Truth in Aquinas (Routledge Radical Orthodoxy)

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Recent theologians have revised the view that Aquinas offered an abstract, philosophical account of God based on Aristotle and only secondarily turned to discussion of the triune God who is known through Christian scripture and tradition. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is one of those who have pointed out that this is a mistaken understanding of Aquinas. Hence for Aquinas, Williams says, there can be no portrait of God other than the subsistent relations between Father, Son and Spirit. Jump to navigation Google Tag Manager.

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Likewise the third which is linked to 25 post-modern claims that we exert power over that which we claim to know or interpret. Whether we 41 look at Friedrich Schleiermacher or Karl Rahner, we have a sense that our knowledge of 42 God is mediated through human agency, rather than being something delivered by divine 43 writ in a pure and unmediated fashion. However, when we turn to Tillich things are not so 44 clear. The method of correlation seeks a meeting of human questions and divine answers.

Whether Enlightenment reason was a new beast is debateable, however; it 19 can be argued that its roots lie in an older tradition coming from Humanist, Aristotelian 20 and Socratic sources. To use reason to expound or critique religious tradition is therefore 21 not simply a post-Enlighenment development, and can be found, to at least some degree, in 22 David Hume who believed the application of reason helped him overcome the delusions of 23 religion, Abelard who sought to disentangle the mess of confused thinking that 24 characterized much previous scholastic thought, or even Aquinas who believed that 25 human reason on its own was capable, via Natural Theology, of coming to a set of basic 26 truths about God.

In as far as these categories are held by Radical Orthodoxy 7 to characterize liberal and modern theologies, however, it problematizes the claims of 8 Milbank and the whole Radical Orthodoxy movement if its own proposal possesses these 9 same traits.

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Their claims to be radical and orthodox rest largely on an opposition to all 10 that modernist liberal theology is and does. If it is 36 accepted that post-modernity is not a new phase of thinking, but merely an extension, or 37 exaggeration, of certain facets of modernity, then the claim to be engaged upon a new 38 enterprise is destabilized.

Truth in Aquinas, Radical Orthodoxy by John Milbank | | Booktopia

Next, I will work 41 through our criteria of liberal theology. Finally, if modernism involves adaptation to the world, Radical 9 Orthodoxy also adapts; it merely updates the liberal project by applying a new context - 10 post-modernism - to theology. Assuming its critics are 7 right, then its belief in grand narratives, absolute knowledge, progress, unbiased reason, 8 etc. In place of a digression that would take us beyond the boundaries of this 35 paper, I will cite thinkers who take an opposing view: that the modern world cannot simply 36 be overturned or bypassed by post-modernity, and that the post-modern is probably best 37 seen as another manifestation of the modern.

From within theology David Tracy, who has 38 entered into an extensive encounter with post-modern thought, tells us that we must move 39 through modernity to post-modernity, in contrast to those who would wish to ignore the 40 inconveniences of historical-critical thought in their theology.

This is 9 that only persuasion, as Wittgenstein suggested, may be used: we cannot out argue Radical 10 Orthodoxy, and certainly we cannot prove it to be wrong, because that approach is itself 11 inappropriately redolent of a modernist hermeneutics. I 15 nevertheless think the idea holds some merit, because proponents at opposite ends of the 16 theological spectrum assume diverse axiomatic norms.

I do hope, nevertheless, 21 to be able to convince less committed supporters of Radical Orthodoxy that it should be 22 avoided. This explains my subtitle, why this is in part a rhetorical counter. Instead, modernity has changed and become perhaps more sophisti- 25 cated. Not only does it assume that there 47 is such a thing, but it also believes it can determine its nature. The sectarian bias here is 48 staggering. This fuses the worst of 7 both modernity and post-modernism.

The worst of post-modernism is highlighted by Janz, 8 in the way genealogies are written based not upon attentiveness to sources, but rather 9 according to whether the writer strategically employs post-modern hermeneutical moves.

Routledge Radical Orthodoxy

This is not 41 untypical of post-modernism, where those seen as having taken the post-modern turn can 42 practically do no wrong - especially its progenitors like Nietzsche. Those seen as 43 modernists on the other hand are relegated to the outer darkness, as though nothing useful 44 can be learned from them.

It may seem something of a caricature to hold up these stark dichotomies within the 47 complex and subtle thought of Milbank, yet it is hard to read his work and not get a strong 48 message of theological heroes and villains in an almost black and white fashion. They really are out there. However, this mascarade has long since been uncovered, as has the claim that there 16 is no grand narrative is the greatest overarching system of all.

Post-liberal theology as a whole tends to ignore other faiths either by 32 insisting on the use of one narrative alone or positing that by introducing revelation, the 33 Christian tradition has gone to a different realm of activity that trumps other religious 34 claims. We are dealing therefore with two 38 systems of persuasion, each asserting its own will-to-power. The attempt by a Radical 39 Orthodoxy-type approach to get beyond this, seen in Gerard Loughlin, also fails: 40 41 It must be remembered, however, that the Christian story is provisional because not yet ended.

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It is 42 performed in the hope that the one of whom it speaks will return again to say it. Thus the Christian story resists 43 mastery by being the prayerful tale of one who comes in the form of a servant and who will return 44 as a friend. This 24 supports the depiction of this approach as grounded in the will-to-power, for through the 25 demonstration of certain novel hermeneutic leaps and turns, the employer reaches a space 26 above and beyond conventional critique. While Milbank might not forgive me for saying this, it is clear that 17 Radical Orthodoxy responds to the same cultural anxiety and dissatisfaction as does the 18 New Age movement.

Moreover, we see it not as a radical 22 rethinking and departure from contemporary believing, but merely another permutation 23 of fashionable thought.

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Hence, far from isolating Christianity against external criticism, 26 Radical Orthodoxy renders itself vulnerable to intellectual fashion. The only rationale for its innovation is that 34 given by liberal theology. Three: perhaps the greatest divergence between Radical 44 Orthodoxy and most liberal theologies is its rejection of anthropocentrism and the turn to 45 the self; however, Radical Orthodoxy is not wholly a return to something else, because the 46 human situation, rather than scripture or tradition is, at least in part, determined by our 47 cultural setting, while we have seen that it highlights the individual interpretation over and 48 against the tradition.

RADICAL ORTHODOXY SIMON OLIVER

His theology, while 14 stressing the predominance of revelation, nevertheless does concede that philosophy has 15 an important role in supplementing and expressing it, and so theological expression can 16 change radically, as we have seen with his poetic Christ. Is the term meaningless?

Is it best 46 understood as an inclination, or even a mode of doing theology? Once he 16 realizes he is merely another liberal theologian — albeit one doing theology within a post- 17 modern space — and that perhaps, today, nothing else is really credible, then we may expect 18 great things from him. Until then the pretence of the so-called Radical Orthodoxy will no 19 doubt continue. It allows us to think of soteriological questions in ways that move between the 35 simply realist or mythological.

While Milbank seems to see these 42 things as closing the doors to discourse with external voices, however, I believe the path he 43 proposes should lead us to open these doors. However, I must thank Professor 15 Elizabeth Stuart for bringing the need to speak of Radical Orthodoxy as something other than a homogenous system to 16 my attention. Indeed, I have more sympathy with his theological stance than that of 21 Milbank or Pickstock.

Clark, , pp. Thus, Milbank sees himself as left with the vestiges of an apologetic, although he wants to speak only to Christians. He, more than anyone, surely, was responsible for bringing Aristotle into Western Christian thought? Therefore, the negativities they detect in Scotus have their seeds in Aquinas, although their interpretation of the latter 47 plays down the Aristotelianism, and suggests he was really a thorough going Platonist.


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As far as I can see, while Scotus may make some new claims the basis of all he does comes from a genealogy of intellectual thought deeply ingrained in Western theology already. See also p.

Truth in Aquinas

Further, we may note that the interest with genealogy spreads into other works, 12 such as Robert Miner, Truth in the Making: Creative knowledge in theology and philosophy London: Routledge, On the third, see Milbank, Theology, p. Taylor would 2 also be seen as sharing links to the liberal tradition see Hyman, The Predicament. Bromiley New York: Harper and Row, , p. Clarke, Oriental Enlightenment London: Routledge, 6 As we will see below, Milbank regards both modernity and post-modernism as nihilism.