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Gerard Jacobitz

Robert Sokolowski's Theology of Disclosure: A Constructive Appraisal


UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME
PHD
1998
BURRELL, DAVID B.
DAI-A 59/05, p. 1626, Nov 1998
385
THEOLOGY (0469); PHILOSOPHY (0422)

Robert Sokolowski's theological method, based on the philosophical insights of Edmund Husserl, effectively addresses two important theological problems: (1) naive realism, which assumes that an objective world stands in stark opposition to a self-aware subject; and (2) a defective understanding of the doctrine of Creation, which expands naive realism into a metaphysics of presence. If God and the world do not share a context in common, then the problem of God becomes first and foremost a problem of disclosure: how is the Creator God made manifest in the created world? An examination of the ways presence and absence are at play in the disclosure of ordinary things affords insight into the way the Paschal Mystery of Christ's life, death and resurrection discloses the reality of a God who is not merely the most excellent part of the whole. The methodology of the dissertation is conversational. Philosophical aspects of the theology of disclosure are placed in dialogue with Bernard Lonergan, Paul Ricoeur and Mary Douglas; practical application of the method according to three major theological topics is facilitated by the introduction of conversation partners: Hans Frei and Robert Alter (biblical hermeneutics): Rene Girard and Gil Bailie (Christology); Dom Anscar Vonier and Edward Kilmartin (Eucharistic theology). The conclusion of the thesis is that the communal practice of Christianity by the Church is essential to the knowledge of God and reality.


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