Evil and its contents; Analysis of heretical discussion not.

ANALOGY AND THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD: AN ECUMENICAL APPRAISAL

ROMAN CATHOLIC AND PROTESTANT INTERPRETATIONS IN RELATION TO THE DEBATE ABOUT THE ANALOGY OF BEING BETWEEN ERICH PRZYWARA, S. J., AND KARL BARTH by Niels C. Nielsen, Jr. I. INTRODUCTION 1. Analogy as a Perennial Theme Analogy is a perennial theme in both philosophy and theology. The widely differing outlooks and terminology used in technical discussion of the subject easily lead to confusion.~ One knows well enough that analogy belongs to some types of epistemology and is applied in different ways in religion. However, the interrelations of its various forms, attribution and proportionality, intrinsic and extrinsic, analogia entis and analogia fidei, require clarification. Analogy has long been used to describe the nature and attributes of God. It would be a mistake to suppose that it offers any omnibus resolution of the problem of “God talk.” On the contrary, questions must be answered about the nature of analogy itself with respect to content as well as orientation. Yet as a point of reference analogy does call attention to the importance of both language and structure. The Hebrew-Christian tradition premises a transcendent deity who is at the same time immanent in the world. The faith claim that God is the source and end of all life has a variety of theological expressions. Biblical language itself is dramatic and metaphorical.Word is believed to be known in the mighty acts which reveal his presence and reality. In order to be systematic, theology as well as philosophy is required to ask about the metaphors and analogies which are used in religious speech, God has been described as king, father, and even as a shepherd. Of course, these terms are not intended to be understood literally. Are they, then, only figures of speech, or do they identify continuing relationships and meanings? The larger question is whether religious language yields knowledge of a transcendent reality or only of man himself. Is theology anything more than anthropology? The theme of analogy relates to the contemporary discussion of hermeneutic at a number of crucial points.3 Analogy represents a traditional way

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