In an interesting article on Kierkegaard and the “Existential” Philosophy, contributed to the number of Philosophy for July 1941, Miss Dorothy Emmet counselled her readers to make themselves acquainted with the Journals of the famous Danish thinker, now rendered accessible to Englishmen ignorant of his language by the translation of Mr. Dru. I have taken her advice and am grateful to her for it. I am not indeed convinced that this self-revelation of a remarkable personality can be ranked among the (...) great autobiographies of the world. It seems to me to fall, if only on account of its lack of unity as a work of literary art, below the standard which such an estimate of it would imply. But it is undoubtedly both impressive in itself and important in view of the influence which its author, little known in his lifetime beyond a circle of the parochial narrowness of which he was painfully conscious, has come, long after his death, to exert upon the spiritual and intellectual life of Europe to-day. The present article, however, will not be concerned with the exposition or criticism of this or other writings of Kierkegaard, but with thoughts, more or less suggested by my reading of him, respecting the notion of God and its significance for philosophy. (shrink)
In the first part of this article I propose to describe two strongly contrasted situations in the world of thought, one of fifty years ago and the other of to-day. In the second I shall submit to my readers some reflections suggested by the contrast between the two.
Just three years ago I contributed to this Journal a few remarks on the problem of the relation of “God” to “the World.” I propose in the present article to add some observations on the closely connected problem of the relation of “God” to “Man”; especially in view of the theory, by no means a new one, but at the moment much in evidence , that when we speak of God what we have really in mind is our own human (...) nature or some part or aspect of it, imaginatively objectified as a distinct or independent reality. (shrink)
I Suppose that most believers in God, if asked what is the relation of God to the world, would reply that he is its Creator and its Lord. But, like all the language in which we express our religious convictions, the language of this reply is plainly metaphorical. It calls up the picture of a human artificer or artist, the image of a human ruler or proprietor. And yet it needs but little reflection to perceive that there must be essential (...) differences between a human artificer or artist, who has a material to work in ready to his hand, and One who makes all things, as it is said, “ out of nothing “; between a human ruler or proprietor. (shrink)
Many of us have lately been reading, hearing or listening in to the present Master of Trinity's Presidential Address to the British Association's meeting at Oxford; and perhaps some reflexions suggested thereby may not be out of place in this number of Philosophy.
This year is being celebrated by a large number of our fellow-countrymen as the centenary of a movement, associated with the name of the University of Oxford, of which, although in its first stage it might easily be mistaken—and has often been mistaken—for a mere wave of theological and ecclesiastical reaction within the Established Church of England, the attentive historian of the nineteenth century must take account as in fact a very powerful influence in the religious and, no less really (...) though to a less degree, in the social and political life of the whole nation. Considerable, however, as is the importance which may justly be attributed in other respects to what is known as the Oxford Movement, the professed student of philosophy may be excused if he is chiefly struck by the apparent remoteness of its original leaders from the currents of speculative thought characteristic of the period in which it began its course. There were perhaps among them only two who can be named as contributors to philosophical literature in the technical sense now commonly borne by the term “philosophical”; and the contributions even of these two can scarcely be said to have taken their place among the works to which an ordinary teacher of philosophy would be likely to direct the attention of his pupils. To these two, however, John Henry Newman and William George Ward, I propose to devote here a few pages which may be found not without interest to readers of Philosophy. (shrink)
Four lectures on the Philosophy of Religion are included in this compact book along with an extra chapter on the psychology of belief in God. In a search for an acceptable theism, the author examines religious faith and human personality via many theories and facets of thinking, referring to psychologists, theologians and philosophers who have battled with similar questions. Originally published a year after the lectures were presented, this is an interesting classic volume by a well-known theorist of the early (...) Twentieth Century. (shrink)