Faith in God without any revelation?

International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 78 (3):315-328 (2015)
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In this paper I introduce John D. Caputo’s view of the divine and argue against his claim that we can preserve faith in God while dropping the idea of divine revelation. Despite Caputo’s apophatic point of view, he makes two claims with regard to God, or ’the divine’. First, he claims that we all have a divine call for justice and compassion in us. Secondly, he claims that God’s kingdom comes true if we make it happen and that this is something we can hope for. In the first half of this paper I will argue that Caputo does not have to reject the idea of revelation if we understand revelation as involving an interpretation of the experiences with the divine. In the second half, I will claim that Caputo even has to allow for divine revelation if he wants to stick to his positive statements about God. We can only know that a desire is divine if we have criteria to distinguish the divine from the profane or the diabolic. Based on Richard Kearney and John Hick I argue that particular traditions offer such criteria and that they ultimately depend on what is taken to be God’s will. Likewise, to hope that the kingdom of God comes and to act in a way that realizes it presupposes that the agent believes this to be the way God wants him to live—and God’s will must have somehow been disclosed



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Thomas Park
Goethe University Frankfurt

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