This essay explores the experience of suffering in order to see to what extent it can be understood within the context of the human condition without diverting the reality of suffering or denying the meaning of human existence and divine reality. Particular attention is given to describing and interpreting what I call the transcendent dimensions of suffering with the intent of showing that in the experience of suffereing persons come up against the limits of what can be accounted for in (...) ordinary terms and point towards transcendent reality. In religious faith the transcendent dimensions of suffering may be understood to come together with other transcendent dimensions of experience in a more distinctive or focused encounter with transcendent reality. The conception of God that is suggested by the transcendent dimensions of suffering, however, differs from the model of God in western theism as an absolutely transcendent, all powerful, immutable and impassible being. (shrink)
In this thorough compendium, nineteen accomplished scholars explore, in some manner the values they find inherent in the world, their nature, and revelence through the thought of Frederick FerrZ. These essays, informed by the insights of FerrZ and coming from manifold perspectives—ethics, philosophy, theology, and environmental studies, advance an ambitious challenge to current intellectual and scholarly fashions.
After completing his first degree with first class honors in philosophy and classics at Edinburgh in 1878, Pringle-Pattison was awarded a Hibbert Travelling Scholarship which he used to travel to Germany to study the work of Kant and Hegel. Interest in Hegel in Germany had waned at this time, however, and Pringle-Pattison commented that Germany was the worst place to study Hegel. In Berlin he boarded with the Stropp family whose daughter he would later marry. From Berlin he went to (...) Jena where he found John Haldane, brother of his friend and fellow student, R. B. Haldane, along with a group of Scottish students, with whom he met weekly to study Hegel's Rechtsphilosophie. In the summer of 1880 he went to Göttingen with the aim of studying with Hermann Lotze. Pringle-Pattison respected Lotze for his reassertion of the fundamental truth of the world implied in moral and spiritual experience. J. H. Muirhead says that he "was born by the Lotzean reaction to suspect the whole idea of the Absolute as a menace to individual reality in general and human personality in particular." Lotze, however, was lecturing only to beginning students that summer and Pringle-Pattison set to work on his essay for the Hibbert Trust which was published in 1882 under the title The Development From Kant to Hegel. Pringle-Pattison returned to Edinburgh in 1880 where he succeeded Sorley as Campbell Fraser's assistant. In 1883, as was mentioned above, Pringle-Pattison and R. B. Haldane edited a volume of essays written by younger Hegelians which was intended to show dissatisfaction with the content of the journal, Mind, which was dominated by English empiricism. One year later he moved to Cardiff where he took the foundation chair of philosophy. (shrink)
AT MID-CENTURY, MOST PHILOSOPHICAL ROUTES to transcendence appeared closed. Philosophers and theologians often cooperated in associating transcendence with dubious metaphysics, the otherworldly and the supernatural. This attitude towards transcendence was captured most sharply perhaps, in the work of the logical positivists, but it was shared for different reasons by the positivists of revelation. The rebirth of idealism in British and American philosophy of religion in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, had been widely succeeded by realism and naturalism of (...) the kind that, with some exceptions, tended to be indifferent, if not openly hostile to philosophical and theological talk of transcendent reality. Between the wars, metaphysical utterances were condemned by the logical positivists and their immediate successors to the scrap heap of the non-cognitive. Kerygmatic theologians, with their emphasis upon the ontological difference of transcendence and their appeal to the authority of revelation and faith, joined hands with the philosophers in ruling out any connecting point between transcendence and immanence, between the sacred and the secular in the ordinary experience of persons. The positivists of revelation no less than the logical positivists conferred an independence upon the world. Transcendent reality was reduced either to the non-cognitive, or to the miracle of faith and revelation. (shrink)
In this thorough compendium, nineteen accomplished scholars explore, in some manner the values they find inherent in the world, their nature, and revelence through the thought of Frederick Ferré. These essays, informed by the insights of Ferré and coming from manifold perspectives—ethics, philosophy, theology, and environmental studies, advance an ambitious challenge to current intellectual and scholarly fashions.
In Towards a World Theology, Cantwell Smith offers a new approach to the issue of conflicting belief claims in the world religions. He argues that most approaches err in considering religion in terms of belief rather than faith. He proposes a world theology of faith that requires persons to move beyond their particular traditions in order to interpret comprehensively the religious faith of human kind. I present Cantwell Smith’s central thesis, analyzing it in term of the relation between faith and (...) belief. I argue that faith and belief are distinguishable but not separable and that to do what Cantwell Smith proposes would require an interpretive scheme or metaphysical theory that can be evaluated in accordance with its ability to make sense of the experience of humankind. (shrink)
Perhaps you have heard the story of the philosopher who fell off the edge of a cliff and was hanging by the limb of a tree. After calling for help for some time he heard a voice from the heavens saying, ‘I am here’. The philosopher explained his dilemma and then asked, ‘Can you help me?’ The voice replied, ‘Do you believe in me?’, to which the philosopher without hesitation, given the circumstances, said, ‘Yes, of course’. The voice came back, (...) ‘Then, let go.’ There was silence and some moments passed before the philosopher somewhat meekly replied, ‘Lord, I know that this is not the best time and place for a discussion but you know how philosophers are, and you do seem to be asking a good bit of me. I know that many of your followers in recent times would agree that I should let go, but I have this feeling that they may be confusing the doctrine of salvation by faith alone with an epistemological doctrine that faith is a commitment that requires no justification. Could we talk about this? And, in the meantime, I hope you will not be offended if I ask, Is there anyone else up there?’. (shrink)
This is the third volume growing out of Lewis's Gifford Lectures delivered at the University of Edinburgh in 1966-68. In the first volume, The Elusive Mind, Lewis argued for a distinction and interaction between mental and physical processes and in the second volume, The Elusive Self, he focused on the problem of self-identify. Lewis had projected a final volume, The Elusive Self and God, but the first part of that project has been rounded off into a discussion of free will (...) and its implications for morality and religion, now published as Freedom and Alienation. Lewis hopes to add one more volume focusing on the idea of God. (shrink)
In developing the moral implications of Heidegger’s work, Sherover takes seriously the well-known notion that persons become aware of themselves as already and always existing as beings in the world in relation to other persons and things. In this context, making a voluntary decision always involves one in a complex existential situation in which, Sherover argues, one seeks to live resolutely into the future while, as Royce emphasized, finding oneself as a member of a historically developed society with its conflicting (...) values, loyalties, and desires. Each authentic or free act thus entails implicitly at least choosing some aspects of one’s history or heritage, making it “mine,” so to speak, while setting aside other possible ways of being in the world. Sherover, like Heidegger, insists upon the process of mineness or separation from the other, but seeks to do so while spelling out and accepting the consequences of a richer understanding of heritage and the societal context. Sherover’s engaging chapter on the concept of heritage is among the best discussions on the topic that I have read. (shrink)
John Macquarrie's Hensley Henson Lectures for 1993-94 delivered at the University of Oxford may serve two different but not mutually exclusive audiences. First, as a brief, concise, reliable, and yet not uncritical survey of Heidegger's thought from Being and Time through his later meditative thinking of Being, this book stands at the top of my list. Following a discussion of Heidegger's career and early writings, Macquarrie devotes two chapters to his major work, Being and Time. He makes it clear that (...) Heidegger was primarily concerned with developing a general ontology, not philosophical anthropology as many persons initially thought. The fourth chapter, entitled "Theology and Metaphysics," focuses in particular on the essay "What Is Metaphysics?" including the later postscript and introduction, Introduction to Metaphysics, and A Letter on Humanism. These works take up some of the issues unfinished in Heidegger's major work and point the way towards a more direct focus on the question of Being itself. Chapter 5 is concerned with Heidegger's reflections on thinghood, technology, and art showing his development beyond the primarily instrumental world of work in his early writings to a much richer, perhaps even spiritual conception of world. In chapter 6 Macquarrie discusses three closely related topics in Heidegger's later work, thinking, language, and poetry. Here we see Heidegger's progression beyond traditional philosophical and metaphysical thinking of Being to what he calls meditative thinking, a kind of thinking and speaking of Being that has much in common with poetic thinking and speaking and an understanding of Being that finds parallels in some western and eastern mystical traditions. For the title of his seventh chapter, Macquarrie chooses the title of the well-known interview with Heidegger, "Only A God Can Save Us," published in Der Spiegel after his death. He is primarily concerned in this chapter with the understanding of Being, theology, and God. Macquarrie delays until his final chapter the discussion of Heidegger's relation to National Socialism which comprises half of the Der Spiegel article. With characteristic balance Macquarrie argues that although Heidegger's conduct at the time should not be excused or glossed over it needs to be seen in the particular historical and political context which he outlines. To this he adds two personal notes based on his experiences with German prisoners following the cessation of hostilities in 1945 and a conversation with Hannah Arendt. The conversation with Hannah Arendt took place at Heathrow Airport on May 19, 1973 where Dr. Arendt was on her way to Europe for her summer holiday. Heidegger had suggested that Edward Robinson and Macquarrie consult with Arendt if they had any special difficulties translating Being and Time, and Macquarrie and she continued to have contacts following the completion of the translation. Their conversation turned to the sales of the translation of Being and Time which had been quite large, and Macquarrie commented that Heidegger must be making a good bit of money from the translation. Arendt replied that Heidegger was not much of a business man and that most of the money went to the publisher. Macquarrie then asked, "Would you say then that it was because he is not a man of affairs that he became so involved with the Nazis in 1933?" "Yes," she said, "quite so.". (shrink)
In this engaging study, George Allan—Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and long time academic Dean at Dickinson College—brings us into the heart of the current debates about undergraduate curricula led by canonists on the one side and anti-canonists on the other side. Dogmatically defending the traditional educational canon, rejecting it, or vastly expanding its content with respect to historical eras, ethnic groups, or disciplinary traditions, Allan argues, are all recipes for disaster. The first six chapters of the book are devoted to (...) a description and critical analysis of what he calls the content canonists, the procedural or methodological canonists, the anti-canonists, and the relative canonists. His analysis of the different senses of the educational canon and their metaphysical underpinnings leads him to conclude that we end up with a simple polarity with both sides seeming to presuppose the truth of their predetermined views. “Either there is an objective hierarchy of importance that undergirds a rationally defensible standard by which to rank things as essential or unessential, as central or peripheral. Or there is no such hierarchy, and in the absence of any objective standard all judgments of importance are subjective, situationally biased, and probably self-serving. Either the quest for a viable educational canon is justified, however difficult such an undertaking might be, or it is a chimera that we would be better off to avoid”. (shrink)
This is a translation of volume 32 of Heidegger’s Gesamtausgabe, edited by Ingtraud Gorland. The volume consists of a lecture course given by Heidegger at the University of Freiburg during the winter term, 1930–31. Although the lectures focus on Section A and Section B of the Phenomenology, they do not form a commentary in the ordinary sense. They represent Heidegger’s effort to participate in and bring to the surface what is said to be unthought in the movement of thinking called (...) the phenomenology of spirit. Heidegger begins with a discussion of the several titles of the work providing us with a preliminary understanding of this thinking. Then, bypassing the Preface and Introduction, he engages in a sustained dialogue with Hegel’s text on consciousness and unconsciousness. The self exposition of reason which is recognized in German Idealism as absolute and is explicated by Hegel as spirit is said to be called forth by the fundamental question of nothing itself. Hegel uses the words being and beings only for a certain region of beings and a certain mode of being in Heidegger’s sense. What Hegel means by being and beings Heidegger means by das Vorhandene and seine Vorhandenheit. There is then a difference between Hegel’s and Heidegger’s understanding of being, but. (shrink)
EXISTENTIALIST PHILOSOPHERS of religion and theologians speaking out of a Kierkegaardian tradition have argued that Christian theism can be neither proven nor shown to be probable in any strict sense of the word, that God is not an object of thought, that there can be no religious Weltanschauung, and that one can know and speak of God only out of a relationship to Him. This view has the value of preserving the element of unconditional commitment considered by many to be (...) essential to Christian faith but has resulted in an inability to make a rational case for belief in God and in an inability to say anything significant about God. Existentialists have increasingly expressed dissatisfaction with the outcome of this approach and have insisted that religious faith is a way of being in the world, a matter of understanding as well as commitment and that religious faith must find expression in some ontology if it is to claim to speak significantly of God. (shrink)
Two themes form the basis for this volume. First, the author argues that the relation between an outer transient nature and an inner eternal nature provides a thread which enables the interpreter to trace a coherent point of view and provide an immanent criticism of Kierkegaard’s pseudonymous texts. Second, he argues that there is a dialectic of self and other running throughout the pseudonymous works which challenges the view that Kierkegaard’s image of the human being is that of a single (...) solitary one. He develops these themes by applying a structural analysis to these works. (shrink)
H d lewis gives a central role to religious experience in his philosophy of religion, But argues that religious experience is not some merely non-Cognitive event for which no justification can be given. I introduce lewis' understanding of religious experience and critically evaluate its implications for religious knowledge, The relation between experience and argument and the language of religion.
For more than thirty years, the question of how sentences about God manage to refer has been in the background and often in the foreground of discussions of religious language and metaphysics. In some cases philosophers of religion and theologians have spoken vaguely about or given up all together claims to depict reality in religious discourse. Janet Martin Soskice challenges these views on the grounds that they are rooted in a bankrupt form of empiricism and that they fail to be (...) consistent with the aim of traditional Christian faith to refer to God as a reality. She argues for the necessity of metaphorical language in speaking of God and for a theory of metaphor consistent with critical realism in theology. (shrink)
Otto Poggeler’s Der Denkweg Martin Heidegger was first published in 1963, one year after the English translation of Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit. Widely acclaimed as the most comprehensive and accurate study of the development of Heidegger’s thought, a second unrevised edition was make available in Germany in 1983. Now thanks to the translators, Daniel Magurshak and Sigmund Barber, this important work is available in English for the frist time. Included is a Preface to what Poggeler calls the “American Edition” and (...) an “Afterword to the Second Edition” in which Poggeler discusses recent developments in Heidegger studies including Heidegger’s political entanglements. (shrink)