Wednesday, 30 August 2006
But not the theology of Islam's one-eyed God. Says Edward T. Oakes, S.J.:
“Philosophy asks unanswerable questions; theology gives unquestionable answers.” According to John Caputo, author of the astonishingly lucid book Philosophy and Theology, the anonymous wag who first coined that sardonic witticism can only have been born in the twentieth century. We know that (rough) date for a fact because, even if we cannot track down its first citation on Lexis-Nexis, we can recognize in ourselves two gut-reaction attitudes, both of which have been handed down to us by the relatively recent past: We are simultaneously suspicious of religious authority (inherited from the so-called Age of Reason), and yet we despair of the deliverances of reason (the legacy of postmodern skepticism). Kant told us that theology must be confined “within the limits of reason alone,” but Nietzsche showed that this boundary-policing reason has failed to deliver on its promises, since its claims are nothing but disguised power plays. So neither philosophy nor theology can avail, it would seem, and all we are left with is the din of unanswerable questions trying to shout down unquestionable answers.
Though Joyceans may well balk, the rest may read the rest.
Posted on 08/30/2006 5:22 PM by Robert Bove
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