Review of Metaphysics 21 (4):757-758 (1968)

Wicker's concern is to build a philosophical and justificational foundation for a "Christian radicalism" which can serve to synthesize the two modern secular themes of self-determination and communalism. He explores particular secular theories of perception, language, and society and rejects them as irrelevant to modern realities. He then constructs in their place three sacred theories, where "sacred" is to be understood not as a sheltered corner of our experience but rather as the basis of the more general intersubjectivity which defines man-in-society. He draws on Merleau-Ponty for a theory of perception, Wittgenstein for a theory of language, and Marx for a theory of society. All three theories find man in a closer participating relation with his world environment than do their rejected alternatives. These three theories suggest three modes of being-in-the-world: the bodily, the linguistic, and the economic, all of which are expressive—the latter in the sense that it involves the transformation of environment into expressiveness. The conjunction of the three modes, then, defines our community life. Wicker uses George Eliot, Dickens, Orwell, and William Golding to show how various human attitudes toward environment are manifest in literature. These attitudes are classifiable into the secular—environment as passive context for human life—and the sacred—environment as fraught with primordial significance which man shares and of which he is part. Wicker further justifies his vision of Christianity with the aid of Levy-Bruhl, van der Leeuw, and Eliade whose studies in primitive religions fructify Wicker's notion of the sacred. The book ends with a theological formulation of its main themes involving new translations of old doctrines. The book is a brave effort to revitalize with secular insights a moribund Christianity and to point it to its own roots in the foundations of man.—S. O. H.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph196821496
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,436
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Unity in the Body.Domenic Marbaniang - 2011 - Journal of the Contemporary Christian 3 (1).
After Christianity.Margaret Daphne Hampson - 1996 - Trinity Press International.
Tomorrow's God.Lloyd Geering - 1999 - Polebridge Press.
Diakonìa Della Vita: Manuale di Bioetica.Mario Cascone - 2004 - Università Della Santa Croce.


Added to PP index

Total views
9 ( #954,958 of 2,520,402 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #405,718 of 2,520,402 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes