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Philosophy, Death and Immortality

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Dewi Phillips was an insightful practitioner of a philosophical method of cultural phenomenology focused upon word and deed. His interests and outlook also brought him close to the concerns of some post-Kantian theologians, such as Schleiermacher. The present essay observes a link between their treatments of the nature and significance of the idea of immortality. It then explores something of Phillips' positions as developed in Death and Immortality, acknowledging the importance, which he emphasises, of the spiritual meaning of these ideas. On the other hand, it argues that his rejection of metaphysical aspects and underpinnings to these ideas is misplaced, in part because it leads not only to overlooking certain possibilities, but also because it fails to capture the complexity of actual religious claims concerning these matters advanced in Judaeo-Christian scripture and related literature. The essay ends by setting out an argument from Anselm's Monologion concerning the immortality of the soul in relation to loving and being loved by God. It is pointed out that since loving is an intentional attitude, one might love God while not knowing that God was the object of one's affection.

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Monologion " in Anselm of Canterbury:The Major Works
  • See
See " Monologion " in Anselm of Canterbury:The Major Works, B. Davies and G. R. Evans (eds.), (Oxford: OUP, 1998) pp. 73–74.