Love's Transcendence and the Problem of Theodicy

Author: Claudia Welz

Publisher: Mohr Siebeck

ISBN: 9783161495618

Category: Philosophy

Page: 437

View: 8836

Since the problem of theodicy concerns all dimensions of human existence and cannot be reduced to a logical problem of consistency, it cannot be resolved by means of a theodicy, a rational defense of God before the tribunal of human reason. But how can we deal with 'the wound of negativity?' Claudia Welz explores responses that do not end up in a theodicy. Instead of asking about the origin and sense (or non-sense) of evil and suffering, she considers God's (non)phenomenality, the dialectics of God's givenness and hiddenness. Neither God nor evil is given 'as such;' rather, God and evil are determined for someone as something within specific contexts of experience. How does God appear in human life, and how is his phenomenal presence or non-presence related to the ambiguities of our lives? In the center of the book, Kierkegaard's and Rosenzweig's answers, their reasons for having no reason to defend God and their ethics of love are discussed 'between' German idealism and French phenomenology. Both of them follow Kant's practical turn of the problem of theodicy, oppose Hegel's theodicy through history and anticipate Levinas' idea to look for the traces of God's transcendence in human movements of self-transcendence. Moreover, they have remarkable contributions to the current debates on 'metaphysics of presence' and 'onto-theology.' In dialogue with Levinas, the presence of God's love is in question, in dialogue with Derrida God's presence as a gift, and in dialogue with Marion the gift of God's presence as a so-called 'saturated' self-giving phenomenon . In conclusion to these discussions, theology is developed as semiotic phenomenology of the Invisible.

Subjectivity and Transcendence

Author: Søren Overgaard

Publisher: Mohr Siebeck

ISBN: 9783161492600

Category: Philosophy

Page: 255

View: 5253

"The book has its origins in a conference entitled "Subjectivity and Transcendence," which was held at the Danish National Research Foundation: Center for Subjectivity Research, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, in November 2003... However, the book is not a conference proceedings volume"--Pref.

The Poetics of Grace: Christian Ethics as Theodicy

Volume 1, The Hope of God’s Calling

Author: Jeph Holloway

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1621896196

Category: Religion

Page: 304

View: 1779

What is God doing about a world marked by conflict and division? What about a world in which our technologies promise great good but also threaten our existence? What is God doing in a world where the demands for accumulation and acquisition create division and despair? Can Christians hope to be of positive influence in a world that does not always support, reflect, or even understand Christian commitments? Christian ethics often raises such questions as these, and the possible answers vary widely. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians is a tremendous resource for exploring a faithful response to perhaps the toughest question of all: what is God doing about evil? The role of Christian ethics is to take seriously the challenge that, whatever God is doing, God calls us to participate in a distinctive task that embraces our own commitments and labors within the divine purpose. Ephesians says that God has taken the initiative to pursue that purpose and, remarkably, offers that we ourselves are part of the answer to the question, what is God doing about evil?

The Problem of Animal Pain

A Theodicy For All Creatures Great And Small

Author: T. Dougherty

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137443170

Category: Philosophy

Page: 197

View: 1250

Animal suffering constitutes perhaps the greatest challenge to rational belief in the existence of God. Considerations that render human suffering theologically intelligible seem inapplicable to animal suffering. In this book, Dougherty defends radical possibilities for animal afterlife that allow a soul-making theodicy to apply to their case.

The Groaning of Creation

God, Evolution, and the Problem of Evil

Author: Christopher Southgate

Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press

ISBN: 0664230903

Category: Religion

Page: 196

View: 9381

Pain, suffering, and extinction are intrinsic to the evolutionary process. In this book Christopher Southgate shows how the world that is very good is also groaning in travail and subjected by God to that travail. Southgate then evaluates several attempts at evolutionary theodicy and argues for his own approachan approach that takes full account of Gods self-emptying and human beings special responsibilities as created cocreators. Christopher Southgate is Honorary University Fellow in Theology at the University of Exeter, England, and Visiting Scholar at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. Originally trained as a biochemist at the University of Cambridge, he is the general editor and principal author of God, Humanity and the Cosmos (3rd ed.).

Beyond Theodicy

Jewish and Christian Continental Thinkers Respond to the Holocaust

Author: Sarah K. Pinnock

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 9780791455234

Category: Religion

Page: 195

View: 876

Explores the work of post-Holocaust Jewish and Christian thinkers who reject theodicy—arguments explaining why a loving God can permit evil and suffering in the world.

Tragic Vision and Divine Compassion

A Contemporary Theodicy

Author: Wendy Farley

Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press

ISBN: 9780664250966

Category: Religion

Page: 150

View: 9796

Offering an alternative to classic Christian theodicies (justification of God's goodness and omnipotence in view of the existence of evil), Wendy Farley interprets the problem of evil and suffering within a tragic context, advocating compassion to describe the power of God in the struggle against evil.

Cultural Renewal

Restoring the Liberal and Fine Arts

Author: Arthur Pontynen

Publisher: Transaction Publishers

ISBN: 1412855144

Category: History

Page: 316

View: 1732

The decline of interest in the liberal and fine arts is widely lamented. At issue is why this decline happened and how we might restore qualitative standards by which to live. Arthur Pontynen argues that cultural decline is the consequence of a tragically anti-intellectual academic tradition—and its alternative is the cosmopolitan pursuit of wisdom and beauty. Pontynen writes that the liberal and fine arts are justified by their attempt to understand the material realization of wisdom, of that which is true and good in reality and life. The current decline marks a denial that such qualitative aspirations are realistic. Instead of understanding art as the intellectual pursuit of ontological perfection, perfection is subjectified as willful preference or experience. Consequently, the liberal and fine arts have been displaced by a naturalistic social science and a relational existentialism. This reduction denies qualitive thoughts, words, and deeds. Pontynen establishes that the arts are not obsolete, merely subjectivist, or limited to a brutal (de)constructivism. He argues for a renewed idealism that is neither reductionist, trivializing, or brutalized. Pontynen offers an alternative, global narrative that is both realistic and idealistic; one that permits us to distinguish between the trivial, the brutal, and the profound.

Science and Religion

One World — Changing Perspectives on Reality

Author: J.W. Fennema,Paul Iain

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9400920210

Category: Religion

Page: 240

View: 8802

The world is increasingly becoming . one. It is, at the same time, one endangered ecosystem and one thriving market place with material and spiritual goods on competitive display. And the good and evil things of life cannot easily be sorted out. The world is becoming one also in the sense that it is better understood today than it was in earlier times, that the material good and the spiritual good, though seemingly belonging to different realms of fact defined by their respective modes of existence, together constitute effectively one and the same reality: the modem world of science, technology, computerized administration and power, that calls upon humankind to struggle for a 'just, participatory and sustainable society' * , and to strive for a society of the future that will be the world over both long-lived and worth living. The Second European Conference on Science and Religion, held on 10-13th. March, 1988, on the campus of the Universiteit Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands, was meant to be a modest market place, a forum, where standpoints and opinions could be presented and criticized. It was meant to offer an opportunity to meet and to make acquaintances in the expectation that the exchange of thoughts would lead to new conceptual horizons that would challenge what so far had been considered as hard fact or what until now had been looked upon as a distinctive feature of a well-established view either of the kingdom of the sciences or of the realm of religion.

Positivism and Christianity

A Study of Theism and Verifiability

Author: K.H. Klein

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9401020140

Category: Philosophy

Page: 194

View: 2172

This essay is conceived as a critical exposition of the central issues that figure in the ongoing conversation between Logical Positivists and neo Positivists on the one hand and Christian apologists on the other. My expository aim is to isolate and to describe the main issues that have emer ged in the extended discussion between men of Positivistic turn of mind and men sympathetic to the claims of Christianity. My critical aim is to select typical, influential stands that have been taken on each of these issues, to assess their viability, and to isolate certain dilemmas which discussion of these issues has generated. I am convinced that the now commonly rejected verifiability theory of meaning is very commonly misunderstood and has been rejected by and large for the wrong reasons. Before it is cast off-if it is to be cast off-what is needed is a reconsideration of that theory and of the objections that its several formulations have elicited. Furthermore, at least partially because of a misconstruing of the verifiability doctrine, there have been some interesting-though in my opinion unsuccessful-claims advanced about the testability-status of sentences expressive of Christian belief. Moreover, in their haste to vindicate Christianity, some apologists have been fairly cavalier, in my opinion, about what "Christianity" involves. This volume offers what I hope will be a clear statement and analysis of the principle points at issue between Positivism and Christianity, together with my own assessment of where the argument stands now.

Such a Dark Thing

Theology of the Vampire Narrative in Popular Culture

Author: M. Jess Peacock

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1630878189

Category: Religion

Page: 168

View: 2823

Evil, death, demons, reanimation, and resurrection. While such topics are often reserved for the darker mindscapes of the vampire subgenre within popular culture, they are equally integral elements of religious history and belief. Despite the cultural shift of presenting vampires in a secular light, the traditional figure of the vampire within cinema and literature has a rich legacy of serving as a theological marker. Whether as a symbol of the allure of sin, as an apologetic for assorted religious icons, or as a gateway into a discussion of liberationist theology, the vampire has served as a spiritual touchstone from Bram Stoker's Dracula, to Stephen King's Salem's Lot, to the HBO television series True Blood. In Such a Dark Thing, Jess Peacock examines how the figure of the vampire is able to traverse and interconnect theology and academia within the larger popular culture in a compelling and engaging manner. The vampire straddles the ineffable chasm between life and death and speaks to the transcendent in all of us, tapping into our fundamental curiosity of what, if anything, exists beyond the mortal coil, giving us a glimpse into the interminable while maintaining a cultural currency that is never dead and buried.

An Imaginative Glimpse

The Trinity and Multiple Religious Participations

Author: Joas Adiprasetya

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1621898393

Category: Religion

Page: 216

View: 4569

In contrast to the popular notion that the doctrine of the Trinity hinders Christians from engaging with the reality of religious diversity, this book argues that the doctrine is the best way of constructing contemporary theology of religions. An Imaginative Glimpse reexamines three prominent Trinitarian theologians of religions (Raimundo Panikkar, Gavin D'Costa, and S. Mark Heim) and proposes a fresh and creative model by bringing the classical idea of perichoresis to its present-day multifaith situation. Opening a new alternative in both Trinitarian theology and theology of religions, Adiprasetya's approach adds a distinctive contribution to the ongoing and challenging discussion in both fields. By using perichoresis imaginatively as a multidimensional category for multiple religious participations within the Trinity, Adiprasetya argues that the model is able to respect all religions on their own terms, while at the same time being faithful to the Christian standpoint.

Does God Roll Dice?

Divine Providence for a World in the Making

Author: Joseph Bracken

Publisher: Liturgical Press

ISBN: 0814680534

Category: Religion

Page: 216

View: 1366

Albert Einstein is often quoted as saying that "God does not play dice," claiming an orderly and predictable structure to the universe. Today, advances and presumptions in the field of quantum mechanics pose a serious challenge to such a position. It's a challenge not only for nuclear physicists, but also for Christian theologians who work to explain God's providence for the world. In Does God Roll Dice? noted Jesuit scholar Joseph Bracken claims that something like "directed chance" (Teilhard de Chardin) is God's normal mode of operation in a world always perilously poised between order and chaos. Bracken adopts the relatively new concept of self-organizing or self-correcting systems out of the natural and social sciences to deal with controversial issues in the ongoing religion and science debate. At the same time he deliberately keeps the language and context of the book suitable for the intelligent non-professional reader.

Theodicy of Culture and the Jewish Ethos

David Koigen’s Contribution to the Sociology of Religion

Author: Martina Urban

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter

ISBN: 3110247739

Category: Religion

Page: 277

View: 3388

This volume presents the theory of culture of the Russian‑born German Jewish social philosopher David Koigen (1879–1933). Heir to Hermann Cohen’s neo‑Kantian interpretation of Judaism, he transforms the religion of reason into an ethical Intimitätsreligion. He draws upon a great variety of intellectual currents, among them, Max Scheler’s philosophy of values, the historical sociology of Max Weber, the sociology of religion of Émile Durkheim, Ernst Troeltsch and Georg Simmel and American pragmatism. Influenced by his personal experience of marginality in German academia yet the same time unconstrained by the dictates of the German Jewish discourse, Koigen shapes these theoretical strands into an original argument which unfolds along two trajectories: theodicy of culture and ethos. Distinguished from ethics, ethos identifies the non-formal factors that foster a group’s sense of collective identity as it adapts to continuous change. From a Jewish perspective, ethos is grounded in the biblical covenant as the paradigm of a social contract and corporate liability. Although the normative content of the covenantal ethos is subject to gradual secularization, its metaphysical and existential assumptions, Koigen argues, continue to inform Jewish self-understanding. The concept of ethos identifies the dialectic of tradition as it shapes Jewish religious consciousness, and, in turn, is shaped by the evolving cultural and axiological sensibilities. In consonance, Jewish identity cannot be reduced to ethnicity or a purely secular culture. Urban develops these fragmentary and inchoate theories into a sociology of religious knowledge and suggests to read Koigen not just as a Jewish sociologist but as the first sociologist of Judaism who proposes to overcome the dogmatic anti-metaphysical stance of European sociology.

Meaning and Melancholy in the Thought of Emmanuel Levinas

Author: Stine Holte

Publisher: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht

ISBN: 3647604526

Category: Fiction

Page: 192

View: 4772

Although considered as one of the 20th century most central ethical thinkers, Emmanuel Levinas claimed that his task was not to construct an ethics, but to seek the meaning of the ethical. This claim is the point of departure of the present study, which asks how ethics could be regarded as meaningful at all in light of the crisis of meaning that according to Levinas is inherent to being. Ethical meaning is for Levinas sought “otherwise than being or beyond essence” in terms of a radical responsibility for the Other. At the same time, it is questionable whether the ethical may be said to represent an overcoming of the crisis of meaning. This is visible in Levinas’ rather harsh descriptions of the ethical situation, involving not only the meaningless, but also feelings like melancholy, trauma, and shame. As the study shows, such feelings can for Levinas not be seen apart from their religious significance, although Levinas does not rely on conventional theology, but rather understands transcendence in a deeply sensible manner. This is shown in the radical passivity and self-emptying – to the point of messianism – of the responsible subject, which is the only way the meaning of the ethical may be rescued. The study also discusses how the utopian aspect of such a position is problematic in practical life, and why Levinas therefore admits the need for the ethical to be betrayed in ontology, which also implies an involvement with aesthetics as “ontological par excellence.”

Philosophical Thinking and the Religious Context

Author: Brendan Sweetman

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 1623566835

Category: Religion

Page: 192

View: 9260

This new collection covers a wide range of cutting-edge and timely questions in contemporary philosophy of religion from a rich variety of backgrounds and perspectives. The essays in the volume deal with a range of fascinating topics in the philosophy of religion such as views of God's nature in process philosophy and theology, process views compared with traditional views (such as that found in St Thomas Aquinas), teleology and purpose in human life and in the universe, religion and evolution, the problem of evil both in human experience and in the natural world, and ethical questions concerning the human road to God, and the question of human rights in pluralist, democratic states. The essays in the first section, "Approaches to God," examine the rationality of the approach to the nature of God defended in process philosophy, particularly in the work of two pioneering thinkers, Charles Hartshorne and A.N. Whitehead. The second section of the book, "Science, Evolution and God," turns to the engagement of Christian views regarding the nature of God and creation with modern developments in science and philosophy. The last section, "Philosophy of Religion and Ethics," takes up broader, more foundational questions. Santiago Sia concludes the volume with a sustained reflection on the nature of philosophy, and philosophizing, a discussion to which he brings many insights and experiences from his own academic career.

Evagrius Ponticus and Cognitive Science

A Look at Moral Evil and the Thoughts

Author: George Tsakiridis

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1630876925

Category: Religion

Page: 136

View: 2074

This study puts the thought of Evagrius Ponticus, a fourth-century theologian, into dialogue with modern cognitive science in regard to the topic of evil, specifically moral evil. Evagrius, in his writings about prayer and the ascetic life, addressed the struggle with personal moral evil in terms of the eight thoughts or demons. These thoughts were transmitted by John Cassian to the Western church, and later recast by Gregory the Great as the Seven Deadly Sins. Though present understandings of evil appear to differ greatly from those of Evagrius, his wisdom concerning the battle against evil may prove to be of great help even today. Using the work of Pierre Hadot to recover Evagrius's context, and the work of Paul Ricoeur to discuss how we construct descriptions and myths of evil, Evagrius is brought into dialogue with the cognitive sciences. Using current research, especially the work of Eugene d'Aquili and Andrew Newberg, this study reveals the contemporary relevance of Evagrius' approach to combating evil. In addition, the interdisciplinary study of patristics and cognitive science opens the pathway to a better understanding between Christian tradition and the modern sciences.