Apophatic Language, the Aesthetic, and the Sensus Divinitatis

Journal of Analytic Theology 8 (1):100-119 (2020)
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Across a variety of religious and philosophical traditions, it is common to think that it is possible that God defies all description. This presents a problem, however, as the claim that God defies all description itself appears to describe God. Drawing on multiple religious and philosophical traditions, this paper proposes an addition to the pragmatic stock of approaches to this problem. The proposal is that apophatic utterances are best interpreted—at least in the first instance—as invitations to engage the world aesthetically and creatively, as an act of faith. Their goal is principally to motivate us to act in ways that will allow us to appreciate the extraordinary or divine, rather than to, say, believe that some proposition regarding the extraordinary or divine is true.



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Julianne Chung
York University

References found in this work

Warranted Christian Belief.Alvin Plantinga - 2000 - Oxford University Press USA.
Warranted Christian Belief.Alvin Plantinga - 2000 - Philosophia Christi 3 (2):327-328.
Contextualism, metaphor, and what is said.Elisabeth Camp - 2006 - Mind and Language 21 (3):280–309.
Nagarjuna and the limits of thought.Jay L. Garfield & Graham Priest - 2003 - Philosophy East and West 53 (1):1-21.
Religious fictionalism.Michael Scott & Finlay Malcolm - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (3):1-11.

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