119,314 research outputs found

    Who is Nikos Kazantzakis' God?

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    The work of Kazantzakis is saturated with theological language, but disagreement continues as to how such language is to be understood. In some readings, Kazantzakis is interpreted as a non-religious, or even anti-religious, writer who rejects or is skeptical towards belief in God; while other readings emphasize the deeply religious character of his writings, seeing in them a ‘post-Christian’ or postmodern development of traditional Christian concepts. Critics, however, have surprisingly neglected a promising proposal, which would bring to the fore Kazantzakis’s lifelong engagement with Eastern religion. This proposal, although not denying that Kazantzakis was influenced by many of the streams of thought identified by others (e.g., evolutionary theory, process philosophy, apophatic theology, etc.), holds that Kazantzakis’s most fundamental commitment lay with a monistic and idealist worldview, prominent in Eastern philosophy and religious thought, which conceives reality as a unified whole that is ultimately spiritual in nature

    Negotiating anthropomorphism: reconsidering the onto-theological tradition in light of the bio-cultural study of religion

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    This dissertation is a work of multidisciplinary comparative philosophy of religion. It comprises a philosophical analysis and evaluation of Western traditions of philosophy and theology around the issue of religious anthropomorphism. More specifically, this study focuses on the tradition of Neoplatonic onto-theology in Western thought, and the divide in this tradition over the question of religious anthropomorphism and the divine nature. The dissertation frames this divide in terms of the distinction between an “anti-anthropomorphic” conception of the divine nature on the one hand, and an “attenuated anthropomorphic” conception of the divine nature on the other. Chapters two and three analyze key figures and texts from the “attenuated anthropomorphic” and “anti-anthropomorphic” traditions of Neoplatonic onto-theology. The fourth chapter considers a significant critique of this tradition as a whole leveled by Karl Barth and Martin Heidegger, among others, namely, that the onto-theological project as such constitutes a form of conceptual anthropomorphism. The fifth chapter provides an overview of the multidisciplinary scientific field known as the “bio-cultural study of religion,” which has yielded compelling evidence that anthropomorphic religious ideas are maturationally natural, culturally adaptive in certain past cultural contexts, and thus may reflect human cognitive limitations. The final chapter incorporates evidence from the BCSR (bio-cultural study of religion) in a comparative philosophical evaluation of the debates within and around the traditions of Neoplatonic onto-theology. The central philosophical thesis of this dissertation is that evidence from the BCSR negatively impacts—without decisively undercutting—the plausibility of the “attenuated anthropomorphic” tradition relative to the “anti-anthropomorphic” tradition. It does so by demonstrating that the anthropomorphic attributions inherent to the attenuated anthropomorphic view are undergirded by hypersensitive cognitive mechanisms, which are prone to misfiring. However, the BCSR also indicates several important weaknesses of the anti-anthropomorphic tradition of Neoplatonic onto-theology with regard to the social viability of this tradition. The BCSR also erodes the plausibility of the critique that onto-theology is itself a form of gross conceptual anthropomorphism. It does so by demonstrating that abstract onto-theological concepts lack the conceptual and cognitive liabilities inherent to the type of religious anthropomorphism advocated by Barth and Heidegger

    The Religious Foundations of Civic Virtue

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    Scholarly accounts of the history of civic virtue in the modern era have with few exceptions been wholly secular, discounting, ignoring, or even outright rejecting the role religious thought has played in shaping the civic tradition. In this dissertation, I focus on the influence of religion on the civic tradition, specifically in the eighteenth century in Scotland and America. I examine the ways in which the religious traditions of each nation shaped the debate surrounding the viability of civic virtue, the place of religious virtues among the civic tradition, and the tensions between using religion to promote civic virtue while protecting individual religious liberty. In the Scottish Enlightenment, I examine the influence of Francis Hutcheson’s moral sense philosophy and Adam Ferguson’s providential theology. In the American Founding, I contrast the New England religious tradition exemplified by John Witherspoon and John Adams with the public religious tradition advocated by Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, and Thomas Jefferson. This work demonstrates not only that religion influences the civic tradition, but also that this influence is neither monolithic nor self-evident. In order to understand how religion shaped this tradition, it is necessary to take into account that different conceptions of religion produce different understandings of what it means to be a good citizen

    A Chinese Liberation Christology: Jesus, the Redeemer of Sin and Empires

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    This essay examines exceptionalism, militarism and the post-colonial empire in the context of Mainland China. It argues that in a society where people have limited freedom of religion, Christology assumes far greater significance. If theology is not compatible with the culture, the church will not grow. Liberating Christology in the Chinese context thus depends on its ability to enculture successfully with the philosophical outlook linked to the core of Chinese identity. This paper offers renewed understandings of the models of Sin and Empire to critique the power discourse promoted by the dominant consciousness. The final section provides a series of Christological titles derived from Taoist philosophy that challenges the silence of religious groups imposed by the state. Rene Guo, \u2718 was born in Hunan, China, and obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Political Theology at Denison University. He has a robust call to college chaplaincy and social justice ministry, with a particular focus on systematic theology, black womanist thought, and liberation theology

    Dostoevsky beyond Dostoevsky

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    Dostoevsky beyond Dostoevsky is a collection of essays with a broad interdisciplinary focus. It includes contributions by leading Dostoevsky scholars, social scientists, scholars of religion and philosophy. The volume considers aesthetics, philosophy, theology, and science of the 19th century Russia and the West that might have informed Dostoevsky’s thought and art. Issues such as evolutionary theory and literature, science and society, scientific and theological components of comparative intellectual history, and aesthetic debates of the nineteenth century Russia form the core of the intellectual framework of this book. Dostoevsky’s oeuvre with its wide-ranging interests and engagement with philosophical, religious, political, economic, and scientific discourses of his time emerges as a particularly important case for the study of cross-fertilization among disciplines

    An Asylum to the Persecuted and Oppressed of Every Nation and Religion : Dissenters and Liberals in the Drive for Religious Freedom in Virginia

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    The struggle for full religious liberty in Virginia encompassed nearly two decades and generated thousands of documents in the form of petitions and legislation. In spite of historical tendencies to claim primacy in the victory of liberty over establishment in matters of religion for one denomination or individual, it was a unique triangulation of religious dissenters and prominent legislators that resulted in the separation of church and state in Virginia. The ideas that brought these seemingly disparate groups together emerged from theological, as well as political ideas that were prevalent in 18th century thought. The passage of Jefferson\u27s Statute Establishing Religious Liberty in Virginia was the product of a unique crystallizing moment in American history that married Renaissance humanism, Reformation theology, and Enlightenment philosophy in the form of Scottish Common Sense Realism

    Sola fides at the Core of Varieties: Luther as Religious Genius in William James's Thought?

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    The purpose of this article is to show the great influence of Luther's conception of religion on James' Varieties of Religious Experience. I will argue that James's conception of religion should be interpreted as a philosophical course of Lutheranism; and that, as a course of Lutheranism, James's conception of religion infers the most radical consequences of the Lutheran principle of sola fides.Fil: Viale, Claudio Marcelo. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones CientĂ­ficas y TĂ©cnicas; Argentina. Universidad Nacional de CĂłrdoba. Facultad de Derecho y Ciencias Sociales. Centro de Investigaciones JuridĂ­cas y Sociales; Argentin

    Trajectories in the Development of Islamic Theological Thought: the Synthesis of Kalam

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    The field of Islamic theology (kalam) is not merely a receptacle for the presentation of the creedal statements and doctrinal catechisms of Islam; it derives its raison d’ĂȘtre not only from the articulation and elucidation of the doctrines of faith, but also by means of its rational and painstaking explication of dogma. While many of the dogmatic statements expressed in Islamic theology naturally emanate from a traditional substratum, countless more are the result of dialectical discussions as theologians expounded upon abstract constructs of religious dogma. Recent academic research is exploring the history, trends, and conceptual achievements behind the Islamic experiment with theology, providing insights into the tradition’s ability to integrate, refine, and expand theological constructs. Scholars are also concerned with issues such as origins, authenticity, and ascription, although such matters are not deflecting attention from the rich stock of resources and materials kalam has to offer


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    This article is aimed to describe dialectical relation between Islamic philosophy (hikmah) and Islamic religious doctrin (syarü’ah). The tension between two has emerged since declination of rational theology (Mu’tazilite) and since the rise of ortodox theology (Asy’arite). Al-Ghazñlü, one of prominent scholars of the Asy’arite, has attacked Moslem philosophers, such as Ibn Sünñ. This article has came to the conclusion that in such tension, in which religion and rational thought met, the two neither reached utterly different results, nor yet were they identical, but seemed to run parallel to one another