Discerning the Mystery: An Essay on the Nature of Theology


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Published twenty-five years ago, this book is still the finest critique of the Enlightenments ways of knowing, coupled with a winsome description of a distinctly Christian alternative. Responding to what he sees as a division and fragmentation both in theology and the larger culture due to the one-sided way we have come to seek and recognize truthmanifest in the way in which all concern with truth has been relinquished to the sciences, Louth sets out to describe the source of that fragmentation and to challenge the notion that we must accept the lot bequeathed to us by the Enlightenment. He carefully reviews central themes of several precursors who have already forged a critique of the epistemological imperialism of the Enlightenment, principally Giambattista Vico, Wilhelm Dilthey, and Hans-Georg Gadamer, who in distinct ways demonstrated the legitimacy of the humanities unique apprehension of truth. Further relativizing Enlightenment claims, Michael Polanyi proposed that science itself depends on non-empirical elements of investigation for its method to function, what he termed the tacit dimension. It is here that Louth sees a pattern underlying the apprehension of truth that is strikingly similar to that of the Fathers of the Church, who set forth an approach to knowing and experiencing truth that ultimately can be seen and heard and handled (1 John 1:1-3), but only by those who reside in the bosom of the Churchs tradition and avail themselves of ways of knowing unique to it. Louths rather brilliant rehabilitation of the Fathers use of allegory in scriptural interpretation, which interweaves Scripture and tradition seamlessly, illustrates this approach. The matrix of allegory requires and manifests the tacit dimension of the guidance of the Spirit, and underlines the theologians need to hear Him. Or as Evagrios of Pontus might put it, Knowledge of Godthe breast of the Lord. To recline therethe making of a theologian.

Title:: Discerning the Mystery: An Essay on the Nature of Theology


Categories: Eighth Day Press,

Publisher: Eighth Day Press: December 2007

ISBN Number:: 0971748365

ISBN Number: 13: 9780971748361

Binding:: Paper Back

Book Condition:: New

Seller ID:: 20090811160015