Academic journal article Theological Studies

The Catholicity of Reason

Academic journal article Theological Studies

The Catholicity of Reason

Article excerpt

The Catholicity of Reason. By D. C. Schindler. Grand Rapids, Ml: Eerdmans, 2013. Pp. xiv + 358. $30.

The central argument of this incisive and wide-ranging volume is that false modesty with respect to reason ironically renders it self-enclosed and totalizing. Distinguishing "catholicity" from presumptions to "totality," S. highlights the ecstatic character of reason: its openness to "the whole," its abiding in wonder, its responsiveness to what transcends and elicits it into new understanding. The emphasis on elicitation is key, for S. wishes to make clear that the activity of reason does not so much issue from the subject's intentionality, as some phenomenological and transcendental approaches have it, but responds to a summons from an inexhaustible richness of being, thereby giving the act of reason a "dramatic" character. Balthasar's influence is explicit in this account, in both its appeal to the dramatic and its attempt to reinstate metaphysics at the heart of philosophy and theology. This latter goal might seem ill-suited for our times, given its association with ontotheology. But S., along with Balthasar, and in extended engagement with Heidegger, argues that the true vocation of metaphysics is not to close off wonder or to yoke God to some intramundane reality but to discover being's ecstatic character and hence its movement to what is ever "beyond. …

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