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Rough Dialectics

Sorokin’s Philosophy of Value

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Palmer Talbutt Jr.

This is an exploration in depth of the social theory of the Russian-born thinker Pitirim A. Sorokin, who played a large role in American thought. Sorokin's contributions to theories of culture, social change, modernity, and dialectics are evaluated in this wide-ranging study. The book emphasizes the place of values in the comparative study of civilizations. This volume includes a translationby Lawrence T. Nichols of Sorokin's essay in Russian on Tolstoy as philosopher, as well as a chapter by Nichols on Tolstoy and Sorokin. In this book, Palmer Talbutt, Jr. examines his former teacher, Sorokin, within intellectual, educational, and cultural contexts. The work will be of especial interest to scholars in social philosophy, the philosophy of the social sciences, philosophy of culture, and comparative cultural studies.

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Edited by Hava Tirosh-Samuelson and Aaron W. Hughes

Lenn E. Goodman is Professor of Philosophy and Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Trained in medieval Arabic and Hebrew philosophy and intellectual history, his prolific scholarship has covered the entire history of philosophy from antiquity to the present with a focus on medieval Jewish philosophy. A synthetic philosopher, Goodman has drawn on Jewish religious sources (e.g., Bible, Midrash, Mishnah, and Talmud) as well as philosophic sources (Jewish, Muslim, and Christian), in an attempt to construct his own distinctive theory about the natural basis of morality and justice. Taking his cue from medieval Jewish philosophers such as Maimonides, Goodman offers a new theoretical framework for Jewish communal life that is attentive to contemporary philosophy and science.

Religious Experience Revisited

Expressing the Inexpressible?

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Edited by Thomas Hardtke, Ulrich Schmiedel and Tobias Tan

Religious Experience Revisited explores a dilemma which has haunted the study of religion since William James. Is religion rooted in experiences? Is religion rooted in expressions? How are experiences and expressions related? The contributors to this international and interdisciplinary compilation explore the possibilities and the impossibilities of a hermeneutics of religion. Combining theology and philosophy with biblical, cultural, historical and literary studies, they examine how religious experiences and religious expressions have been entangled in the past and in the present. These entanglements call for interdisciplinary conversations in which those who study experiences and those who study expressions can learn from each other in order to carve out important and instructive spaces for the study of religion.

History as the Story of Freedom

Philosophy in Intercultural Context

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Clark Butler

The purpose of this book is to advance responsible rehabilitation of the speculative philosophy of history. It challenges the idea popularized by thinkers such as and Claude Lévi-Strauss and Jean-François Lyotard that historical meta-mythology and meta-narrative are philosophically obsolete. As long as humanity, viewed anthropologically, lives by over-arching narrative, the quest for a version that survives rational criticism remains vital. Here human rights serve as the key to unlock such a version. Despite the fact that the Hegelian philosophy of history has often been derided, something very similar currently functions as the official ideology of the world community: the idea of history as the story of freedom. This book does not retell the world-historical story of freedom. Rather, it uncovers it, beginning with the current age of human rights and working backward through the great role-model civilizations of history. Its conclusion is that a forward retelling of the story of freedom as the story of human rights can be justified by dewesternizing the story. The book contains critical responses from specialized scholars and re-presentative of selected world cultures. The volume includes illustrations, and a guest Afterword by Donald Phillip Verene. It is a companion-volume to the author's Hegel's Logic: Between History and Dialectic (North-western University Press, 1996).

Personalism Revisited

Its Proponents and Critics

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Edited by Thomas O. Buford and Harold H. Oliver

This book presents selected addresses presented before the Personalist Discussion Group meetings held in conjunction with the annual meetings of The American Philosophical Association, Eastern Division. It includes the central ideas of American Personalistic Idealism developed during the twentieth century, its major criticisms, and recent developments by philosophers who are either Personalistic Idealists or sympathetic to the position.

Twenty-First Century Theologies of Religions

Retrospection and Future Prospects

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Edited by Elizabeth Harris, Paul Hedges and Shanthikumar Hettiarachchi

Within Christian theology, debates on the theology of religions have intensified over the last thirty or so years. This volume surveys the field and maps future directions in this expanding and important area of research. Both established experts and new voices address typological debates, comparative theology, multiple religious belonging or identity, and how dialogue between different religious traditions affects our understanding of these issues. Different perspectives and traditions are represented, and, while focusing upon debates in Christian theology, voices and perspectives from a range of religious traditions are also included. This volume is an essential tool for research students and established scholars working within the theology of religions and interreligious studies.

Contributors are: Graham Adams, Tony Bayfield, Abraham Velez de Cea, Gavin D’Costa, Reuven Firestone, Ray Gaston, Elizabeth Harris, Paul Hedges, Shanthikumar Hettiarachchi, Haifaa Jawad, Kristin Beise Kiblinger, Paul F. Knitter, Oddbjørn Leirvik, Marianne Moyaert, Mark Owen, Alan Race, Sigrid Rettenbacher, Perry Schmidt-Leukel, Leonard Swidler, Philip Whitehead, Janet Williams, Ulrich Winkler.

Althusser and Theology

Religion, Politics and Philosophy

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Edited by Agon Hamza

Religion has always been an object of philosophical analysis, as well as a platform for political practice. One cannot imagine a form of philosophical thinking without its relation to a religion, whether it negates or affirms the latter. In different philosophical orientations, religion also serves as a condition for philosophy.

Althusser and Theology intends not so much to fill a gap in Althusser scholarship as to make an important contribution to the contemporary radical left movement. In this regard, Althusser and Theology is of significant importance in the current debates on the Left concerning its relation to theology. It will also contribute to the ongoing debate on Althusser, as well as opening up a new perspective on his philosophical project.

Contributors are: Roland Boer, Stanislas Breton, Isa Blumi, Geoff Pfeifer, Agon Hamza, Warren Montag, Vittorio Morfino, Knox Peden, Panagiotis Sotiris, Ted Stolze, Jana Tsoneva, and Gabriel Tupinambá.

The Meaning of Life

Insights of the World’s Great Thinkers

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William Gerber

The book aims to present the wisdom of sages, great thinkers, renowned writers, and philosophers, of many countries and time periods, in their own words, regarding life. The book also aims to place the numerous quotations from these sources in a structured organization, with introductory and explanatory comments and comparisons.
Main Topics or Fields - See Organization or Principal Parts.

"Truth" is a Divine Name

Hitherto Unpublished Papers of Edward A. Synan, 1918-1997

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Edited by Janice L. Schultz-Aldrich

This volume contains essays on an array of topics originally presented orally by a master teacher and scholar. With characteristic rhetorical elegance, Msgr. Synan, late professor at the Pontifical Institute in Toronto, delivered these papers in a variety of settings on issues relating to his specialty of mediaeval Christian philosophy and to his interest in Jewish-Christian dialogue, on the theology of sanctity and of death, and on morally significant historical events. Medieval figures represented here include Aquinas, Augustine, Abelard, and Godfrey of St. Victor; some topics treated are war and peace, philosophical innovations, ecclesiology, evil, goliardic verse, law and abortion, Church councils and Jews in the Middle Ages, and convictions uniting Jews and Christians. This book also contains representative sermons–including a Month’s Mind for Etienne Gilson, an introduction detailing Synan’s background and professional contributions, an updated bibliography of his published works, and an extensive index. Especially appealing to those who knew Synan are three posthumous tributes and thirteen photographs from throughout his life. The selections in this volume are scholarly but non-technical, intended for anyone moved to seek elucidation of the topics discussed.

The Question of Theological Truth

Philosophical and Interreligious Perspectives

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Edited by Frederiek Depoortere and Magdalen Lambkin

In today’s world, the boundaries within which Christian theologians operate are becoming ever more permeable, and Christian theology is increasingly influenced and challenged by multiple “outside” factors. In Western Europe, two such factors stand out in particular: the so-called “turn to religion” in continental philosophy and religious diversity. Theologians working with contemporary continental philosophers and theologians engaging the multireligious world tend to work quite separately from one another. The aim of the present book is therefore to initiate a conversation between these two groups of theologians. The question of truth was chosen because it is both a key issue in contemporary-philosophical debates (in the continental and analytic traditions) and one that arises in complex and problematic ways in the praxis of, and theoretical reflection on, interreligious dialogue. Some of the pressing questions that are addressed by the contributors to this volume are: What is truth? What is theological truth? How does the issue of truth arise from interreligious encounter? To what extent can or should the nature of truth be discussed explicitly during interreligious dialogue? Or should the question of truth be rather postponed in the interest of successful interreligious encounter? Is there a hermeneutical concept of truth and, if so, how can it be of help for theological reflection on the question of truth and on the role and place of truth in the context of dialogue between religions?