Existence, Being, and God: An Introduction to the Philosophical Theology of John Macquarrie

Existence, Being, and God: An Introduction to the Philosophical Theology of John Macquarrie

Existence, Being, and God: An Introduction to the Philosophical Theology of John Macquarrie

Existence, Being, and God: An Introduction to the Philosophical Theology of John Macquarrie

Excerpt

The aim of this work is to provide an introduction to the philosophical theology of John Macquarrie.In his proposal for a new style of philosophical or natural theology, Macquarrie is influenced primarily by the existentialist theology of Rudolf Bultmann and the existential-ontological philosophy of Martin Heidegger.The central issue which guides Macquarrie's thought is the expression of faith in God from within an existentialist framework.Theological inquiry begins, according to Macquarrie, with the question of human existence.Theology, however, is also concerned wiith the question of God.Macquarrie's new style of natural theology begins with describing and interpreting the structures of existence and Being and places the distinctively religious concepts on the ontological map of the Being of human existence.

The first chapter of this book is an intellectual biography showing the development of Macquarrie's approach to natural theology and focusing on the central issue which guides his thought.Following this, Macquarrie's understanding of the Being of human existence is analyzed.In his analysis of human existence, Macquarrie shows the polarities and disorders in human existence which point to religious faith's understanding of the meaningfulness of existence and Being.Succeeding chapters are concerned with the content of faith, the knowledge of God and the meaning and truth of the language of faith.

This book was in press when I received a copy of Macquarrie 's recently published Gifford Lectures, delivered at the University of Saint Andrews in the 1983-84 academic session.The title of the published version of these lectures is In Search of Deity: An Essay in Dialectical Theology. In his earier work Macquarrie refers to himself as a panentheist.In his most recent book, however, he prefers the expression "dialectical theism." He uses this expression to more clearly distinguish his position from pantheism and classical theism.Dialectical theism stresses that his view is a species of theism and the adjective "dialectical" makes clear his intent to avoid the one-sidedness of classical theism in which the ideas of divine immanence and divine participation in history were treated inadequately.

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