Agnosis: Theology in the Void by G. Pattison

By G. Pattison

Can theology nonetheless function within the void of post-theism? In trying to resolution this question Agnosis examines the concept that of the void itself, tracing a historical past of nothingness from Augustine via Kierkegaard and Nietzsche to Bataille and Derrida, and dialoguing with Japan's Kyoto college philosophers. it's argued that neither Augustinian nor post-Hegelian metaphysics have given a passable knowing of nothingness and that we needs to glance to an adventure of nothingness because the most sensible flooring for destiny non secular lifestyles and idea.

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The will itself is therefore responsible for its own bondage; the power which binds or which annihilates the will is its own power. Yet what do 'necessity' and 'compulsion' or 'what is done voluntarily' and 'what is done by free choice' mean in this context? Calvin answers such questions by reflecting on the character of God's goodness and the devil's badness. 'Were anyone to ask ... ' The answer, Calvin thinks, is obvious. 'The goodness of God is so connected with his Godhead, that it is not more necessary to be God than to be good ...

Yet what of the world in which the drama of the self gets played out? What of the stage on which this passion is enacted? Can that simply be ignored: can thought really be expected so to discipline itself as to ignore the factical context within which passional self exists? Is, for example, the world of nature simply to be handed over to the indifferent and quantitative procedures of science without any further questioning as to what our being in the particular kind of world we actually inhabit means for our subjective life?

It is thus possible to speak of three forms of willing in Augustine's view of the self. The first, or lowest, is that of the carnal self, the will determined by selfish lust; the second is that of the believer whose will, in the mode of free choice, is directed to the good, even though he is incapable of bringing that good to fruition; the third is the good will sustained and endowed with perseverance by grace and no longer subject in any way to the power of nothingness. If the first of these forms belongs to humanity apart from faith, even Christians can only attain the second form in this life, poised between the moment of conversion and the final triumph of the City of God.

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