Christian existentialism

Christian existentialism is a theo-philosophical movement which takes an existentialist approach to Christian theology. The school of thought is often traced back to the work of the Danish philosopher and theologian Søren Kierkegaard (1813–1855). [1]

The existential approach to Christian theology has a long and diverse history including Augustine, Aquinas, Pascal and Maritain.

Kierkegaardian themes

Kierkegaard
Søren Kierkegaard

Christian existentialism relies on Kierkegaard's understanding of Christianity. Kierkegaard argued that the universe is fundamentally paradoxical, and that its greatest paradox is the transcendent union of God and humans in the person of Jesus Christ. He also posited having a personal relationship with God that supersedes all prescribed moralities, social structures and communal norms,[2] since he asserted that following social conventions is essentially a personal aesthetic choice made by individuals.

Kierkegaard proposed that each person must make independent choices, which then constitute his existence. Each person suffers from the anguish of indecision (whether knowingly or unknowingly) until he commits to a particular choice about the way to live. Kierkegaard also proposed three rubrics with which to understand the conditions that issue from distinct life choices: the aesthetic, the ethical, and the religious.

Major premises

One of the major premises of Kierkegaardian Christian existentialism entails calling the masses back to a more genuine form of Christianity. This form is often identified with some notion of Early Christianity, which mostly existed during the first three centuries after Christ's crucifixion. Beginning with the Edict of Milan, which was issued by Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 313, Christianity enjoyed a level of popularity among Romans and later among other Europeans. And yet Kierkegaard asserted that by the 19th century, the ultimate meaning of New Testament Christianity (love, cf. agape, mercy and loving-kindness) had become perverted, and Christianity had deviated considerably from its original threefold message of grace, humility, and love.

Another major premise of Kierkegaardian Christian existentialism involves Kierkegaard's conception of God and Love. For the most part, Kierkegaard equates God with Love.[3] Thus, when a person engages in the act of loving, he is in effect achieving an aspect of the divine. Kierkegaard also viewed the individual as a necessary synthesis of both finite and infinite elements. Therefore, when an individual does not come to a full realization of his infinite side, he is said to be in despair. For many contemporary Christian theologians, the notion of despair can be viewed as sin. However, to Kierkegaard, a man sinned when he was exposed to this idea of despair and chose a path other than one in accordance with God's will.

A final major premise of Kierkegaardian Christian existentialism entails the systematic undoing of evil acts. Kierkegaard asserted that once an action had been completed, it should be evaluated in the face of God, for holding oneself up to divine scrutiny was the only way to judge one's actions. Because actions constitute the manner in which something is deemed good or bad, one must be constantly conscious of the potential consequences of his actions. Kierkegaard believed that the choice for goodness ultimately came down to each individual. Yet Kierkegaard also foresaw the potential limiting of choices for individuals who fell into despair.[4]

The Bible

Christian Existentialism often refers to what it calls the indirect style of Christ's teachings, which it considers to be a distinctive and important aspect of his ministry. Christ's point, it says, is often left unsaid in any particular parable or saying, to permit each individual to confront the truth on his own.[5] This is particularly evident in (but is certainly not limited to) his parables; for example in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 18:21-35). A good example of indirect communication in the Old Testament is the story of David and Nathan in 2 Samuel 12:1-14.

An existential reading of the Bible demands that the reader recognize that he is an existing subject, studying the words that God communicates to him personally. This is in contrast to looking at a collection of "truths" which are outside and unrelated to the reader.[6] Such a reader is not obligated to follow the commandments as if an external agent is forcing them upon him, but as though they are inside him and guiding him internally. This is the task Kierkegaard takes up when he asks: "Who has the more difficult task: the teacher who lectures on earnest things a meteor's distance from everyday life, or the learner who should put it to use?"[7] Existentially speaking, the Bible doesn't become an authority in a person's life until he permits the Bible to be his personal authority.

Notable Christian existentialists

Christian existentialists include German Protestant theologians Paul Tillich and Rudolf Bultmann, American existential psychologist Rollo May (who introduced much of Tillich's thought to a general American readership), British Anglican theologian John Macquarrie, American theologian Lincoln Swain,[8] American philosopher Clifford Williams, French Catholic philosophers Gabriel Marcel, Emmanuel Mounier, and Pierre Boutang, German philosopher Karl Jaspers, Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno, and Russian philosophers Nikolai Berdyaev and Lev Shestov. Karl Barth added to Kierkegaard's ideas the notion that existential despair leads an individual to an awareness of God's infinite nature. Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky could be placed within the tradition of Christian existentialism.

The roots of existentialism have been traced back as far as St Augustine.[9][10][11] Some of the most striking passages in Pascal's Pensées, including the famous section on the Wager, deal with existentialist themes.[12][13][14][15] Jacques Maritain, in Existence and the Existent: An Essay on Christian Existentialism,[16] finds the core of true existentialism in the thought of Thomas Aquinas.

Radical Existential Christianity

It has been claimed that Radical Existential Christians’ faith is based in their sensible and immediate and direct experience of God indwelling in human terms.[17] It is suggested that individuals do not make or create their Christian existence; it does not come as a result of a decision one personally makes. The radical Protestants of the 17th century, for example Quakers may have been in some ways theo-philosophically aligned with radical existential Christianity.

See also

References

  1. ^ M.J. Eliade & C.J. Adams (1987). Encyclopedia of Religion (v.5). Macmillan Publishing Company.
  2. ^ Søren Kierkegaard (1846). Concluding Unscientific Postscript, authored pseudonymously as Johannes Climacus.
  3. ^ Søren Kierkegaard (1849). The Sickness Unto Death Trans. Alastair Hannay (New York: Penguin Books, 2004), 14.
  4. ^ Søren Kierkegaard (1849). The Sickness Unto Death Trans. Alastair Hannay (New York: Penguin Books, 2004), 24.
  5. ^ Donald D. Palmer (1996). Kierkegaard For Beginners. London, England: Writers And Readers Limited. p. 25.
  6. ^ Howard V. Hong (1983). "Historical Introduction" to Fear and Trembling. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, p. x.
  7. ^ Søren Kierkegaard (1847). Works of Love. Harper & Row, Publishers. New York, N.Y. 1962. p. 62.
  8. ^ Lincoln Swain (2005). Five Articles, Soma: A Review of Religion and Culture.
  9. ^ Gordon R. Lewis (Winter 1965). "Augustine and Existentialism". Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 8,1, pp. 13–22.
  10. ^ Michial Farmer (6 July 2010). "A Primer on Religious Existentialism, Pt. 4: Augustine". christianhumanist.org
  11. ^ Craig J. N. de Paulo, ed. (2006). The Influence of Augustine on Heidegger: The Emergence of An Augustinian Phenomenology. Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press.
  12. ^ Desmond Clarke (2011). "Blaise Pascal", Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  13. ^ Clifford Williams (July 3, 2005). "Pascal". cliffordwilliams.net
  14. ^ Michial Farmer (20 July 2010). "A Primer on Religious Existentialism, Pt. 5: Blaise Pascal". christianhumanist.org
  15. ^ Michial Farmer (27 July 2010). "A Primer on Religious Existentialism, Pt. 6: Apologetics". christianhumanist.org
  16. ^ Jacques Maritain (1947). Existence and the Existent: An Essay on Christian Existentialism (Court traité de l'existence et de l'existent), translated by Lewis Galantiere and Gerald B. Phelan. New York: Pantheon Books, 1948.
  17. ^ Di Giovanni, Aldo (2014). The Existing Christ: an Existential Christology. Charlston: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 9781503134911.

External links

Abandonment (existentialism)

Abandonment, in philosophy, refers to the infinite freedom of humanity without the existence of a condemning or omnipotent higher power. Original existentialism explores the liminal experiences of anxiety, death, "the nothing" and nihilism; the rejection of science (and above all, causal explanation) as an adequate framework for understanding human being; and the introduction of "authenticity" as the norm of self-identity, tied to the project of self-definition through freedom, choice, and commitment. Existential thought bases itself fundamentally in the idea that one's identity is constituted neither by nature nor by culture, since to "exist" is precisely to constitute such an identity. It is from this foundation that one can begin to understand abandonment and forlornness.

Atheistic existentialism

Atheistic existentialism is a kind of existentialism which strongly diverged from the Christian existential works of Søren Kierkegaard and developed within the context of an atheistic world view. The philosophies of Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche provided existentialism's theoretical foundation in the 19th century, although their differing views on religion proved essential to the development of alternate types of existentialism. Atheistic existentialism was formally recognized after the 1943 publication of Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre and Sartre later explicitly alluded to it in Existentialism is a Humanism in 1946.

Christian existential apologetics

Christian existential apologetics differs from traditional approaches to Christian apologetics by basing arguments for Christian theism on the satisfaction of existential needs rather than on strictly logical or evidential arguments. Christian existential apologetics may also be distinguished from Christian existentialism and from experiential apologetics. The former is a philosophic outlook concerned with the human condition in general; the latter consists of evidential argumentation based on religious experience.

Christian humanism

Christian humanism regards humanist principles like universal human dignity and individual freedom and the primacy of human happiness as essential and principal components of the teachings of Jesus, and explicitly emerged during the Renaissance with strong roots in the patristic period. Historically, major forces shaping the development of Christian humanism was the Christian doctrine that God, in the form of Jesus Christ became human in order to redeem humanity, and the further injunction for the participating human collective (the church) to act out the life of Christ. Many of these ideas had emerged among the patristics, and would develop into Christian humanism in the late 15th century, through which the ideals of "common humanity, universal reason, freedom, personhood, human rights, human emancipation and progress, and indeed the very notion of secularity (describing the present saeculum preserved by God until Christ’s return) are literally unthinkable without their Christian humanistic roots." Though there is a common association of humanism with agnosticism and atheism in popular culture, this association developed in the 20th century and non-humanistic forms of agnosticism and atheism have long existed.

Christian libertarianism

Christian libertarianism is the synthesis of Christian beliefs concerning free will, human nature, and God-given inalienable rights with libertarian political philosophy.

As with other libertarians, what is prohibited by law is limited to various forms of assault, theft, and fraud. Other actions that are forbidden by Christianity can only be disciplined by the church, or in the case of children and teens, one's parents or guardian. Likewise, beliefs such as "love your neighbor as yourself" are not imposed on others.

Danish philosophy

Danish philosophy has a long tradition as part of Western philosophy.

Perhaps the most influential Danish philosopher was Søren Kierkegaard, the creator of Christian existentialism, which inspired the philosophical movement of Existentialism. Kierkegaard had a few Danish followers, including Harald Høffding, who later in his life moved on to join the movement of positivism. Among Kierkegaard's other followers include Jean-Paul Sartre who was impressed with Kierkegaard's views on the individual, and Rollo May, who helped create humanistic psychology.

Edvard Kovač

Fr. Edvard Kovač (born 1950) is a Slovenian theologian, philosopher and author. He is a member of the Order of Friars Minor and professor at the University of Ljubljana Theological Faculty and the Catholic University of Toulouse.Kovač is author of numerous published works and has twice been awarded the French Ordre du Mérite. In 2000 he received the Rožanc Award (the most prestigious Slovenian award for essayism) for his collection of essays Oddaljena bližina (The Distant Proximity).

His thought has been influenced by the Jewish theologians Emmanuel Levinas and Martin Buber, the Christian existentialism of Gabriel Marcel and by the French Nouvelle Théologie.

Ferdinand Ebner

Ferdinand Ebner (January 31, 1882 in Wiener Neustadt – October 17, 1931 in Gablitz, Austria), was an Austrian elementary school teacher and philosopher. Together with Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig, he is considered one of the most outstanding representatives of dialogical thinking. Ebner's philosophy is about man existing in a I-Thou personal relationship with God and with others. His thought has similarities with the Christian existentialism of Gabriel Marcel. On the basis of the unity of I and Thou, which has in language (in the spoken word), and in love its expressions, Ebner developed a religiously informed philosophy of language which led to his practical-ethical understanding of the Christian faith as the basis for the personal fulfillment and the whole social progress.

Fideism

Fideism () is an epistemological theory which maintains that faith is independent of reason, or that reason and faith are hostile to each other and faith is superior at arriving at particular truths (see natural theology). The word fideism comes from fides, the Latin word for faith, and literally means "faith-ism".Theologians and philosophers have responded in various ways to the place of faith and reason in determining the truth of metaphysical ideas, morality, and religious beliefs. A fideist is one who argues for fideism. Historically, fideism is most commonly ascribed to four philosophers: Blaise Pascal, Søren Kierkegaard, William James, and Ludwig Wittgenstein; with fideism being a label applied in a negative sense by their opponents, but which is not always supported by their own ideas and works or followers. There are a number of different forms of fideism.

Gabriel Marcel

Gabriel Honoré Marcel (1889–1973) was a French philosopher, playwright, music critic and leading Christian existentialist. The author of over a dozen books and at least thirty plays, Marcel's work focused on the modern individual's struggle in a technologically dehumanizing society. Though often regarded as the first French existentialist, he dissociated himself from figures such as Jean-Paul Sartre, preferring the term philosophy of existence or neo-Socrateanism to define his own thought. The Mystery of Being is a well-known two-volume work authored by Marcel.

History of Christian theology

The doctrine of the Trinity, considered the core of Christian theology by Trinitarians, is the result of continuous exploration by the church of the biblical data, thrashed out in debate and treatises, eventually formulated at the First Council of Nicaea in AD 325 in a way they believe is consistent with the biblical witness, and further refined in later councils and writings. The most widely recognized Biblical foundations for the doctrine's formulation are in the Gospel of John.Nontrinitarianism is any of several Christian beliefs that reject the Trinitarian doctrine that God is three distinct persons in one being. Modern nontrinitarian groups views differ widely on the nature of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

Index of continental philosophy articles

This is a list of articles in continental philosophy.

Abandonment (existentialism)

Abjection

Absurdism

Achieving Our Country

Albert Camus

Alberto Moreiras

Albrecht Wellmer

Alexandru Dragomir

Alfred Adler

Allan Bloom

Alterity

Always already

Anarchism and Friedrich Nietzsche

André Malet (philosopher)

Ángel Rama

Angst

Anguish

Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka

Answering the Question: What Is Enlightenment?

Anti-Semite and Jew

Antonio Caso Andrade

Aous Shakra

Apperception

Arborescent

Atheist existentialism

Aufheben

Aurel Kolnai

Authenticity (philosophy)

Autonomism

Avital Ronell

Ayyavazhi phenomenology

Bad faith (existentialism)

Barbara Herrnstein Smith

Beatriz Sarlo

Being and Nothingness

Being and Time

Being in itself

Benedetto Croce

Beyond Good and Evil

Black existentialism

Boredom

Bracketing (phenomenology)

Cahiers pour l'Analyse

Carmen Laforet

Cartesian Meditations

Charles Sanders Peirce

Christian Discourses

Christian existentialism

Christopher Norris (critic)

Citationality

Claude Lefort

Claudio Canaparo

Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments

Consciousness

Constantin Noica

Continental philosophy

Contributions to Philosophy (From Enowning)

Cornelius Castoriadis

Course in General Linguistics

Critical discourse analysis

Critical historiography

Critical pedagogy

Critical theory

Criticism of postmodernism

Critique of Cynical Reason

Critique of Dialectical Reason

Critique of Pure Reason

Critiques of Slavoj Žižek

Cultural materialism (anthropology)

Cultural studies

Cyborg theory

Dasein

David Farrell Krell

Deconstruction

Delfim Santos

Dermot Moran

Discontinuity (Postmodernism)

Discourse ethics

Duality of structure

Ecce Homo (book)

Eco-criticism

Écriture féminine

Edifying Discourses in Diverse Spirits

Edith Wyschogrod

Edmund Husserl

Edward Said

Egoist anarchism

Either/Or

Epic and Novel

Epoché

Eranos

Ernst Cassirer

Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

Exceptionalism

Exile and the Kingdom

Existential crisis

Existential humanism

Existential phenomenology

Existentiell

Face-to-face

Facticity

Fear and Trembling

Ferdinand de Saussure

For Self-Examination

Foucault–Habermas debate

Franz Rosenzweig

Frederick C. Beiser

Fredric Jameson

French structuralist feminism

Freudo-Marxism

Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche bibliography

Friedrich Pollock

Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling

Gabriel Marcel

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Geist

Gender studies

Genealogy (philosophy)

Geocriticism

Geoffrey Bennington

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Giles Fraser

Giorgio Agamben

Guy Debord

Hans-Georg Gadamer

Hans Lipps

Hegelianism

Hélène Cixous

Helene von Druskowitz

Henri Bergson

Herbert Marcuse

Hermeneutics

Heteronormativity

Heterophenomenology

Historicity (philosophy)

History of Consciousness

Honorio Delgado

Human, All Too Human

Humanistic psychology

Husserliana

Hypermodernity

Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose

Igor Pribac

Influence and reception of Søren Kierkegaard

Influence and reception of Friedrich Nietzsche

Instrumental rationality

International Journal of Žižek Studies

Intersubjectivity

Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy

Irrealism (the arts)

Jacques Derrida

Jacques Lacan

James E. Faulconer

James M. Edie

Jan Patočka

Jean-François Lyotard

Jean-Luc Nancy

Jean-Paul Sartre

Jean Grenier

Jeff Malpas

Jena romantics

Johann Gottlieb Fichte

John D. Caputo

Josefina Ayerza

Juan-David Nasio

Judge for Yourselves!

Judith Butler

Juha Varto

Julia Kristeva

Julie Rivkin

Jürgen Habermas

Karl Ameriks

Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel

Keiji Nishitani

L'existentialisme est un humanisme

Lacan at the Scene

Laura Kipnis

Leo Strauss

Léon Dumont

Les jeux sont faits

Les Temps modernes

Lewis White Beck

Lifeworld

List of critical theorists

List of postmodern critics

List of works in critical theory

Literary criticism

Literary theory

Lived body

Logocentrism

Logos: A Journal of Modern Society and Culture

Louis Althusser

Louis H. Mackey

Luce Irigaray

Ludwig Landgrebe

Man's Fate

Marek Siemek

Mark Sacks

Mark Wrathall

Marshall Berman

Martin Buber

Martin Heidegger

Mary Louise Pratt

Maurice Merleau-Ponty

Max Horkheimer

Maxence Caron

Metaphor in philosophy

Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science

Metaphysics of Morals

Metaphysics of presence

Michael Vavrus

Michel Foucault bibliography

Michel Henry

Mikhail Ovsyannikov

Minima Moralia

Mirror stage

Modalities (sociology)

Modernism

Mythologies (book)

Nader El-Bizri

Nelly Richard

Néstor García Canclini

Nicola Abbagnano

Nietzsche's views on women

Nietzsche and free will

Nietzsche and Philosophy

Nietzsche contra Wagner

Nietzschean affirmation

Objet petit a

Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime

On the Concept of Irony with Continual Reference to Socrates

On the Genealogy of Morality

On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense

Ontic

Orientalism (book)

Orthotes

Outline of critical theory

Paul de Man

Paul R. Patton

Paul Rée

Per Martin-Löf

Phenomenological Sociology

Phenomenology (philosophy)

Phenomenology of essences

Phenomenology of Perception

Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe

Philippe Nys

Philosophical Fragments

Philosophical Inquiries into the Essence of Human Freedom

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research

Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks

Philosophy of dialogue

Philosophy of Existence

Philosophy of Max Stirner

Philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard

Philosophy of technology

Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer

Post-Marxism

Post-structuralism

Postcolonialism

Posthegemony

Postmodern Christianity

Postmodern philosophy

Postmodern psychology

Postmodern social construction of nature

Postmodern vertigo

Postmodernism

Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism

Practice in Christianity

Pragmatic maxim

Prefaces

Private sphere

Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics

Public sphere

Queer heterosexuality

Queer pedagogy

Queer theory

Ranjana Khanna

Reflective disclosure

Relationship between Friedrich Nietzsche and Max Stirner

Repetition (Kierkegaard)

Repressive hypothesis

Res Extensa

Ressentiment

Richard A. Macksey

Richard Schacht

Robert C. Solomon

Robert Rowland Smith

Roger Caillois

Romanticism

Rudolf Schottlaender

Rudolf Seydel

Russian formalism

Saint Genet

Sarah Coakley

Scheler's Stratification of Emotional Life

Schizoanalysis

Schopenhauer's criticism of the proofs of the parallel postulate

Search for a Method

Secondary antisemitism

Self-deception

Semeiotic

Siegfried Kracauer

Situationist International

Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions

Slavoj Žižek

Slavoj Žižek bibliography

Social alienation

Socialisme ou Barbarie

Søren Kierkegaard

Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche

Sous rature

Spomenka Hribar

Stages on Life's Way

Stephen Mulhall

Stirrings Still: The International Journal of Existential Literature

Strategic essentialism

Structural Marxism

Sturm und Drang

Sublime (philosophy)

Telos (journal)

Teresa de Lauretis

The Absence of the Book

The Adulterous Woman

The Antichrist (book)

The Art of Being Right

The Birth of the Clinic

The Birth of Tragedy

The Blood of Others

The Book on Adler

The Case of Wagner

The Concept of Anxiety

The Crisis and a Crisis in the Life of an Actress

The Existential Negation Campaign

The False Subtlety of the Four Syllogistic Figures

The Gay Science

The Imaginary (Sartre)

The Metamorphosis

The Myth of Sisyphus

The Only Possible Argument in Support of a Demonstration of the Existence of God

The Origin of the Work of Art

The Pigeon (novella)

The Plague

The Point of View of My Work as an Author

The Possessed (play)

The Postmodern Condition

The Question Concerning Technology

The Renegade (Camus short story)

The Royal Way

The Seminars of Jacques Lacan

The Sickness Unto Death

The Silent Men

The Society of the Spectacle

The Stranger (Camus novel)

The Sublime Object of Ideology

The Transcendence of the Ego

The Will to Power (manuscript)

Theatre of the Absurd

Theodor W. Adorno

Thoughts on the True Estimation of Living Forces

Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Tim Dean

Time and Free Will

Tomonubu Imamichi

Trace (deconstruction)

Tui (intellectual)

Twilight of the Idols

Two Ages: A Literary Review

Universal Natural History and Theory of Heaven

Untimely Meditations (Nietzsche)

Vanja Sutlić

Waiting for Godot

Waking Life

Walter Benjamin

What Is Literature?

Wilhelm Dilthey

William McNeill (philosopher)

Colin Wilson

Wolfgang Fritz Haug

Works of Love

World disclosure

Writing Sampler

Zarathustra's roundelay

Zollikon Seminars

Liberal Christianity

Liberal Christianity, also known as liberal theology, covers diverse philosophically and biblically informed religious movements and ideas within Christianity from the late 18th century onward. Liberal does not refer to progressive Christianity or to political liberalism but to the philosophical and religious thought that developed and grew as a consequence of the Enlightenment.

Liberal Christianity, broadly speaking, is a method of biblical hermeneutics, an undogmatic method of understanding God through the use of scripture by applying the same modern hermeneutics used to understand any ancient writings, symbols and scriptures. Liberal Christianity did not originate as a belief structure, and as such was not dependent upon any Church dogma or creedal doctrine. Unlike conservative varieties of Christianity, liberalism has no unified set of propositional beliefs. Instead, "Liberalism" from the start embraced the methodologies of Enlightenment science, including empirical evidence and the use of reason, as the basis for interpreting the Bible, life, faith and theology.

The word liberal in liberal Christianity originally denoted a characteristic willingness to interpret scripture according to modern philosophic perspectives (hence the parallel term modernism) and modern scientific assumptions, while attempting to achieve the Enlightenment ideal of objective point of view, without preconceived notions of the authority of scripture or the correctness of Church dogma. Liberal Christians may hold certain beliefs in common with Roman Catholicism, Orthodox Christianity, or even fundamentalist Protestantism.

List of philosophies

Philosophies: particular schools of thought, styles of philosophy, or descriptions of philosophical ideas attributed to a particular group or culture - listed in alphabetical order.

Mystical realism

In philosophy, mystical realism is a view concerning the nature of the divine. The philosophical use of the term originated with the Russian philosopher Nikolai Alexandrovich Berdyaev in his published article, titled "Decadentism and Mystical Realism".It has two components: a metaphysical and an epistemological.

The metaphysical component rests on a distinction between the concepts "real" and "exist".

Something exists if it:

occupies space;

has matter;

is in time;

is affected by causation.Mystical realism holds that divine entities are not accurately described in terms of space, matter, time, or causation, and so they, despite being real by the philosophy, do not exist.

Nikolai Berdyaev

Nikolai Alexandrovich Berdyaev (; Russian: Никола́й Алекса́ндрович Бердя́ев; March 18 [O.S. March 6] 1874 – March 24, 1948) was a Russian political and also Christian religious philosopher who emphasized the existential spiritual significance of human freedom and the human person. Alternate historical spellings of his name in English include "Berdiaev" and "Berdiaeff", and of his given name as "Nicolas" and "Nicholas".

Secular theology

The field of secular theology, a subfield of liberal theology advocated by Anglican bishop John A. T. Robinson somewhat paradoxically combines secularism and theology. Recognized in the 1960s, it was influenced both by neo-orthodoxy, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Harvey Cox, and the existentialism of Søren Kierkegaard and Paul Tillich. Secular theology digested modern movements like the Death of God Theology propagated by Thomas J. J. Altizer or the philosophical existentialism of Paul Tillich and eased the introduction of such ideas into the theological mainstream and made constructive evaluations, as well as contributions, to them.John Shelby Spong advocates a nuanced approach to scripture (as opposed to blunt Biblical literalism at the other end of the scale), informed by scholarship and compassion, which he argues can be consistent with both Christian tradition and a contemporary understanding of the universe. Secular theology holds that theism has lost credibility as a valid conception of God's nature. It rejects the concept of a personal God and embraces the status of Jesus Christ, Christology and Christian eschatology as Christian mythology without basis in historical events.The movement chiefly came about as a response to general dissatisfaction with the Christian establishment's tendency to lapse into "provincialism" when presented with the "unusual" theological ideas common during the 1960s. The movement also suggested the legitimacy of seeking the holy outside the church itself. Thereby it suggests that the church did not have exclusive rights to divine inspiration. In a sense, this incorporated a strong sense of continuous revelation in which truth of the religious sort was sought out in poetry, music, art, or even the pub and in the street.Certain other religions besides Christianity have developed secular theologies and applied these to core concepts of their own traditions. Notable among such movements has been the Reconstructionist Judaism of Mordecai Kaplan, which understands God and the universe in a manner concordant with Deweyan naturalism.In Hinduism, the Advaita school of theology is generally regarded as non-theistic as it accepts all interpretations of God or Ishvara.

The Sickness Unto Death

The Sickness Unto Death (Danish: Sygdommen til Døden) is a book written by Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard in 1849 under the pseudonym Anti-Climacus. A work of Christian existentialism, the book is about Kierkegaard's concept of despair, which he equates with the Christian concept of sin, particularly original sin.

Works of Love

Works of Love (Danish: Kjerlighedens Gjerninger) is a work by Søren Kierkegaard written in 1847. It is one of the works which he published under his own name, as opposed to his more famous "pseudonymous" works. Works of Love deals primarily with the Christian conception of agape love in contrast with erotic love (eros) or preferential love (phileo) given to friends and family. Kierkegaard uses this value/virtue to understand the existence and relationship of the individual Christian. Having helped found Existentialism, he uses it and a high-level of theology citing the scriptures of the Christian Bible. Many of the chapters take a mention of love from the New Testament and center reflections about the transfer of individuals from secular modes (the stages of the aesthetic and ethical) to genuine religious experience and existence. Since human experience is a key to understanding Kierkegaard, the actual relationships and experiences of disciples and of Christ are characterized here as tangible models for behavior.

Kierkegaard as a Christian ethicist (represented by this work) is likely to be considered distinct from many ways in which the religion's mainstream seems to function from the viewpoint of an outside observer. This is not only a function of Christian existentialism but also of his time period and political events occurring in his native Denmark.

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