Mystery, Reality, and the Virtual: The Problem of Reference in Gordon Kaufman's Theology


Abstract
In a classic article, philosopher William P. Alston argues that nonrealism, “though rampant nowadays even among Christian theologians,” is “subversive” of theistic faith.1 Among contemporaries guilty of succumbing to this philosophical bogey, Gordon Kaufman is singled out as an especially illuminating example. Alston notes that in the essays that make up God the Problem, Kaufman makes use of a distinction between the “available referent” of theistic language and its “real referent,” the former indicating the actual object of religious experience and responses, and the latter appearing only as the “I-know-not-what” that ultimately grounds them. By the time Kaufman writes In Face of Mystery, Alston suggests, the ..
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DOI 10.5406/amerjtheophil.33.3.0258
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In Face of Mystery: A Constructive Theology.Gordon Kaufman - 1994 - American Journal of Theology and Philosophy 15 (3):327-332.
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