Download Agnosis: Theology in the Void by G. Pattison PDF

By G. Pattison

Can theology nonetheless function within the void of post-theism? In trying to resolution this question Agnosis examines the concept that of the void itself, tracing a historical past of nothingness from Augustine via Kierkegaard and Nietzsche to Bataille and Derrida, and dialoguing with Japan's Kyoto institution philosophers. it really is argued that neither Augustinian nor post-Hegelian metaphysics have given a passable realizing of nothingness and that we needs to glance to an adventure of nothingness because the most sensible floor for destiny spiritual existence and suggestion.

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It is also striking that, in his unfinished Pensees, Pascal achieves The Augustinian Inheritance 35 this by means of a few extraordinarily condensed reflections and aphorisms. In, for example, the reflections on 'The disproportion of man' Pascal invites his reader to consider, first, the immensity of the cosmos, in which even the orbit of the sun is merely 'the tiniest point compared to that described by the stars revolving in the firmament', a thought, in comparison with which the individual himself 'is lost', enclosed in a 'little dungeon'; but, then, Pascal continues, consider 'another prodigy equally astounding', namely the microscopic world, in which no particle is so small that it cannot be further subdivided revealing world upon world within itself.

We are floating in a medium of vast extent, always drifting uncertainly, blown to and fro; whenever we think we have a fixed point to which we can cling and make fast, it shifts and leaves us behind; if we follow it, it eludes our grasp, slips away and flees eternally before us. Nothing stands still for us ... We burn with desire to find a firm footing, an ultimate, lasting base on which to build a tower rising up to infinity, but our whole foundation cracks and the earth opens up into the depth of the abyss.

Bearing in mind Hegel's own strictures in the Phenomenology on those who think that reading the aims and results of a philosophical system can itself count as doing philosophical work we shall not claim to have dealt adequately with the issues raised by these two introductory passages. Nonetheless, the systematic nature of Hegel's thought itself means that these texts can take us some considerable distance towards illuminating the decisively 'Hegelian' understanding of nothingness - and of the implications of that understanding for both philosophy and theology.

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