The basic idea of the article is to explain how free will relates to the progression from the status integritatis to the status corruptionis to the status gratiae to the status gloriae, contrasting libertarian and compatibilist views. We argue that either account can give an account of these stages (even though it might seem that compatibilist views would have it easier).
In his recent two‐volume Systematic Theology, Robert Jenson offers an account of Christ's pre‐existence that is, in several important respects, an original contribution to the literature. In this article, I offer a critical interaction with Jenson's doctrine. In particular, I show that what Jenson has to say about divine eternity and the relationship between philosophy and theology, have important bearings on his construal of Christ's pre‐existence and, in the final analysis, skew what he has to say on (...) the matter. I conclude that Jenson's account of this doctrine, though suggestive and insightful in several respects, is unsuccessful, indeed, incoherent, as it stands. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that, if we pursue an approach to metaphysics widespread in contemporary philosophy that moves from the study of language to ontology, but do not remove religious claims from the language deemed appropriate for the task, we end up with an approach to metaphysics which is remarkably similar to the kind of theological method which Robert Jenson has advocated for much of his career.
In September 1950, the Genetics Society of America (GSA) dedicated its annual meeting to a "Golden Jubilee of Genetics" that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the rediscovery of Mendel's work. This program, originally intended as a small ceremony attached to the coattails of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) meeting, turned into a publicity juggernaut that generated coverage on Mendel and the accomplishments of Western genetics in countless newspapers and radio broadcasts. The Golden Jubilee merits historical attention as both (...) an intriguing instance of scientific commemoration and as an early example of Cold War political theatre. Instead of condemning either Lysenko or Soviet genetics, the Golden Jubilee would celebrate Mendel – and, not coincidentally, the practical achievements in plant and animal breeding his work had made possible. The American geneticists' focus on the achievements of Western genetics as both practical and theoretical, international, and, above all, non-ideological and non-controversial, was fully intended to demonstrate the success of the Western model of science to both the American public and scientists abroad at a key transition point in the Cold War. An implicit part of this article's argument, therefore, is the pervasive impact of the Cold War in unanticipated corners of postwar scientific culture. (shrink)
"[Jenson] demonstrates how to liberate a religious tradition from subservience to Enlightenment rationalisms without depriving it of philosophic discipline....In this way, his work serves...as a partner to new conversations within religious studies programs."--The Journal of Religion.
Scientific and public discourses on the current mass extinction event tend to focus their attention on the decline of ‘species’ and ‘biodiversity’. Drawing on insights from the humanities, this article contends that the processes of extinction also produce a diverse range of subjects. Each of these subjects, it argues, raises specific ethical challenges and creates opportunities for cosmopolitical transformation. To explore this argument, the article engages with several subjects of extinction: ‘species’ and ‘biodiversity’; ‘humanity’; ‘unloved’ subjects; and absent or non-relational (...) subjects. In each case, it examines how attention to these subjects can highlight the exclusions and inequalities embedded in dominant discourses, and to identify possibilities for plural ethico-political responses to mass extinction. (shrink)
Systematic Theology is the capstone of Robert Jenson's long and distinguished career as a theologian, being a full-scale systematic/dogmatic theology in the classic format. This is the second and concluding volume of the work. Here, Jenson considers the works of God, examining such topics as the nature and role of the Church, and God's works of creation.
I offer a new argument for the elimination of ‘beliefs’ from cognitive science based on Wimsatt’s concept of robustness and a related concept of fragility. Theoretical entities are robust if multiple independent means of measurement produce invariant results in detecting them. Theoretical entities are fragile when multiple independent means of detecting them produce highly variant results. I argue that sufficiently fragile theoretical entities do not exist. Recent studies in psychology show radical variance between what self-report and non-verbal behaviour indicate about (...) participants’ beliefs. This is evidence that ‘belief’ is fragile, and is thus a strong candidate for elimination. 1 Introduction2 Robustness and Fragility2.1 A historical example of robustness2.2 Fragility and elimination3 The Received View4 Evidence for the Fragility of Belief4.1 Contamination and fragility4.2 Implicit association tests and fragility5 Attempts to Preserve the Belief Category for Cognitive Science5.1 Beliefs and aliefs5.2 Contradictory beliefs5.3 In-between beliefs and the unity assumption5.4 Belief sub-classes5.5 Self-deception6 Alternative Mental States7 Conclusion. (shrink)
Should madness be recognized as grounds for identity? Should society recognize and validate madness as diversity, be it psychological, behavioral, or emotional? To answer these questions, we might turn to medical consensus about which mental, behavioral, or emotional states count as mental illness. Unfortunately, the criteria for determining which mental health phenomena fall within the boundary of mental illness remain open to debate, creating what is known as "the boundary problem." Common approaches to resolving the boundary problem include naturalism, a (...) position that aims to answer the problem by positing a scientific concept of disorder based on value-free judgments about species-typical functioning. In An... (shrink)
"...this two-volume systematic theology is a great achievement. Drawn from learning that is both vast and profound, the rich details and frequently exciting flashes of insight provided by this work confirm the stature of Robert Jenson among contemporary theologians..."--First Things.
Systematic Theology is the capstone of Robert Jenson's long and distinguished career as a theologian, being a full-scale systematic/dogmatic theology in the classic format. The two volumes are dedicated to the service of the one church of the creeds, and not to any particular denomination.
Value and responsibility are two central concepts in philosophy and bioethics. The articles that comprise this issue of The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy engage topics of moral injury, madness, transhumanism, cognitive enhancement, and the woman’s responsibility to assist her fetus. Clearly diverse in matter, these subject articles univocally present fruitful ground for engagement with contemporary questions that impact society today. The ability to cure or to enhance, to treat or to terminate through advances in medical technology are all actions (...) that come with personal and social responsibility for their consequences. By approaching each article through the dual lens of value and responsibility, the reader is challenged to think seriously about the values we hold as human persons and the responsibility we take to pursue and protect these values. (shrink)
Invoking three desiderata (empirical adequacy, conceptual precision, and sensitivity to social positioning), this paper argues that poverty is best understood as the deprivation of certain human capabilities. It defends this way of conceiving of poverty against standard alternatives: lack of income, lack of resources, inequality, and social exclusion.
Matthew Lavine’s The First Atomic Age is intended as a corrective to what has by now become a familiar story of postwar US nuclear culture. The popular enthusiasm for and fear of all things nuclear, as described in such works as Paul Boyer’s By the Bomb’s Early Light , was not in fact a new development but rather a repeat of a phenomenon that first manifested half a century earlier. Working with newspapers, magazines, trade journals, advertisements, product labels, pulp fiction, (...) poetry, and scientific biography, Lavine unequivocally demonstrates the ubiquity of references to both X-rays and radiation in popular culture in the first half of the twentieth century. This, he argues, constitutes the “First Atomic Age”.Lavine divides the book into three long chapters according to how much the public might reasonably know about radiation and radioactivity. In the first period, the era of discovery, the lack of con .. (shrink)
A Theology in Outline: Can These Bones Live? began with an undergraduate course taught by Robert W. Jenson at Princeton University in the spring of 2008. Based on a series of twenty-three course lectures, it offers a concise and accessible overview of Christian theology while retaining the atmosphere of Jenson's classroom. Much as does Jenson's Systematic Theology, A Theology in Outline treats a standard sequence of doctrines in Christian theology--God, Trinity, creation, humanity, sin, salvation, church, among others. (...) However, its organizing principle and leitmotiv are less traditional. Reflecting his recent interest in theological interpretation of scripture, Jenson frames the whole of Christian theology as a response to the question posed to the prophet Ezekiel: "Son of man, can these bones live?" For Jenson, to ask this question is to ask whether Christian theology itself is a pile of dead bones. Can the story that God lives with his people be told today? From first to last the chapters of this book proceed under the impelling pressure of this question. They thus comprise a single sequence of illustrative conversations for the purpose of introducing beginners to Christian theology. (shrink)
This handbook presents a comprehensive introduction to the core areas of philosophy of education combined with an up-to-date selection of the central themes. It includes 95 newly commissioned articles that focus on and advance key arguments; each essay incorporates essential background material serving to clarify the history and logic of the relevant topic, examining the status quo of the discipline with respect to the topic, and discussing the possible futures of the field. The book provides a state-of-the-art overview of philosophy (...) of education, covering a range of topics: Voices from the present and the past deals with 36 major figures that philosophers of education rely on; Schools of thought addresses 14 stances including Eastern, Indigenous, and African philosophies of education as well as religiously inspired philosophies of education such as Jewish and Islamic; Revisiting enduring educational debates scrutinizes 25 issues heavily debated in the past and the present, for example care and justice, democracy, and the curriculum; New areas and developments addresses 17 emerging issues that have garnered considerable attention like neuroscience, videogames, and radicalization. The collection is relevant for lecturers teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in philosophy of education as well as for colleagues in teacher training. Moreover, it helps junior researchers in philosophy of education to situate the problems they are addressing within the wider field of philosophy of education and offers a valuable update for experienced scholars dealing with issues in the sub-discipline. Combined with different conceptions of the purpose of philosophy, it discusses various aspects, using diverse perspectives to do so. Contributing Editors: Section 1: Voices from the Present and the Past: Nuraan Davids Section 2: Schools of Thought: Christiane Thompson and Joris Vlieghe Section 3: Revisiting Enduring Debates: Ann Chinnery, Naomi Hodgson, and Viktor Johansson Section 4: New Areas and Developments: Kai Horsthemke, Dirk Willem Postma, and Claudia Ruitenberg. (shrink)
Over the last years the association ‘the Christian articles of faith’ in which protestant and catholic dogmatic theologians working at various Dutch universities participate has organized a autumn-conference. The theme of the 2005 conference was: the notae ecclesiae especially the holiness. One of the guest speakers was Robert Jenson, who read his paper Can holiness be a nota ecclesiae?. He starts with a critical examination of the qualifications ‘proprietas’ and ‘nota’, but the main burden of the paper is a (...) discussion of ‘holiness’. Taking his clue from the use of holy in the story of the Annunciation Jenson argues that holiness is to be understood in a Trinitarian way: ‘actual holiness and the triune God are, by an extension of an ancient theological rule, the very same thing. From which it follows that creatures can be holy only by sharing the triune life.’ Since the holiness of the church is the holiness of the Body of Christ, decisive for understanding the holiness of the Church is the understanding of the holiness of Christ. Instead of the traditional ‘metaphysical’ interpretation of Chalcedon, Jenson puts forward a ‘somewhat riskier’ Christology: the humanity of Christ is not just the receptacle for some created graces , but is the holiness. As with Christ the holiness of the Church is visible sub contrario. (shrink)
Karl Barth is recognized throughout the world as the twentieth century's leading Protestant theologian. His thought has determined much of the shape of today's Christian thinking, yet it is thoroughly misunderstood. He is a systematic theologian who writes with great complexity and in a scholastic vein. This fine and lucid study isolates Barth's most specific themes and focuses on the relevance of his radically trinitarian doctrine of God to the post-religious situation. The book opens with a discussion of the death (...) of historical religion and Barth's early attempts to deal with the decline of belief in a transcendent God contrasted with contemporary views of the situation. It goes on to treat Barth's further studies, especially his attack on the theology of religion, and there is a discussion in depth of Barth's doctrine of the Trinity as a definition of God. It concludes with an analysis of the different interpretations that can be have been made of Barth's theology. "This scholarly work . . . is a thoroughgoing approach to Barth's leading contribution to twentieth-century dialectical theology. Barth's insights are shown to be far beyond their time. Especially relevant is his application of God's transcendence to man's practical responsibilities. Readers may well ponder whether Barth's Commentary on Romans may not clearly merit more than its present place on well-respected shelves of past history." -Library Journal Robert W. Jenson is a leading American Lutheran theologian. He has taught at many institutions, including Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, the Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg, and Saint Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. With Carl Braaten, he founded the Center for Catholic and Evangelical Theology in Northfield, Minnesota. He was a Senior Scholar for Research at the Center for Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey, where he now resides. Among his many books are his two-volume Systematic Theology, Lutheranism: The Theological Movement and Its Confessional Writings (with Eric Gritsch), and A Map of Twentieth-Century Theology (editor with Carl Braaten). (shrink)
If we desire God with everything in us, how can we also love our created neighbor? Gilbert Meilaender displays Dante’s Paradiso as a resolution of this ancient problem. Jenson admires the beauty of Dante-according-according-to-Meilaender, but proposes that it must be tweaked a little to be fully satisfactory.
Is the societal-level of analysis sufficient today to understand the values of those in the global workforce? Or are individual-level analyses more appropriate for assessing the influence of values on ethical behaviors across country workforces? Using multi-level analyses for a 48-society sample, we test the utility of both the societal-level and individual-level dimensions of collectivism and individualism values for predicting ethical behaviors of business professionals. Our values-based behavioral analysis indicates that values at the individual-level make a more significant contribution to (...) explaining variance in ethical behaviors than do values at the societal-level. Implicitly, our findings question the soundness of using societal-level values measures. Implications for international business research are discussed. (shrink)