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41. Philotheos: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Larry Hart

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Martin Buber in his famous critique of modern philosophy and psychology, described the philosophical hour through which the world is now passing as a spiritual eclipse—a historical obscuring of “the light of heaven.” This essay explores process thought as first formulated by the mathematician/philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, and then expounded by Charles Hartshorne, John Cobb, and other theologians as paradigmatic of Buber’s concern. Accordingly, it proposes, that when consciousness shifts in such a way that God becomes recognizable as immediately present, as the aura in which the person of faith lives, the eclipse is over.

42. Philotheos: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Abbas Ahsan

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The laws of logic and two of the broader theories of truth are fundamental components that are responsible for ensuring such an ontology and meaningfulness. In this respect they have persisted as conventional attitudes or modes of thought which most, if not all, of analytic philosophy uses to philosophize. However, despite the conceptual productivity of these components they are unable to account for matters that are beyond them. These matters would include certain theological beliefs, for instance, that transcend the purview of analytic ontology and the meaningfulness it ensues. Any attempt in making rational sense of such beliefs that are insusceptible to these methodological components would conventionally prohibit (restrict) us from rationally believing in them. This is because we would be unable to make sense of such beliefs with the aid of these methodological components. As a result of this, religious beliefs of this particular nature would be deemed irrational. I shall demonstrate this point by applying both of these components to an ab­solutely ineffable God of Islam. This would entail, attempting to make sense of an absolutely ineffable God of Islam in virtue of the laws of logic and two broad categories of truth theories, namely, substantive and insubstantive theories. I hope to establish that applying both of these methodological components in attempting to make sense of an absolutely ineffable God of Islam would not be conceptually viable. It would result in a contradictory notion which I shall allude to as the paradox of ineffability.

43. Philotheos: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Adalberto Mainardi

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The paper concentrates on two main theoretical problems connected with the idea of ‘person’, namely, ‘freedom’ and the ‘reality of evil’. Will be considered both Russian and Italian thinkers. After a presentation of Berdyaev’s philosophy of person and its critics (Vasilii Zenkovsky), alternative theological approaches to personality (Bulgakov, Lossky) will be considered. The last part of the paper deals with the heritage of Dostoevsky and Berdyaev in Italy, focusing on the ‘ontology of freedom’ proposed by Luigi Pareyson. The final remarks try highlight communion as the necessary horizon for freedom and personality.

44. Philotheos: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Radoje Golović

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The fundamental insight that N. Berdyaev obtains in his historiosophical reflections is that history is antinomic and the historical process is catastrophic since it has to end, because “the world cannot exist eternally”. In its global, empirical (objective) dimension, history resembles an absurd comedy “in which nothing ever succeeds”. The idea of history as a long duration (long duree) and permanent progress misses its essence. According to Berdyaev, such history is meaningless, and it has to end. Its true meaning is revealed only in “its end” and “before the face of eternity”. Terrestrial history does not have its epilogue and the final solution in historical time but in celestial history when the boundaries between the immanent and the transcendent world disappear. History is the path to another and different, sublime and spiritual (noumenal) world that lies beyond the boundaries of everything historical. The destiny of man, which lies at the heart of history, assumes a meta-historical goal and a trans-historical solution to the destiny of history in a different, eternal time. To summarize, history has an eschatological meaning. Although there is an unsolvable tragic conflict between the individual human destiny and the destiny of humanity as a whole within the framework of history, Berdyaev, following the entire tradition of Russian religious philosophy, is convinced that the overcoming of that contradiction on the historical level is possible with love as the salvation and the main driving force of the soul and the source of all the spiritual creation of man.

in memoriam

45. Philotheos: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Alfons Reckermann

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book review

46. Philotheos: Volume > 19 > Issue: 2
Bogdan Lubardić

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47. Philotheos: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
L. Scott Smith

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While central to the Christian religion, the act of faith has been notoriously difficult to define. This essay is an attempt to illuminate, with the aid of insights from cognitive science and process philosophy, what it means for a Christian to have faith, specifically in God. In doing so, the apriori and aposteriori aspects of faith are explored, along with its connections to science and empirical evidence, revelation, knowledge, doubt, morality, and additional Christian beliefs.

48. Philotheos: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Bogdan Lubardić

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This study demonstrates how and with what aim philosophy is received into the missionary activities of the apostles Paul and Luke as regards the Areopagitica in Acts 17. By an ingenious utilization of Greco-Roman learning and paideia, generally, and philosophy, particularly, Lukan Paul offers a context oriented cross-cultural model of preaching the kerygmatic word as of evangelization. A model for the inculturation of the power and meanings of the Gospel message is offered. In this a significant function is allocated to disciplined mindful reasoning, viz. philosophy. The author demonstrates the special ways in which contact-points are made, and common ground established, between the apostle Paul and Athenian philosophers. This allows him to observe that philosophy is endorsed by the primordial Church: both (a) as a dialectical (critical analytical) and rhetorical (per­suasive oratorical) science-skill of addressing significant intellectual others and (b) as a faith-friendly mode of the Christian’s practice of philosophy. The author infers a number of conclusions regarding the substantial role that philosophy acquires within the early Church. Moreover, the Christian endorsement of philosophy as a missionary tool has its grounding in the apostolic Church and, consequentially, it has its grounding in the New Testament. In this way philosophy, utilized and re-functionalized by the apostles Paul and Luke themselves, in its special way, participates in the “authoritative establishment of tradition by means of apostolic origin”. The missionary model laid-out in Acts 17:16-34 has lasting value and needs to be continuously re-actualized: the same follows suit for a faith-conducive practice of philosophy.

49. Philotheos: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Dionysios Skliris

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The paper examines the status of ambiguity in the thought of Plotinus (c. 204/205-270). Even though ambiguity should be regarded as the enemy of the philosopher and as pertaining rather to the rhetorical tradition and not the philosophical one as it was especially established by Plato and Aristotle, one can argue that the particularly Neoplatonist philosophical project permitted an important place to it due to some fundamental inherent aspects that it contained. Most importantly, the ambiguity in the generation of the Intellect from the One is examined in this paper as related to the dialectic between existence and being. In such a perspective, ambiguity is initiated by the fact that being is both one in order to exist and not one in order to be a being. Thus, it can be explained only in dialectic with an ontological reality beyond it, namely an absolute One. This means that, in turn, its generation as Intellect from the latter is necessarily a two-fold movement: Both a distribution of existence by procession and a reverting contemplative act for acquisition of substantial definition. This dialectic does not only concern the highest ontological level of the relation of the Being to the One, but is a permanent ontological vacillation in the system of Plotinus. The paper observes this valorization of ambiguity as an original and dynamic feature of Plotinian ontology that arguably paved the way for Modernity.

50. Philotheos: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Jeffrey Dirk Wilson

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St. Thomas’s Third Way to prove the existence of God, “Of Possibility and Necessity” (ST 1, q.2, art. 3, response) is one of the most controverted passages in the entire Thomistic corpus. The central point of dispute is that if there were only possible beings, each at some time would cease to exist and, therefore, at some point in time nothing would exist, and because something cannot come from nothing, in such an eventuality, nothing would exist now—a reductio ad absurdum conclusion. Therefore, at least one necessary being must exist. Generations of critics and defenders have contended over St. Thomas’s proof. This article argues that the principle of pros hen analogy is implicit in the Third Way and that once identified explains the ontological dependency of possible beings, as secondary analogates, on the first necessary being, as primary analogate. Thus, without the necessary being as primary analogate, possible beings simply could not exist. The fact that they do exist is evidence for the existence of the necessary being. St. Thomas makes synthesizes the principle of pros hen analogy, as found in Aristotle’s Metaphysics, with the Neoplatonic principle of participation. Aristotle develops pros hen analogy in contradistinction to univocal and equivocal predication as well as to genus in Metaphysics 4.2, 11.3, 12.3-5. Since Scotus and re-enforced by modern analytic logic, philosophers have almost universally regarded any kind of analogical predication as a sub-category of equivocal predication and, thus, implicitly occlude the possibility of considering pros hen analogy in their readings of the Third Way. Distinction of per se and per accidens infinite regress and of radical and natural contingency are also central to understanding the Third Way. While resolving apparent problems in the Third Way, the article also seeks to rehabilitate the doctrine of pros hen analogy as a basic principle in Thomistic and, indeed, Aristotelian metaphysics.

51. Philotheos: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Werner Theobald

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Sören Kierkegaard gilt als „Vater der Existenzphilosophie“. Durch Schwermut bzw. Melancholie „zuinnerst in die Frage nach sich selber geworfen“ (Wilhelm Weischedel), habe er das Thema der Existenz philosophisch entdeckt. Tatsächlich, dies versucht der vorliegende Artikel zu zeigen, war Kierkegaard traumatisiert. Ein Trauma ist, anders als Schwermut oder Melancholie (modern gesprochen: Depression), keine psychische Erkrankung, sondern eine „gesunde Reaktion auf eine kranke Situation“, die die Verarbeitungsmöglichkeiten des Individuums überfordert. Das Selbst wird dabei gefährdet oder gar zerstört. Der Versuch, „für sich selbst durchsichtig zu werden“ ( Joakim Garff ), auf den Kierkegaards Denken hinauslief, kann entsprechend als philosophische Traumabewältigung gelten – jedoch nicht so, dass dabei ein psychisches Problem, sondern Existenzielles verarbeitet wird. Denn: Im Trauma erfährt man die „Abgründigkeit des Seins“, es führt „direkt in die Tiefenstruktur der Existenz“ (A. Längle). Dass Kierkegaard dabei Halt in der Transzendenz gefunden hat, erweist sich als immanent konsequent.

52. Philotheos: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Predrag Čičovački

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Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910) was one of the greatest artists of all time, but also one of the harshest critics of the contemporary art. In the conclusion of his controversial book, What is Art?, Tolstoy claimed: “The purpose of art in our time consists in transferring from the realm of reason to the realm of feeling the truth that people’s well-being lies in being united among themselves and in establishing, in place of the violence that now reins, that Kingdom of God – that is, of love – which we all regard as the highest aim of human nature.” In my paper I want to examine what Tolstoy means by that, and also how his understating of the purpose of art applies to his own works of art, as well as how it applies to some other contemporary works of art.

53. Philotheos: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Ivana Noble, Zdenko Širka

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This article focuses on the work of Czech Jesuit Cardinal Tomáš Špidlík (1919-2010), continued in his pupils, both in Rome, where he taught for most of his life, and in the Czech Republic. It explores in particular how studies of hesychasm marked their understanding of deification. It asks in which sense their work can be seen as a Western attempt to rehabilitate the doctrine of deification in its experiential and theological complexity, where they contribute to the renewal of the communication between the Christian East and the Christian West, and what are the complications present in their attempt expressed against the background of uniatism.

54. Philotheos: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Wolfgang Speyer

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55. Philotheos: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Milan Kostrešević

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56. Philotheos: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Marko Vučković

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57. Philotheos: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Marina Stojanović

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58. Philotheos: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Vladan Tatalović

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The presented study uses the Lukan parable of the Good Samaritan (10, 27-35) in order to present the shifts in the meaning depending on the reading contexts. After the basic structure of the original meaning is established, the pragmatic nuances of the parable are illustrated. The research subsequently throws light on the paradigmatic interpretations in both the medieval and the contemporary contexts. It concludes by exemplifying that the polyvalence of meaning is not only dependent upon the genuine literary structure of the parable, but also on the innate ability of the Christian organism (Church) to actualize certain features of the sacred text in the concrete life-settings.

59. Philotheos: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Nalin Ranasinghe

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Christianity today is deeply conflicted and torn apart by conflicts that originated in the Post-Nicene era through Augustine, but were resurrected by Luther, and fully realized in Post-Reformation times by Hobbes. While Hobbes is the evil genius posthumously presiding over the post 9/11 world, he merely exploited flaws in Christian anthropology and political theory originating in Augustine’s City of God. While freedom to Hobbes ultimately means nothing more than the mad dream of escaping from the Dionysian furies that haunt reason and bubble under the Western tradition, he artfully uses scripture, particularly the Old Testament, to justify his evil project of destroying the city, denying the soul and dealing a death blow to Jesus’ gospel. In this, Hobbes but follows in Augustine’s steps. It was the so-called Doctor of Grace who moved the West towards cynical political theology and corrupt clericalism. By his novel doctrine of original sin and belief that civic life could never be better than punishment for unrequited human depravity, Augustine justifies war, rationalizes slavery and valorizes ecclesiastical and political tyranny. Rather than trying to support communities that follow the loving spirit of the Gospel, his priority is to defend dire dogma and uphold centralizing Roman hegemony. As a result, Africa was lost to Islam and fascism would get theological support for its murderous mandates. I turn to Eric Voegelin for a less linear and non-dogmatic account of how the tradition can be understood. Voegelin’s closely argued insights into the order of reality and meaning of history may be the means by which the tradition can be saved. His philosophy of consciousness is the best response to the perennial desire to unite the Hobbesian militant state with a Manichean City of God. He protects Christianity from the constant Satanic temptation to turn the spirit of the Gospel into a literal law that condemns and kills.

60. Philotheos: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Walter Sparn

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