Considering the enormous outpouring of scholarly work on Schmitt over the last two decades, the absence of an adequate treatment in English of Schmitt's concept of history and the problem of secularization is quite surprising. After all, it is Schmitt himself who claims that “all human beings who plan and attempt to unite the masses behind their plans engage in some form of philosophy of history,” such that the attempt to make sense of Schmitt's program remains incomplete without a (...) serious treatment of his philosophy of history. This article is an attempt to address this problem by means of his exchange with Hans Blumenberg who, more than any other critic of Schmitt, was privy to the political intentions behind Schmitt's metaphorical use of theology. While their discussion is extensive and wide-ranging, I focus here on their diverging philosophies of history, precisely that aspect that is most relevant to gaining a more expansive understanding of Schmitt's arguments, and indeed the relationship between political thought and historical thought. (shrink)
Friedrich Hayek’s defense of neoliberal free market capitalism hinges on the distinction between economies and catallaxies. The former are orders instituted via planning, whereas the latter are spontaneous competitive orders resulting from human action without human design. I argue that this distinction is based on an incomplete semantic history of “economy.” By looking at the meaning of “oikonomia” in medieval providential theology as explained by Giorgio Agamben and Joseph Vogl, I argue how Hayek’s science of catallactics is itself a (...) class='Hi'>secularization of providential theology. This exposes Hayek to three criticisms: he unjustifiably neglects the possibility of tendencies toward spontaneous disorder in free markets, he condemns the “losers” of neoliberal competition to being providential waste on the road to general prosperity, and he imposes on people the duty to consent to a neoliberal order that hinders them from cultivating their inoperativity. (shrink)
Secularization is a polysemantic word quite difficult to explain. If it is viewed as being characterized by two processes related to the religious changes of society and the social changes of religion, then there can be little pertinent utilization of this term in theology. This is what I’ll try to explain in this articleKey words: secularization, state and church, theology, evanghelization.
The historical investigation of the patterns of secularization entails the analysis of a complex dimension with a variety of different levels: religious, mental, intellectual, cultural, social, and political. The great divisions within Christianity produced in the second millennium would give birth to many different religious Europes and to many different ways of living among Christians. If secularization meant turning from the sky to worldly affairs, secularization meant the separation of the Christian religions and churches from the political (...) and institutional practices that brought about new ways of thinking about the sacred. In this context, multidisciplinary research analyzes great continuities, but also breaking points, strong points but also weak ones, from which historical societies have suffered. (shrink)
This article analyzes the compound of the categories of secularization and reoccupation in its variations from Hans Blumenberg's philosophy to Carl Schmitt's political theory and, ultimately, to Reinhart Koselleck's conceptual history. By revisiting the debate between Blumenberg and Schmitt on secularization and political theology with regard to the political-theoretical aspects of secularization and the methodological aspects of reoccupation, I will provide conceptual tools that illuminate the partly tension-ridden elements at play in Koselleck's theorizing of modernity, history, and (...) concepts. For Schmitt, secularization is inherently related to the question of political conflict, and, correspondingly, he attempts to discredit Blumenberg's criticism of secularization as an indirectly aggressive, and thereby hypocritical, attempt to escape the political. To this end, I argue, Schmitt appropriates Blumenberg's concept of “reoccupation” and uses it alternately in the three distinct senses of “absorption,”“reappropriation,” and “revaluation.” Schmitt's famous thesis of political concepts as secularized theological concepts contains an unmistakable methodological element and a research program. The analysis therefore shows the relevance of the Blumenberg/Schmitt debate for the mostly tacit dialogue between Blumenberg and Koselleck. I scrutinize Koselleck's understanding of secularization from his early Schmittian and Löwithian theory of modernity to his later essays on temporalization of history and concepts. Despite Blumenberg's criticism, Koselleck holds onto the category of secularization throughout, but gradually relativizes it into a research hypothesis among others. Simultaneously, Koselleck formalizes, alongside other elements, the Schmittian account of reoccupation into his method of conceptual analysis and uses the term in the same three senses—thus making “reoccupation” conceptually compatible with “secularization,” despite the former notion's initial critical function in Blumenberg's theory. The examination highlights a Schmittian residue that accounts for Koselleck's reserved attitude toward Blumenberg's metaphorology, regardless of a significant methodological overlap. (shrink)
This article offers a critical interpretation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a philosophical notion which exemplifies a secular conception of thinking. One way in which AI notably differs from the conventional understanding of “thinking” is that, according to AI, “intelligence” or “thinking” does not necessarily require “life” as a precondition: that it is possible to have “thinking without life.” Building on Charles Taylor’s critical account of secularity as well as Hubert Dreyfus’ influential critique of AI, this article offers a theological (...) analysis of AI’s “lifeless” picture of thinking in relation to the Augustinian conception of God as “Life itself.” Following this critical theological analysis, this article argues that AI’s notion of thinking promotes a societal privilege of certain rationalistic or calculative ways of thought over more existential or spiritual ways of thinking, and thereby fosters a secularization or de-spiritualization of thinking as an ethical human practice. (shrink)
Increasingly in today’s world we are experiencing intensifying antagonisms around religious and ethno-cultural differences. The confrontation between political Islam and the so-called ‘West’ has replaced the rhetoric of the Cold War against communism. This new constellation has not only challenged the hypothesis that ‘secularization’ inevitably accompanied modernity but has also placed on the agenda political theology as a potent force in many societies. This article analyzes the contemporary revival of political theology by focusing on the headscarf debate in comparative (...) constitutional perspective. It compares the well-known decision of the French Parliament banning the wearing of the headscarf in public schools with the decision of the German Constitutional Court concerning whether Fereshta Ludin, an Afghani-German teacher wearing the hijab, could teach in German schools and with the more recent judgment of the Turkish Constitutional Court upholding the ban on the wearing of the scarf or the turban in institutions of higher learning. At stake in these debates is not only the meaning of fundamental human rights but also why women and their bodies become the object of disciplinary conflicts in culture, law and religion. (shrink)
In _God as Reason: Essays in Philosophical Theology_, Vittorio Hösle presents a systematic exploration of the relation between theology and philosophy. In examining the problems and historical precursors of rational theology, he calls on philosophy, theology, history of science, and the history of ideas to find an interpretation of Christianity that is compatible with a genuine commitment to reason. The essays in the first part of _God as Reason_ deal with issues of philosophical theology. Hösle sketches the challenges that a (...) rationalist theology must face and discusses some of the central ones, such as the possibility of a teleological interpretation of nature after Darwin, the theodicy issue, freedom versus determinism, the mind-body problem, and the relation in general between religion, theology, and philosophy. In the essays of the second part, Hösle studies the historical development of philosophical approaches to the Bible, the continuity between the New Testament concept of pneuma and the concept of Geist in German idealism, and the rationalist theologies of Anselm, Abelard, Llull, and Nicholas of Cusa, whose innovative philosophy of mathematics is the topic of one of the chapters. The book concludes with a thorough evaluation of Charles Taylor’s theory of secularization. "_God as Reason_ makes a powerful contribution to the task of the philosophical assessment of religion and theology, and indeed to the task of arriving at a philosophically defensible account of God. Vittorio Hösle here addresses key questions concerning teleology in nature, theodicy, freedom and determinism, and the mind-body problem in essays of exemplary clarity and economy of expression that are equally informed by the full breadth of the philosophical tradition of the West and by the most important contemporary developments in both philosophy and the natural sciences." —_Jennifer A. Herdt, Yale Divinity School_. (shrink)
Max Weber’s sociological theories of secularization have vastly influenced the study of Protestant belief. _Protestant Modernity_ offers a multifaceted understanding of secularization within the broader context of nineteenth-century liberal Protestantism. Anthony J. Carroll reconstructs Weber’s original writings to highlight Protestant motifs, reviews current secularization theories, and settles debates about contested meanings of secularization in this volume that will be essential reading for students and scholars of theology and the sociology of religion.
These three brief lectures are the Riddell Memorial Lectures delivered in 1964. Three questions are asked: Why secularization in England has not progressed any further than it has done, especially among the working class; whether religious decline is a, or the, cause of moral decline; and, what effect secularization has had upon English Christianity. In the course of answering these questions, MacIntyre has a number of perceptive things to say about the relation of class structure to varieties of (...) religion in England, the differences between religion in the United States and England, and what's wrong with the new protestant theology in its sophisticated and degenerate forms. His general conclusion is best summed up at the close of the first lecture when he tells us that "what our children are left with is on the one hand a vestigial Christian vocabulary of a muddled kind and on the other an absence of any alternative vocabulary in which to raise the kind of issues which it is necessary to raise if there is to be not mere assessment of means, but some kind of explicit agreement or disagreement about social and moral ends."--R. J. B. (shrink)
The author brings to the study of the two concepts of "religious" and "secular" the same intellectual honesty and analytical rigor that we met in his early work Pacifism: An Historical and Sociological Study. This is a "book of demolition" which attempts to eliminate the term "secularization" from the vocabulary of sociology due to the simple-minded fashion in which the word has been applied to describe the decline of religious faith in the present day. He tries to show that (...) the term is not monolithic and cannot be used legitimately merely to support some ideological perspective. It is rooted in various ideologies of utopianism and betrays many elements which were derived from Christianity. Certain identities of structure which he calls "an ontological privileged strata" are present--Israel as the Chosen People, Intelligentsia, Proletariat-who think of themselves as "seers" who bear the truth on behalf of the world. He mentions such examples as scientific messianism and Marxist messianism which have tried to translate the monism of nature into the monism of society so as to collapse certain dialectical opposites in Judaism and Christianity--e.g., God and Man, Heaven and Earth, Church and State--and to convert certain undefensible metaphysical views into technical issues which can be subjected to the strategies spun out by rational planning. Having pointed out the complementary relationship between the "religious" and the "secular," Martin proceeds to examine so-called secularization in music, theology, and sociology. In conclusion, Martin indicates that the application of these two concepts can be made only if the institutional setting and historical background is kept firmly in view, and he shows convincingly that it is not "a simple convergent process consequent on industrialism and the scientific and technological revolution."--J. B. L. (shrink)
O artigo procura fornecer elementos para uma leitura positiva do atual fenômeno de folclorização do religioso. A folclorização evocaria uma dupla laicidade, que se coloca dialeticamente quanto à institucionalidade religiosa e independente no tocante à verticalidade dos saberes especializados e seus procedimentos metodológicos, numa perspectiva que se pretende pós-metafísica e democrática. Faz-se, de início, uma síntese atual sobre a relação entre secularização e religiosidade para ilustrá-la com o relato de experiências religiosas específicas, todas anglicanas e localizadas na sociedade estadunidense; além (...) de um estudo sobre a recepção estadunidense ao filme "A Última Tentação de Cristo". Depois, a partir de algumas observações de Althaus-Reid sobre a Teologia da Libertação, o artigo analisa o conceito de "inculturação". Graças à sua volatilidade, o conceito antropológico de "folclorização", enfim, é proposto como uma maneira ampla e flexível de se abordar o pluralismo religioso em contexto (pós) secular ante uma crescente e inexorável influência da "indústria cultural". Palavras-chave : Folclorização; Pós-metafísica; Democracia; (Pós) secularização; Pluralismo ReligiosoThe attempts searched to provide elements for a positive reading of the current phenomenon of religious folklorization. Folklorization would suggest a double laity, which arises dialectically by religious institutionalism and independent from verticality of specialized knowledge and its methodological procedures, which would be a post-metaphysics and democratic perspective. First of all, it creates a synthesis upon the relationship between secularization and religion to illustrate it with a retake of specific religious experiences, every one Episcopalian and located in American society, including a study of the U. S. reception of the film, "The Last Temptation of Christ". Next, from some observations by Althaus-Reid on Liberation Theology, the paper analyzes the concept of "inculturation". Because of its volatility, the anthropological concept of "folklorization", finally, is proposed as an extended and flexible way to focus religious plurality in a (post)secular context in an increasing and inexorable influence of "cultural industries". Key words : Folklorization; Post-metaphysics; Democracy, (Post) secularization; Religious Pluralism. (shrink)
For the past 500 years, to varying degrees, the processes of religious secularization have been occurring in what today are the wealthy, highly educated, industrialized nations of the world. They are causing organized religion, as a social institution, to go from being a very important influence on the lives of people and the nations in which they live to being a smaller influence, or almost no influence at all. Various disciplines from theology to psychology to sociology have tried to (...) explain secularization, each discipline contributing something unique. One discipline that has not contributed has been biology. From a biological perspective, based on observation and reasoning, at least one of the ultimate functions of the physical forms associated with religion appear to be that of in-group marker for a breeding population, which, as will be shown, is how all religions start. Religions structure larger human populations into smaller “clusters” that are separate in-group breeding populations. The clustering into smaller in-group breeding populations prevents the spread of contagious diseases and creates inter-group competition and intra-group cooperation, both of which have contributed to human eusociality, a very rare type of social organization that will be explained. As the physical forms of religion are losing this in-group-marker function of clustering populations with modernity, a general biological principle comes into play, which is “form follows function, and as function wanes, so does form.” When applied to religion, “form” means the physical components by which all religions are built. The specific meaning of “physical,” as used here, will be explained in the article. This biological perspective, which is counter-intuitive and can generate testable hypotheses, should complement, not compete, with perspectives from other disciplines. Physical forms in biology can and often do have more than one function, so the same form with a biological function can also have psychological and theological functions. The physical forms of religion are its objects of natural selection. As socio-economic modernity spreads through the world, the evolutionary biological trajectory suggests that religion, as a social institution, will eventually become extinct. (shrink)
У статті проаналізовано вчення П'єра Абеляра в частині його впливу на виокремлення світської сфери знання з тотально релігійного середньовічного дискурсу. Схоластична теологія, творцем якої є Абеляр, розглядається автором статті як специфічний результат філософського мислення в граничних екзистенційних обставинах та маркер секулярних зрушень у середньовічній християнській культурі.
This article offers broad lessons for ways to rethink the tangled relation among religion, modernity, and the secular. After characterizing what I mean by theories of secularization and how these theories have dominated our accounts of British romanticism, I consider two poems – one by Coleridge, the other by Wordsworth – that disrupt the view that British Romanticism replaces God with nature and discipline with unencumbered freedom. I conclude by suggesting that when we disclose the language and ways of (...) religion and practice in British Romanticism, we make more apparent its political and environmental dimensions. (shrink)
This essay analyses Ernst Troeltsch’s writings on Protestantism and modernity in light of recent scholarship on the category of the secular. In his historical work on the relationship of Protestantism to the rise of the modern world, the essay argues, Troeltsch was not engaged primarily in a narrative of secularization; nor does he promote what current scholars call an ideology of secularism. Instead, Troeltsch was exploring how religion changes in different cultural contexts, and was intervening in debates in his (...) own society about the political structure, cultural ethos, and future of Germany. The essay therefore cautions against the hasty projection of concepts like secularism and secularization as theorized today back onto the works of nineteenth-century thinkers such as Troeltsch. The political and cultural concerns that animate Troeltsch’s work can be better captured by a more subtle understanding of the multiple meanings of abstract categories in their own intellectual-historical contexts. (shrink)
During the last fifty years, the dialogue between science and religion in Germany has gained momentum. This essay briefly describes the academic setting in Germany with denominational theology at state universities and explains the development of secularization in reunified Germany. Twenty-five years after reunification, East Germany is one of the most secular societies in the world, and religion is seen as a strange relic. This poses challenges to the interaction between science and religion in both parts of Germany. The (...) essay then presents important institutions and contributors to the interaction between science and religion in Germany over the past fifty years, emphasizing the importance of private institutes at the intersection of the academy with society, churches, and ethical challenges. (shrink)
Rorty regards himself as furthering the project of the Enlightenment by separating Enlightenment liberalism from Enlightenment rationalism. To do so, he rejects the very need for explicit metaphysical theorizing. Yet his commitments to naturalism, nominalism, and the irreducibility of the normative come from the metaphysics of Wilfrid Sellars. Rorty's debt to Sellars is concealed by his use of Davidsonian arguments against the scheme/content distinction and the nonsemantic concept of truth. The Davidsonian arguments are used for Deweyan ends: to advance (...) class='Hi'>secularization and anti-authoritarianism. However, Rorty's conflation of theology and metaphysics conceals the possibility of post-theological metaphysics. The key distinction lies between “metaphysics” and “Metaphysics.” The former provisionally models the relations between different vocabularies; the latter continues theology by other means. Sellars shows how to do metaphysics without Metaphysics. This approach complements Rorty's prioritization of cultural politics over ontology and his vision of Enlightenment liberalism without Enlightenment rationalism. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore a possible a/theological response to what Nietzsche called the ‘death of God’—or Hölderlin’s and Heidegger’s ‘flight of the gods’—through a juxtaposition of the Christian-Pauline concept of kenōsis and the ancient Greek-Platonic notion of chōra, and by taking Nishida Kitarō’s appropriations of these concepts as a clue and starting point. Nishida refers to chōra in 1926 to initiate his philosophy of place and then makes reference to kenōsis in 1945 in his final work that culminates—without necessarily (...) completing—his oeuvre. What he had thereby accomplished is an inversion of Platonism resulting in the collapse of the transcendent/immanent—idea/genesis and by implication the Heaven/Earth—dichotomy. I then unpack the ethical implication of this kenotic chōra Nishida has left us with. It suggests from us a certain response to the desacralization or secularization of the world. I shall build upon this suggestion and unfold its implications by drawing from a variety of sources, starting with Nishida but including others, such as Meister Eckhart, Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas, Gianni Vattimo, Reiner Schürmann, Mark Taylor, Jürgen Moltmann, and other philosophical and theological sources. (shrink)
In this phenomenological reading of Luther, Marius Timmann Mjaaland shows that theological discourse is never philosophically neutral and always politically loaded. Raising questions concerning the conditions of modern philosophy, religion, and political ideas, Marius Timmann Mjaaland follows a dark thread of thought back to its origin in Martin Luther. Thorough analyses of the genealogy of secularization, the political role of the apocalypse, the topology of the self, and the destruction of metaphysics demonstrate the continuous relevance of this highly subtle (...) thinker. (shrink)
John Locke's theory of toleration is generally seen as advocating the privatization of religion. This interpretation has become conventional wisdom: secularization is widely understood as entailing the privatization of religion, and the separation of religion from power. This book turns that conventional wisdom on its head and argues that Locke secularizes religion, that is, makes it worldly, public, and political. In the name of diverse citizenship, Locke reconstructs religion as persuasion, speech, and fashion. He insists on a consensus that (...) human rights are sacred insofar as humans are the creatures, and thus, the property of God. Drawing on a range of sources beyond Locke's own writings, Pritchard portrays the secular not as religion's separation from power, but rather as its affiliation with subtler, and sometimes insidious, forms of power. As a result, she captures the range of anxieties and conflicts attending religion's secularization: denunciations of promiscuous bodies freed from patriarchal religious and political formations, correlations between secular religion and colonialist education and conversion efforts, and more recently, condemnations of the coercive and injurious force of unrestricted religious speech. (shrink)
One of the most popular facets of Schmitt's philosophy is his theory of sovereignty and decisionism, as developed in his early essay Political Theology (1922). There, Schmitt offers an original outlook on the political implications of the secularization of modern Europe and philosophy's purported turn away from theology. The “death of God,” along with the gradual disappearance of the political institution of monarchy, are only symbols of the decline of sovereignty in general. What is lost in the process is (...) not sovereignty as such, since it can assume new forms, such as “reason,” “nature,” “the people,” or “the state.” What…. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to shed light on the changes in perceiving the sacred which have appeared in the history of pilgrimage. These are linked with different theological approaches to space and subsequent periods of desacralisation, secularization and re-sacralisation. Relying on a modern theology of pilgrimage and research into the philosophy of religion by M. Eliade the paper offers a new interpretation of the message of the Camino de Santiago which overcomes previous reductionisms based on seeing the (...) sacred solely in the destination. The relationship with the Camino and the content of pilgrim blessings indicate the role of experiencing order, beauty and these virtues which shape the relational order. The effort of pilgrims is linked to this, however, it is no longer described in terms of ‘sacrifice’ although it is related to the same content which is perceived in a new post-secular cultural context. (shrink)
In line with his theory of secularization according to which all significant concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized theological concepts, Carl Schmitt argues in Constitutional Theory that people’s (Volk) constitution-making power in modern democracy is analogical to God’s potestas constituens in medieval theology. It is also undoubtedly possible to find a resemblance between Schmitt’s constitution-making power and God’s power as it is described in medieval theology. In the same sense as the constitution-making power is absolutely (...) free from all normative ties, God’s potestas constituens, or rather, God’s potentia absoluta is free from such ties. Yet, unlike the Schmittian constitution-making power, God’s potentia absoluta was not, in medieval theology, originally intended as a description of some form of divine action: the absolute power of God referred to the total possibilities initially open to God. However, when the canonists started to employ the term potentia absoluta in their speculations concerning the papal plenitude of power (plenitude potestatis) by the end of the thirteenth century, they used it in a different sense than the theologians previously. According to certain canonists, the pope, by his potentia absoluta, could grant de facto dispensations from divine and ecclesiastical laws. Later on, this notion became a theological notion as well, but given its origin in juridical discourse, the constitution-making power, rather than being a secularized theological notion, is a theologized juristic notion. (shrink)
Recently, scholars have disputed whether Locke's political theory should be read as the groundwork of secular liberalism or as a Protestant political theology. Focusing on Locke's mature theory of toleration, the article raises a central question: What if these two readings are compatible? That is, what would be the consequences if Locke's political philosophy has theological foundations, but has also given shape to secular liberalism? Examining Locke's theory in the Letter Concerning Toleration , the article argues that this is indeed (...) the case. The liberal model of toleration is a secularization of the theology of Christian liberty and its division of society into a temporal political kingdom and the spiritual kingdom of Christ. Therefore, when liberal toleration travels beyond the boundaries of the Christian West or when western societies become multicultural, it threatens to lose its intelligibility. (shrink)
The question posed in this article is whether Catholics can fully, unreservedly, and conscientiously carry out their duties as citizens and as holders of their various public offices (legislative, judicial and executive) of the State, in accordance with the laws and constitution of the democratic and pluralist States in which they live. My concern—as a practicing Catholic and a practicing lawyer—is that the increasingly fierce Church criticism, which arose during the papacy of John Paul II and now of Benedict XVI, (...) of the perceived trend towards secularization in the social and political mores of Western (particularly European) democracies, and the greater readiness by Church officials to take it upon themselves explicitly to instruct the laity in political matters, puts this whole issue again into question. Should the bishops of the Catholic Church be seeking to use their ecclesiastical authority (over the faithful) to oppose or promote changes in the laws which apply to all within our society and/or to influence the way we might vote or carry out civic duties? This is a big and complex area involving the interplay of politics and theology; of private and public morality. It touches on the role of teaching office of the Catholic Church and the assent (and possibility of dissent) on the part of the faithful. It takes in questions of conscientious objection and unjust laws. It concerns individual conscience and the hope of salvation. It is about voting as sinning. It is about judging, and being judged. (shrink)
Religious pluralism led to the colonies' separation of church and state by 1776, to Mann's campaign for common schooling, and to the complete secularization of public schools by 1900. The dependence of Western theology upon untenable Greek metaphysics justifies an explanation that the evolutionary purpose of religion was to promote personal integration and social cohesion. This also occurs in civic religion, herein explicated as the common faith established by truths from intersubjectively valid inquiries and by experienced qualities (i.e., the (...) goodness) of things in the natural, societal, and lived worlds of the natural and social sciences and humanities. This promotes natural piety and a sustainable planet by grounding education in the child's being in the world. The inclusion of formal religion in the public school curriculum is considered, but unnecessary, because schools already promote individual development and social cohesion through education for citizenship, etc. (shrink)
Calvin approached every question that confronted him by turning to the Scriptures. His spiritual heirs were the makers of modern medicine. However, the fruit borne by his theology has become rotten, through secularization and the excess of its success. By returning to the Scriptures, and particularly Calvin's understanding of the role of the deacon, we can begin again to do the work Christ has for us in the world, building the true City and reversing the curse.
In _Poetry and Apocalypse_, Franke seeks to find the premises for dialogue between cultures, especially religious fundamentalisms—including Islamic fundamentalism—and modern Western secularism. He argues that in order to be genuinely open, dialogue needs to accept possibilities such as religious apocalypse in ways that can be best understood through the experience of poetry. Franke reads Christian epic and prophetic tradition as a secularization of religious revelation that preserves an understanding of the essentially apocalyptic character of truth and its disclosure in (...) history. The usually neglected negative theology that undergirds this apocalyptic tradition provides the key to a radically new view of apocalypse as at once religious and poetic. (shrink)
This article summarizes in three specific sections the key challenges faced by Christian and, particularly Orthodox, ethics in a secularized society. The first section, focusing on the task and aim of ethics, defines Orthodox ethics, which is linked with asceticism and aims at overcoming death and encountering the personal God. Put differently, the purpose of Orthodox ethics is the deification of human beings. The second section defines secularization and explores its consequences for the theology and pastoral work of the (...) Church. Europe is dominated by scholasticism and moralism, whereas Orthodox theology, without rejecting it, transcends such a narrow preoccupation with our own world. Orthodoxy does not regard human beings solely from the perspective of their biological existence but assists them in going beyond mechanistic theories and the pursuit of happiness. The third section briefly describes how what can be termed “bio-theology” surpasses anthropocentric ethics with regard to the relationship between creation and grace, birth and rebirth, cloning and incarnation, transplantation and deification, and death and resurrection. The article concludes that Orthodox theology does not reject the achievements of biotechnology or biomedicine; assists humans in overcoming mortality by finding meaning for their existence and fullness of life, and does not simply postpone death, but overcomes the fear of death and leads people to deification by grace. (shrink)
The study is focused on the relation between theology and mathematics in the situation of increasing secularization. My main concern in the second part of this paper is the early-twentieth-century foundational crisis of mathematics. The hypothesis that pure mathematics partially fulfilled the functions of theology at that time is tested on the views of the leading figures of the three main foundationalist programs: Russell, Hilbert and Brouwer.
Between 1910 and 1917, Walter Benjamin composed a range of philosophical works and fragmented texts all of which touch upon the concept of youth and its intersection with issues of modernity and theology, faith and political action, religion and secularization, God, and the world. Yet, while scholars have rather extensively discussed Benjamin’s early works on language, literature, and esthetics, less attention has been given to his work on youth. This paper focuses on Benjamin’s writings on youth from these early (...) years. Its aim is to demonstrate how these writings were intended as contributions to the composition of a comprehensive theory of youth, which itself was to combine philosophical discussion with theological imagination. More concretely, by using the example of Meister Eckhart, who is rarely discussed in connection to Benjamin’s thought, the paper shows how Benjamin draws on Christian mystical notions of time, transcendence, and divinity, albeit in a secularized and therefore transformed guise, and how Benjamin’s intellectual endeavor can hence be labeled a modern-mystical theory of youth. (shrink)
This collection contains such a wealth of topics that it deserves the attention of anyone seriously interested in what its title denotes, namely the philosophy of the history of philosophy. The content of the various essays, along with their translated titles, can be described as follows. "The New Aspects of the Philosophy of the History of Philosophy" claims to be, but is not, an introduction to the other essays; it abounds in obscurities and does not even make the effort of (...) integrating the various contributions into some common themes. "Meta-philosophy and History of Philosophy" is partly a methodological discussion of the connections among philosophy, metaphilosophy, and history of philosophy, and partly a discussion from a psychological-psychoanalytical and cultural anthropological point of view of questions like the following: whether anything like progress exists in the history of philosophy, what is the meaning of the whole philosophical history, and what are its prospects for the future. "Heidegger, Schelling, and German Idealism" discusses the relations between the history of philosophy and the philosophy of existence, using primarily Heidegger’s lectures on Schelling as a case study. "Hermeneutic Experience and Philosophical Historiography" is a discussion primarily of the theory of historical interpretation in Gadamer’s Wahrheit und Methode, and secondarily of some of its consequences for the study of the history of philosophy; it is highly informative, but one cannot fail to lament the fact that the author reports Gadamer’s critiques of historicism without any explicit indication that, besides Dilthey’s version, there exists Croce’s brand of historicism, which in my judgment is very similar to Gadamer’s hermeneutics as reported in this essay. "History of Art as History of Philosophy?" is a thoughtful and provocative brief discussion of the divergence between the histories of art and of philosophy; it also suggests that, nevertheless, data and facts from art-history can be used by the historian of philosophy for the reconstruction of the philosophical concepts of epochs and cultures whose available historical records abound in the field of art but are lacking in the area of philosophy. "The Hegelian Left and the History of Philosophy" is an analysis of some of the historiography of the 19th century Hegelian Left. "-Philosophy and the Theology of Secularization discusses the interconnections among philosophy, history of philosophy, the contemporary historical situation, and political philosophy, developing a Gentilean critique of the theology of secularization; it argues that Gentile’s critique refutes some presuppositions of this theology, namely, the idea of the progressive character of contemporary history and that of the irreversible process of secularization. "Philosophy of Religion and History of Philosophy," though terminologically and stylistically obscure, is a very stimulating justification of the thesis that an adequate philosophy of religion is to be grounded on a philosophy of history, which in turn is to be grounded on an all-encompassing history of philosophy; independently of the adequacy of this justification, the author makes a number of very suggestive comparisons between the history and historiography of philosophy and the history and historiography of the Church, such as the following: the analogy of the relationships between theology and Church history and between philosophy and philosophical history, the analogy between the "history of ideas" and ecumenical Church history, the analogy between the position of Hegel in philosophical history and that of Jesus in Church history, and the analogy between the visible/ invisible Church distinction in religious studies and the history/theory distinction in philosophical inquiry. "Beyond the Historical Disease" discusses to what extent philosophical hermeneutics solves Nietzsche’s problem that there is a conflict between historiographical awareness and the capacity to make history; it answers that, in spite of its insights, hermeneutics fails, and that the solution lies in the direction of certain suggestions found in Sartre’s Question of Méthode. "Interpretation and Translatability of Philosophical Texts" discusses certain problems in the theory of meaning from the point of view of analytical philosophy, and in relation to the meaning of philosophical passages. "Epistemology, Hermeneutics, and Analytical-Philosophical Historiography" is an interesting mixture of a critique of the view that contemporary analytical philosophy is ahistorical, a discussion of the similarities between Popper’s epistemology and Gadamer’s hermeneutics, and a study of the interplay between Popper’s epistemology and his interpretation of Plato in The Open Society and its Enemies. "Information Theory and Philosophy" studies the relation between science and the history of philosophy by comparing and contrasting certain philosophical ideas of Leibniz and Kant with recent results in information theory. A final essay deals with "The Myth of Faust in Kierkegaard."—M.A.F. (shrink)
In this article I explain the origin of the concept “postsecular”. I argue that such concept, spread by Jürgen Habermas since 2001, has its origin in the reformist Jewish thought from 70’s in the United States. In this context, the postsecular is drafted as a phase which Jewish Theology is experiencing as result of its contact with secular lifestyle. Such contact summons to a reflection on ethic values which secularization missed. I argue that some of the meanings of the (...) current concept of “postsecular”, which Habermas articulates, were already present in the first uses of such concept from Eugene B. Borowitz and Emil Fackenheim. Finally, I argue that it might be set up a correlation between the ethical origins of the postsecular and the Habermas’s as “awareness of what is missing”. (shrink)
This is a rich and rewarding book although its richness will be easily overlooked. It is in fact one of the first efforts to return American theology to one of its classical traditions, a theology of religious experience, not in the manner of scientism but religious experience in the manner of everyday human orientation. A review of this book may easily leave the impression of sentimental piety and lack of realism. Nothing could be further from the truth. The book is (...) anti-sentimental, post-secular theology, and post-existential. It is a new treatise on religious affection. What for many are abstract or empty theological categories are here given a direct and immediate meaning in everyday experience even in the midst of technological society. Modern man, identified as radial man in a radial world, lives in the presence of power with the problem of appropriating this power. To analyze this situation and in addition to more familiar thinkers, the author draws on often neglected sources which nevertheless have a living influence in his history—Edwards, Schleiermacher, Bunyan, Coleridge, and the New England Divine David Brainard. Conscious of the secularization of our day, but not in the tradition of "Death of God" theology, he isolates and analyzes the immediate and meaningful character of religious experience even in secular society. There also one seeks orientation to the powers which impinge upon one providing the central feature of religion. Faith is distinguished from both rationalism and voluntarism while returning to the Edwardian concept of "religious affection" as a total personal response to these powers. As power makes its impact upon us experientially in suffering, believing finds its place as a "form of valuing with self-restraint," and as "admiring with humility." Believing in God involves the self being diminished and enlarged, both fear and gladness, the experiential center of justification by grace through faith. The author offers thereby an elaboration of Kantian categories which provides conditions of experience. Those who expect an experiential approach to religion to be more scientific will be disappointed, and those who wish greater exactness will find the categories too metaphorical, but those who read with any religious sympathy and sensitivity will find not only a rewarding analysis of human experience but also a new direction in American theology. Even sensitive readers, however, will remain troubled by the possibility of interpreting the same experiences with nonreligious categories. That alternative is hardly discussed, the debate with purely secular categories is seldom joined, and the resolution of such an option seems to remain with the basic orientation of the reader, which is what religious faith or affection is all about. Those who have any interest in the possibility of a religious orientation to the powers in the midst of which we move daily should read this book.—H. A. D. (shrink)
Este trabajo ofrece un estudio del análisis teológico-político del Estado nacional moderno propuesto por Franz Rosenzweig en La Estrella de la Redención. Se persigue destacar la atención que Rosenzweig prestó al problema de la secularización y, por tanto, a la teología política, entendida ésta, en La Estrella, como "política mesiánica": cristianización de "los pueblos del mundo" como condición del auge del nacionalismo que condujo a Europa hacia la mundialización de la "guerra de religión", es decir, hacia una guerra mundial inter-nacional (...) por la unidad de salus y fides. De este modo se sientan las bases para una lectura teológico-política de la tercera parte de La Estrella, que de acuerdo con la hipótesis de trabajo del presente estudio debe ser entendida como una respuesta a la teoría hegeliana de la mundanización de la religión a través del Estado. Ésta será objeto de exposición en la primera parte del artículo. A continuación expondré el análisis de la articulación hegeliana de política, historia y religión que cabe encontrar en el Hegel de Rosenzweig y, por último, la decisivia función que desempeña en La Estrella. This paper deals with the theological-political interpretation of modern national State presented by Franz Rosenzweig in The Star of Redemption. I will try to emphasize the attention that Rosenzweig paid to secularization problem and therefore to political theology, which the author of The Star denominates "messianic politics": christianization of "the peoples of the world" as condition of the rise of nationalism which led to mundialization of "religious war", i. e. to inter-national world war in name of the unity of salus and fides. This way I will set the basis for a theological-political reading of the Third Part of The Star, which according to the hypothesis of the present essay is to be understood as a response to Hegel's theory of mundanization of religion through State. This Hegelian doctrine will be presented in the first section of the paper. Next I will expound Rosenzweig's early analysis of Hegel's articulation between politics, history and religion and, finally, the decisive role which subsequently he plays in The Star. (shrink)
Si la « rencontre des religions » est de plus en plus un fait, le « dialogue interreligieux » revêt un « caractère inéluctable » qui oblige à voir à frais nouveaux la place de la « théologie chrétienne ». Très tôt, Paul Tillich a voulu élargir la question de la rencontre des religions à celle du rapport entre religions et sécularisation de façon à éviter l’enfermement dans une théologie étroite des religions. L’objet de cet article est de montrer comment (...) la pensée théologique de Tillich sur l’histoire des religions s’enracine dans sa lecture de la dernière philosophie de Schelling, ce qui lui a permis de percevoir non seulement la possibilité et la fécondité d’un croisement entre religion et culture, mais aussi l’enjeu des questions christologiques liées à ce croisement. Car même si les événements politiques et la faillite de l’idéalisme allemand l’ont ensuite conduit vers d’autres débats, en particulier avec E. Troeltsch et K. Barth, Tillich est resté jusqu’au bout fidèle aux intuitions théologiques découvertes dans la philosophie schellingienne.While the “encounter of religions” is becoming an increasingly commonplace occurrence, the “ineluctable character” of “interreligious dialogue” forces us to examine, at new cost, the place of “Christian theology.” Paul Tillich sought very early on to broaden the question of the encounter of religions to that of a relationship between religions and secularization, to avoid limiting it to a narrow theology of religions. The aim of this article is to show how Tillich’s theological thinking on the history of religions is rooted in his reading of the late philosophy of Schilling. This allowed him to perceive not only the possibility and the fecundity of bringing together religion and culture, but also the Christological questions at stake in this encounter. Although political events and the failure of German idealism led to other debates, in particular with E. Troeltsch and K. Barth, Tillich remained to the end faithful to the theological intuitions discovered in Schelling’s philosophy. (shrink)
En este trabajo se analiza la doctrina de la doble verdad del siglo XIII, atribuida al maestro de la Facultad de Artes de la Universidad de París, Sigerio de Brabante. Sin embargo, no nos detendremos a determinar si ese maestro es el autor auténtico de la duplex veritas;más bien, nuestra interpretación se centra en la importancia de tal doctrina como origen, inicio, de un complejo proceso secularizador que concluirá separando la fe de la razón, la teología de la filosofía y, (...) sociopolíticamente, el poder espiritual del poder temporal. University, Philosophy and doble truth in the XIII centuryThis paper analyzes the XIII century´s doctrine of double truth attributed to Siger of Brabant,Master of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Paris. However, we will not concentrate on determining if he was the authentic author of the duplex veritas; instead, our interpretation will focus on the importance of this doctrine as the source of a complex process of secularization that would end separating faith from reason, theology from philosophy; and the spiritual power from the temporal one, if looked from a socio-political perspective. (shrink)
In the current secularization of religion nowadays, particularly of Christianity, we see that in the celebrations of the sacraments, specially Baptism and Eucharist, people are looking for something to give their lives sense, that they even don’t know for sure what is, but through the liturgical rites, expressed by the body language, try to make life in accordance with faith, even though still in a superficial way. Through the theology of the sacraments, theology of revelation and anthropology we realize (...) that the relationship between the human being and God is still very present and currently up-to-date, and not something "unknown" or even "lost". Thus, the human being is still seeking a close relationship with the Being who created him at His image and likeness that can be realized and manifested in liturgical celebrations, not forgetting the communal character of each liturgical act and its expressions. (shrink)