Read e-book online Kierkegaard and the Catholic Tradition: Conflict and PDF

By Jack Mulder Jr.

Even supposing S?ren Kierkegaard, one in every of the main passionate Christian writers of the trendy age, used to be a Lutheran, he used to be deeply disillusioned with the Lutheran institution of his day. a few students have acknowledged that he driven his religion towards Catholicism. putting Kierkegaard in sustained discussion with the Catholic culture, Jack Mulder, Jr., doesn't easily assessment Catholic reactions to or interpretations of Kierkegaard, yet quite presents a longer inspect convergences and modifications on concerns corresponding to ordinary theology, common ethical legislation, Christian love, apostolic authority, the doctrine of hell, contrition for sins, the doctrine of purgatory, and the communion of saints. via his research of Kierkegaard's philosophy of faith, Mulder provides deeper chances for engagements among Protestantism and Catholicism.

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In addition, this theory of ethics often, though not always, carries with it a claim about how ethical obligations cannot be known apart from divine revelation. By contrast, natural law ethics claims that many of our most basic ethical obligations are epistemologically available to everyone, and need not be the subject of a special divine command to be obligatory. This does not preclude some actions from acquiring from a special divine edict a binding status they would not otherwise have. Yet, natural law claims that our ordinary obligations acquire such binding force not directly from God’s special commands, but simply from the fact that human nature flourishes and languishes in particular sorts of environments.

56 While Plantinga is here distancing himself from natural theology in the ordinary sense, it is worth noting that many Catholic theologians find a similar, though not necessarily identical, way of talking about the knowledge of God to be attractive. Plantinga’s Aquinas/Calvin model is intended to be a rather broad presentation of non-inferential ways of naturally knowing God. It is broad enough to encompass the idea that God’s presence is understood by the subject to be exterior or interior. ”57 This suggestion in Aquinas, further developed by Karl Rahner, proposes that if external circumstances “trigger” a natural awareness of God, we should nonetheless understand God’s presence as interior, rather than exterior, and in some sense phenomenologically prior to our own act of understanding these ordinary perceptual stimuli.

But, under the assumption that natural knowledge of God is available, can atheists deny God’s existence without being culpable for this denial? One way to respond to this is to use a Kierkegaardian tack helpfully articulated by Evans. 72 In that episode, Samuel is being called by God’s voice, but Samuel does not learn that it might indeed be God’s voice until Eli the priest instructs him. Evans goes on to argue that an atheist might well have an encounter with God through the experience of moral conduct.

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