Philosophy of Religion: Analytic Researches, 2019, Vol. 3, No. 1.
Georg Gasser. Divine Revelation: A Modest Metaphysical Account
Contemporary discussions about divine revelation are primarily epistemic: How can weknow that a revelation is veridical? Should we conceive of a revelation as primarily propositionalor non-propositional? What is the role of faith in receiving a revelation? Etc. In thispaper I am addressing the metaphysical question how a revelation is possible at all. I arguethat a metaphysics of powerful particulars provides a useful framework for proposinga metaphysical model of revelation in terms of God having actualized the self-revealingpower by acting upon other substances. In a revelation God activates the fundamental dispositioninherent in each creature to be responsive to God’s call of salvation.
Keywords: powerful particulars; divine powers; divine omnipresence; revelation and salvation; analytic theology
The article is devoted to the analysis of understanding the phenomenon of divine revelation in that era, when the basic principles of its Orthodox (but to a large extent also Catholic and Protestant) interpretation were formed. It deals with "conception" not as a positive teaching, but as a sum of consistent statements, the general grounds of which are to be clarified by problematic formulation of the issue. The Church Fathers' thought on the divine inspiration is being considered in the aspect of their attitude to both the substantive and the formal side of biblical text. The author confirms the conclusions previously made by a number of Russian scholars, that fathers were not supporters of the theory of "dictation" (or extreme verbalism). He also tries to make more clear the meaning of categories of "hearing" and "vision", and of the Chalcedon dogma-analogy in the concept of the revealed text's origins that was predominant in the patristic era.
The article concerns the development of the views on the Divine Revelation and Sacred Scripture of German thinkers in the Age of Enlightenment. Thinkers of the early Enlightenment (represented by Spener and the pietist teaching founded by him) and the late Enlightenment (Neology, Reimarus and Lessing) are analyzed sequentially. At the same time, both for the early and for the later enlighteners there were a number of common features. First of all, they emphasized the importance of the practical element (virtuous life) and rejecting the value of the theoretical element (theoretical reflections as such) of religion. At the same time, the differences are no less pronounced. They trace most clearly in their attitude to the Sacred Scripture. Thus, among pietists and moderate neologists, we see appeal to the Sacred Scripture as an objective criterion for checking the truth of religious experiences and theoretical conclusions. For more radical neologists, we see the selection of different kinds of truths in Sacred Scripture, only a few of which were recognized as eternal and necessary for salvation. Reimarus presented a radical historical criticism of the Sacred Scripture and denied its divine inspiration. Lessing developed his concept of Revelation in controversy with Reimarus. He was agree with him in several important points but his views on Scripture (which was not given up in divine inspiration by him) and the main dogmas of the Christian faith was in general less critical.
The article deals with the philosophy of religion and philosophical theology presented in the late works of Nikolai Berdyaev from viewpoint of the idea of "critique of revelation". The introductory part provides a brief overview of the concept of revelation in the Russian philosophical thought. The first subsection of the article deals with Berdyaev's concept of "transcendental man" and the opposition between freedom and existence typical for his ontology which defines his idea of revelation. His concept of "criticism of revelation", considered by the author as a basic element of the philosopher's methodology, is further analyzed. On this basis such elements of Berdyaev's philosophy of religion as his understanding of revelation, faith, myth, the relation of religion and mysticism, religion and philosophy, history of religion are considered. The final part of the article is devoted to the elements of Berdyaev's philosophical theology: his rethinking of the concepts of dogma and authority, the ratio of apophatic and cataphatic theology and related matters. Berdyaev's philosophy of religion and philosophical theology are considered in the context of the development of Russian and European thought in the middle of the XX century.
The article is devoted to the interpretation of revelation in E. Jtingel's hermeneutic theology. We analyze Christology as the starting-point for his doctrine of revelation. The author considers the interpretation of revelation in the early exegetic works of Jingel, in the context of the Trinitarian doctrine and in relation to natural theology For Jiingel the language of the New Testament "brings to speech" revelation, revelation is interpreted as "speech-event". We also analyze the possibilities of correlation between hermeneutic issues and the Barth's theology of revelation. In the Jiingel's theology and Barth's dogmatic theology the Trinitarian doctrine is presupposed to the interpretation of revelation. Revelation is a self-interpretation of God, an event in which it is impossible to separate form and content. We argue that by the Christocentric understanding of revelation Jiingel overcomes both the irreconcilable opposition of God and the created world (Barth's approach) and the continual transition between them (traditional natural theology).
Sergey S. Koryakin. The Debate on the Authority, Inspiration and Inerrancy of the Bible in Contemporary Protestantism
The article explores the doctrine of biblical inerrancy, inspiration and authority in the Protestant tradition. Authors' historical survey shows that the doctrine of inerrancy of the Holy Scripture emerged as a reaction to the Catholic teaching on the infallibility of the Pope and the Church, as well as to the liberal tendencies in theology. The key ideas of the doctrine are presented from the text of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. In his critical analysis of the contemporary version of the inerrancy doctrine the author shows its main problematic aspects: the doctrine is wrongly accepted as foundation of the Christian faith, it imposes an alien concept of truth on biblical texts, it gives wrong hermeneutical directives to the interpreter, it appeals to non-existent original biblical autographs. The author concludes that the authority and inspiration of the Bible should not be established by proving inerrancy of its texts, but should be based on faith, supported by the transforming witness of God's Word in the community of believers.
The paper deals with the criteria of definition, proposed by Yamunacarya, in relation to the notion "revelation". The methods of the exegetical interpretation are developed by Ramanuja in "Vedarthasamgraha". Conventionally the passage of "Brahma-sutras" on im¬possibility of origin (II.ii.40-43) is interpreted in Vedanta as refutation of "non-orthodox" agamic tradition of pancaratra, though the refuted doctrine is not defined in the text of "Brahma-sutras". This identification was proposed by Shankara and Bhaskara and till XXI centuries was generally accepted, until Yamunacarya wrote the special treatise, devoted to establishment of authority of pancaratratantra. Alongside the logical arguments in defense of pancaratra, proposed by Yamunacarya in "Agamaprapanya", the article sets out also the exegetical principles of interpretation of the sacred texts, proposed by Ramanuja in "Vedarthasamgraha".
The article analyzes the Thomas Aquinas' teaching on revelation and prophecy, based on his main work, Summa Theologiae. Special attention is paid in this article to the second part of the second part (II-II), where the author considers the subject of grace-giving gifts, among which he singles out the prophecy as a divine gift linked with knowledge. According to Thomas, through prophecy the divine revelation is mainly transmitted for the human race. In the prophecy Thomas distinguishes two phases: inspiration and revelation. Both phases occur in the mind of the prophet, who through the elevation of the mind and thanks to the mediating role of the angels perceives the divine message. In spite of the terminological and conceptual diversity in the Thomas' description of revelation and prophecy, his thought is extremely clear and can be systematized into a single, coherent picture.
The subject of this review-article is a monograph concerned with the difficult question of the literary structure of the Book of Revelation. That no scholarly consensus exists in this field, is indicated by the mere fact of the existence of many proposed variants of the structuration of the Apocalypse. The author of the reviewed book, relying on the ideas of Umberto Eco concerning the "open work", proposes his own vision of the literary structure of Revelation, which includes elements of different versions of its composition. The work is concluded by an outline of the Apocalypse that should reflect its narrative and dramaturgical multidimensionality.