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Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Potentials, Actuals, And The Logical Problem Of Evil, Stephen Thomas Irby May 2019

Potentials, Actuals, And The Logical Problem Of Evil, Stephen Thomas Irby

Theses and Dissertations

J.L. Schellenberg has recently formulated a new logical problem of evil that is claimed to avoid Alvin Plantinga’s Free Will Defence. I begin my argument against this new formulation by analyzing the grounding for some of God’s maximal perfections. God’s maximal moral perfection, for example, is grounded in virtuous potentialities that are disposed to the actualization of virtuous actions. From this account, I argue that Schellenberg’s logical problem of evil fails due to one of the following two reasons. First, some good actualizations of good potentialities require evil but compose the best worlds. Second, both ...


2019: Religious Freedom Laws, C. J. Rhodes, Eleanor Ruffner, Richard Howorth, Sarah Moses, Matthew Hall, Amy Mcdowell Apr 2019

2019: Religious Freedom Laws, C. J. Rhodes, Eleanor Ruffner, Richard Howorth, Sarah Moses, Matthew Hall, Amy Mcdowell

Policy Talks

The common reading resource (see additional documents below) for this event is the Honors thesis of Religion major Samuel Brassell, "The Baptist Tradition and Religious Freedom: Recent Trajectories." This 2019 thesis provides an analysis of religious freedom laws in the state of Mississippi. We encourage all attendees to read this common reading resource prior to the event for a more focused conversation during the Q and A session and during the reception.


Towards A Renewed Mysticism: Epistemic Standards In Theory And Practice, John Cooney Apr 2019

Towards A Renewed Mysticism: Epistemic Standards In Theory And Practice, John Cooney

Carroll College Student Undergraduate Research Festival

This paper seeks to contribute to an important debate in philosophy of religion that asks whether a subject is epistemically justified in forming beliefs about God based on a mystical experience. In this paper, I survey the most prominent standards used to secure epistemic justification and consider their respective strengths and shortcomings. I then compose my own set of criteria to use in evaluating the veridicality of putative mystical experiences which draws upon the subject’s religious tradition, rationality, and affectivity. I defend the utility and efficacy of my criteria by showing how they better capture the well-known and contextually-distinct ...


The Moral Argument, Existential Problems Of Evil, And A Non-Existential Alternative, Jonathan Smith Apr 2019

The Moral Argument, Existential Problems Of Evil, And A Non-Existential Alternative, Jonathan Smith

Senior Honors Theses

Within this paper, it is shown that certain ethical assumptions are implicit within the claim that certain kinds of evil exist. When taken in tandem with the moral argument for the existence of God, these assumptions can be arranged in such a way as to provide a contradiction. To avoid this contradiction, I posit a non-existential alternative to direct inductive arguments from evil, but the non-existential alternative gives rise to novel objections. When considering their respective ethical implications, both the existential and non-existential variations of direct inductive arguments fail. Since any direct inductive problem of evil must be either existential ...


Anthropology Embedded In Worldview Studies: Modernity’S Failure And The Response Of Christian Philosophy Of Life In A Postmodern Age Of Expressivism, Nathan Sexten Apr 2019

Anthropology Embedded In Worldview Studies: Modernity’S Failure And The Response Of Christian Philosophy Of Life In A Postmodern Age Of Expressivism, Nathan Sexten

Senior Honors Theses

This thesis examines two divergent streams of thought in Christian philosophy of life represented by the works of Francis Schaeffer and James K. A. Smith in an effort to help Christians live in a postmodern culture. Schaeffer and Smith ultimately address differing, but complementary, realms of anthropology and the human experience. To see how these two authors might complement each other effectively, this thesis will analyze each author’s work and then explore whether or not the application of Smith's liturgical anthropology and utilization of phenomenology can improve Schaeffer’s system of thought and the worldview concept.


A Christian Response To The Impact Of Nietzschean Philosophy On Richard Strauss's Also Sprach Zarathustra, Amanda N. Staufer Apr 2019

A Christian Response To The Impact Of Nietzschean Philosophy On Richard Strauss's Also Sprach Zarathustra, Amanda N. Staufer

Musical Offerings

This article explores the way Friedrich Nietzsche’s worldview influenced the compositions of Richard Strauss, specifically Strauss’s most famous work—a tone poem called Also sprach Zarathustra. This tone poem is a fascinating piece of music because it reflects Strauss’s philosophical inquiries into the nature and meaning of life. Although Strauss left relatively limited explanations of Also sprach Zarathustra, his few words regarding the tone poem reveal his intention to convey in music an idea of man’s evolution from his original state up to Nietzsche’s idea of a superman. First, this article surveys the philosophy of ...


Is Theistic Belief Rational In A Scientific Age? (Research Materials), Holy Cross Libraries Apr 2019

Is Theistic Belief Rational In A Scientific Age? (Research Materials), Holy Cross Libraries

Library Resources for Campus Events

A bibliography of resources available through the Holy Cross Libraries which provide additional information related to "Is Theistic Belief Rational in a Scientific Age," a dialogue between William Lane Craig and Jeff Hester on theism, atheism and science. Craig is research professor of philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and professor of philosophy at Houston Baptist University. Hester is an astrophysicist known for his work with the Hubble Space Telescope and professor emeritus in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University.

This event was one of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity held at ...


Enchantment: A Teleology, Nathanael S. Toth Apr 2019

Enchantment: A Teleology, Nathanael S. Toth

Senior Honors Theses

Despite the highly developed nature of his fictional world, Middle-earth, Tolkien never formally laid out a tabulated magic system for his fantasy creation. Nevertheless, unlike many stories by others in the fantasy genre, the magic he does include is far from just a shallow, world-building mechanism. Instead, it encapsulates the core theme of his fiction and the purposes which Ilúvatar (the God of Middle-earth) has given to the story’s many characters.

This paper will examine the nature and function of this magic from many angles: the identification of good magic with art and evil magic with domination; the delineation ...


Creating An Indigenous Multicultural Faith: The Russian Orthodox Mission In Alaska And The Centrality Of Cosmology, Niklaus Von Houck Mar 2019

Creating An Indigenous Multicultural Faith: The Russian Orthodox Mission In Alaska And The Centrality Of Cosmology, Niklaus Von Houck

History Undergraduate Theses

This paper applies letters, journals, history interviews, government-company contracts, international treaties, theological works, and images to examine the convergence of Russian Orthodox Christianity and Alaskan Indigenous shamanism cultures to explicate the harmonizing of an Indigenous multicultural Christian faith in nineteenth-century Russian Alaska. Central to this examination is the evaluation of effects of Orthodox Christian missiology on native Alaskans and the Indigenous religio-cultural response to Russian missionaries. Not merely a historical overview of contact between natives and missionaries in Russian Alaska, this paper harmonizes the commonality of cosmology between native Alaskan shamanism and Orthodox Christianity. It analyzes the impacts of comparatively ...


In Celebration Of Notebooks (December 2018) By Schubert M. Ogden: Avoiding The Partialist Fallacy In Theology, Especially In Liberation Theology, Theodore Walker Mar 2019

In Celebration Of Notebooks (December 2018) By Schubert M. Ogden: Avoiding The Partialist Fallacy In Theology, Especially In Liberation Theology, Theodore Walker

Perkins Faculty Research and Special Events

As an ethicist, and especially a theological ethicist, and more especially as a liberation theologian, what I most appreciate about Schubert M. Ogden’s “revisionary theology”* is his appreciation of Charles Hartshorne’s neoclassical theology, including especially panentheism (all-in-theos-ism), and his insistence that such appreciation is essential to adequately formulated theology and ethics, including liberation theology. And insofar as Ogden is contributing something essential to liberation theology, he might be called a neoclassical liberation theologian, or at least a wanna-be-helpful neoclassical theologian.


Recapture, Transparency, Negation And A Logic For The Catuṣkoṭi, Adrian Kreutz Jan 2019

Recapture, Transparency, Negation And A Logic For The Catuṣkoṭi, Adrian Kreutz

Comparative Philosophy

The recent literature on Nāgārjuna’s catuṣkoṭi centres around Jay Garfield’s (2009) and Graham Priest’s (2010) interpretation. It is an open discussion to what extent their interpretation is an adequate model of the logic for the catuskoti, and the Mūla-madhyamaka-kārikā. Priest and Garfield try to make sense of the contradictions within the catuskoti by appeal to a series of lattices – orderings of truth-values, supposed to model the path to enlightenment. They use Anderson & Belnaps's (1975) framework of First Degree Entailment. Cotnoir (2015) has argued that the lattices of Priest and Garfield cannot ...


Apophatic Community: Yannaras On Relational Being, Fred Dallmayr Jan 2019

Apophatic Community: Yannaras On Relational Being, Fred Dallmayr

Comparative Philosophy

For Martin Heidegger the story of Western philosophy ended basically in egocentrism or the metaphysics of “subjectivity”; however, he acknowledged the possibility of another path in Greece: that of pre-Socratic thinking. Yet, there is a further path he did not acknowledge: the tradition of Orthodox philosophy and theology. The paper focuses on some key works of the prominent contemporary Greek philosopher Christos Yannaras, for a long time professor in Athens. Taking over the notions of “Being” and ontology, Yannaras construes them (with Heidegger) not as ontic “substances” amenable to epistemic knowledge, but as guideposts to “relational” or participatory experience. His ...


Varieties Of Spiritual Sense: Cusanus And John Smith, Derek A. Michaud Jan 2019

Varieties Of Spiritual Sense: Cusanus And John Smith, Derek A. Michaud

Derek A. Michaud

No abstract provided.


Three Reasons Martin Luther King Jr. Disliked Being Labeled "Civil Rights Leader", Theodore Walker Jan 2019

Three Reasons Martin Luther King Jr. Disliked Being Labeled "Civil Rights Leader", Theodore Walker

Perkins Faculty Research and Special Events

Three reasons King disliked being labeled "civil rights leader:"

(1) He was a religious leader, a preacher (not a secular politician).

(2) He advanced "economic rights" ("civil rights" do not include "economic rights").

(3) He opposed war in Vietnam (not a civil rights issue).


Mackie's Arguement For The Infinite Man, Abigail J. Basile Jan 2019

Mackie's Arguement For The Infinite Man, Abigail J. Basile

Quaerens Deum: The Liberty Undergraduate Journal for Philosophy of Religion

Theists and non-theists alike have toiled with the characteristics of the Judeo-Christian God and how they may or may not be contradictory with the existence of evil. Some philosophers, such as J. L. Mackie, have decided that God and evil cannot coexist, mainly because the existence of evil means that any God is unable to keep evil and suffering away from His beloved creation, and such a limited God is no God at all. But Mackie’s argument rests on flawed foundation. Mankind is necessarily finite because even the infinite God cannot do the logically impossible and create the infinite ...


Truth-Makers And The "Grounding Objection" To Molinism, Tyler Crown Jan 2019

Truth-Makers And The "Grounding Objection" To Molinism, Tyler Crown

Quaerens Deum: The Liberty Undergraduate Journal for Philosophy of Religion

One of the most discussed topics on the nature of God, in Christian circles today, is the subject of God’s knowledge. There are a few popular positions today that are engaged in a serious debate as to what the true biblical and philosophical position on the nature of God’s knowledge is. One such position, which has become increasingly popular and has found support among many leading Christian philosophers, such as Alvin Plantinga, Thomas Flint, and William Lane Craig, is called Molinism. While Molinism does have an abundance of supporters, there are many detractors as well. Calvinist’s, Thomists ...


The Quest Of Vision: Visual Culture, Sacred Space, Ritual, And The Documentation Of Lived Experience Through Rock Imagery, Aaron Robert Atencio Jan 2019

The Quest Of Vision: Visual Culture, Sacred Space, Ritual, And The Documentation Of Lived Experience Through Rock Imagery, Aaron Robert Atencio

Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

This document will approach the multifaceted concepts that arise through the study of rock art and the cultivation of culture and belief through vision. Through this document the audience will encounter conceptual ideas regarding belief systems, ritual, experience, cognition, sacredness, and space/landscape — and how these are all essential dynamics that take place in the processes that cultivate the Shoshone visual culture. This document will employ an anthropological lens on the mentioned subject matters, while also approaching these concepts with an interdisciplinary curiosity of how they intermingle; creating a cohesive experience that focuses on these processes which empowered these people ...


Eternal Now: Recent Time Loop Movies And The Sanctity Of The Moment, John C. Lyden Dec 2018

Eternal Now: Recent Time Loop Movies And The Sanctity Of The Moment, John C. Lyden

Journal of Religion & Film

I will examine three time-loop films—Source Code (2011), About Time (2013), and Before I Fall (2017)—to suggest that while they all look to this world as the place where meaning can be found, they do not entirely reject transcendence. The hero of Source Code actually transcends the cycle only when he accepts to exist in it fully, suggesting a view like Buddhism that one only finds transcendence when one stops looking for it. In About Time the hero learns that he must accept certain things that he cannot change, and that his ability to relive the past without ...


Reason Vs. Truth: How The Enlightenment And Romanticism Effected The Victorian Occult, Jessica Brazinski Nov 2018

Reason Vs. Truth: How The Enlightenment And Romanticism Effected The Victorian Occult, Jessica Brazinski

Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference (GURC)

“Reason vs. Truth: How the Enlightenment and Romanticism Effected the Victorian Occult.”

By: Jessica Brazinski

Abstract:

This research project is a historical analysis of occult secret societies and organizations during and soon after the reign of Queen Victoria. In particular, this research focuses on the impact of Romanticism and the Enlightenment on the Victorian occult. By examining the founding myths, practices, and core beliefs of these organizations this study found that Enlightenment, Romanticist, and Neoclassical ideas all played a part in the adoption of foreign ideas into these societies. The Freemasons, for instance, were very much influenced by Enlightenment ideas ...


B-2 Same-Sex Marriage And The Apocalyptic Consciousness Of Seventh-Day Adventism, David Hamstra Oct 2018

B-2 Same-Sex Marriage And The Apocalyptic Consciousness Of Seventh-Day Adventism, David Hamstra

Celebration of Research and Creative Scholarship

Arguments made for and against affirming same-sex marriage in Seventh-day Adventism rely on typical moral background presuppositions about immanent and transcendent goods identified by Charles Taylor in his philosophical genealogy of A Secular Age. Arguments made only in terms of marriage’s immanent goods have the potential to diminish the plausibility of a uniquely Adventist way of imagining the transcendent: apocalyptic consciousness focused on the immanent/imminent restoration of Eden by Jesus Christ following the second coming. Comparing marriage to the this-worldly and next-worldly benefits of divergent Adventist Sabbath-keeping practices foregrounds the availability of immanentized moral presuppositions to make sense ...


Terrence Malick Beyond Nature And Grace: Song To Song And The Experience Of Forgiveness, Elisa Zocchi Oct 2018

Terrence Malick Beyond Nature And Grace: Song To Song And The Experience Of Forgiveness, Elisa Zocchi

Journal of Religion & Film

In The Tree of Life Terrence Malick poses the question of the relation between the order of grace and the order of nature in the cosmos and in human existence, a question presented through the relation of mother and father in the O'Brien family. The aim of this article is to analyze this issue and to present the role of glory in The Tree of Life as the transfiguration of nature operated by grace. Specifically, the example of forgiveness as one strand of this glory seems to be an helpful tool to understand the movie. Forgiveness, already present in ...


Radical Social Ecology As Deep Pragmatism: A Call To The Abolition Of Systemic Dissonance And The Minimization Of Entropic Chaos, Arielle Brender May 2018

Radical Social Ecology As Deep Pragmatism: A Call To The Abolition Of Systemic Dissonance And The Minimization Of Entropic Chaos, Arielle Brender

Student Theses 2015-Present

This paper aims to shed light on the dissonance caused by the superimposition of Dominant Human Systems on Natural Systems. I highlight the synthetic nature of Dominant Human Systems as egoic and linguistic phenomenon manufactured by a mere portion of the human population, which renders them inherently oppressive unto peoples and landscapes whose wisdom were barred from the design process. In pursuing a radical pragmatic approach to mending the simultaneous oppression and destruction of the human being and the earth, I highlight the necessity of minimizing entropic chaos caused by excess energy expenditure, an essential feature of systems that aim ...


Explaining The Obvious: Privileged Hermeneutics And The Irony Of Explicitly Literal Interpretation, Joshua Alkire May 2018

Explaining The Obvious: Privileged Hermeneutics And The Irony Of Explicitly Literal Interpretation, Joshua Alkire

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this thesis is to examine why so many uses of the word literal (whether taken from everyday contemporary speech or the works of well-respected ancient writers) seem at odds with the word’s theoretical definition and to explore the implications of this disparity for those who privilege a literal interpretation of Scripture. The examples will show that the meaning of literal was not altered at a particular point in time, nor is it altered on an ongoing basis by a small subset of particularly idiosyncratic individuals. Rather, the word is predisposed to behave strangely the moment it ...


Communication Ethics: Ellul's Complexity Of Form, Marianne Pabis May 2018

Communication Ethics: Ellul's Complexity Of Form, Marianne Pabis

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This project aims to enlarge understanding of Ellul’s dilemma of the ethical Christian communicator through a hermeneutic exploration of his intentionally un-paradigmatic treatment of technology as the determining factor in the formation of contemporary structural realities, a claim central to Ellul’s theory of technological society. It attends to the question of why, over the course of more than 50 books and over 1,000 articles, Ellul has refused to expound upon this claim as an overarching theoretical construct. As a contribution to the field of communication ethics from Ellul’s Christocentric perspective, this work also explicates the importance ...


Karl Marx And Liberation Theology: Dialectical Materialism And Christian Spirituality In, Against, And Beyond Contemporary Capitalism, Peter Mclaren, Petar Jandrić May 2018

Karl Marx And Liberation Theology: Dialectical Materialism And Christian Spirituality In, Against, And Beyond Contemporary Capitalism, Peter Mclaren, Petar Jandrić

Education Faculty Articles and Research

This paper explores convergences and discrepancies between liberation theology and the works of Karl Marx through the dialogue between one of the key contemporary proponents of liberation theology, Peter McLaren, and the agnostic scholar in critical pedagogy, Petar Jandrić. The paper briefly outlines liberation theology and its main convergences with the works of Karl Marx. Exposing striking similarities between the two traditions in denouncing the false God of money, it explores differences in their views towards individualism and collectivism. It rejects shallow rhetorical homologies between Marx and the Bible often found in liberation theology, and suggests a change of focus ...


Medieval Japanese Zen: Catalyst For Symbol System Formation, Kendall Ann Roper May 2018

Medieval Japanese Zen: Catalyst For Symbol System Formation, Kendall Ann Roper

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

Post-modernism asserts that the world as we know it does not exist independently from the symbolic interpretations we formulate about it. This symbolic and ever unfolding interpretation of reality applies to our understanding of science as well as philosophy, to religion as well as art. In striving to describe religious experiences, various cultures have developed complex symbolic languages whose purpose is to reference a culturally understood version of sacred reality as presented through religion. Religions contribute to shaping these cultural perceptions of reality by utilizing symbolic acts, objects, events, qualities, or concepts to express otherwise inexpressible elements of a culture ...


Evolutionary Competition As Religion: A Religio-Biological Model Of The Maori And Vaisnava Sahajiya Traditions, Benjamin Highland May 2018

Evolutionary Competition As Religion: A Religio-Biological Model Of The Maori And Vaisnava Sahajiya Traditions, Benjamin Highland

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Within the modern field of Religious Studies, there exists an epistemological divide between structuralist and post-structuralist thought. Structuralists seek to find underlying and universally applicable knowledge about religion, while post-structuralists argue that traditions must be studied within their own specific geographic, temporal, and cultural contexts. In an aim to reconcile these two disparate paradigms, I introduce the Religio-Biological Model and apply it to two distinct religious traditions: the Maori and the Vaisnava Sahajiya. Drawing from both religious and biological theory (specifically multilevel selection theory), this thesis seeks to create an interdisciplinary framework for the future study of religion that cohesively ...


Mercy Vs. Justice - Blood Of The Lamb, Ryan Murphy Apr 2018

Mercy Vs. Justice - Blood Of The Lamb, Ryan Murphy

Honors Projects

How did Christ's death save us? The Atonement is a Christian doctrine which has been heavily debated in how it should be understood since the beginnings of Christianity. This analysis covers the theological theories of the Atonement, narrates a Catholic layman's personal understanding that is based on scholarly research and is kept within the bounds of Catholic doctrine, and summarizes the thoughts and feelings of surveyed college-age Christians on the subject.


Ten Years Later: A Reply To A Reply From David Haugen And Bryant Keeling; Concerning Charles Hartshorne's Neoclassical Theology And Big Bang Cosmology, Theodore Walker Apr 2018

Ten Years Later: A Reply To A Reply From David Haugen And Bryant Keeling; Concerning Charles Hartshorne's Neoclassical Theology And Big Bang Cosmology, Theodore Walker

Perkins Faculty Research and Special Events

In the Fall 1993 issue of the journal Process Studies, David Haugen and L. Bryant Keeling offered a criticism of Charles Hartshorne’s neoclassical theology. In the same issue, this criticism was followed by Hartshorne’s less than one-page response, a response Theodore Walker judged to be seriously inadequate. In the Fall-Winter 2006 issue of Process Studies, Walker offered a neoclassical response to the Haugen-Keeling-Hartshorne discussion. In the Spring-Summer 2008 issue of Process Studies, Haugen and Keeling offered a reply to Walker. Ten years later, in April 2018, Walker offers this reply to the Haugen-Keeling reply.

At issue is whether ...


Don't Call King A 'Civil Rights' Leader: Toward Abolishing Poverty And War By Correcting Our Fatally Inadequate Remembering Of Mlk Jr., Theodore Walker Apr 2018

Don't Call King A 'Civil Rights' Leader: Toward Abolishing Poverty And War By Correcting Our Fatally Inadequate Remembering Of Mlk Jr., Theodore Walker

Perkins Faculty Research and Special Events

Remembering Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—primarily as a domestic “civil rights” leader—is inadequate, and sometimes harmful. The term “civil rights” fails to embrace King’s abolitionist movements toward the global abolition of poverty and war. Moreover, King was a Baptist preacher called by God. He advanced an optimistic realism (including a “realistic pacifism”) that improves upon pessimistic-cynical versions of political realism. And King went beyond advancing “civil rights” to advancing economic justice, economic rights, and human rights. He prescribed adding a social and economic bill of rights to the US Constitution, plus full-employment supplemented by “guaranteed income ...