Guide Theology and the dialectics of history

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Philosophy of history. Article Media.

Info Print Print. Table Of Contents. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Introduction Speculative theories The idea of an order or design in history Theological origins Secular approaches: the Enlightenment and beyond The new science: Vico and Herder History as a process of dialectical change: Hegel and Marx Later systems Analytical problems The concept of history Explanation and understanding Objectivity and evaluation Conclusions.

Written By: Patrick Lancaster Gardiner. See Article History. One can only hope that Doran's promised systematics will be interesting and intelligible to a wider audience than the present incomplete! But until Doran abandons Lonerganian scholasticism and addresses the rest of the theological audience in terms that might persuade that audi- ence to new or richer theological positions, such intricate theory and con- voluted argument remain, at best, to use Wittgenstein's phrase, language idling.

Article History

The third sort of question addresses the presumptions of the work, beyond the issue of the importance of Lonergan's ''break-through. While it is nice for Christians to imagine that their communities are in the vanguard of the divine proletariat, involved deeply in the divine soteriological project, empirically this seems hardly so. Given the fading of church participa- tion in Europe and among younger Catholics in the U. Doran also presumes Christian revelation and Christian soteriology is a completion of classical Greek patterns of thought and action.

In a multicultural world, this seems obtuse. In a fundamental theology, can one ignore the questions of religious pluralism, presuming that they will be resolved in an altogether imaginary or other-worldly situation where universal commensuration obtains? Are these paths and their the- ologies all finally commensurable; is there a new way to talk "beyond Babel"? And is it possible that the Christian project could also be seen as a counterposition needing sublation?

This third sort of question under- lines the narrowness of the work in light of issues currently vexing the religious academy, both "secular" and theological. The fourth type of question issues challenges to specific positions Doran takes. Doran notes this , but finds Lonergan's view-and his own-immune. Without any argument or significant engagement with Habermas, this claim is profoundly unconvincing. Indeed, many have argued that the "universalizing" discourse about "universal" subjects hides an author's material interests and the interests of his or her class or group.

Moreover, such discourse transforms the truly distinct others into subjects ultimately indistinguishable from "us. Doran's strategy, alas, is to clarify his own position by contrast with others, rather than engaging their arguments directly, thus leaving the reader unpersuaded that his view is preferable.


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The signifi- cance of a theological position is to be judged, I would say, not in its methodical roots, but by its practical fruits. By such a standard, libera- tion theologians should reject such Lonerganian proposals, especially since it is not clear that they either transcend relativism or respect partic- ularity.

God, History, and Dialectic, Volume III: History: The Theological Pathology of the Second Europe

This may be part of the problem of formalism noted above, but Doran's valorization of the "spoudaios" is terribly problematical, espe- cially in view of question 2. Further, how could we recognize one in a situation of real conflict? University of Toronto Press has produced an elegantly printed and bound book virtually free of typographical errors.

Theological research libraries should get it. With this work Lester Grabbe has given us a valuable new handbook for our classes covering the history of Judaism in the Second Temple era. This extensive and rather comprehensive review of the major and most minor issues begins with the advent of the Persian era and concludes with the defeat of Bar Kokhba and his followers. Most noteworthy is his dis- cussion of issues concerning the political history of the era, including the evaluation of sources bearing on the numerous disputed chronological questions and on the myriad difficulties regarding the relationship between events in Jewish Palestine and the empires of the time.

The author displays an impressive command of the major sources and secon- dary literature for each of the eras within the purview of this study.

The introduction provides a glimpse at the presuppositions which will govern the use of a few of the major sources. His balanced approach to.


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