Living as if God exists: Looking for a Common Ground in Times of Radical Pluralism

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Abstract

This paper offers a comment on some metaphysical and epistemological claims of (critical) theological realism from the perspective of continental philosophy of religion, thereby taking the work of Soskice and Hick as paradigmatic for this kind of philosophical theology. The first comment regards the fact that theological realism considers religious and theological propositions as ways to depict or represent reality, and hence aims to bring them as much as possible in line with scientific ones. Some contemporary French philosophers (Ricoeur, Lévinas, and Marion) criticize such a representing, depicting knowledge of God, because it encapsulates the divine reality in mundane, specifically scientific categories. Eventually, theological realism runs the risk to annihilate God’s radical transcendence and to reduce religion to an alternative scientific theory. The second comment tries to explore whether one can affirm God’s reality from a practical perspective, as a postulate of reason, and whether such an approach could serve as a common ground for religious and secular (practical) ways of life in times of radical pluralism. This comment starts from investigating into the regulative character of Kant’s idea of God as the highest idea of reason, which not only orientates our theoretical enquiries, but also our moral actions. Although this idea is only a heuristic fiction for theoretical reason, God’s existence has to be affirmed on practical grounds, as a symbolic reality that gives orientation to people’s lives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-132
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Journal for Philosophy of Religion
Volume6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Pluralism
Deity
Religion
Realism
Metaphysical
Heuristics
Philosophical Theology
Paradigmatics
Fiction
Scientific Theory
God's Existence
Theoretical Reason
Continental philosophy
Epistemological
French philosopher
Transcendence
Knowledge of God
Philosophy of Religion
Way of Life

Keywords

  • Truth
  • Wisdom
  • Soskice
  • Hick
  • Theological Realism

Cite this

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title = "Living as if God exists: Looking for a Common Ground in Times of Radical Pluralism",
abstract = "This paper offers a comment on some metaphysical and epistemological claims of (critical) theological realism from the perspective of continental philosophy of religion, thereby taking the work of Soskice and Hick as paradigmatic for this kind of philosophical theology. The first comment regards the fact that theological realism considers religious and theological propositions as ways to depict or represent reality, and hence aims to bring them as much as possible in line with scientific ones. Some contemporary French philosophers (Ricoeur, L{\'e}vinas, and Marion) criticize such a representing, depicting knowledge of God, because it encapsulates the divine reality in mundane, specifically scientific categories. Eventually, theological realism runs the risk to annihilate God’s radical transcendence and to reduce religion to an alternative scientific theory. The second comment tries to explore whether one can affirm God’s reality from a practical perspective, as a postulate of reason, and whether such an approach could serve as a common ground for religious and secular (practical) ways of life in times of radical pluralism. This comment starts from investigating into the regulative character of Kant’s idea of God as the highest idea of reason, which not only orientates our theoretical enquiries, but also our moral actions. Although this idea is only a heuristic fiction for theoretical reason, God’s existence has to be affirmed on practical grounds, as a symbolic reality that gives orientation to people’s lives.",
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Living as if God exists : Looking for a Common Ground in Times of Radical Pluralism. / Jonkers, P.H.A.I.

In: European Journal for Philosophy of Religion, Vol. 6, No. 1, 2014, p. 111-132.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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