The Unknown God
382 Pages
English

The Unknown God

-

382 Pages
English

Description

"This book contains a careful, thorough, and where necessary skeptical as regards doubtful evidence (especially in the case of Plato and the Old Academy) of the beginnings in European thought of the negative or apophatic way of thinking and its relations to more positive or kataphatic ways of thinking about God. One of its greatest strengths, perhaps the greatest, is that the author makes clear that none of the persons concerned, Hellenic, Jewish or Christian, was engaged in the pursuit of a philosophical abstraction, or the heaping of rhetorical superlatives on God. They were rather concerned to present the origin of the universe as an intimately present living reality which infinitely transcends our thought and speech. This, combined with careful attention to the varieties of negative theology and its relations with positive, and the particular difficulties experienced by the members of the various traditions involved, makes the book the best introduction to the negative theology available."
-A. H. Armstrong, Emeritus Professor of Greek, University of Liverpool, England. Emeritus Professor of Classics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Senior Fellow of the British Academy.

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Published 26 January 2015
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EAN13 9781725232723
Language English
Document size 49 MB

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Wipf and Stock Publishers 199 W 8th Ave, Suite 3 Eugene, OR 97401 The Unknown God Negative Theology in the Platonic Tradition: Plato to Eriugena By Carabine, Deirdre Copyright©1995 by Carabine, Deirdre ISBN 13: 9781620328620 Publication date 1/22/2015 Previously published by Peeters Press, 1995
FOREWORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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FOREWORD
e Tao a can be spoken îs no e Tao si compreendis non es deus î you mee e Budda kî îm ï pray o God o ree me o God
Wen ï was a young docora suden pursuîng wa my rîends oug was a very esoerîc emaîc or my eses (wo docora eses ormed e basîs or îs book), ï aways od peo-pe: “negaîve eoogy îs în”. And îndeed î was. Today, î îs even more “în” roug îs approprîaîon by conemporary “conînen-a” pîosopy. A Googe searc or e sîmpe erms “negaîve eoogy” yîeds jus under sîx mîîon resus, and încudes papers and arîces, books, wîkîs, bogs, YouTube vîdeos, podcass, and revîews. Back în e day, ï ad o work very ard o searc ou maerîas on e subjec, and was amos enîrey dependen on e îner-îbrary oans servîce o he Queen’s Unîversîy o Beas – eac poocopy eagery awaîed îke a Crîsmas oy. he peora o works on e subjec durîng e amos weny years sînce he Unknown God was Irs pubîsed îs asonîsîng. Had ï been researcîng negaîve eoogy oday raer an în e 1980s, no doub my work woud ave been rîcer în erms o secondary sources. Peraps î woud aso ave aken a dîferen înerpreaîve dîrecîon under e înluence o peraps Derrîda on e one and, or Jean-Luc Marîon, on e oer. ï î ad, ï înk î woud ave been e aer because, quîe sîmpy, ï beîeve Derrîda’s uîmae înerpreaîons o Dîonysîus and Eckar o be lawed. So wy îs negaîve eoogy so very muc în oday? ïn very broad srokes, wa began wî Kîerkegaard, Nîezsce, and Heî-degger, couped wî e efors o e “Frenc Faers” (e prîes scoars o neopaonîsm wose îves efecîvey spanned e wen-îe cenury): Pîerre Hado, Edouard des Paces, Jean Trouîard, Emîe Bréîer, Jean Danîéou, A.-J. Fesugîère, Mîce Tardîeu – and among eîr Engîs counerpars Arur Hîary Armsrong, Henry Cadwîck, and E. R. Dodds, o efecîvey make a mysîc
1. To my grea same – or peraps because o e însuar naure o my omeand – ï ad no read Marîon’sDieu sans l’êre(1982) wen ï was wrîîng îs book. Neîer ad ï read Derrîda!
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F O R E W O R D
o Pao and îs oowers, resued în a renewed îneres în e Neopaonîss and negaîve eoogy. As negaîve eoogy conînues o go vîra, îs oowers are growîng. Marîon, Lyoard, Krîseva, Capuo, Kearney, Vaîmo, Baaîe, Adorno, Turner, and Levînas, sow ow bîg negaîve eoogy îs, ow î as been rendîng, and ow conînena pî-osopy as “re-urned” o reîgîon vîa negaîve eoogy roug îs resonance wî e conceps o oerness and dîference. Wîe ï am no an exper în e conînena radîîon, ï ave read enoug o sense a e ececîc reîgîosîy în conemporary pîosopîca musîngs as negaed e parîcuarîy o reveaed reîgîon în a î uses negaîve eoogy o ake îs eave o e cenra meanîng o Crîsîanîy. “here îs someîng more ... bu we canno say wa î îs”, sows our conemporary reucance o proess anyîng. ha îs no e ocus o negaîve eoogy. Sure, we soud reay no say anyîng o e înefabe, bu e ac remaîns a e anyîng we do say conaîns a ru. As conexuaîzed în e reîgîous radîîons, e poîn o rîd-dîng ourseves o God îs o be în e presence o God; îs îs no e aîm o dîferance, nor îs î e aîm o negaîve eoogy as used by Derrîda or more receny e anaeîsm o Rîcard Kearney. Suc pos-eîsîc eîsm (a sanîîzaîon o e sacred) packs îe punc în my vîew. Denys Turner sums î up îs way: A recycîng oday o e cassîca, ae anîque and medîeva vocabuarîes o e apopaîc, bu uprooed rom eîr soî în a meapysîcs, eaves a vocabuary suspended în a vacuum o reorîcs, a dîspaced, resîdu-ay Crîsîan semîoîcs, reaînîng e îusîon o a orce rom e meapysîcs î as abandoned as no onger possîbe – even î, or sure, a-remembered races o wa î was once abe o sîgnîy preserve e îusîon o îe, as a wrung cîcken srugges and kîcks or a wîe ater dea. To a exen, a eas, Derrîda does us a servîce: î you însîs în oowîng asîon down a anî-meapysîca îne rom Nîezsce roug Heîdegger o Frenc deconsrucîon, you ad wî beer consîsency concede o Derrîda îs aeîsîca concusîon.
2. “Aeîsm, Apopaîcîsm, and ‘Dîferance’”, în Marco M. Oîveî (ed),