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This paper explores the apocalyptic discourses of Johann Baptist Metz and Friedrich Nietzsche, examining in particular Metz's juxtaposition of Nietzsche's approach to time as eternal recurrence with biblical apocalyptic's approach to time with an end. While framing his criticism of Nietzsche in terms of these differing approaches to time, Metz's opposition focuses on Nietzsche's affirmation of even the most brutal experiences of suffering in the world as mere moments in the innocence of becoming. In contrast to attempts in Western thought to either justify (Leibniz, Hegel) or affirm (Nietzsche) suffering as a necessary byproduct of the creation of the best possible world (Leibniz), historical progress (Hegel), or the innocence of becoming (Nietzsche), Metz retrieves the biblical apocalyptic spirituality of protest, resistance, and political compassion as the authentic response to innocent suffering.
Western scholars studying post-conflict truth and reconciliation commissions often presuppose a sharp divide between interpersonal and social forgiveness and reconciliation. This leads some to question and critique commissions that seek to promote forgiveness and reconciliation at both the interpersonal and the social levels. This project contends that the problem these scholars perceive may be based upon a dichotomy between the individual and the community that is absent in communitarian cultures. African theological anthropologies based on the notions of palaver and ubuntu illustrate that the human person is profoundly formed and preserved by the community, which sustains the individual through the promotion of certain ethical standards. In this context, expressions of interpersonal forgiveness and reconciliation have social ramifications. Cross-cultural discussion with African theologians thus re-situates this debate. African theological anthropology demonstrates the congruence among interpersonal and social expressions of forgiveness and reconciliation based in the community's commitment to the common good.
La nouvelle théologie is often associated with a certain disapprobation of Thomism. Yet in its “first phase,” the theological renewal of the Dominicans M.-D. Chenu (Le Saulchoir) and Louis Charlier (Leuven) was founded and justified upon a historical hermeneutics of Thomas' conception of theology. Against neo-Thomism's excessive rationalism, both Chenu and Charlier strove to recover Thomas's reciprocal immanence of faith and theology by reorienting theology towards the revealed Given. Their concrete elaborations of this fundamental aim, however, ran along different lines. For Charlier, actual theology should be positive theology, regulated by collective faith as expressed in the official teaching of the Magisterium. Chenu on the other hand upholds a theology—both positive and speculative—animated by the theologian's subjective perception of faith. These differences reveal that Chenu and Charlier belong to different theological schools with their own theological traditions: the speculative-theological tradition of Le Sauchoir (A. Gardeil) versus the positive-theological tradition of Leuven (R. Draguet).
This essay explores the much-debated question regarding the extent and viability of Thomas Aquinas as a theological source for expanding Christian ethical concern for the nonhuman creation, particularly nonhuman animals. This exploration focuses on the intersection of two foundational issues in Aquinas' theological framework, nature and teleology, as well as the effects of this intersection in Aquinas' work concerning nonhuman creation. From these examinations, I suggest that Aquinas can provide significant contributions for augmenting concern for the welfare of nonhuman animals because his theological framework demands that humans preserve the natural order through conservation. However, Aquinas' ecotheological ethics of conservation is foundationally anthropocentric and only permits indirect moral concern for the nonhuman world.