Fergus Kerr's study - which is derived from his highly-regarded Stanton Lectures, delivered in the University of Cambridge in 1994/5 - focuses on the more or less obvious theological commitments of several much-discussed contemporary philosophers. By so doing, the author daringly extends the agenda of what is usually considered to be 'philosophy of religion.'. The ramifications of his study are extensive: even if philosophy is not at bottom theology, as von Balthasar once claimed, the theological preconceptions in much modern philosophy (...) would seem to deserve considerably more attention than they have received hitherto. (shrink)
In a footnote to the preface to the second edition of his Critique of Pure Reason Kant remarked that ‘it still remains a scandal to philosophy and to human reason in general that the existence [Dasein] of things outside us … must be accepted on faith, and that if anyone thinks good to doubt their existence, we are unable to counter his doubts by any satisfactory proof’. In Being and Time Heidegger remarks, somewhat less famously, that the scandal of philosophy, (...) far from being the continuing absence of philosophically satisfactory proof of the existence of the world outside human subjectivity, is rather-the-very idea that such proof need be sought at all: ‘If Dasein is understood correctly, it defies such proofs, because, in its being, it already is what subsequent proofs deem necessary to demonstrate for it’. (shrink)
The philosophy of religion, as commonly understood by Christians in both the Catholic and Reformed traditions, whether they think it a worthwhile enterprise or not, begins with arguments for the existence of a deity, proceeds to show that this deity is necessarily unique, eternal, and suchlike, and leaves it to reflection on divine revelation to consider whether this deity might be properly designated as ‘three persons in one nature’. Much later, after discussing the metaphysical implications of the incarnation of the (...) second person of the triune godhead, one would arrive at theories about the death of Jesus Christ as putatively redemptive, and describable as sacrificial, atoning and the like. (shrink)
Thomas Aquinas was first and foremost a Christian theologian. Yet he was also one of the greatest philosophers of the Middle Ages. Drawing on classical authors, and incorporating ideas from Jewish and Arab sources, he came to offer a rounded and lasting account of the origin of the universe and of the things to be found within it, especially human beings.
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