Friday, September 01, 2006

Theology’s Continental Captivity

This is the article I referred to in Wednesday's class. It makes the case that while contintental philosophers have abandoned the search for truth, and contented themselves with simply finding "meaning," analytic philosophers still hold out hope of attaining truth. Therefore, it seems inconsistent for traditional theologians to embrace the continental approach.

Reno understands their reticence about analytic philosophers, who in the first part of the 20th century espoused the verificationist principle, which flatly dismissed all talk about God as nonsense. But he points to the way analytic philosophers have corrected themselves, using their own methods to show that the verificationist principle reduces itself to absurdity. Therefore, analytic philosophy is no longer to be identified with logical positivism and its attendant atheism. Russo sees it as the most fruitful way to do not only philosophy of religion, but philosophy, period.

"...analytic philosophy is unequivocally and fundamentally a force for the strengthening of truth, not its weakening. If John Paul II is right about the dangers of the postmodern fear of truth and the urgency of the Church’s need to contribute to restoring a culture of truth, this dynamic of strengthening is invaluable."

"Theology’s Continental Captivity" by
R.R. Reno
Copyright (c) 2006 First Things 162 (April 2006): 26-33.


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