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Today, Christianity is often described as a ‘worldview’, especially among Reformed evangelicals in the USA. In this article I return to the 1890 lectures where Scottish theologian James Orr adapted the concept of Weltanschauung for Christian purposes. Although it was coined by Immanuel Kant in 1790, and primarily used in subsequent decades to theorise cultural difference and evaluate aesthetic expression, Orr nevertheless claims that the idea of a worldview is ‘as old as the dawn of reflection’ and thus appropriate to articulating Christianity. I examine Orr's engagement with the Kantian and emerging historicist context, paying particular attention to his epistemological and aesthetic citations and showing how Orr both adopts and departs from the characteristic features of the Kantian subject. I conclude by assessing the philosophical and theological costs of this project that, among other things, positions Christianity for perpetual culture war within secular societies similarly shaped by the post-Kantian subject.
I focus in this article on the work of the contemporary Thomist, David Burrell, and the ways in which he is influenced particularly by Robert Sokolowski and Kathryn Tanner in his articulation of the sui generis relation between creature and Creator. By paying close attention to Burrell's work on the metaphysics of creation I show how the notions of ‘distinction’ and ‘relation’ cannot be separated in his understanding of the world-and-God. I then examine how Thomas's own thinking through of these issues was carried out in engagement with voices from outside the Christian tradition and, finally, explore Burrell's invitation to extend the conversation beyond Abrahamic frontiers by turning to the work of a lesser-known Thomist scholar – Sara Grant.
In his Concluding Unscientific Postscript, Kierkegaard, writing as Johannes Climacus, famously distinguishes two kinds of religiousness, kind A and kind B. He claims that, even though kind A is basic to kind B, including as represented in Christian religious commitment, kind A both has God ‘in its ground’ and ‘can be present in paganism’ that is atheist or agnostic. This apparent conflict calls for a resolution, if kind A is to be coherent. This article offers a new resolution with a familiar distinction between God de re and God de dicto, even though interpreters have overlooked the importance of this distinction for understanding Kierkegaard. In addition, the article contends that this distinction is supportable from Kierkegaard's own writings, even though he himself did not draw it explicitly. The article also explains the importance of the distinction for understanding Kierkegaard on religious diversity in intellectual content. It proposes that it enables Kierkegaard to offer a compelling position on such diversity, given his understanding of God's perfectly good character and activity.
This article is a study of Pavel Florensky's philosophy of symbol in the context of his discovery of Palamism in the 1910s, when Florensky started to speak of symbol using Palamite language. It proposes a fundamental difference between Florensky's and Palamas’ teachings on symbol: Palamas views a natural symbol as the energy of an essence, while for Florensky symbol is the essence itself, the energy of which synergises with the energies of other essence. In this context the prehistory of the concept of synergy in Florensky is studied, leading to the identification of a further difference in the ontologies of Florensky and Palamas: while Florensky's ‘essence-energy’ has the property of necessary correlation with the ‘other’, following the tendencies of the philosophy of that epoch, in Palamas ‘energy’ does not presuppose any necessary correlation with the ‘other’. The author connects this difference in ontologies between the two thinkers with their respective teachings on symbol.
This essay begins with Pilate's question – ‘What is truth?’ – and notes the way it sets us up to long for a second-person experience of Jesus. I argue that this longing is met in the literary function of the Beloved Disciple, which prepares us for our own second-person encounter with Jesus. This raises some puzzles: can the Spirit convey to us a second-person encounter with Jesus? How do we know we have been so addressed by Jesus? Given John's above/below dualism, what does such an encounter mean for our theological language? I answer these questions in turn.
This article argues that, unlike some exegetes (e.g. Francis Moloney), Thomas Torrance correctly interpreted Mark 16:19–20 in support of a theology of the ascended Christ's continuing prophetic activity. In the ministry of the Word, Christ remains present and at work witnessing to himself. This prophetic office, associated with and not to be separated from his kingly and priestly functions, is not to be played down. He is the primary agent forever actively involved in Christian proclamation.