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IV - Participation and the Shape of Human Life

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 August 2019

Andrew Davison
Affiliation:
University of Cambridge
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Summary

The final chapters of this book look at how a participatory outlook can inform and has informed a vision of the world and what it means to live, act, pray, and seek God in it. This, the first of these chapters, considers knowledge and knowing in participatory terms. Knowledge is seen as a participation of the knower in the known, or a sharing from the known to the knower. This undergirds a 'realist' epistemology, in that knowing rests on the reality of the thing that is known. That said, it also stresses the creaturehood and particularity of the knower and the manner of knowing: that which is known comes to be in the knower in the manner of the knower, whether we are talking about our knowledge of an animal, of a plant, or of God. In the case of God, most of all, the knower never exhausts the depths of what is known. That also applies, however, although to a different degree, in the knowledge of even mundane things, since their deepest reality is a participation in God, which confers a creaturely form of inexhaustibility. In these ways, much of this chapter is an exploration of 'intra-finite participation': about how one creature participates in, or donates to, another. It closes with a discussion of the relation between reason and revelation.

Type
Chapter
Information
Participation in God
A Study in Christian Doctrine and Metaphysics
, pp. 301 - 366
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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