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

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    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
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Truth
    • Wisdom
    • Soskice
    • Hick
    • Theological Realism


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