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Editorial Reviews. About the Author. J. Andrew Kirk was formerly Senior Lecturer in Mission The Future of Reason, Science and Faith: Following Modernity and Post-Modernity (Transcending Boundaries in Philosophy and Theology) - Kindle .
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If a person believes that she can achieve eternal happiness and con- tribute to the Highest Good by acting morally, then the struggle between moral and prudential reasoning can end. Whereas Green sees religion as needed for us to resolve one kind of dispute, namely that between moral and prudential concerns, Adina Davidovich and, in his own way, the theologian Gordon Kaufmann, also examined here sees religion as emerging out of the solution to another kind of conflict, namely that between theoretical reason and practical reason.

Looked at by theoretical reason, our actions are causally determined, but seen by practical reason, they are free. Judicial reason consists of two faculties of judgment: aesthetic judgment and teleo- logical judgment. Aesthetic judgment allows us to judge objects or events as beautiful on account of their formal purposiveness, that is, on account of how their various features hang together.

It is thus teleolog- ical judgment that enables us to experience the world in both the theoretical and the practical senses simultaneously: by judging a person teleologically, we can talk about her actions mechanically but also feel that they are expressive of her purposes.

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All teleological judgment offers us is one way of interpreting the fundamental experience offered by aesthetic judgment, but not the only way. Because we condition the world in three kinds of ways, there are three kinds of experiences we can have. But when we take up the Transcendental Perspective, we synthesize all three perspectives, and so look beyond them, enabling us to have a unique, almost ineffable kind of experience that allows us to encounter reality in a deeper way than we can using any of the other perspectives by themselves. That said, Firestone understandably worries as does Palmquist , that his account is too speculative, and perhaps mischaracterizes Kant.

Why, then, did Firestone present them? In other words, Christian theologians inter- ested in operating within broadly Kantian guidelines can look to Green, Davidovich, and Palmquist as well as Hick, Kaufmann, Otto, and Tillich for worthy models of emulation. What about those Christian theologians and philosophers of religion who want to see if a more traditional Christianity is doable within Kantian constraints? This is not to say that Firestone thinks Kantian Christians cannot accept bodily resurrection or Incarnation; only that he does not try to carry off those reconciling tasks in KTBR.

Kant makes no room for the Trinity in his religious outlook because he does not see its practical relevance. But Firestone points out that the rendering of the Trinity Kant encountered probably emphasized its metaphysical aspects to the detriment of its impact on ordinary believers. Should the doctrine been presented differently to him— namely, as exemplifying ideal personal relationships—he might have had a different take. The explanation goes like this: in Book One of Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason, Kant holds that we are innately evil, and so need to believe that we can get outside help to become good, lest we not even try.

In Book Two, Kant claims that we are rationally obliged to believe in a prototype of perfect humanity, seen as descending from God, in order to have the hope needed to endeavor to become good.

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The problem is, Kant provides no model for how this community should be structured. Firestone imaginatively suggests that the model of God found in the Trinity could stand as one such model. I end this review with two brief complaints. Hence, I cannot claim with confidence that I accurately conveyed what Firestone intended to communicate in my summaries of chapters five and six. Second, chapter seven was far and away the most exciting, provocative, and rewarding part of the book, at least for me. It is too bad there was not more like it. I hope there will be in the future, both from Firestone and from others.

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Kant and the New Philosophy of Religion. Review of C. Firestone, Kant and Theology at the Boundaries of Reason. By Robert Hanna. By Chris Firestone. By Stephen R Palmquist. According to the Apostle, it was part of the original plan of the creation that reason should without difficulty reach beyond the sensory data to the origin of all things: the Creator.

But because of the disobedience by which man and woman chose to set themselves in full and absolute autonomy in relation to the One who had created them, this ready access to God the Creator diminished. The symbol is clear: man was in no position to discern and decide for himself what was good and what was evil, but was constrained to appeal to a higher source. The blindness of pride deceived our first parents into thinking themselves sovereign and autonomous, and into thinking that they could ignore the knowledge which comes from God.

All men and women were caught up in this primal disobedience, which so wounded reason that from then on its path to full truth would be strewn with obstacles.

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  8. From that time onwards the human capacity to know the truth was impaired by an aversion to the One who is the source and origin of truth. The eyes of the mind were no longer able to see clearly: reason became more and more a prisoner to itself. The coming of Christ was the saving event which redeemed reason from its weakness, setting it free from the shackles in which it had imprisoned itself. This is why the Christian's relationship to philosophy requires thorough-going discernment.

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    The depth of revealed wisdom disrupts the cycle of our habitual patterns of thought, which are in no way able to express that wisdom in its fullness. The beginning of the First Letter to the Corinthians poses the dilemma in a radical way. The crucified Son of God is the historic event upon which every attempt of the mind to construct an adequate explanation of the meaning of existence upon merely human argumentation comes to grief. The true key-point, which challenges every philosophy, is Jesus Christ's death on the Cross.

    It is here that every attempt to reduce the Father's saving plan to purely human logic is doomed to failure. Where is the learned? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? In order to express the gratuitous nature of the love revealed in the Cross of Christ, the Apostle is not afraid to use the most radical language of the philosophers in their thinking about God. Reason cannot eliminate the mystery of love which the Cross represents, while the Cross can give to reason the ultimate answer which it seeks.

    It is not the wisdom of words, but the Word of Wisdom which Saint Paul offers as the criterion of both truth and salvation. The wisdom of the Cross, therefore, breaks free of all cultural limitations which seek to contain it and insists upon an openness to the universality of the truth which it bears. What a challenge this is to our reason, and how great the gain for reason if it yields to this wisdom!


    The preaching of Christ crucified and risen is the reef upon which the link between faith and philosophy can break up, but it is also the reef beyond which the two can set forth upon the boundless ocean of truth. Here we see not only the border between reason and faith, but also the space where the two may meet. The city of philosophers was full of statues of various idols. One altar in particular caught his eye, and he took this as a convenient starting-point to establish a common base for the proclamation of the kerygma. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, 'To an unknown god'. From this starting-point, Saint Paul speaks of God as Creator, as the One who transcends all things and gives life to all.


    The Apostle accentuates a truth which the Church has always treasured: in the far reaches of the human heart there is a seed of desire and nostalgia for God. In different ways and at different times, men and women have shown that they can articulate this intimate desire of theirs. Through literature, music, painting, sculpture, architecture and every other work of their creative intelligence they have declared the urgency of their quest. In a special way philosophy has made this search its own and, with its specific tools and scholarly methods, has articulated this universal human desire.

    Everyday life shows how concerned each of us is to discover for ourselves, beyond mere opinions, how things really are. Within visible creation, man is the only creature who not only is capable of knowing but who knows that he knows, and is therefore interested in the real truth of what he perceives.

    People cannot be genuinely indifferent to the question of whether what they know is true or not. If they discover that it is false, they reject it; but if they can establish its truth, they feel themselves rewarded. This is what has driven so many enquiries, especially in the scientific field, which in recent centuries have produced important results, leading to genuine progress for all humanity.

    No less important than research in the theoretical field is research in the practical field—by which I mean the search for truth which looks to the good which is to be performed. In acting ethically, according to a free and rightly tuned will, the human person sets foot upon the path to happiness and moves towards perfection. Here too it is a question of truth.

    It is essential, therefore, that the values chosen and pursued in one's life be true, because only true values can lead people to realize themselves fully, allowing them to be true to their nature. The truth of these values is to be found not by turning in on oneself but by opening oneself to apprehend that truth even at levels which transcend the person.