Peirce's semiotic theory, which not only links signs to objects, but situates them in an interpretant relation that is formative of human conduct. Religion is advanced as the paradigm of this relation; a "categorial semiotic" where concrete symbolic acts move beyond nominalism through real experience (...) of the divine, to which "fallibilistic" doctrines are always subject. (shrink)
How can philosophy or science claim to discover objective truth when their arguments originate from subjective beings? In Intentionality and Semiotics , John Deely offers a controversial solution to the problem of subjectivity in inquiry. He creates an interface between semiotics and the concept of intentionality, as it appears in Aquinas’s work, to demonstrate that every sign is irrevocably linked to the reality of relations. In the process, Deely builds a bridge between classical thinkers such as Aristotle and (...) modernists such as Heidegger and Peirce in this innovative volume. (shrink)
Lectures on evolution -- On the physical basis of life -- Naturalism and supernaturalism -- The value of witness to the miraculous -- Agnosticism -- The Christian tradition in relation to Judaic Christianity -- Agnosticism and Christianity.
Kierkegaard struck out against all forms of established order–including the established church–that work to make men complacent with themselves and thereby obscure their personal responsibility to encounter God. He considered Training in Christianity his most important book. It represented his effort to replace what he believed had become "an amiable, sentimental paganism" with authentic Christianity. Kierkegaard's challenge to live out the implications of Christianity in the most personal decisions of life will greatly appeal to readers today who (...) are trying to develop their personal integrity in accordance with the truths of revealed religion. (shrink)
Religion and intelligence.--The philosophic theory of knowledge.--The absolute object of intelligence.--The Biblical theory of knowledge.--Biblical ontology: the absolute.--Biblical ontology: the world.--Biblical ontology: man.--Comparative philosophic content of Christianity.
A pioneer in the field, Christian Metz applies insights of structural linguistics to the language of film. "The semiology of film . . . can be held to date from the publication in 1964 of the famous essay by Christian Metz, 'Le cinema: langue ou langage?'"--Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, Times Literary Supplement "Modern film theory begins with Metz."--Constance Penley, coeditor of Camera Obscura "Any consideration of semiology in relation to the particular field signifying practice of film passes inevitably through a reference to (...) the work of Christian Metz. . . . The first book to be written in this field, [ Film Language ] is important not merely because of this primacy but also because of the issues it raises . . . issues that have become crucial to the contemporary argument."--Stephen Heath, Screen. (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.
In this original work of psychoanalytic theory, John Muller explores the formative power of signs and their impact on the mind, the body and subjectivity, giving special attention to work of the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan and the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce. Muller explores how Lacan's way of understanding experience through three dimensions--the real, the imaginary and the symbolic--can be useful both for thinking about cultural phenomena and for understanding the complexities involved in treating psychotic patients. Muller develops Lacan's (...) perspective gradually, presenting it as distinctive approaches to data from a variety of sources, such as cognitive, social and developmental psychology, literature, history, art, and psychoanalytic treatment. The book's first four chapters present Muller's reading of selected data from child development research, psychology and linguistics, approximating a semiotic model of "normal" development. The following three chapters examine in a Lacanian framework the structural basis of psychotic stages as indicative of massive semiotic failure in development. The final chapters on human narcissism suggest reasons that "normal" development may be impossible. (shrink)
Approaching modern psychology -- Science and faith: learning from the past -- Neuropsychology: linking mind and brain -- Neuropsychology and spiritual experience -- Linking the brain and behavior -- Human nature: biblical and psychological portraits -- Human nature and animal nature: are they different? -- Personology and psychotherapy: confronting the challenges -- Human needs: psychological and theological perspectives -- Consciousness now: a contemporary issue -- Explaining consciousness now: a contemporary issue -- Determinism, freedom, and responsibility -- The future of science (...) and faith: beyond perspectivalism? (shrink)
Abstract. This article offers one response from within Christianity to the theological challenges of Darwinism. It identifies evolutionary theory as a key aspect of the context of contemporary Christian hermeneutics. Examples of the need for re-reading of scripture, and reassessment of key doctrines, in the light of Darwinism include the reading of the creation and fall accounts of Genesis 1–3, the reformulation of the Christian doctrine of humanity as created in the image of God, and the possibility of a (...) new approach to the Incarnation in the light of evolution and semiotics. Finally, a theodicy in respect of evolutionary suffering is outlined, in dialogue with recent writings attributing such suffering to a force in opposition to God. The latter move is rejected on both theological and scientific grounds. Further work on evolutionary theodicy is proposed, in relation in particular to the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo. (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)
This paper was originally delivered orally at a meeting of the Semiotic Society of America in Lubbock, Texas in 1980 and first published in Semiotics 1980, eds. Michael Herzfeld and Margot Lenhart (New York: Plenum Press, 1982), 427-438. The present version is only lightly revised from the original but a more extensive revision is in process.
This paper proposes a semiotic theory of norms—what I term normative semiotics. The paper’s central contention is that social norms are a language. Moreover, it is a language that we instinctively learn to speak. Normative behaviour is a mode of communication, the intelligibility of which allows us to establish cooperative relationships with others. Normative behaviour communicates an actor’s potential as a cooperative partner. Compliance with a norm is an act of communication: compliance signals cooperativeness; noncompliance signals uncooperativeness. An evolutionary (...) model is proposed to explain how this comes about: evolution has generated an instinctual proficiency in working with these signals much like a language—a proficiency that manifests in an emotional context. We see these social rules as possessing a certain ‘rightness’ in normative terms. This adaptive trait is what we call internalization. Internalization enhances the individual’s ability to speak this code. Because these signals communicate who is and who is not a reliable co-operator, sending and receiving cooperation signals is crucial to individual survival. Individuals who internalized the entire process and thus became more adept at speaking the language were at an advantage. Law seeks to shape the language of norms by maintaining the collective standards of society; as such, understanding how and why this normative language emerges is critical to understanding a core function of law. (shrink)
The most important work of the famed German philosopher, this 1841 polemic asserts that religion and divinity are outward projections of inner human nature. Feuerbach's critique of Hegelian idealism excited immediate international attention — Marx and Engels were particularly influenced. This acclaimed translation is by the celebrated English novelist George Eliot.
The present essay examines the conflicting ontological assumptions that one can find behind the word dao in the texts of the Laozi and Zhuangzi and argues that the relative indifference to these texts toward whether or not dao has an ontic reality should not be considered a flaw of early Daoism. Rather, the historical process by which the term dao collects various possible ontological implications can be thought of as a philosophical stance in its own right. That is, if the (...) terms which one is obliged to use in discussing the immaterial necessarily hide, at least as much as they explain, the nature of Being, then it is a reasonable response to decline to ground one’s ethics in an ontology, and that while the resulting philosophy may not qualify as a fully-adumbrated system, this does not diminish its potential usefulness. (shrink)
German Romanticism is commonly associated with nationalism rather than cosmopolitanism. Against this standard picture, I argue that the early German romantic author, Novalis (Georg Philipp Friedrich von Hardenberg, 1772–1801) holds a decidedly cosmopolitan view. Novalis’s essay “Christianity or Europe” has been the subject of much dispute and puzzlement ever since he presented it to the Jena romantic circle in the fall of 1799. On the basis of an account of the philosophical background of Novalis’s romanticism, I show that the (...) image of the Middle Ages sketched in “Christianity or Europe” plays a symbolic role and should not be taken as a literal description of the historical past or as a blueprint for the future. Rather, the romantic picture of medieval Europe serves to evoke poetically the ideal of a cosmopolitan re-unification of humanity. (shrink)
Despite the central role that the concept of God played in Kitarō Nishida's philosophy—and more broadly, within the Kyoto School which formed around Nishida—Anglophone studies of the religious philosophy of modern Japan have not seriously considered the nature and role of God in Nishida's thought. Indeed, relevant Anglophone studies even strongly suggest that where the concept of God does appear in Nishida's writings, such a concept is to be dismissed as a 'subjective fiction', a 'penultimate designation', or a peripheral Western (...) intrusion with no genuine relationship to the core of Nishida's thought. However, a careful study of Nishida's own writings reveals that for Nishida, in his own words, God is 'that which is indispensable and decisive'. For the first time in English, this present study reveals Nishida's view of God, especially examining Nishida's debt to the theologian Karl Barth and Christianity. (shrink)
Richard Swinburne's tetralogy on Christian doctrine, together with his earlier trilogy on the philosophy of theism, is one of the most important apologetic projects of recent times. This paper focuses on some difficulties with this project that stem from Swinburne's use of confirmation theory. Arguably, the problem of dwindling probabilities, pointed out by Plantinga, has not been solved. The paper is principally focused, however, on the ways in which Swinburne's confirmation theory contributes to his comparative neglect of the personal, existential (...) dimension of Christianity. A solution for these difficulties is suggested but not elaborated. (shrink)
Alasdair MacIntyre, a leading moral philosopher in the English speaking world, was from his earliest intellectual formation influenced profoundly both by Christianity and Marxism. MacIntyre argues that Marxism has religious roots, in that it gains its vision of the good life of peace and reconciliation from Christianity, mediated by Hegel, but makes this life historically concrete. The article views MacIntyre's early intellectual career as a case study in the productive tension generated by an analysis of the connections between (...)Christianity and Marxism. It is suggested that by examining the similarities and differences of these two traditions, MacIntyre points to the sources of radicalism that lie at the apparently conservative heart of western culture and reveals aspects of the continuing significance of this culture's religious background. He also points to the difficulties both traditions have in engaging with modern liberal culture. (shrink)
Abstract One side of this paper is devoted to showing that the Golden Rule, understood as standing for universal love, is centrally characteristic of Confucianism properly understood, rather than graded, familial love. In this respect Confucianism and Christianity are similar. The other side of this paper is devoted to arguing contra 18 centuries of commentators that the negative sentential formulation of the Golden Rule as found in Confucius cannot be converted to an affirmative sentential formulation (as is found in (...)Christianity) without a change in its meaning. In this respect Confucianism and Christianity are different. (shrink)
A number of recent historians claim to have defeated what they call the ‘conflict thesis’, the idea that there exists some inevitable conflict between Darwinism and Christianity. This is often thought to be part of a broader ‘warfare thesis’, which posits an inevitable conflict between science and religion. But, all they have defeated is one, relatively uninteresting form of this thesis. There remain other forms of the conflict theses that remain entirely plausible, even in light of the historical record.
Human altruistic behavior has received a great deal of scientific attention over the past forty years. Altruistic-like behaviors found among insects and animals have illumined certain human behaviors, and the revival of interest in group selection has focused attention on how sacrificial altruism, although not adaptive for individuals, can be adaptive for groups. Curiously, at the same time that sociobiology has placed greater emphasis on the value of sacrificial altruism, Protestant ethics in America has moved away from it. While Roman (...) Catholic ethics has a longstanding tradition emphasizing an ordering of love, placing love of self second only to love for God, Protestant ethics in America has adopted a similar stance only recently, replacing a strong sacrificial ethic with one focusing on mutual regard for self and others. If sociobiology is correct about the significance of sacrificial altruistic behaviors for the survival of communities, this shift away from sacrificial agape by American Christianity may cut the community off from important resources for the development of a global ethic crucial for the survival of that faith community and humankind itself. (shrink)