Father Dulles is now largely thought by friend and foe alike to be one of the most forceful voices for a renewed orthodoxy in the Church. Liberals see him as having turned his back on his younger radicalism; like many an older man, they suggest, he has grown more conservative with age. His experiences with certain forms of liberal Catholicism, while not changing his ideas about the Church, seemed to have alerted him to their potential for disaster.1.
Augustinian Just War Theory and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: Confessions, Contentions and the Lust for Power,edited by Craig J. N. de Paulo, Senior Editor, et al. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2011. Details: A work concerning Augustine’s influence on Christian just war theory and the rhetoric of just war theorists from two symposia in addition to an Augustinian critique of the wars. Preface by Most Rev. Sean Cardinal O’ Malley, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Boston. Foreword by Roland J. (...) Teske, S.J. Chapter One is a brief history of Augustine’s influence on the theory. Chapter Two includes a transcript of a symposium on the topic that includes the following distinguished contributors: Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., John D. Caputo, Most Rev. Edwin Cardinal O’Brien, Ambassador Thomas Melady, Col. Jack Jacobs, Dr. Joseph Hagan. Chapter Three includes a transcript of a colloquium on the topic that includes the following distinguished scholars and contributors: Joseph Margolis, Frederick Van Fleteren, Brian Kane, et al. (Advance Praise by James J. O’Donnell and Arthur Waldron.). (shrink)
Karol Wojtyła found phenomenology very helpful for the analysis of concrete human experience and for overcoming the ethical formalism ofKant. Phenomenology, he believed, could also enrich classical Thomism by exploring the lived experience of freedom, interiority, and self-governance. But phenomenology, in his opinion, needed to be supplemented by metaphysics in order to ground experiences such as the sense of duty in the real order. He criticized much modern philosophy for abandoning metaphysics and thus neglecting the sapiential dimension. Since his career (...) as a professor was very short, he did not have time to complete his project of a personalist Thomism in which phenomenology and metaphysics would be harmoniously combined. (shrink)
This article, originally the concluding chapter of Cardinal Dulles’ recent book on Newman’s theology, provides an insightful discussion of Newman’s relevance for today by comparing his theological thought with a series of themes that were subsequently treated by the Second Vatican Council (1962-65): from revelation and faith, scripture and tradition, and the development of doctrine, to questions of ecclesiology, especially infallibility, the role of the laity, and social-political issues.“After nearly two centuries, the writings of Newman continue to have a (...) very modern ring,” Dulles writes. (shrink)
This article indicates the light that an epistemology like Newman’s, with its stress on the convergence of probabilities, the experience of conscience, and the presence of grace, can shed on the problem of faith and reason. The longstanding controversy over this problem between evidentialists and fideists has found new echoes in recent disputes between foundationalists and nonfoundationalists. It is necessary to distinguish between different aspects of the approach to faith—-the metaphysical, the historical, the religious, and the theological—-each with its own (...) logic and distinct style of epistemology. Examination of these aspects indicates that neither evidentialism nor fideism, neither foundationalism nor nonfoundationalism, does justice to the complexity of the matter. Faith arises out of a process in which human reason, in a large and comprehensive sense, is involved at every step of the way. Faith is not above or beyond reason, even though it depends for its origin and existence upon the grace of God. (shrink)
The present article, which was originally the keynote presentation on August 12, 2004, at the annual conference of the Venerable John Henry Newman Association at Mundelein, Illinois, traces the stages of Newman’s view of the hierarchy from the time of his involvement in the Oxford Movement to his post-conciliar reflections about the teaching of the First Vatican Council.Newman’s theology of the hierarchy, which cannot be understood apart from the controversies which engaged him, is, from a present-day perspective, both “stimulating and (...) problematic.”. (shrink)
Jaroszynski’s text defies this cultural mélange because it does offer an ethic. As Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., remarks, “This book offers an attractive synthesis of classical virtue ethics with a Christian ethic of love”. Explanations of the hierarchy of the good, the moral decision, and the natural law are firmly grounded in Christian anthropology and are integrated into a comprehensive areteology. This areteology presents in-depth treatment of the virtues of prudence, temperance, fortitude, and justice, and it clearly shows (...) why they can and should make a concrete and significant difference in the drama of a person’s moral life. (shrink)
Norman Daniels’s theory of health justice is the most comprehensive and systematic such theory we have. In one of the few articles published so far on Daniels’s new book, Just Health, Benjamin Sachs argues that Daniels’s core “principle of equality of opportunity does not do the work Daniels needs it to do.” Yet Sachs’s objections to Daniels’s framework are deeply flawed. Where these arguments do not rely on significant misreadings of Daniels, they ignore sensible strands in Just Health that considerably (...) dull their force. After disarming Sachs’s arguments against Daniels’s theory, I explain why I agree with Sachs’s conclusion: Daniels’s equality of opportunity-based account of health justice rests on shaky foundations. (shrink)
This is a text for a one or two semester course on axiomatic set theory; the goal is to introduce and develop one system of set theory in a complete and thorough way, presupposing only the elusive "mathematical maturity" of the reader. There are nine chapters which begin with a development of propositional and predicate logic oriented toward set theory and develop the Zermelo-Fraenkel system in exceptional detail. The book starts slowly, the first 120 pages being devoted to logical preliminaries (...) and the introduction of axioms; it gathers speed, however, and the remaining chapters include treatment of the algebra of classes, relations and functions, order of various sorts and Zorn's lemma, real numbers and equivalence classes, the equipollence of sets, similarity as a relation of sets, the ordinal numbers and their arithmetic, the cardinal numbers and their arithmetic. These later chapters are extremely detailed and comprehensive, presenting a wealth of material. There are numerous exercises, many quite difficult, at the end of each chapter, along with a summary of that chapter's content. Because of the single-mindedness of the book, there is little reference to other systems of set theory, but this is not a drawback at all. The presentation is orthodox, but not dull; careful, but not generally pedantic or repetitive. This makes it a good text for self-study.—P. J. M. (shrink)
This is a highly original and readable work by an eminent teacher of philosophy and religion and a very gifted writer who is able to discuss the relationship between Indian and Western scholars without being either doctrinaire or dull. He has determined the exact position of Bengal Vaisnavism in relation to other systems of Indian philosophy, especially Advaita Vedanta, by bringing out important points of agreement and disagreement between it and them. After arguing in the first chapter that metaphysics is (...) logically prior to epistemology, he provides a psychological analysis of knowledge according to the three main spokesmen for Vedänta. Subsequent chapters treat God as the ground of physical and spiritual reality, causation, Krsna and his incarnations, and Bhakti or devotional faith as a means of God-realization. Two other chapters which merit a mention provide a comparative analysis of Bengal Vaisnavism and Kierkegaardian existentialism and of Vaisnavism and Christianity. While Kierkegaard and the Vaisnava spokesmen do differ at many points, they also share a good many ideas in common with respect to their respective understandings of God, the nature of man, and man's relationship to the outer world. This is one of the better books written on Indian Vedanta by a contemporary Indian scholar and appropriate for both specialist and layman who might wish a readable and comprehensive but manageable discussion of one of the major schools of Indian philosophy.--J. B. L. (shrink)
"O'Meara masterfully situates Pryzwara in relation to the traditional and contemporary theological, philosophical, ecclesial, cultural, and social contexts within which he wrote." --_William P. Loewe, professor of religious studies, Catholic University of America_ Erich Przywara, S.J. is one of the important Catholic intellectuals of the twentieth century. Yet, in the English-speaking world Przywara remains largely unknown. Few of his sixty books or six hundred articles have been translated. In this engaging new book, Thomas O'Meara offers a comprehensive study of the (...) German Jesuit Erich Przywara and his philosophical theology. Przywara's scholarly contributions were remarkable. He was one of three theologians who introduced the writings of John Henry Cardinal Newman into Germany. From his position at the Jesuit journal in Munich, _Stimmen der Zeit_, he offered an open and broad Catholic perspective on the cultural, philosophical, and theological currents of his time. As one of the first Catholic intellectuals to employ the phenomenologies of Edmund Husserl and Max Scheler, he was also responsible for giving an influential, more theological interpretation of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola. Przywara was also deeply engaged in the ideas and authors of his times. He was the first Catholic dialogue partner of Karl Barth and Paul Tillich. Edmund Husserl was counted among Przywara's friends, and Edith Stein was a close personal and intellectual companion. Through his interactions with important figures of his age and his writings, ranging from speculative systems to liturgical hymns, Przywara was of marked importance in furthering a varied dialogue between German Catholicism and modern culture. Following a foreword by Michael Fahey, S.J., O'Meara presents a chapter on Pryzwara's life and a chronology of his writings. O'Meara then discusses Pryzwara's philosophical theology, his lecture-courses at German universities on Augustine and Aquinas, his philosophy of religion, and his influence on important intellectual contemporaries. O'Meara concludes with an in-depth analysis of Pryzwara's theology, focusing particularly on his Catholic views of person, liturgy, and church. (shrink)
Gaston Fessard employs Hegel’s dialectical logic to clarify how St. Ignatius’s _Spiritual Exercises_ envisage and prepare the decisions and choices between contrasting options or major turning points in spiritual life, in moments of what Ignatius would call _Election_.
On February 24-25, 1956, in a closed session of the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Nikita S. Khrushchev made his now famous speech on the crimes of the Stalin era. That speech marked a break with the past and it marked the end of what J.M. Bochenski dubbed the "dead period" of Soviet philosophy. Soviet philosophy changed abruptly after 1956, especially in the area of dialectical materialism. Yet most philosophers in the West neither noticed nor (...) cared. For them, the resurrection of Soviet philosophy, even if believable, was of little interest. The reasons for the lack of belief and interest were multiple. Soviet philosophy had been dull for so long that subtle differences made little difference. The Cold War was in a frigid period and reinforced the attitude of avoiding anything Soviet. Phenomenology and exis tentialism were booming in Europe and analytic philosophy was king on the Anglo-American philosophical scene. Moreover, not many philosophers in the West knew or could read Russian or were motivated to learn it to be able to read Soviet philosophical works. The launching of Sputnik awakened the West from its self complacent slumbers. Academic interest in the Soviet Union grew. (shrink)
The Canadian province of Ontario introduced philosophy as a secondary school subject in 1995 (Pinto, McDonough, & Boyd, 2009). Since publicly-funded Catholic schools teach approximately 32% of all students in Ontario (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2022), the question arises regarding how teachers in those schools coordinate philosophy and Catholic teachings. This study employs a secondary analysis of interviews with six teachers from Ontario’s Catholic schools, and employs two of AveryDulles’ (2002) conceptions of church (institution and mystical communion) (...) to determine how they consider the choices available within their own tradition that could answer this question. Rather than looking only at the shortcomings of treating magisterial teaching as philosophy, this paper argues that there are also conceptual problems that these courses must address in order to improve their ecclesiological adequacy, and illustrates how an apparent null curriculum privileges the institutional ecclesiology. (shrink)
This book explores an undeveloped area in postmodern thought: organizational ethics. Ethical debates and analyses usually focus on a particular act or action, an actor, and/or how a secular society should address any of those particular persons or events. In the Post Modern age, ethical decisions and policies are characterized by moral and cultural pluralism. However, there is a second factor that complicates ethical and policy decisions even further. This book argues that in the postmodern age ethical decisions often need (...) to be understood as part of the decision making of organizations and bureaucracies. Organizational decisions often have direct bearing on the choices made by individuals. Two areas that exemplify postmodern issue are the areas of health care and education. For example the decision making of Admissions Officers in American higher education, are influenced by decisions that have been made by the university about the size of the class and the diversity of the class. Health Care organizations make policy decisions that affect every aspect of a patient’s care from admission to treatment and the types of care that are or are not offered. Both education and health care are the object of the significant investment of resources, both areas are value laden in postmodern, pluralistic societies, and yet we do not have a comprehensive method to understand them or evaluate them. This book is of interest to bioethicists, physicians, nurses, health care policy students, educational policy experts, students and government regulators. (shrink)
In the academic year 1920-1921 at the University of Freiburg, Martin Heidegger gave a series of extraordinary lectures on the phenomenological significance of the religious thought of St. Paul and St. Augustine. The publication of these lectures in 1995 settled a long disputed question, the decisive role played by Christian theology in the development of Heidegger’s philosophy. The lectures present a special challenge to readers of Heidegger and theology alike. Experimenting with language and drawing upon a wide range of now (...) obscure authors, Heidegger is finding his way to Being and Time through the labyrinth of his Catholic past and his increasing fascination with Protestant theology. A Companion to Heidegger's Phenomenology of Religious Life is written by an international team of Heidegger specialists. (shrink)
Volume 37 contains papers and commentaries presented to the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy during 2022. Works: _Phaedo_, _Statesman_, _De Caelo_, _Metaphysics N_, _Enneads_. Topics: immortality, Forms; dialectic, myth, law; elements, inclination, place; mathematics and explanation; mystical union.
This little volume, using a combined approach of phenomenology, history, philosophy, and theology probes deeply into questions of belief and commitment. The book is valuable for scholars who possess the background and sensitivity to appreciate the three essays which constitute it. The first of these, "The Structure of Jewish Experience," takes up the epistemological problem of belief in a God who is present in history and who can consequently be the object of worship by modern man just as he was (...) thousands of years ago. The second essay, "The Challenge of Modern Secularity," deals with current theological issues, including the Subjectivist Reductionism, the "Death" of God, and faith as "immediacy after reflection." The third and most impassioned essay, "The Commanding Voice of Auschwitz," deals with themes which have been the preoccupation of Elie Wiesel, to whom the book is dedicated. There have not been many Jewish writers since the holocaust, who have been willing to write about their faith. Fackenheim speculates that it must be difficult to justify such faith to oneself in light of the fate of the Jews in recent history. In this book, and particularly in the last essay, the author attempts to justify such faith, and he does it intelligently and eloquently.--S. J. B. (shrink)
Unferth the troublesome þyle, the spokesman of King Hrothgar at Heorot, has seldom rested easily in the annals of Beowulf scholarship. Disputes about his behavior and character were already dividing scholars in the nineteenth century, and the last generation has seen a flurry of conflicting analyses. James Rosier, for example, viewed him as a quarrelsome braggart, Norman Eliason as a “mere jester” and perhaps also scop, and Fred Robinson as a “blustering mean-spirited coward.” Other critics contest virtually every aspect of (...) those readings. More recently, R. D. Fulk in an impressively learned paper has furthered our understanding by showing that Unferth's name does not mean “mar-peace” or “Hun-spirited” but is an authentically early Germanic name and not an allegorical coinage of later Anglo-Saxon times. In the wake of that demonstration, more scholars have tended to endorse a rather positive assessment of Unferth, seeing him as “part of the heroic world's gritty reality” in which a good flyting did not necessarily mean earnest enmity. He may be a “dull foil,” but he is also an honorable, if flawed, man, a leading warrior in Hrothgar's comitatus, and, more certainly now, a “speaker” or “privileged spokesman” for the king. (shrink)
Richard Rorty (1931–2007) was one of the most provocative and controversial philosophers of the past 50 years. He had a rare ability to combine sophisticated arguments with wit, charm, and humor. He was never dull – and he reached a wide public throughout the world. Originally trained in the history of philosophy and the grand tradition of metaphysics, he became fascinated with the linguistic turn in philosophy. During his early philosophical career, he wrote articles that were at the cutting edge (...) of analytic philosophy. He developed a new approach to the mind-body problem and raised troubling questions about the viability of the conceptual analysis of ordinary language. Soon, he began to question what he called the “Kantian foundations” of analytic philosophy. In 1979, he published Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, a book that became an immediate sensation. Rorty, employing ingenious arguments, questioned the basis of analytic philosophy, and more generally the very idea of systematic philosophy. He called into question the Descartes-Locke-Kant tradition and claimed that the metaphor of the “mirror of nature” had misled philosophers into thinking that the task of philosophy is to “get things right” by representing objective reality. In the mid-twentieth century, the analytic-continental split in philosophy became bitterly entrenched. Many Anglo-American philosophers were convinced that linguistic analytic philosophy is “the only game in town.” They disdained what they took to be the lack of clarity and argumentative rigor among continental thinkers. The “compliment” was returned by continental thinkers who thought that much of analytic philosophy was trivial and insignificant. Rorty employed clever analytic techniques to challenge the pretentions of analytic philosophy. Many of his professional colleagues were furious. At the same time, Rorty engaged thinkers like Sartre, Heidegger, Gadamer, Habermas, Derrida, and Foucault. This delighted aficionados of continental philosophy – although they frequently judged his interpretations of these thinkers to be distorted caricatures. Rorty was one of the rare philosophers who transcended the analytic-continental split. At the same time, Rorty increasingly identified himself with the American pragmatic tradition. He entitled his 1982 collection of essays, “Consequences of Pragmatism,” which included his famous 1979 presidential address to the American Philosophical Association: “‘Pragmatism’ is a vague, ambiguous, and overworked word. Nevertheless it names the glory of our country’s intellectual tradition. No other American writers have offered so radical suggestion for making our future different from the past, as have James and Dewey” (Rorty 1982, p. 160). Rorty helped to revive a serious interest in James and Dewey. In the Introduction to Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, he declared that the three most important philosophers of the twentieth century were Wittgenstein, Heidegger, and Dewey. Analytic philosophers might agree about the importance of Wittgenstein; continental thinkers might acknowledge the importance of Heidegger; but virtually no professional philosopher (except devotees of Dewey) would have ranked Dewey with the other two. Rorty claimed that each of these three thinkers had originally sought to find a new way to make philosophy “foundational,” but they came to realize that their earlier work was self-deceptive and they spent the rest of their time warning us against the temptations to which they had succumbed. “Their later work is therapeutic rather than constructive, edifying rather than systematic, designed to make the reader question his own motives for philosophizing rather than supply him with a new philosophical program.” (Rorty 1979, pp. 5–6) Rorty acknowledged that Dewey lacked Wittgenstein’s “dialectical acuity” and Heidegger’s “historical learning,” but Dewey articulated a vision of a new type of society. “In his ideal society, culture is no longer dominated by the ideal of objective cognition but by that of aesthetic enhancement. In that culture, as he said, the arts and sciences would be the ‘unforced flowers of life.” (Rorty 1979, p. 13) This was also Rorty’s vision of a liberal utopia. He developed this vision in Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, where the central figure becomes the liberal ironist. Whereas Philosophy and the Mirror and Nature was filled with brilliant (although controversial) arguments, Rorty now debunked the role of argument in philosophy. “On the view of philosophy which I am offering, philosophers should not be asked for arguments against, for example, the correspondence theory of truth or the idea of the ‘intrinsic nature of reality’.” (Rorty 1989, p. 8) He favored redescription rather than argument. “I am not going to offer arguments against the vocabulary I want to replace. Instead, I am going to try to make the vocabulary I favor look attractive by showing how it may redescribe a variety of topics.” (Rorty 1989, p. 9) Interesting philosophy is not really a matter of argument at all but rather “a contrast between an entrenched vocabulary which has become a nuisance and a half-formed vocabulary which vaguely promises great things” (Rorty 1989, p. 9). Rorty deflated what many philosophers took to be the central concerns of philosophy, the nature of truth, reality, objectivity, knowledge, and morality. He sought to replace the appeal to objectivity with the appeal of solidarity. He is famous for his slogan “Take care of freedom and truth will take care of itself” (Rorty 1989, p. 176). Even admirers of Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature were distressed by the radical turn of Contingency where he suggested that novels, journalism, and literary reflection might be more effective than philosophical argumentation in bringing about his liberal utopia. Some of his fiercest critics claimed that Rorty could no longer be taken seriously as a philosopher. Contingency was savagely criticized and ridiculed, so much so that Rorty was provoked to write his revealing and delightful autobiographical sketch, “Trotsky and the Wild Orchids.” “I am sometimes told, by critics from both ends of the political spectrum, that my views are so weird as to be merely frivolous. They suspect that I will say anything to get a gasp, that I am just amusing myself by contradicting everybody else. This hurts. So I have tried, in what follows, to say something about how I got into my present position—how I got into philosophy, and then found myself unable to use philosophy for the purpose I had originally in mind.” (Rorty 1999, p. 5) What follows is an account of how Rorty grew up in a family that was deeply committed to furthering social justice. (“Trotsky” is a synecdoche for social justice.) Rorty also tells of his early nerdish love of the wild orchids of New Jersey. (“Wild orchids” is the synecdoche for private pleasures.) When Rorty became interested in philosophy, he wanted to find some intellectual or esthetic framework that would hold reality and justice in a single vision – one that would integrate social justice and private idiosyncratic pleasures. He tells the story of his eventual discovery that there was no such overarching framework and his growing realization that there was no need for such a framework. As a public citizen, one can be deeply committed to advancing social justice and at the same time, as a private person, enjoy idiosyncratic pleasures. There is no need to reconcile or synthesize these two incommensurable dimensions of human life. (shrink)
Wood informs the reader that Buber rejected "isms," hard and fast rules and principles, and systems, but he goes on to systematize Buber's thought nonetheless. The result is often enlightening. I and Thou, which Wood considers the central work of the philosopher's thought, is finely broken down and analyzed in its component parts. In this manner it is less formidable to the uninitiated, and the reader who is puzzled by a particular passage can find in Wood's book an authoritative, well-researched (...) explanation. There are also excellent biographical data woven in with glimpses of Buber's voluminous works and the influences on them, and a complete bibliography that is as definitive as any published to date. But Buber's thought does not lend itself to systematization. One cannot substitute Ontology for Metaphysics and then proceed to dissect a philosophy which declares itself to be beyond metaphysics, and which points to the existential meeting of a person here and now with another person and/or with God. Wood provides a diagram showing the structure of I and Thou which may be useful for locating selections in the book as they relate to a certain code, but at the same time it illustrates what Buber describes as objectification, an I-it relationship with a person or his work, which is far from the I-Thou relationship.--S. J. B. (shrink)