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Gregory of Nyssa’s Engagement with Conceptual Metaphors

The Analogies of “Father,” “Son,” and “Begetting” in Against Eunomius

Isabella Sandwell

Abstract

This essay explores what Gregory of Nyssa is doing when he claims in Against Eunomius that his use of the language of “father,” “son” and “begetting” for the divine is supported by the “apprehension of ordinary people” and by the “judgement of nature.” It uses conceptual metaphor theory in order to show that while Gregory recognised the role of ordinary human language in comprehending the divine, and so engaged with normal conceptual mappings from the domain of kinship, he also sought to transform those mappings in order to transform peoples’ thought processes and thus how they conceptualised the divine.

Introduction

Reflections on the Ampersand: A Manifesto of Sorts, Etc. Etc.

Gerhard A. van den Heever

Abstract

The essay is a theoretical manifesto that sets out the framework for the kind of discourses that are particularly promoted in the journal. The influence of contexts of social, cultural, and political changes in society on the formation of disciplines is highlighted, particularly with regard to South Africa and current debates on the decolonialisation of science and knowledge regimes. It is argued that what is at issue here is the juxtaposition of two discourses, the discourses of the study of religion and that of theology. Theorising this juxtaposition is a way to move beyond the insider–outsider perspective on the study of religion and theology. This paves the path to a metatheoretical and transdisciplinary stance that understands the study of religion and theology as a subset of a larger project, namely the general study of discourse production. This approach situates such studies squarely within humanistic studies, the study of how humans imaginatively create their world to live in.

Marius J. Nel

Abstract

In studying the interaction between the three monotheistic religions in South Africa it is important to note that each of them functions as a metanarrative in that they all attempt to provide a more-or-less coherent perspective on reality. The different, but also overlapping, metanarratives of Islam, Judaism and Christianity furthermore each has a complex relationship with their respective authoritative Scriptures, communities of faith, contemporary societies and each other. It is therefore necessary to investigate the manner in which each religion’s metanarrative functions within the spheres of the academy, faith community and broader society. This contribution describes one of the projects of the envisioned Centre for the Interpretation of Authoritative Scriptures (CIAS) that is in the process of being established at Stellenbosch University. The focus of this project will be on the relationship between the metanarrative contained in the Christian canon, a specific faith community (the Dutch Reformed Church) within South African society in the period 2009–2019.

Jeremy Punt

Abstract

The understanding of scriptures has shifted away from static and stable repositories of word, to emphasise scriptures’ dynamic, active and relational qualities. Neither are authoritative ascriptions denied nor comparative work excluded, but in both cases different perceptions are now at work, rendering different results than in the past.

Appreciative and Faithful?

Karl Barth’s Use of Herman Bavinck’s View of God’s Incomprehensibility

Ximian Xu

Abstract

This article is intended to assess Karl Barth’s appreciative use of Herman Bavinck’s view of God’s incomprehensibility in Church Dogmatics II/1. The main argument is that despite Barth’s appreciative gesture, Barth in fact offers an unfaithful or mistaken reading of Bavinck’s view. Whereas Bavinck makes God’s knowability the presupposition of the divine incomprehensibility, Barth renders the veracious knowledge of God predicated upon God’s incomprehensibility, which is in turn grounded in God’s hiddenness. In any event, Barth’s appreciative gesture toward Bavinck should not cover up their divergent lines of reasoning in demonstrating the doctrine of God’s incomprehensibility.