What is truth? From the academy to the vatican (review)

Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (2):pp. 253-254 (2010)
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Abstract

In a 1993 autobiographical essay, John Rist wrote: "Christianity is above all others the religion that speaks of God's presence in history, not only in the past, as in creation and in the incarnation, but continuously into the present and … through the Church into the future. Of course that does not mean that all religious and ethical advances will be made by Christians, let alone by theologians or bishops; God needs no such limitations. What it means is that Christians must claim that the Church will, at least eventually, be able to accept all that is best among such advances, whatever their origin." The present volume explores the promise of these three sentences, and the result is a capstone work, at once Rist's most ambitious, and his most personal.The main chapters explore particular philosophical and theological themes, roughly moving from anthropology through aesthetics to politics. Chapter 1 considers the significance of sexual difference, attending especially to Christian attempts to account for the dignity of women. Chapter 2 considers the problem of original sin, human freedom, and divine providence. Chapter 3 traces the development of Christian aesthetics as a coming to terms with the power of beauty. Chapter 4 considers the problem of authority within the Church

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Joshua P. Hochschild
Mount St. Mary's University

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