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Here’s something to do on a hot summer day (at least in SoCal). Here is a few quotes from a book I’m currently reading which promotes more than a few new ideas concerning a certain infamous theologian (maybe alive, maybe not). Try and guess who belongs in the blanks (it might not be who you think at first glance, but there are clues in the terminology used):

“_______’s project is orthodox in so far as it reestablishes the
conditions of possibility of knowing God over against the modern
doctrine that nothing can be known of God. His philosophy of
religion is a response to the challenge of theological agnosticism,
which in his view undercuts the central conviction of orthodoxy
that God makes godself known, that the nature of God is manifest
in the world, and that human cognition is capable of grasping the
idea of God. Beyond agnosticism lie atheism and secularism, and
_______ foresees the consequences of living in a godless world.
Religion, if still practiced, is separated from the rest of life, limited
to one day (or hour) of the week, and the truths that it apprehends
are judged to be quite different from the truths of everyday…”

“Thus _______ declares his orthodoxy. The declaration is implicit
in his critique of the theologies of his time. Theological rationalism
has relinquished the project of knowing God, and its exegesis turns
Scripture into a ‘wax nose’ twisted to the shape of its own prejudices.
Theological historicism is interested only in what was once
believed and lacks assets of its own, so that philosophy now retains
more of the teachings of the church than theology does. Theological
agnosticism abandons dogmatics for ethics, but _______ is
unimpressed by the claim that belief in God provides incentives
for acting in accord with moral duties: such a view corrupts religion.
Nor is faith properly located in the subjectivity of religious
feeling, which cannot get off the ground, cannot elevate itself from
the finite to the infinite, cannot defend against the inversion of
atheism, which regards belief in God as a projection of subjective
needs and desires…”

“But the main point in this context is that the apparent distinction between the divine One and the self-emerging
Logos proves to be no distinction at all, for the Logos remains
within the bosom of God and does not enter into the materiality
and otherness of the world. _______ will have nothing to do with the
spirit-matter dualism and the concomitant rejection of the natural
world that characterizes Gnosticism. Indeed, he warns against
shunning the sensible ‘in monkish fashion’ and avows that ‘spirit
is at home with itself in the sensible’…”

“_______’s God is not the wholly other but the whole of wholes, the
universal that embraces all otherness and difference. As spirit God
is both substance and subject, power and person, life and mind,
essence and existence. The abiding unity that forms God’s infinite
subjectivity does not dissolve differentia into sameness but holds
them in a play of productive relationships, as symbolized by the
play of the Trinitarian persons. It is an infinite intersubjectivity…

_______ speaks of the divine ‘externalization’ or ‘divestment’ of the logical idea releasing itself into the externality of nature and finite spirit, and he uses spatial metaphors to designate the place of the world as ‘outside’ of God. The other that God releases is something genuinely
other than God, something finite and contingent, subject to the
categories of space and time. But this otherness is at the same time
not severed from the divine life, and the result of the creative release is not a dualism that externally limits God or makes God one of two; nor is
it a monism that collapses everything into the divine subject.
Recognition preserves both identity and difference, and recognition
constitutes a community (or ‘kingdom’) of freedom. The
extraordinary thing about God is that God encompasses
what is not-God within God, and preserves it as not-
God. God does not exclude space, time, and finitude but includes
and saves them. They exist within God (God’s basileia), not God
within them. Nothing can be totally other than God, only relatively
(often recalcitrantly) other. Thus God is the whole, the
universal. Can this _______ian holism escape the charge
of ‘totalizing’?”

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