Introduction: Context and hisotry -- Introducing the dailogue partners : Torrance and Feyerabend -- Torrance : theology cohabiting with natural science -- Torrance's proposal : a new objectivity -- Feyerabend's challenge : 'knowledge without foundations' -- Two excuses -- Coherence and language -- From foundations to spirals -- Conclusion.
In this article, the author traces the response of liberation theologians to human rights initiatives through three distinct stages over the past thirty years: from an initial avoidance of the concept, to an early critique, and then to a nuanced theological appropriation. He contends that liberation theology brings a thoroughgoing concern for the poor and an innovative methodology of historicization to the discussion of human rights. In clarifying the treatment of human rights within a specific religious movement, the (...) author also addresses larger questions about the specific role of human rights language. To this end, the article shows how liberation theologians have grappled concretely with the divisions among different "generations" of rights, various rights discourses, and diverse options for rights advocacy. (shrink)
A remarkable but little studied aspect of current evolutionary theory is the use by many biologists and philosophers of theological arguments for evolution. These can be classed under two heads: imperfection arguments, in which some organic design is held to be inconsistent with God's perfection and wisdom, and homology arguments, in which some pattern of similarity is held to be inconsistent with God's freedom as an artificer. Evolutionists have long contended that the organic world falls short of what one might (...) expect from an omnipotent and benevolent creator. Yet many of the same scientists who argue theologically for evolution are committed to the philosophical doctrine of methodological naturalism, which maintains that theology has no place in science. Furthermore, the arguments themselves are problematical, employing concepts that cannot perform the work required of them, or resting on unsupported conjectures about suboptimality. Evolutionary theorists should reconsider both the arguments and the influence of Darwinian theological metaphysics on their understanding of evolution. (shrink)
Paul Ricoeur clearly sought to differentiate between and keep separate his philosophical and theological intellectual endeavors. This essay brings into relief a deep, implicit, recapitulative pattern in Ricoeur’s thinking that cuts across this explicit “conceptual asceticism.” Specifically, it highlights this recapitulative pattern in Ricoeur’s treatment of prophecy in the Hebrew Bible; his understanding of utopia and ideology; the functioning of symbols in The Symbolism of Evil and of sublimation in Freud and Philosophy . On these topics Ricoeur extended his typical (...) generosity toward all that might appear to be outdated, primitive, and even regressive in our collective and personal humanity. The frequently recapitulative nature of Ricoeur’s insights indicates the importance not just of the content of his thought but also the way in which he did his thinking, a pattern which above all was generous, even to a fault. (shrink)
Antje Jackelén's Time and Eternity successfully employs the method of correlation and a close study of the question of time to enter the dialogue between science and theology. Hermeneutical attention to language is a central element of this dialogue, but we must be aware that much science is untranslatable into ordinary language; it is when we get to the bigger metaphysical assumptions of science that true dialogue begins to happen. Thus, although the method of correlation is a useful way (...) to approach this dialogue, there is not a strict equivalence in this relationship. Theology needs science more than science needs theology. In speaking of time and God we must keep in mind the relational nature of classical Christian theism, even in its most austere forms. We should not read Enlightenment ideas of God back into the classical Christian tradition or neglect the apophatic emphasis in Christian theism, which warned against assuming knowledge of the divine nature. God's relation to time always lies beyond our understanding. Studying the effects of either the Newtonian or Einsteinian concepts of time on our theological concepts should not detract our attention from the "lived time" that characterizes human experience. Consideration of the notion of time in the Madhyamaka Buddhist tradition reminds us that we cannot control the inner reality of time and that for humans time is something to be considered pragmatically. (shrink)
En América Latina, las teologías han estado atentas a lo socio-económico, las identidades, la espiritualidad. Hoy también se considera el genero, la ecología, el diálogo entre culturas y entre religiones. Nos preguntamos ¿cómo ocurre la salvación en Cristo? Se retoman reflexiones andinas de Vicenta Mamani, Domingo Llanque, Víctor Bascope. La cosmovisión indígena y mestiza plantea, por ejemplo, cómo creer en el Dios de la Vida y no creer en ídolos del mercado. Subrayo que las culturas sean tratadas, no como esencias, (...) sino más bien como procesos históricos en medio de los cuales la comunidad cree y ama. En cuanto a lo intercultural, no es un tema de moda, sino más bien un polílogo entre comunidades humanas. Esto ocurre en contextos asimétricos; por eso la propuesta de liberación busca la correlación entre pueblos. En la teología latinoamericana, luego de los pasos dados en la inculturación, se ha comenzado a ver el desafío intercultural. (shrink)
Raymund Schwager SJ suggested a dramatic way of looking at the Christ event, as recorded in the New Testament, in order to clarify the meaning of it and provide a coherent picture. Bernard Lonergan SJ developed a theological methodology for our day. In this article, the author tries to determine how Schwager's approach relates to Lonergan's methodology. He wants to investigate the question: what functional specialty is Schwager engaged in in his main work? The answer shall be that (...) this is foundations. The author of the article proceeds by (1) introducing the most important elements of Schwager's dramatic understanding of the Christ event and (2) of Lonergan's methodology, and then by linking them with one another; (3) he will try to show how Schwager's subdivision of the Christ event into five acts brings out the contours of Jesus' struggle with his opponents as an instance of dialectic in Lonergan's sense; (4) that the Easter experience will be construed as a new, foundational, act that objectifies conversion to human authenticity; and that (5) by discerning all this in the Christ event dramatic theology defines soteriology as the horizon within which Christian doctrines and systematics have to stand and elucidates the way soteriology should be construed; that way dramatic theology determines itself as a foundational enterprise. For the author of the article, this constitutes an exemplary case of the genesis of special theological categories. /// Segundo o artigo, Raymund Schwager SJ propôs um modo dramático de encarar o acontecimento crístico, tal como o mesmo nos é relatado nos textos do Novo Testamento, em ordem a clarificar o seu sentido e a oferecer-nos uma imagem coerente do mesmo. Por seu lado, Bernard Lonergan SJ desenvolveu uma metodologia teológica adequada às exigências do nosso tempo. Assim, o autor do artigo propõe-se determinar de que modo a abordagem de Schwager está relacionada com a metodologia de Lonergan. O seu objectivo é investigar a seguinte questão: qual é a especialidade funcional com que Schwager se compromete na sua principal obra? A resposta será que se trata das fundações. Com isso, o artigo desenvolve-se da seguinte maneira: (1) introdução dos elementos mais importantes na compreensão dramática de Schwager acerca do acontecimento crístico; (2) introdução dos elementos mais importantes da metodologia lonerganiana, para depois os relacionar um ao outro; (3) mostrar de que modo a subdivisão de Schwager do acontecimento crístico em cinco actos é capaz de trazer ao de cima os contornos da luta de Jesus com os seus opositores como uma instância dialéctica no sentido de Lonergan; (4) mostrar de que modo a experiência pascal pode ser construída como um novo, e fundacional, acto que objectiva a conversão à autenticidade humana; (5) mostrar até que ponto mediante o discernimento de tudo isto no acontecimento crístico, a teologia dramática define a soteriologia como o horizonte dentro do qual as doutrinas cristãs e a sistemática teológica têm de se afirmar e elucida o modo como a sotereologia tem de ser construída. Deste modo, a teologia dramática determina-se a si mesma como um empreendimento fundacional. Para o autor do artigo, trata-se aqui de um caso exemplar no que respeita à génese de categorias teológicas especiais. (shrink)
In what does philosophical progress consist? 'Vertical' progress corresponds to development within a specific paradigm/framework for theorizing (of the sort associated, revolutions aside, with science); 'horizontal' progress corresponds to the identification and cultivation of diverse paradigms (of the sort associated, conservativism aside, with art and pure mathematics). Philosophical progress seems to involve both horizontal and vertical dimensions, in a way that is somewhat puzzling: philosophers work in a number of competing frameworks (like artists or mathematicians), while typically maintaining that only (...) one of these is correct (like scientists). I diagnose this situation as reflecting that we are presently quite far from the end of inquiry into philosophical methodology. The good news is that we appear to be making advances on this score. The bad news is that failure to recognize or make explicit that our standards are in flux often leads to dogmatism, as I illustrate by attention to three assumptions presently operative in metaphysical and metametaphysical contexts. I close by identifying a tension between vertical and horizontal progress in philosophy, and suggesting an updated version of Carnap's principle of tolerance for new philosophical forms. (shrink)
In 1513 the Fifth Lateran Council determined that the immortality of the rational soul is not true only in theology, but also in philosophy. The determination can be related also to the actual teaching of philosophy. In the university of Erfurt, Bartholomaeus Arnoldi de Usingen and Jodocus Trutfetter wrote expositions on natural philosophy at that time. Usingen's and Trutfetter's expositions of De anima represent a position, which faithfully follows in methodology and aspirations the tradition of the via moderna. (...) Furthermore, they give an interpretation of the relationship between philosophy and theology, which Trutfetter considered consonant with the intentions and the formulations of the Fifth Lateran Council; and finally, Trutfetter even presents a practical application of the Council's recommendations. (shrink)
Over a long career of teaching and writing in the area of moral theology Charles E. Curran has experienced large areas of agreement with John Paul II on issues of social justice even while in other areas of personal and sexual issues the two are in serious disagreement. This phenomenon of agreement/disagreement has suggested to Curran that the pope is guilty of using a double methodology in his moral theological writing. Curran's book, The Moral Theology of Pope (...) John Paul II, seeks to uncover and substantiate the root of their agreements and disagreements. This article seeks to evaluate Curran's theory. This analysis is done in two parts: first, an examination of the evidence that Curran presents to support his charge against the pope, and second, an examination of the alternative possibility that it is Curran who has the double methodology rather than the pope. (shrink)
Throughout the 1980s Margaret Thatcher dominated British and global politics. At the same time she maintained an active Christian faith, which she understood as shaping and informing her political choices and policies. In this article I argue that we can construct from Thatcher's key speeches, her memoirs, and her book on public policy a cultural "theo-political" identity which guided her political decisions. Thatcher's identity was as an Anglo-Saxon Nonconformist. This consisted of her belief in values such as thrift and hard (...) work, care for the family and local neighbor, and charitable generosity; her belief in the renewal of the national British Christian spirit; and her notion of morality as the opportunity for free choice. Without a recognition of the centrality of her theo-political identity, it is difficult to understand the values and beliefs which were central to her political life. The methodological issues raised by the construction of this theo-political identity are examined in this article. The aim of the proposed methodology is to develop theological insights into a political phenomenon like Thatcher rather than make policy judgments or recommendations. (shrink)
This article raises three challenges to Richard McCormick's proportionalism. First, adequately to judge proportionate reason requires the specification of a particular background moral content and metaphysical context. Absent such specification, evaluation of proportionate reason is inherently and deeply ambiguous. Second, to resolve such ambiguity and yet remain Christian, proportionalism must adopt a forthrightly Christian moral content set within a straightforwardly Christian metaphysics. This move will, however, set Christian bioethics off as sectarian—a conclusion McCormick wishes to avoid. Third, even if proportionalism (...) were to adopt a Christian moral content and metaphysics to avoid such ambiguity, its methodology sets aside a key aspect of the Christian life: repentance. Proportionalism does not account for the core reality that repentance plays in one's personal encounter with and knowledge of God. As I will argue, the challenge in part is that moral action cannot be adequately conceptualized, nor can moral theology be properly understood, outside of the authentic practice of the religious life, and repentance is central to that Christian reality. (shrink)
One's conception of the conditions and applicability of the principle of double effect derive from one's broader convictions about moral methodology. Developed in a Catholic context which presumed the existence of moral absolutes, the principle of double effect was originally a conceptual tool to aid priests in being skilled confessors. In recent decades, as the practice of moral theology has become less connected with its earlier ecclesial and sacramental context, the principle of double effect has fallen into an (...) epistemological crisis. Contemporary moral theological discussion of the principle of double effect usually operates in one of the following four contexts: interpretation of Aquinas; in relation to manualist casuistry; as understood within proportionalist methodology; as defended within the new natural law methodology. The essay argues that juridically-oriented methodologies do not adequately sustain the principle of double effect. To be sustained, it must be viewed as a theological achievement based upon the meaning of our redemption in Christ and the concomitant possibilities regarding our actions in pursuit of our true good and true end. (shrink)
Both Paul Knitter and John Hick rely heavily on the exclusivist-inclusivist-pluralist paradigm. In a world that has become increasingly suspicious of missionary activity, moving beyond this paradigm calls for a bigger theology, wider methodology, and deeper missiology characterized by participant theologizing.
This essay proposes that Newman’s developmental methodology, as presented in his Fifteenth Oxford University Sermon, has a contemporary relevance for advancing insights into revelation by encouraging believers to engage with the theo-Logos. Since the word of God is embodied in doctrine and understood through symbol and ritual, doctrinal propositions should be considered “living ideas” which become embodied in the believer and so deepen the believer’s relationship with Christ and the community of believers through a liturgical symbolic order.
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)
In this paper I try to explain a strange omission in Hume’s methodological descriptions in his first Enquiry. In the course of this explanation I reveal a kind of rationalistic tendency of the latter work. It seems to contrast with “experimental method” of his early Treatise of Human Nature, but, as I show that there is no discrepancy between the actual methods of both works, I make an attempt to explain the change in Hume’s characterization of his own methods. This (...) attempt leads to the question about his interpretation of the science of human nature. I argue that his view on this science was not a constant one and that initially he identified this science with his account of passions. As this presupposes the primacy of Book 2 of his Treatise I try to find new confirmations of the old hypothesis that this Book had been written before the Book 1, dealing with understanding. Finally, I show that this discussion of Hume’s methodology may be of some interest to proponents of conceptual analysis. -/- . (shrink)
I display the historical roots of perfect being theology in Greco-Roman philosophy, and the distinctive reasons for Christians to take up a version of this project. I also rebut a recent argument that perfect-being reasoning should lead one to atheism.
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)
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)
Considering the enormous outpouring of scholarly work on Schmitt over the last two decades, the absence of an adequate treatment in English of Schmitt's concept of history and the problem of secularization is quite surprising. After all, it is Schmitt himself who claims that “all human beings who plan and attempt to unite the masses behind their plans engage in some form of philosophy of history,” such that the attempt to make sense of Schmitt's program remains incomplete without a serious (...) treatment of his philosophy of history. This article is an attempt to address this problem by means of his exchange with Hans Blumenberg who, more than any other critic of Schmitt, was privy to the political intentions behind Schmitt's metaphorical use of theology. While their discussion is extensive and wide-ranging, I focus here on their diverging philosophies of history, precisely that aspect that is most relevant to gaining a more expansive understanding of Schmitt's arguments, and indeed the relationship between political thought and historical thought. (shrink)
Since the 1950s, Donald T. Campbell has been one of the most influential contributors to the methodology of the social sciences. A distinguished psychologist, he has published scores of widely cited journal articles, and two awards, in social psychology and in public policy, have been named in his honor. This book is the first to collect his most significant papers, and it demonstrates the breadth and originality of his work.
All of the ingredients for what has become known as Anselmian perfect being theology were present already in the thought of St. Augustine. This paper develops that thesis by calling attention to various claims Augustine makes. It then asks whether there are principled reasons for determining which properties the greatest possible being has and whether an account of what contributes to greatness can settle the question whether the greatest possible being is the same as the God of Abraham, Isaac, (...) and Jacob. The paper develops Augustine’s answer to the first question by extracting several principles he endorses that generate a hierarchy of greatness. It addresses the second question by discussing the requirements of worship and of creation. (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)
Abstract Recent criticisms of intuition from experimental philosophy and elsewhere have helped undermine the authority of traditional conceptual analysis. As the product of more empirically informed philosophical methodology, this result is compelling and philosophically salutary. But the negative critiques rarely suggest a positive alternative. In particular, a normative account of concept determination—how concepts should be characterized—is strikingly absent from such work. Carnap's underappreciated theory of explication provides such a theory. Analyses of complex concepts in empirical sciences illustrates and supports (...) this claim, and counteracts the charge explication is only suitable for highly mathematical, axiomatic contexts. Explication is also defended against the influential criticism it is “philosophically unilluminating”. Content Type Journal Article Category Original paper in Philosophy of Science Pages 1-19 DOI 10.1007/s13194-011-0027-5 Authors James Justus, Philosophy Department, Florida State University and University of Sydney, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA Journal European Journal for Philosophy of Science Online ISSN 1879-4920 Print ISSN 1879-4912. (shrink)