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Flashcards in ✅religious language Deck (76)
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what is john wisdoms parable?

2 explorers came upon a jungle with flowers and weeds. one thinks there must be a gardener as it is so beautiful and perfect. invisible, intangible gardener. but whats the difference between this and no gardener ar all?


what is flews book called?

theology and falsification 1950


what does flew mean by death by a 1000 qualifications?

you kill something by asking too mnay questions. an indea you can reject, no matter how convincing the hypothesis is. there will always be flaws.


what is cognitive language

expressed facts and knowledge.


what is non cognitive language

expresses things in which we could never know, eg feelings, values etc.


what does Emil Bunner say about religious language

"the first and mots important thing we know about god is that we know nothing about him."


what did wittgenstien say about speaking

whereof we cannot speak, thereof one must remain silent


what is the via negativa/apophatic way

literally means in a negative way. involves peaking about god using only negatives and emphasise the difference between god and humanity.


definition of via negativa

God is not a universe or an object in a universe. he is not open to observation or decription. it follows that god can only be spoken of analytically o poetically.


why is positive language flawed?

if we say god is good, then we can only understand this in terms of what we know to be good. he is not anything like we know, therefore this is dehumanise him. anthropomorphism


who is pseudo dionysius

6th century theologian. arged via negativa was the only way to speak truthfully about God, because God is beyond all human understanding. he says god is beyond assertion.


what did pseudo D state about talking about God?

via negativa (what God is not) "there is no speaking of it. darkness and light, error and truth. God is none of these" Hick
state of affirmation, what god is, the cataphatic way, or via positiva.
qualification of what god is- Gods love is immense etc


who supports pseudo dionysius

moses maimonides


who is moses maimonides

12th century jewish thinker. expplained that the attributes of God can only be understood through way they are not. this way of talking about Go is found in the jewish scriptures.


who said "i am who i am" he is beyond any decrpition

moses mainonides


what does peter cole think on via negativa

"by denying all descriptions of God, you get insight and experience of God rather than unbelief and sceptism". denies the possibility of describing god in concrete terms.


C S Lewis thoughts on via megativa

advocates the use of negative theology when first thinking about God, in order yo cleanse our minds og misconceptions. then you must refilll your minds with the truth about God, unstained by mythology and bad analogies.


what is C S Lewis look called



what are the limits of via negativa

suppose to make you closer to God, but just makes you more confused.
socratic method, you dont get the answer until you name everything else, and therefore it would be a positive statement
need to know what he is to say what he sis not
for religious people, it doesn't matter.
what is the point of worshipping a god you cant describe?
cant distinguish atheism and theism, as they both speak of God negatively.


what does brian davies think about via negativa

describing something in terms of what it is not, gives no clue to what it actually is.


what are the strengths of via negativa

avoids anthropomorphism.
can be seen as respectful.
many mystics have supported the apophatic way
emphasise the unsuitability of God.
best way to convey a transcendent god.


what does ahluwalia think ab out via negativa

points out that everything other than the idea of God is mystery makes god too small.


what does Aquinas think about via negativa.

suggests that there might be a middle ground when using religious langage, ie analogy.,


happened to aquinas?

in 1273, he put down his pen and said; all i have written seems like straw. his goal had been to understand God, but God is unknown.


does the via negativa provide an effective method fort theological discussion?

it provides the best attempt to talk about God. recognises that we have to go beyond our normal every day experiences and language in order to encounter God.
doesn't place a limit on God by giving him reference to the physical world
we can say something literal about god and it doesnt need interpretation.
applies equally well in different cultures and history.


does the via negativa provide an effective method fort theological discussion?

still not easy for God to be known.
people wont understand what we are trying to say
Davies: when we try and reach something through elimination, we need to know the starting material first.
Flew: if we try and explain God as invisible etc, little difference to nothing.
many of the holy Scriptures write about God in a positive way.


Does Aquinas' analogical approaches support effective expression of language about God?

'otherness' of God (Otto) as mysterium trememdum et fascinans.
when Jesus was teaching, he often used analogy to communicate the message.


Does Aquinas' analogical approaches support effective expression of language about God?

unhelpful, as we have to translate the analogies into univocal language before they mean anything.
leaves us with an unclear picture.
If the analogy is looking upwards (Hick), into infinity, and we start from the partical shadows of human qualities, we have to use that partial understanding, to think about Gods love etc.


can religious discourse be comprehensive if religious language is understood symbolically?

very powerful
conveys words, not only as words but as a deeper level.
marriage, baptism, ritual bath, purification, etc.
the change in interpretation is a good thing, as it doesn't carry intrinsic meaning.


can religious discourse be comprehensive if religious language is understood symbolically?

Hick argues in his book "philosophy of religions 1973" that Tillich over emphasises the aesthetic nature of religious symbol.
no factual content in religious language and that is it an appeal to an emotional response.
symbols leave us with no way of knowing what is a valid insight into ultimate reality.
very dependent on culture.
misinterpreted in a different culture.