Reason and Revelation: A Question from Duns Scotus

Reason and Revelation: A Question from Duns Scotus

Reason and Revelation: A Question from Duns Scotus

Reason and Revelation: A Question from Duns Scotus

Excerpt

The following pages treat of the first question in the Prologue to Duns Scotus Opus Oxoniense; they are based upon lectures given in the University of Oxford under the terms of the Wilde Lectureship in Natural and Comparative Religion. These few lectures served as introduction to a more extended course upon the "Nature of religious Truth"; they have been carefully revised, and various excuses or reasons may be offered for their publication. When a man has toiled for long and arduous hours over a small piece of work, he is naturally unwilling that it should all go up, as it were, in the steam of a single delivery and be dispersed for ever; but there are better reasons than that. Duns Scotus, doctor subtilissimus, is one of the greatest of British theologians; his chief work is named after the University of Oxford where he taught; he was also, as his name, Duns, indicates, a Scot: yet he is one of the most neglected of theologians alike in Oxford and in Scotland; neither the theologians nor the philosophers--least of all the philosophers in these days--are wont to study or expound him, and my attempt to bring to notice a few pages from his greatest work is an act of piety. Further, young theologians and philosophers who are not facile Latin scholars are woefully ill-provided with translations of texts from medieval philosophy, apart from the Dominican versions of St Thomas. I have thought that, beside the intrinsic interest of Duns's argument, students would profit from overhearing, as it were, one of the prolonged academic disputations that took place in days of the greatest intellectual excitement. Duns's discussion is relevant to our modern questionings, and it is profitable occasionally to consider how our questions are treated in a terminology, a method and a language very different from our own.

But my task has not been easy. This Prologue has . . .

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