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What is theology?

Is theology the most certain of all sciences or the most confused?  Is its source divine knowledge (which cannot be deceived) or obfuscation (which cannot be comprehended)?  Presenting... Epic Philosophy Battles of History:

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Question 1 (articles 1-10):  http://sacred-texts.com/chr/aquinas/summa/sum003.htm

vs.

Baron D'Holbach, Good Sense (articles 2-3,[masked],[masked],[masked]):  http://www.ftarchives.net/holbach/good/gcontents.htm

The aim of this meetup is to deepen understanding.  Its character will depend on its members: technical, devotional, or pastoral alike.  Respect diversity, "the art of thinking independently together."


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  • Teig S.

    Tomorrow: What is Theology? THEO-LOGY. The logic, study, or science, of God. At the end, God may, in fact, be brought closer to us, or be moved further away from us....

    1 · August 29, 2014

    • eric

      Oh good! I thought it was out of character for you. Would love to hang out and imbibe more...family obligations.

      September 2, 2014

    • Chad B.

      "In romantic religion...the will to action becomes paralyzed. 'Man’s whole existence is transformed into longing--not into the longing for God, in which man, raising himself above the earth, overcomes his earthly solitude; nor into the powerful longing of the will which thirsts for deeds.' In fact, the whole realm of the ethical becomes problematic....faith not works, belief not law, are the decisive elements of Christianity. It is 'the path that leads away from justice.'"

      http://www.commentary...­

      September 2, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Not a bad first philosophy meetup. Looking forward to seeing you all again!

    3 · August 30, 2014

    • Derwin

      it was great meeting you! thanks for coming all the way down to join us.

      August 31, 2014

  • Teig S.

    Haha! nicely said John:)

    2 · August 31, 2014

  • John

    Theology: how I systematically get to know an ineffable intelligent love present in me, in others and in all I experience, even by principled dialogue; oh well, try again tomorrow; thanks all

    3 · August 30, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Saturday's are really dicey for me, if I can't make it I'll change my RSVP so someone else can go.

    1 · July 15, 2014

    • Teig S.

      I am on the waiting list

      August 26, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      definitely going today.

      1 · August 30, 2014

  • Beth C.

    I am unable to join the group tonight and wanted to let you know so another may attend. Have fun. I'm sure it will be a stimulating discussion.
    Beth

    August 30, 2014

    • Brian

      Thanks, Beth. See you next time

      August 30, 2014

  • Jack

    I'm very sorry to miss this one, but I'm going to be on the road tomorrow and don't want to take up a spot someone else can use. Hope you achieve something between confusion and certainty.

    August 29, 2014

  • Derwin

    In response to the question above -- "Is theology the most certain of all sciences or the most confused?" -- Aquinas' fascinating response from Article 5: "Nothing prevents it from being the case that what is more certain by its nature (secundum naturam) is less certain to us, and this because of the weakness of our intellect, which according to Metaphysics 2, “is related to the things that are most manifest by nature as the eye of an owl is related to the light of the sun.” So the doubt that occurs in some with regard to the articles of the Faith is due not to a lack of certitude on the part of the things themselves, but rather to the weakness of the human intellect. And yet, according to De Animalibus 11, the least cognition that can be had of the highest things is more desirable than the most firm cognition that is had of the lowest things."

    2 · August 27, 2014

    • Chad B.

      Bacon puts it this way: "knowledge which is new, and foreign from opinions received, is to be delivered in another form than that that is agreeable and familiar....And therefore in the infancy of learning, and in rude times when those conceits which are now trivial were then new, the world was full of parables and similitudes; for else would men either have passed over without mark, or else rejected for paradoxes that which was offered, before they had understood or judged.  So in divine learning, we see how frequent parables and tropes are, for it is a rule, that whatsoever science is not consonant to presuppositions must pray in aid of similitudes." (Advancement of Learning)

      August 29, 2014

    • Chad B.

      The links between theology, language, and science are worth pursuing further. In Coleridge, the "verb substantive" ("[I] am") is a kind of grammatical Cartesian atom that links to divinity. In _Moby-Dick_ (you knew it was coming) Pip is reduced to babbling verb conjugations when he confronts the "intense concentration of self in the middle of such a heartless immensity [of the ocean]." And though "his shipmates called him mad....man's insanity is heaven's sense..." In the Bible, words have creative power, and Bacon speaks of "man striving to reintegrate himself" with divine speech following "the confusion of tongues." The limitations of speech reflect directly on the human condition and therefore place us in relation to divinity.

      1 · August 29, 2014

  • Chad B.

    Unfortunately I have a scheduling conflict on this day. Rather than move the meetup on short notice, Stephen has agreed to host. Sorry I will miss this.

    August 24, 2014

  • Chad B.

    August 5, 2014

    • Chad B.

      It's intended to be a discussion of theology. The purpose of pitting views against each other is more of a device to open up a space between them, rather than to force adherence to a "corner."

      3 · August 5, 2014

    • Imran M.

      Oh, in that case I'll try to find some Tillich excerpts. He's been especially good at explaining theology to our group when we've had him, though more from a Continental bent.

      4 · August 5, 2014

  • Imran M.

    I was hoping there was an epic rap battle on YouTube to be linked...

    1 · July 15, 2014

    • Chad B.

      Is #28 an insult? I doubt it.

      1 · July 25, 2014

    • mariann

      Yeah, I also would like to dismiss most of the Nietzsche insults- they're probably intended as hidden affirmations of his predecessors' wills. Nietzsche, you scamp!

      July 25, 2014

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