Building Bridges and Crossing Boundaries: Philosophy, Theology, and the Interruptions of Transcendence

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Discussions about theological realism within analytic philosophy of religion, and the larger conversation between analytic and continental styles in philosophy of religion have generated relatively little interest among Catholic philosophers and theologians; conversely, the work of major figures in recent Catholic theology seems to evoke little interest from analytic philosophers of religion. Using the 1998 papal encyclical on faith and reason, Fides et ratio, as a major point of reference, this essay offers a preliminary account of the bases for such seeming mutual indifference and offers some suggestions for future dialogue.

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... 6 This leads to the third and final theme: 5 A difference that, following Susan Neiman (2002, "Divided Wisdom: Immanuel , I take to be of fundamental importance to Kant. 6 At various times (Rossi, 2006(Rossi, , 2014a I have attempted to probe the engagement of philosophy with theology (and vice versa) with an eye toward the location of such engagements in the conceptual and historical contexts that provide them with their concrete shape. The first two of these took inspiration from an insight I had, some years before writing either of them, that "Catholics read Kant differently from Protestants," an insight that has subsequently been reinforced by readings in the work of scholars on both sides of the Atlantic, such as James Collins (1967), Norbert Fischer (2005) Jacqueline Mariña (1997Mariña ( , 2001, Friedo Ricken (1992), and Aloysius Winter (2000). ...
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In response to the five essays commenting on The Ethical Commonwealth in History, I provide an exploration of three themes—the character of the highest good, the possibility of attainment of the highest good, and the agency for its attainment—as a basis for dealing with the concerns these essays raise about my interpretation of Kant’s critical project. On my interpretation, Kant’s project of “critique” is primarily an anthropological one, with its central focus on the moral vocation to which finite reason calls humanity as a species: To bring about a world of enduring peace as an essential element in the enactment of the highest good. These concerns bear upon: (1) my characterization of the social and religious dimensions both of the highest good and of the finite human reason for which it serves as the final end; (2) the historical dimensions that I claim for the community (“the ethical commonwealth”) that is the locus for the attainment of the highest good; and (3) the roles for human and for divine agency in such attainment.
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